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Tke Gospel in Medical Practice

Tke Gospel in Medical Practice

duce a character

duce a character in harmony with the righteousness of the law. Is the law, then, against the sinner? No, it is a spiritual seed, that when planted in the human heart and nurtured by the Holy Spirit produces fruit after its kind. And what are the fruits of the law written in the heart? "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long- suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temper­ ance: against such there is no law." Gal. 5:22, 23. It is useless to talk about the new birth or the new covenant if we are in bondage to the sins listed in verses 19-21. But if the fruits of the Spirit are growing in. your life, then you are free from the yoke of bondage of which Paul speaks in the first verse of this chapter. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." Gal. 6:7. Jesus was careful to point out this great truth for us in His sermon on the mount: "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father." Matt. 7:21. "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." John 15:10. We need to know that the fruits of the Spirit that everyone so fully admires in the Christian's life do not grow in a vacuum. They cannot be produced until the law has been written in the heart by the Spirit. The first miracle of the new birth is the writing of the law in the heart; the second miracle is the glory of a fruitful life in whose character the fruits of the Spirit are manifest. If one wishes to make the picture cbncrete and personal rather than theological, one needs only to look at the indescribable glory of Jesus' life. Of Him it is said, "Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of'Me. I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Ps. 40:7, 8. The Foreign Mission Enterprise-and the Home Church THE foreign mission enterprise of the Christian church began with heaven as the home base, God as the generous supporter, and Christ as the first missionary. When Christ came to this earth as the point of contact between God and sinful man, He set about the task of making Christians. Then He in turn placed upon those Christians the burden and responsibility of going to all parts of the world to help make other Christians. And so the work goes on and on, each Christian in turn becoming a missionary. Willing sacrifice is the one and only basis on which the whole enterprise can be carried on. It was to the "five hundred" Christians whom Christ last met in Galilee that He discovered His plans for the development of the Christian church throughout the world. To us, as Christians today, His words then spoken are known as "The Great Commission" to the Christian church. It is the one and only "directive" issued by the Master — a bold and almost overwhelming assignment. Let us take a look at the Commissioner, then say a few words about the commissioned. An unknown author has penned these words about The Man who issued the directive and gave the commission: Christ and His Disciples "Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never put His feet inside a big city. He never traveled two ~~~~. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. "While Himself still a young man, the tide of popular opin­ ion turned against Him. His friends ran away . . . one of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of trial. He was nailed upon a cross be- ctrtroTrers— garntt ed "for" ~~th~e~"~Only " piece of property He had on earth, while He was dying, and that was His coat. When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of friends. Nineteen wide centuries have come -and gone, and today He still is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of liumanity." Bruce Barton has this to say about the project and the 10 By D. E. Rebok twelve men to whom Christ first gave His commission and the human prospects of their success: "Consider the sublime audacity of that command. To carry Roman civilization across the then known world had cost millions of lives and billions in treasure. To create any sort of reception for a new idea or product today involves a vast machinery of propaganda and expense. Jesus had no funds- and no machinery. His organization was a tiny group of un­ educated men, one of whom had already abandoned the cause as hopeless, deserting to the enemy. He had come proclaim­ ing a Kingdom and was to end upon a cross; yet he dared to talk of conquering all creation. What was the source of His faith in that handful of followers? By what methods had He * trained them? What had they learned from Him of the secrets of influencing men?"—The Man Nobody Knows, pp. 89, 90. The Breadth of the Commission By all the standards of the world those twelve men had little to offer. They had not come from the walks of life in which men were accustomed to make friends. But for three and half years they had been with the Master Teacher, and they had learned of Him. So well had they learned their lessons that Peter and John, on one of their very first missionary journeys, which by the way was to the near-by synagogue, chose the most unlikely prospect and without silver or gold, but with such as they had, commanded him to rise up and walk in newness of life. What they had was Jesus Christ and His power. With the same equipment missionaries today can go forth to make Christians of all peoples, healing them physically as well _as_spiritually,—————————————————————————— But He had more than the twelve upon whom to count, for He gave the same commission to the 500 Christians who met Him for the last time in Galilee. There they were farmer folk, small businessmen, and some priests who had been attracted to Him. Yes, the commission was given to ._thejwhole-church=—lead^r-s-aad-laymen-alike.- The bu-rderr- and the responsibility for going to all the world and for making Christians of all nations were placed on every Christian in that age and in every age since that memo­ rable day in Galilee. Ellen G. White puts it this way: "The Saviour's commission to the disciples included all the believers. It includes all believers in Christ to the end of REVIEW AND HERALD

time. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come, are put in trust "with the gospel. All who receive the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow-men. For this work the church was established, and all who take upon themselves its sacred vows are thereby pledged to be co-workers with Christ."—The Desire of Ages, p. 822. In another place the same writer says: "The church of Christ is God's appointed agency for the salvation of men. Its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. And the obligation rests upon all Christians. Every one, to the extent of his talent and:.,ppporturiity, is to fulfil the Saviour's commission. The love of Christ, revealed to us, makes us debtors to all who know Him not. God has given us light, not for ourselves alone, but to shed upon them. "We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the nar­ row circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ. We can do this in the home circle, in the church, among those with whom we associate, and with whom we do business."—Steps to Christ, pp. 85, 86. It becomes, increasingly clear that the commission was given to the whole church everywhere and in every age. Thousands of Christians in every land must carry out the command, "Go and make Christians." The going may be to your next-door neighbor, or to your neighbor in India, Africa, or China. Each Christian is to begin his work of "making Christians" right where he is. There are heathen, or non-Christians, at his very door, and Christ expects them to be taught by the Christian nearest by. If every Christian everywhere were to do the work for those around him, we would all be surprised how soon the world could be evangelized. The Gospel for "Every Creature" The church must also remember that the "going" in­ cludes the uttermost parts of the earth. Christ sees no national boundaries, He makes no. difference in color or race or language. Every person in the world must be given the opportunity to hear and know of the Saviour. This, too, is not an impossibility if and when each and every Christian obeys the great commission. As we look around the world, however, we are com­ pelled to admit that God's plan has not yet been fully realized. Is it that God's power is not enough? Are there too few Christians to get the work really done? Is it im­ possible for all Christians to go everywhere? Let us look at the situation for a few moments as it affects the world of this present generation. There are about 70,000,000 professed Christians in the United States. If every one of them took seriously Christ's com­ mission, it would-be necessary for each one to win just one, and the task would be done for this country. The same is true in Europe and South America. By this method in less than a year one half of all the people in the world could be reached. The real problem comes when we consider the great non-Christian lands and their millions and millions of people. Can the home church afford to carry out Christ's commission in the lands afar? Are there enough Christian men and women in the home lands ready and willing to go abroad and make Christians of the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and Africans? Some time ago the chief of chaplains of the United States Army in Japan stated that if 50,000 real Christian families could be sent to Japan, and one of those families be placed in each of the 50,000 towns and villages just to live his. Christian life and let his light shine, we would need have no further fear of another war with Japan. One. hundred fifty million dollars a year for such a demonstration of Christianity in Japan and for the peace of that section of the world would be cheap indeed. DECEMBER 18, 1947 The foreign missionary enterprise of the Christian church is/tied to active Christians in the home churches. They in turn are in partnership with God and Christ. Thus there is the closest possible relationship between the sender and the sent, and the success of the enterprise abroad is closely tied to the success of the enterprise at home. The home church dies when it loses its love for the benighted peoples in less fortunate lands. Such a church, in failing to support the foreign mission enter­ prise, soon becomes selfish, self-centered, self-existent, and begins to diminish in members and spirituality. The Missionary and the Home Church The home church active in giving of its means and men for carrying out Christ's commission grows and glows both here and abroad. It sends out its young men and women as its representatives in distant lands. To them it has a never-ceasing responsibility—to remember them, to love them, to pray for them, to care for them financially, to cheer them, and to remain in touch with them. The missionary, on the other hand, must-not take all this love and kindness and interest for granted. He too has a responsibility to the home .churches. The missionary abroad must never .forget that church members at home place their treasure where their heart is. In other words, financial support goes for the thing of greatest interest. Interest springs from understanding, and understanding comes from being informed. Therefore, the missionary owes it to the home church to keep a constant stream of interesting, reports and letters flowing to our home pa- \ pers, conference officials, pastors, and churches. 'Our people at home want to know what God, through the missionary, is doing in the foreign fields, and how it is being done. They want to know the results of the work done, and delight in the human-interest stories of how the gospel comes to non-Christians, enters into their hearts and minds, transforms them into living testi­ monies of God's great grace and love. The missionary on furlough should accomplish at least two things: First, he needs the inspiration and lift which comes to his own soul from associating with fellow Chris­ tians in the churches in the homeland, and he^ust sup­ ply that injection of enthusiasm which the folks in the home churches need in order to make the foreign mis­ sion enterprise more real, more vital, more pressing, and more urgent. Secondly, the missionary needs time to build up physi­ cal resistance and an opportunity to go to school, where his own mind an"d heart may be fed. One cannot con­ stantly be giving out without' having some periods when he himself can drink from the fountains of knowledge and spiritual blessings. The Missionary on Furlough In order to accomplish all of this for the home church and for the missionaries themselves, the Mission Board should take charge of the missionary when he arrives on the shores of the homeland, and outline his entire fur­ lough program. Let us not forget that the missionary be­ longs to the home church and that he must at all times serve its best interests. The foreign mission enterprise and the home church are inseparably linked together. Both act and react on each other, and let it be remembered that Christ cannot and will not return in the clouds of heaven until the work of making Christians is finished in both the homelands and the fields afar. We might just as well look at the prob­ lem in terms of one world and one mission. The work of the church must go .forward as a well-balanced program with Christians everywhere doing all they can to fulfill the great commission given by Christ Himself. 11

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