Seven Essentials of Loyalty to Christ
Much has been said recently about loyalty to Christ and allegiance to his leadership. In the current issue of one of our denominational weeklies it is editorially affirmed that loyalty to Christ is the chief “fundamental.” There are some things essential to this loyalty.
1. We recall that the historical Christ is greatly emphasized in our day as essential to this loyalty. But where do we learn of the historical Christ save in the Bible? What profane history tells us of Christ is so meager as to make no impression on the world. We must study the Scriptures then to learn of Him, for how can we be loyal to one whom we do not know? Jesus said concerning the Old Testament, “Ye search the Scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me.” As to the New Testament, Paul says of his gospel, “I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” John says, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.” Peter says, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Not only the records of the four evangelists then, but the entire Bible must be perused in order to get a full vision of Christ. But if portions of the Bible are discredited, how does one know what to believe and what to discard? Is not spiritual blindness induced by this means? Can we by any possibility get a correct and full view of Christ unless we accept the inspiration, integrity, and authority of God's Word in its entirety?
2. The Bible plainly sets forth Jesus Christ as the true God, “God manifest in the flesh,” “the only begotten Son of God,” “conceived of the Holy Ghost,” “born of a virgin.” It becomes evident then that loyalty to Christ demands a belief in His true deity. How can one who treats lightly, not to say denies, the virgin birth and real deity of Christ profess loyalty to him?
3. Jesus Christ, our Master and Lord said, “Except ye be converted ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven” and “that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit: marvel not that I said unto thee ye must be born again.” Now the means and the agent of that new birth are clearly seen to be the Word of God and the Spirit of God. None but twice-born men can possibly be loyal to Christ: in fact the new birth is the entrance into the loyal life. Loyalty demands a regenerated church membership.
4. Furthermore, the testimony of Jesus and the apostles to the divine authorship of the Bible, and to the fact that the entire Old and New Testament testify of Christ, is sufficient to implant in every loyal Christian heart an unquestioning acceptance of the doctrine of the blood atonement. God’s method of dealing with sin by vicarious suffering is writ large on the pages of the whole Book and cannot be eliminated without utter mutilation of the sacred volume. To refuse to believe in the blood atonement is to be disloyal to Christ to the last degree.
5. When the people came to Jesus asking Him “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” He replied, “This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John says, “As many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” Loyalty to Christ, then, demands an acceptance by faith of Him as personal Savior and Lord and a complete surrender to His will.
6. Again He said, “If ye love Me keep my commandments,” and it is evident that love and obedience are essential to loyalty.
7. The greatest anomaly in the church today is the presence of some who say they love the Lord Jesus Christ and yet do not love His appearing. It is beyond all comprehension how one can love a person and not want to see him. It is manifest in this day as in the days of the apostles that those who love the Lord most devotedly and evidently are the ones who look most ardently for His return. The cry for the coming of the heavenly Bridegroom so urgently made by the New Testament Christians is re-echoed in the hearts of ten thousands of his saints today. It is not a question of theology, but of personal love and loyalty to Christ. “Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as he is.” Loyal hearts everywhere can hardly wait until that day comes.
Doubtless many more, but these things at least, are essential to loyalty to Christ. Loyalty is not mere sentiment nor empty profession; it is not an ephemeral thing; it is not simply an expression of allegiance to a great leader. It is well illustrated in the loyalty of good children to their parents, of good husbands to their wives, as daily manifested in and out of the home. It becomes a ruling principle in the life. It means a complete abandonment of myself to Him who loved me and gave Himself for me. “Love so amazing so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
— This article was written by Rev. C. H. Leggett in 1922.