HE IS RISEN!
Springtime is God's season for teaching the new life in Christ. Now the warming sun is drawing from the cold earth myriads of tiny living things. All nature is awake! The apostle Paul so beautifully refers to the spiritual awakening of the Christian in Romans 6. He declares that immersion baptism is the fitting symbol of our resurrection in Christ. While Adventism recognizes the cleavage between Bible truth and the traditions and practices of pagans relative to the celebration of Easter, with Paul, "let us keep the feast, . . . with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
It is always appropriate to preach on the great theme of the Resurrection. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above. . . . Set your affection on things above. . . . Above all these things put on charity. . . . Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, . . . and be ye thankful. . . . Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3). These are Paul's sermon thoughts to ministers at this lovely season of the year.
L. C. K.
"THEIR FINEST HOUR"
The farmers who replenish the breadbasket of the nation fear nothing more than drought or drizzle when rain is needed. The prophet Hosea uses this figure to picture the success of the church in its final triumph.
That the days of her opportunity are limited is a fact needing little proof. According to the prophetic record, the final hours of the church are to be her finest. However, the present situation assumes some perplexity when it is remembered that the church is in her final hours but not her finest.
We are baptizing tens instead of thousands. In some places sin is assuming the proportion of the immovable object and has all but stymied the progress of the irresistible force. In the experiences of far too many ministers there is the agony of defeat instead of the song of triumph. He sees not the blazing glory of sunrise but the indefinite haze of twilight.
Is not a deeper revelation of the grace of God our crying need? That men are justified by faith and sanctified by grace is the note we must sound in the ears of a disillusioned world. For the want of this true concept the Christian church suffers leanness of spirit. Any other emphasis the sinner will find easy to resist. But when Jesus and the fullness of His redemption is set forth before the world, men whom God is calling cannot resist. "I, if I be lifted up, . . . will draw all men unto me," declared the Saviour. This is the power of God unto salvation. When the trumpet gives this certain sound the present drizzle will become the latter rain. For this we as workers must pray and plan.
E. E. C.
THE ABILITY OF GOD
"There is no one perfect" is an expression so often repeated that many are convinced that perfection is no more than an idealistic platitude. Even God's ministers are saddled with an oft-erring human nature, a fact that probably accounts for the watered-down versions often heard on the ability of God to save. Woe to the minister who permits his own failures to color either his message or its effect upon his hearers. His failings are not God's.
The minister who speaks for God must not lead the sinner to doubt Heaven's ability to "save to the uttermost." Nor can it be denied that this must take place in this present world (Titus 2:11, 12). "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling" (Jude 24). Perfection in Christ, received by faith, expressed in good works, is the essence of the gospel. Continually emphasizing that there is a balm in Gilead, that we have a Saviour who came to "save his people from their sins," brings courage to the hearts of men who want to be through with sinning, and gives ample answer to those who question God's ability to save.
E. E. C.
"WATCH YOUR TRANSITION!"
Having been asked to sit in at a musical rehearsal for a spring concert, I was interested in the techniques of the college musical director. While polishing the expressive part of a song he interrupted the singers with, "Kindly watch your transition!" And then he sang the part as it should be sung. Because I was working in an editorial office where articles too often lack the proper transition, I made an interesting mental comparison.
Transitions also need watching in our gatherings, religious or secular. We recall one of those near perfect Sabbath days with copious spiritual blessings. This occasion was a youth rally. During the vesper hour God's Spirit signally hovered over the congregation. We quietly dispersed, well sensing the holy overtone, for God had spoken powerfully through His servants.
To make this youth rally a true success a social evening followed. The committee in charge had worked hard to plan a good time for all who gathered. And we might add, this social was typical of many in our midst. At the close the young people enthusiastically, and somewhat boisterously, voted it a success. But there are always some discerning souls among us who sensed a keen disappointment. Fortunately they pondered these things in their hearts. A few parts were not up to Adventism's standard, for there was some lightness and even levity. Charitably we might reflect: How about the transition? Is it not timely to give ministerial guidance to your church socials, or are you watching the transition?
L. C. K.