How Frank Haven Hinman Relates to
Heresy of Decisional Regeneration
|Frank Haven Hinman (1859-1894) was a typical fifth generation New Light Calvinists minister that told Inquiry Room workers to tell seekers if they believed salvation scriptures, repented and trusted God for salvation, He would regenerate. ""repent and believe." If we will meet these demands, He can and will transform us by regeneration". By shifting from Biblical evidence of regeneration to "do this, believe this", decisional regeneration was not far off.|
Hinman wrote in his Hints And Helps For The Inquiry Room "The King offers him pardon for his transgressions, and the citizenship of the kingdom of holiness, upon certain conditions: He must repent of his sins. Trust himself to His hands. This being done He promises To take away his heart of stone and give him a heart of flesh; to remove the heart of sin and give him one of purity through the second birth".
This view was very common among fifth generation New Light Calvinists at the end of the nineteenth century. Seekers were told that repentance and trusting God by agreeing with salvation scriptures was saving faith with de facto regeneration. Before the Civil War, third generation New Light Calvinists had examined seekers in the Inquiry Room for Biblical evidence of regeneration. But after the Civil War, some fourth and most fifth generation New Light Calvinists shifted the focus from Biblical evidence of regeneration to believing the Bible as evidence of saving faith. Here we see Hinman as almost apologetic to seekers that have presumably repented and trusted Christ that they still need to be born again:
"In John 3:3-5, 7, He says we must be born again, i. e. we must have a change of heart. What other way could there be of our entering Heaven?... we read the promise concerning the new heart and what it means. Because we are all sinners we need just this, and God in His great love for us has provided it. All He asks of us is that we turn from all our transgressions to Him, and yield ourselves to Him that He may purify us. That is just the meaning of Mark 1:15, " Repent ye, and believe the gospel." He asks this of us because He can not purify us except we "repent and believe." If we will meet these demands, He can and will transform us by regeneration and sanctification, so that when we come to enter the gateway of Heaven we shall be permitted to enter… If the inquirer is not sufficiently convinced of the fact that he is a sinner, let the Word flash the truth upon him at Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Gal. 5:19-21. These are pen pictures of the natural heart as seen by the Holy Spirit. Always emphasize over against these pen pictures the demands made upon us, By the character of heaven. Rev. 21:27; By the character of God, Hab. 1:13; By the character of the ten commandments as summed up by Christ, Matt. 5:48. Then turn to John 1:29, ''Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." On leaving such an inquirer, if you have not brought him to a decision, gain a promise from him if you can, that he will read a certain portion of Scripture (to which you will call his attention), and pray for himself when he reaches his room. Rom. 1:18-32, John 5, and Matt. 5, are good selections for this purpose".
Joseph Bellamy, like Jonathan Edwards, never equated believing scripture with saving faith:
" It may be, he had one scripture, and, it may be, ten or twenty going, until he was as full as he could hold, and even ready to cry, -'Lord, stay thy hand.''... Now, some, who have a few discoveries, do, in a few months, lose all their religion, and come to feel and live much like the rest of the world".
The following is Frank Haven Hinman's book Seen Faith.
Frank Haven Hinman is best known for his book, Hint and Helps For The Inquiry Room. This book, Seen Faith, deals with the problem of thousands of Christians that made a decision for Christ, but never bore the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The BEST system in the Inquiry room was a Biblical Evidence of Salvation Test that evaluated whether or not the Inquirer had experienced an instant change of character. Scottish Common Sense Realism did not believe that God instantly changed the character in regeneration, and slowly replace dthe BEST system with the BIST system, which was the Belief In Scripture Test.
Instead of looking for Biblical Evidence of Salvation, the BIST test looked for a “Eureka!” moment when the Inquirer believed that salvation Scriptures applied to them. This was seen as possible evidence of saving faith with de facto regeneration. The BIST system produced thousands of false converts that lived lives no different than people who had never made a decision for Christ.
Instead of asking “converts” to “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5), Hinman takes the state church psychological view that everyone who wants to be saved is in the process of being saved. He suggests the implicit faith method of the Catholic Church. The implicit faith method assumes that “saving faith” is demonstrated by the “convert” doing what the priest asks.
Hinman called his version of implicit faith, “seen faith”. “Seen faith” was the Scottish Common Sense Realism answer to the question of why “converts” don’t act saved. Answer: If they don’t do good works, it’s because they are a 51% saint in the process of becoming a 52% saint. How different this is from the Biblical, ”all things become new” saint.
Hinman uses the term “Seen Faith” to mean faith that is expressed in works. Hinman builds on the Scottish Common Sense Realism view of “saving faith” as belief in Scripture with an explanation for what James was talking about when he said “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).
Orthodox Christian theology explains faith without works as “uninformed faith”; faith that does not produce works because it is merely a rational faith with no change of disposition by regeneration and no indwelling o0f the Holy Spirit. Orthodox Christian theology explains faith with works as “informed faith”; faith that produces works from a regenerate heart in communion with the indwelling Holy Spirit. “Informed faith” is God-relational faith that results from the union of the Holy Spirit with the spirit of man (1 Corinthians 6:17). The “informing” begins when a sinner becomes a saint at supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The “informing” is love communicated to a regenerate heart by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Without the Spirit of God changing the nature of the sinner into a saint and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit communicating God’s love, faith and works profit nothing. “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3).
But Hinman was a typical late 19th century Scottish Common Sense Realist who thought modern science provided a better explanation for how salvation was accomplished entirely within the mind without the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, and the idea that “a new nature” consisted merely of a mind convinced to serve God over self.
Hinman, as an evangelist, promoted the worst form of psychological manipulation with the BIST system in the Inquiry Room, substituting belief in Scriptures for believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Scottish Common Sense Realism eliminated the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit and replaced supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit with moral persuasion of the mind and the pseudo-scientific theory of “truth impressions”.
By the end of the 19th century, some Scottish Common Sense Realists, wanting an even more “scientific” view that could account for evolution, became pantheistic, seeing the Holy Spirit in every physical action. This was the beginning of the hyper-faith movement that sees faith as a force divorced from relationship with the sovereign God of the Bible, but cooperating with a pantheistic god.
Pantheism claims everything is of god, but not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is very specific in what He designates as His. “Christian” Pantheism starts with the premise that God does not deal immediately with His creation. The word “spiritual” and “spirit” in the Bible means “of or pertaining to another universe”. That universe is called the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of Heaven, and the “power of the air” Satan realm (Ephesians 2:2) in the Bible.
The Bible describes consistent interaction between spiritual beings and human beings and some animals. But the Christian intelligencia of Scotland, faced with Enlightenment challenges, came up with a new way of explaining how God saves man, which did not include immediate communication. These ministers wanted a spirituality that could be explained empirically. There is no place for a Biblical definition of “spiritual” in an empirical method of determining salvation, because outside forces that are not repeatable are not allowed in the empirical method.
1) They eliminated the Biblical understanding of “spiritual” as communication with spirits in a parallel universe.
2) They eliminated the Biblical understanding of the spirit of man as that part of man that communicates with spirits in a parallel universe.
3) They replaced man’s spirit and God’s Spirit with the rational MIND.
Matter is God's visible force. His action demonstrated. His mind
incarnate in star and world and tree and wood and running brook The history of this world is the history of action ; of the
correlation and conservation of force. His History opens its records with a declaration of definite action. "In the beginning God created," and from that time on, the heavens and the earth have been declaring the glory of God. In the beginning God stamped thought in matter and set it at work…
All this action expresses thought. Mind incarnate in matter. Mind in action and expressed in that which is seen. Outward action expressed in material form is the sign of inward spiritual reality. This is the path way to the heart of God…
Inward belief crystallized in deed, manifested in action. It gives us the true idea of the relation of faith and works.
This false paradigm is the evolutionary result of Scottish Common Sense Realism’s abandonment of the Biblical understanding of spirit, Spirit and spiritual, and making salvation merely a change of mind. The spirit of man had become the MIND of man. The heart of man has become the MIND of man. The will of man has become the MIND of man. Regeneration was made merely a “tipping point” when the mind has sufficient “truth impressions” to be convinced to serve God over self.
The Bible says without regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, faith and works profit nothing. “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3).
But Hinman, in typical Scottish Common Sense Realism fashion, has a pseudo-scientific view of faith and works as having power in themselves, apart from the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit.
Inward faith in the power of Christ to heal, caused the four men to bring their paralytic friend to Him to be healed. The bringing of the paralytic was the seen faith. If there had been no seen faith, there would have been no healing, no matter how much inward faith the four men might have expressed in the Saviour's power. The scriptural idea of faith is that of the inward belief expressed in action. It is plain that both the church and the
world do not comprehend clearly just what the faith of the scriptures is. We have it all confounded with mental assent. We believe something to be true. We believe Christ to be true, the Truth. We have some vague conception that that is all we are called upon to do. That our mental assent will save us. we become lazy and inactive. That kind of faith is no faith at all, at least it is not the faith that saves. It differs from saving faith by celestial diameters.
You think Hinman is about to say regeneration is needed, or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is needed…but no, he’s a Scottish Common Sense Realist that does not believe in the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit.
The devils believe as far as that and tremble, but their belief does not lift them beyond the level of devils. Faith that can not be seen is not the faith. The world of sceptics gets the same idea of faith. They imagine that mental assent to the power of Christ to save is all that is required on the part of the scriptures to lift one from hell to Heaven. They can see no virtue in that kind of believing and they laugh and pass on. We commend the language of the text to both saint and sinner, to the church and to the sceptic.
And when He saw their faith He worked the miracle. He did not act in the case until their faith had come to the surface, until it had been defined in out ward action. We also commend a careful study of Christ's words to the doubting Philip, "Believe me for the work's sake."
Orthodox Christian theology understands Jesus’ words to Philip, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake” (John 14:11) not as a new revelation of “seen faith”, but the LOWEST form of common faith.
It makes no difference what a man believes if he only acts rightly, but men act as they believe and that is why great stress is laid on the idea of faith.
Scottish Common Sense Realism made regeneration merely a change of mind , a “tipping point” when the mind had just enough truth impressions to be convinced to serve God over self. Now, Hinman, takes the psychological paradigm a step further, making “good works” the reason why God wants us to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
But is it faith that justifies us? Certainly. Our works can not merit Heaven for us. God forgives those freely who believe on Him. But it is a belief that manifests itself in action. Faith without that is no faith.
The reason faith without works is dead is “saving faith” manifests itself in good works. Good works are the natural fruit of relationship between a regenerate heart and the indwelling Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25). Everything that Hinman says after this point is a psychological explanation without Biblical authority.
As an illustration, see what this means when applied to the idea of repentance. Christ came preaching repentance and faith. Now what is repentance? Sorrow of heart ? Sadness of countenance ? Tears? No. These may be attendant signs of repentance, but they are not repentance. Repentance is nothing less than action; that is, it is a change of mind that to become effectual must express itself in outward action.
Saving repentance should be made evident in good works. As John the Baptist said, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8). But that is not the same as good works defining repentance. Hinman has applied the same empirical standard on repentance that Scottish Common Sense Realism applied to regeneration. That is, when the mind causes something – in the case of Scottish Common Sense Realism regeneration, the mind chooses to serve God over self. In the case of repentance, the mind chooses to do good works. No need for the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit.
True repentance is not believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He has power to save.
Hinman has identified the problem of rational “believing on the Lord Jesus Christ” as not saving, but for the wrong reason. The Bible says “ye must be born again”. Hinman says “ye must do good works”.
It is not such a sadness of countenance as to become visible. It does not consist in sackcloth and ashes and long drawn sighs. It is action. A turning away from sin. One who has truly repented has turned away from his previous life of wrong doing — has right-about faced. All other is simply sorrow of heart that worketh death.
Judas was sorry and hung himself. True repentance never ends in self-destruction. Peter repented and left off cursing. Thus faith in repentance becomes a seen faith. All else is counterfeit. Isaiah defined repentance centuries before Christ came. He said, " Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thought and let him return to our God." Repentance that is not seen is not repentance. The faith that only brings tears is not saving faith. Christ came to call men in to action; to deeds, not words.
What is the true church on earth? A revelation of the heart and mind of God to the world. As the heavens and earth declare the glory of God's power, so the church declares the glory of God's holiness and love. These two, holiness and love ; and such a holiness and love as the angels behold on high in the being of God. This is the transcendently great mission of the church on earth. It is enough to produce great humility simply to contemplate the great purpose to which the church is called. How shall the church declare it ? How do the heavens declare the glory of God ? Not by noise, but by motion.
Hinman has run into a problem. He has said the Word of God alone is not capable of creating holiness and love. He is right, but he comes up with a false solution that denies the need of the immediate activity of the holy Spirit. The Bible says only the Holy Spirit can communicate holiness and love to human beings. Hinman’s says, only motion can communicate holiness and love to human beings.
They are wonderfully silent but magnificently expressive. They are oppressively quiet, but swiftly active. The heavens have no creeds. They are the thoughts of God acted out The story of the heavens is the acts of the planetary system, just as the story of the early church is, The Acts of the Apostles. The heavens declare the glory of God by moving in accord with Divine law: the church is called upon to declare the glory of God by moving in accord with Divine law too. That is the how of it.
The church will never perform its mission by its professions nor by its creeds, but by its life. The church is not a library of dead languages. Its watch word is, " I live," and not, " I think." The church on earth is a small edition of the life of Heaven acted out here for the purpose of making the world of unsaved appreciate the glories which shall be revealed. God's living hand-bills to advertise the eternal drama.
Specimens of God's handiwork set forth to attract the world to the moulding influences of his master-hand. The echoes of the Heavenly orchestra. In so far as the church on earth acts out the thought of God and lives over again the life of Christ, it will have power. The world will laugh at its opinions, cavel over its professions sneer at its hypocrisies, but it will always stand in awe of its life if it be a true one.
The history of the church should be the history of the correlation and conservation of the Divine force which was in Christ Jesus. Right action is what is demanded of the church. Action under the direction of God like that of the heavens. A faith that is seen.
The religion of Jesus is not pantheistic.
Pantheism: “A doctrine that equates God with the laws and forces of the universe”. When Scottish Common Sense Realism denied that the Holy Spirit communicates with man immediately, and made regeneration merely a psychological phenomenon, it made salvation pantheistic. Scottish Common Sense realism salvation works according to the laws and forces of the universe, and not the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit. When Hinman says “the religion of Jesus is not pantheistic”, he means, “the religion of Jesus is not fatalistic”, which is one of the possible secondary results of a pantheistic worldview. Fatalism can be the result of pantheism, but not necessarily. A pantheism worldview can also energize those who believe it. The “name it and claim it” movement is energized with a pantheistic view of God being controlled by faith as a law and force of the universe.
We are not called to an endless slumber in the bosom of the infinite. To the cessation of action. The church of God is not called to a folding of hands, to sloth, to negligence, to idleness. It is not baptized into a spiritual competency on which to retire and take its ease. There are no summer resorts in God's service. God's buckets of salvation are never moss covered.
No wonder Jesus honored the faith of those four men. He could see their faith. There is no better definition of faith. The Christian faith is a faith which can be seen. A belief which produces action. All else is spurious. A faith which does not reveal itself in definite action is not the faith of Christ.
(1). The faith of the church to be the true faith must reveal itself in holy action and not in holy profession. Faith, without such holy action is dead being alone. It is hypocrisy. It is the gospel of Jesus mummified and a straw one at that. Godly living, Godly action, a holy faith, seen in every day life, is the order of the true Christian. The faith of the church to be the true faith not only must manifest itself in holy action but it will manifest itself in holy action.
Holiness: “The quality or state of being holy”
Hinman uses the world phrase “holy action” to mean “moral action”. Since Hinman does not believe God acts immediately on man, he does not believe a saint is someone God has changed supernaturally and indwelt.
“He that doeth righteousness is righteousness."
1 John 3:7 says, “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous”. Hinman thinks this means the doing, makes the righteousness valid, not the doing is evidence the righteousness is valid.
If the church has the true faith, it will soon be discovered. The true Christian needs no placard on his back declaring : " I am a Christian." By seeing his faith revealed in holy living, the world will understand he is saved. That- life which is not consecrated to holy living is not of the house of faith. He may have the catechism well learned ; he may understand and love the ritual ; he may enjoy all that the form of things may bring him in religion exactly as he enjoys the theater where people play at living, where they masquerade in the garments of every day life ; and still he may hear some day : " Depart from me I never knew you."
This illustrates in a nutshell what is wrong with Hinman’s theory. Matthew 7:22-23 says, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”.
THEIR GOOD WORKS DID NOT VALIDATE THEIR FAITH. Hinman quotes “depart from me I never knew you” without referencing THE GOOD WORKS THAT HINMAN SAYS VALIDATES FAITH! The critical thing is not what people do (as Hinman believes), but whether or not people know Christ. Paul says “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). KNOWING CHRIST IS NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE IMMEDIATE ACTIVITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH HINMAN DOES NOT BELIEVE IN.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned, that has come into living contact with his life, has a determination that is invincible to work righteousness in every sphere of life. It has a constant impulse toward heavenly things. There may be mistakes, there may be occasional yielding to temptation, but it is not every day yielding, everyday falling in the same pitfalls. There is a constant purpose, a constant endeavor, a constant battle toward holy living. There is a constant advance. There is a growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus.
What does Hinman mean when he says “The soul that on Jesus hath leaned, that has come into living contact with his life”? Hinman believes the only way to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus is by reading or hearing the written Word of God, which he earlier dismissed as “noise” with, “How shall the church declare it ? How do the heavens declare the glory of God ? Not by noise, but by motion”. The “doing” of what one believes is what Hinman believes will be the means by which people “learn of Jesus” and “come into living contact with his life”. Doing what you know is the mechanism that will replace the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, the leading of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. For students of history, this is a spuedo-scientific restatement of the Catholic view of the imitation of Christ, while the Evangelical position was “living from Christ” by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
But when Thomas a Kempis (1380 - 1471) wrote On the Imitation of Christ, there was the understanding that “man proposes, but God disposes", that is, the imitation of Christ is all we can do while God works his grace as He wills.
But Hinman believes the imitation of Christ IS the sum total of God’s pantheistic grace because God no longer works immediately with man. Man controls how much grace God gives patheistically by how much man does.
More and more it is a theme of comment among men that that one has a growing similarity of action with Him who spake as never man did before Him. More and more the world reads there the glory of the Father. By their actions we shall know them. By their seen faith we shall be enabled to place them where they belong.
You can tell them in business life by their rigid honesty. The Christian never steals. He does not cheat. He does not lie. He does not over-reach his accounts. He has a square balance sheet. He gives gallon for gallon, yard for yard, pound for pound. You can tell the true Christian in every sphere of life, not by their church membership, but by their living. They are the very incarnation of the ten commandments as interpreted by Jesus in the sermon on the mount. It is not the " Lord, Lord," of the ritualist, nor the profession of any, nor their church membership that reveals their relationship to God or the devil, but their faith, working itself out in holy action, seen in holy lives.
(2). The faith of the church to be the true faith must go farther than simple holy action. By this it does not reveal the Father's heart. It must and it will reveal itself in loving action. The Christian will reveal not only God's holiness, but God's love. He must be holiness incarnate, but he must also be love incarnate. Here is his greatest distinction which marks him from the world.
Professedly, the Christian loves his brother. He sympathizes in love with all defective humanity. He has charity for all men. His great mission in this world is to be helpful to all. His life is that of the good Samaritan. He loves to run on errands of mercy. He delights to sacrifice for the household of faith. He calls every man his brother. He suffers long and is kind. He thinks no evil. His life is a living sacrifice for his Master. All this is not irksome, for it is love which drives his chariot wheels.
Hinman has now said 1) Seen faith is good works . 2 ) Seen faith has had “living contact with God’s life”. 3) Seen faith is holy actions. 4) Seen faith is love. This last characteristic of seen faith will be difficult without the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit. The first 3 characteristics could all be the way God works pantheistically. But Paul’s definition of love is not a good work, supposedly done for the highest motives. Paul says, “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Let’s see how Hinman makes love that is not defined by good works conform to his pantheistic theory.
This is his profession. What is his action? The world under stands that the Christian professes this. It understands, too, that the Christian is supposed to act over again the life of Jesus when on earth. But when it sees brother going to law with brother! harsh and cold criticism of the defects of others. Christian brethren passing each other on the street without speaking through hatred; the cruel and imaginative evil-thinking of others; the cold shoulder given to the stranger at church; the wounded by the wayside and priest and Levite passing by; the unchurched masses and no hand outstretched to save them ; he looks hither and thither and yon for action that corresponds with the profession, a life that exemplifies the faith, doing that distinguishes the Christian from the man of the
world; he sees none; he hisses out, "Hypocrite," says Christianity is a failure, Christ a myth, and life a failure too, and his scepticism is sealed.
Who can blame him? I say it boldly that we are a mass of hypocrites unless we out-run the world, not only in our holiness of living, but in our active love for the world of the lost, our sympathy for defective humanity, our charity for the weaknesses of the brethren, our helpfulness toward the helpless. Christianity means sympathetic, self-sacrificing, loving service. It means a faith that is seen not only in righteousness, (oh, how many there are who seem to think that Christianity is all summed up in righteousness), but in loving helpfulness of the world's paralyzed, in such determined sympathetic service as manifests itself in carrying the sick one to the home of Jesus, in the tearing up of the (ceiling) tiling, in the letting of him down at the Savior's side.
Paul says, “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Hinman has not addressed what Paul is saying, unless he thinks Paul is saying “sympathy” when he says charity (love). But Paul can’t mean “sympathy”, unless “sympathy” was NOT the reason to “ bestow all my goods to feed the poor” and “give my body to be burned”. No, Paul is referring to “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). But Hinman does not believe the Holy Spirit sheds love immediately and does not believe that the Holy Spirit dwells inside the saint. Hinman is merely saying love must be an action, and when love is an action, God works pantheistically through man,
In no other way can the church fulfill its mission and reveal in action the glory of the Father. In no other way does it live over again the life of Christ.
Paul says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25). Hinman says “seen faith”, or good works are the ONLY way to “live over again the life of Christ” with NO MENTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT being the agent of the experiential life of Christ, the immediate agent of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, and temperance.
Haven has made ANOTHER GOSPEL in which man pantheistically does God’s will. Man is not led of the Holy Spirit immediately, but pantheistically knows what Scripture says and does it. The imitation of Christ is now the only way “God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, because heaven no longer communicate immediately with earth and all man has is God’ written Word. The pot has jumped off the potter’s wheel and makes itself by what it does.
Scottish Common Sense Realism made regeneration a “tipping point” when the mind was convinced by “truth impressions” to serve God over self. Now Hinman has explained that the fruit of the Spirit, which USED to be the evidence of regeneration, MUST be the evidence of faith.
Brethren, the time has come when if we would win the world to Christ, we have got to win it by right action. The day has gone by when men can be won by statement of creed or nominal profession The majority will never be won by correctly stated philosophy. This age is too practical for that. The great question today is, will it work.
“Will it work?” has replaced “does it glorify God?”, “does it help man?” has replaced “is it God’s will?”. This is empirical faith as apposed to Biblical faith, Man-Mechanical faith as apposed to God-Relational faith.
We must manifest our principles by our lives or our cause will fail. We must make our inward faith a seen faith or it is useless. We must not forget to emphasize faith just the same. Outward action is but the sign of inward condition. A seen faith the sign of the unseen. If we have the right action there must be the inward principle.
“There must be an inward principle” should be a regenerate heart with the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit…let’s see where he goes.
On the contrary if there be no correct outward action, there is no correct inward principle, or faith. If our lives do not exemplify the life of Jesus we have not the true faith and we are none of his. Holy action: acts of loving sympathy.
According to Hinman, the inward principle is faith.
Paul was correct in writing his epistle to the Romans to emphasize the idea of faith. He was driving at the inward condition. He was endeavoring to get the heart right. That is
THE UNSEEN UNIVERSE
Text:— II Corinthians. 4:18. "For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
To many of us the unseen universe is either an unreality, or far off both in space and time. We go out at night and weary the heavens with our searching to find some center at which the universe may be balanced, that there we may locate the throne of God. We sit by our firesides and looking at the vacant chair, think of the loved ones who have gone before and vaguely wish for that far off time of the resurrection to hasten that the unseen may become the seen, the unreal, the real.
God is not there. He is here. The center of this universe for us is not yonder, but just at that point where our soul touches the infinite. The soul that is centered in God is at the heart of the universe. The eye which sees Him is not the eye of a telescope which might pierce the utmost recesses of this creation, but the eye of faith which looks down at the very foundation of our being and sees where the soul touches the omnipresent God.
The universe for that soul is centered there and it need look no farther to find Him. The holy of holies for us is the inmost chamber of our being, and there on the mercy seat of our heart, beneath the outstretched wings of hope and love, God sits, revealing Himself to those who look for His appearing. And the unseen universe is not yet to come ; it has come already. It is near us. It billows around us more intimately than the sunlight. Heaven is at our elbow. The ministering spirits of God are never far from us. His angels linger in our Gethsemanes to strengthen us in our affliction. His twelve legions of attendants are ready to do our bidding. It takes no speaking trumpet to make Heaven hear us.
Jacob saw the angels ascending and descending. They had to go up his ladder first before they could come down it. While the disciples were gazing into the heavens he angels touched them on the earth. God and Heaven are not yonder, they are here. They are not yet to come, they have come. This is the meaning of our text, so often abused by making Paul seem to say, " the things which you see now are some day to fade away, but the things which will last for ever are coming bye-and bye. Keep your eyes on the coming events which are eternal."
Paul said nothing of the kind. He is writing to those in affliction. He desires to give them courage in the crucible of their testing. He says there is an inward man and there is an outward man, and while the outward an may suffer and perish, the inward man, the man that is now within, is renewed day by day. And this affliction worketh through the outward man upon the inward man. While the outward man grows faded and soiled and worn and crooked and old and distorted and wrinkled through suffering, the inward man grows beautiful and pure and perfect through the same process.
While we look not at the things which are seen but at; (notice this word at ; Paul does not speak as though they were in the future yet ; ) but at the things which now exist, but are not seen. And then he makes the general assertion of the text, which applies not only to the inward man but to the entire unseen world as well. "For the things which are seen are temporal; "this outward garb of things shall some day cease to exist. "But the things which are not seen," by the physical eye, "are eternal."
There are two general assertions made in the text. (1.) The things which we apprehend with the physical organs of sense are to pass away forever. (2.) The things which the physical organs of sense can not behold or touch, or taste, but which now are only seen by faith, are not only now existing, but they shall exist forever more. Paul affirms the fading character of things that are seen, but he affirms likewise the present reality and the everlasting character of the things which are not seen. He puts two states over and against each other as equally existing in the present time. Of one he says there shall be an end; of the other that there shall be no end. The seen world he contrasts with the unseen, and of these he says that the seen world and the unseen world are both here now, but that the spiritual world alone shall endure forever.
In this way Paul would lead the Corinthian church to assign correct values to the seen and the unseen by putting the perishable by the side of the imperishable, the temporal by the side of the everlasting.
So far so good…nothing wrong in what has been said thus far.
There are two facts that I desire to impress upon you today for the same purpose and other purposes than that for which Paul impressed them on the Corinthians.
1. The present reality of the unseen.
2. Its eternal duration.
In support of these statements, I would have you notice:
1. The fact that the unseen world is here now, as a reality, and that it shall never cease to be, in contra-distinction to the universe which our physical senses apprehend and which is to perish, is in exact accord with the modern teaching of science and philosophy and marvelously so.
2. That they are in accord with the great minds expressed through the great literature of all ages.
Hinman is building a case for pantheistic salvation with a premise that is the opposite what Scripture says: “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
KJV1 Corinthians 1:20-21
3. That they are in accord with the testimony of observation and self-consciousness.
This is Scottish Common Sense Realism which makes the unregenerate and the regenerate only different in the amount of “truth impressions” the mind has received. But Scripture makes a clear delineation between sinner and saint. 2
“The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
IV. That they are supported by the trend of all scripture teaching. We are fast leaving behind us a materialistic age; we are rapidly approaching a spiritual age. The men prominent in the world of scholarship who hold a materialistic conception of creation, are few indeed. The trend of thought outside of theological circles is toward the spiritual conception of things. It is only a few years since men were attempting to account for the existence of creation, without the aid of any mental or moral power behind it. Then they were dredging the sea for a middle somewhat, which might bridge the chasm between mind and matter. They were trying to formulate life by putting together the proper substances in the proper proportions necessary to make an egg which would produce life, but while they could fool the natural eye, they could not fool nature and no winged or unwinged bird ever came from such an undertaking.
Men who have been searching land and sea and endeavoring to find through inventive mind the source of life without postulating the spiritual world, the unseen universe, have ceased for the most part this procedure. They have found that while they might be called the discoverers of certain sources and processes of life, they were not inventors of that life.
The Columbus of science has at last come to the conclusion that to discover a continent does not mean to create it and that one must search deeper than the forms of things to find the power that fashions and to which the form of things is only conformed. Science has come to the conclusion that there is a power back of all things seen. That there is a God behind the scenes who shifts the scenery of the seen to accommodate His conception of things and to unfold His mind and will.
That the natural universe is but the garment of the spiritual universe, the seen the cloak of the unseen. And not alone that God is, and that He is the power that moulds and fashions the changing forms of things but that He is very, very near us, just behind his creation, just within the veil of flesh and matter. That the throbbing of life in plant and animal and man is God manifesting Himself to the eyes of man. That the continuity of law which seems to govern things seen is but the continuous movements of God in harmony with His own unchanging nature.
Science is actually getting devout and is learning to touch with reverence every grain of sand as though God were within, and to gaze through microscope and telescope with bated breath as though about to approach the chamber of the holiest place where God dwells. This devout and reverential attitude of science is very noticeable to one who can read the signs of the times. It begins to look as though we would find ourselves soon face to face with the infinite God and the unseen universe in a way we have little thought.
That suddenly we were to become conscious that the Bible is true when it speaks of the omnipresent God and His Christ as the Holy Ghost, near us at every hour.
Sounds good…but is Hinman’s “Holy Ghost, near us every hour” immediately, or pantheistically?...Let’s see.
That He would soon burst through this thin veil of outward form of things and we would find ourselves at once face to face with the unseen and with Him for whom we have searched the heavens so long. And then we have learned to look upon the seen universe which we have thought so stable, so firm, so everlasting, as after all fleeting, fickle, changeable, uncertain, insecure and some day surely to come to an end.
These bodies of ours which we once thought the best part and the only part of us, we realize today are changing continually. They are not today as they were yesterday. They are entirely different than they were the day before. But what has moulded and shapen the new matter which has come to make up the new face to the same old features? Why is the form the same today in its identity as that of twenty years ago? The seen world has been moulded by the unseen and it has been conformed to the spirit it has enfolded.
So it is with the heavens above us and the earth beneath. The astronomer can almost figure out to the day when the material universe shall disappear, when the unseen world shall pass away as it now exists. Only this last week we have seen the calculations which are based upon the observations of two centuries that the constellation Ursus Major, was once in the form of a cross, and that bye-and-bye, it will take to itself an entirely new form in the heavens.
All testimony is converging to this point this hour, that the seen universe is the changing and the temporal; but that there is an unseen universe which is enduring and everlasting. That the unseen world is all around us now and only just within the veil of flesh and matter. Surely the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are unseen are eternal. While the seen heavens and earth shall pass away, there is an unseen heaven and earth which shall never pass away.
The great minds of the centuries seem always to move as though in the presence of the unseen. Goethe writes in the sublimest little poem ol modern times: " Here eyes do regard you In eternities' stillness." Victor Hugo wrote his Les Miserables, as he says, as a drama the leading personage of which is the infinite. It was a study of God's movements among men, of God revealing Himself through men. And in one place Hugo exclaims : "What a contemplation for mind, and what endless food for thought, is the reverberation of God upon the human wall."
The material heavens are but the blackboard where God spells out His mind to accommodate the infant mind of man. Kepler exclaims after searching the stars and constellations, "O, God, I think Thy thoughts after Thee." History to the mind of genius is only God's foot-prints in the sands of time. And where is the soul that is not conscious at times of the presence of God and of the unseen? We all meet God occasionally face to face. There is a Jacob's ladder and vision for every soul. God blazes out from many a bush of fire to all His children, until there is not a child of Adam but what is conscious that the unseen is not only real but very near.
God walks in every garden at the cool of day or in the midday heat or evening's solitude. The ancients saw many gods in every star, and sun and moon and cloud and mountain and plain and river and sea, while the very atmosphere was quivering with the spirits of the departed. We are learning to see not many gods, but the one God, wise, eternal and omnipresent. though as yet invisible, yet speaking to His children, through every rock and rill and river, through every sun and storm and sea, through every cloud and constellation and conscience, telling us of an unseen universe that lies around us and of which the inward man, our very self, form an essential part.
If this is poetry fine…but God is NOT His creation….Let’s see where he goes.
An unseen universe which we behold now as in a glass darkly, but soon face to face; of which now we know but in part, but soon even as we are known. An unseen universe which shall abide forever, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. And from the atmosphere around us quivering with the beating of wings of saint and angel and seraphim, comes the response of the Heavenly chorus, saying Amen and Amen.
As we look into the scriptures for testimony we see that from first to last it is the movement of the infinite and unseen, working itself out to the material perception of the physical organs of sense, and then appearing through the seen to the unseen and spiritual man within. God walks with majestic treads through the pages of the Book. He is recognized therein as Sovereign and Omnipresent. To the Testament writers, Heaven is at hand and God and the angels are daily companions The real therein is that which under lies and overlies and lies through all creation. There we are led to understand that someday the physical and seen universe shall melt with fervent heat, a thought these days taught by science, while the realm of the spiritual and imperishable shall revel in new glories.
There we are taught that Heaven and earth shall pass away, but that the spiritual world shall endure forever. This conception of things is what redeemed the nations of Jews and kept the fathers faithful. They endured as seeing Him who is invisible. This accounts for the wonderful movement and underlying energy of the prophets, priests, kings and laymen of God's chosen They did not put so much stress upon the seen universe as upon the unseen.
And they did not put this unseen universe as way off in the future of time and space. They seldom stop to ask where Heaven is, for Heaven to them is all around them. Then when the Great Teacher came, when He saw a tendency among the school men to study times and seasons, to seek after signs and to put Heaven as yonder and not here, He said, "The kingdom of Heaven is within," literally
among "you. "God is the daily companion of the Hebrew heroes and Heaven is their continual experience. Enoch walked with God over three hundred years. Moses had God continually round about him. The prophet was astonished that his attendant, though a young man, was frightened and asked the Lord to show him that the band of five hundred gathered against those two could not harm them, and lo, his eyes were opened and he saw the hills around them and the valleys full of horses and chariots of fire.
David hears the sounds of the unseen army in the mulberry trees. The angels go down into the lions' den with Daniel. The disciples suddenly find on the Mount of Transfiguration Moses and Elias, not dead but alive and glorified. Paul sees continually around him the spirits of just men made perfect, and, conscious of this, he is made eager to run his race for the prize. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, tells us of the ministering spirits sent forth to minister to the heirs of the covenant. And then he peoples the amphitheater of earth with all the worthies of the past and amid their cheerings and hallelujahs bids us run with patience the race set before us.
When the authorities of earth banished the saintly John to the lonely and barren rocks of Patmos, thinking to drive from his mind his spiritual and religious conceptions of things, by the loneliness of the companionship of the sands and rocks and the restless sea, John peoples with spiritual vision the whole island with the new Heavens and the new Earth as the old universe and the seen is rolled together as a scroll. And out from the recesses of the rocks and up from the sea kissed sands and off from the crest of the waves and on the wings of the winds, in the air and on the earth and over the waters he hears the songs of triumph of those of the past and the present and the future, of angel and redeemed, mingled with the voice of Elim who sits on the throne. Is John lonely? Ask the book of Revelation. There is no loneliness for a Christian who understands that the unseen is not to come, but that it is here. That the unseen universe is not yonder, but here now and lying just within the shadow cast by earth's sins, waiting to be revealed.
Thus from every side of us this very hour is converging the testimony of science, of genius, of self-consciousness in harmony with the Book of books, testifying to the present reality of the unseen universe, its continuity and its eternal character and like wise the fading character, of that which is now seen, the material universe which our material eyes behold. As we cry out today, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit or whither shall I flee from thy presence," these voices unite in the response chanted by the Hebrew church centuries ago, saying; "If we ascend up into Heaven, thou art there ; if we make our bed in hell, behold thou art there. If we take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead us and thy right hand shall hold us. If we say, surely the darkness shall cover us, even the night shall be light about us. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee." " Surely these things which are seen are temporal, but thou and the unseen universe are eternal."
And now allowing our theme to be true and borne out by the evidence given, what shall we say? What bearing has all this upon our daily life? How can we make it practical; this thought that that which is unseen, our inner selves, God and the universe of spirit, is true and imperishable, while these bodies, the material world, the seen universe is soon to come to an end; this text of St. Paul, "For the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal ?"
1. Put correct values to both the material and spiritual universe in harmony with their character and their duration. The spiritual is:
(1.) The cause of the seen and cause of the form of things.
(2.) It endures forever.
The material is:
(1.) Only the passive instrument played upon.
(2.) It is some day to pass away. Therefore give the due attention to things that are spiritual and which pertain to the development of your inner man, to take part in the never ending universe of the now unseen.
3. Live ever as in the presence of the unseen.
So far this is a pantheistic explanation of “spiritual”. No immediate activity of the Holy Spirit needed because the Holy Spirit is in everything.
GROWTH IN CHRISTLIKENESS.
Text : — 2 Corinthians. 3:18.
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord."
Theme: — Growth in Christlikeness.
From the cradle to the grave, man is as restless as the sea. Me is ever seeking rest and seemingly never finding it. Like the man of Ecclesiastes he rushes on from one point to another, looking this way and that, but without finding that for which he is looking. Like Wilheim Meister in his travels, .he seems under bonds never to stay three days in a place, and never to walk over three days with the same companion.
Nothing gives him permanent rest or lasting satisfaction. He climbs to certain heights of fame along one of the many lines of earth's activities, only to find his heart still lonely and as dissatisfied as ever he rushes onward ever onward, higher ever higher, driven by the irresistless (I think he means not resisting) force of his own dissatisfied heart, only to find as the last height is reached, if indeed he ever can reach it, himself, with eyes full of tears, weeping for other heights to scale and other worlds to conquer. Then, looking at the mighty mass of struggling humanity
beneath him, he wishes he had staid with them, for the height to which he has climbed has failed to satisfy him, it has only intensified his longing, while his very eminence has given him loneliness in exchange for earth's companionship.
Who can fathom the debts of the hungry, dissatisfied and lonely heart? Where can food and companionship be found which shall satisfy it, giving fullness for hunger, rest for restlessness, companionship for loneliness? From the grave of the centuries comes the wail of nescience, founded on the experience of world-wide generations, saying, "we know not." Is not this restlessness of the human heart under every environment which man can discover among the possibilities of earth, a sufficient testimony that something beyond and above the human soul, and above this earth, must be found as its satisfying food, its soul nourishing portion?
Where then shall rest and food and companionship be found, which shall fill the empty heart? Listen ! A voice of the past comes to us, and yet not only a voice which was, but one which is, and is to come, for from everlasting to everlasting it is sounding forth saying, " Come unto me and ye shall find rest for your souls."
"My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven." "I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger ; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." "I will be with thee alway." This is the voice of Jesus, the Christ, and in Him, and only in Him, will ultimate rest be exchanged for restlessness, satisfaction for dissatisfaction and disappointment, and eternal companion ship for loneliness. I shall be satisfied and only satisfied when I awake in His likeness.
Whether the human heart knows it or not, rest and satisfaction will only be found in Christlikeness! I repeat it. Whether the human heart knows it or not, rest and satisfaction will be found and only found in Christlikeness. O, hungry, restless, lonely heart take notice! With a just conception of what Christlikeness means, well may the heart of man grow faint at the thought of climbing to such a wonderful height.
One might be charged with supreme audacity in attempting to reach it, say nothing about any expectancy of reaching it. Looking up through the blue vault of heaven and seeing Jesus at the right hand of the Father exalted; seeing the exceeding brightness of his glorified image; the perfection of beauty stamped in every line of his matchless form and visage, and then realizing by very contrast how ugly these forms of earth, shall we not the rather cry out, "Woe is me for I am undone," than to expect to some day be like Him?
If rest and satisfaction be only found in attaining that image shall we not give up in despair? No! a thousand times, no! Though in struggling toward it we have fallen a thousand times, no! Up, and on! "Here eyes do regard you in eternities' stillness; here is all fullness ye brave to reward you; work and despair not." Our text, in harmony with the entire teaching of the word, informs us that Christlikeness is possible, and it points out the pathway. To that pathway I would call your attention.
First, the text teaches us, that, by beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord we are changed into the same image. Not a very difficult process here outlined. Not a very difficult route, though a long one, pointed out by that apostle who had most to say about conformity to that image. Beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord. Not seeing the fullness of the glory of Christ; the eyes of man are not of sufficient strength to behold such glory; but looking at the glory reflected from the glass, Getting it second-hand. Not standing gazing up into heaven, but looking, at the glass, which God has given us, and with that light in its mellow softness streaming upon us and billowing around us, finding ourselves being changed into the same image whose glory we see reflected.
The “glass that God has given us” is the Bible. “Ye must be born again” and “Christ in you” are impossible as immediate experiences according to Scottish Common Sense Realism, so now we must “behold” Christ by reading scripture in order to have “truth impressions” that will convince our rational minds to serve God over self. This is another gospel.
If the reflected glory of the Lord will work this transformation what would not the transcendent glory of His unreflected image do? But, like some plants which can not stand the fullness of the sun's shining in their nursery days without stunting their growth, we must stand for a time within the shadow and watch the glass, until we shall be strong enough to see the Son of man in the fullness of his glory.
Notice the simplicity and the ease of our part in this transformation.
Hinman believes the “eureka” moment when a person believes a Scripture to be the moment he “beholds” Christ. If you read his Hints And Helps For The Inquiry Room, he makes “saving faith” the moment of beholding Christ, so regeneration is the de facto result of believing Scripture. That is why he says “Notice the simplicity and the ease of our part in this transformation”.
We are to look at the glass (Scripture) which reflects the glory, and that is all. The majority of the human race will not be satisfied with this. Nay, the majority in the church will not be satisfied with this. The world before conversion and the church after conversion is forever crying out, "What must I do that I may inherit eternal life ?" Jesus and Paul are answering, "Believe and Behold." Believe on Jesus and be saved; behold the glory of Jesus and be transformed. What a wonderful way! What a blessed way! What an easy way! What a glorious way! Believe and behold.
Resting in Jesus and resting now, is His way. It is man's way to fret and stew and work and try and endeavor, it is God's way to rest. Weary soul striving to enter in, not knowing you are in, not knowing that you are already through the gate that is straight and in the narrow way,
Hinman believes the “eureka” moment when a person believes a Scripture to be the moment he “beholds” Christ; the moment he passes through the Straight Gate. Matthew:13-14 says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”. But Hinman says if you have a “eureka!” moment, you passed through the Straight Gate, so relax. Obviously, if the person has merely had a “Eureka!” moment, and has no fruit of the Holy Spirit, they must have passed through the Wide Gate, and should continue to “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).
just cease your strife and behold the glory of your Master, even Jesus. Not by fretting and struggling and striving now you are in the narrow way, but by beholding are you to be transformed. It is to you, who are laboring and who are burdened with your labours, that Jesus says, "come." And He did not say come and I will teach you how to strive, but " Come and I will give you rest."
Notice again, that which we are to behold. It may be well to emphasize before we go farther, that, there is no beholding the glory of the Lord unless our eyes have first been opened by regeneration at conversion. The sightless eyeballs of the man of the world can never see the glory of the Lord. This is that spiritual thing, which is spiritually discerned. He is blind and it is not to be wondered that he does not behold any glory although he may look at the glass. Paul is speaking to those who have had the veil of the natural man taken away. If you want to see this glory and be transformed into that heavenly image, my brother, you must be born again, otherwise you cannot see God nor his kingdom.
When Hinman uses the word “spiritual”, he does not mean “of or pertaining to the parallel universe called the Kingdom of God”. He does not believe that there is any immediate communication with that parallel universe. He believes God works pantheistically through the Written Word of God to make “truth impressions” on the mind.
But those who have had their eyes opened are to behold the glory of the Lord. The glory of the Lord as seen in creation, and no one can fully appreciate God's glory even as it is manifested in creation without first having his eyes opened How many thousands will testify that they never had seen this world's beauty nor the beauty of the physicial universe until they had been born again. But especially do we mean the glory of the Lord as seen in the work of redemption. Every thing which led up to that work, culminating in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Seeing the glory of His love in giving Himself to die for us. Seeing the glory of His compassion and motherly sympathy as He sheds tears for the suffering and touches diseased and dying bodies to new life.
Hinman is saying that the conversion of the mind is not only a fruit of regeneration, but is the totality of regeneration. Therefore, if you have a conversion of the mind, that IS regeneration. While seeing His glory may be a fruit of regeneration, it is certainly not the totality of regeneration, and certainly not the agent of regeneration. This is Scottish Common Sense Realism.
Seeing the glory of His self-sacrifice as weary and tired He still goes about doing good. Seeing the glory of His forbearance as under base provocation He opens not his mouth. Seeing the glory of his forgiveness when, dying at the hands of His enemies, He cries out, " Father forgive them, they know not what they do." Seeing the glory of that matchless life which knew no sin, though in the midst of a sinful world. Seeing the glory of His triumph as He bursts the bands of the tomb, rises triumphant over death and ascends to the Father.
Then, we are to see the glory of the Lord as manifested in his providential care for us. Keeping us in His pavilion; hiding us beneath His feathers; sheltering us beneath his wings; giving His angels charge over us to keep us in His ways ; making all things to work together for our good; giving us food, shelter, clothing and loved ones, and causing even the wrath of men and our every affliction to work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
We are to see the glory of the Lord in history, especially the history of the church. We are to see it as revealed in His word, as manifested in the salvation of the souls around us; in the transformation of their lives. We are to see it, when in our secret chamber, in communion with Him, he reveals Himself to our spiritual vision in inexpressible splendor. In short we are to behold His glory wherever He has revealed it.
If we are watchful we shall see that reflected glory by day and by night, sometimes in the pillar of fire, sometimes in the cloud, but we shall see it ever if we look His way, and seeing it we shall be transformed. Is not this the natural way, this being transformed by beholding, into the image of that which we behold?
This is the “realism” part of Scottish Common Sense Realism. Hinman says regeneration is becoming like the thing we behold. The “truth impression” convinces the mind to serve God over self. No supernatural regeneration, just the rational mind convinced of the advantages of serving God. John Witherspoon, the man who brought Scottish Common Sense Realism to the American Colonies, and got rid of the Jonathan Edwards’ disciples and theology at the College of New Jersey, laying a foundation for Princeton Theological Seminary, said, “There were … great debates whether special and common grace differ essentially in their nature, or if they differ only in degree… I embrace the last of these opinions”.
Hinman’s “natural way to be transformed” is a reference to the Scottish Common Sense Realism idea that there is no difference between the saving grace that regenerates and the common grace that illuminates the mind, because regeneration is merely the illumination of the mind.
How else does one grow in sin? One does not try to grow into the image of Satan. Surround the boy with the reflected image of sin. Let him behold it in the pictures on the wall, the books he reads, the language he hears, the lives he sees lived ; let his whole young life have a Godless environment, and lo, from this reflected image of the devil, without effort, he grows more and more like the image until the transformation becomes complete.
Hinman is laying a Scottish Common Sense Realism foundation for regeneration being a psychological process of being convinced just like sinners are convinced. Incidentally, this made the moment the penitent made his decision to serve god over self particularly important, so there could be a line of demarcation between sinner and saint.
Not much of effort here. Whoever heard any one say in the morning, " I am going to try to be sinful today?" A sinful living comes most naturally to the natural heart, without any effort, and sinful transformation of soul fiber is accomplished most perfectly by simply beholding as in a glass the image of the devil.
Hinman is comparing the glass of Scripture with Satan’s glass, the worlds.
But do you say you sin without trying, but you can not be good without trying? it is most natural to sin but to do right is not natural? But has the natural heart not been changed in regeneration, and has there not been placed within us divine impulses toward right and God? Is not our life now lived by letting these divine impulses work out of us most naturally while we are beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord?
Does not the whole of our warfare now consist in keeping the glass before us, and beholding the image?
Hinman thinks Scripture is the only tool saints have to wage spiritual warfare, since according to his pseudo-theology, saints do not have Christ in them. But Scripture says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Is not this the best way to resist temptation and fly from the devil and to watch lest we sin? It seems to be the gospel way, and Paul's way. Teach that boy of yours, my brother, to look at the reflected image of the Christ; see that all the glass he sees is the one in which that image is reflected. That in the pictures he beholds, the books he reads, the companions he loves, the lives he sees lived, he gets a glimpse of nothing but the image of Jesus. Teach him to look for that image in prayer and in the reading of the Book!
Then you may rest assured that he will be transformed into that same image, and for him to do right will come as natural as to do wrong comes to the natural heart.
Friend, we are changed into the image of Jesus the Christ by beholding as in a glass the glory revealed. The reason why the transformation does not take place more rapidly and more perceptibly is, that we are not keeping that glass before us, and if the glass is near us, it is lying unused. Lift up the glass and look. The glory of Heaven will come streaming over you and you will see that image, which seeing, you must love and into which loving, you will be changed.
Hinman believes regeneration is merely when the mind is convinced through moral persuasion, and ongoing sanctification is the same process.
Secondly, the text teaches us, that this transformation into the image of the Lord, is a gradual transformation. We are changed from glory to glory. While beholding the glory of the Lord we are changed from one degree of glory to another degree of glory, until finally, our image shall mirror, most perfectly, the glorious image of the Lord. This is a truth most restful. As we behold the revelation of the perfect image, there springs up within us a longing desire to be like that.
That desire is like the desire of youth, looking toward manhood. Who has not felt in his childhood days at times, the longing to be full grown? How the hot blood coursed impatiently thro' our young veins as we looked way off to the rugged peaks of a complete physical stature. How our young nerves trembled as we longed with unutterable longing to stand shoulder to shoulder with the father or the mother. But in spite of our longings we went from glory to glory in arriving at our physical destination; from strength to strength.
There was no other way. It did not do us any good to fret and worry and try to grow. All this fretting and worrying and trying to take great leaps toward the desired goal only used up energy uselessly, and kept us so much the longer on the road. In our patience we possessed our physical stature.
Just so is the growth into the image of the Lord. There is no leaping toward that image. We are to undergo transformation from strength to strength. Fret and worry and try as you may, the image-likeness will come only just so fast. In our looking and in our patience will we possess our spiritual stature.
I say this is a truth most restful, if we will only hearken. Looking into the glass we see not only the glory of the divine image, but we see the ugliness of our own image. If we expect to see an immediate change and it fails us we shall be disappointed, and discouraged, turn away. But if we understand fully, that it is not only God's way with our physical and mental natures to lead us under proper surroundings from strength to strength, but it is his way also with our spiritual natures, we shall keep looking and believing and keep growing until scarcely noticed by us we shall begin ourselves to reflect his glory, and the final consummation will be faces illumined with heavenly light, smitten through and through with the divine glory.
In your patience you possess your souls. Rest in Him and keep on beholding and you will keep on growing like Him.
How different this is from Jesus Christ’s warnings of “strive to enter”, “cut off the hand”, “pluck out the eye”, “sell everything”, deny yourself” before regeneration and “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” after regeneration. The psychological approach deals with the animal nature by assuring the creature that everything is OK. Soothing words calm down animals and the animal nature of man. You can get more out an animal and an idiot by continuing to assure them that everything is OK. This is the opposite of the Biblical approach, which is to tell people the truth of their condition.
Thirdly, we learn from the text, by what power this wonderful transformation is to take place. "Even as by the spirit of the Lord" At the beginning God made man in his own image; the same hand is now at work restoring that image which was lost by the fall. Take heart troubled, anxious, soul! You have been at work so long trying to imitate the image of the Lord and you have made such wretched work.
Your painting is so incomplete; your sculpturing is so wretchedly a failure. Just let the master workman of the universe take a hand at the work while you look at the copy and find rest for your soul; " In quietude and rest shall be your strength." Believe and be saved. Look and live. Behold and be transformed. To make you Christlike is a work too difficult for human power; too delicate for the manipulation of human hands. From such material a Phidias could not sculpture a God-image ;much less you the God-image. On such a canvas a Raphael could not paint a Madonna; much less you the image of the Son of Mary.
Now, let the Spirit of the Lord do His own work. The Spirit of the Lord! It was His power which fashioned the universe out of atoms He molded the myriads of stars and set them in his heavens. He touched them into golden splendor and there they are a testimony to His workmanship. He rolled out the blue vault and put there that central star of our system which holds our world in the grasp of His mighty power. He spake and the dark chaos of this earth took shape. He touched it and lo! the dark mold trembled and quivered with life and from pole to pole the earth was covered with living green.
He spake and rills rushed down mountain sides, rivers glided through meadows and rolled on to the sea; forests lifted their proud heads toward heaven; flowers of every shade and color sent forth their perfume and reveled in beauty; birds of every plumage lifted their voices in nature's hymns of praise; living creatures of sea and land and air started forth on the mission of their Creator. Then at last man and woman, with eyes to see God's beauty, ears to catch the quivering sound vibrations and turn them into God's melodies, voices to tell forth His praise, intellects to think and hearts to love, stood forth at his command, the crowning work of his creation.
Why are ye fearful? This is the same Spirit which lingers near you, longing to transform your souls into his own most glorious image. Let that hand, which fashioned from atoms a universe, now sculpture your soul into the likeness of Himself. Let that brush which painted the cheek of the lily, the rose, the jasamine, the forget-me-not, paint you into Christlikeness.
Shall He not clothe you, who clothed the lily, O ye of little faith? Shall not He who caused the stars to sing together of his wonderful power and to shed forth the glory of his wonderful mind, not be able to transform your countenance into the beauty of Heaven? Even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Cheer up, my friend! Though you have failed a thousand times. He that has begun a good work in you is able to carry it on to perfection and to present you faultless before His presence with exceeding joy.
The fact that it is His work is the guarantee that it will be completed. Here there is power, for He fashioned the universe and made man once in his own image. He can do it again, and He will if you will let him and will look. Here there is willingness, for here there is everlasting love at work at the transformation. Ye shall be complete in Him. The fact that He is at work is the guarantee that it will be lovely at last. Yes; your image my friend, is bound to be altogether lovely some day if you will sit and behold His glory while He works at you, molding and fashioning you into His own image.
You are in God's studio. He is painting your picture. Feature by feature it is growing there on the canvas. Is the work somewhat wearisome to you? Then while He works look around in His workshop. See the marvelous handiwork of His creation! Surely you will not get tired of that! While you look at His glory, He works at your likeness. You are lost among so much splendor; you forget yourself beholding such prodigality of glory.
At last He summons you. The picture is completed. You start back in surprise. Surely you can not be that lovely image standing out from that immortal canvas! That is the likeness of the artist. You turn to the glass (Scripture), when lo, you see that you, yourself, are transformed into the image of the artist. While you have been beholding his glory He has been transforming you until your countenance shines as the sun and your beauty transcends the beauty of angels.
"Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Look and live and be transformed!
All this poetry to say as you believe Scripture, you behold Christ and become as He is. None of this requires the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, just the pantheistic activity of God through Scripture.
GROWTH IN CHRISTLIKENESS
Text: 2 Peter 3:18
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
There is presented to the world in the Scriptures, a catalogue of names which represent every phase of human nature. Here we find the rich and poor; the moral and the immoral; those born in Christian families, and those born in sin; the conservative and the impetuous; the cultured and the ignorant; the steadfast and the wandering; all these enlisted in the army of the Lord.
There is not a phase of character here this morning, but what will find its representative in the revealed Word. And somehow, through a variety of experiences, the Lord of this universe brings them at last to a perfect salvation. How this one thought ought to cheer the church militant. The Lord is no respecter of persons, but stands ready with power to save all who come unto Him, and He that hath begun a good work in you will complete it if you will let Him.
Be not discouraged. Among all the characters marshaled before us in the Bible, not one stands out more clearly than that of Peter. Doubtless this one character has brought more comfort to erring humanity than all the others who are strictly human. "Thank God for Peter," has been the cry of many a wanderer returning home; and many a wanderer has been brought back by reading the early life of the impetuous disowner and blasphemer.
To one who has only known the early life of Peter, it would seem quite inconsistent to attribute the text of this morning. It is not quite consistent with him who cast himself into the sea, and who seems to stand out with such strength as he tells his Lord, that He shall not suffer death, and, that although all men shall forsake Him, he will not. After a companionship of only a few months, Peter seems to have jumped full fledged into the developed character of his Master. As quickly as he sprang into the sea and commenced his first walk on the waves, he seems also to have sprung into the height of the stature of Jesus, the Christ.
Draw a veil over the record of his fall, and then read the text about growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and you would not say that Peter wrote that for the guidance of young Christians, but such was the case.
If Peter had written this Epistle when he was a young man, and previous to his fall, he would have put "spring," or "jump," or "rush," in the place of the word “grow." But Peter is getting along in years now, and has had experience, and as he looks over the record of his past it takes the "rush" out of him. He sees that when he thought he was so strong, he was the weakest of the weak; that when he thought he was a full grown man, he was but an infant in the cradle; that when he thought he knew all about his Master, and so much that he was fitted to rebuke Him, and instruct Him, he knew but little about Him. So now the gray haired Peter talks about "growing in grace," and "growing in knowledge."
What a seeming paradox this life of ours is. We are all very much like Peter. When we think we are strong, then we are weak; when we think we are weak, then we are strong. When we think we are wise, then we are foolish; and when we think we are foolish, then we are wise. When we think we are about right, we are farthest from the Master; when we think we are most sinful, then we may be nearest Him.
Every man passed middle life, who has grown wise with the passing years, will tell you that this is true. The young man full of young blood thinks that he is sufficiently strong to withstand the wiles of the devil and all temptation. Right there is his weakest moment. He shows that he has taken no adequate inventory of his own capabilities and no correct measurement of the powers of evil. He must learn by sad experience what Paul learned, that when he was weak he was strong.
The young man is quite apt to know it all, and to need no counsel from the lips of father or mother. When he is old he will say in common with us all, that father was right, and he will long with bitter longing for that same counsel which he has despised. Right there in the bitterness of his spirit while he thinks himself the fool, he will stand closest to at least the possibility of knowledge. And then when we think we stand, we are to take heed lest we fall. This applies to us all and is not only characteristic of the young. When the Master told his disciples that one of them should betray Him, they all began to cry out, " Is it I," save Judas. Standing so near to Jesus they were conscious as is every disciple who is very near Him, that human nature is very untrustworthy and is liable to fall at almost every turn. But in that self-conscious weakness was their strength, and Judas was the one to betray Him.
So it came about that that disciple who boasted most of his own strength and loyalty and bravery, though warned thrice, slept while his Master was being betrayed, denied his Lord thrice the same night, and cursed against the God who gave him life. In his boasting and self-consciously strong days, he was the weakest of the weak. When he thought he could reach Heaven at a single bound, he was far down the ladder and just ready to fall to the ground beneath. But the years have brought to him wisdom of the purest kind, and having received a fuller knowledge of the character of Jesus and His stature, he is awed by its height.
Boasting and self-conscious strength have left him, and he talks now of growing in grace and in knowledge. Let us learn wisdom from Peter's experience. Listening to this exhortation of Peter's given in the text, I desire to call your attention to Christian growth. In this discourse, I would carry out a little more fully the thought presented in last Sunday's discourse of the process of growing into Christlikeness.
The thought therein expressed was, that we were changed into the likeness of Jesus by beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord with which we are environed. The principal thought for us today is embodied in the one word, to grow. Let us examine its meaning.
1. To grow means to increase. This exhortation of Peter's is to an increase toward the stature of Jesus; to increase more and more into the Christlikeness; to climb higher and higher toward the heights of Christian character; to become more and more like the Heavenly and less and less like the earthy; to show more and more the fruits of the Spirit.
The fact that "to grow " means to increase, may seem so simple that it need not be mentioned, but for all its simplicity, if it were remembered, it would solve many difficulties and offer many encouragements. Some of the simplest facts are the more easily forgotten from their very simplicity. That Peter meant that we were to increase day by day, into the stature of the God-man, should bring great encouragement to the discouraged.
As you look at the image of the Son of God and see its complete perfection, you say that it is so far above you, you can never reach it. The distance is so great that you can never travel it. You look at yourself and you seem so ugly in comparison. There are so many defects; so many weaknesses ; so many failures. You cry out in despair. But Peter says, that you are to increase toward the goal. You are to travel onward toward that height. You are to climb to the summit. You are not like the perfect image now, but there is to be an increase until you reach it. You are to grow yet, so do not be discouraged with the poverty of your present attainments but go on, or rather grow on to perfection. The boy wants to be a great lawyer, but as he looks at a Choate or a Webster, and then realizes how little there is to him yet, in every way which goes to make such men, he sits down in despair. A loving
mother says to him : " My boy, you are not a Webster nor a Choate now, but you are to increase in talent, in execution, and in knowledge, until you reach your coveted goal.
That talent of yours is to be increased by exercise; you are to add to your little store of knowledge; you are to develop in execution, until you reach far on toward perfection." The boy listens; he takes courage; he grows; and one day he sits as Chief Justice of our highest court. He had been measuring him self by the increased and acquired attainments of our best, and by not making allowance for the increase and the acquiring, had become discouraged. Christian friend! Make allowance for the increase! Remember that God has permitted no distance to intervene between you and the stature of Jesus but what He will see to it you shall cover by legitimate increase in Christlike attainments.
No matter how ugly your present likeness, take courage! You are to grow into Christlikeness! Make allowance for the growing! This idea of increase, should be a stimulus to the slothful and negligent. There are thousands in our churches who do not grow, if at all, very fast. Thousands of listless and inactive ones, who are wasting time and opportunity, while those who are near them, with not half their start toward the likeness of Jesus, are passing them toward that goal, and will soon leave them far behind. Thousands who seem to think that all there is to "being saved" is to repent and join the church and then go right on the old way, never making any increase. Making the sad and foolish mistake that salvation means to be saved from hell and be saved in Heaven, not realizing that Jesus came into the world on a far different purpose, to make men Christlike, and that in doing this and only in doing this, will He save us from punishment, and give us everlasting happiness.
Friend, you who have sat with folded hands so long, not only not making any progress but going the other way all the time, up and on! There must be an increase if you are ever like the Master. The time to begin it is now.
The following paragraph is meant to warn people that, according to his understanding of Scottish Common Sense Realism, which he believes instead of the Bible, (1) regeneration is NOT a supernatural change of character. (2) Regeneration does NOT give people power over sin. (3) Regeneration is not an immediate change. (4) Regeneration does not make all things new.
Then there is a word of caution for those who seem to think (1) that we are to reach that character by some mysterious process, all at once. That (2) if any of the old life still clings to one after conversion, there is no conversion. (3) That we are to be made full grown men by regeneration and immediate sanctification. (4) That we are to spring into Heaven at one bound and then rest in lasting peace.
Friend, your way has in it much of restfulness if it were only God's way. But His way is something different. There is to be growth; increase into Christlikeness and unto his stature. This immediate way was the way of the young man Peter; to grow, to increase, was the way of the old and experienced Peter. Your way of springing fullfledged into the image of the God-man is the way of Grecian mythology, but not the way of the Bible.
Hinman does not believe the Bible. As a Scottish Common Sense Realist, he denies supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Like all Scottish Common Sense Realists, he thinks because the early church leaders were ignorant of the psychological process, they erroneously attributed supernatural causes for sinners becoming saints. Hinman did not believe in any immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, just a slow changing of the mind through “truth impressions”.
Unlike Hinman, the Apostle Paul spoke to immature Christians with supernatural expectations:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:9-20).
But Hinman thinks this way of speaking to immature Christians “stunts their growth” (the poor dears). Actually, if they can’t take Paul’s way of speaking, it is a good indication they are rebellious sinners and not humble saints.
In this way you stunt your own growth and discourage those who are not so blessed as you in coming so near the coveted goal, so soon. To increase in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is the way of Heaven.
2. But, while "to grow" means "to increase," it means something more than the word "to increase" means. These terms have much in common, but there is much of meaning that is different. It is the word "to grow" which Peter uses, and it is in harmony with the Biblical expression all the way through the word. To increase means something additional no matter what the process; to grow means to develop, naturally, roundly, gradually, taking into consideration the process of development. You can increase the capacity of a house by building an addition. \
The capacity has increased by addition but not by growth. The rill which comes tumbling down the hillside may be suddenly developed into a torrent by a heavy shower. It is increased abnormally but not naturally. You could say the rill has increased in volume, but would not say it grew. To grow, means to increase gradually, slowly. To be sure now and then you can properly say that a thing has grown which springs up in the night, like a mushroom but here is the exception and not the rule.
There are professed christians who seem to spring up like a mushroom from some mossy bed, but they usually die as quickly. They are they to whom the Master referred in the parable of the sower, as those who spring up at once, and then wither away because of the thinness of the soil. This does not do away with this characteristic of growth, gradient, or slowness. Heaven is not reached at a single bound; we climb to that summit round by round. It is climbing, but it is slow and sure climbing. It is progress, but it is gradual progress. It is like the progress of the oak and not like the swelling of the torrent. It is the progress made by the Cedars of Lebanon, and not like the sudden uplifting of a liberty pole.
Hinman is giving Scottish Common Sense Realist dogma – that “religious affections” are not caused by the Holy Spirit, and are in fact the result of “animal motives”. The ironic thing is, by the time Hinman came along, Scottish Common Sense Realsm had evolved to the point where practitioners were using the most blatant psychological manipulation of “animal motives”. The minister in the inquiry Room would having a penitent read a Scripture until he or she had a “Eureka!” moment, which was seen as evidence of possible “saving faith” (read Hinman’s Hints and Helps For The Inquiry Room).
It is like the growth of the coral reef, and not like the volcanic upheaval of an island in a single night. It is the coming of daylight, and not the flash of the meteor. It is also characteristic of growing that it is imperceptible, except by comparisons, made at long intervals of time. You do not see the flowers grow, but they are growing just the same, and as you make proper comparisons week by week you realize it.
You cannot see the oak grow or even the soft maple, but as you make comparisons year by year you discover the progress. And just this gradual and imperceptible increase is characteristic of growth into Christlikeness. There is no sudden springing up in the night; no volcanic upheavals ; no rushing meteor like unto the heavens. The process of transformation is flower-like, oak like, physical stature-like, to be seen only by proper comparison at long intervals.
One word of caution here. We are talking about the development of Christian character into Christlikeness and we are not talking of conversion. Many are the men who have been suddenly transformed from evil deeds to good doing by repentance and regeneration, but they are as thoroughly undeveloped unto the stature of Jesus as the babe in the cradle is undeveloped in physical stature. He may be a perfect babe, but he is far from a perfect man. It is the development we are considering. In these characteristics of growing there is vast comfort as well as instruction.
From 1520 to 1735, Protestant salvation was when God supernaturally regenerated, with evidence of regeneration being the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Then, starting in the First Great Awakening around 1735, people were encouraged to make a “decision for Christ”, and penitents that showed no fruit of the Holy Spirit, were encouraged to keep seeking God until God regenerated. Then, when Scottish Common Sense Realism was introduced into America in 1768 by John Witherspoon, ministers educated at the College of New Jersey were taught that regeneration is merely a psychological “tipping point” when the rational mind is convinced by “truth impressions” to begin serving God over self.
In 1812, most New Light Calvinist ministers were still Hopkinsians and Bellamites, the two forms of salvation theology that came from Jonathan Edwards. But that year, Princeton Theological Seminary was started by Scottish Common Sense Realists educated at the College of New Jersey, and by the American Civil War, Scottish Common Sense Realism had absorbed the American forms of New Light Calvinism, shifting the Inquiry Room system from BEST to BIST.
Scottish Common Sense Realism, by the end of the Nineteenth century, when removed from the oversight of a local Presbyterian Church minister, was dangerous dogma. Penitents were told that their “Eureka!” moment of believing Scripture was evidence of possible “saving faith” with de facto regeneration. Regeneration no longer needed to be proved by evidence of fruit of the Holy Spirit. Slow “sanctification” became the norm, and if penitents showed NO signs of “sanctification”, then that was OK too, as long as they believed they were saved and kept trying to be good.
Comfort in the fact that God knows that we are weak, that we are young, and that in consequence of our weakness and our youthfulness we shall fall many times; we shall come far short of the fullness of the stature at first; we shall have much about us that is unlike the Christlikeness at the start. And comfort in the fact that He has told us that our development would be a growth; that we might not realize it at all times, but that we would come gradually and naturally into the likeness of the image, unto the fullness of the stature. This should be music to us who have been discouraged at our seemingly slow growth in grace.
And now Hinman can use endless humanistic illustrations of how people mature, which have nothing to do with supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. His illustrations would be just as true for lost people who never had any experience with God and just believed the Bible to be true. And that’s the point – Scottish Common Sense Realism does not require (or need) the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, just common faith in Scripture.
You are beginning lessons in painting. Your instructor is master of the art He does not expect you to execute perfectly at the outset. You would not need the instructor if you could. You have one because you do not know the way. He teaches you the principles first. How careful he is in showing you your mistakes.
He does not scold you, but corrects you gently as any master would. He leads you step by step from one principle to another. Not making an artist of you all at once. In the by-and-by he gives you pictures to paint. You take your first effort to him. He looks it over, telling you its good points, showing you where you have made the failures and sends you back to correct the faults. You are climbing the ladder of art round by round. You do not give up because you have made failures. You correct and move forward.
By this process of correction and advance, and advance and correction, you are growing into an artist. How much good it does you to know that your instructor is a master and that he can lead you to success if you apply what he teaches. How much comfort it gives you in knowing that because he is a master he will be careful of you in your failures. It is only the half artist who scolds and frets at the pupil. The master knows himself how to bear with you in your infirmities, because he is the master. How much comfort there is in knowing that the master knows you can make but gradual progress.
How different it would be with you if you thought he expected you to paint a perfect picture all at once. Do you think the Master of this universe will be less charitable and kind and loving in leading us up to the greatest of all models? Just this process of advance and correction, and correction and advance is his way in dealing with us as He leads us toward the stature of the God-man.
He knows we can not do this all at once and He deals with us accordingly. He expects us to grow, not as those who have attained perfection, but as those who are growing on unto perfection. He expects us to do the best we can at every stage of our progress and that is all. He has written unto us that we sin not, but in the next sentence He has told us that if we do sin we have an advocate with Him, even Jesus Christ the righteous.
We are growing into Christlikeness, but we are growing into it as the flowers and trees grow, and this is God's way for us.
It may seem like a small point, but the writers of the Bible never use a term that means “Christlikeness”. They say saints are “in Christ” 77 times and saints are one spirit with God. The union of a saint with Christ is as far from imitation of Christ or trying to grow in His image as marriage is from reading a letter.
3. Finally, "to grow " implies life. There is no growth without life. Things increase by addition and accretion, things grow by assimilation. Things lifeless increase by additions made to them ; things of life grow by turning material into things like themselves, literally into themselves. The inorganic or lifeless increase, the organic or lively grow. Things organic develop from within outward, things inorganic develop for the most part by additions made upon the outside. Christian growth bears a closer resemblance to physical growth than we all recognize, and this is seen by a careful study of the biblical expressions used in speaking of our development Godward.
Just so readers don’t get lulled into a humanistic stupor, let’s read how it’s the Holy Spirit that makes saints go form glory to glory: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
Let us look a little more closely then into the process of physical development. What makes the boy-stature develop into the man-stature? One thing is most certain, he does not make himself grow. No one ever thought in seriousness to command a boy to grow. You often hear the expression, "wait until you grow," "do not be discouraged; you will grow," but never the command given seriously to the child to grow. You know better than that. You often tell the child to lay hold on the things by means of which he will grow, and without which he will not grow, but you never tell him to grow.
Who by taking thought can add a cubit to his stature? You recognize the difference between the means and the cause. You would not put a mummy through all the motions of eating food and of exercise with any expectancy of its developing physically. Indeed, put the mummy through all the motions of which the human body is voluntarily capable and there will be no growth. We all recognize without a question that something is necessary besides such voluntary action. What is it? It is that subtle thing we call life. Once let the physical being be taken possession of by life and then respiration, foods and exercise will avail something, but without this life-principle it is useless.
Now if we will be wise enough to make the same distinction concerning our spiritual growth, it will help solve many of the theological riddles which puzzle us.
In the next place no one can create this life. Scientists have been trying for centuries to create life, but they have completely failed and will fail. Life is given by a higher power than man and by no creation of which we are capable can we make dead forms live. Let us bear that in mind as we look to our spiritual development. Again there is a law known as the law of conformity to type, that is all kinds of life will produce and only produce living forms like itself. The bird life will not produce that of beasts. The principal of life which forms the fox will never form the man. All kinds of physical life will produce only its own kind.
Trying to be clear at the risk of being wearisome, let me ask you to go with me a little farther into this idea of life. All living organisms are composed of three parts, viz: nutrient matter, living matter, and formed matter. Taking the cell which is the unit of life you will find flowing into the cell and toward the center matter taken into the system as nourishment. In the center of the cell you will find certain colorless matter which is full of life. The nutrient matter passes into this living matter and itself becomes alive and it then passes off as formed matter to the outside of the cell. What is this point of life which has the power to change the food you eat into bone and nerve and muscle? What is this subtle force which has the power to change lifeless matter into living matter?
These life centers are scattered thickly throughout the living physical system. There
are three things about these life centers which I want you to notice,
(1) They transform lifeless matter into living matter.
(2) They weave the matter thus transformed into bone and muscle and nerve, and when I say weave I mean that they literally, like shuttles in a loom, weave bone and muscle and nerve. This weaving they do not do indiscriminately. Each life point has its own office to perform and each weaves bone or muscle or nerve and nothing else. The life center set to weave nerve never forgets its work and never weaves anything but nerve, and the same is true of the others.
(3) They so weave bone and muscle and nerve as to form a complete physical form and they make no mistake. Notice again that all these life points are the same wherever you may find them. The life points in man are the very same as those in the elephant, and those in the elephant are the very same as those in the flower as far as can be discovered by the most powerful microscopes;
Boy is he wrong here, but is on no consequence to the subject of decisional regeneration.
and they are composed of the very same chemical properties. Yet with this sameness of the life points they make no mistake. The life point in the man weaves the human physical form and never that of the flower; the life point of the flower makes no mistake and always weaves the flower, never the elephant. These life points are wiser than the wisest man whom they weave; they do a work he can never do, and they always conform their work to a definite plan or type and never overstep their boundary.
With these things in mind we are ready for certain conclusions in the realm of the spiritual and the Scriptures give us the fullest warrant for the analogy.
(1). There is no spiritual growth without spiritual life. The Scriptures tell us that the natural man is spiritually dead and has no life. He will never grow into Christlikeness unless he becomes spiritually alive.
(2). This spiritual life is not created by man. No one can produce it. It must come from above him. The Scriptures tell us that the natural man must be born from above and by the spirit before he can possess spiritual life.
(3). It must be produced by its own kind. Plant life, animal life, human life, intellectual life, moral life can not produce it, it can come alone from spiritual life.
The reader needs to know that when Hinman says “spiritual”, he means “according to God’s mind”, not “according to God’s Spirit”, and when he says man’s spirit, he means “man’s mind”. .
(4). Once being introduced it will build wiser than the wisest. The physical stature of the fool may be just as fine and perhaps more complete than that of the wisest man. No one will dispute this in the physical realm Let me then affirm in the name of the Bible, in the name of science and in the name of human experience, that the spiritual life center placed in the human soul by the operation of the Spirit will build wiser than the wisest member of the church. That though you may never understand the operations of the Spirit, you will grow in grace if you but take the proper nourishment and exercise.
The foolish eat and exercise and the life centers within them weave them into man and woman. They know nothing of the process ; they care less. The life centers are responsible for the growth. So let us have no more anxiety about the growth in grace which we do not understand. Let us have no more talk about waiting until we understand the operations of the Spirit before we ask for this life of Heaven.
Let us see to it that we have the proper nourishment and exercise, and leave the Christlike development to those spiritual life centers given us at conversion.
The reader needs to know that when Hinman says “spiritual life centers”, he means “higher rational mind” that has been convinced to serve God over self.
While there is no growth without life there is certain growth with life.
(5). And now for the most restful lesson of all. The life will produce its own in kind, and will conform the image it is building to the image from which it has derived its life. What is the image into which we desire to grow? None other than the most glorious image of the Son of God.
Hinman refers to “truth impressions” in the mind when he says “the most glorious image of the Son of God”.
From whence then shall we take our life ? From whom if not from the very One into whose Image we desire to grow? Was it not He who said, " I am the life? " Receiving your life from Him and taking our analogy from the laws of nature, and our clue from the Scriptures, there is as much need for worry about our growing into His image, as there is need for worry on the part of the boy lest he never grow into the man.
And there is as much need for us to worry about our ultimately becoming conformed into the image of our Lord, as there is need for the boy to worry lest the life points within him forget their work and turn him into the eagle. There are two things which should concern us. Have we the spiritual life, and are we taking nourishment and exercise. If we fulfill Peter's exhortation and grow in grace we must have life. Then at Jesus' feet, beholding his glory, we shall rest, as from step
to step, from height to height, from glory to glory, the spiritual life points within us mold and fashion, or weave us into the image of the Lord. Mysterious? yes; but that is what the Lord told Nicodemus, and He gave him no explanation. He only said that the natural was just as mysterious.
THE UPLIFTED CHRIST
Text : —John 12:32.
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me."
Is this the word of God, or the word of man? Did Christ mean what he said? He has been uplifted; that is, crucified. Men of all nations have come unto Him, but not every man of all nations. Is that day coming? Look at the indications at home. Are all the masses Christian in this city? Nay, rather are they all church attendants? What is the aggregate church attendance at the morning services of all our churches, Protestant and Catholic? How many pews are vacant at the evening services? Are there pews sufficient in all our church auditories to accommodate all our population? If not, why not ? Why are there so many listless concerning religious things? Why are there so many openly against the church? Will original sin alone explain all these conditions? Has the uplifted Christ lost his drawing power? Is the arm of the Omnipotent wearied? Has He who came to save us given us up after all? After all these years of effort to save humanity, and still seeing us with our backs toward Him, is He about to leave us to our own destruction and satisfy Himself with angels and such redeemed as have gone up already? No, His arm is not shortened. His ear is not heavy. His love is everlasting. He longs to save the world today as when He wept over Jerusalem. He longs to fill these empty pews. He longs to see these souls saved beyond the deepest longing of our heart.
Whatever may be the cause for failure, it certainly can not be on His part. It must be with our finite selves. What, then, is the nature of the cause which makes those multitudes which heard His word gladly in the days when He spake directly to men, now gladly stay away from the church where it is commonly supposed that His word is spoken? Do we need finer churches? The better the church edifice, the better if it be built to the glory of God. Do the best we can and we shall not rival the temple of Solomon, built under the direction of the Almighty.
But finer churches do not solve the problem. Our churches are finer today than they have ever been before, and still the congregations do not keep pace with them. Do we need a better education, a more cultured ministry? The better the education, the better if it be that of the head and the heart, and not that of manner simply. But higher education among the ministry has not solved the problem.
Indeed the reverse in the main has been the truth. Says Prof. Phelps, "A scholarly ministry, taken as a whole, is working away from the unscholarly masses of people. The religious press of England and Scotland confess the sundering. Infidel critics triumph over it. The Westminister Review discusses the fact as one which candid men will not deny. Reformers and statesmen are looking about them for other agencies than those of the church and the pulpit to elevate the degraded and control the dangerous classes.
"As a rule the pulpit has never been more scholarly than it is today, but still the failure is apparent. Do we need a greater approach to formalism? No. A dead formalism is a standing apology for impotency. The nearer one gets to the great heart of Christ, the more simple will be his worship. What then can be the reason for the failure to reach the ear of the great multitude?
Listen: "And I, if I be lifted up will draw all men unto me." Christ has been uplifted on the cross, and now He must be uplifted before the world; and He, not Moses which uplifts, will draw all men unto Him. Christ uplifted is emphatically the need of the church today. With Him presented, there is power. With Him hidden behind the selfishness of a ministry or membership, there is impotency and empty pews and lack of soul saving service.
How then shall He be uplifted that the world may see Him and feel His power?
1. In the Word. Thank God that the centuries have not robbed It of Its power. Preach the Word, was Paul's charge to Timothy. Preach the Word is Christ's charge to the church through Paul. Preach the Word, O ministers; preach the Word, O Christians.
The world will not be won to Christ through the uplifting of science, through the uplifting of philosophy, through the uplifting of metaphysics. Do not depreciate these handmaids of God. They are each taking a grand part in the upward lifting of the centuries. They fortify, they render certain, but they do not invite, they do not draw men to Christ. They are instruments of power in their departments, but the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. Christ said that the seed was the Word. He never said of science and philosophy, "they are spirit and they are life." But of the Word it is said," It is quick and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword."
Christian metaphysics is a theory of the workings of God in creation. Christian metaphysics changed after 1620. Starting with Francis Bacon, Christian metaphysics began to exclude the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit and other spirits from the theory of the workings of God in creation. God was increasingly seen a the Great Initiator, who stayed out of the moment by moment experience of living creatures.
This book, Seen Faith, is an attempt to show modern Christians how God works patheistically without working immediately in creation. One of the ways God works patheistically is through His written Word. But let’s look at the quotation of the Sword of the Spirit in context.
Heb 4:1-12 says: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”.
The writer of Hebrews is referring to more than the Bible. He’s speaking of a mystical union of the Holy Spirit and the Living and Spoken and Written Word of God, which is called the Seed, the Gospel, the Truth, Prophesy, and most importantly, Logos (the Lord Jesus Christ, John 1:14, 1 John 1:1, 1 John5:7, Revelation 19:13, Hebrews 4:12).
Metaphysicians like Hinman always present the Lord Jesus Christ as present pantheistically through the Written Word, but not present immediately by the Holy Spirit. The writers of the New Testament say saints are axiomatically “in Christ” 77 times. Look how Paul describes how the Lord Jesus Christ works immediately in him:
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily” (Colossians 1:27-29).
The Living Christ works in saints as the Living Word of God.
1 John 2:14-15:
I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 Peter 1:22-25:
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame”.
But metaphysicians like Hinman must ignore the immediate activity of the Living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and elevate the Written Word of God in order to retain the “truth impressions” theory of Scottish Common Sense Realism salvation. “Truth impressions” replaced “religious affections” as the initial possible evidence.
Most of the Sanhedrim were Sadducees. There is no record of a Sadducee getting saved. Sadducee metaphysics did not include the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit and other spirits. The Sadducees thought they were MORE faithful to Scripture than the Pharisees because the Pharisees believed God worked immediately with man, and had “religious affections”.
If the Written Word of God converted the minds of a sinners into saints without the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, it would accord with Sadducee metaphysics.
Imagine Christ preaching a series of sermons on the' Metaphysics of the Good News." Christ came preaching the Gospel, and not the philosophy of the Gospel. He came showing forth a life and not a skeleton. And yet The Great Sanhedrim would have been delighted with such a course, and so might the Church of Corinth. But the Gospel from the lips of Jesus and His disciples was almost exclusively to the masses. They preached to the common mind and reached it, and they preached the Word in simplicity and in power. It is the simplicity of the sermons of Jesus, packed full of the wisdom of the Eternal that is a stumbling block to the learned and the power of God in the salvation of the masses.
There are some minds which will never be satisfied unless a sermon is too deep for the understanding of the common crowd. Jesus paid but little attention to such minds, but He did not preach to empty benches. He touched the multitude, which are never to be won by icicle attitudes nor philosophy coming from frozen seas. Here Pharisee and Sadducee failed; here Christ won.
The early church had many converted Pharisees and as far as we know, no converted Sadducees. The likely reason? The Pharisees allowed for the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit while the Sadducees believed people were saved by believing and acting on the written Word of God. The Sadducees were the original “seen faith” denomination.
How is it with us today ? Too many times a text of scripture is taken as a starting point, and a starting point it is; there is no coming back to it. A metaphysical theme is taken that seems to fit what some choose to call the hidden meaning of the text. Nothing more is heard of the text. There is no quoting of Scripture, but something of Goethe and Shakespeare, and the philosophy of sweetness and light. A few listen, a few more sleep, many more minds wander. The sermon is pronounced a deep one, and the preacher is satisfied. Christ is hidden behind the hidden meaning; is crucified but not uplifted.
There is too much such preaching. Is it any wonder the pews are vacant? Is it any wonder that the tramp, tramp of the restless feet are heard on the pavement without, while the minister discourses to the few inside the house of God? And not alone do we ministers forget to use the Word of God in simplicity and in power, but the church itself. We ministers are too apt to be like newspapers, a mirror of the public mind showing forth just what the people demand. Away with such trifling with things which are eternal!
Christ uplifted in the Word is the power of God to Jew and Greek. Preach the Word.
2. By the Spirit. The Spirit is to testify of Christ. The two mentioned agents of power are the Word and the Spirit. Very much is said about the Spirit being always present in the church, which is very true. He is omnipresent. But the omnipresent Spirit in the church waiting to be useful is one thing, and the omnipresent Spirit at work is another. The Spirit is everywhere present to convince the world of sin and of judgment. But the Spirit works through a medium. That medium must be present that the Spirit may do His work. What is that medium? The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.
Here is the problem in a nutshell. Scottish Common Sense realism believes the ONLY way the Holy Spirit can work is metaphysically through the written Word of God. This is Sadducees metaphysics.
The Spirit can not cleave the heart of man if his sword be absent. The Word of God energized by the Spirit uplifting Christ will draw all men unto Him. Surely the Holy Spirit's presence, and his activity as the supreme witness of Jesus, are two things and not one. That our churches are not filled and that the masses are outside its fold is proof positive that His activity is in some way hindered.
There were only 120 in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is more than the energizing agent of the written Word of God. Look at Hebrews 4:12 in context. The writer says, “they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief”. The written Word preached can not save without the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, which is why the writer says “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. People are not saved if they receive the Word with joy with stony ground hearts. Unless the Holy Spirit immediately changes the heart by regeneration, false conversion is the only conversion possible.
Spurgeon identified the Presbyterian Church as the source of the Downgrade of theology because Scottish Common Sense Realism came out of the Presbyterian Church. Spurgeon said Downgrade theology made the Holy Spirit a “mere influence”. Hinman’s “the Word of God energized by the Spirit” is a statement of the Downgrade theology.
Where ever the avenue of the Word is present for the use of the Spirit, there we still find the masses flocking, whether the preacher be a Jonathan Edwards or a Dwight L. Moody.
If Jonathan Edwards had read this book, he probably would have condemned it as deistic, psychological bilge. If D. L. Moody had read Hinman’s Hints And Helps For The Inquiry Room, he probably would have barred Hinman from ever going into his Inquiry Rooms.
3. Through human agency. In the Word by the Spirit, through human agency. "And ye also shall bear witness of me," were the words of Jesus to His disciples. Christ's disciples were to act in conjunction with the Spirit in bearing witness of Jesus. Is the power of the Spirit promised when we uplift anything else? Metaphysics, philosophy, self ? Oh, that we might cry out with John the Baptist, "I am the voice of Him, crying in the wilderness." Just the vocal utterance of Him. The speaking trumpet of the Almighty. No. Oh, that we would spend more time making the Word plain, not deep. Christ would then be uplifted and self would be hidden behind His glorious image.
The masses will not be reached except through human agency. They will not read the Word. They do not care for that. The Word is the Bible of the church, the church the Bible of the masses. If the church will only let the Word shine through their lives so that the world can see it. If the church will only make the Word in and through their every day lives, so beautiful that it shall reflect most surely the image of the Christ, it must uplift Jesus and then the crowd, the vulgi populi, the common people will come to Him.
As we see the defects of the church; as we see how this avenue is filled with so much of the world, so much with self, so much with anything but the sacrifice exhibited by the Master, is it any wonder that the crowd fails to see the picture of Him whose image was so much more marred than any other in His bearing the sins and sorrows of the fallen? Is it any wonder that they are not attracted? Let us not forget our position nor our mission.
4. While Christ has directed that He shall be uplifted in the Word by the Spirit and through human agency. He has left the method of such presentation to the judgment of human agency enlightened by the Spirit. You can discover the wisdom of God in this. The Word, the Spirit, the needs of humanity remain the same through the centuries. The Spirit of the age changes, and the manner of the presentation will change with the Spirit of the age?
That is the changing factor in this work of saving souls. The question will never be: Must the uplifted Christ be changed for something else, or the Word, or the Spirit to meet the demands of each succeeding and changing age? But the omnipresent question will ever be: How best can I uplift Christ in my age. How can I best present Christ so that the crowd will listen?
It is a question of method. How can I best meet the Spirit of my age with the uplifted Christ? Are the methods now used meeting the demands of my age? Or do they belong to a dead past? What is the Spirit of our times? Is it being met by the church? How are the men of this world with the power of wealth and ambition to quicken their faculties meeting it? How are they reaching the masses for their own purposes? Are the children of this generation also wiser than the children of light? The spirit of our age is the spirit of the telephone, the telegraph, the lightning express. The spirit of a commerce that for activity, does more in one year than our forefathers did in twenty. It is a restless, nervous age. An age of ceaseless activities and sudden deaths.
The American nation has been characterized often as the nation that is always in a hurry. That jumps the chains of the ferry boat to gain a moment of time. That is always in a hurry to catch the train. How shall the church catch the ear of such an age as this? How shall the church demand a halt sufficiently long to uplift Jesus?
The church cannot bring the age to it, it must advance to it the age. As a well known and practical teacher of pulpits, says: "It makes no difference whether the masses are growing away from the church or the church from the masses, the church must go and compel, not wait?" No, the church can not afford to wait while souls are being lost. Practical results are what we are after. Results are what we must see in the name of an uplifted and risen Lord. Any theory that does not achieve results, is not the wisdom of Solomon, nor the wisdom of God.
This is absolute rubbish. Hinman has been infected with the spirit of the age all right, but it is the “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). All the technology in the world can not replace conviction, repentance and regeneration. Psychology appeared to Scottish Common Sense Realists to hold all the answers to why people sin and why people stop sinning. It was a chimera that proved to be a cloud without rain.
How are the business men who deal with the masses reaching them? What style of newspaper comes the nearest to the heart of the masses of this age? That newspaper is the very best index of the public heart. Why these large lines of type which head the columns of news? Why now and then, is the story of some great event told in picture instead of type? The old style of newspaper is a thing of the past. The successful paper of today is keeping time with the telegraph and rail road. The old slow conservative edition of our fathers is lying in the tomb with their dust. What papers are read most by the great multitude? The Andover Review, The North American Review, The New York Independent ox The New York World?
A traveler from Europe said not long ago, that while he had been in almost every conceivable place on the American Continent, he had yet to find a community so barbarian, or a hut so isolated as not to have a copy of the New York World in it.
Does the church say she cannot lay aside her dignity and stoop to the level of that populace which rejects the best periodicals for the poorer? But those journals penetrate even the dark recesses of the forest They reach the great multitude and they are about all the education many of them get.
Did you realize what that sentence meant, they reach the great multitude? That is what we are called to do, and that is what Jesus did too. The journals endeavor to reach them for the sole purpose of making money. They lay aside their dignity for that, and we, the church, have the supreme object of saving souls from death. Is it not time for us to be willing to do anything not sinful that is practical for reaching the great multitude?
It is for those Christ died. It was those He reached when on earth. He did not reach the rich and cultured Sadducees nor the learned Pharisees. We can only reach them by conforming in our methods to such a spirit of the times as finds its expression in a demand for the racy, the novel, the sometime sensational, the sometime flashy daily paper.
Anything to reach men is the cry of the world. Anything to reach men should be the cry of the church and not what did the fathers do in method. That does not mean that the church shall lay aside the best journals for the poorer, but do not forget that the Reviews do not reach the multitude. How does the lawyer reach the ear of his jury? By a different road than that which he takes to reach the ear of the learned judge. But the jury are many times composed of inferior men the church says. But that jury came from the masses that once heard Christ gladly and we must uplift Him before them.
The masses deserted Christ when he challenged them (John 6:66). Christ said they were following him for the bread (John 6:26). You can make a “rice Christians by giving them what they want – but what they want is not Christ. Hinman’s definition of salvation was when a person had a “Eureka!” moment when reading Scripture. It is no surprise that he thinks the mass production of “rice Christians” is the new way of making disciples. If you read his Hints and Helps For The Inquiry Room, you’ll understand his modern way of making “Christians”.
And how many judges has the church in its assemblies in comparison to those of the crowd? How many learned men who could listen to its metaphysical discussions on the metaphysics of oughtness? How many of the learned men care to listen? How does the politician reach the ear of the great multitude? Is there a shudder in the church? Yet he is trying in the best way he knows to reach the great multitude that he may get their votes. The great multitude who dwell in the byways and hedges are those who carry our elections. Let the church understand that he is most wise who accomplishes his purposes, even though it be not in the way of the schools.
The old conservative methods will not reach the ear of the crowd on the part of the lawyer, the press, the platform, the man of commerce. How is it with the church? It too must meet the spirit of the age. It must of necessity go to it. Having won it by the uplifted Christ it can then educate and uplift until the great multitude shall grow in knowledge as well as in grace.
The demands of the times then on the Christian Church is to uplift Jesus Christ in the Word by the Spirit through human agencies and by such methods as shall best meet the spirit of the age. Brethren, the signs of the times in the United States warn us that we must reach the great multitude and that soon, or find our country in ruins some day not far away. The only hope of this government is the Christian church. The only hope of its perpetuity lies in the risen Lord uplifted. Never in the history of this nation has there been such discontent, such mutterings and that from the unchurched masses as today. Revolutionary measures are demanded at every turn. Revolution and discontent is being organized and organized for effectiveness. One who under stands history should take warning. It was this same unchurched crowd, the masses of the world's common ones, the vulgi populi, whom Jesus loved, for whom He died, and over whom He wept, as He saw them oppressed and scattered as sheep having no shepherd.
It was this same motley throng from the by ways and hedges whom He compelled to come to the kingly feast. It was this common herd whom He sanctified by being born from among them. He might have chosen the aristocracy and a palace of untold splendor for his origin and cradle, but He chose rather to come from the despised and lowly Nazarines. He cast his lot with the poor and the lowly. But it was this same mass of struggling humanity which were responsible for the French Revolution.
For centuries they had been looked down upon by royal blood and nobility and only wanted that they might be taxed for the support of the aristocracy of France. Every indignation possible was heaped upon them by those who were professedly more noble than this common crowd. They would have annihilated them had it not been that there must be some to be ruled or else the dignity of the ruler be lost, and some one must pay the taxes that royalty may live. And the common mass stood under the burden until their spirit was well nigh broken. Then the church came to listen to those of royal blood and to forget those for whom Christ was uplifted.
The mass did not go to the churches. They were not wanted. They were driven to the caves, and huts and mud hovels, with no one to pity. But the church by striving to reach the royalty at the expense of the great multitude, failed to reach any and France became the school of infidels and atheists. No wonder. Why not? When ever the church ceases to be practical she looses the highest reason for her divine origin.
The Catholic Church in France before the French revolution was open to anyone, including the poor. Hinman is making a case for the social gospel, and presents the modern psychological view that man is the product of his environment, and is a sinner because his environment makes him a sinner. This rubbish has NOTHING to do with the Biblical explanation of “ye must be born again”.
The world does not listen very much to the arguments for the existence of God or for the reasonableness of miracles, but it is moved by the practical helpfulness of the church. In the helpfulness of the church lies its highest argument. At last God heard the cry of those He came to save. He who says that vengeance belongs to Him listened and came as a scourge to punish France for her sin against His children, His little ones. The world knows the result. Oh, that the world, at least the church, would learn wisdom from it.
We want no more French revolutions. But let America beware. Let the church take warning and so uplift Christ before the masses that they shall see Him and be healed. The hope of the future lies with them. We are not reaching the masses as we ought.
I believe that Joseph Parker is right when he says that the trouble is not with
the masses but nearer home. "Away with all this talk about reaching the masses," he says, "rather let us have a revival in the pulpit and in the pews and the masses will be reached."
God is in earnest after this great multitude. He will reach them, and by human agency. We must be used by Him for this or our candlestick will be removed and some other take its place which will shine. If they be not reached by the powers that be again will the moneychangers be driven out and the temple razed to the ground.
Brethren, the great multitude lie all around us. They are a hungry throng. Just like the multitude Jesus met, and reached, too. I believe that this modern multitude are to be reached today just as well as they were reached in the centuries past. The masses of poor and halt and blind; the masses of drunken and ragged and outcast, flock still to the standard of the cross whenever and wherever it is plainly revealed.
Oh, that they might move us to compassion as they did Christ. Oh, that we might so uplift Jesus as to make them see Him. May this church not be afraid of that sneer, too common, that it reaches only the poorer classes. The church which does not reach them has lost its hold on God. Let it be our boast, if boast we must, that we are reaching the great multitude. That we rejoice when the poor and ragged and blind come into our church, and let us be ready to give them a place beside us and half our hymnbook.
Remember that the today's poor of America, are tomorrow's rich ; that today's lowly are tomorrow's exalted. Remember the pit from whence you have been digged. Remember if the masses do not come to church, you must go to them. And by the uplifted Christ, in the word, through the Spirit, by human agency, and by such methods as shall produce in our age, the best results, we shall catch the eye and reach the ear of the hurrying, restless throng. Then the kingdom on earth will come and His will be done as it is done in Heaven.
THE MISSION OF JESUS.
Text : — Luke 19:10: " For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost."
The Son of man is come! He has come down from the great white throne! Down from the heaven of light and holiness. " My father's home of light, My rainbow circled throne I left for earthly night night For wandering sad and lone."
He left the band of angels, who are his ministering spirits. He has left His chariots which are 20,000. He has left the seraphim of the six wings, He has come down past the galaxies of worlds, down past the flashing suns which reflect His glory and grow pale in His presence, down past the greater suns and moons and stars and systems, to this little world of greater sin and sorrow.
Methinks as He left " His rainbow circled throne," that'the thousand seraphim flew with their faces veiled, and pled with Him that they might do His journey for Him; that the 20,000 chariots were harnessed by angel bands to the horses of fire for Him, and the many thousand of swift-winged ones offered themselves as His escort. Down over the star sown pathway together they come, until on the threshold of the world He lets them chant one heavenly hymn that the world may have a faint conception of what such music is, and then he waves them back while He finishes the journey alone. But those ministering angels never leave Him. They hide themselves in the clouds from any earthly vision and await to serve Him if He will.
Once He seems in His lonely sorrow to realize their nearness and want their presence, as He says, in the garden of the bloody sweat, "I thinkest thou not that I cannot pray to my Father and He shall presently give me more than twenty two legions of angels?" Yet, though near, they are not summoned, but await until, His work all finished. He ascends, and then they escort Him back to the throne.
The Son of Man has come. He has been heralded long. We read of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world — of the seed of the woman which should bruise the serpent's head — of the coming of Shilo. In law and history and Psalm the golden thread of promise runs. Prophet after prophet writes of His approach. Century after century sings of His coming, until the whole earth is trembling in expectancy, and every mother examines the new born babe to see whether he be the Christ or not. At last the angel chorus of "Peace on earth, good will toward men," breaks on the midnight air.
Later on, John the Baptist cries, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world," and " I saw and bear record that this is the Son of God." The Son of Man has come ! Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad! Let the sea roar and the fulness thereof! Let the field be joyful and all that is therein! Let all trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord, for He has come ! He shall judge the earth in righteousness and the people with His truth.
The Son of Man reigneth, let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Now let the dumb lips sing his praise! Let the deaf ears hear the melody of earthly music ! Let the broken in heart rejoice! Let the lame leap for thankfulness! Let the leper mingle in the congregation of the righteous, for blind eyes have seen the coming of the Son of Man! "Thou hast the words of eternal life, Thou givest victory in the strife. Thou only art the changeless friend, On whom for aye we may depend; In life, in death, alike we flee, O Savior of the world, to Thee."
First. — Why is the Son of Man come? What great magnet drew Him from the skies? What of earth thrown into Heaven's balances outweighed the splendor and glories of the other world? Why did He not take His way to some of the Heavenly systems more grand than ours? Why did not the constellation of Orion claim Him, or that of Ursus Major, or of the Southern Cross? Why this earth, only an atom among other worlds? Why has it been written that the Son of Man, " instead of the joys that were set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame ?" What beauty, or joy, or worth did he see here to attract? It was not supreme beauty or joy or worth, that was the magnet above all other magnets, but the simple fact that the world was worse than other worlds.
Simple fact, did I say? Awful fact, the rather! The Son of Man came to us from the skies, past all other worlds, because the world was lost. You have read the startling incident of a child lost, have you not? Some little girl wandering off in the darkness of the hill-top wood. A home first of anxiety, then of anguish. Friends gather and the search begins. First at home, in the yard, the barn, the garden, the orchard; then at the neighbors' and finally out on the street, the piercing cry of "Child Lost" is heard. Street after street catches up the cry until the whole village resounds with "child lost." The village turns out of doors, torches gleam here and there. The hurrying tramp of feet, the murmuring of voices and the cry of multitudes now are heard, while feelings grow intense. The cry of "child lost" reverberates on the air. The towering steeple echoes it, the massive pile of buildings shout it back. The far off hills catch up the cry and from the towering pine tree tops, the faint echo of "child lost" vanishes into the star-lighted skies; until friends, and streets and church tower and massive pile of buildings and faroff wood seem united in the search. So, methinks, the cry of lost went ringing through the early paradise, out through the gate of Eden, up through its foliage as man fell. The awful cry of lost shouted by attendant angels until wood and hill and far-off forest and towering peaks caught up the cry. The leaping rill, the murmuring river, the restless sea, sing a requiem as the world enwrapped in the glories of its creator, rolls out into darkness. The attendant at the gate of heaven blows a blast from his trumpet that awakes heaven to the fact that one world, that shone in such brilliancy before, has grown dim, and has finally been lost in the darkness. The golden harps grow silent, the Sons of God cease their shoutings, and the morning stars are out of time. Man has disobeyed his Maker, and the world no longer moves itself in sympathy with other worlds.
Several chords in harmony, will not destroy the discord of the others. But one chord in discord, will mar the harmony of all the tune. As God creates the heavens and all that in them is, He set the worlds in harmony with the music of His own eternal heart, but the wandering world makes sad discord of such an heavenly symphony.
Gross darkness envelopes the world. Instead of sunlight, a cloud. Instead of flowers unthorned, the thorn and thistle. Instead of songs, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Instead of hearts joyous and full of light, hearts of pain and sorrow and doubt. Instead of sweet communion with the "Father of Spirits," armies in league with Satan, against God. Instead of peace, a sword. No wonder the Son of Man starts from the throne! No wonder He comes down past other systems to this world of ours. He comes because the world is lost in the darkness of sin.
Second. — The purpose for which He is come. For what purpose did He come? Did He arise in His wrath and come forth in His anger to destroy the world for its wandering? Did He come to the lost that He might annihilate them because they had fallen? No! No! He, who framed the worlds by the word of His mouth, would not have come from Heaven to earth on such an errand! By the power of His might, with one breath, from His throne He could have scattered this handful of dust we call a world and it would soon have been forgotten by the other worlds and all Heaven. But He came because He desired to save! Incomprehensible thought! Who of all earth has comprehended it yet? Who of this habitable globe has ever understood the length and breadth and height and depth of the transcendent fact, that there is more joy in Heaven over the one repentant sinner of earth, than over the ninety and nine just persons of Heaven who need no repentance ? That was the joy placed by the love of God in the balances of Heaven, which outweighed all the glories of the skies and that brought Him from the throne to the manger. Tell the fact to the lost world! Keep it not back! Publish the glad tidings to the world of sin ! Publicans and harlots hereafter redeemed, reclaimed, transformed, can take their seat above those who need no repentance!
The man-forsaken is never more the God-forsaken. The man-forsaken is hereafter the God-loved, the Godredeemed, the God-kissed one. Socially ostracised on earth to be Heaven-received through Christ. And this Son of God came to seek that He might save. Man in his sins has ever been hiding away from God. He has always thought God his enemy. From Adam down, the voice of God has been heard calling to man, " where art thou ?" and not the voice of man calling to God, "where art thou ?" And that the lowest sinner might know that God loved him it has been written, the Son of Man is come to "seek" the lost.
O sinner, man, unfortunate, wretched, lonely, man forsaken, listen to the Heavenly music of " Peace on earth, good will toward men," for the Son of Man has come to seek you out that He might save you from your sins, your loneliness, your wretchedness, and transplant you from a sin cursed earth to the eternal joys of the Heavenly home.
Third. — How he came. How did He come to accomplish that purpose? The Son of God became the Son of Man. Another fact most unfathomable! The King of Kings becomes the child in the manger; the Creator of the Universe, a carpenter’s son, the angel-attended seraphim-served Lord of Lords, the Servant of the lost. What line can fathom that depth? What measuring reed, though it be that of the angel, can measure these heights? This Son of Man having the form of God, thinking it not robbery to be considered equal with God, took to himself the form of a servant, and being found in the form of man, what followed? The very experiences for which the Son of God became the Son of Man. In the form of man He learned what weariness meant, and then said, " Come unto Me all ye that labor."
In the form of man He learned what temptation meant and became the refuge of the tempted. " Tempted and tried Yet the Lord at my side, He'll guide thee and keep thee Though tempted and tried." In the form of man He walked straight through the experiences of man; through tears and loneliness and bloody sweat up to the cross. In the form of man, His brow was thorn-crowned, His back scourged, His hands pierced. In the form of man, He died that He might redeem the world, that He might save the greatest sinners, who would come to Him. Thank God that the Son of God became the Son of Man that He might seek and save the lost!
There would have been glory and majesty and power in the "form of God," but not salvation. He laid His life along by the side of the worst sinners, that it might be possible to save. Now through the "form of man " there is sympathy, pardon and peace for all who will receive Him. Again, the world swings into harmony with other worlds. Again the stars sing together and the sons of God shout for joy. Again the angels lift their harps and sweep their hands across them. Listen to the music, sinner friend ! See those words written in the blood of the Son of Man, "The redemption of man is accomplished." Lift up thine eyes now to the everlasting hills. The Son of God again takes His place on the great white throne. The Heavenly host welcome Him back, His work accomplished. But His form is somewhat changed ; His brow bears the print of thorns; His hands and feet and side are pierced. The seraphim looks wonderingly at these signs of suffering. Suddenly there is silence in Heaven. Then the twelve gates of pearl flash in the Heavenly light as they swing back on their hinges of gold. Up through these gates, from the north and south and east and west come an innumerable throng. The angels at the gates cry out, "These are the publicans and harlots and thieves and outcasts of earth, who are redeemed through the Son of Man and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." The Son of God rises on the throne; He stretches out His hands in welcome and says, "For these my hands were pierced."
Sinners, will you be among that throng? The Son of Man came to seek you that you might be there. Look to Him and be ye saved!
Hinman has come back to “looking” at Christ saves people. When Jesus says “depart from Me, I never knew you”, there is no indication that they never looked at Him. After all, they did many great things in His name, so they must have looked at Him, or at least what they thought was Him. Obviously, looking at Christ, or “seen faith” can not replace “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” as the most precise description of “saving faith”. People can see Christ, even produce what looks like good works with “seen faith”, and “prophesied in thy His name” and “cast out devils in His name” and “do many wonderful works in His name”, and still go to hell because they did not know Him (Matthew 7:22).
JESUS, THE CHRIST.
Matthew. 14:13-16. "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God."
There is a name which is above every name, not only in its worth to the world, but also in the vast numbers who pay glad homage to it. It is a name known to more people and spoken in more languages than any other name the world has ever known, with the one exception of the name of God. That name is spoken also in love, and there is alway an uplifting of the heart with pure affection at its mention.
Pure drivel. Psychological pap. “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3).
So universally is it known that in all civilized nations it is the wonder of wonders when there is found some one who does not know Him for whom this name stands. Where ever this name has been known and honored, civilization has taken on a new form and a mighty impulse has been given to the developing and rounding out of the best qualities of man. Higher education in its best form, and morals in the fullest sense of what that word means, become the rule.
In that name humanity takes to its self a new and better definition. Philanthropies multiply. Homes for the friendless, asylums for the fatherless, shelter for the homeless, schools for the penniless and missions to the Godless, and that without money and without price, spring up like mushrooms, but last like oaks. In that name people go out from loving homes into places of squalor and filth for no mercenary purpose, but for nothing other than to make some one else as beautiful in their life as themselves. In that name they uplift the fallen; cast out devils; redeem the out cast, and give to the fallen and the degraded new lease of life. In that name they take their lives in their hands and sit by the couch of those dying by thousands from the mighty scourge of dire disease; visit those in prison, and give the cup of cold water to the least of those who call themselves by that name.
“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 which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (2 Matthew 7:21-24).
For that name men leave houses and lands, wife and children, fathers and mothers, and endure the hardships of new climes and untried lands. For that name thousands have braved death, walking in the fiery furnace, dying by slowly roasting in ovens, by having their bodies cut away piece by piece, by being
covered with pitch and set on fire, by having their tongues torn out, eyes burned out, ears pulled from the body; by decapitation and crucifixion and by every process of torture known to men or devils. In that name they have died by all these processes of torture with songs on their lips and with the shout of the victorious. In that name churches have been reared, school-houses built, colleges and universities founded.
Almost all the great colleges and universities in America before the Civil War were established to train ministers of the gospel. By the time this book was written, the social gospel had turned them into promoters of humanistic psychology. This book was written by a graduate of Auburn Seminary, which was at the center of the split between Old and New School Calvinists. By the time this book was written, Scottish Common Sense Realism so infected the school that Hinman thought “saving faith” was believing scripture.
In that name millions gather week by week to sing, to pray, to preach. And in that name life is made beautiful to the lowly, bearable and bright to the suffering and unfortunate, full of wealth to the poor, victorious to the weakest, and death becomes the twilight of an endless morning.
Who is this for whom there is such wealth of homage? Who is this whose praise is sung the world wide? Who is this who has such love and devotion and whose monument is civilization itself? Many centuries ago a Son was born in Bethlehem of Judea. For the thirty years following, He lived in obscurity and quiet in Nazareth, and followed in a modest way the calling of a carpenter. For the three years there after, He went up and down the land of Palestine preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing diseases. At the end of that short ministry, and when only about thirty-four years of age, He was crucified as an imposter between two thieves, by the Jews, and with the consent of the Roman government. His name is the one which is above every name this day, and he is the one who has become the very essence of civilization, and the One for whom the millions are ready to die.
His name is the name of Jesus. There is a cause for every effect, and consequently there must be a cause for the elevation of this one to such dizzy heights. Every effect must have a cause of sufficient power to be able to produce the effect, and consequently, there must have been, and there must still be a sufficiency of power about this one to be able to produce such far reaching and powerful results. No analysis of the elements which entered into the life of Jesus, which does not allow for a sufficiency of resources to have brought about such tremendous results, is the correct analysis. And no analysis of that life which does not take into account the astounding fact that the power of that life is increasing day by day in its hold on humanity, and in its influence on the destiny of the world can be the correct analysis.
Where then is the truth concerning this one of whom Moses and the prophets spake, and who has occupied so large a place in, and has had so very much to do with the history of the world? The text presents to us Jesus questioning the disciples as to the estimate of the world, and finally as to what estimate they put upon His life. Here it seems as though we have a beautiful and concise statement as to the. estimate which Jesus put upon His own life, and also an estimate which is sufficient to account for all the phenomena which has followed Him and is following hard after that name today. The first half of the estimate is in his own words; the second half is in the words of Peter and was so true in the mind of Jesus that He called Peter blessed and told him that he had this estimate as a revelation from the Father and not from flesh and blood.
In answering the question of today, who was Jesus, we can find none better than this. We will consider first the admission of Jesus as given in the language of Peter,
" Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God." This sermon is to be considered by no means as an argument, but rather as a statement of belief. We accept the Scriptures as the Word of God and so are prepared to accept their statement as final. Here we look to find such statement concerning Jesus as will enable us to have a correct idea of Him, and we also expect to find here such explanation of His life as will adequately account for its transcendent phenomena and subsequent influence. This statement of Peter's embodies the truth that this One was none other than God. If this be correct, we have an explanation sufficient for all things pertaining to His life and the wonderful works which do still follow. Unless it be true, we can understand nothing.
All is dark when we come to explore this tremendous field, unless we understand Jesus, the Christ to have been, or rather to be, very God. Jesus Himself said but little directly about His being divine, but He called Peter blessed for saying that he was the Son of God. To Philip He said, He was in the Father and the Father in Him and that whosoever had seen Him had seen the Father. To the high priest just before the crucifixion He does not deny, when being questioned, that He is the Son of God. The Jews understood Him to say that He was God, and on that ground they tried to stone Him to the death. He forgave sin which none but God could do. He allows Himself to be worshiped, which would have been sin itself for anyone but God. He did miracles which none but God has the power to do. Others had worked miracles, but they had done this in delegated strength and not of themselves; this One works miracles in His own name and by His own power. He declared that He existed before Abraham, and the Apostle John states that He was in the beginning, and that He was God.
Looking back through the prophesies of the Old Testament we find the hope held out that God would some day come to the earth to make an atonement for sin. That He would come as the Messiah. Jesus took to Himself these prophecies and admitted that He was the One who should come and that He was the Messiah. After His crucifixion He rose from the grave and thereby demonstrated the truth of all He had said before His death and thereafter none of His disciples doubted that He was God. But better than all this, if we are looking for evidence to prove His Divinity, is the works which do follow Him. Eighteen centuries have gone by since He has been visibly present to the world, and who can account for the works done in His name today except it be on the ground that He has ascended and is now the omnipresent Lord according to His promise. And who could be an omnipresent Lord except the Lord of Lords and God of Gods.
To those who may doubt the Divinity of Jesus, point not to the claims made for Him in the Gospels so much as to ask them to account for the wonderful activities and accomplishments of His church in His name throughout the centuries. Jesus the Christ in prophesy and gospel and epistle has ascribed to Him the attributes of God; He did the works of God, and by millions He is worshiped this day as God.
Yes this One was God, and it is no wonder that He has won and is winning the loves of men and thereby their lives although flesh and blood do not hold outward communion with Him longer. Our faith claims Him and our spirit holds blessed communion with Him and our hearts crown Him Lord. As to Peter, Jesus said, "Blessed art thou for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father, which is in Heaven," so He will say to us who, without the revelation of flesh and blood, own Him as the Son of God through the inner revelation of the Father, who Jesus said would come and abide with those who would love Him and keep his commandments.
Hinman is now speaking Biblically. “Inner revelation of the Father” is more than “truth impressions” to the rational mind. But because of the way he discusses salvation everywhere else in the book, we are forced to conclude that he thinks “inner revelation of the Father” is just another way of saying “truth impressions” to the mind, and “our spirit holds blessed communion with Him and our hearts crown Him Lord” are poetic ways of saying “our rational mind conceives of Him, and our conception of Him gives us “communion” with Him” through thoughts that come from “truth impressions” of Scripture.
Jesus said much about Himself as the Son of Man, but He leaves the fact of His being the Son of God for the inner revelation of the Father. And so perfect is this inner revelation of Jesus as God that the majority of those who are His would sooner doubt the existence of the Son of Man on earth than to doubt that He was the Son of God who was God.
But we have another fact before us which must enter into the answer as to who Jesus was. This is the language of Jesus to Peter when He said, " Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?" We have considered the fact that in Peter's answer to the question personally, in calling Him the Son of God he understood it to mean nothing less than God. Now we have before us another expression, viz.,
"The Son of Man," for consideration. As truly as the former expression was understood by the Jews to mean the very God, just as surely was this expression understood to mean nothing other than The Man. As one referred to the Divinity of Jesus, so this other refers to His humanity. If one means that He was perfect God, so the other means that He was perfect man.
What, do you mean that in this one person there was perfect God and perfect man? That is what the text means, and that is what it meant to those who listened to it for the first time. "But how could these things be?" How could God be any way? Tell me the mystery of the Divine and I will tell you the mystery of the incarnation, of the God-man. The Jews had been looking for the advent of "the Son of Man" for generations. They had been looking for some man to arise who should bring them temporal deliverance, and establish for them a temporal kingdom which should exist forever. To them the Son of man meant a deliverer and one who should be perfectly man. Jesus immediately says that He is the one for whom they are look ing, and taking up the prophesy of the past, He calls himself perfect Man, or Son of Man.
It is of interest here to notice that there is in the Old Testament, two perfect lines of prophesy. One that prophesies of the coming down of Jehovah to deliver man from sin. The coming of God who should bring Israel and all mankind out from the darkness of sin into the light of Heaven. The other line of prophesy that prophesies of the coming of a man, born of the seed of a woman, having the likeness of other men, and entering into their experiences and dying for their deliverance.
This coming of God and coming of man, found both their fulfillment in the one person of Jesus, the Christ. Jesus, the Christ, the perfect God, but no less the perfect Man. A mystery? Yes; but none the less a fact, and a fact that brings glad rest to troubled souls. If Jesus had been only God, He could not have come so close to us. He could not in reality have borne our sorrows and entered into our temptations. Had He been only perfect Man, He could not have delivered us from our sinful bondage. But as perfect God and perfect Man, He satisfies the longing of the soul and gives us peace. The fact we desire to emphasize today is, that Jesus is perfect Man. As perfectly human as any man here this day. There is a perfect Divine side to His being, but there is also a perfect human side.
His mother, Mary, was as thoroughly a woman as any woman. Thus He was born of a woman. He was cared for just as thoroughly as any infant. He grew as other boys grow, and ate and slept and doubtless raced and romped and played as they did. He learned of God and of religion at His mother's knee, and came to know the Scriptures by definite processes of knowledge as well as others. He was subject to His parents and obedient to their commands. He learned step by step the trade of Joseph, His father, until He could carry on the business of a carpenter, to the meeting of the various wants, in His line, of the people at Nazareth.
His body was susceptible to the wants of other bodies. He grew tired with labour; He hungered and thirsted as other men. When He comes at last into His great work of the Ministry, this is manifested all the way through. We see Him so thoroughly tired out, that He sleeps deeply in the hinder part of a ship on a pillow, although the tempest seems about to engulf the ship and its precious freight. He sits down at the well of Sychar tired and thirsty and hungry. He sends the disciples for bread that He may eat. He asks a certain woman there to draw Him water that He may quench His thirst. And so on through the record of that marvelous life, we find the evidences of the human elements which make Him man. We find manifold evidence also, that the humanity about Him was not simply that of the body. He was a human soul as well.
He increased in wisdom, a fact which would never have been written if He had been only perfect God. He always recognizes a power higher than His humanity. He spends whole nights in prayer. He is tempted as other men are tempted. He bore burdens of Spirit as we bear them now. He weeps out of the sadness of His own spirit, because of the sorrows of those He loves. At last when in the garden that night of awful anguish as He is bearing the sins and burdens of a world, His humanity seems about to break down while He cries, "If it be possible, Father, let this cup pass from me." And then as the climax of His life's work is approaching, on the cross, in that loneliness which comes when one in the way of duty and right finds themselves forsaken by those they love and upon whom they lean, that awful loneliness which no one can understand who has not passed through the flood, the soul sinking under the weight not alone of pain, but of the sense of awful wrong being done in making Him suffer, suffering because His actions have not been understood when if they had been, the world would have crowned Him king then and there; suffering there, and wondering as the awful anguish of approaching death comes, why the Power of the universe does not interfere in His behalf, wondering as the mists of death gather round the intellect, why the legions of angels have not come for His release; wondering and suffering on in the valley of that darkest of all shadows until there bursts from those parched and human lips the wail which has startled the world since, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthanil— My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
These are some of the testimonies which are given us to attest the fact that this One was as perfectly human as we are human. Perfect Man and perfect God! And these Two are One! Unfathomable? Yes: but not unknowable. So is your very existence unfathomable while not unknowable. So is all creation for that matter. Soon all the world around us will be clad in green. Bursting bud of leaf and flower will face us at every turn. The grass will grow green beneath our feet. The petals of flower after flower will woo in some way from the shafts of white sunlight every shade of every color with which to paint its cheeks, and in some way every flower after its kind will select from the sunlight just the color which suits it best and it will be the color it has known from its first dawn. And yet this new and familiar creation will pass by unnoticed in so far as to be questioned, and yet who is there who understands it?
This life is full of mysteries but we cannot reject it. It is a fact. And so this other one that the perfect God and perfect Man in some way were One and yet that each does not infringe on the other though a mystery is still a fact. And it is a fact which the world is finding restful as no other fact has been or is. And this wondrous God-Man, Jesus the Christ, can and does explain all the phenomena which attended His life or has followed His resurrection.
And now for a few Sabbaths I want to present to you Jesus the Christ, the perfect Man, as a model for your imitation. Once in the history of the world a Man has stood forth without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Not only was He perfectly human but He was humanity perfected. He is the God-conception of what man may become. He is man at his climax, and not only the perfect model for the Jew but for all the world. He came into the world to save it from sin and one of the ways was to give to the world a perfect conception of what God considers a perfect man to be. He revealed that and then asked us to imitate that conception.
This is not all the way by which He saves from sin, and this was not all of His work, but it was a part of it and to this specific part, to the imitation of Jesus, I desire to call your attention. We can not imitate the Son of God, but we can and must imitate the Son of Man. And not only are we to imitate that life, but we are led to believe that the day will come when we shall come" unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." How are we to imitate Him? First of all, by knowing Him. You cannot imitate Him if you do not know Him.
Hinman says Christians should imitate Christ. But how are we to imitate Him? By knowing Him, says Hinman . When he says, “knowing Him”, he could mean “know about Him” or “know Him personally”. When we discover the way Hinman believes we come to “know about Him”, we will understand that Hinman does not mean “know Him personally”.
You cannot know Him without studying to know Him.
Isn’t it strange, that the scripture that Hinman used to introduce the idea of Jesus being the “son of man” (Matthew 16:13-17) is the most quoted scripture by orthodox divines of how born again people come to “know Christ”, but Hinman IGNORES THE REVELATION, BECAUSE HE DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE IMMEDIATE ACTIVITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Matthew 16:13-17: “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”.
Hinman lived in the Gilded Age, when the Bible was seen as a book of formulas, effective in curing the ills of society, as exciting as the latest invention. But the first requirement of this scientific approach was to abandon ancient ideas of spiritual forces and accept that psychology, the workings of the mind, were responsible for why people stop sinning.
This was the age of the city-wide revivals, when Christian denominations united in Union meetings to get the immigrants away from communism and into church with a “name it and claim it” salvation based on “siding with Christ” against the evils of modern society.
This was the age of the social gospel, when the imitation of Christ became fashionable. The “What would Jesus do?” modern movement came from a book written by Charles Sheldon in 1891. In His Steps was a typical “how to” book that equated “seen faith” with “saving faith”.
This was the period of American history when the chimera of psychology was accepted universally. This was just before the Fundamentalist Movement locked down certain dogmatic requirements for orthodoxy while accepting the “faith in Scripture equals saving faith” error.
Many thousands are saying this very day that they desire to follow Jesus and be like Him, but if you ask them what they mean by being like Him they cannot tell you. They desire to imitate Him they say, but if you ask them in what way they are trying to imitate Him they may say in some general way, " By being like Him in doing right," but that is all. "By doing right," do you say ? But what do you mean by doing right ? In what way are you doing right and so becoming like Him ? And then if you ask some to do something in some certain way and the way Jesus did it they do not recognize His likeness and so refuse.
Ah, we cannot follow His footsteps unless by searching we find out where they lead. Paul says, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man." We cannot expect the perfection without the knowledge. Peter exhorts those to whom he wrote to " grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." Both Peter and Paul realized that proper growth into the likeness of the Son of Man could not be attained without a knowledge of what that likeness is.
Here we see the difference between the Imitation of Christ and Living From Christ.
We must study then, to know His likeness. And lastly, having found out the way, we are to walk in it. And we are to walk in the light as He is the Light. Mind you that this is the imperative duty of the Christian and they who are Christ's should find it the sweetest thing of life to imitate His likeness and to grow up into His stature that they may some day awake in His likeness satisfied.
Oh, so many of us are so desirous of following our own whims and walking along the pathway of our own preconceived notions that in time we come to think that that is the way Christ walked and that we are attaining His likeness! This was not the conception of the grand old Christian hero, Paul. It was not by considering His own likeness that He was to be changed into the likeness of his Master whose slave he rejoiced to be. Listen to his matchless eloquence: " But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord”.
Once again, Hinman refers to the Written Word of God as the only way to behold Christ. I do not think it is a mistake that “Spirit” is not capitalized when he quotes the King James Version of “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Scottish Common Sense Realism purposely obscures the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit. He confirms when he compares “imitating Christ” to studying paintings, and not personal instruction by the Holy Spirit.
"Friend, study to know the likeness of Jesus and then strive to imitate it, as the student of art sits at the easel and copies a work of a master. Day by day she looks at the copy and plies the brush to her canvas. Day by day the picture grows. The closer she studies the copy the more perfect the picture she makes. There are days of weary work, of corrections where mistakes have been made, of a change in the shading here, of a change of the lines of a figure there, but day by day it grows and it grows more and more like the copy. At last it is finished and none but the artist knows which is the imitation and which the work of the Master.
This is not the Bible way of transformation “even by the Spirit of the Lord”.
1) Most orthodox theologians DO NOT equate the mirror or glass with Scripture – they equate the mirror or glass with the Gospel. The Gospel is written about in Scripture, but Scripture is not the Gospel, just as God is written about in Scripture, but Scripture is not God.
2) The Greek word translated “changed” here is rendered “transfigured” in Mark 9:2: “after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them”, and in Matthew 17:2: “And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light”, and in Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. In all three cases, there is no indication that Paul is speaking only of reading Scripture.
3) When explaining the meaning of “glory to glory”, most orthodox commentaries refer readers to 2 Corinthians 4:6-7: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”.
4) If you read the “glory to glory” scripture in context, you find it directly criticizes the idea of reading Scripture being beneficial without the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit. Paul says the meaning of Scripture was concealed from the Jews because they read it without the Holy Spirit. “Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
So should we study and work. Only our study and works should be the imitation of the life of Him who knew no sin and who lived that we might be like Him at last.
A PURPOSE IN LIFE.
Text: Luke 2: 49. " How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business ?"
We are a race of imitators. The baby that sits on the floor and coos and laughs and tries to talk, imitates the other children round it. The boy begins to imitate the father, the girl the mother, very early in life. The boy never gets through imitating some one whether he knows it or not. The girl never gets through imitating some one whether she knows it or not. As the young lady, she wears her hat and cuts her dress as some one else does. The young man, the young woman, the man, the woman, will wait and see what the fashion is before they buy their spring supply of goods.
A great sad comment on human nature this waiting to see what the fashion is before we act. And yet we all do it. If our progenitors were not monkeys we are certainly apes. Fashion is the god society worships. How many disagreeable things one will do to be in the fashion. The decrees of fashion are as merciless as the fates and one must throw herself before the Juggernaut of fashion to be crushed to powder if the god decrees it. Oh, that we would worship the real, true God, as we worship fashion! Give to Him one tenth part of the money sacrificed to fashion, give to Him one-tenth part of the time given to it; give Him one-tenth part of the sacrifice made for it, and endure one tenth part of the disagreeable things that we endure for fashion, and this world would be His in a score of years But it is hard to do that, for it is in us to imitate, and we must follow in fashion's wake, let come what will.
But it is not sinful to be in the fashion. To be in the fashion means simply to fashion yourself after another's pattern, to imitate some one else, and imitation is not wrong. It is not imitation that makes for wrong, but what we imitate. What we imitate and what we do that we may imitate, that is that which makes for wrong or right here. Up to a certain limit it is all right to follow fashion, beyond that limit it is all wrong. It is all wrong to follow fashion, if in following fashion one must needs do sin or sacrifice a nobler cause. It is all right to imitate a good man's goodness.
Paul set the fashion for some of his churches and then boldly asked them to follow the pattern which he had set. One of the best things a young man can do is to read the biography of great and good men. But in imitating a good man's goodness it is all wrong if you must do wrong to so imitate him. It was a grand thing for a certain centurian to build a synagogue, but it would be all wrong for you to build one if you must needs sell all you have and turn your family into the streets to do it. It is all wrong for you to imitate a bad man's wickedness, but this goes without saying.
Two things are to be considered in imitation, what you imitate, and how you imitate! One thing farther here, do not forget that you are becoming in your very soul fibre like that which you imitate. Imitate no one and nothing, until you have decided whether or not you are willing to become like them. Never imitate anything without you have Heaven in view. Rather be fashionable in Heaven than on earth, and the way the world goes, you can not be in fashion in all things in both places at the same time. That woman who never purchases but two bonnets a year that she may give the price of the other two to the Lord's work, may be out of fashion two seasons of the year on earth, but she is gloriously in fashion in Heaven. Heaven is not so very far away but what if we should have our spiritual eyes opened, we might see the heavenly
Better be in fashion in the eyes of those there, and of Him who sits upon the throne, than in the eyes of those here and not in fashion there. You are building for eternity, so do not build of wood, nor hay, nor stubble, nor always after Mrs. Grundy's pattern. Since we must imitate something and someone, we should always imitate the best possible. This world has only seen one best in the way of some one to imitate. That One is no other than Jesus, the Christ.
To imitate Him, to make Him our daily companion, to study His character, to look at His image, to grow like Him, this is not only the duty of humanity but it is the highest privilege the world knows. It is to one factor of that life I would call your attention this morning, as one of the lines along which we should move in our imitation of Him. It is to this, He had a definite 'purpose in living and it was a purpose which took hold on Heaven.
Our text is taken from the life of Jesus when He was but twelve years of age. His parents had been down to Jerusalem to the passover. They had started out on their return to their home in Galilee, and in some way Jesus was left behind. After a day's journey they seek Him among the company but do not find Him and so return to Jerusalem. They spend three days of anxious inquiry when at last He is discovered in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, listening to their conversation and asking them questions.
When reproached by His parents for causing them so much trouble He makes answer to them in the language of the text, " How is it that ye sought me, wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" Already He was coming to the consciousness that there was a work for Him to do and that He must be getting ready for it. From all sources He was thus early endeavoring to find out the way, the truth and the life, which He himself was to become to the world. But He returns to Nazareth with His parents and there increases in wisdom as He grows in stature, and meets favor with both God and man.
The idea of the answer made by Jesus to His parents was, that He had a purpose in living, and that He thought it time to be about it. He considered that a sufficient excuse for His tarrying behind and causing His parents so much uneasiness. The purpose of His life was opening before Him. It had taken possession of Him. Whether He knew at that time just what His mission was we do not know, but we do know that He was confident that He had not come into this world on an excursion of pleasure; that there was a reason for His being here and that He should get at work to carry it out. No matter what the world may think of Jesus, that idea stayed with Him all through the thirty-four years of His life and it made His life the power it became in the world.
This is significant. Not only does Hinman believe that the imitation of Christ is how Christians become effective in building the Kingdom of God, but in order for Christ Himself to be effective in building the kingdom of God, He had to be motivated by a purpose in living, in order for His life to be “the power it became in the world”. This is the “will to power” psychological theory. This theory replaced the Biblical “grace of God”, or put another way, the grace of God became the will to power; psychological power replaced supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
It never left Him until He gave His life a ransom for many. It made it possible for Him to die on the cross.
That’s funny; I thought the grace of God made it possible.
The first lesson we would call to your mind is this: As Jesus had before Him a purpose in life, so should you have. There is a work for every one to do in this life. No man has come into this world for naught. He may fail to do the work assigned him. He may make a failure of life. But the fact is no less true that there is as truly a reason in the mind of God for the presence here of every man, as there was a reason for the presence of Jesus. The Lord in going away left the kingdom to His servants, and to every man his work. Not to every man some work, nor to every man a work, but to every man his own work. Every man has a definite part to play in the great plan of God. No man is so poor in intellectual possesions, or in riches, or in rank, as to be left out.
There is a definite pathway marked out for all to walk in. We are all on business for the King of Heaven. Would that we might get such an idea of what this means that we would cry out against any interruption, " Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" To have a purpose in life makes the difference in great measure between man and man.
It is the father of energy. Notice the boy who is purposeless. He is the listless boy. The boy who is drifting with the tide. The boy who is driven about with every wind of doctrine. The boy who is the despair of the household; who never seems to amount to much. You can't get his attention fixed on anything. He goes to school because it is the way of the world or because his parents make him. He goes to work because there is a necessity for it that he may find a sustenance. But work is a drudgery ; the sun is always too hot, the wind too severe, the rain disagreeable, the winter too cold, and life in general is a bore. Purposeless as life goes on, he does not see the use of living, and he becomes a curse to himself, if not to all he meets.
But let a definite purpose seize him, or let him seize a definite purpose, and how quickly everything is changed. You can tell it in the very step; in the uplifted head, the resolute expression of the countenance, the firmly compressed lips, the flash of the eye. There is energy sufficient now. Everything he meets thrills at his touch. Life becomes beautiful and the elements seem to fight for him instead of against him as heretofore. The very stars always seem to be in league with every man who is waging war with a definite purpose. It becomes the means by which he is to accomplish his purpose and is therefore his friend.
The will to power is a psychological reality. Frederick Niche inspired generations of fascists, who built nations with devoted followers of dictators. But the will to power is not the saving grace of God.
Energy is characteristic of the boy or man with a purpose. Purpose is the mother of sincerity. To be sincere is to be noble. Carlyle calls it one of the elements, if not the element, of greatness. To be sincere is to be excused for many faults. Saul was very faulty, but he was desperately sincere before his conversion, and his persecution of the Christians has always been excused in great degree on the ground that he was sincere. Sincerity does not necessarily make a man right but it makes him seem right.
The man with a purpose that takes hold of him cannot help but be sincere. He could not have an all consuming purpose without being sincere. Within certain limits purpose is the preventative of crime. Our criminals are our purposeless classes. Of course we mean a purpose which lays hold on life and not a purpose for the hour, for even the laziest of criminals must have had a purpose or he would not have stolen the boots. Ninety percent of all the criminals of England at a certain date not long ago were men who had no sufficiently definite purpose to have defined itself in a trade or a profession.
If you want to keep that boy of yours out of mischief see to it that he has a purpose in living. If you can not discover one for him, and he does not discover one for himself, pray God that He will give him one, for God has a purpose in view for us all. And on his having a purpose depends in great part his salvation.
Having a purpose is not the Biblical answer to the sin nature. Sinners have the purpose of fulfilling the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. This is psychological happy talk.
Purpose marks out the limits within which ability is to expend itself. It gives direction to life. It points out the goal to which you are to come if you succeed. It gives color to the man. It gives dignity to life. The man who has a purpose in life and realizes it, always moves with his head erect. You can see it in the poise of the frame, in the way he moves among men. Purpose removes mountains, stops the mouths of lions, quenches the violence of fire, lifts burdens, cures sorrows, gives heart's ease for heart's ache.
Hinman equates having purpose with having Biblical faith by referring to “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions” (Hebrews 11:33). Hitler and Mussolini had great purpose and great faith, but the “will to power” is not necessarily the result of a relationship with God.
Purpose never says I can't, but always stands at last on the summit. It transforms life in every way and paints the color of the rainbow on the dark cloud of earth's experiences. Every one has a purpose for his living; every one should comprehend it and choose the pathway in which to work it out. Let our lives touch that of Jesus, the Christ at this point until we are replying to every interruption, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business."
The second lesson we would present to you is this, Jesus' purpose was one purpose and so yours should be. Life is too short for the perfection of many purposes. When Jesus died at the age of thirty-four His age was that of the average life of man. He took thirty years for preparation and only four years for the accomplishing of His purpose. Those four years were time sufficient for Him to finish His work. It was long enough but not one day too long. So will your life be long enough for you to finish your work but it will be none too long. You will not have time sufficient in which to finish two lofty purposes. Though you live to be three score years and ten you will not have very much time when you give twenty-five of those years to sleep and not less than nine years in eating and recreation.
Have one purpose and make that a life purpose. Be successful at one thing rather than unsuccessful at many. Make it a rule not to begin a second great purpose until you have finished the first and if that purpose has been a lofty one you will never begin a second. Millions of lives are wrecked on the rocks of many purposes. Millions are cursing themselves, their neighbors and their God this day because they have whiffled around from one thing to another until the day of their probation was passed and failure was staring them in the face.
But one purpose was before Jesus when standing at the bench making doors or window frames for His neighbors. But it was a purpose of sufficiently loftiness of character to possess His whole soul. There was no room there for anything else. There should be no room in the mind of any one to have under contemplation more than one purpose. There is not room sufficient in any mind that is human. Let the one purpose rule you, let it fill your soul, let it meet your love and when you come to die you will not have lived in vain.
And do not get impatient waiting for that purpose to mature. Do not get in too great haste to finish your work. In our headlong rush in America we are forgetting some essential things and are making some blunders. We want success early to crown our efforts and then we want to retire and take our ease. Retire when there is so much to do? Retire when there are so few who are willing to do it? Retire when we are in full possession of our powers? At fifty we should only be on the threshold of our life's work.
The twenty years from fifty to seventy are worth more than the thirty from twenty to to fifty for actual labor. How absurd the feeling that comes to many at fifty that their life's work is nearly done. That idea is taking much of the pleasure and the usefulness out of life. We came in contact with a young man of thirty-five the other day who said that his life was a failure because he had started all wrong and was just taking up a new line of work which he ought to have taken up at twenty. Think of the absurdity of a young man of thirty-five thinking his life a failure when a quite possible thirty-five years of use fullness yet lies before him.
We demonstrated to him that he might take the next five years in preparation and then be ready to do a grand work for the cause of humanity. He went away with a new light in his eyes. Make up your mind that you will be more useful at fifty and onward than you can be before. Do not be too anxious to be called precocious. Do not get in too great a hurry to graduate from the high school. Take time. Rather be thorough than be a prodigy. Get ready. Lay a broad foundation. Do not stand in awe of that sentiment which takes off its hat to the college graduate of eighteen and passes by the one of thirty. Nor for that sentiment which is all the while calling for young men and passing by the old men. One sentence of Theodore Cuyler is worth more for real weight than two of any of our brilliant young men One word at fifty will weigh more than two thousand words at thirty. More than one king, more than one client, more than one church has found that while young men were excellent for action under direction, the old men were best for giving the direction.
Take time for the maturing of your purpose. Take time for the preparation. Take the whole period of your years for the preparation while you are bringing your purpose to maturity. Never get too old to learn and you will never have to retire on account of your uselessness. Always be in a state of preparation and you will make your usefulness cumulative. Then the dead line of your life will only be reached when some one will say, "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust," over your coffin. Too great hurry and too little preparation brings the dead line of life twenty years before the burial takes place.
No one passes such on the street but what they whisper to themselves fragments of the burial service. Heaven's gate will open wide to the useful man, to the busy man, to the tired out man. Jesus' " come " was unto those who were heavy laden with labour. Heaven's rest will not be appreciated by a good many. They never tire themselves out in fulfilling any purpose in this life. Already they have turned the Heaven of rest in this life, into the hell of listless, purposeless, self-dissatisfaction.
The faculties of the soul which have nothing upon which to expend themselves, always begin to prey upon themselves. Insanity is often the outcome of this The torture of a hungry stomach which begins to digest its own walls, is nothing in comparison to the torture of a hungry soul, which for want of something else, preys upon itself.
Hinman has made a good point. “The torture of a hungry stomach which begins to digest its own walls, is nothing in comparison to the torture of a hungry soul, which for want of something else, preys upon itself”. The answer for self-destruction is God-awareness. A bad self-image is common sense for someone that has become aware of the truth. The ONLY remedy for insecurity is relationship with God. Unfortunately, Hinman gives a psychological remedy that at best, requires tricking the mind into believing that God wants this or that thing indicated in the Bible. He does not believe Jesus’ rest is the contentment of knowing that one is in relationship with Father God and the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Great Physician wrote this prescription, but it requires the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit:
“If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence. I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 14:23-15:5).
The immediate activity of the Holy Spirit in the saint is supernatural, and what the Bible calls “spiritual” is not merely a psychological phenomenon. “In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). The reader must ask himself... is Jesus using poetic language? Was Paul merely using a rhetorical device when he said indignantly, “he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). Were the writers of the New Testament deceived when they described “spirit” and “spiritual” as “of or pertaining to a parallel universe”? Were they just ignorant of the “fact” that God does not communicate immediately with his creation? If you continue in that belief, you probably do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, and will probably hear, “depart from Me, for I never knew you”.
Keep busy. Do not be in a hurry to retire. Let your purpose take you as Christ's did him, up to the cross, or the sepulcher. Lay your burden down at the feet of death. Let your last shout be, "It is finished." The third and final lesson we would present to you is this, as Jesus' purpose laid hold on Heaven, so should yours. "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business," was His answer. He felt that He was sent to do business for eternity, and His eyes were on the throne of the universe.
His purpose passed through this vale of tears. It rested like an anchor on the golden sands. No wonder His life appears so noble. No wonder His earnestness was so intense. No wonder He could endure the trials and persecutions of this life. No wonder it possessed such force. No purpose is sufficiently lofty which does not lay hold of Heaven like His.
No purpose should ever be the ruling principle of our lives, which does not come under the head of the Father's business. Jesus' life work was no more marked out of God than yours. Though infinitely greater in degree, His purpose was still the same in kind as yours. His work and your work is the Father's work. The supreme purpose of every life should be to do the Father's will. Nothing less; nothing other. " Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business," should be our answer to every temptation, which would lead us from that purpose. Oh, if man would only realize the dignity of his position! That he is not sent into this world to work in the dirt and mire of the earth's business with no other outlook than the earthly hills with which he is environed! If he could and would only realize that he was made but little lower than the angels, that he is on this earth on business for the God of this universe and that he shall some day judge angels!
We learn in this world to honor one who is on the business of the Governor or President, and we are just as surely on the business of the King of kings. It should be the ruling passion of our lives to do the work of Him who sent us. He has given to every man his work. No one is left out of His business. Yet it seems as though we were making this business of our King, this work of our Father, of secondary importance. That we who are professed followers of His are making purposes which are entirely earthly, our first business.
This business of ours which must some day be left with no works to follow us into eternity; this business which is of the earth, earthy; and of the dirt, dirty. Endeavoring to lift this up to the first position not knowing that we are not lifting it at all, but that it is dragging us down; belittling us; making us no better than it is itself. Oh, man, how art thou fallen!
Mistaking stones for bread, gilt for gold, paste for diamonds and earth for Heaven! Parading in the skin of an ass and thinking it to be the livery of angels! Lift up thine eyes to the hills! Friend, what are you in this world for any way? Tell us. Let me tell you. God has given you a work to do. Do it: make it the first business of your life to do His will.
Is doing the will of the Father a matter or reading scripture and doing it, or obeying the indwelling Holy Spirit? Hinman would say the former, because he does not believe the later.
Think of the transforming power of such a motive. No wonder this purpose transformed the life of Jesus. No wonder that it has transformed the visage of thousands since. Cromwell was transformed from a farmer and a quiet representative to a majestic warrior and president of all England by a lofty purpose.
Anyone who’s read Cromwell knows he was transformed by the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, not the “will to power”. Cromwell always looked to the immediate help of God. He said of a victorious battle, “God brought them into our hands. God is not enough owned. We look too much to men and to visible helps. This hinders our success." Cromwell would have condemned Hinman’s psychological theories as diverting glory from God to man. Here is Cromwell's deathbed prayer as reported by witnesses:
Lord, though I am a miserable and wretched creature, I am in covenant with thee through grace. And I may, I will cove to thee, for they people. Thou hast made me, though very unworthy, a mean instrument to do them some good, and thee service; and many of them have set too high a value upon me, though others wish and would be glad of my death; Lord however, thou do dispose of me, continue and go on to do good for them. Give them consistency of judgement, one heart, and mutual love; and go on to deliver them, and with the work of reformation; and make the Name of Christ glorious in the world. Teach those who look too much on they instruments, to depend more upon thyself. Pardon such as desire to trample upon the dust of a poor worm, for they are thy people too. And pardon the folly of this short prayer: - Even for Jesus Christ's sake. And give us a good night, if it be thy pleasure. Amen
How this loftiest of all purposes would uplift us if we would only let it take hold of us! Jesus ascended and so might we if we would become married to the purpose
of doing His will. How many are making it the first business of their lives to get rich. Measuring their purposes by the length and breadth and height of this earth alone and by a sufficiently small atom of a fragment of time as to be unnoticeable in measurement with the thousands of years.
Think of a soul which has become sufficiently narrowed down; which has become sufficiently degraded; which has become sufficiently infinitesimal as to make it its first business to get rich in the accumulated dirt of a perishable world. What most naturally will be the last words of those dying? That which has been most uppermost in their minds through life. A miser lay dying who had been a professed follower of Jesus all his life but whose supreme purpose had been to get rich. My father was the attending physician. The old man lay upon the bed, his white locks, whitened by the frosts of over eighty winters, pushed back from a noble brow, his hands bleached by sickness clasped over his breast, and above the coverlid, the firm lips slightly parted, the eyelids closed, as slowly but surely he was breathing his last Weeping loved ones had gathered round to catch the last words if such there should be, or obtain once more some faint recognition. My father knelt by the bed side and taking one of his hands in his he asked him if he should pray. A slight pressure was the only response. The prayer was offered and then father sang a hymn which had been the old man's favorite. As he closed the song, the eyes of the dying one opened, the friends pressed closely to the bedside, his lips moved and father bending over him asked him if there was anything he wanted. He spoke one short sentence, then his chin dropped, the eyes opened wider, the breath stopped and he was dead. What was that last sentence? It was this, "I want a dollar." Strange consolation for loved ones. Yet that sentence was the very incarnation of the supreme object of his life. It is not possible to press within a smaller compass the very pith of the mercenary spirit. A wonderful sentence for a dying man face to face with eternity. What an epitaph for a tomb stone. Is that to be your last sentence? Thy money perish with thee!
But is it not right to get rich ? That is not the question. That man is a sinner against himself; against a community and against God whose only object in life is to get rich. But if his object be to do his Master's will, to be about his Father's business and he makes money to enable him to carry on his Father's business, then he has consecrated his talents to the King, absorbed his wealth in the lofty purposes of Heaven and is turning money of earth into the bank stock of Eternity. Such is of the Heaven, Heavenly. What has been said about the money getting can be said equally as well of every other motive or purpose other than the one supreme purpose of doing the Father's business. The purposes which are earthly are only right when we have made them secondary and a means for doing the Father's will. The far reaching purpose of our lives should be to do the work committed to our hands by the Father. Then no matter what we do in this life. Whether we work at day labour with Jesus, or in the wide field of commerce, or in professional life; whether we sit by the cradle rocking the boy who will some day rock the world, or wash dishes in the kitchen, or lecture from the platform ; whether we make home happy and restful for the husband, or teach school, or work in some home for some other one; no matter what we do we will be doing all to the glory of God.
Make these things the means for enabling us to do the Father's business; perhaps it is the only work He has given us to do in His vineyard. Some are always wishing to know what the Lord has given them to do, when they never seem to realize that the work lies all around them. Some mothers are asking what they shall do and are wishing that they could do some great thing for God, when boys and girls are in their home to be taught and led in the way of Jesus, and that is the great work to which He has called them.
God does not call anyone to do great things who will not do the little things. Many are wanting to get out into the great harvest field and to the work of saving souls before the world, who never think of saving souls in the by ways and hedges. If you are doing the work that lies near at hand you are doing the work He has assigned you. When He wants you in the larger field He will call you. I implore you this day to make a new consecration of your powers and possessions to the Father, that you may thereby do His will.
Imitate Jesus in the oneness of that purpose which was to do the Father's business, and let your life's purposes touch Heaven. In closing let me point you to the grandest sentence ever spoken by one dying. So grand and beautiful are these words that if I thought they might truly be my last words I would let one glad hallelujah go up to God. They are the last words of Jesus, "It is finished." In the midst of the awful suffering, and as His life on earth is being finished, the brightest thought which comes to Him, as a winged angel of consolation, is, that He has been true to the trust given Him, and that though it has led Him to the cross, He has not faltered, and that now the work is done. A grand and majestic purpose and one that lays hold on Heaven is that, to find the work assigned you, and then to be loyal to it to the end. To the end of life and to the greater end of finishing that work. There is no other greater!
There is nothing grander in all Carlyle has written, than the words with which I close, and they are grand because they are in exact harmony with the thought of our text this day, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business." Speaking of man He says, "He is born to expend every particle of the strength that God Almighty has given him, in doing the work he finds he is fit for; to stand up to it to the last breath of life, and do his best. We are called upon to do that; and the reward we all get, which we are perfectly sure of if we have merited it, is that we have got the work done, or at least that we have tried to do the work. For that is a great blessing in itself; and I should say, there is not very much more reward than that going on in this world." Friend, "wist ye not that you must be about your Father's business?" Let that thought take hold of you. Let it influence your life. If so, it will lift you day by day, above the baser elements which characterize so many of our fellow men, up above the boundaries of an earthly vision, up, until with your ascended Lord you sit at the right hand of the Father, having done what you could for Him.
"The future hides in it Gladness and sorrow; We still press thorow, Naught that abides in it Daunting us, onward. And solemn before us, Veiled the dark portal; Goal of all mortal; Stars silent rest o'er us, Graves under us silent. While earnest thou gazest Comes boding of terror, Come phantasm and terror; Perplexing the bravest With doubt and misgiving? But heard are the voices, Heard are the sages,
The worlds and the ages; Choose well; your choice is Brief, yet endless. Here eyes do regard you In eternities stillness Here is all fullness, Ye brave to reward you, Work and despair not."
That is it, "Work and despair not." Let your watchword be, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business," remembering that such need never despair. Heaven will be yours.
THE SACRIFICE DEMANDED BY A PURPOSE
Text: Mark 10:45 "For the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
No purpose can be accomplished without a sacrifice. There is no getting on and up in this world without it. There are no great victories without correspondingly great battles in attaining them. There are no great heights reached without great exertions. No peace without a conflict. No joy without pain. It costs something to be something. Put the joy you desire to reach, in the balances and the number of pounds it weighs will indicate what it will cost you to obtain it. Measure the purpose you would accomplish and know the measure of effort before you start and see if you are willing to pay that bill.
This is a late 18th century Scottish Common Sense Realism explanation of “salvation”. The mind has been “regenerated” if the mind chooses to serve God over self. The mind is not regenerated if the mind continues to serve self over God. But because Scottish Common Sense Realism is Calvinistic theory, a “regenerated” mind that “backslides”, will be saved. Of course, when this book was written, Calvinists believed people were “hopefully saved”, so when they backslid, they would move the person from the “hopefully saved” to the “probably never saved” category. The “once saved always saved” abomination of today is the direct result of the heresy of decisional regeneration that started in 1914.
Scottish Common Sense realism regeneration is not a supernatural change of nature and does not require the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; it is just a state of mind that chooses God over self. This is how “faith” became a man-mechanical, psychological, “truth to power” force; its own judge and jury; its own self-fulfilling prophesy. Of course, this has nothing to do with Biblical “saving grace”, which is God-Relational, not Man-Mechanical.
No lofty purposes are attained without lofty sacrifices, and the loftier the purpose, the loftier the sacrifice. Every cause has its mountain of skulls. Whosoever goes that way must go forth bearing his cross, and let him know that he must be crucified on it.
Do not envy the man who stands above you in any position, until you know what it has cost him to reach it, and the burdens he has to carry to hold it, and when you have found this out you will not envy, but you will pity. A certain duke who occupied a fine position and had a fine palace in which to live, had a friend come to visit him, who had not been so fortunate in reaching so great a height. Desiring to relieve his friend from any feeling of envy or regret, the duke said to him, "If you will stand off twenty paces and let me shoot at you one hundred times, I will give you all I possess." The friend declined the honor on account of the cost. The duke then said, "I was shot at one thousand times and at ten paces for these."
There is an impression abroad in this land of wonderful achievements, that there is a way to get on and up without paying the bill, but it is a delusion and a snare of the evil one. That is our greatest curse. This trying to get up without sacrifice has resulted in a race of gamblers and hypocrites, in superficialities in every branch of life, in strikes and riots, in socialism and anarchy and bloodshed, and in a steady stream of boodlers and bankers and treasurers headed for the North Star.
No man is worthy the name of man who will not pay its legitimate sacrifice for every advance he makes. If there be no accomplishing of our purposes which are selfish and earthly, without sacrifices which measure equally with the purposes, how much more must the sacrifice be, when we enter the realm of the spiritual, and take hold of purposes which are eternal in their sweep and for God?
Grace in Scottish Common Sense Realism comes in the form of “truth impressions” to the mind. There is no way to distinguish “truth impressions” that regenerate with “truth impressions” that happen to everybody every day through life experience. Hinman is saying the mind must have “truth impressions” that convinced the mind to serve God over self.
If you can not accomplish any purpose worthy of you without putting your whole life into it, then you certainly can not accomplish that highest of all purposes, that purpose to which, as you make your vows at the altar of God, you dedicated your lives, viz : the purpose of serving God and doing the Father's business, I say you cannot accomplish that purpose without sacrifice and without putting your whole life into that. You need not expect to serve God in the capacity of a Christian, without a sacrifice that will mean something as life goes on. This slip shod way of serving God when it does not cost us anything, or when we like to, or when it is convenient, is not worthy of men, and it certainly differs here from the example set us by Jesus, the Christ, as far as it is possible for anything to differ.
The grandest of men are those who have a purpose in living which takes hold of their very life and for which they are willing to spend their last breath. If they accomplish their purpose, they will have to spend their last breath. And I want to add still farther, that if you can ever say those grandest of all words, "It is finished," as you return the work committed to your hands by the Father, it will be said with your last breath. My theme is, The Sacrifice Demanded by a Purpose, and in support of the theme I simply ask you to look at Jesus, who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Notice, the text says more than that He came to die for many. It says He came to give His life for many. It means more to give one's life for many than to die for many. Jesus came to do His Father's business, and in doing His Father's business He gave all He had, His very life, and in this He becomes our example.
Hinman sees the atonement more as psychological example than a legal necessity for God to extend grace. Since Scottish Common Sense Realism does not believe in supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the emphasis of all salvation doctrine is Man-Mechanical, to provide a lesson for the mind to imitate. Why did Christ have to die? So we could be changed supernaturally and indwelt by the Holy Spirit? No, so we could have our minds changed by imitating Christ.
I would call your attention today to the one fact that Jesus sacrificed His own personal Comfort and ease that He might do His Father's business. After Jesus had been baptised by John in the Jordan it is written, " that the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him ; and a voice was heard from heaven saying. This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Undoubtedly there came to Jesus at this time the full consciousness of His position in history. It is hard to understand that Jesus must have come gradually to the understanding of His own character and work in the world, inasmuch as we see Him to be the God-man.
We hide His humanity in His divinity, forgetting that He was perfectly man as well as perfectly God. But such was the case. The record to which we have already referred you says that He grew in wisdom, and without doubt the fullness of that wisdom, which disclosed to Him what He was, and the nature of the work He was to do in the Father's business, came to Him as the Spirit of God descended upon Him as a dove, immediately after His baptism. What a revelation that must have been to Him. What a widening of horizon until it took in the very limits of eternity. What a conception of possibilities, as the knowledge came to Him, that before Abraham was, He was, and that all things were made by Him and that without Him was not anything made that was made.
Who can understand those emotions? No one but God. And yet, those can come near enough to it to touch the hem of its garment, who also have awakened to the fact that they had a mission in this world to do, and that power from God would be given to them to do it. With this understanding it is no wonder that the Spirit of God led Him into the wilderness for contemplation that He might become accustomed to his new conception, and it is no wonder that this conception took away all the desire for food so that He forgot it until forty days had passed, and it is no longer a wonder that He was tempted of the devil. Would to God that such a just conception of our mission in life might come to us, that it would be more than our meat and more than our drink to do the Father's will.
After the forty days of contemplation had passed by, Jesus awakes to the fact that He is hungry. There is no food in the wilderness, but as he looks around He sees the stones and the thought comes to Him that with all His power He can turn these stones into bread and appease his hunger. Suppose that Jesus' first miracle had been that He might gratify His material appetite.
Though it might seem to have been justified by the circumstances, yet would it not have marred, somehow the wonderful history of His life? How all the world would be using it as an excuse now for seeking first bread and after that the kingdom.
They would be using all the more than they now do the wonderful powers with which God has endowed them that they may do His work, in getting to themselves ease and comfort. What wonderful possibilities of ease and comfort must have come to Him as the temptation came to turn those stones into bread. Who could have enjoyed more of it than He? Who could have had a better establishment at Jerusalem than He? Ay, or in the world? His palace would have startled the world by its grandeur. He could have made the desert blossom as the rose, that it might serve Him with the choicest of fruits and flowers and viands (meats) of every sort. The cattle on a thousand hills were His for use. His servants could have been numbered by the thousands and in addition He might have summoned the legions of angels to fly about on His errands; He might have ridden in chariots of gold and have been drawn by steeds such as the world has never seen, and all by His own special creation. There is no limit for the imagination here except its own finiteness as we think what might have been for His ease and comfort while He was doing the Father's business.
Think of it, you who are troubled when you cannot have just so many suits of clothes or dresses or hats or bonnets because you have given so much to the Father's work. Think of it, you who give what you give of time or money or effort to His service in a grumbling spirit as you think you must make some infinitesimal sacrifice to do it. Think of it you, too, who say you will not give any thing of time or money or effort until some one else has done their duty in this way and carried their share of the burden. If this One had done in this way, who would have died for you, or who would have given their life as a ransom that you might live? But with this wonderful possibility of ease and comfort, and such a possibility as has never been given to another, before Him, He sees that with these things of ease He can not do the Father's business and that the purpose of His life demands the sacrifice of them all, and He immediately refuses even to turn the stones into bread.
Thereafter His life was one long sacrifice of every comfort. He turned the water into wine for others. He worked a miracle to feed others, but not for Himself. It was this One who said later on, " Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have their nests but the Son of Man has not where to lay His head." We have been accustomed to think that Jesus died to save us and we have lost sight of the fact that His whole life was given as a ransom for us.
Hinman believes salvation is when the mind has a “Eureka!” moment. Hinman thinks understanding the example of Jesus is the means of salvation, not supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is why he says “His whole life was given as a ransom for us”. By understanding Christ’s life, we have sufficient “truth impressions” to have a “Eureka!” moment when we begin to serve God over self.
His dying was not His only sacrifice; His life was a living one. Friend, this example of Jesus giving up all personal ease and comfort that He might accomplish His purpose, comes to you at the very threshold of your determination to serve Him. If you would serve Him, you, too, must begin your sacrifice right here. He says,
"If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me." You need not think you are following Him if you are not doing this.
Young man, young woman, you want to get on and up in this life, and this is a laudable ambition, but I tell you God's own truth, when I say that if you will get up in this world in any business or in any profession, you will do it, and you will only do it, by following the example that Jesus set in accomplishing His purpose in life.
The first step in getting up, along the line of any business whatsoever is in a determination to sacrifice all personal ease and comfort for the time at least. If you do not do this you may rest assured that ruin in the last days will stare you in the face. I heard the other day of two young men who had ten thousand dollars left them. They formed a partnership and invested eight thousand in a certain business, fitted up an office in a style fit only for a millionaire, and not for any one less, hired two book-keepers to keep their books for them, put several men in the shop, and then they dressed up in elegant style to keep company with the style of their office, and sat down to wait for trade. There was the very incarnation of ease and comfort, but there was also the very incarnation of that which makes for a fool and failure. No wonder that they failed in business in less than six months and had to take their place as day laborers in the same business where they had put on so much style.
If they had commenced at the foot, and had been willing to sacrifice comfort at the start, they might have been successful business men and found their ease farther on. This is but the story of thousands of wrecked lives. Young man, whether you choose to be a business man or a lawyer or a doctor or a minister, remember at the start that you will not succeed unless you sacrifice where Jesus sacrificed and put your ease and comfort on the cross and let it die.
To you who have named the name of Jesus as your Master, this must come with full force. Over and over again, you have said you would be like Him. Over and over, you have said you were about your Father's business. Here you have an opportunity of trying to do as He did and thus imitate His example. At the beginning of your Christian life, are you willing to sacrifice ease and comfort that you may be like Him? And yet how many excuses we hear on the part of the church for not serving Him better; excuses which from a business standpoint would not be considered for a moment. Think of Jesus saying when asked to do something for the Father, that He did not feel like it, or that it was too hot, or too cold, or that John would not do as he should and He would not do anything unless he did.
Oh, where has the spirit of sacrifice gone? Woe, woe unto them who are at ease in Zion! "A little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more folding of the hands to sleep; so shall thy poverty come upon thee as one that travaileth and thy want as an armed man. Oh, my friend, let us not hear anything more of what you have sacrificed for Jesus until you can say with Him that you have not where to lay your head. Let us not hear anything more of what you have suffered for Him until you feel the weight of the cross upon your shoulders. Let us not hear anything more of what you have paid in money for His sake until you have given until you feel it.
Shame, shame, shame, upon the Christian church, which has taken so much of the spirit of the age to itself as to know nothing of what sacrifice means. Think of making a success of any earthly purpose with the little effort, we will not dignify it by the name of sacrifice, you are making to make your life in Jesus a success.
And what do you think He thinks about it? Listen. "He that loveth father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son and daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." This is what He thinks. To be worthy of Him will take all there is of us; but to be unworthy, oh, who can tell the pain! But how many judged by this test are worthy of Him this day? Have we not somehow received a wrong idea of what it means to follow Jesus? Have we not the idea of being saved by justification without works, tangled up with the idea of His service, and are we not thinking that we can serve Him by justification without works? Are we not thinking that inasmuch as we are to appropriate the character of the Christ that we may stand before the Father without spot or blemish or any such thing and this by faith, that some how faith will take the place of discipleship, and that if our faith be strong we shall have no need of works ?
Before Scottish Common Sense Realism, the evidence of regeneration was the fruit of the Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25).
Scottish Common Sense Realism made believing Scripture and the “Eureka!” moment the initial evidence of “saving faith” with de facto regeneration. So now, after 100 years of salvation being just believing Scripture, good works have to be put back in by psychological manipulation…the imitation of Christ as a psychological law, the same law that the apostle Paul said to the Galatians they left when they received the Holy Spirit, because the fruit of the Holy Spirit, “ against such there is no law”.
Hinman asks, “Have we not somehow received a wrong idea of what it means to follow Jesus?” Yes. After 100 years of Scottish Common Sense Realism, the imitation of Christ is necessary, because people do not “live in the Spirit”, do not, “walk in the Spirit”.
O you foolish Scottish Common Sense Realist! You did not begin in the Holy Spirit and now you are trying to be perfected by the flesh (Galatians 3:3).
Have we not forgotten that faith will always show itself by works and that if we have no works the Bible says we have no faith? Have we not a wrong idea of prayer? Are we not thinking to do all things by prayer? That prayer will carry on the Lord's work; that it will fill a church; preach sermons; give us character; save souls; build churches; revolutionize a community; carry on missions; take our place at prayer meeting; feed the poor; right wrongs without our asking any forgiveness; Christianize the masses; clothe us; educate us; give us a complete knowledge of spiritual things; read our Bibles for us; teach us its doctrines; bear our crosses; and in short make this earth a veritable Heaven for us in which we are to do nothing, but that we are to have white-winged and unseen angels do our work for us? And yet we should have learned ere this that while prayer is a wonderful power, it will never do for us in things secular and no more in things religious what we can do or ourselves.
Going through the motions of being a saint was the Scottish Common Sense Realism psychological remedy for the absence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If a person didn’t become a new creature in Christ when they made a decision for Christ, it wasn’t because they were never supernaturally regenerated and never indwelt by the Holy Spirit…they just needed to do those things the minister told them to do to exhibit “implicit faith”. Implicit faith is the Scottish Common Sense Realsim remedy for the absence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Implicit faith, or what Hinman calls “seen faith”, is the man-mechanical faith substitute for God-relational faith whereby the branch bears fruit because it is in the Vine.
Jesus spent much time in prayer, but it did not prevent Him going about doing good; it did not take the place of His sacrifice of ease and comfort; it did not take the place of the crown of thorns, or of the cross. I feel ashamed when I think how languidly we are serving Him. It makes one feel small to think of what Jesus gave up of ease and comfort for us and then think of how little, if anything, we have given up for Him. Jesus had one illustrious example in a follower who seems to me to have been worthy of his Master.
Often I turn to the record of what he endured and read for comfort and inspiration, when it seems as tho' I had burdens to carry. I never read that without feeling small. Let me rehearse it for your benefit that you, too, may see what one who followed Jesus did, that he might accomplish his purpose : " Are they ministers of Christ ? I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes, save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings, often in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren ; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches."
How Paul must smile to hear some of us talk of being tired and needing vacations and of making sacrifices. And yet this follower of Jesus sings out as he thinks of finishing his work and of the reward which waits at the end, " For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the in ward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, (think of Paul talking of his light affliction,) which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
This one took up his cross and followed his Master. How grand it looks as we look back at it now. No wonder that this one finished his work too, and that his name has never been forgotten by posterity. Put that same devotion into your work, my friend, and altho' you may not have Paul's ability, you will do a work which will astonish you.
Suppose for the time that the spirit of Jesus and the spirit of Paul should take possession of this church and of you, what do you think we could not do before this year shall end? And what we can do, but tells us what we ought to do, and may God help us to do it. Did you mean, my Christian friend, what you said the other day, when you said you wanted to be like Jesus and that this was your greatest desire? Show then your desire by your works. Not only will the measure of your purpose tell you how much of a sacrifice you must make to accomplish it, but the sacrifice you are making will tell the world how great a purpose you have in living.
As you can measure the purpose of Jesus by the wonderful sacrifice He made, so you can measure yours. And again, you can see how great an estimate you have made of your purpose in living by the sacrifice you are making. And now if you meant what you said, in wanting to be like Jesus, here is a chance for you to begin to imitate Him, by the sacrifice of ease and comfort that you may do His work. Try it this week and see how well it works. When night comes and you do not feel like coming out to the evening service, remember how He sacrificed His ease and comfort that you might be saved and come, perhaps your example this very night may save a soul.
When Thursday evening comes around and it is stormy and you are tempted to stay at home, think that He gave His life as a ransom for many, and that you can do no better than to give your life wholly to Him, and come along, perhaps your presence may give some one courage to do His work too. And so on, when you are tempted to leave His work undone because of some necessary sacrifice of ease and comfort think of His example and make the sacrifice, knowing that before you lies the reward of having your work done at last.
"Light after darkness, Gain after loss, Strength after weakness, Crown after cross; Sweet after bitter, Hope after fears, Home after wandering, Praise after tears. Sheaves after sowing, Sun after rain, Sight after mystery, Peace after pain; Joy after sorrow, Calm after blast, Rest after weariness, Sweet rest at last. Near after distant. Gleam after gloom, Love after loneliness, Life after tomb; After long agony. Rapture of bliss, Right was the pathway, Leading to this."
THE SACRIFICE DEMANDED BY A PURPOSE.
Text: Mark 10:45. “For the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,"
Scottish Common Sense Realism was a rational explanation of the Why God did what He did and how God does what He does. The need of a bloody sacrifice for man’s sin bothers Scottish Common Sense Realists because it makes God look like He made a mistake that requires an unsophisticated remedy. One way of improving the embarrassing bloody sacrifice was to make its application less arbitrary by tying it’s effectiveness to the understanding of its significance. That is the primary reason Scottish Common Sense Realist emphasized the imitation of Christ and not living from Christ .
Imitation is self-fulfilling. That is to say, you get out what you put in. There is no mystical component that gives more grace to some than others.
A model for imitation is nearly a necessity in every sphere of life's activities. The school lad with his copy book, the builder with his architectural plans are fair examples of humanity at large. That remarkable creature who needs no plans in life, who looks to no one for measurement, whose own fertile brain discovers and originates its models in fields secular and religious, who asks no odds of any man, though often proclaimed, is never to be found on searching. No such person exists. There never was but one such. There will be no duplicate. If models are needed in every department of living except in the realm of morals, think you that in this field there should be an exception?
Scottish Common Sense Realism replaced “by grace yea are saved” with “grace is a change of mind, so if you have a change of mind you have grace”. Imitation, not the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit is the agent of change.
You may think so, but God does not. In the midst of the years He has set up a standard that the world might know how to live rightly. He gave us no law which could not be worked over into life, and that we might understand this, He turned the righteousness of Heaven into life incarnate in flesh and blood, and placed it here on earth.
Through the book of flesh we can now translate the morals of Heaven, so that we are without excuse for not knowing them, and on that ground God commandeth man everywhere to repent. There is no use for farther quibble over what is right in morals. The principles have become flesh and dwelt among us, and we have beheld their glory as of the only begotten Son of God. Thank God for this model of righteousness!
Oh, how restless this cease lesssearching after the right way to build character! Not knowing, having searched, that you have found the way, the truth, the life! Impelled by an intuitional conviction that there is a right way somewhere! Coming at last to something you think will make for righteousness, but which, alas, turns out not to work well, and is useless! And then you discover that you have been making character all the while you have been searching, and that that character is fixed. This awful fact that character will not wait in its formation, but that from babyhood to old age it is forming for weal or woe, argues with the weight of Heaven for an understanding on the threshold of life, what makes for righteousness.
But the necessity for searching has gone by forever. The model in righteousness has come, and has stood the crucical gaze of nineteen centuries. This model appeals to you today, this God incarnate, this Jesus, the Christ; He challenges your investigation and invites your imitation.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30) has been replaced with “Imitate Me and you will be saved”.
The last sermon delivered to you on The Imitation of Jesus, was on, "The Sacrifice Demanded by a Purpose." But one point was presented and that was that Jesus sacrificed His personal ease and comfort that He might accomplish his purpose and so should we, if our purposes are accomplished. Beginning where the subject was left we present to you some additional points on the same general and special theme.
Second : Jesus sacrificed all display for personal aggrandizement, that He might accomplish the end for which He came into the world. As the new born consciousness
Hinman thinks Jesus had a “Eureka!” moment just like his “converts” had in the Inquiry Room. “New Born consciousness” means 51% of mind converted headed for 52% of mind converted to serve God over self.
comes to Him, after the baptism of the Holy Ghost descends upon Him at the Jordan, that He is none other than God incarnate, His humanity was immediately attacked at one of the weakest points, a love of display for personal gain. He understood this weakness of humanity better than we can ever know it and He knew that popularity immediate and on a grander scale than had ever been known before or would ever be known again, could be His, by exercising His power along this line.
What could He not do for the astonishment of the world. Right here the devil enters into the contest and offers the suggestion that He go back to the temple at Jerusalem, climb to the highest pinnacle and cast Himself down. It would be a grand sight and such an one as no one had ever witnessed. No juggler of the East had such power as He, and here He could surpass them all. This would appeal to the weakness of the world and He would immediately gain a following of tremendous proportions.
Ah, how wily the devil is. He knew well that if he could get Jesus the Christ to start out on a career of astonishing the world with His newly acquired powers, for personal ends, that he would completely overthrow all the plans of Heaven for the salvation of the world. But this temptation does not disturb the mind of our Heavenly Model long.
Hinman believes that the “Eureka!” moment is faith that can work miracles. Not just that faith is a component of relationship with God, or faith is the means of communication with God’s leading, but that faith ITSELF is the power to work miracles.
He turns and says to the tempter, "It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." After that it comes to Him no more as a temptation, and we see no act of His which can be condemned as a display of power for personal ends. No miracle which He performed came under this head. Those which He performed were to certify to His Heavenly mission and to enable Him to carry on the great work for which He came into the world.
Over and over again the people would give Him occasion to manifest His powers simply for display, and that their desire for something novel might be granted, but He yields to none. Herod, so we read, was glad that Jesus was to be brought before him that he might see some sign of wonder done by Him, but Jesus did not grant him so much as a word of wonder.
We can scarcely realize what this form of temptation meant to the Master. But we can understand somewhat of its force. It is out ward display more than intrinsic value which leads the world. Not that the world of humanity, ourselves included, do not ultimately come to recognize the worth of true values and follow, after a fashion, in that wake, but we are swayed to and fro and run farthest and fastest after those things which are outward and full of display, rather than after those things which make for true worth.
Do you say this is a libel on human nature? You had better not say that in the city of Auburn. A city where the finest kind of a literary entertainment, be it lecture or something else, must go begging for listeners, while every circus tent, be it a ten cent show or fifty cent one, is crowded to its utmost capacity. The temptation of Jesus was to cast Himself down from an eminence that He might, in the presence of a multitude because of His superhuman power, descend without harm to Himself to the wonder and astonishment of the spectators which would have been a great wonder. This, some of you can appreciate, who have gone so far and endured so much and have waited so long to see a man descend in a parachute from some great height.
But not once does He use His omnipotent power for selfish purposes or vain glory.
Not only does He not use His power for vain glory in this lowest of departments where but little of real value to the world is to be seen, but in every department of life, He refuses to interfere with the natural course of civilization, or to wrest from the brow of some future generation the laurel wreath of fame, although He might seem to have been justified in so doing and thereby gain to himself among all classes great renown.
You never find Jesus doing anything directly, outside of the accomplishing the one purpose for which He came. But there is no advance in science or philosophy but what was known to Him. He could have told us of other worlds, of the regular movements of the systems, of the place of comets, the origin and mystery of the sun's heat, of just how the light came to this earth. He could have unlocked the secrets of the earth and settled the final problems of geology.
Hinman was a child of the Gilded Age. It was the commonly held belief that science would answer every question, including the origin of man. Hinman was an “educated” minister who interpreted the Bible according to the latest theories of science.
It was within His power to declare the true relation of spirit to matter and to have left a system of psychology which would have rendered the work of DeCartes, Leibnitz or Kant silly and useless.
Scottish Common Sense Realism equated man’s spirit with man’s higher mind and man’s soul with man’s lower mind. But Hinman refers here to spirit as non-corporal and matter as corporal.
It was possible for Him to have caused Palestine and Egypt to have been connected with steam car and steamship, to have traversed the city of cities with electric cars, and to have lighted its streets with electric lights. He could have set the steam in its mighty haste to crystallize the news of the day in all the cities of the east—but enough, suffice it to say, while the imagination might run riot here, Jesus could have anticipated every discovery or invention of all times and could justly have claimed the honor for them all, but here He is most silent. It sometimes seems that it would have been a profit to the world should He have done this, but He who knows the times and the seasons best sends thro' some human instrumentality those discoveries and inventions which are timely in the age in which they come, and to man He gives the glory of the discovery or invention.
Notice the social gospel a priori basis for what Hinman believes of science – he assumes that science is the handmaiden of the Lord. There is never any doubt that man is evolving upward as God uses “human instrumentality” to change the world for the better.
To pause a moment in our thought, is it not strange that so many honor more those who discover what God has wrought, than the God that wrought them? But what lesson does He teach us through His silence here? Is this silence golden for us? Yes, if we will listen to it, golden beyond the weight of worlds. What is the lesson? Certainly not, that we should not exercise our powers to their fullest capacity in the departments of invention, discovery and speculation but certainly yes, that we should never do what we do simply for display or for vain glory or selfish aggrandizement.
It would have been of no particular value to the age in which He lived to have given it the knowledge which we now possess; it might have been exceedingly harmful. It would simply have added to His fame for the time, and would have satisfied the curiosity of the public. Not much beyond this.
And this is our lesson from His second temptation. As you come to study human nature, as you see it manifested in yourself, as you come to study and analyze your own motives for your every deed, are you not discouraged with yourself? Are you not disgusted? Have you not seen that the great mass of our deeds are done for display, for vainglory? Examine yourself in the one item of dress. What is the first idea in your mind when you purchase your dress or coat? To get that which is in good taste and comfortable and within your means, or to get something which will surpass your fellows, which will attract attention and give you for the time a certain distinction?
In your laudable desire to get up and on in this life what is the motive which guides you? Simply self aggrandizement and vainglory, or are you after true values by which you can make yourself better and useful to the world in which you live.
I heard of two young men the other day who lived in a small community and had finally decided to start out in life for themselves. This certainly was a laudable ambition, but the motive which was on the mind of the young men was brought out when one of them said, "I tell you what, when we once get a start in life we will get some plug hats and come back here and make these people stare." How much of that motive" to make the people stare," has entered into your ambition?
I know a man over sixty years of age who, when a boy, was poor and consequently became the butt of ridicule to certain brainless fops who drove fast horses and whose industrious fathers had left them rich. This poor young man formed a resolution in his early days, to go away from home and work hard until he became rich and then he would come home riding in a barouche finer than that town had ever seen. He went away and many years after he became rich. I saw him start out to fulfill the purpose of his life and he drove a barouche finer than that town had ever seen, but he was a disappointed old man.
How many of us have left our homes under some similar impulse. A noted college professor of thirty years experience once said to me, that he believed that seventy-five percent. of all college students came to college for the sole idea of going through for the name of it rather than for the true value of the mental development. I do not endorse that statement by quoting it, but he was wiser than I and had a right to speak.
Oh, humanity, great are thy ruins! This is an age of looking-glasses and decorations; of hypocrisy and deceit. During the exhibition of a traveling menagerie and circus in a Virginian town, the painted clown is said to have delivered the following oration: "We have taken in six hundred dollars here today—more money I venture to say than any minister of the gospel in this community would receive for a whole year's services. A large portion of this money was given by church members, and a large portion of this audience is made up of members of the church. When your preacher asks you to aid in supporting the gospel, you are too poor to give anything. Yet you come here and pay dollars to hear me talk nonsense. I am a fool because I am paid for it; I make my living by it. You profess to be wise, and yet you support me in my folly. But perhaps you say you did not come to see the circus, but the animals. If you came to see the animals, why did you not simply look at them and leave? Now is not this a pretty place for Christians to be in? Do you not feel ashamed of yourselves? You ought to blush in such a place as this."
It is facetiously added that the sensation following a speech like this, in such a place, from such a speaker, may be imagined. The local clergy availed themselves of the spirit thus produced; a religious revival was attempted and a collection for foreign missions resulted in the sum of $4.50. Humanity follows the show, the farce, the acting, and leaves the real, the valuable, the true to take care of itself. May God save us! What does our self-examination teach us? That we are more prone to spend our energy for display and vainglory and to follow hard after those things which make for a show in life, than we are to strive to make the most of our lives along the line of true values for the accomplishing of our purpose in living.
This makes our living a hollow mockery and turns us all into a hypocritical society. What does the example of Jesus teach us? That if we accomplish our purpose in living we shall have to sacrifice, if indeed it can be called a sacrifice, our love for display and show which after all brings nothing but dissatisfaction in the end, and to make our lives conform to the example set us while Jesus lived among men.
The imitation of Christ is necessary when the character is not changed by regeneration. When “converts” are not in the Vine, they can not produce fruit.
The most brilliant spectacle a man or woman can make is to make their lives real and earnest for Jesus' sake; to let the things seen be a sure indicator of things unseen; to spend their energies for the things which are of full value. There is no satisfaction to be gained in this centering of all things on ones self; this pomp and display and show to attract attention to yourself; this peacock strutting among your fellows, saying as loud as anything can say it, see how handsome I am and how easily I surpass you all. God has written it in His law of nature that one will be the most happy and the best loved who forgets himself and lives that others may live happy; who uses the powers God has given him in developing himself along the way of the real and true for the good of humanity.
If we live this way there will be less unhappy homes, there will be more happy lives, there will be less charge of hypocrisy against the church. It is said that in Japan they decorate the back side of their furniture as well as the front, while in English lands only the front side receives attention. Oh, my friend, let us decorate the inside of our lives. Let us make the soul shine and you may rest assured that some way it will shine through this covering and decorate the outside of us with the brilliancy of Heaven.
Hinman believes “seen faith”, that is, good works, makes otherwise vain faith into genuine faith. This is the psychological theory called “truth to power”, a technique of “self-realization”. The problem is, unless the “convert” has been supernaturally regenerated and indwelt with the Holy Spirit, it is all vanity, no matter what his state of mind. The apostle Paul said, “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). The love of God is shed abroad in the hearts of saints by the Holy Spirit given to them (Romans 5:5). The love of God is not shed abroad in the hearts of the unregenerate. All the “truth to power” mental exercises are useless without supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
We are going on dress parade one of these days. We shall come up before all nations. We shall stand in the light of the eternal throne of God. The gaze of every eye will be upon us; the eye of the past, present and future of every generation which has lived or will live upon this earth; the eye of all Heaven. The husk of eternal things will have been thrown aside and the naked soul will be open to view.
Then you will be seen as you are and with not a shadow of a leaf to hide your shame. Live with this fact before you. Lay aside your hypocritical mask and let the real, the true, the good be triumphant. Then you will have nothing to fear at that last great day. Do not jump from the pinnacle of any temple to be seen of men, but walk firmly on the ground and use your God-given powers for the great purpose of your life and for nothing farther. God grant that some sweet day even in this life, the friendly grasp of the hand will not only seem friendship, but mean friendship, and that the flag we fly at our mast will indicate the true sentiment under which we sail.
“All hail. O Nature, true! For thou hast written through Fountain and stream; On bursting bud and flower, In wood and shady bower, And on each golden hour. To be and not to seem. But in the world of thought, Where that which seems is sought, And baubles gleam; Is stamped on every deed, Where the impetus is greed, And glittering fancies lead. Not to be but seem Then let our chorus ring,
As we take up the theme Of Him Supreme; And live it in our lives, While each to the prize arrives, As he continually strives To be and not to seem. “
Brethren, over and over again the world has heard you say that you wanted to be like Jesus, and that you were endeavoring to be like Him day by day. Did you mean what you said? If so, in what way are you trying to imitate Him? To make the way very specific so that you may not be mistaken is the object of this series of sermons; it is one thing to say you want to be like Jesus, and to follow Him in some indefinite way without knowledge of just how He lived to bring out before the world the true principle of true living, and it is quite another thing to so grow in the knowledge of His living as that you can and do follow closely the principles upon which He acted; as you get the knowledge, you are under the highest obligation to imitate it, to put it into practice at once and for all time, and you will be held accountable for what you have known, and what you might know of the way of life.
Hinman is stating the “truth to power” theory of self-realization.
Outward appearances often reveal inward depravity. Jesus Christ said, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37).
When you take His words in the context of the New Testament, you understand He is not saying “speak good words, and it will make your heart good”. But that is what Hinman believes to be true. Of course, psychology is all Hinman has to work with, since he does not believe in supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
This life is more serious than you think. It will not be over in three score years and ten. It will never end. The arc of the circle along which you move here, will indicate most truly the orbit of your soul yonder and forever. As you can determine from an arc of a circle its circumference and diameter, so you can take the arc of your life here and demonstrate most clearly the circumference and diameter of the space you will occupy when time shall be no more. And the serious and awful part of it is that you are now constructing that arc. Take the arc of the life Jesus lived and learn to move along that line and your circle will circumscribe Heaven and its diameter will be through the gate of pearl, across the river of life and the sea of glass, and before the great white throne.
Let me recapitulate what we have learned thus far of the arc of His life here. He was perfect man, through God incarnate, and thus it is possible for us to imitate His life. He came into this life God-sent and for a definite purpose, and so have you come into this life God-sent, and for a definite purpose. His purpose was to do His Father's business, and so is yours. That He might do this, He sacrificed ease and comfort, and refused to use the powers which were His for selfish aggrandizement and vainglory, and so must you. Will you do it? Imitating Jesus? I wonder how much of His likeness He sees in us? I wonder how much the world knows of Him by seeing Him through our daily life? God grant that they may see more of Him through us than they have thus far. He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. Here is the key-note for action.
Hinman’s “truth to power” imitation of Christ is “another gospel”. Compare his psychological view of “saving faith to what the Bible says:
“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:5-9).
MANLINESS IN CHRISTLIKENESS
Text: Matthew 6:33. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness."
Whosoever there may be who thinks that it is not a manly thing to be a Christian and to imitate Jesus in their living, does not know what Christianity means and is not acquainted with the Christ of history.
This is too funny for words. It is Hinman does not know what Christianity means. The imitation of Christ is merely a psychological device. Regeneration is a supernatural change of character and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Unless God changes the heart, the “convert” is not saved. The following sermon sounds like Billy Sunday, who admitted that he knew as much about theology as a rabbit knows about ping pong.
What do you mean by manliness, anyway? We use so many terms in our every day conversation whose real meaning we do not understand that this may be one of them. To the mind of a growing multitude, manliness and Christianity, as interpreted by the life of Jesus, are synonymous. Do you think it is a manly thing to take the name of God in vain? Do you think it is manly to lie and steal and to let the lowest passions run riot? Do you think it is a manly thing to oppress the sick and the afflicted, to beat down the weak and laud the strong? Do you think it a manly thing to get drunk and abuse your family and your friends? Do you think it manly to bet and gamble and overreach in your accounts? Do you think it a manly thing to run down the Christian religion and swear at the Bible and blaspheme your mother's God?
Hinman thinks a true “convert” could “run down the Christian religion and swear at the Bible and blaspheme” because his definition of regeneration is merely when a person has enough “truth impressions” to start serving God over self, with no indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Hinman’s progressive salvation starts with a person who is 51% convinced, on the way to being 52% convinced.
If you do, I can understand why you think it an unmanly thing to be a Christian and why you reject the claims of the life of Jesus, the Christ. If you do not, I cannot understand your opposition. Can you explain it? One trouble is, that we have the means which are being used for arriving at the stature of Jesus, all tangled up with that stature. There is a vast difference between the means used for coming at some end, and the end to which you would come. It may be all right for you to reach Syracuse, but it would be all wrong for you to go on the Southern Central southward to reach that city. And just because some one has made a mistake and gone southward to reach Syracuse, are you going to say that it is all wrong for you to go to Syracuse? Nonsense! And yet because many have thought that the way some have gone to reach the measure of the stature of the God-man was wrong, they have loudly proclaimed that the stature was not manly, and that it was out of harmony with Nature's law. Nonsense!
It is not to my way of reaching the stature of Jesus, I would call your attention, but to the stature. It is not to my neighbor s interpretation of what Christianity is, that I would call your attention, but to Christianity. Who cares how you attain the character of Jesus if you only reach it. There is so much of the massing of our forces against method these days, and all other days if you please, that we loose sight of the end to be reached by the method, or some method. What do we care about the looks of the skin of a cocoanut, if it only environs a sound nut, and we want the meat.
There is a slang phrase used much these days in vulgar conversation that has been born of the American spirit and is full of meaning, and that is, "get there." It is the getting there, that we Americans care about. It is the getting there we desire to emphasize in all our efforts to make you a Christian. Sail in that bark you like best, under any banner you may choose, only see to it that you arrive at the sure destination, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Oh, how much time is wasted, and how many foolish volumes are written, and how much foolish opposition is aroused, all over the means and not at all over the end!
It is not my Presbyterianism I present to you and ask you to imitate. It is not my brother's Methodism or Baptistism and so forth, that he presents to you for your imitation, but Jesus the Christ, the embodiment of Christianity and the perfection of manliness. I challenge you this morning to define true manliness in its highest sense without consciously or unconsciously describing Jesus, the carpenter's son. I point you to the lofty summit of a mountain and I tell you that if you will climb that mountain and wait until morning comes, you will see one of the most glorious sunrises you have ever witnessed.
It is not the pathway along which I have gone that is essential, that you may reach the summit and behold the sunrise, but that you reach the summit and see the sunrise. Notice that the means to the end must receive some attention. You immediately ask me the way to reach the summit and I tell you that I reached the summit so and so, but if you can find some other way, it may even be better than mine, I care not; only reach the summit. And now, when you say that it is not a manly thing to imitate Jesus and become a Christian, in the sense of becoming Christlike, I want to say that it is not Jesus' life you are referring to at all, but to some misconception of Him gained by confusing the way some take of reaching Him, and the way some act after they say they have arrived at His stature, with the life itself Study Him and imitate Him and you will be manly in its highest and Heaven-born sense.
This seemingly natural antipathy which some young men have against Christianity, may be due to the grievous mistakes and misconceptions which certain grand, and yet somewhat misguided Christians, have had of the right way to imitate Jesus? There has been a very strong sentiment kept alive in some mysterious way, that has loudly proclaimed that it was un-Christian and un-Christ-like to play ball and croquette and lawn tennis, to run races or see horses driven at their speed, to romp, or shout, or laugh, or even to whistle especially on Sunday. I remember arising one beautiful Sunday morning when a little lad, and feeling remarkably happy and quite in sympathy with the day. I came down stairs whistling out the joy of my heart, praising God in my way as the birds did in theirs, when an over-zealous person, who was then living in our family, and as good a Christian as ever lived too, set my ears to ringing, not with Heavenly melody, and at one stroke of her palm away went whistle, joy, reverence and all, and I was transformed into a little heathen, at one blow.
Thank God for a mother who told me privately, that while this person was a very good woman, she might be mistaken after all, and that it might not be so distasteful to God, if I did imitate the birds a little, if I was not too loud about it.
Have the boys not been taught that it was not Christ like to be boys, and that because there was no record of Jesus' boyhood days, we must jump from babyhood and swaddling clothes to full fledged manhood?
Hinman, who does not believe in the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit giving “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17), tries to “humanize” the gospel by making it more palatable to unregenerate man.
No wonder that the boys have taken to the woods, while the devil has captured all the boys' fun and made it vile by mixing it with sin, and that he is now using it for bait to capture them and dam their souls. Boys are boys. That may seem to be plain, but it needs emphasis.
Then the boys, having been robbed of their fun, have been taught, that the only way to be Christ- like was to go to prayer meeting, read their bibles, attend church services and Sunday school, and be old men. They were so taught, that they confounded Christlikeness with the means used for attaining that likeness. Instead of being taught that Christlikeness consisted in character, in being good, they have been taught that it consisted in church services, and in not being happy.
Oh let us teach the boys the truth; that they are to go to church to learn how to be Christlike, attend prayer meeting for the same purpose; they are to read their bibles to find out just how in character to be like their Master. That a Bible and a base ball bat, or lawn tennis racket, or a bag of marbles, go well together. I dare say, that they will learn in time to love the prayer meeting, and the church, and their Bibles, and will learn, what many have not, to make a discrimination between games and sin, and thus to see that they do not get mixed.
It is not the pack of cards which is sinful, but gambling. It is not base ball which is sinful, but fighting and betting. Let the church wrest from the hand of the devil that he has wrested from the domain of the pleasureable and moral and save the boys.
This past week there have been from five hundred to one thousand boys and young men assembled at Mr. Moody's home at Northfield. They have been studying the Bible and methods of Christian work every forenoon under the best teachers this country affords. Every afternoon the study has been laid aside and baseball, lawn tennis and games of many description have been the rule, and Mr. Moody has been the largest boy of them all.
Thank God the boy's day has at last come and our motto is: The Young Men for Christ. The length and character of this introduction will be excused, when we realize the bearing it has on our theme: that it is not only manly to be Christlike, but that His likeness is the only manly likeness worthy of the name of model. If you can keep that before the world and make them see it, you have won the day.
Let us get a correct understanding of what Christlikeness means, and then we shall realize, I think, that the manly thing to do, is to be like Him. Thus far in our course, we have found, that Jesus set before Him one purpose, and that that was an all consuming one. Is there any lack of manliness about that? We have seen that He sacrificed His own ease and comfort, that He might attain that purpose.
Is there anything unmanly about that? On the other hand, does it not embody the very essence of success in any undertaking? Is it not just the manly way of doing business? Again, we have learned that He would not use His powers for show or vainglory. There is nothing unmanly here. Indeed you will have to travel this way if you get on and up in life. There is something about His character and life as we have seen it thus far, that is so heroic that it makes the blood tingle and makes one feel that it was not all weakness and sentiment which characterized that life.
May we learn to love Him more and more as the weeks go on. Today I call your attention to the third temptation of His life, and one which brings out most clearly, that He sacrificed earthly and temporal power to attain the purpose of ransoming a world. The grandeur and magnificence of His sacrifice here can scarcely be comprehended. As a last resort the adversary brings before Jesus in vision, the kingdoms of the earth and promises to transfer them to Him, if He will only fall down and worship him.
We must continually bear in mind that Jesus was man, as well as God, and that He was susceptible to just this temptation. Then we must bear in mind that He was equally God and had all power in His hands, as He afterward declared, and could have centralized the kingdoms of the world into one central kingdom of which He should be the head. We must also bear in mind that such a course might have been justifiable if it had not conflicted with the one aim in view, the ransoming of a lost world.
The secret of Jesus Christ’s success on earth was his relationship with His Father. He never said or did anything unless the Father told him to say and do it. This is the opposite of the standard of manliness that Hinman holds. Carnal manliness is self-control, not being led of the Holy Spirit. Carnal manliness is setting an agenda and sticking with it, not praying every morning for guidance so you can walk in the Holy Spirit throughout the day.
Hinman’s idea of christlikeness is becoming a Crusader, not a martyr. Crusaders do not turn the other cheek. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:7).
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are not overcome by having a goal and principles to live by, but by being led of the Holy Spirit. Satan is real, and only those who are one spirit with God (1 Corinthians 6:17) will be saved.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).
There would have been no sin in an universal empire, but to have done this would have been to have thrown away the very mission upon which He comes into the world. How can we get this stupendous fact into our limited minds? We have clothed Jesus with supernatural power so long, that we can scarcely comprehend that there were any human elements entering into His character.
Suppose that there was some young man in the city of Auburn with whom we are well acquainted. He has before him an idea that by his own efforts he can reclaim all the drunkards in the city, and he dedicates his life to that work. As he goes on about his work there is offered to him the governorship of the state of New York. He looks the ground over carefully and sees that he can not be governor and accomplish his mission of saving lost humanity. He deliberately lays aside the proffered honor, although he well knows that along the pathway of his mission he will scarcely gain any recognition of his services, but an abundance of abuse and shame. What would you say of the sacrifice? You might say he was foolish, and I think the world would agree with you. And yet suppose that no one could do this work but he, what then?
With this example before you, carry it up until you get in your mind this larger example. Here is a Man about thirty years of age, whose life thus far has been a very unpretentious one. Whose out look on the world, as far as His taking any prominent part in it, was very limited as far as His neighbors could judge. Now there has come to Him the full consciousness that there has been put into His hands the fullness of power, that He- can make His life what He will, and that He can exercise as much power as He may choose in the affairs of the world.
No wonder in that forty days of solitude there comes to Him the many things He might do, and might become. No wonder the temptation comes to Him to exercise His powers by the way of temporal dominion. His own love for His race would lead Him to desire to release His people from their bondage to Rome. The natural and legitimate emotions and ambitions of the human race for dominion would lead Him to desire to set up a temporal or earthly kingdom whose limits should be the confines only of the discovered and undiscovered world.
Along this pathway there is worldly honor and glory beyond the greatest of the world's best On the other hand if He sets about to deliver the world from sin; to ransom them from the dominion of Satan; to open before them the gates of an Heavenly Paradise, His own friends will call Him a fool and His enemies will be multiplied beyond count. The very ones He seeks to save will spit upon Him, crown Him with thorns, and within four years crucify Him between two thieves.
Which pathway will He take? If you had known of that conflict going on in that desert place, what would you have said would have been the outcome? Think of how Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Wellington, Washington and Grant have been honored and how their names stir up deep emotions as we read of their marvelous exploits. And then think that their deeds and their power and consequently their honor is not a beginning in comparison to the exploits and honor which this One would have achieved and won if he had chosen to lay aside His one purpose, and chosen in its stead a universal dominion.
Then which, do you think, would have gained the victory in the wilderness? I want you to think of it, young man, you who have thought there was something weak in the Master's life work. And I want you to think of it, oh man, you who have decried the religion which He has established as one for old women and young children.
The battle in that wilderness was the greatest battle this world has ever seen, and there were larger issues resting on it, than on any other conflict with which we of this world are familiar. No wonder it lasted forty days. But it is at last ended. deliberately this Man lays aside all thoughts of temporal reign or universal earthly dominion and accepts the crown of thorns and the cross that He may redeem a world. He will worship no devil, He will yield to no wrong, but He will save a soul from sin.
If that one act was not the very essence of manly heroism, where will you find it? The magnificence of that sacrifice has never been approached. No wonder that angels come and minister unto Him and that He comes back into Galilee in the power of the Spirit ready for His work. Wherefore He has a name which is above every name and He is set down at the right hand of the Father on high, and therefore He has established a kingdom which shall have no end and which shall take in all Heaven at last.
But where is the lesson for us? No temptation of universal dominion is set before us? No! It is not to the size of the battle, but to the character of it, our attention is directed. In miniature we have these same battles to fight; every life has its own wilderness, and every one will come forth either a conqueror, or conquered.
Thereafter you will walk in the power of the Spirit or you will walk in the communion of darkness.
When Hinman says, “walk in the power of the Holy Spirit”, he means, “walk according to goal and principles found in the written Word of God”.
Which shall it be? God grant that we shall come forth victorious, having angels our ministering spirits and God our friend.
There are specific lessons for us here, and lessons which breath all the earnestness of Heaven. In the first place, no magnitude of profit can release us from the pathway of duty. No matter how small the duty, or how large the profit. If size of gain could have justified any one for leaving the line of duty it would have justified Jesus in so doing. There are no little duties in this life work. Profit can never be weighed against duty. First settle in your mind whether a thing is your duty or not and if it be, the gates of hell must not prevail against it. Everything which would prevail against it is from the gates of hell. If this one lesson would only be heeded what a different world this would be.
If this one lesson would be heeded by all, or by a few, all of the time, in Calvary church, what a different church we would have. It would not be long before what seems to be a duty would have blossomed into love and the pathway of duty would cease to be irksome. How the Lord's work would prosper then. But here as elsewhere, we find those who have taken their vows at God's altar to be faithful to the interests of the work of the Lord in this particular place, casting their vows and their word to the winds, deserting the pathway of duty, and for what? Oh, my fellow man, what do you think the Lord thinks of such? What think you are the emotions of that Jesus who gave up all things for you as he sees you, for worldly gain of some character, or because of some prejudice, or some whim, or for some spite, turning right away from your work which He has committed to your keeping and letting it rot! Remember that for all such there is a judgment day and a time of reckoning; that there will be a day when this same Jesus, who gave up such magnificent worldly gain for us, will demand of us as our Judge some showing of appreciation on our part.
Hinman never question that people are saved who do not exhibit fruit of the Holy Spirit…he just motivates them to act like saints by imitating (not living from) Christ. See how different was Paul’s approach: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1-3).
May God help us all. And for you, oh man, who can not afford to serve this Jesus because, should you do it, you would have to sacrifice some illegitimate business, which you are carrying on for worldly gain, what do you think awaits you? Jesus has sacrificed Heaven once and earth too for you, do you think that you are doing the manly thing now toward Him? And are you one of those who sneer at the manliness of the Christ as something boyish and weak?
May Heaven pity you and save you in spite of your unmanly, dishonorable ways, but if it do, it must save you from those ways. Secondly, temporal values must give way before eternal values. Always weigh the circumstances of this life in the balance of Heaven. Have nothing to do with that false teaching which says, " I will make the most I can out of this life and let the future life take care of itself." Keep before you not only your mission in life, but the eternal city. Remember that you are not to interpret things by what they seem, but by what they actually are, and that there is nothing which shows what is the real and true, but the word of God.
If we had Jesus' vision, we would understand as he understood it, that this world in its entirety is as nothing compared with the world which awaits us. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness," for, "what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul." Thirdly, success along the line of any one purpose can only be reached by a sacrifice of everything inconsistent with that purpose.
Hinman is correct in saying, “success along the line of any one purpose can only be reached by a sacrifice of everything inconsistent with that purpose”.
Christlikeness is accomplished through supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, not by a psychological “truth to power” goal and principles to live by.
The apostle Paul had a goal and principles to live by when he was on the road to Damascus to arrest saints. But the Holy Spirit got a hold of him and he says in 1 Corinthians 1:20-31: “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord”.
“Ah, yes”, Hinman might say, “but Paul was given a goal and principles to live by”. No, Paul tells the Corinthians a different story: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
We will learn that lesson before we finish this life, if we have not learned it already, and it will be the success or failure of our lives which will teach us. Jesus' purpose could not allow His being a temporal ruler, and consequently He rejected the universal empire. Fourthly, the work of soul-saving is the highest of all work and it is worthy of every sacrifice Those who enter this work because they can do nothing else, had better stay out. Fifthly and finally, these three lines of sacrifice, comfort, and ease, display of power for personal aggrandizement and universal dominion, teach us the grandeur of sacrifice.
I do not know how it impresses you, but there is something sublime and tremendous even to the awful in this sacrifice of Jesus. I never contemplate it, but I feel like lying on my face and crying with Isaiah, " Woe is me." If Jesus were only human, this would lift Him to a seat above all others. Indeed, it proves that He was not human, for no human being of his own strength could have followed in this path. There He stands, a lonely figure outlined against the background of history. He has no fellows. All are pigmies beside Him. After the forty days of temptation, the crown of thorns and the cross, sacrifice becomes grand even to the sublime, if it be done for others.
I do not wonder that for decades of years after He lived among men, men begged to be crucified for His sake and that the martyrs were revered almost to worship. Again I say, young man, think of this. Jesus was only thirty, when this battle of the wilderness took place. A young man in the most terrific of fights and He came off victorious. Hereafter, call no sacrifice you may make, large; but do not call it small, for He has made all sacrifice dignified and lofty.
The cross, once a sign of greatest shame, has become a sign of loftiest character, for He was crucified upon it. Do you say that it is beyond human effort to be like Jesus? Yes; beyond all human effort, but you have been promised divine aid. It is for you to be like Him if you will to be, for such is the promise. Not like Him all at once; you will be changed from glory unto glory, as you behold as in a glass the glory of His image. Only look at Him. Study Him. Some sweet and restful day, when the care of this life is all past, you will awake in His likeness and you will not be disappointed. It will pay you for all your sacrifice, no matter what that sacrifice has been. Grow like Him day by day. Grow like Him as the trees grow, not so much by trying as by assimilating the nourishment God provides.
Hinman quotes the “glory to glory” Scripture and says “only look at Him. Study Him” to buttress the imitate Christ idea of maturation. But read what Paul was REALLY talking about: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
THE LOWLY SERVICE
Text: John 13:15. "For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you."
The Bible is unlike any other book that has ever been written. You are constantly finding in it what you would least expect to find. It seems written contrary to the usual judgment of the world. And right here you may discover an evidence of its Divine origin. It states principles of living and doing which is against the philosophy of man. It overrides his judgment. It stamps as false many pet theories.
It smites the mountain peaks of man's reasoning and fills up the valleys with the fragments. The reason of the world leads mankind to trust in horses and chariots and mighty men above any trust in God. Against such, this Book has pronounced its woe. Man's judgment invites the armies to fight his battles for him; this Book says "It is not by armies nor power of men, but by my spirit." The world says if you would be great make the world your slave. The Bible tells us to be the servant of all and that that is the road to greatness.
Thus ever is it crowding out the theories of men and elevating otherwise unnoticed principles as the word of God; picking up a jewel here and a jewel there, trodden under foot for ages by men, yet held aloft in the fingers of God as a diamond of the first magnitude.
Our text is taken from a context that stands almost without a parallel among the seeming contradictory scenes and statements of inspiration. The last hours of Christ's human life are fast approaching. Soon as the offering for sin He is to die the death of the cross He sits with His disciples in an upper chamber at Jerusalem. He has just instituted the supper which you are so soon to commemorate.
It is ended now He has taught His companions many lessons in the years they have been with Him. Now, He is to teach them a final one as the keystone to the others. Listen to the Biblical statement. "And Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God and went to God, riseth from the supper." How would this record be finished if this were a picture from the imagination of man?
We should look for some fine description of some mighty deed. Some final demonstration of His divinity, such as would meet the demands of the most skeptical. The introduction of legions of angels to sing His praises and do His bidding. The opening of Heaven's gates and a revelation of the Father giving Him honor. Such would have been the climax of some Greek mythology.
But not so with this record. It continues: " He laid aside His outer garments and took a towel and girded himself. After that He poureth water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded "Wondrous statement! Jesus, the God incarnate, having all power in His hands! knowing that He came forth from God and was soon to return to God! Jesus, who before the incarnation, had by the word of His mouth wrought out creation! Jesus, before whom angel and seraphim bowed and did His bidding! The infinite God and the perfect Man stooping to remove the dust of travel from the feet of His disciples. No wonder the impetuous Peter, moved by the seeming inconsistent act refuses at first to be washed.
Peter refuses to be washed for the same reason Hinman is wrong about manliness. The essence of “manliness’ is self-reliance. Peter did not want Jesus to lower Himself because it was “unmanly”.
This viewed through human eyes unenlightened by the Spirit, is the greatest anti-climax in the world's history. It was to this that Jesus refers as He speaks in the words of the text: " For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have
done to you." I would call your attention then to the two fold character of the example of Christ. First. Its nature. The world was lost in darkness. No guide had ever been revealed to lead the lost out into the light of truth and righteousness No example had been discovered by which, with His conscience satisfied, man could measure his life.
There was the Decalogue (Ten Commandments), but there was no sympathy or love in the thunderings of Sinai. That ethical standard was too lofty for him to reach unaided. No one among men had ever measured to it yet. It was some snow-capped height where no human foot had ever pressed. To be sure it bore the footprints of the Creator, but what was God to man ? He is infinite. Man is finite. He is holy. Man is sinful. God and his angels might live such a conception. Man could only admire, attempt, fail.
The only resource left was to give up the attempt and follow the best guide visible. Thus when there was righteous action attempted, righteous action followed. Where there was defect, defect was reproduced. The Hebrew sang the songs of a David, discussed and admired the proverbs of Solomon, praised the faith of Noah, imitated their lives. The East understood the wisdom of Confucius as divine and followed his example. The west discovered a Socrates, learned his philosophy, but failed to discriminate between a partially true philosophy and an imperfect life.
Therefore in all the lives thus molded was seen the imperfection of the master. Humanity was sick and faint with effort, while there went a longing from many a soul for an example, perfect in character, safe for copying
Hinman return to the imitation of Christ (not living from Christ).
Suddenly over the hills of Judea swelled the angel chorus of " Peace on earth, good will to men."He who spake as man never spake before, He who lives as man never lived before, walks, talks and lives with men. At last the world had found its ideal. Yea, more, the ideal of God. He for whom the Psalmist's soul had longed as the " hart for water-brooks," had come with the living waters to satisfy every soul. No more were the laws of Sinai too high and lofty for human endeavor. Christ's life was the law incarnate, the living word.
But Christ became something more than a living example of righteousness, a lofty ethical standard by which to measure the lives of men. Such a life would have been too cold and unfeeling, a little better than the law not lived. When he said to his disciples :"I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you," he meant something distinctively more than that they should imitate his moral excellence. Christ died to remove the guilt of sin, and more. He gave the Holy Spirit to remove the stain of sin, in regeneration, and more. He gave an example for man to follow in righteousness, that with a transformed life he might "measure up to the stature of the perfect man."
It looks like Hinman might be laying a foundation for “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:13-16), but alas, no. He just wants us to imitate Christ (again), because He was the perfect example.
According to Scottish Common Sense Realism, moral persuasion of “truth impressions” is what causes the mind to have the “Eureka!” moment when the mind decides to serve God over self. This is what Hinman means by “regeneration of the Spirit”.
But is this all ? No; this is but the one side of His example. Christ's life must be viewed from every side. It must be imitated in every side or its beauty, its force, its worth is lost. Christ's life would not have been the sacrifice it was if it had gone no further. That life which only attempts to measure up to this side of Christ is not following the Christ. It is a Christian life without a sacrifice, the life of a stoic, with the sorrow bearing, burden carrying, sympathetic heart of Jesus Christ left out.
Christ became the perfect example of self-abnegation, of self -forgetfulness in His devotion to the final redemption of man. On the one hand He was the law incarnate. On the other, the self-forgetful, loving, sympathizing servant of man. By the perfection of His moral character, He bids man look at his own life and by that light, which He is, reveals its darkness and imperfection. Then, by virtue of His death, by the power of His resurrection, through the regeneration of the Spirit, He transforms the life, dispels the darkness and then bids him work out the life He has placed within him by copying His own.
But the power of that example does not stop here. He bids him behold the fields white for the harvest and inasmuch as he has been served, to serve. On the one hand to live again the righteous life of Christ. On the other, dead now to self, to live for others. " For I have given you an example that you should not alone live righteously in life, but while you are in this world that you should serve one another."
But secondly, let us look at the proper limits of our imitation of the example of
Christ. The limit is two-fold. On the one hand, we behold the purity of His life. From the cradle to the cross, there is no sin. For eighteen centuries the eyes of the world have been upon that character and no deceit has been found in it. It is difficult to comprehend this fact. The world wrested by sin from its position in harmony with worlds of light, can hardly comprehend the harmony of a sinless life. Yet that life has been lived among us. The perfect character has come.
The law is lived. The word is life, and the life is the light of the world. Henceforth, that perfect character, in its moral perfection must be the goal toward which the world must strive. The ultimate height of human moral life, assisted by the Divine, will never be reached until it touches that. That is the moral limit. It may seem too lofty. We may think we can never measure with the stature of the God incarnate.
But not the infinite God, but the perfect Man is our example, and in the sunlight of the kingdom that is to come, we may awake with His likeness satisfied.
But there is another limit. If the perfection of the law has been met, if the moral character has been perfected by agencies divine, if the life is now meet morally to mingle with the angels who kept their first estate, this is not sufficient. " I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you, "reaches down as well as up. We are climbing to the heights of Mt. Sinai, in moral life. We are to reach down in our life of service until we reach the lowest want of the lowly.
A Christ who only lived to manifest the righteous law in human action, would not have been the Christ. A life lived only to perfect itself in perfection, only to beautify itself, to gather rays of moral light to separate into rainbows for personal glory, would have been far from the measure of the Godman.
Such a life would never have conquered a world of sin. Very beautiful would it have been, but it would have been the marble statue that does not speak, the painting without a soul. To be sure such a life was Christ's. But it was vastly more. It was a life of service. A life of self-sacrifice for the souls of the lost. A life indicated by tears, by sorrow, by weariness oft forgotten, by compassion for the sinful, by bloody sweat, by lowly service.
It was He who heard afar off the cry " unclean," from the leper's lips, and though weary went that He might touch to healing and whisper "cleansed." It was He who groaned in spirit and wept at a Lazarus' grave. And it was He, the infinite God, the perfect Man, who that He might teach one final example of self-sacrificing service stooped and washed the disciples' feet.
Fitting climax for the life of the Son of Man. His moral righteous life so lofty as to reach perfection and to stand without a rival among men or angels. His life of self sacrificing service so menial as to find its downward limit only when He removes the dust of travel from the feet of His disciples. No wonder that the infidel has sometimes stopped his scoffing as he reads this history from the life of Christ. No wonder that eyes unused to weep have wept here. Here the Christian finds a new impetus for service.
Legions of angels would have done His bidding. They would have come from the four corners of the heavens to have saved Him a single exertion. But He refuses it all and stoops to serve. And here in this lowly scene, we find the limit of imitation in serving. The limit of moral action must not stop short of the perfect Man. The limit of action in serving will be reached only when we have done all we can, no matter how menial, for the happiness, the comfort, the salvation of our fellow men.
Brethren, you .are soon to approach the communion table of our Lord. There will come back to you there the memories of the past. The death struggle of the Master on the cross. The sound of nail and hammer. The jeer of soldier and the wound of spear. The expiring cry of " My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ? " You will remember then, what He has done for you, that He might bring you life and immortality. It is fitting that you should stop now for self examination. You are to commemorate there what He has done for you. Examine yourselves now, concerning what you have done for Him.
ou cannot go on with this examination by any measure of your own. Apply then, to your lives, the straight edge of the two-fold example of Christ. Have you made advancement in your Christian life since you last communed together? " For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you,"is our heritage tonight from Christ, through the apostles. Are we striving to obey it? Christ has left the world as far as physical eye can see. He lives to the world only as He lives through you.
You are standing to them as examples of Him. Are they looking at you and condemning Christ? You must not stop short. You may not reach the limit here. Such height seems too wonderful. But remember that the Christ who lived that life will aid you. And that life as the light of the world must shine through us undimmed.
Somewhere we shall reach the stature of the perfect Man. Doubtless not on this earthly battle ground, but by striving toward it we shall each day come nearer. And then some day the "old man" will be left behind. We shall carry upward but the new. We shall pass beyond the domain of satan. We shall go through the pearly gates over which is written: "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth." Let us not trifle with the example of Christ nor stop short of his stature.
The Scripture Hinman quotes is particularly galling when you realize he’s equating holiness with the imitation of Christ. The blood of the Lamb makes holy, not imitating the Lamb. “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).
I hope I am not being too strong in saying that Hinman thinks holiness is relative, just as Witherspoon and other Scottish Common Sense Realists thought truth and sincerity are relative. They think this because they believe salvation is a psychological process of “truth impressions”, not an instant, supernatural change of nature and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Brethren, you have called Him Master and Lord, and you do well. But the servant is not above His Lord. Are you following Him in service? We may be living righteously and doing justly in all other things, but if we have left this part undone, we are far from the Christ. If we would be powers in the world, we must follow Him at the feet of His disciples. Jesus' life was not complete by living, but by doing.
There are aching hearts near us that we may comfort. There are sorrowing souls upon whom we may pour the oil of gladness. There are thousands to whom we may preach at the lowly well of Sychar. And there are many near us, very near, seemingly lost to all that is pure and holy, whom we may reach, not by the patronizing way of a Pharisee, but by some act of kindness, some deed of love.
"Down in the human heart Crushed by the tempter, Feelings lie buried that grace can restore. Touched by a loving heart, Wakened by kindness, Cords that were silent May vibrate once more."
Remember that you can not stoop so low in service to save a soul, that Christ has not been there before you. Away then with selfish living! Welcome self abnegation! Away with selfish indulgence! Welcome the weary, thorny path of Christ! And then by the power of the twofold example, lived over in your lives, through the light of His moral perfection, shining through every fibre of your being, down at the feet of the disciples wiping away the dust of travel, you may find the pathway which leads to the right hand of the throne of God.
JESUS AND THE RESURRECTION
Text: Acts 4:33. "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."
Jesus and the Resurrection: This was the theme of the early church. They had no time for philosophy; no time for science ; no time for dogmatic theology ; only just time to witness with great power to Jesus and the resurrection. No wonder they could not stop for ought else. Jesus and the resurrection meant much to the little handful of disciples; it meant all to them.
So why the emphasis on imitating Christ when you can emphasize being led by Christ’s Spirit?????
It meant much to the world of humanity to whom they preached; it meant all things to them. So the theme of Peter at Pentecost, was Jesus and the resurrection. Jesus his Master that was dead was risen again and now sits at the right hand of God. And while Peter witnessed to these things people who hear are convinced by the hundreds that he was telling the truth and they accept his Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
It was the theme of the apostles when before magistrates and governors and kings, until Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and the dwellers in Mesopotamia and Greece and Rome and the uttermost parts of the habitable globe took fire and Jesus and the resurrection was the theme of sermon and prayer and of song.
An angry world tried to live it down and argue it out and finally to burn and torture it out, but to no avail. Though men were beheaded and burned and imprisoned, and though generation after generation died, the theme lived on and on ever increasing in its revolutionary and regeneratory power, until it conquered the hatred and prejudices with which it was environed and the Roman empire knelt before it and handed it its scepter.
Hinman thinks the resurrection is powerful because it is a powerful example. Not powerful because it is an immediate activity of the Holy Spirit that saints experience moment by moment as Paul said: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:9-11).
Hinman’s is another gospel. So we’re back to salvation by imitating an example when he says the resurrection is a “theme”, “the theme lived on and on ever increasing in its revolutionary and regeneratory power”.
Hinman says the “theme” of the resurrection has “Regenerative power” because according to Scottish Common Sense Realism, regeneration is the moment when the mind decides to serve God over self. The inspirational “theme” of the resurrection inspires people to serve God over self.
The centuries passed on, and time, the great destroyer of men and reputation and empires and races and worlds, for eighteen periods has tried its power in battle against it and, lo we have come to another Easter morning and our theme is still Jesus and the Resurrection. But not our theme alone. It is the theme of million upon million of hearts and tongues and homilies. "Jesus and the Resurrection," sings and shouts the world today. In Ramona we read of the old Franciscan priest throwing up the window at day break and chanting some hymn of thanksgiving to God who had kept him through the night, and after he had commenced the hymn, one by one others would open their windows and join in the hymn until all within sound of voice would be singing that same hymn of praise.
What an inspiration that must have been to those who heard or who joined that chorus. But as " out of the darkness of night, the world rolls into light and it is day break everywhere," and one after another takes for his morning theme Jesus and the Resurrection this day, until American and European and African and Asiatic and South Sea Islander, from three hundred million throats girdle the world with a hymn to God because of the risen Lord, I wonder how it must seem to Peter who preached that Pentecostal sermon when the theme was unknown outside of Jerusalem.
I wonder how it must sound in Heaven to Peter and James and John and Paul and the whole line of early martyrs. Ay, to the risen Christ Himself? Amid such an universal hymn, and surrounded by Heaven itself, we take up our theme. What lessons have we given us in the fact that the crucified Jesus rose from the grave?
The reason Hinman looks for lessons from the resurrection is be believes “resurrection power” is merely the “truth impression” that comes from seeing the example or lesson….merely a mental exercise that makes and impression on the mind.
It may be well to notice before we proceed to the lessons of the resurrection, that as an historical fact the resurrection can not be well called into question. There has been a fierce battle waged over this point of history. More fierce than over any other point that has been called into question. The reason of this is that thinking men have recognized the tremendous reach of this fact in its power to demolish and overthrow all forms of skepticism and all other forms of religion.
For that reason it has been hotly contested. But thanks to German scholarship, the Christian world can rest easy now. If Caesar lived and fought his battles; if Xenophon lived and fought and wrote his Anabasis, Jesus, the Christ lived, was crucified, was buried, and on the third day rose again, and on that rock this Easter morning the church militant can take their stand, knowing that it will not crumble though the oaks of the mountains fall and the mountains themselves decay with
The first lesson I would have you notice as the fruit of the resurrection is, that it establishes the truth of the Christian religion. If Jesus be not risen then is our faith vain. The disciples recognized this tremendous fact and that is the reason they preached the resurrection so faithfully all their lives. Upon that one fact they grounded the validity of His claims to the Messiaship With that fact before them, they preached Jesus and the resurrection with tremendous power and to the conversion of thousands of souls.
Because of that one fact, Peter said that the Father had poured forth the baptism of the Holy Ghost upon the church, and thereby rendered the witnessing of the disciples effective. Because of this they went cheer fully to martyrdom for they were always see ing like Stephen, Jesus at the right hand of God exhalted. On no other ground except the truth of the resurrection of their Lord can you for one moment explain the subsequent action of the disciples. Scattered and downhearted to the extreme of weakness before the memorable third morning; rallying, exultant, triumphant under all circumstances after, as with great power they give witness unto Jesus and the resurrection.
On this Easter morning let us remember that our faith is as strong as the eternal hills, for Jesus has risen.
The second lesson I bring before you is, that we are serving no dead Master, but a living and omnipresent Lord. Where is the Christ now? We go to the tomb, but we hear the same answer heard by certain others centuries ago, "He is not here ; He is risen."
Then we remember that He said : "I am with you always;" and we read that if we will love Him and keep His commandments the Father will love us and that He and the Father will come and make their abode with us. Jesus is not dead. He has been dead, but He has risen now and His abode is in the heart of the church He loves. He is the omnipresent One now and the very air around us this morning is quivering with the Heavenly life of the Infinite One, the risen Lord. Not there; not on the sea of Galilee; not at the well of Sychar; not in the ruined city of cities, but here with us; and wherever we go, He goes as our daily Companion, our Saviour and Guide.
Confucius, Zoroaster, Mohammed lived, taught, made disciples and died. Their teachings lived after them in a marvelous manner. Their disciples have been numbered by the thousands and yet we have their final resting place with us. Their dust has long years ago gone back to dust and their followers have a live memory, but a dead Lord to worship. But we can lift up our eyes to the hills that are everlasting and we can see our Master sitting on the throne high and lifted up. We can see Him looking to our interest and noting our wants and guiding us to a sure victory.
He is doubly ours and He lives to intercede for us at the throne. Oh, if ours were a dead Lord! If we must look back at the tomb or make yearly journeys to Jerusalem to get near to His resting place and keep alive His memory, it would be sorry trouble for troubled hearts! No peace there ; not much comfort for sorrowing ones in the tomb, if those who have promised to be with us and aid us lie there sleeping their last sleep and no voice can rouse them. And then if, when we come down to the waters of death He who has promised to be there for us to lean upon; to be our rod and staff in the valley of the shadow; if He lies in the valley Himself and a tomb holds Him fast, where is the comfort and cheer. Oh, the dread of it with a dead Lord!
But thanks be to His name, He is not there, He has risen, and He is here a live Christ, a living Saviour, and He is here to abide.
The third lesson for us is, that the risen Lord demonstrates the reality of the life beyond the grave. Jesus has passed clear through the grave. He did not come out on this side of the grave. He rose supremely victorious over death. He did not come back to life to die again like the widow’s son, or as Lazarus. He came up on the Heavenly side of the tomb.
If He had only come back to life He would have demonstrated nothing but what had been demonstrated by one of the prophets centuries before Him, and that is, that after death it may be possible under certain conditions, which conditions may be met with three or four times in the history of the world, for one who has died to come to life again, and that would be all the lesson would be worth. And who, after they had met death once and had gone into an eternal state, would care to come to life again, to meet again with life's battles, knowing that at any moment they might be called upon to die once more, and by any one of a thousand possible horrible deaths. What of comfort would there have been in such a lesson as that? And how meaningless Easter would have been, even if it should have been remembered for eighteen centuries.
But Jesus rose from the grave to go no more that way forever, and coming up as He did on the eternal side, He stands to us as the one demonstration of the life beyond the grave. We have promise and prophecy of such a life, and an occasional visit from angels, but if Jesus had failed us, there would have been no demonstration, and all concerning the future would be a dark and fathomless void.
But He rose, and now the life beyond is a certainty. He has not failed us here and He will not fail to come after us, that where He is we may be also. If He rose not, then there is no resurrection, and our faith is vain, and we are of all men the most miserable; but He lives and because He lives I shall live also, and where He is, I shall go some day and reign with Him forever and ever. O, grave where is thy victory. O, death where is thy sting.
No wonder that Easter has such a hold upon the world. No wonder that we hail with delight, the coming of this anniversary, year by year. We shall rise again, and rise to take no part in a second death. The life this side the grave becomes simply the vestibule to the next; only the place where we lay aside our wraps which have kept us from the storm, and prepare to enter the abode to live on and on and on.
We shall go down now to the grave, but the great fear and dread is gone. We do not want to die, but the dread which must certainly have been ours, had not Jesus rose, is wanting. We shall go down to the grave and for a moment it will be dark, but we shall feel the arm of Jesus around us, and then, oh, then the sunlight of Heaven will burst upon us and the sun shall set no more. No more darkness; no more dread to live for fear that something will happen the next moment; no more funeral knell to fall upon our ear; no more funeral procession winding its weary and mournful way to the sepulcher, reminding us that we too shall some day be there. All will be life, and endless life and peace and happiness, for He has risen.
No wonder that Jesus and the resurrection was the theme of the disciples, and no wonder that they could think of little else, and no wonder that they, in their exultation went and sold all their earthly possessions and had all things in common.
RESURRECTION NOTE: Had the theme of the resurrection been the reason the early church sold their possessions to help the Church, the Holy Spirit would not have slain Ananias and Sapphira. God does not judge people for ignorance of a theme...he judges people for mistreating the Holy Spirit.
This raises the BIG question…is grace merely the inspiration of examples and themes to the mind? Peter says “For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit (A). But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift (charisma, 5486) (B), even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace (charis, 5485) of God (C).” (1 Peter 4:6-10).
A) According to Scottish Common Sense Realism, “live according to God in the spirit means merely “think about God and His ways”, the mind having been changed by “truth impressions”, (not the heart having been changed by supernatural regeneration, analogous to the resurrection of Christ), and there being no indwelling of Holy Spirit to live according to God by. This is why Hinman keeps talking about imitating Christ, and meditating on the theme of the resurrection.
B) According to Scottish Common Sense Realism, “as every man hath received the gift” refers to the grace contained in examples and themes of the gospel that make “truth impressions” on the mind, (not the gift of the gospel, being supernatural regeneration and the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Kingdom of God being righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, Romans 14:17).
C) What is the gift charisma Peter is talking about? In almost all places the Greek word is used, the gift is immediately imparted by the Holy Spirit. But Scottish Common Sense Realism does not believe in the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit in modern times in charisma (Strongs 5486) or charis (Strongs 5485).
Notice how Paul uses charis and charisma in the same sentence. Charis and charisma are immediately imparted by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.
“Grace (charis) be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace (charis) of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift (charisma); waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:3-8).
Matthew Henry compares New Covenant grace with Old Covenant grace: the Old Testament had grace in type, the New Testament has grace in truth. There was a grace under the Old Testament, the gospel was preached then (Galatians 3:8); but that grace is superseded, and we have gospel grace instead of it, a glory which excelleth, 2 Corinthians 3:10. Discoveries of grace are now more clear, distributions of grace far more plentiful; this is grace instead of grace.
Scottish Common Sense Realism says “truth impressions” change the mind so a person at some point is convinced to serve God over self. But New Covenant grace is not limited to Old Covenant means – that is, the rational mind being convinced to keep the law. The distinctive GRACE of the New Covenant is the supernatural making of a new heart and new spirit by the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit. The ONLY REASON THE NEW WAY WOULD BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN THE OLD WAY WAS IT INVOLVED A SUPERNATURAL NEW HEART AND NEW SPIRIT. The prophesies said “after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33). THIS IS NOT MERELY THE OLD WAY OF RATIONAL ACCEPTANCE OF TRUTH.
Galatian 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”.
The Lord Jesus Christ IS Grace. Man can not manufacture or inspire grace by sacrifice. Sacrifice is no longer an option, as the type and shadow have been replaced by the REALITY. The rational mind naturally generates its own subjective truth, called rationalization. But TRUTH now exists as REALITY IN saints who are IN Christ (77 times in New Testament). The sacrifices in the Old Testament were a type and shadow of the perfect lamb of God, Jesus Christ. The type and shadow has now been forever replaced by the REALITY IN SAINTS. The picture has been replaced by the PERSON IN SAINTS.
“GRACE and TRUTH” (John 1:17) is not merely GRACE by TRUTH, as the Scottish Common Sense Realists believe. This grace is not an imitation of Christ, or a theme to be pondered, or principles to live by. This grace IS TRUTH because this grace is the PERSON that IS “the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE” (John 14:6).
Grace in the Old Testament came through the rational mind of man. Grace in the New Testament comes through the spirit of man by the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit.
Grace in the New Testament is always contrasted with the devices of man – grace is never seen as coming through the devices of man. This goes to the issue of mind versus spirit, and the wisdom of man of the mind versus the wisdom of God through the spirit.
The immediate activity of the Holy Spirit bound the early church together in “lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:2-7).
What need had they for earthly stores? Heavenly mansions were theirs, and it was a sure possession. This earth was not their home. A fourth lesson of the resurrection is, that the resurrected Jesus stands as a representation of what we shall be like after the final resurrection. To John on the Island of Patmos the risen Jesus said, " I am he that lliveth and was dead, and behold I live forevermore, and hold the keys of death and hell."
Do you want to know the mystery of the grave, look to Him and He will unlock that mystery for you. Do you want to know the mystery of the intermediate state, behold He has the keys. And do you want to know what we shall be like after the resurrection of the saints, go to Him; here He has the keys also. Handle Him and see that He is not a ghost or disembodied spirit. Here is a tangible form of Christ which lives and talks with men. This body in which He lives is still the means of communication with the outer world, and so like the other forms this side of the grave that His intimate companions take Him for some other man at first glance.
Since Hinman does not believe Christ is in saints (Colossians 1:27) in reality, and certainly does not believe that saints are one sprit with God (1 Corinthians 6: ), he makes a big deal about “looking” at Christ in the recorded incidences of the Bible. This is the only way Scottish Common Sense Realists “experience” Christ, in the “truth impressions” of the rational mind.
But His is now a resurrected body, and as you look closely you will see a change. Before death He hid himself away from those seeking Him in the crowd, or in the desert or mountain. He escapes in the darkness and hides His material body by other material.
But after the resurrection there is none of this. He suddenly appears before the questioning disciples, although the doors and windows are closed. He suddenly hides Himself in the air around them, and is lost to their material vision. He goes through closed doors and partitions, and at last while talking with the disciples, He begins to ascend without aid. Horses and a chariot of fire was sent for the prophet of old who went up before death, but for the resurrected body there is no need for the chariot of fire.
The wish is the chariot in which the resurrected body is borne. We wonder how the future shall be and what we shall be like, when there is the example all worked out. Look at Him. We shall be like Him not only in character likeness, but in the essence of our outward form. That outward form was buried a natural body, it was raised a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:44-49: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly”.
Since Scottish Common Sense Realism equates “spirit” with the higher rational mind, the idea of a “spiritual body” is not a continuation of being “in the spirit”. Every place the phrase “in the spirit” (36 times) is used in the New Testament, it refers to the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit communicating with man’s spirit. But when Hinman reads “in the spirit”, he thinks that means “higher rational mind”.
The apostle Paul tied the resurrection to regeneration and the indwelling Holy Spirit: “if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11). But Hinman dos not believe the Holy Spirit dwells in saints immediately. He believes that the Holy Spirit dwells in saints to the extent that they thinks about truths of the Bible, and have had their minds changed by “truth impressions”.
It was of the earth earthy, it came forth from the grave glorified and heavenly. "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
A fifth, and for today a final lesson is, that the resurrected Lord answers the oft repeated question as to whether we shall recognize one another in Heaven. Did the disciples recognize their Lord ? Most certainly. To be sure Mary did not seem to know Him at first glance, and mistook Him for the gardener. But so do many in this life now fail to recognize most intimate friends when they suddenly put in an appearance, unexpectedly, and when supposed to be far away. Mary had come to
the tomb to anoint Him and found the grave empty but she had no thought other than that He was dead and that some one had carried Him away for burial in some other place.
But when He speaks the one word, " Mary," the tones of the voice arrest her attention and she looks and sees her Lord and says, " Rabboni; which is to say, Master." Recognition by the disciples quickly follow, although the skeptic Thomas, must first needs touch his flesh and put his hands into the wounds for evidence, and then he breaks out with, " My Lord and my God." They must have recognized Him as the crucified Jesus, for of no fact were they more certain than that He had come forth from the grave. It was Jesus and the resurrection which characterized all their preaching. Because of this they were ready to lay down their lives in His service.
Because of this they did lay down their lives. No matter how incredulous to many the resurrection may be, one thing is certain, the disciples believed it to be true, and that belief changed the whole current of their lives, and held them like a grip of steel to their work to the very door of death.
Hinman says the example of the resurrection is what inspired the early church to not deny Christ and be torn to shreds by animals in the Coliseums of Rome, not what Paul says, “if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11).
That belief was founded on a recognition of Him after the resurrection. The very body was there in its identity. Even the scars made for them and us. Loved ones have gone on before us all. For some a father; for others a mother, a sister, a brother, a son, a daughter; for some a nearer and dearer one still. We sit and think of them in the quiet of the twilight, and while our whole hearts go out after them we wonder if we shall find them yonder, and if we find them shall we know them? will they know us ? Can we talk together as we do here, and enjoy each others' company ? And often we say, that if we will not and if we cannot we do not care to go, for Heaven will not be Heaven without them. Think back to the first Easter morning, and while your mind asks questions about the future state, let that company of loving disciples gathering about their resurrected Friend answer you. Shall we recognize our friends in Heaven? Did they recognize Him?
And now in conclusion let me say that I would to God, the fact of the resurrection might take hold of our lives as it did of theirs. Did you ever look for the change wrought by the one fact of the resurrected Jesus on that little band of early disciples? They never seemed to realize their mission in this world until after that. They acted like all other men until then. They acted like the majority of Christians act these days, before the resurrection. But when the fact came before them, how changed all things were. How changed the men who composed that early church.
Hinman is emphasizing his earlier theme that is we just SEE Christ, we will be changed. This “seeing” come by “truth impressions”, and meditating on the theme of the resurrection.
Timid, vascillating, dependent, half hearted before, brave to the last extremity after; as immovable as the everlasting hills; as independent of surrounding circumstances as was their master, and their hearts knew no other magnet. Oh, that the glorious fact of the resurrection might so take hold of us as to become a mighty conviction. A conviction which would change the current of our lives as it did theirs. That would make us realize that this world is not our home.
That in this life we have no continued city. That we are to look to the great and real life beyond the grave for our reward. That we are not laboring for the applause of men, or their reward. We are to wait until we enter Heaven's portals to hear the applause and the well-done. That we might so get enamoured of Heaven and our resurrected Lord, that we might become fit subjects for the descent of the Holy Ghost!
Listen to the thunder of the voice of the transformed Peter; listen to the marvelous conclusion of His sermon on the day of Pentecost. "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore," and this there fore has been called the colossal therefore of history, "therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."
This is the colossal conclusion drawn by the man who before the resurrection was frightened into denying his Lord, but who now hurls this wonderful sentence with trip-hammer vehemence at those who crucified Jesus. The presence of the Holy Ghost in the church is the accredited sign of the resurrection.
Hinman is saying the Holy Spirit is present in the Church because saints have a “Eureka!” knowledge the resurrection that comes through a “truth impression” of the rational mind. The “presence of Holy Spirit in your heart” just means the heart has been changed by that “truth impression”.
The presence of the Holy Ghost in your heart is the abundant sign that you have a resurrected Lord and that He has you. If you have this sign in you and upon you, stand up on this Easter morning with the disciples of the resurrected Jesus, and confess Him both Lord and Christ that through you as through Peter, those who know Him not and have not this evidence in them, may be pricked to the heart and be saved.
We are not all here this morning who were here last Easter. Some have passed on.
Will we all be here next Easter morning? If not, let us strive to so live that on the last resurrection morn, we may rejoice with joy unspeakable in Jesus and the resurrection.
A VISION OF GOD THE NEE OF THE TIMES
Text: Isaiah 6:8. "Here am I, send me."
The vision of Isaiah which is disclosed in the context of our text, whether actual vision or otherwise, it is not our purpose to question; only to denote the lessons it has for us, for every actual vision of God, or soul's consciousness of God's immediate presence, produces similar results in those who are exercised thereby. Notice then the threefold character of these results.
Hinman acknowledges that Isaiah experienced the immediate presence of God, but does not believe that is possible today, so he quickly substitutes the immediate consciousness of truth which comes from a “truth impression” of the rational mind for the immediate presence of God.
1. An immediate consciousness of the awful character of sin, and its utter lack of harmony with God and the Heavenly environment.
2. After the cleansing consequent on the above revelation, a blessed consciousness of God's presence and a sensitiveness to God's voice.
3. A spontaneous and joyful willingness to do the Father's will. What is the great need of our times? This is an intensely practical age. An age when the idea of human agency is being especially forced to the front. Man has attained a position in the mind of man in these days as never before. From the days of the Reformation, the death knell of the belittling of the soul of man has sounded.
If you read Martin Luther, you will know that the Reformation was not the “death knell of the belittling of the soul of man”. Grace was a dependent relationship with God, not just the impartation of “truth impressions” to the rational mind. Calvin started the movement toward man-mechanical saving faith, but nothing like the Scottish Common Sense Realists, who I am sure he would have called heretics.
In the days of the supremacy of Grecian philosophy the eternal good was everything, the earthly government next and man the lowest in the order of thought. Man was made only to accommodate the state. The state was made to accommodate the eternal good. At some period of the future existence, man would cease to exist as an individual and for all eternity would be lost in the bosom of the eternal good.
After the time of Christ and the apostles, the thought which received supreme attention was the exceedingly sinfulness of sin, and consequently the exceeding sinfulness of man as the sinner who could not, because of sin, think one pure thought or do one pure act, so firmly was he bound up in sin. The consequence was the belittling of man and centuries of the withdrawing of men into monasteries and cloisters in self abasement and seclusion to do penance for this awful state of sin.
Notice Hinman belittles the Apostles view of sin. He is about to share the NEW REVELATION OF SCOTTISH COMMON SENSE REALISM.
Then the Grecian conception of the supremacy of the state over man, that man was made for the state and not the state for the man, entered into the church. The idea of the temporal rule of the church came into existence. The churchly government took first rank and man the second. The idea that man was made for the church and not that the church was made to help man into the image of Jesus Christ, became the idea of the centuries.
Thus Grecian philosophy of itself and then as modified and entering into the church, and the current conception of sin without a correct conception of what the salvation of Jesus Christ meant in its fullness, kept man for centuries and centuries in the lowest positions, occupying subordinate rank in the creation of the universe; kept him in the caves of the mountains and behind the doors of monasteries and on pillars of affliction.
No wonder that these were dark ages. No wonder there was but little progress. No wonder the sciences and arts were practically forgotten, for humanity was dethroned and man was wallowing in the mire. But a man who believed in the 8th Psalm and the 4th chapter of Ephesians, as well as in the prophecy of Habakkuk and the Epistle to the Romans, came into the world in the fifteenth century, and declared that man was made but little lower than the angels. He has fallen in sin to be sure, but he shall live again purified by the blood of Jesus, through faith.
God came to save man, he is great even in his ruins; and by this salvation which is by faith, He will raise man again into His own image. Man was not made for this world's sake, but the world was made for man. Man was not made for the state, but the state is made for man's use. Man was not made to accommodate the church, the church has been made as the slave of man, for no other purpose than to help him on his way into perfection, and the church militant shall abide until we all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
The chief end of man is an exalted man hood which shall equal in its moral image the human character of Jesus and in this chief end, this exalted character, he shall best glorify God and enjoy him forever.
This last statement is Scottish Common Sense Realism heresy that ALL THE REFORMERS WOULD HAVE CONDEMNED AS FROM THE PIT OF HELL. Thomas Kempis’ Imitation Of Christ was a method of humility to enable the Holy Spirit to bear fruit, not a how-to guide that exalts man’s “will to power”. We see now that when Hinman says imitate Christ, he means IMITATE, as in COPY, DUPLICATE, WITHOUT THE IMMEDIATE ACTIVITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, which of course was the source of the Son of Man’ ability to glorify God.
Hinman’s “truth to power” psychological theory is blasphemous conceit from the pit of hell. The Westminster Confession that Hinman was supposed to believe, says the “communion which the saints have with Christ, doth not make them in any wise partakers of the substance of the Godhead, or to be equal with Christ in any respect: either of which to affirm, is impious and blasphemous”.
While one could reason that the human character of Jesus was not a part of the Godhead, the blasphemy comes in equating imitating Jesus with bearing fruit of the Holy Spirit as God’s workmanship.
The Westminster Larger Catechism says:
Question 1: What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer: Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.
The Westminster Confession says of Good Works:
These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.
Orthodox salvation good works is being in the Vine and bearing fruit of the Holy Spirit (John 15:4). Hinman’s salvation is imitating the earthly life of the man, Jesus. This is another gospel.
This was the purpose of the Reformation and the spirit of the teachings of Martin
Luther. Then the doors of the monastery and cloister swung open. Then the church began to take its subordinate place as the instrument of God and man, and not man's master. Then man began to take an exalted conception of himself and the wheels of progress were set in motion. The supremacy of the individual man, judged in the light of his origin, his destiny and what it cost to redeem him, has leveled kingdoms and empires since.
Anyone who has read Martin Luther knows the “spirit of the teachings” was not the political changes that resulted from the Reformation. Luther started the movement that ended in man-mechanical faith, but he would have declared Hinman’s psychological theories as heresy.
It has established republics. It has emancipated slaves. It has made life sublime, aye beautiful, and the future has been lighted to splendor by the new hope. Man lifted his head and commenced to live the new life. On the heels of the Reformation, science and philosophy came to the front, scholarship took high rank; universities and colleges were founded and the age of inventions, of discovery, of the development of the human mind dawned.
What has been the result? The possibilities of the human mind has been seen in the modern sciences, philosophies, arts and inventions, until man himself stands amazed at his own efforts and cries, what next?
Hinman is echoing what John Witherspoon, William Graham, Archibald Alexander and other Scottish Common Sense Realists before him prophesied…that psychology would eventually answer the question of why men sin and why some men stop sinning…the year I write this is 2017. Drug addiction and alcoholism is epidemic. One third of Americans have Venereal disease. More people are killing themselves than ever before. Psychology never did answer the question as to why people sin and why some people stop sinning…in fact, psychologists proscribe mood-altering drugs that Hinman would have been considered an admission there was no hope of sanity.
Psychology has come down to pharmakia, which in the New Testament is translated “witchcraft” and “sorcery”.
Every boy sees in himself a possible Lincoln, a Grant, an Agassiz, a Darwin, a Bacon, a Newton, an Edison, a Spurgeon, a John Hall, but above all a perfect man. This age has taken man from the dust, given him the wings of freedom and worth and set him on a throne. Consequently, this has been an egotistic age. Man in the lofty spirit of his own individual importance has in his own mind become as a god. He not only judges angels but he considers himself competent to judge God, question His actions and finally deny Him any existence at all.
We have an idea that we can do almost anything and that we know just how it ought to be done. This is quite true in church work and in moral reform. Only give us the right kind of organization, the right kind of machinery, the right man, and we can do all things, forgetting to add with the apostle, "through Christ which strengtheneth me." Consequently, this world is fast filling up with human theories for the redemption of the world from its ills.
In social affairs, in affairs of the state, in the affairs of the church, we are glutted with theories, as our book stalls are glutted with the books which contain them. But side by side with our theories march the failures of life. Each theorist, each party, is charging the responsibility for the failure on some one else, because their theory has not been adopted. The empty hulks of human theories lie along the shores of time side by side with the fragments of the wrecked fleets.
With what are we confronted today? On the one hand the magnificent successes of human endeavor, the tremendous and awe inspiring achievements of the human mind, which are grand beyond human foresight. On the other hand what? The terrible defeats of human endeavors to solve the moral problems of today. The awful wrecks of humanity which still lie in their own rot in a cumulative mass at our feet; the air filled with cries of despair and woe; the land, aye, the world, filled with murder and blood shed and with devilish appliances for wrecking your boy and mine.
Saloons, opium joints and houses of ill fame, filled this hour and contrary to law, with inmates once as pure and white as the infant in the cradle; hellish machines for turning Jekyls into Hydes and existing before the eyes of those elected to drive them out.
We hear the mutterings of anarchy and socialism on the very threshold of the land of our adoption, or birth, whose boast is human supremacy. We hear the distant roar of battle between white and black, between capitalists and laborers. We hear the cry of the perishing multitude of the world's poor and outcast. We hear the sobs of mothers, of wives, of children, broken-hearted through the demon of drink which has dragged down and is dragging down its hundreds of sons, of husbands, of fathers, every week.
We see human theories in the form of the Farmers' Alliance, of the Prohibition party, of the Labor party, of the Democratic party, of the Republican party, and a dozen others with and without names. We see organizations like the W. C. T. U., the Y. M. C. A., the Y. P. S.C. E., the X. Y. Z., etc., the pet organizations of church and society. We see all these and hundreds of others declaiming loudly of their efficacy to heal all the ills to which flesh is heir.
We see men high in authority, in municipal, in state, in national government, those high and those low in office in both church and state, as well as the rank and file, shivering with cowardice as they try in the midst of this jumble of things to walk without treading on the forms or theories of the hundreds of factions into which we are suddenly split. What is the need of the time? Where shall we look for relief? Shall we dethrone man? Shall we put him again in the monastery and cloister, and in the dust? No! He has been there, and the times were worse a hundred fold than now.
What then? On the left hand are the magnificent successes of the achievements of mind which show him what he can do. Bid him God speed and tell him to go on and up. On the right hand are these colossal failures which tell him what he cannot do. Which point out not only that there is a human limitation but what that limitation is, the utter impossibility for man with all his power to reform society in and of himself. That there must be a power over and above himself to save the world from sin. That with all of his liberty and all of his achievements and all of his possibilities of mind, God alone can save the soul from sin and thereby reform society and transform the world.
Yes Hinman, but how does God “save the soul from sin and thereby reform society and transform the world”?
Let man still sit on the throne made for him by his Creator and restored to him by his Redeemer, but let him understand that the highest expression of Heavenly wisdom is found in God linked to man, the God-man, and that it will take all there is of us linked to all there is of God to save us from sin and make us touch ultimately the image of a perfect Christian.
The need of the time for us is a new recognition of our own limitation and a corresponding recognition of the necessity of the Divine power to save us from our ills by saving us from our sins. We have had our eyes fastened so long on ourselves we need to look up now and realize that God is, that He is a factor in this universe, that He is around us and has a right to demand allegiance from us, that we have an account to settle with Him byandby for the deeds done in the body and that only He can save the world from disaster in the moral realm.
Hinman says, “He is around us”, not in us – pantheism.
We need to return to the gospel plan of salvation and preach with new force, repentance, regeneration and sanctification of life by the Holy Spirit, and that power belongs to God. We need to get into touch with the Divine life until everyone of us shall hear the Divine voice saying, "whom shall I send and who will go for us " and until we shall respond joyfully and quickly, " Here am I, send me."
God pity the blind. Close your eyes and see how much is absolutely gone of this beautiful universe of God. But there are many kinds of blindness. Physical blindness. Intellectual blindness. Esthetical blindness. Moral blindness. Spiritual blindness. Again I say and with ten fold energy, God pity the blind, God pity those, whose eyes are so blind they can not see God. The world has been struggling for ages to get one vision of God. They have improvised many things to take His place in their desire to see Him. But no man hath seen God at any time, in His fullness, with the physical organs of sense. But there is more than one way to get a vision of God. We can all have a soul vision of the Infinite, a consciousness of His presence and of a personal communion with Him.
How is this “consciousness of His presence and of a personal communion with Him” accomplished?
It was a declaration of the Scriptures centuries ago that God is very near us if we would only look for Him, for in Him we live and in Him we move and in Him we have our being. That is the last declaration of science and philosophy too. Pick up the latest deliverance of science or of philosophy and what is the thought that permeates it? None other than this declaration of Holy Writ. It is time we had our eyes open to the fact. It is time we come to realize that God is not there, but here.
It is time we had our eyes opened to the spiritual world around us and its reality; these spiritual things which are spiritually discerned. Again, we say the need of the time is a God vision. Why? To supply what we can never give. To complement our limitations.
1. By quickening our consciences and by teaching us what sin is and that sin is not in harmony with God.
2. That we may become conscious of His presence and listen to His voice.
3. That we may serve Him with our means, our lives, our loves, spontaneously, and joyfully, no matter what the hardship, no matter what the cost.
God give us a vision of Thyself, today, for Thou art the complete answer to the world's ills. The need of the hour is that we get back in touch with Him. God is near you; open your eyes that you may see Him. Stretch out your hand that you may touch Him. Come to Him that He may touch you and that you may be healed.
THE ULTIMATE VICTORY
Text: Revelation 11:17. "'We give thee thanks, O Lord, God Almighty, which art and wast and art to come ; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power and hast reigned."
At the crisis of the world's history, a shaft of sunlight fell straight from Heaven. Sunlight incarnate in earth's fabric, that those who sat in the region of darkness might not be blinded by its brightness. Incarnate, that, like the prism, its incarnation might reveal its seven-fold splendor. How that light brought out of its dull outline this world of creation! How it unfolded the purposes of that creation! How its lightning flash brought to view the blooming flowers of Eden, the roses of God's love!
Yet it came unto its own and its own received it not. It did not comprehend it. It would not comprehend it. It "loved darkness rather than light, because its deeds were evil." But it was comprehended. Heaven understood it. The orchestra of the world of light gathered round the place whose darkness it first penetrated. They lift their harps of gold. Their lips are parted in song. The earth's atmosphere trembles. Heaven and the shepherds listen. Hark to the refrain: "Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace, good will toward men."
What did the earth think of the music? Why was there no response? Why was not the refrain caught up here, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men?" If Heaven's orchestra could have been augmented by earth's chorus, if men could have joined the angels in one grand anthem of rejoicing, there would have been music sufficient to have charmed the very imps of darkness, and to have awakened responsive echoes in the very outposts of the universe. But, no; earth had no ear for such melodies; no vocal organs with which to swell such an anthem; no soul-sensitiveness to such Divine harmony; dead to heaven; deaf to its melodies; blind to its light; deaf to God's offers of peace ; blind to the revelation of God in Jesus the Christ.
But through the centuries there conies to us this Easter day another sight of Heaven; another revelation From the lonely isle of Patmos we hear another outburst of music. We catch another glimpse of an orchestra of Heaven. It is a larger orchestra this time. Earth has joined Heaven at last. From the prophetic vision, we see the angel with one foot on the sea and one on the land commanding time to lay down his hour-glass. Eternity with all its glory has dawned. The unaccountable millions of earth which once rejected the Christ, are now rejoicing in His light.
Of this scene says the revelator, " I beheld and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and peoples and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb."
And now earth and Heaven join in the refrain. Together they sing the new song. Hear you not the eternal harmonies sweeping down to us this day from that white robed throng? Feel you not its power? Listen to its theme: " The kingdoms of this world are be come the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ and He shall reign forever and ever." "And the four and twenty elders which sit before God on their seats, fall upon their faces and worship God, saying, we give thee thanks, O Lord, God Almighty, which art and wast and art to come, because thou hast taken to thee great power and hast reigned."
When our Lord was crucified, it looked to men and angels as though His mission was, after all. a failure and the cause for which He lived, a lost one. When He rose from the dead, then they understood its purpose and its power and those who had looked for His reappearing, commenced this eternal thanks giving. It shall have no end. It is set to eternal harmonies which shall never die. This new song, this prophetic vision; this union of Earth's and Heaven's orchestra, should have new significance to us this glad Easter morning, itself, not only a commemoration, but also a prophecy.
Some of our pews have been vacated here in the last few years to augment Heaven's chorus. The orchestral leader yonder has discovered some from Calvary church. He desired to add to that triumphant throng of singers. He has called them. They have said to us good-bye. They have received the Heavenly welcome. They have said good-night here; good-morning there. They have exchanged the trials, the darkness, the loneliness, the cares of this earth for Heaven's glory. The company of the mortal and imperfect, for the immortal and perfect. Ours is the loss, theirs the gain.
As in fancy we can see them yonder and can hear them in that immortal chorus, with the golden harps and sanctified voices, we do not wish them back. We are impatient in our loneliness to pass on and rest with them with our work finished.
This is our Easter hope and resurrection promise. But we have not been called yet. Our work is not yet finished. We must not be impatient. But for our comfort, with our eyes on the new Heaven and our ears filled with the new song, and our hearts full of Heaven's love, standing here between the two songs, let us contemplate what evidences there are at hand that the chorus of the text shall some day be realized, Jesus' reign be come universal, and we who are His, become members of that throng of singers.
(1). That His reign has increased in the face of the sternest opposition, evidences its ultimate victory. At the dawn of the Christian church, when the high priest and all which were with him rose up and laid hands on the apostles and took counsel to slay them, one, Gamaliel, had in reputation among all people, said, "Ye men of Israel take heed to yourselves what you do as touching these men, for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught, but if it be of God ye can not overthrow it."
Applying this standard to the teachings and the work of these men, what must be the verdict? The mustard seed has become the tree and the birds of all climes are lodging in its branches. But this success has not been achieved with even the negative help which the policy of Gamaliel would have given, but in the face of the sternest opposition. His policy was not adopted and Christianity has come to success, in spite of the sternest opposition it is possible for any thing to receive from the inventive genius of men or devils. Had Gamaliel added, but if you do not let these men alone, but drive them out of our city and put some of them to death and persecute the others beyond measure; then if success crowns them, that success must be of God, even the high priest must have admitted that it would have been strong testimony, to say the least.
Such has been the case. Never has opposition been more determined. The reign of Jesus has advanced against a storm of stones, through the cells of prisons, through conflicts on sea and on land, through fields of blood and furnaces of fire. The stately trampings of its legions have been heard mingling with the jeers of the Roman mob. And when no opposition of force could avail to stay it, scorn and ridicule, argument and oppositely constructed religions were pitted against it.
It may safely be said that human muscle and human mind centuries ago, exhausted themselves in the fight against the faith, but to no purpose. Through all, and in all, and over all, it has been victorious and that without weapons that are carnal. Jesus said to Peter, "Put up thy sword," and the sheathed sword and the uplifted cross have been its signs of conquest ever since. But not alone has it advanced against the opposition of its foes without, it has advanced in face of a greater enemy, dissention and disunion without its own borders. That His reign has been augmented through the centuries over the weaknesses and mistakes and brother hatreds in its own body, is its greatest miracle; its triumph is greater because "The
Thirty Years War" has been within its own ranks.
Therefore, we say that opposition of every character save that of time, has been exhausted. It can meet no greater in the future. It has triumphed. Can we not say that it will be ultimately victorious?
(2). That advanced science, philosophy and discovery confirms its claims, evidences its ultimate victory. Science and religion is the statement today. Not science or religion. Science has as its field the tangible, material world, its ground the intellect. Religion has as its field the spiritual world, its ground the heart. Over both is the one and the same God. God has given to the world two books of revelation; each a revelation of himself the one the complement of the other. Centuries ago from his pulpit of wood, Ezra, the servant of the Lord turned the leaves of the one Book and reading it gave the sense. Today from pulpits of wood and stone and dust, other servants of God are turning the leaves of the other book and giving the sense. The book of geology as the Genesis of the newest Bible.
Hinman believed in the theory of Evolution. Scottish Common Sense Realism was formulated as a response to Francis Bacon’s empirical method that disputed any belief that could not be proven through experimentation. Scottish Common Sense Realists jettisoned the Biblical definition and understanding of “spirit” and “spiritual” in order to conform to the empirical method. That is how supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit were replaced with the “Eureka!” moment, caused by “truth impressions”, a pseudo-scientific theory of regeneration.
Specifically, Hinman believed what Bacon said of the “ignorant” people who believe the Bible as literally true: “some of the moderns have
indulged this folly with such consummate inconsiderateness, that they have endeavored to build a system of natural philosophy on the first
chapter of Genesis, the book of Job, and other parts of scripture; seeking thus the dead among the living. And this folly is the more to be
prevented and restrained, because not only fantastical philosophy, but heretical religion spring from the absurd mixture of matters divine
and human. It is therefore most wise soberly to render unto faith the things that are faith’s”. Of course Bacon’s definition of faith was
faith that something is true despite empirical evidence. So when he says, “render unto faith the things that are faith’s”, he means “unprovable
ideas that helps the mind cope with reality”. Scottish Common Sense Realism was designed specifically to address this challenge by redefining
“spirit” as “mind” and “spiritual” as “of or pertaining to the thoughts of God”. By eliminating the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit, they
thought they were bringing Christianity into line with the revealed truths of science.
Darwin’s evolution fit well into the societal evolution theory of revealed truth and the pre-millenial view of most Protestants. The Gilded Age
was the last moment when Christianity was sitting on the humanist throne, instituting socialist ideals of equality. This age of the Christian
Superman is called in history books, the “social gospel”. Shortly after this book was written, World War One would prove the foolishness of
Hinman’s optimism. Christian nations would engage in wholesale slaughter of one another.
The book of philosophy as Exodus. The book of astronomy as Leviticus. Botany and astronomy as the poetry. The science of biology and mental and moral philosophy as the books of prophecy. Psychology would hint to us the need of a Saviour, while the history of the church would give us the gospels and the epistles.
Psychology would hint to us the need of a Saviour. Scottish Common Sense Realism salvation is psychological, and Christ meets a psychological need.
Science and theology are not pitted against each other, but each is becoming more and more the book of answers for the other. There they verify their results. The great mass of scientists are today to be found within the pale of the church In the last congress of scientists which met at Philadelphia, seventy per cent, were to be found members of the orthodox church, and ninety per cent, were in sympathy with the Christian religion.
More and more are we coming to realize that the priests of God are not all to be found in the house of Levi, but also of the tribes of Galileo and Newton, of Beal and Agassiz, of Miller and Dawson, and that the two books of Nature and the Bible are but two testaments of the one Book of God. But not alone are science and philosophy verifying Scripture and testifying to its trust worthiness, but discovery in the fields of Egypt and Assyria and Palestine, is testifying to the historical truths of the Old Testament.
The day when the infidel could deny the history of Israel, as given in the Scriptures, is fast passing away. For not alone are the telescope, the microscope, the hammer, and the scalpel enlisted in the service of the Master, but the spade as if ashamed of doing nothing but digging graves for men, is digging the grave of infidelity by uncovering the ruins of Nineveh, the tomb of Jonah and the monuments of the kings. It is grand to live in these days of victory. Science, philosophy and discovery are adding their voices to those of the Heavenly chorus and are testify ing that the kingdoms of this world are rapidly becoming the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ.
(3). That in the light of the advanced civilization of the nineteenth century, it meets the deepest demands of the heart and is abreast with and above all civilization, evidences its ultimate victory. The demands of the heart are always the same in all ages and in all climes. The psalmist thirsting after God as the hart for the water brooks, is a sure type of man.
The heart longing for sympathy in the earliest ages, is the heart longing for sympathy today. The religion of Jesus is purely a religion of the heart and not of the head. The fruits of the Spirit in the days of Paul were love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Not an attribute of the head in all this catalogue of the Spirit's fruitage. The fruits of the Spirit when the morning stars sang together, are the fruits of the Spirit today; but the heart is apt to be deceived in the choice of that which will best meet the demands of its longings. Therefore, while the heart in its longings has been ever the same, the centuries have witnessed a change in those objects meant to satisfy. Whatever gives to the heart an abiding satisfaction will be the victorious power of time and eternity.
It is for the head to investigate these objects and test them, but the heart will reject the 'best intellectually tested objects, if it fails to satisfy. Experience is, after all, the best and only sure test of the heart. And, therefore, as the heart of the civilization of the nineteenth century chooses Christianity as its best comforter, and that after an experience of eighteen centuries, it is a sure and lasting testimony to the final absolute reign of Christ.
But while the reign of Christ is the genius of heart's ease in this advanced civilization, it is also abreast and above that civilization in its intellectual strength and the leader of the highest intellectual culture. That the Christian religion is pre-eminently the heart religion, has led to the sometime error that it is weak in intellectual strength. That it preeminently satisfies the longing heart is its best argument for its pre-eminent strength of intellect.
It is not only the concentrated love but the concentrated wisdom of Heaven. That wisdom and that love has been lifting civilization and emancipating it from the dominion of ignorance, while it has cultivated the heart. Says Emelio Castelar, that eminent orator of Spain, " Each great cycle of history, traversed by civilization has emancipated someone of the human faculties. The Renaissance gave new life to the sensibilities and the imagination. The Reformation emancipated man's moral faculties, especially the conscience. The triumph of philosophy emancipated the reason, while such republics as the United States and France are emancipating
This is Christianized societal evolution.
Is it too much to say, that in this emancipation Christianity has been the prime mover, the supporter, the teacher ? Such emancipation has given man himself as his own inheritance. It must take some time for him to learn by experience and observation that human liberty means loving, loyal obedience to Divine law. But he will learn it though it does take time. Emancipated from the thralldom of the past, though every link of the chain which bound him was forged by man, under the direction of God to serve a limited purpose, now worn out serving its purpose, drops into God's furnace to be melted over and it will come out a new chain by which man will be lifted from earth to heaven.
We have seen what “Christian” Germany did with “truth to power” societal evolution.
(4). Fourthly and finally, that, after eighteen centuries of strenuous conflict, it has lost none of its vitality, but has increased from strength to strength, evidences its final victory. Why does the tree live? Why does it ultimately die? Scientists tell us that the answer to the one is the answer to the other. When you have solved that problem you have also solved the relation of life and death to man and to governments. These problems of life and death are the same throughout the universe. Death marches side by side with life. From the moment the seed germ is aroused to activity death begins its work. Growth continues as long as the tree has sufficient vital force to more than counterbalance the decay.
The time comes when the vital force is not sufficient. Death then has the ascendency and dissolution is only a question of time. As with the tree, so with the physical man. As with man, so with governments. The decay of every government is only a question of time. As you remember history, you can recall the overthrow of the governments of Alexander, of Caesar, of Napoleon. These powers existed as long as there was sufficient vital force to counterbalance the processes of decay.
Christianized Societal evolution.
But with the vitality of Alexander, of Cassar, of Napoleon absent, the decay was rapid and certain. There were none of sufficient vital force to take their place. In the race of life and death, death has won in every contest but one. No wonder that the traveler goes out in search of that fountain of vital force which shall prove a perpetual and sufficient source of life to counteract the processes of decay and thus conquer death.
The There has been one exception to this process of decay. There is one government which nineteen centuries has tested and the fountain of whose vitality is as full as at the beginning. It is the government of Jesus. In the face of every negative force that has been the heritage of every other government and the cause of its overthrow, this government has gone on from strength to strength. Why? There is but one answer. It is fully embodied in the meaning of this Easter day.
The Founder of this government did not will to His subjects the final conflict between life and death like other founders. He met death at the beginning. He conquered him in his stronghold the grave. Therefore He has only willed life to His subjects. He has given to them by the power of the resurrection His omnipotent, omnipresent Self as a sufficient vital energy to rejuvenate His kingdom and furnish the antidote to death. His living Self overcomes the processes of dissolution.
His, " Lo, I am with you alway," is the watchword of sure growth and the challenge to all doubters. By His presence the youthfulness of His government is renewed like the eagles. It shall run and not get weary; it shall walk and not faint.
Alexander, Cassar and Napo leon are dead. We point to their tombs and say, lo! They are there and therefore their governments are dead, too! But on this Easter morning we point to the tomb of Jesus and we hear again the voice of the angel saying, He is not there, He is risen. There fore of His government there shall be no end. History warrants this conclusion. Several times in eighteen centuries has it seemed as though His government was beginning to wane. The darkest time in its history was when Jesus was on the cross. Who then would have dared to have said that after the centuries had gone by, the millions of an advanced civilization would commemorate not only that scene but the one of three days later, the resurrection.
Even after the ascension when only the few were gathered in an upper room in prayer, who of the kingdom of the Jews, would have prophesied that which was about to take place. It seemed to the leaders who had put Jesus to death that at last they had accomplished their purposes. The would hear no more of this matter. Christianity was extinguished. But suddenly there is a sound heard as of a mighty rushing wind.
The Holy Spirit descends, and at the end of the first day there are thousands at Jerusalem who are ready to die for the faith. The work goes on. The kingdom spreads faster and faster, and farther and farther, in spite of all opposition, until in a very brief time the whole civilized world has its converts, and thousands upon thousands are singing praises to the risen Lord.
Let infidelity take warning. After centuries of wonderful prosperity again it seemed as though the kingdom of our Lord would become dissolved by very virtue of its temporal prosperity. The church had become a wonderful corruption of what it should have been. It seemed to have lost its power. To one who had forgotten that the Lord was not in the tomb and who was looking at the outward semblance of things only and not to the Fountain of perpetual energy, Christianity was proving itself a failure. But lo, just when it seemed as though the devil was being victorious over the risen Lord, again is the sound heard from Heaven, the Reformation is ushered in, the kingdom of Jesus is again cleansed of its filth and rottenness, and a new life is assured.
Hinman sees the Reformation as the ascendancy of man to his rightful place as imitator of Jesus. Everyone can be an imitator of Jesus without having to jump through the hoops of a corrupt church. But imitating Jesus, or what is called “Christ consciousness” today, is a psychological process, not a supernatural one. John and Charles Wesley were locked out of the Churches of England because he told its members who were baptized as infants, “ye must be born again!”. As a Scottish Common Sense realist, Hinman stands with the Church of England ministers that locked out the Wesleys. Hinman believes regeneration is merely a psychological tipping point when someone begins to serve God over self. He does not believe in supernatural regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
So later on, when the Lord raised up John and Charles Wesley, just at the point when infidelity in all its forms was about to celebrate its triumph over the kingdom and its leaders had prophesied its immediate collapse, the kingdom receives new life from on high and goes on to greater strength. The rejuvenating power of the Holy Spirit, the omnipresent Witness of the risen Lord, has never failed the kingdom in its extremity.
After every new impulse the kingdom advances beyond every point of its previous history. Let infidelity take notice. We are subjects of a living King. These days of ours may be called properly days of great unrest in the theological realm. Historic doctrine is undergoing great discussion. Scepticism has taken to itself new forms. It was forced to do this for many of its positions in regard to Christianity it has been forced to give up. Thank God there are many victories which have been won for the faith which will never have to be won again. But the scepticism of today is of a most subtle sort. It admits the practical helpfulness of Christianity, but does not accept its promises. But what is to be the outcome of this theologic unrest, the subtle attacks of scepticism, the omnipresent doubt? Dissolution of the kingdom? The uncrowning of our King? No, never! If every person of this age should forsake His standard with the exception of a half dozen weak and infirm ones of poor intellect, but large heart and faith, through these there would come a new Pentecost, a new advance of the kingdom, a new conquering of the earth, a new love for Jesus, a holier faith.
There need be no doubt as to the future of the kingdom, the future of the Book, nor the ultimate reign of our King. Our Lord is risen indeed, and as the omnipresent Spirit, He becomes the greatest surety of the ultimate victory of His kingdom.
Charles Spurgeon identified one of the marks of the Downgrade of theology was the Holy Spirit was made into a mere influence. The deists recognized the Spirit of God as omnipresent. The issue is whether or not the Holy Spirit interacts immediately with man, and whether the fruits of the Holy Spirit are real, or just the delusions of the early church that did not understand “truth to power” psychology.
Brethren, the signs of the times assure us of the ultimate victory of Jesus the Christ and His eternal reign. We have listened to these few facts of evidence not because we have doubts on the subject, but that we may by this reminder have new confidence in the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy of our text. This victory in its rapid and near approach should bring cause for rejoicing to every Christian heart. As Christians we can be thankful under all circumstances.
If Jesus triumphs all things must work together for our good. We can come from the chamber of sickness, from the grave of our dead, from fields of disaster, and while tears fill our eyes, we can let the songs of rejoicing go up from our lips as we catch sight through the open Heavens of Christ on the throne.
Yes, the Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice! To be sure clouds and darkness are round about Him; the clouds and darkness of His oft time strange providences; the darkness which our understanding can not fathom, as we weary the heavens with our oft-repeated question of "why." Yet, above our sorrow and distress, above disaster and pain, above all our bewilderments, above the impenetrable darkness of time's night and the clouds of its day, be assured that righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne.
Therefore, "although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail and the fields yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall; yet we will rejoice in the Lord and joy in the God of our salvation."
Brethren, listen again to the song of the redeemed! Listen to the final Easter chorus! Every tribe and tongue and nation and every family, too, are represented. Jesus is there. The kings and priests are there; the white robed throng, angel and seraphim, sons of God. Our loved ones are among the throng. Will we be there? Let us join the orchestra of light. Let us now send back the refrain, Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace, good will toward Heaven. Let us join these Heavenly voices of thanksgiving, as the echoes come up to us from the Isle of Patmos, for He who is and was and is to come has taken to Himself great power and has reigned.
The end of Seen Faith.