Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 18, 1960
NUMBER 15, PAGE 2,14c

From A Preacher's Note-Book

James W. Adams, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

An Ageless Enigma

We are ever impressed with the fact that, while we live in a changing world, man has changed but little since God made him. The sins of today were the sins of yesterday and will be the sins of tomorrow. A human tendency today was a human tendency 3000 years ago. Solomon once said, "A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it ... " (Proverbs 26:28.)

It would seem that the liar would be hated by him whom he has injured, and perhaps he is on occasions. Yet, it is invariably true that the liar hates his victim. We are not saying that every lie told about an individual is motivated by hate. We are saying that, having told a lie upon his fellowman, the liar hates him whom he has injured. The sinner hates him whom he has sinned against. The injurer hates him whom he has injured. The bitterness in one man against another is often to be explained in the light of this enigma.

Adam and Eve hid themselves from God. Had God ever done anything that should have caused them to fear? No! What then was the occasion of their fear? It was their own sense of guilt. The one-talent man accused his Lord. Why? His own sense of guilt concerning his sloth made him the accuser of his benefactor.

In our day among the churches of the Lord, there is a great deal of loose talk. False representations are common with many. This is often done on the basis of hearsay with no personal knowledge of the facts of the matter. Having misrepresented another, the guilty party has a bitter spirit of enmity against him whom he has misrepresented. Let us carefully guard our tongues. Truth's best defense is truth. He who would resort to misrepresentation to defend or promote truth but defeats himself. (J. W. A.)

"Salvation Belongeth Unto The Lord" (Psalms 3:8.)

Man's salvation from sin is of the Lord. No fact is more clearly impressed upon our hearts than this in the word of God. Our salvation is "not of works lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2: 9.); it is not "by works of righteousness which we have done." (Tit. 3:5.)

Man is a sinner. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23.) Sinners are condemned to eternal death. "The wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6:23.) "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (Ezek. 18:20.) There is nothing that man can do of himself that will remove the guilt of sin from the soul. Reformation will take care of the sins of the future, if it is perfect reformation, but reformation does not undo the sins of the past. Divine clemency is man's only hope. Salvation is, therefore, by the grace, love and mercy of God. It is enjoyed through the avenue of pardon.

The blood of Jesus Christ furnishes the basis or grounds upon which God can at once be infinitely just and righteous and justify the sinner. "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Rom. 3: 25, 26.)

The conditions upon which man enjoys divine pardon through the blood of Jesus, like salvation itself, belong to the Lord. Human wisdom apart from revelation could neither originate nor apprehend them. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God bath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit..." (1 Cor. 2: 9, 10.)

The conditions of divine pardon are: (1) Faith in Christ.. Except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8: 24.); (2) Repentance. "Repent, therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out . ." (Acts 3: 19.); (3) Confession of Christ, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Rom. 10: 9.) Baptism into Christ, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mk. 16:16.) Faithfulness unto death, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev. 2: 10.)

Such as comply with the divine conditions enjoy the favor and blessing of God. They are God's elect, foreordained from before the world began unto eternal life. God's provisions for the salvation of men are universal in scope. "Whosoever will may come." (Rev. 22: 17.) Yes, "Salvation belongeth to the Lord." It can be enjoyed, therefore, only on HIS terms.

The Man Who Thinks He Can

If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think you dare not, you don't.

If you'd like to win, but think you can't, It's almost a cinch you won't

If you think you'll lose, you're lost, For out in the world we find

Success begins with a fellow's will;

It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are You've got to think high to rise.

You've got to hustle before You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go To the stronger or faster man;

But soon or late the man who wins Is the one who thinks he can.

— Anonymous.

Exposed To The Light

It is said that after diamonds have been exposed to strong sunlight, they become phosphorescent if removed to a dark room. We have seen the same phenomenon in human diamonds who have been exposed to the strong light of the word of God.

A number of years ago while we were laboring with a church in a small Texas town, a young Christian man began bringing his sweetheart to the services of the Lord's church. After having attended services for several months, she insisted that the young man attend the services of "her church," a large congregation of a popular denomination. The young man agreed and attended. The experience was a shocking and revealing one to the young woman. In conversation with us later, she confessed that she was embarrassed beyond measure. "Her preacher" spent his time in telling his own experiences and death bed stories. She had forgotten what the preaching was like in "her church." A few months previous, it had sounded good. What had happened? She had been exposed to the light of God's word. Being honest, like the diamond, she had become phosphorescent with Divine truth. Within a few weeks, we baptized this lovely young woman into Christ.

It grieves us to observe our brethren substituting for strong teaching of Divine truth the paraphernalia of denominationalism. The church of our Lord is the only institution that can and will teach the truth. People can get entertainment, recreation, friendly association with amiable people, social betterment lectures etc. elsewhere, but only through the church of the living God can they get the strong sunlight of Divine truth. Christians like the diamond must derive their light from the Sun of Righteousness through the medium of His holy word. Let us then put the emphasis where the emphasis belongs! (J.W.A.)