When I was a child, undisturbed by critical questions, the Christ of God graciously became my Savior. Jesus crucified on the cross stood before me for months as the only escape from hell. Something, which I now know was the implantation of a heavenly nature, changed the course of my life, gave me new attitudes, and established new ideals, always acting as an impulse to keep me true to the cross. He has become increasingly and manifoldly more precious with the unfolding years. Because of my peculiar makeup, life's trials and disappointments have struck at the very foundations of life itself and at the foundations of all religion, yet all these have driven me to Him and taught me more deeply what I have in Him.
That initial picture of Jesus has broadened, deepened, and grown more delightful, but has remained the same picture. As I have learned of His deity and pre-existence, His part in creation and providence, His foreshadowing in the Old Testament, His mysterious incarnation and wondrous birth, His matchless teachings and sinless life, His delightfully charming personality and winsomely perfect manhood, His meaningful resurrection and ascension, His intercession and work through His churches and the Holy Spirit, and His coming again on through His kingdom until God becomes all in all, — through all these unfoldings and glimpses of Him and the truth I have, I say, never gotten away from this inceptive view of the cross. but it has ever been magnified.
Hence, my one predilection (a liking of a person or thing that makes up the mind beforehand in its favor) is that nothing shall be derogatory of Him whose worth I know by the acid test of experience. I must, out of a deep love for Him, know all I can of Him, but nothing that I learn shall be made to count against Him.
Life is so constituted that certain assumptions lie at the bottom of whatever form thereof or attitude therein we choose. Every one has his predilection or predilections. Let me compare my one predilection with some others.
Some assume that the Bible is a human book like all others, containing both truth and error. My predilection is that in my Lord Jesus Christ I have one perfect revelation. And since His character and the character of Christianity stand or fall with the inspiration and revelation of the Bible, I know it is God's Word. With Erasmus in 1540, I say, "There is nothing that brings Christ back to us so absolutely, so vividly, so unreservedly, as do the writings of the evangelists and the apostles." Christ Jesus unlocks for me the Mysteries of revelation and inspiration.
The Modernist assumes that the "assured(?) results of criticism prove the Bible to be historically and scientifically inaccurate." My one predilection is that my Lord would not approve an inaccurate and fictitious book. I know Him too well to believe that He would have declared that "the scripture cannot be broken" if the Bible's every statement would not stand the severest test of candid investigation. The trustworthiness of my Lord's Word assures me of the inerrancy of what He held to be inerrant.
The mystery of regeneration and spiritual illumination may be assumed to be unsound by modern psychological thought. My predilection is that I know something has taken place within me and I know His description of what it is, is true. We both, my Lord and I, were there when it took place. Praise God!
The future life may be assumed to be incredible because no one has been there. My one predilection is that Jesus was in eternity, spoke truthful words, and, most of all, lives after His death in my own experience. He opens the future for me. And His words, which I have proven true, make me know that justice awaits the lost as well as joy the saved. My soul learned that it deserved eternal punishment in hell, and that the cross of Jesus was my only avenue of escape.
No visible, tangible sign of His appearing again may lead some to assume that He is not coming. I know He is because His Word assures and my new nature cries out for Him.
Some assume that worldwide missions is not justifiable. My one predilection is that the cross teaches me better. Its light shined into my heart, and there is there an inward impulsion to give it to every one else. Furthermore, the converts of our mission fields in their spontaneous outburst of love for Him know that He is God's Son and that the Bible is a message of eternal moment from God.
Let us be taught by the experience of others and our own that any predilection that dishonors the Son of God and divine things is false, being proven so by His power and love that have inclined us eternally and absolutely in His favor. My Lord Jesus Christ stands as the one explanation and key to it all, and I rejoice to record my wholehearted predilection for HIM.
[From: T. P. Simmons, editor, The Baptist Examiner, January 1, 1932, p. 8. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall]
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