The Bible is not primarily a book of lofty moral maxims, though it is replete with the incomparable guiding gems of the ages.
It is not primarily a system of ethics, though it presents and emphasizes the highest ethics in the world. It is not primarily a history of the race, though it gives the only true picture of the course of empire and the destiny of the world. It is not primarily a book of prediction, though it forecasts infallibly the future march of events and the ultimate outcome of all. It is not primarily a book of law, though it is the official revelation of the divine law operative throughout the universe.
It is not primarily a book of science, though it presents the foundation principles and basic facts of all true science.
It is not primarily a curiosity satisfier, though it answers a thousand puzzling problems as to origin, sin, and human destiny that would otherwise baffle the human mind.
It is not primarily a volume of systematic theology, though it completely presents the eternal and harmonious truth about God, man, law, sin, heaven, earth, punishment, and Paradise.
It is not primarily a book of "proof texts" for the doctrinarian, though its pages are crowded with doctrinal truth in both sweeping principle and painstaking detail.
It is not primarily intended to afford a battle ground for the controversial and speculative, though it contains hundreds of expressions that have divided professing Christians into contending groups through the centuries.
It is not in any sense written to support error and schism, though every wild religious vagary has appealed to its pages to sustain its claims and silence its opponents.
What, then, is the fundamental purpose of the Bible? God's primary purpose through His word is to save men through giving a true understanding of the sin problem, past, present, and future; then to reveal His matchless provision for complete salvation.
It is to disclose His incomparable love and His unutterable longing to forgive and restore.
It is to reveal, first, man's hopelessly lost condition, then the all-sufficient redemption provided in Christ.
It is to produce a new nature in the responsive soul, and to effect a spiritual regeneration of life and character.
It is to change man's false ideas concerning God and His attitude toward man.
It is to rectify the distorted idea man has conceived of God's moral government and its irrefragable law.
It is to woo and win back to his lost allegiance to God and His government, and its foundation principles.
It is to fit the soul for heaven, and the living for translation, by correcting every digression of life and belief.
Its aim is the complete restoration of that which was lost, and the removal of that which has broken the harmony of the universe.
It is God's letter of love to man. What a wondrous message! What an incomparable revelation of His provision for every human need!
Brethren, let us love it, study it, live it, preach it. The hour calls for a revival of devotion to the word.
L. E. F.
Preaching Keyed to the Hour
Obviously, by every law of logic, our emphasis today must rest not equally upon the redemptive program and message as a whole, but cumulatively upon its next impending step, —the visible appearing of the Redeemer Himself, with all that centers about it. The preparation of heart necessary, the provisions for its accomplishment, the warnings against neglect or defiance of these provisions,—such are the primary requisites for preaching the everlasting gospel in this last hour. Everything we present should have this solemn objective in view. Woe unto any of us, charged as we are with such weighty responsibility, if we are recreant to the most solemn obligation ever committed to heralds of God's good news.
L. E. F.
Devotion to a Cause
We may profitably consider, then, how we as Christian leaders, if possessed of the same utter abandon for the accomplishment of the divine purpose and eternal well-being of man, and clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit, should shake this old world in these culminating days of that divine purpose. And such will be the actuality when, renouncing all selfish interests and sinful indulgences, we give ourselves with complete consecration to the finishing of the task committed to the remnant people. This is the time to search our hearts and yield our lives without reserve to the demands and provisions of this last hour.
L. E. F.