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    August 21, 1884

    “The Sabbath-School” The Signs of the Times, 10, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner


    1. How should we live in this world? Titus 2:11, 12.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.1

    2. For what are we to be looking? Verse 13.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.2

    3. What is the blessed hope?SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.3

    4. Why is the coming of the Lord called a blessed hope? John 14:3.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.4

    5. By what means are the followers of Christ taken to be with him? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.5

    6. Are we to hope for an immediate reward for our good deeds? Luke 14:12.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.6

    7. When are we to expect our recompense? Verses 13, 14.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.7

    8. When does the resurrection of the dead take place? Give proof.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.8

    9. What did Christ promise those who believe on him? John 6:40.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.9

    10. When did the prophet David say that he would be satisfied? Psalm 17:15.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.10

    11. And when will the saints be in the likeness of Christ? 1 John 3:2.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.11

    12. For what was Paul persecuted by the Jews? Acts 26:6, 7.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.12

    13. On another occasion how did he define his hope? Acts 23:6.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.13

    14. Then what facts do we learn from Acts 26:6, 7?SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.14

    15. What sustained Abraham when he was commanded to offer up Isaac? Hebrews 11:17-19.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.15

    16. What comforted Job in his affliction? Job 19:25-27.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.16

    17. What did the prophet Isaiah say of a resurrection? Isaiah 26:19.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.17

    18. At what time did he locate it? Verse 21.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.18

    19. Will any but the righteous have a resurrection? Acts 24:14, 15.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.19

    20. To what are the righteous raised? John 5:28, 29.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.20

    21. What kind of a resurrection do the wicked have? Ib.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.21

    In the second chapter of Titus, Paul presents the proper manner for the Christian to live. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Verses 11, 12. Now what is the incentive which he sets forth for following such a course of life? “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Verses 13. The apostle James makes the same point, when he exhorts us to be patient unto the coming of the Lord. James 5:7. Then he cites the case of the husbandman who deposits seed in the ground, and then waits patiently. Why does he have patience? Because he expects in due season to reap the precious fruits of the earth. And the apostle concludes: “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:8. The ground of the Christian’s patience is the expectation that Christ will come to crown him with immortal glory.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.22

    And this is why that hope is termed a blessed hope. “If I go and prepare a place for you,” says Christ, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.” John 14:3. There can be no blessedness equal to being with Christ. So the disciples thought, as they were filled with sorrow at the thought of his leaving them. But he promised to come and take them to be with him, and that coming was afterward the object of their longings. It was the one hope that brightened life. What a happy reunion that will be when the disciples once more gather around their beloved Lord. How their hearts must have thrilled at the prospect. “Happy” means “blessed;” and so it was very natural to call the hope of Christ’s coming a “blessed hope.”SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.23

    But how is it that the Lord will take his disciples to be with him? Not only the twelve, but hosts of other disciples just as true as they, have died. Compared with the multitude of the faithful that have lived on the earth, those who will be alive at Christ’s coming will be very few in number. We have learned in Matthew 24:31 that when the Lord comes “he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other;” but who will be gathered? Let Paul answer: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.24

    This tells the story. Who of Christ’s followers will be taken when he comes? All; both living and dead. Did the living have any precedence? No; they “shall not prevent [go before] them which are asleep.” But when the Lord descends with a shout and a trumpet sound, the graves are shaken open, and the dead in Christ rise. This is the first thing. Then the living will be taken, not one year or six thousand years later, but they shall be caught up then, together with them (the dead), to meet the Lord. And by this means, says Paul, shall we ever be with the Lord. The apostle is now concerned only to give a sure basis for comfort to those persons whose pious friends had died, hence the case of the wicked does not come into his mind; he says nothing about them. We may learn their fate from other texts. But in this text nothing is taught more clearly than that the disciples of Christ get to be with him only by translation and resurrection, and that both the events take place at the same time, namely, at his coming.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.25

    The opinions of learned and pious men always have weight on a subject of this kind, so we quote from Dr. Barnes on this text. The testimony which he gives is all the more strong because the logical conclusion from it is directly the opposite of what he himself believed. He held that the righteous go to be with Christ as soon as they die, yet he did not let his prejudices bias his mind from the plain meaning of this text. He says:-SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.26

    “We have in the passage before us an interesting view of the order in which these great events will occur. There will be (1) the descent of the Judge with the attending host of Heaven; (2) the raising of the righteous dead; (3) the change which the living will undergo (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:52); (4) the ascent to meet the Lord in the air; and (5) the return with him to glory. What place in this series of wonders will be assigned for the resurrection of the wicked, is not mentioned here. The object of the apostle did not lead him to advert to that, since its purpose was to comfort the afflicted Christians by the assurance that their pious friends would rise again, and would suffer no disadvantage by the fact that they had died before the coming of the Redeemer.”SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.27

    Our Saviour set before his disciples no other prospect of reward but at his coming. “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:12-14. When does the resurrection take place? Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17, above quoted, says that it is when the Lord himself comes from heaven, and the trump of God sounds. Now Christ knew that those to whom he was talking would not live till his coming; why then did he not tell them to look to the time of their death for their reward? Why did he direct their attention to some point far beyond? Simply because death is not the time when rewards are distributed. If it were, the Lord would have said so. Instead of promising to reward the faithful ones at death, he said: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.28

    When Paul was brought before Agrippa (see Acts 26:1, 6, 7) he said: “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.” From the following verse, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” We would naturally infer that the resurrection was the thing promised to the fathers, and the “hope,” for which Paul was accused. That this inference is correct we learn from Acts 23:6, where it is recorded that on a similar occasion, but a short time before, and while under the same accusation, Paul said: “Of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.”SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.29

    The interesting question now arises, How could Paul say that he was called in question for holding the hope of a resurrection of the dead, when none of his accusers had said one word about the resurrection? The answer is, that he was brought to trial on account of his belief in Christ. It was because of this teaching that Christ was the Son of God, and for the vigorous advocacy of his doctrines, and especially for teaching that Christ had risen from the dead, that Paul was apprehended. Now the resurrection of the dead depends upon the resurrection of Christ. His resurrection is the pledge of the general resurrection. Christ says: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am all live forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:18. He gained the keys of the grave when he went into it and came out a conqueror. Having gained them, he will use them to unlock the prison doors and liberate the captives that death has made. In support of this we have his own words: “Because I live, ye shall live also.” John 14:19. And this statement, it will be noticed, was made immediately after his promise to come and take his disciples to himself. So then to deny the resurrection of Christ, as the Jews were doing, was equivalent to denying the general resurrection. And conversely, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:13-16, that to deny the general resurrection is to deny the resurrection of Christ.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.30

    Again; if the Jews were persecuting Paul for his belief in the resurrection, how could he say that the twelve tribes were longing for the hope of the promise? The promise made to the fathers was the inheritance of the world. Romans 4:13. This was made to Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob. But we learn that “these all died in faith, by having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13. This proves that they did not expect to have the promises fulfilled in this life; that the promise of God included the resurrection, and that they so understood it. If it were not so, they would have died in disappointment, and not in faith. Now the Jews looked for this inheritance that was promised to the fathers, and longed for it, but in their short-sided rejection of Christ, they were turning away from the only thing that could give them a share in it.SITI August 21, 1884, page 502.31

    That Abraham believed in the resurrection of the dead, we have positive proof. Paul says: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called; accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Hebrews 11:17-19. That which made it possible for the patriarch to offer up his only son, through whom alone the promise could be fulfilled, was his belief that God would raise him from the dead in order to perform his promise to make of him a great nation. But how did Abraham get such an idea? From God himself. He knew that the promise contemplated a resurrection in order that the multitude of his faithful descendants might be partakers in it; and he accounted that if God would raise all the faithful at the last day, he was able to raise the single individual upon whom the existence of those faithful ones depended. And if Abraham, to whom the promises were made, understood that the resurrection was necessary to their accomplishments, we would naturally expect that all the “fathers” would have correct ideas on the subject.SITI August 21, 1884, page 503.1

    The fate of the wicked does not come within the scope of this lesson, yet the simple fact is told that they also will be raised. That is what we would be led to expect from the fact that the rewards are not given at death. Every man must receive according to the things he has done, but if the wicked have no resurrection, this cannot be. Paul’s hope included this as well as the resurrection of the righteous. We quote his words: “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets; and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Acts 24:14, 15. Add to this our Saviour’s words in John 5:28, 29: “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation,” and we have all the testimony that reasonable beings can desire. There are some who affect to believe that none but the righteous will have a resurrection; but to hold such a theory is to deny and throw contempt upon the positive statements of both Christ and Paul. E. J. W.SITI August 21, 1884, page 503.2

    “The Resurrection” The Signs of the Times, 10, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the preceding articles concerning the coming of the Lord, we have learned that he will certainly come, that his coming will be manifest to all, that it is for the purpose of receiving all his disciples to themselves, and that this is accomplished by the resurrection of the dead and the translation of the living. One or two more texts on the subject of that resurrection will be sufficient.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.1

    When Job was suffering the deepest affliction, and at the point of death, he asked: “If a man die, will he live again?” This was a very pertinent question for a man in his situation. Notice the form of the question: Not, “Shall he continue to live?” But, “Shall he live again?” This expression shows clearly that Job made a plain distinction between life and death. “Again” signifies “another time,” and indicates that an interval of time has elapsed since the same thing occurred or existed before. Job anticipated a time in which there would be no life, in which he would not exist, and he asked whether life would ever be restored. But he asked the question only to answer it, for he immediately added: “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.” Job 14:14, 15.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.2

    Now we may ask, When will the Lord call and be answered by those who are dead? Christ himself furnishes the answer: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:26-29. And David says that it is at his coming that the Lord calls to his people. Psalm 50:3, 4.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.3

    Isaiah said, in prophetic vision, saw the end of the world, and the coming of the Lord. Speaking of the triumph of the righteous, he said: “He [the Lord] will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 25:8. If the Lord has spoken it, it must be done. Paul tells how and when it will be done: “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.4

    Here, then, is the “change” of which Job spoke. It is a change from death to life, from mortal to immortal. And in what state did Job expect to be until this change should come? In death, for it was that of which he was speaking. The apostle also says that the dead as well as the living are to be changed. And here we find death called a sleep. We shall not all sleep, but both dead and living shall be changed. “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:53, 54. Death is not swallowed up in victory till Christ comes. The saints do not shout, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” until the voice of the Son of God calls them forth from their tombs. And what does this prove? That death and the grave have for a time triumph, and held them captives. If it were not so, if the saints had passed to death immediately to a state of the eternal bliss, they would not be obliged to wait until the coming of the Lord to shout their victory. They could at once voice their contempt for its weakness; or, more consistently, they could ascribe to it thanksgiving and praise for having liberated them from the toils of earth, and ushered them into the joys of Heaven.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.5

    Now we ask, What is the necessity for a resurrection of the dead? If the faithful of past ages are now “safe in the arms of Jesus,” as is so often taught and sung, what more can they need? Of what benefit to them will the resurrection be? None at all. The Bible doctrine of the resurrection is directly opposed to the theory that men are taken to Heaven at death. The Bible writers rested their entire hope in a resurrection; and this proves that they had no idea of the possibility (since they must die) of being with Christ in any other way.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.6

    Paul said that he counted all things loss for Christ, and for him gave up everything, and was willing to know the “fellowship of his sufferings,” and be “made conformable under his death.” And what for? “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Philippians 3:11. Why did he esteem it so all-important to attain unto the resurrection of the dead? Let him answer: “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?” 1 Corinthians 15:32. He had no hope in anything else. Let him once be convinced that the dead would not rise, and all incentive to action would have been taken away from one of the most tireless and zealous men that ever lived. Surely, then, the resurrection is a doctrine of no small importance.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.7

    In order to try to harmonize the doctrine of a final resurrection with the theory that the spirits of the good are taken to Heaven immediately upon the death of the body, it is claimed that they do not receive the fullness of their reward until the resurrection. But this theory is overthrown by Paul’s words: “What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?” Is it nothing to be in the presence of God and Christ and the angels? Is it nothing to be exempt from pain, and free from the assaults of Satan? Certainly to gain such a state, even if it were not the fullness of joy, is worth a great deal of effort. Paul’s words show that he had no knowledge of any benefit that would accrue to the dead except through the resurrection. And if he taught men to place all their hopes in the coming of the Lord and the resurrection, who shall dare to teach otherwise? If he did not know the exact truth in regard to the matter, to whom has a later revelation been made? So true are all the words of Paul that even an angel from heaven would bring a curse upon himself if he should teach anything different. Galatians 1:8.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.8

    In view of the testimony that has been quoted to show that the resurrection takes place at the coming of the Lord, it is hardly worth while to notice the position that it is at death; that the rising of the soul or spirit from the body is the resurrection. This theory makes the saints be with the Lord at death, and thus makes death to be the coming of the Lord, which we have seen is a false and absurd position. There were some in Paul’s day who taught that the resurrection was past, and he said that they had erred concerning the truth, and were overthrowing the faith of some. 2 Timothy 2:18. Nothing could more surely overthrow faith than such teaching, for who that accepted it could have any belief in the promises of a future second coming of Christ? It is as impossible to harmonize the theory of the past resurrection, or a resurrection at death, with the doctrine of the second coming of Christ, as to mix oil with water.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.9

    In closing, we will call attention to Revelation 22:4-6. John says: “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God.... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” “Ah,” says one, “that is what I believe; the souls of the martyrs went at once to live with Christ.” Let us see; these are not all the dead that John saw. He continues: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power.” Now notice: “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Then the dead that John first saw were living again. And if living again, this must be the second life, which is separated from the first by an interval called death. Then death and life are not the same. And this “living again,” after an interval, is called a resurrection. Then what is the resurrection? It is the “living again” of those who have been dead, and not the continued existence of something that has never died. Those who do not have part in the first resurrection, do not “live again” until the thousand years are finished. Then they have a resurrection. Now allowing that “the rest of the dead” died at the very beginning of the thousand years, and we have their death and their resurrection separated by a period of a thousand years. That does not look like a resurrection at death. E. J. W.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.10

    “Relation of the Law and Grace” The Signs of the Times, 10, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    [A sermon delivered in the tent at Oakland, Cal., Aug. 5, 1884.]SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.11

    The subject of this evening is a question which is prefaced by the following text of Scripture, quoted from the Emphatic Diaglott:-SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.12

    Galatians 5:4. ‘Whosoever of you are justifying yourselves by law are separated from Christ; you are fallen off from the favor of God. My question is this: Was not the Mosaic law written on stone, given alone to the Jews?’”SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.13

    Accompanying this question is a letter giving the position of the questioner, some points of which I will notice. In contrast with the Jews, he says of us: “We who are begotten of the Spirit through the belief of the truth are become new (spiritual) creatures in Christ, and are raised spiritual bodies, like unto his glorious body, for there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body.”SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.14

    This remark contains a very grave error. The “spiritual body” is given in the resurrection. See 1 Corinthians 15. The Christian is spiritually minded, but has yet a natural, corruptible body, being subject to decay, which the spiritual body will not be. Again he says: “He who undertakes to do the deeds of the law has fallen from grace, as say the Scriptures.” If this assertion be true, I have been in fault in my reading, for I never read any such thing in the Bible. And the Bible has no such saying.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.15

    In regard to justification, we have distinctly avowed in this tent that we do not expect it by the law. If there is anybody who seeks or expects to be justified by the law, to him the question will apply: to him this text stands as a reproof. Paul says in Romans 3 that the justification which we receive through faith in Christ, without works, is “for the remission of sins that are past.” But he does not say we can live godly lives, and build up a moral character without works. He exhorts to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” Philippians 2:12; for every man will be judged and rewarded according to his works. Revelation 22:12; Matthew 16:27. I have before said, in this tent, that all our obedience, our tears, our confessions, our prayers, our repentance, will never remove a single sin we have committed. Remission of past sin is by the blood of Christ through faith alone; not by works at all. But as to the future, when we form character it must be by obedience; then “faith without works is dead.” It is lifeless, formal, useless.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.16

    As to the expression, “a new creature,” it does not mean another creature. But the “old man” of sin is destroyed. All things-sinful things, worldliness, etc.-have passed away; but the law of God has not passed away. Mark, the change must all be in man; not in God, nor in his government. Rebellion, sin, does not change God’s law, nor does it create the necessity of a change in God’s law. It changes our relation to the law, bringing us in opposition to it; and it makes necessary another change in us, a change from sin to obedience; and this is also wrought by faith in Christ, who strengthens us to overcome our sins, and walk in obedience to his Father.SITI August 21, 1884, page 505.17

    I am also requested, in this connection, to notice Romans 10:4. It reads thus: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth.” There are three points to be noticed in this text.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.1

    1. In what sense is Christ the end of the law? Not in the sense of abolishing the law, for if that were the meaning, it would apply to all, both to the believer and the unbeliever. If it means the abolition of the law, then we have the anomalous relation of a law abolished to one class, and not to another class. And not only that, but it is abolished to numerous individuals at one period in the experience of each one, and not abolished at another period in his experience! The word end must be used as in James 5:11: “Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord.” Not the abolition of the Lord. End, in both these texts, means the object or intention. Paul says the law was ordained unto life; it was designed to guide people in obedience to their Creator, that they might live. For to disobey, to sin, is death. Since we are all sinners, and we can no longer obtain life by the law, Christ comes in and meets the design or the end of the law and gives us life.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.2

    2. This is “for righteousness.” We may learn what righteousness is by the inspired definitions given by John. “Unrighteousness is sin,” and “sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 5:17; 3:4. Now if unrighteousness is the transgression of the law, righteousness is obedience to the law. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous.” 1 John 3:7.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.3

    3. “To every one that believeth.” In the unbeliever the object of the law is not accomplished, for he, as Paul says, has “pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:12. This text does not teach that the law is no longer of obligation, but it does teach that we are to obey the law through faith in Christ.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.4

    The question itself, whether the law was given to the Gentiles or the Jews alone, is quickly disposed of. Was there ever a time when it was no sin in the Gentiles to worship idols, to blaspheme the name of God, to dishonor their parents, to kill, to commit adultery, and to steal? If there is any force to the question, if it has any bearing against our position, it is only because these things were not wrong in the Gentiles. But if these things were sin in the Gentiles-if for these abominations God abhorred the Gentiles-then the law held them, for “where no law is there is no transgression,” and “sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Romans 4:15; 5:13.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.5

    This sufficiently refutes the idea which appears to be in the mind of the questioner, as far as the Gentiles are concerned as a class. But the question has a more specific application, not to Gentiles at large, but to the believers in Christ from the Gentiles. What we have before said, especially on Romans 10:4, is to this point; but it must be noticed more particularly.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.6

    Paul says more on the subject of justification than all other writers of the Bible; and he says more about it, argues it more particularly, in the letter to the Romans, than in all his other writings together. And it is a suggestive fact that the first time he speaks of justify in this letter is in connection with doing the law, while he has never connected, in any man, justification and breaking the law. He never recognizes any such relation. Romans 2:13 says: “The doers of the law shall be justified.” An objector once said to me, when I quoted that text, “You, then, believe in justification by the law: but I would not like to risk my salvation on your word on that subject.” I replied. 1. You have not my word on the subject. I quoted Paul’s words, and if you have any fault.... 2. You have nothing... text, for Paul was not there speaking..., or of any like you. He said the doers of the law; but you are not a doer of the law; indeed, you disclaim any intention to do the law. Therefore you have no claim, and personally no interest in that text. But the text is useful in this: It teaches that justification is in the law, and we would find it there if we had not forfeited it; if we had not transgressed the law. It is a vindication of the morality of the law, and it fully agrees with Solomon’s words, that to keep God’s commandments “is the whole duty of man.” And if man had done his whole duty, if he had never sinned, he would not be condemned; he must then be justified.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.7

    Some affect to find a contradiction between this text and Romans 3:20, which says: “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified.” But there is no contradiction. It may be said that both cannot be true absolutely; one must be qualified to avoid the contradiction. Which shall it be? And the answer generally comes thus: “The first must be qualified, for it is an absolute fact that no one can be justified by the law.” But this answer is made under a misapprehension of the facts, and of the principles underlying them. There is an intermediate statement which makes all plain: let us take the three in connection-they are given in the regular form of an argument: 1. The doers of the law shall be justified. 2. There are no doers; all have gone astray: “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” 3. Conclusion: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified.” Thus we see that it is no fault of the law that it does not justify us; it is our own fault; we are sinners and the law would be unworthy of respect as a law if it would justify us. We deserve condemnation, and the law very properly treats us as we deserve.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.8

    And then another query is raised. “What is the use,” it is asked, “of keeping a law which will not justify us?” But this question shows an unenviable state of mind on the part of the questioner. We should not view the subject altogether in the light of its benefit to ourselves: something is due to the Government of God; his authority is to be recognized, his law to be honored. But if it is necessary to our salvation that past sin should be forgiven, it is equally necessary that future sin shall be prevented. Sin is odious in the sight of God, whether it be past, present, or future. Obedience is better than sacrifice. If all shall be rewarded according to their works, how necessary that our works should conform to the divine will, which we learn only in his law. See Romans 2:17-23.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.9

    To illustrate this let me relate an incident. It is not “founded on fact;” it is the fact itself. Some years ago I was preaching in Wisconsin, and a man gravely informed me that he had learned that we are not justified by the law. I replied that we had learned the same thing; that we did not expect to be justified by the law; the law had no power to justify a sinner, and we did not keep it with the thought of being justified by it. And he then began to laugh. Being inquired of for the reason, he said he could not help laughing that anybody should be fool enough to keep a law which cannot justify him. Laying the compliment aside, I proposed to present the case in such a manner that he could appreciate it.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.10

    Suppose you were accused of stealing a horse, and were proved guilty, and the Judge thereupon asks if you have anything to say, and you ask and are answered as follows: “Judge, will the law of Wisconsin justify me?” “Justify you? No; we have not a law in Wisconsin that will justify a man stealing horses? The law condemns you, and I am about to pronounce its sentence upon you?” “Well, Judge, I am not such a fool as to keep a law which will not justify me, and hereafter I intend to steal all the horses that I can.” “And,” says the Judge, “I will see that you do not have the opportunity very soon to carry your intention into effect, for I shall give you the full time in prison which the law allows.” And then I inquired: “Do you not think the Judge would so answer a man who avowed such an intention?” He answered, “Yes,” and added, “But nobody would be foolish enough to talk like that! “Of course not; nobody would be foolish enough to treat the law of the State in that manner; but that is exactly the manner in which you have been treating the law of God. If you, and people in general, would grant as much to the law of God as you require for the law of the State, we would have little need to argue the question. No one ever for one moment supposes that a pardon frees any one from obligation to keep the law of the State which condemns him. But there are thousands who refuse to keep the law of God because Jesus Christ has purchased their pardon by his blood!”SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.11

    Satan is wily, we know; but it is a marvel that he can so blind the minds of people who appear to be otherwise sensible, as to make them believe that pardon absolves them from allegiance to God and his law! Paul says that “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.” Galatians 3:13. But the curse comes only by transgression. Had man not sinned, he would not have been cursed, for “the doers of the law shall be justified.” And the curse invariably, in all cases, follows transgression. Christ redeems from the curse, but not from the duty; he redeems from the condemnation, but not from the obligation.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.12

    We say that the curse follows transgression “in all cases,” because it is as true now that “the wages of sin is death,” as it was before Christ died, or would have been if Christ had never died. It is a narrow view of the method of redemption which leads one to say that obedience to the law is contrary to free grace. And this calls us to notice one more point in the position of the questioner. It is his claim on Romans 6:14: “Ye are not under the law, but under grace.”SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.13

    But this is only a part of the text. Taken in its connection it clearly teaches that we are not under the law in the sense of being under its condemnation; from this we are released by grace. But it does not teach that we are free from obligation to the law; to the contrary, it teaches that violation of the law is contrary to grace.SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.14

    Here are two individuals, one a non-professor, and the other a church member, who claim to be released from the obligation of the law. We can more readily represent the position of the latter (which is the position of our questioner) by the way of question and answer. “What is your position?” “I am not under the law, but under grace.” “Were you always under grace?” “No; I was by nature a child of wrath, even as others.” “When did you come under grace?” “When I was converted.” “Then under grace is the condition of a converted man. What was your condition before you were converted, and what is the condition of all the unconverted world?” “Under the law, of course.” “Very well; are they who are under the law condemned by the law if they break it?” “Certainly; they are under its curse, as sinners.” “But if the law has power to curse them—if they are under it—then the law cannot be abolished; it is still in force?” “No, it cannot be abolished, but I am free from it through faith in Christ.” “Are you, then, free from all its claims, so that you are not obliged to keep it?” “I am not under the law; I am entirely free from it, and it has no authority over me.” “But when you were under the law you were under obligation to keep it, and therefore it was sin in you to transgress it. Then we are to conclude that it was sin in you to break the law before you were converted, but it is not sin in you to break the law after you were converted. Is that so?” “Why, there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus?” “We will waive for the present the subject of forgiveness, or justification. But we must conclude from your declarations that that which is sinful in an unconverted man, is no sin in a converted man!”SITI August 21, 1884, page 506.15

    This is the doctrine of the old “perfectionists”-a doctrine which we had hoped had disappeared from the face of the earth. According to this doctrine, if a man feels the restraints of the law and wishes to break it, but dare not for fear of condemnation, he has only to be converted and join the church, and he is at once at full liberty to violate the law! This is making “Christ the minister of sin.” Galatians 2:17. The way of righteousness is not found in such a sham Christianity as this.SITI August 21, 1884, page 507.1

    Look again at these two men. One professes to be a Christian, and the other is an acknowledged sinner. How do we know that he is a sinner? Because he transgresses the law (1 John 3:4), for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). What, then, is the difference between him and the other man? Oh! this other man is a Christian. But neither does he keep the law; he claims that he is not under its obligation. So, then, one breaks the law, and he is therefore a sinner; the other breaks the law also, yet he is a Christian! And the only real difference between them is that one professes religion and has his name on the church book! Both are sinners according to every authorized definition of sin.SITI August 21, 1884, page 507.2

    We have here a subject worthy of our earnest consideration. It cannot be too strongly enforced. The idea of the objector is that the law is not now binding; that we are released from its authority by grace. But if that be so, then there is no distinction of classes, for none can be under an abolished law in any sense, and all are under grace. That will answer for Universalists, but Paul says: “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Therefore his words will not apply to all the world, but to those only who are not under the dominion of sin. But as long as we transgress the law, so long has sin dominion over us. Sin brings condemnation, no matter when or where it is found. And therefore the apostle’s question and answer in the next verses: “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” This is a plain declaration that if we sin, or violate the law, after we are justified, or under grace, we again come under the dominion of sin, and the result is death. And the same is shown in the first verses of the chapter. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Some say we shall; they affirm that we deny grace if we keep the law, or abstain from sin. But the apostle says, “God forbid;” and he continues; “How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?” Here is an important lesson. That we are dead is proved by our having been buried-in baptism. Dead to what? to sin. But if we live in it-if we still transgress the law-we are not dead to it. Then we are not under grace, but under the law-under condemnation.SITI August 21, 1884, page 507.3

    That there is a popular prejudice against preaching the law, we are well aware. And we regret that preachers themselves are strengthening this prejudice by conforming to the popular feeling, and moving in this popular current. I was once requested to put away exclusiveness and unite with another in holding revival meetings; and was told that I must not talk so much about the law; that people did not want to hear it! Now I believe in union as much as any do, and am willing to unite on the same terms that they require. They will unite with me if I will yield my faith and adopt theirs. And, in like manner, I am ready to unite with everybody who will yield the peculiarities of his faith and adopt mine. I am just as liberal as they are. But my inquiry was this: If I drop the law, what shall I preach? “Why, preach repentance; nobody has any prejudice against that.” What an idea, that the minister must conform his preaching to people’s prejudices. But, if somebody asks me of what he shall repent, what reply shall I give? “Tell him, of course, to repent of sin.” Just so; and then if he asks me what is sin, what shall I say? In a hesitating manner he replied: “Why, the apostle says, sin is the transgression of the law.” But I thought you were going to set me on a track to get rid of the law, and you have me in the same difficulty still, and yet you tell me I must not preach the law. It thus appears that you think the law is not of sufficient consequence to be preached. But if the law is of no consequence, the transgression of it is of no consequence; and if sin is of no consequence, repentance is of no consequence; and if repentance is of no consequence, then your preaching is of no consequence! This is the logical result of depreciating the law. With such preaching I have no desire to unite.SITI August 21, 1884, page 507.4

    We believe that the great God is displeased with this easy style of religion which ignores his law which he has so highly honored. It is made void by preachers and by people. Either in whole or in part it is set aside boldly, publicly. And yet the Lord has shown that he who offends in one is guilty of all, for the law is a unit; if we break one commandment we are law-breakers, doers of iniquity. Men will even profess “holiness,” entire freedom from sin, and yet transgress the law continually! What definition of sin will they give us? By what rule shall we be made to believe that God approves their course? How shall we determined that their religion is genuine, and not rank fanaticism?SITI August 21, 1884, page 507.5

    We have a message, which says: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Paul says that we do not make void the law through faith. Romans 3:31. They are united in true moral and Christian character. And before our High Priest closes his work, there must be a reform; the commandments of God must be honored, and kept, even as the faith of Jesus.SITI August 21, 1884, page 507.6

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