ARTICLE 7 — I WILL OBSTAIN FROM ALCOHOLIC DRINK, TOBACCO, THE NON-MEDICAL USE OF ADDICTIVE DRUGS, GAMBLING, PORNOGRAPHY, THE OCCULT AND ALL ELSE THAT COULD ENSLAVE THE BODY OR SPIRIT.
Have you ever thought about the notion that God is a construction worker? The Bible teaches that each of us is the unique and beloved result of God’s creation project in His eternal plan for salvation. Since God formed the body, the vessel that carries soul and spirit, He has never stopped working in our lives to build us into the people He wants us to be, “using the mold of His Son, Jesus Christ” (Be Mature, 1978). The crucial matter for us in this process of completion relies upon our willful participation (Philippians 2:12-13) and obedient faith, as He continues to transform us into the image of His Son.
Having this awareness of who God is and of His unflinching interest in His people, Salvationists firmly stand together with this affirmation of Article 7 of the “I Promise” Covenant. It says: “I will abstain from alcoholic drink, tobacco, the non-medical use of addictive drugs, gambling, pornography, the occult, and all else that could enslave the body or spirit.” This is a covenantal testimony that boldly demonstrates a sacred commitment to live a life of physical and spiritual purity as God’s special building project, responsible followers of Christ, and the example of hope and holy living.
The specific issues Article 7 points out remind us that harmful and sinful temptations are real and that no one is immune from them. If we don’t daily guard and protect our hearts and minds from those “diseases,” to keep ourselves holistically healthy in God’s eyes, we will become sick and eventually destroy our whole beings. The disease of sin destroys those who are being built by God and are meant to honor and glorify Him by holy living.
We should not forget the Biblical truth that God does not change His view of us as His beloved children, even with our shameful wrongdoings. His love is boundless and everlastingly patient. However, our Heavenly Father is saddened by the pain we cause when we commit and repeat sinful things. These things cause us to fall into a deep separation, distancing ourselves from Him who formed us in His image. The Bible urgently asks, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV).
There are no simple ways to escape from impurity, temptation, or any other fallen condition in this earthly living. Nevertheless, as Salvationists we firmly believe there is a true remedy for, and a response to, curing those conditions and every form of physical, mental, and moral disease (including those mentioned in Article 7). The God-given remedy for those enslaving struggles is the gift of grace through Christ’s blood poured out for us on the cross. Our response to those conditions comes through the power of God’s Word dwelling in our hearts. We urgently need to seek God’s daily will in our lives with the same conviction that the apostle Paul urges: “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective” (Colossians 3:1-2, The Message).
COME & COMMIT
For those who are enchained with the sickness of secretly veiled diseases now, it’s important to hear the good news of the Gospel. First, come to Christ (Matthew 11:28) who knows your pain and shame, and respond honestly to His calling: “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6b, NIV). Second, confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and trust that change is possible through the power of God’s forgiveness and restoring grace. Third, choose “to build a line of defense” with your eyes, in your mind, and in your heart (1 John 2:15-17; Every Young Man’s Battle, 2002). Finally, commit to follow Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3) and live a life that strives to answer this life-saving question: “How can young people keep their way pure?” (Psalm 119:9, NRSV). You will be a life-saving model for others that the answer can only be found in Christ, the true Hope and Gift for our victorious Life.
Let us anchor our lives to God’s Word as we continue our journey of living in purity in Christ: “May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do this” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, NRSV).
ARTICLE 8 — LEARN ABOUT PROMISE 8, A MISSIONAL PROMISE, WRITTEN BY MAJOR YOUNG KIM AT YOUNGSALVATIONIST.ORG/PROMISES
A PROMISE FOR LIFE
What You Never Knew About “Samuel Logan Brengle & the Army’s Symbols”
The Salvation Army flag is colored blue for purity, red for Christ’s saving blood, and yellow for _________________.
- A. the fiery baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- B. the light of the world, Jesus Christ.
- C. the greatness of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:127).
General William Booth originally viewed Samuel Logan Brengle with skepticism and called him “dangerous” because _________________________ .
- A. Brengle had been his own boss for a long time.
- B. Brengle had previously been an atheist.
- C. Brengle hunted for fun.
One of Brengle’s first duties at The Salvation Army Training Barracks in London was to shine the ___________ of his fellow cadets, a job considered lowly. He was okay with this since Jesus didn’t consider it below Himself to wash His disciples’ feet.
- A. badges
- B. boots
- C. hat rims
The first Brengle Institute on holiness was held in Chicago of which year?
- A. 1928
- B. 1947
- C. 1967
Brengle taught that talking evil about others “destroys all generous and kindly thoughts in us, and quenches ________________.
- A. love
- B. humility
- C. unity
Fill in the blank. “Do not waste your time trying to fix up a ________________ holiness. Just be holy because the Lord God is holy. Seek to please Him without regard to the likes or dislikes of men, and those who are disposed to be saved will soon see ‘Christ in you.’”— Samuel Logan Brengle
- A. personal
- B. unique
- C. popular
* Samuel Logan Brengle was one of the Army’s foremost teachers of holiness.
ANSWER KEY: A, A, B, B, A, C
Major Young Sung Kim, Territorial Ambassador for Holiness, Eastern Territory