May – June 2011 RSS feed for this section

Editorial: A Call For Moderation and Temperance

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Phil. 4:5. Wuest states that the word moderation is the translation of a Greek word that means “not being unduly rigorous, being satisfied with less than one’s own due, sweet reasonableness, forbearance”. The thought here is that we ought
to show to all our sweet reasonableness in light of the imminent coming of the Lord for His Church.

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Impeccability: Was Christ Able to Sin?

Impeccability: Was Christ Able to Sin?

Orthodox theologians have universally agreed that Jesus Christ never committed any sin. He was sinless, blameless, and holy. The sinlessness of the Lord Jesus Christ is an absolute necessity for the efficacy of His penal, substitutionary death and is a decisive proof of His deity. Any moral failure on the part of Christ would compromise His deity and nullify His finished work on the cross. While few evangelical Bible teachers doubt His sinlessness, some have questioned whether Christ was able to sin? The question of whether Christ was able to sin is not merely a debate for theologians, but one that is important and critical to all, for it touches upon the person and the work of Christ.

Those who argue that Christ was able to sin assert that He could only have been truly human if He were able to sin. If He were unable to sin, then He was also unable to be tempted. Therefore, His humanity would not be the kind of humanity that would be able to truly sympathize with mankind. This viewpoint seems to be attractive and biblical to many fine scholars, past and present. Among conservative evangelical leaders who have taught this view are Charles Hodge, Everett F. Harrison, and Dr. Martin R. DeHaan. Additionally, Ellen G. White, of Seventh-day Adventism, also strongly advocated this view.

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Priests and the Priesthood

Priests and the Priesthood

In Exodus chapter 19 the children of Israel find themselves encamped in the Wilderness of Sinai. Moses ascended the mountain, and God gave him a message for the people. He said, ‘Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant…. ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.’ Exodus 19:5-6. God indicated that His ideal was for the entire nation of Israel to be priests, subject to the conditions being observed. It is well known that Israel did not ‘obey His voice and keep His covenant,’ and that the priesthood was confined to Aaron and his sons. This continued throughout the dispensation of law until Christ came. However, now that Christ has made His once-and- for-all sacrifice, all of the terms and conditions of law and its priesthood have been set aside in this Dispensation of Grace. God has now realized His original ideal in the Church, by bestowing upon all believers the honour and privilege of priesthood. It is the purpose of this article, to show how the priesthood functions in a personal and collective way.

PERSONAL ACTIVITY OF THE PRIEST
Every son of Aaron was a priest by birth, and once he attained the age of 30 years, he was able to take up the responsibilities of priesthood, which primarily involved worship, in the presentation of sacrifices. Positionally, he was a priest the day he was born, but practical function required maturity and experience. It should be noted that some of the activities of the priest involved things that could be exercised personally, and others which required that his activities, should be coordinated in conjunction with other priests, and we will address the latter, later in the study.

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Worshipping Worthily

Worshipping Worthily

A believer’s circumstances under the Law were quite different from those of a believer under grace. This is especially true when it comes to approaching God and expressing praise or thanksgiving to the Lord. The Old Testament saint was made to understand the condemnation resulting from his or her sin and the complexity involved in any cure by the variety of offerings that must be brought. Those offerings all prefigured Christ but were only types and could in themselves accomplish nothing; never setting the conscience of the worshiper free. They only served to remind him of the absolute holiness of God and his own spiritual inadequacy; his failure to “measure up”.

By bringing a burnt offering he would be reminded that he could only expect full fellowship with God by being completely devoted to His will and obedient to it — even unto death. In presenting a meal offering his conscience would recall how impure was his inner life; with a peace offering how often his thoughts and actions did not harmonize with heaven, and with the sin and trespass offerings would come the continual realization that he sinned and fell short of the Divine glory. These sacrifices were inefficient; could “never give the guilty conscience peace or wash away sin’s stain.” For, “in those sacrifices there was a reminder of sins every year.” (Heb.10:4)

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A Letter to a Friend on the Subject of United Prayer

A Letter to a Friend on the Subject of United Prayer

I append this remarkable letter by CHM, written, probably between 1888-1892, to an unknown friend. It still communicates with freshness what had weight in his soul and brings again the appeal for the need of united prayer by all who love our Lord Jesus Christ and what belongs to Him. May the prayerful desires of this faithful servant of the Lord still speak to our consciences and stimulate the reader to similar expressions in their prayers.

Beloved in the Lord,
I have, for some time, been deeply exercised as to the condition of the whole church of God – the body of Christ; the beloved lambs and sheep of His flock, scattered through the various denominations and associations of Christendom, and the assemblies of those ostensibly gathered out to His blessed name. In a word, the low condition of things, on all hands; the little fruit in the gospel, and the excessive feebleness in collective and individual testimony for Christ. All this has weighed very heavily on my heart, before the Lord, in connexion with the fearful progress of infidelity, in all its phases, and the darkening influence of superstition; and I feel called to send forth an appeal to every child of God and servant of Christ, throughout the whole world, to unite in humbling ourselves before the Lord, in self-judgment, confession, supplication and intercession.

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A Holy Man, A Man of God

A Holy Man, A Man of God

After a meeting in Korea, a woman said to me, “You are a holy man, a man of God.” I felt embarrassed, humbled, speechless. Me? A holy man? A man of God?

But should we not all be holy men and women, men and women of God? What does it mean to be holy, a man or woman of God?
When the tabernacle was completed there were consecration ceremonies to consecrate it with all of its furniture and vessels to the service of God. There was also a solemn service to consecrate the priests to their holy work. “And you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy”(Ex. 40:9 NKJ).

The priests were consecrated previously. “And this what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to me as priests” (Ex. 29:1). Aaron and his sons became holy men, set apart to serve God as priests, holy men. Who are the priests today, hallowed for ministry to God? Peter emphasizes that today all believers are priests: “…a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5). Today all believers are priests, hallowed to God to serve Him. The priest was a priest twenty four hours a day and was to live a holy life, a pure life for God. Hence Peter exhorts all Christians, “…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy for I am holy’”(1 Pet. 1:15-16). Remember the dignity of your calling as a priest and live a holy life.

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