Editorial Keynotes

What, then, is the fundamental purpose of the Bible?

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

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

Beginners in the ministry—those still in training or under interneship—should sense vividly the steps in the recovery of man from the ruin of sin that we are commissioned to proclaim. These are progressive and cumu­lative, having their consummation in the re­turn of Christ to gather the redeemed from earth and then utterly to destroy the wicked. The everlasting gospel, which is complete, per­fect, and assured in the redemptive plan and purpose of God, is a matter of progressive ac­complishment through the centuries. First came the promise, then the personal coming of the Promised One, His life, atoning death, resurrection, ascension, mediation, judgment, and now His imminent return that impends.

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 well pause to ponder the power of Ghandi, and observe how he influences vast multitudes, even causing mighty nations to bow to his demands. When one stops to analyze the secret of his power, it will be con­ceded to be in his utter devotion to certain ideals and objectives which he believes to be for the good of the masses of India. So he unselfishly lives in poverty, willing if neces­sary to give his very life for the accomplish­ment of these purposes.

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.

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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

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