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By George Ragland, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Lexington, KY

      This was the theme of one of Geo. Ragland's messages at the Murray Institute. Most of our readers perhaps know that he had been a teacher of Greek for many years before he entered the ministry at the age of 46. As a teacher he knew that much every way depended upon the accent of a word. We do not claim to give a verbatim report of his message, but we try to pass on his main points to our readers. HBTaylor

     Accent is the big thing in all languages. Accent in life is as important as accent in words. Accent in the Great Commission is important. Four things are commanded in that Commission: Go-disciple-baptize-teach. Can we find the accent in the Commission? Is there any way to tell on which of these four words the Master placed the accent? In the Greek language the main accent is on the main verb, the others being participles. In the Commission the main verb is "make disciples." All the other three are participles. Go is an aorist participle - the "get-you-there" participle. The idea is to get you where you are to work. Baptize and teaching are descriptive participles.

     The Master put His main accent on making disciples or getting men saved. There are four classes of Christian workers. They are differentiated by which of these four words they put the accent on.

     1. Accent on Go.
     Many put the accent on the first word of the Commission. With them the main thing is to go. They do not care much what you do when you go, just so you go. W. C. T. U., Student Volunteer Movement, Y. M. C. A. and many others put the accent here. The organization and mechanical side of the 75 Million Campaign come under this and to some they are the main thing. Social service and Social Settlement Workers put the accent on the "Go" rather than on the gospel.

     2. Accent on Baptize.      Those who put the supreme accent on baptize teach that you are eternally damned if you aren't baptized. Baptists put less accent on baptism than anybody else. We put the accent on salvation first and then on baptism as an act of obedience for the saved.

     3. Accent on teach.
     The speaker himself confessed that he once thought the teacher a bigger man than the preacher; but he had learned better. Christ was primarily a preacher. He put the accent there by commanding us to preach the gospel to every creature. The religion of intellectuality puts the accent on teach. There is no argument in the Great Commission for Christian education. The only thing included in the teaching end of the Great Commission is obedience to Christ's commands. There is nothing in that Commission about teaching anything else but the Bible. We are magnifying worldly wisdom; trying to educate folks into the kingdom.

      4. Disciple.
Here the Master placed the accent. Here is where the B. Y. P. U. and W. M. U. fall down in many places. With many of them the main thing is the program, instead of soul-winning. How many of us are soul-winners is the main thing. Heart action and tongue action and foot or leg action and a purpose to do it are the essentials in soul-winning. No man can present Christ to another man, if his own life isn't right.

      Nothing magnified above the local church in the New Testament. The accent in the New Testament is on the church, not on W. M. U. or Men's class or Sunday School or B. Y. P. U. All these are secondary to the church. Dancing and soul-winning do not go together. The senseless, time-killing, card-playing church member, that is helping to raise a crop of gamblers, is no account as a soul-winner. Women will not long fritter away their time at cards, if soul-winning gets on their hearts.


[From H. Boyce Taylor, News and Truths, First Baptist Church, Murray, KY, 1924, pp. 8-9. - Document provided by Ben Stratton. - Scanned by Jim Duvall.]

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