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    December 1903

    “Living for God” The Medical Missionary, 12, 12, pp. 302-305.

    ATJ

    A. T. JONES

    “AND all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.MEDM December 1903, page 302.1

    This scripture represents us as standing in this world in Christ’s stead. He was here in the flesh; he fulfilled God’s purpose and ascended to heaven, and left the believers to occupy the place which he occupied while here. That is what it means to bear the name of Christian, to profess the name of Christ.MEDM December 1903, page 302.2

    Christ was sent as the Saviour of the world, to show to the world what God is: that it is his work to save, not to destroy; to life up, not to cast down. It is therefore proper for us to study what God is, how he acts toward men, in order that we shall know what disposition must be manifested toward men by us in this world.MEDM December 1903, page 302.3

    When Christ was born into the world in Bethlehem, the fact was announced to the shepherds by the angel in these words: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will to men.”MEDM December 1903, page 302.4

    Then the first words spoken concerning Christianity, the first enunciation of it in the world, was in these words, “Peace on earth, good will to men.” And only that is Christianity forever. Since that is God’s mind, his thought, his will, his wish, and we are his representatives in the world, it follows that the only disposition that should ever be found in any person bearing the name of Christian, is peace—peace on earth, good will—good will to all mankind wheresoever he may meet them, either inside or outside the church.MEDM December 1903, page 304.1

    According to the text, the commission give to us, his disciples, is “the ministry of reconciliation;” and that alone. But how can we carry to men this ministry if there be found in our works, in our disposition, our conduct, anything that would repel, that would offend, that would act otherwise than to reconcile to God?MEDM December 1903, page 304.2

    In the second verse of the text there is another thought introduced: “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Then since God so manifested himself in the flesh of Christ, and we are here in Christ’s stead, it follows that there is not to be seen in me or you or anyone professing the name of Christ, anything that would imply or suggest to any man that we are imputing his trespasses unto him, counting him guilty, or treating him as if condemned.MEDM December 1903, page 304.3

    God is love, and only love, so when God is manifest in the flesh,—in us,—only love will be manifested by us. And God so loved the world, wicked and sunken as men are—from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot filled with wounds and bruises and putrifying sores so that there is no soundness whatever in them; all gone out of the way, their throat an open sepulcher and under their tongues the poison of asps, no fear of God before their eyes—he so loved them in this condition that he gave his only begotten Son to save them, trusting, depending upon that true and pure love to win from those enemies all the returns that could come. That is true love always, whether it be human or divine. It has enough confidence in itself to spend itself, and depend upon its own power to win returns. That love is the love of God, and by the Holy Ghost it is given to every believer, shed abroad in his heart, to be manifested to the world.MEDM December 1903, page 304.4

    One day there came to Jesus come Pharisees, professors of religion (the religion of self, though professedly the religion of God), seeking to entrap the Saviour in his words. They had, by spying about, discovered someone guilty of an overt act of transgression, and they brought the guilty one to him—a woman, guilty, self-condemned, ashamed. They quoted scripture: “Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned; what sayest thou?” The answer came, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Then he stooped down to write in the sand, and one by one they went out, and when only himself and the guilty one were left, he asked, “Hath no man condemned thee?” She replied, “No man, Lord.” “Neither do I,” was the answer of compassion.MEDM December 1903, page 304.5

    Now remember we are studying the gospel, we are studying what you and I are by our profession, what we should practice, and what by our example, thank the Lord, we can be. Did Christ rail upon the woman and charge her to beware how she committed further offense? No. “Hath no man condemned thee?” “No man, Lord.” “Neither do I condemn thee. Go, sin no more.” And there was more power in his words thus spoken without condemnation, but in genuine mercy and love, to save that woman from sinning and to encourage her in the way of right than in all the condemning words of all the Pharisees in Jerusalem and the United States put together.MEDM December 1903, page 304.6

    Again: There were twelve disciples. One of them was a devil from the beginning. For three and a half years he was with Jesus, and Jesus knew is heart, and knew what at the end he would do. That last night when they sat together at the table when Jesus said, “One of you shall betray me,” not a single one of the other eleven even suspected Judas, but suspected themselves instead; and when at last Jesus said to Judas, “What thou doest, do quickly,” and he got up and went out, they thought he had gone to buy something for the feast. The lesson in this is, that Jesus, while he knew the guilt of Judas, yet in all his association with him had never by word or look or intimation given the other disciples ground even to suspect that Judas was not as straight as anyone. And when at last Judas did finally wrench himself away from such treatment as that, and did plunge over, he was compelled by that very life of Christ which he knew, to go to the very ones into whose hands he had betrayed the Saviour and say, “I have betrayed innocent blood; I have lied, this whole thing is a fraud; that man is not what I have told you he is.” But suppose that Jesus had by intimation or word or by a single act revealed to the others the character of Judas, then Judas would have said, “I know I am not right—I know I have done wrong, but he didn’t treat me right.” He would have had that justification of his course; but as it was, he stood without excuse.MEDM December 1903, page 304.7

    These lessons are written as an example of what Christianity really is. They are written for our understanding, and let us understand them. The trouble with Christians is that they have not enough confidence in the love of God which they profess, to put their dependence upon that love to win guilty people to a better course. If that love will not win them, nothing else will.MEDM December 1903, page 305.1

    We are in the day when we know it is promised that the mystery of God shall be finished, and with no more delay. The mystery of God finished, is God fully manifest in the life of the believer. Only God is to be seen there, none of our own ways; only peace, only good will to all mankind; only the treatment that Christ gave to men.MEDM December 1903, page 305.2

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