Christian experience recognizes Christ as an absolutely perfect Savior, perfectly revealing the Godhead and worthy of unlimited worship and adoration; that is, it practically recognizes him as Deity. But Christian experience also recognizes that through Christ it has introduction and reconciliation to God as one distinct from Jesus Christ, as one who was alienated from the soul by its sin, but who is now reconciled though Jesus? death. In other words, while recognizing Jesus as God, we are also compelled to recognize a distinction between the Father and the Son through whom we come to the Father.
Although this experience cannot be regarded as an independent witness to Jesus? claims, since it only tests the truth already made known in the Bible, still the irresistible impulse of every person whom Christ has saved to lift his Redeemer to the highest place, and bow before him in the lowliest worship, is strong evidence that only that interpretation of Scripture can be true which recognizes Christ?s absolute Godhead. It is the church?s consciousness of her Lord?s divinity, indeed, and not mere speculation upon the relations of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that has compelled the formulation of the Scripture doctrine of the Trinity.
In the letter of Pliny to Trajan, it is said of the early Christians ?quod essent soliti carmen Christo quasi Deo dicere invicem.? The prayers and hymns of the church show what the church has believed Scripture to teach. Dwight Moody is said to have received his first conviction of the truth of the gospel from hearing the concluding words of a prayer, ?For Christ?s sake, Amen,? when awakened from physical slumber in Dr. Kirk?s church, Boston. These words, wherever tittered, imply man?s dependence and Christ?s deity. See New Englander, 1878:482. In
<490432> Ephesians 4:32, the Revised Version substitutes ?in Christ:? for ?for Christ?s sake.? The exact phrase ?for Christ?s sake? is not found in the New Testament in connection with prayer, although the Old Testament phrase ?for my name?s sake? ( <192511>Psalm 25:11) passes into the New Testament phrase ?in the name of Jesus? ( <502910>Philippians 2:10); cf .
<197215> Psalm 72:15 ? ?men shall pray for him continually? = the words of the hymn: ?For him shall endless prayer be made, And endless blessings crown his head.? All this is proof that the idea of prayer for Christ?s sake is in Scripture, though the phrase is absent.
A caricature scratched on the wall of the Palatine palace in Rome, and dating back to the third century, represents a human figure with an ass?s head, hanging upon a cross, while a man stands before it in the attitude of
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