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100 Years Ago From May 1916 Word and Work — WORDS BY THE WAY

by E. L. Jorgenson

 

Elmer L. Jorgenson (1886-1968)

Elmer L. Jorgenson (1886-1968)

The next time the devil casts doubt into your heart, read “The resurrection of Lazarus.” John eleven. Here is a story which infidels have not dared to deny. Think of that wonder until overwhelming confidence takes the place of distressing uncertainty.

Suppose he were Your brother, Lazarus. And now after four days there comes toiling through the dust to Bethany this Wonder-Worker; He leads you out to the tomb, He lifts His eyes and voice to heaven for a moment. You are all expectant. Then he cries, “Lazarus, come forth .” What a moment! How the ears are strained for a sound within the tomb! How the heart is ‘beating! And then the weird, wonderful sight; hound hand and foot in graves-bands your brother appears!

‘How we do wish for a few more words of record as to what occurred. But there is the amazing truth stated. It is enough for one lesson, and you can close the book, knowing that he who did this is God— if not there is none, and this man is all we need.

One of the favorite excuses with the sinner is this, “ I can’t feel rig ht; I can’t get the feeling people say they have when they become Christians.” Well, it would be a bad thing if he could feel right. He ought not to feel right. He ought to feel all wrong, convinced and convicted of sin. Hosts of people are wait­ing for some sort of emotional storm to come and sweep them off their feet and take them willy-nilly to Jesus, and it never comes; because God has given man his free will and will never take it from him.

God will give his only begotten son to die; Jesus will lay down his life ; the Holy Spirit will plead; angels will take their part; good men and women everywhere will preach and

pray for his salvation, but there is one thing the sinner alone can do. Absolutely he must submit; and then the feeling comes, “ Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace,”

Justification first, then peace. Peace within follows covenant relationship with God. There are two splendid illustrations in the New Testament of when the feeling comes. The Eunuch and The Jailer, Acts 8 and Acts 16. The eunuch “went on his way rejoicing,” but the rejoicing came after  obedience. The Jaile r  “rejoiced greatly with all his house, having

believed in God.”

In both cases the open acceptance of Christ, yes, even baptism pre­ceded the rejoicing. A saved man ought to feel right and he will feel rig h t; but feeling is a result of pardon, not a condition.

Abiding in Christ, which is essential both to fruitfulness and to salvation, depends upon two things. We may call them the inworking of the Word of God and the outworking of the

Word of God. First, the inworking: “if ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will and it shall be done unto you.” John 16 :7 . Then the outworking; “ if ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love.”

John 15:10. In his old age John stated these two things again, and in the same or­der ; “As for you, let that abide in you which ye heard from the beginning, if that which ye heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the son and in the Father.” 1 John 2 :24. . “He that keepeth His commandments abideth in Him and he in Him.” 1 John 3 :2 4 . That His word should abide in us, that we should lay it up in our hearts, tha t we should handle

the Word of Life, that it should dwell in us richly in all wisdom.

— This is first and absolutely fundamental. Everything grows out of that. But it is not enough that the word should have free entrance, it must also have free course in the life ; there must be the honest, earnest effort to work out what God works in, by living true to our light, by keeping His commandments. So shall

we abide in him who is the vine, so shall we be His disciples, and so shall we bear much fruit.

 

Read E. L. Jorgenson’s biography in this issue of Word and Work.




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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8