By Max I. Reich, 1863-1952
In restating in terms of today the unchanging message of Christ, we wish to affirm our conviction that it is more than a philosophy which men have reasoned out. It is “the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints.” It is the testimony to the Way, the Truth, and: the Life by which alone we can come to the Father.
This faith is founded on the supreme fact of Jesus Christ. Ever since His appearance there has been a people who have called upon His Name. They have addressed Him in prayer, and they have rendered to Him divine worship. In the light of their experience they had become convinced that He is more than a great Teacher or a beautiful Example. He is the proper Object of faith, and worthy of deepest love. In confessing Him to be the only begotten Son of God, men have always felt that He alone knew fully, and revealed perfectly, the Father, whose outshining He is, as the sunbeams emanate from and reveal the sun, without ceasing to be one with it.
With the early Christians we also see in Jesus Christ the manifestation in time, and in our nature of the “Eternal Life,” the unbeginning and unending life of God, the origin of all things in the universe, We recognize in His earthly course the expression of spotless holiness and sacrificial love. Tested in all points, He overcame every form of sin. The glamor of the material could not ensnare Him, nor did suffering turn Him back. He wrestled with and defeated even death itself. Beholding Him we see the Father. We are sure now that God is love, for He is “the Image of the Invisible God,” and “in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” At an early date in Christian history the secret came out that the birth of Jesus Christ was not by the will of the flesh, but by the Holy Ghost. Thus He became the promised Seed of the Woman who should bruise the serpent’s head.
But, who can estimate the cost at which He accomplished His redeeming mission, in order that man might be delivered from the thraldom of evil? It involved the agony in the garden and the death-grapple in the darkness of Calvary. Nevertheless, He demonstrated His victory by rising again from the dead, and by taking His seat, far above every throne and dominion and name, in heavenly glory.
And now He lives and reigns as “Lord of all” in the affections and lives of His people, whom He saves from their sins. Truly a mighty and ever-increasing host which no man can number, out of nations: by the space of almost two millenniums, has experienced that “He is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.” And His kingdom grows on earth as they obey His indwelling power. The day will surely come when His knowledge will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Then will all things be transformed. It is His purpose to stand at the head of a ransomed universe. He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. And when sin is eliminated, the suffering which sin produces, will disappear also. Every knee must bow to Him and every tongue confess Him Lord. As the prophet said centuries before His coming, “He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied.”