Editorial

All for Jesus and Jesus for All

By

Editor’s note: This edition of alife highlights the core values of The Alliance as articulated by C&MA leaders wholly committed to seeing these values lived out in the hearts and lives of Alliance people everywhere. “Jesus Only” is not a denial of the Trinity as some have understood it in recent years, but an affirmation of the all-sufficiency of Christ as our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King.

Although penned more than two decades ago, the following words of Dr. Louis L. King remind us of a “special trust” that demands our commitment to these core values with uncompromising resolve as we help extend the gospel of Christ to the last unevangelized corners of our planet.

Alliance history illustrates in detail the nature of “the special trust” cited by our founder [Dr. A. B. Simpson]. The Alliance is a unique missionary denomination—a maverick movement into whose soul the Head of the Church breathed “Go!” from the very start.

The passage of a century has served to prove that the Alliance’s sense of being sent was not a mere stage of development or an enthusiasm that peaked early and faded fast. That century has been characterized among denominations in general by religious inertness, spiritual coldness, ever-widening rationalism and secular humanism. Yet the spirit of “Go!” remains at the center of Alliance thought and conduct.

It all began with a man and a few followers. A century later, their numbers have grown to over 2 million adherents.* Even larger numbers will follow, because The Alliance believes that no province or region or country should be exempted from the opportunity to hear the gospel—witnessing that intends to convert.

This is our special trust, and we will specialize in it. However, limiting our reason for existence to missionary endeavor would not only distort Alliance history; it would threaten the dynamic of Alliance missions at the very source.

The record makes clear that Dr. Simpson and his associates first organized the Evangelical Christian Alliance. This fellowship of Christians united in their devotion to Jesus Christ and to the truths of Scripture that pointed to Him as the all-sufficient Lord. Afterward, they formed the Evangelical Missionary Alliance as the missions arm of that fellowship in faith.

They followed this sequence not because the Great Commission was of secondary importance, but because its fulfillment depended on Holy Spirit–filled individuals who supremely loved Jesus.

Our special trust to evangelize at home and abroad therefore finds its source and strength in a very personal imperative: to experience the truth we proclaim truth, that finds its complete expression and fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Dr. Simpson himself set for us that standard: “I felt I dare not hold any truth in God’s Word as a mere theory or to teach others what I had not personally proved.”

God has graciously given the Alliance a century marked by growth as a movement and by usefulness in extending His Kingdom.

We cannot take for granted that further increase and blessing will characterize the Alliance in its second century. These distinctions are earned, not inherited.

Let us therefore:

  • Be certain that our message and ministry overflow from the reality of personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
  • Be careful to reject the natural tendencies to put personal comfort and security first, or to serve primarily the people of our own country and culture.
  • Be diligent to preach and teach those essential doctrines of God’s Word that inspire deep thinking, strong faith and bold action in service to God.
  • Be alert in promoting evangelism as necessary for our local community as well as for people overseas.
  • Be convinced that by fulfilling the missionary assignment of the church we bring closer the Second Coming of Christ, for “this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come” [Matt. 24:14].

In sum, as we in The Christian and Missionary Alliance advance into our second century of service, let us purpose, by His grace, to be all for Jesus.

From the book All for Jesus**, by Robert Niklaus, John Sawin and Samuel Stoesz

*Since this article was published in 1987, the worldwide Alliance family has grown to more than 5 million inclusive members in more than 80 countries worldwide.

**The 2013 version of All for Jesus is available through through The Alliance Store

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