Divine Service

The teachings of the New Testament as to the fruits of Christian living, of the acceptance and practice of the Christ-way, are unmistakable. They are so clearly set forth that none but a closed mind can deny their significance and obligations. Christ Jesus proved his words by his works. It seems assured that the impact of his career upon his own and future generations would have been greatly lessened if his ministry had been confined to his teachings, to his words apart from his works. He plainly asserted that his works were his true witness; that he was indeed sent of the Father to prove the presence and availability of the Christ to heal humanity of all its errors, to show the way to the kingdom, to eternal Life.

In instructing both his twelve chosen disciples and the seventy, Christ Jesus told them of the works they were to accomplish in addition to the preaching of the gospel, the good news they had learned from his own lips. Their assertion that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, important as was that statement, was not enough. It must be buttressed by proof. His definite instructions were to the twelve, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). Surely no more direct and important instructions were ever given to devoted missionaries of the Christ, sent forth upon the greatest of all ministries, the redemption of humanity from its burdens of sin and misery. They were to proclaim the truth Jesus had so patiently and so convincingly taught them.

That of itself was not sufficient, however, to carry conviction. They must prove the weight of their words by performing the deeds which would be so convincing as to preclude the possibility of doubt. Words alone might be questioned, but works done could scarcely fail to satisfy the most determined doubter. The crux of the lesson conveyed by the teachings of the Master, with the resulting works of both the twelve and the seventy, is that the mere acceptance of the teachings of Jesus is not sufficient either to transform the one who believes them or to impress others. Belief must be transformed into works. The proof lies in the use made of the teachings, the effect they have upon the lives of Christians.

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"If children, then heirs"
May 9, 1942

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