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 (Living Waters 1981 Volume 1)
The Editor's Preface
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The Editor's Preface

The apostle Paul affirms one of the greatest truths in human life: Christian love is superior to all extraordinary gifts.  Love, the emanation of Providence in the spheres of human activity, has its inherent excellence and perpetuity.  Love redeems the fallen Nature and Man, and redresses all social ills and defects.  Love includes all forms of benevolence and transcends all spatial and temporal categories.  For this divine love Paul expounds in Corinthians XIII that love is never to cease and is the greatest of the permanent graces of God - faith, hope, and love.

God is love and His love has been manifested in the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Through Jesus God's redemptive plan is carried out and all humanity could thus be attracted to the Heavenly Father (John 12:32).  The article "Whom God Loves Most" in this issue poses some fundamental questions for us: Whom God loves and what God demands from us.  To be sure, the love of God is unconditional and He loved us first even when we were still sinners in this world (Romans 5:6-1 1).  Christ loved us and gave Himself to save us (Galatians 2:22).  It seems apparent that He wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2:4).  To the Christians, love is related to the observance of His Commandments (John 14:15,15:10, 12-14) and worshipping God in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Christians must exemplify, the divine character of holiness and true righteousness.  Those who call upon His name, respond to His will, fear Him, and keep His commandments will have His abundant love and will be shown the right way of salvation.

Prayers embody the Christian ethics and devout life.  But for the most part, people pray neither from the heart nor in spiritual depth.  The present-day Christians tend to be superficial and irresponsible in the two-way communication between God and man.  Generally, people are taught to say silent prayer or join hand-in-hand meditating upon the words of thanksgiving uttered by the leader who sits or stands with them.  Indeed, more emphasis should be placed upon the effective and more in-depth individualized ways of prayer.  We submit that everyone must aim at righteousness, faith, love and peace and call upon the Lord from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).  One should lift holy hands (I Timothy 2:8) to pray to God and to do good deeds.  What's more important, one must pray with repentance, faith, humility, and importunity.  It is spiritually edifying that Christians must pray in the Holy Spirit, communicating with God in mysterious tongues (Jude 20, I Corinthians 14:2, 4).

In this issue we continue with Paul Wong's "Oneness of God" as the third installment of this series.  Most Christians would agree that God is one and that He manifested Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in different historical stages.  In terms of divine origin and power, Jesus is the Name of the Father as well as the Holy Spirit.  Although Jesus existed in history as the Son of man and Son of God, the Bible points to the gradual consummation of the divine Name in Jesus and the bodily embodiment of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15, 2:9) who later came to dwell among the true believers as the promised Holy Spirit (John 16:19, 14:16-20, 15:26-27, 16:13, Luke 24:45-49, Acts 1:4-8, Romans 8:8, 9, Galatians 4:4-7).  We are thankful to God for Paul Wong's article which elucidates the mystery of the Godhead and the dual nature of Jesus Christ as a man and as God Himself.

Our present age has been concerned with divine healing or other forms of miracles.  For this reason, the article "Miracles and Wonders" traces the origins and purposes of miracles and signs.  We have been told the effects of healing through faith or science of the mind, but we would also like to emphasize that miracles should be accompanied by the in filling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 3:1-10, 4:30-31, 5:12-16, He 2:4, Romans 15:18), by the true message - the teaching from the Lord Jesus and the sound pattern of apostolic message (Galatians 1:6-9, II Timothy 1:13 14, 11 John 9).  One should acknowledge that God's universal love takes care of the heathens and devout persons, but He wants those who have received His divine grace of heating or miracles to reflect upon His will and true message of salvation.

It is very fitting for us to include a paraphrased and colloquial version of '-The Ten Commandments for the Young People.' To emphasize the important role youths have played in the Church, the apostle Paul has exhorted young Timothy: "Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity' (I Timothy 4:12).  Like jewels and the rising sun, the youths are precious in the sight of the Lord.  Proper guidance must thus be given to the young people in how to fear the Lord, keep His Commandments, and how to serve Him and the general welfare of humanity.  The reason Joseph (Genesis 39) and Daniel (Daniel 1:8,17, 6: 10) are worthy youths in the Lord is that they feared God and laid up the word of God in their hearts (Ps 119:1-2, 9-11).  We must remember that the Lord demands all the Christian youths to become the light, salt, and visible cities of the world (Matthew 5:13-14), and become a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the Lord (2 Timothy 2:21).

In the daily Christian life, one cannot but reflect upon one of the essential questions regarding the Spirit baptism, especially nowadays when there has been a common desire for the Christians to seek a genuine experience in the Holy Spirit.  The special Forum in this issue is devoted to a discussion of the definition and importance of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  It must be noted that a genuine glossolalia, or tongue-speaking, is not artificial or socio-psychological.  It must be from the Spirit of God and based upon a genuine faith and spiritual understanding.  The spiritual tongues defy human description, but require discernment.  One must ask God to rid one of confusion and delusion in the spiritual reality (I John 4:1, 11 Thessalonians 2:11).  Meanwhile, one who has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit must walk in the Spirit (Romans 8:5-9, 13-14, Galatians 5:25, 6:8), be sanctified (11 Thessalonians 2:13, Titus 3:5), and bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23, Micah 6:8, James 3:17, 18).

We thank those who have ex pressed their concern to the journal LIVING WATER.  The comments and suggestions from our Christian friends are always welcome.  We must be able to enjoy your partnership in the grace and love of Christ.  If there is any encouragement and incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, we press on to please God and 'be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding to lead a life worthy of the Lord" (Philippians 3:1-2, Colossians 1:9-10).  May God bless you.