From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher
An email newsletter ministry of Richard D. Swift, publishing the sermons of Rev.
Reed A. Swift (1899-1973), a holiness preacher and my grandfather
[Editor's note: This sermon was preached in the Free Methodist Churches of
W.Hollywood, CA (Dec.6,1936), Pomona, CA (Dec.8,1946), and MiraLoma, CA
(Dec.1949) This sermon is based on "Why I Believe the Bible" by David James
Burrell, DD,LL.D (1844-1925). The Roman numeral points are the chapter headings
in that book. The title of the book is not mentioned in the sermon. Appearing at
the top of the first page of this sermon, there is written, "Forward! The Story
of the Conversion of David James Burrell". The only other clue that this sermon
came from a book is the beginning sentence under the VIth point. So I had to do
some research and finally found out the title of the book. Burrell was president
of the Anti-Saloon League of New York state. He was also President of the Lord's
Day Alliance for many years. He pastored the Marble Collegiate Church, New York
and contributed to "The Fundamentals, A Testimony to the Truth" edited by
R.A.Torrey. Because of the
sermon's length (21 points), I've elected to divide it into three parts, one
per month. This is part III]
XV. It is the Church's Book
Paul says in Ephesians, the church, "is built upon the apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone., in whom, the whole church fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord." Christ is a tried and precious foundation stone for the church.
(1) If Christ is the Chief Cornerstone, the Bible is the Rock Foundation.
(2) The Church is not only founded on the Scriptures, it is her duty to to safeguard and preserve them to future generations. The Jew was chosen to be the custodian of the Word but failed.
(3) The church is commissioned to proomulgate or spread the Scriptures to the uttermost parts of the earth. Thae command is to preach the Word.
XVI. It is Everybody's Book
One of the most convincing arguments in favor of the Divine origin of Scripture is their adaptations to the needs all sorts and conditions of men.
(1) Atonement; Christ suffered for us in our stead.
(2) Justification by faith. To be saved, we must believe in the Deity of
Christ and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek.
XVII. Its system of Doctrine
(1) Comprehensive- satisfactory for every religious problem.
(2) Relative value in practical life.
(3) Strength in universal adaptation. Profound yet simple
(4) Truths arranged in a coherent system from creation to future events
XVIII Its Moral Code; The most reliable rule to live by for the individual, for society, for the church.
XIX. Its plan of salvation
We may trace the Redemption by the blood from Eden to the Cross upon which Christ died.
XX. Its enemies
Some methods of false prophets, worse enemies than infidels:
A. He tells you he believes the Bible, but only those parts which don't condemn his own sins.
B. More authority placed on his church's doctrine than on the Bible.
C. Denies authorship of Moses of the Pentateuch. Questions Inspiration of Scripture.
D. Mixes truth with error and then claims there are errors in Scripture.
E. Claims errors in translation to belittle the original translation.
F. Claims historical and scientific errors arer in the Bible while claiming doctrines are reliable.
G. Claim that only experts or scholars can determine the accuracy of Scripture.
H. Claim that we are mistaken in locating and discerning their destructive purposes.
I. They accept a human Christ while denying His deity.
J. Most athiests and infidels reside right within the church as wolves in sheeps' clothing.
XXI. Its Indestructibility.
In every age, the Word of God has been attacked by the devil's crowd, and believers have been depressed and fearful.
Findings of archeologists continually verify the validity of the Pentateuch.
Theology of the Bible stands as the philosophy of God and stays intact against the insanity of modernists and infidels.
[From here on, my grandfather, Reed Swift, closes with his own personal observations]
Personal reason for believing God's Word, the Bible: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." Come and see and taste for yourself. It has been 45 years since Burrell first found Christ and his calling at the death bed of a stranger.
1. Free thinkers and hell stinkers have changed their names from infidels to Christians. They call themselves progressives, but we proceed with God. Christ approved the Bible as the Power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth (and faith cometh by hearing), so His Book is good enough for me. A loving God will never leave His children to wander confused without a spiritual guide. Advanced liberalism of the day, wherever found, avowedly denies the three great doctrines of the Bible. Viz.
a. A personal God, Holy, Just, and Good;
b. Man created with a Divine birthright, but fallen into sin, and thereby alienated from God;
c. The God-man, Jesus Christ, through Whom an at-one-ment is effected between God and man.
To disbelieve these, one might as well believe in buildings being designed and erected without an architect or in effects without causes.
2. In practice we find the Word of God is our "infallible rule of faith and practice." Jesus said to search the Scriptures. Life is thru Christ. Experience teaches us just this very thing. Our success in building character for ourselves and others is governed by our intimacy with Christ, the Incarnate Word as revealed through Christ, the Written Word. Nglect your Bible and you starve your soul. Obey and live!
3. Give us the mind of God for our ministry, for man's ideas fail to convince of sin, righteousness, and judgement to come. Burrell says, "The only sensationalism which is permissible in the pulpit is that which borrows its lightning from the bolts of heaven." This applies to the pew as well. We need to make people feel the Divine Personality of God as Moses di Pharoah. How can we unless we have Him within? Then He will help us reveal the blackness of sin.Don't stop until God strikes the truth home to the guilty heart. David cried, "Have mercy O God."
We believe in: 1.The Incarnation of God manifest in the flesh; 2. Atonement- Look and Live; and 3.The Resurrection- death and hell are at our living Christ's command. Behold, the Cross of Christ is the magnet of salvation. Isaiah 5:11- "My Word will not return void."