In Scotland today, as in every other country in the world, there is a completely new sense of urgency about our evangelistic responsibility.

The word “evangelism” has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past quarter century in our religious vocabulary. Twenty-five years ago evangelism was regarded as an activity on the sidelines of the Church’s life. Evangelism was regarded, by and large, as a sphere for the specialist, not a concern of the whole Church. Evangelism was not thought of as integral to the Church’s existence.

Evangelism Is Lifeblood

Today that situation has been completely transformed. Perhaps the most significant thing in the life of the Church in Scotland is the growing awareness that evangelism is in no sense simply a sectarian concern, but that it is, on the contrary, absolutely inherent within the life of the Church itself. We are beginning to recognize in Scotland that evangelism is the life blood of the Church.

The Church exists in the world for two purposes. One is to be the bride of Christ. The Church is the household and family of God, the beloved community that God bought with the blood of His Son, the bride of Christ. As the bride of Christ the Church exists to offer worship to God, to glorify God, to love Him who first loved us. This is its primary function, and ought to be its major concern: so to worship God that He is truly in the midst of His community.

But the Church is also the body of Christ. In Scotland, we are beginning to recognize more and more the Church as “the body of Christ.” The Church is the instrument that God Himself has appointed to carry forward the saving work of Christ in the world. As this body of mine is the instrument of my intention ...

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