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    August 12, 1886

    “Comments on Galatians 3. No. 6” The Signs of the Times, 12, 31.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We now know from the foregoing question, that the answer to the question, “Of what use, then, is the law?” may justly be paraphrased thus: “It was spoken in order that all sin might be perfectly well known to be sin, until the coming of Christ should bring the fulfillment of the promise.” And now before the reader hastily jumps to the conclusion that this implies the doing away of the law at the second coming of Christ, let him carefully note the following points:-SITI August 12, 1886, page 486.1

    1. The law existed in its fullness before it was “spoken” from Sinai. This has been amply demonstrated. It is the foundation of God’s throne, and was in existence from the beginning of God’s Government. The giving of it from Sinai added no feature that had not existed for ages.SITI August 12, 1886, page 486.2

    2. It was spoken from Sinai for a special purpose. That purpose, as stated by Paul in Romans 5:20, was that sin might be made to appear more plainly than it did before. God hated sin just as much before that time as he did afterward. And there were men who understood fully the nature of sin, and that God required “truth in the inward parts;” but the mass of mankind had wandered so far from God that he could not communicate with them as he did with Adam, Enoch, Noah, and such ones; and the only way that they could constantly know his will was to have it in writing. By the law in written form, they could always know God’s will, just as well as if they could converse with him; for the law is a likeness of his character.SITI August 12, 1886, page 486.3

    3. The making of sin to abound by the entering of the law, was necessary to the fulfillment of the promise. The inheritance can be given to none but the righteous; there must be no spot in those who inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5, 8. It is true that righteousness can be obtained only through Christ, but sins must be confessed before they can be pardoned, and that cannot be done till sin is known. If the law had not been “spoken,” perfect knowledge of sin could not have been had. The inheritance was not promised through the law, but through faith; but this, instead of making the law unnecessary, called for the clearest statement thereof. The law points out sin; the knowledge of his sinful condition drives the sinner to Christ as the only source of help; Christ imputes to the repentant sinner his own righteousness, which is the righteousness of God, and enables him to live up to the requirements of the law, thus making him “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”SITI August 12, 1886, page 486.4

    4. When Christ comes, this design will have been accomplished. Under the second covenant the law will have been written in the hearts (see Jeremiah 31:33) of all who have desired the better country, and thus they will “all be righteous,” and fit to “inherit the land forever.” Isaiah 60:21. They will be righteous because the law is written in their hearts. They will then be as pure as was Adam when he was first created, with this advantage, that their characters will have been fully tested. When that time comes, the prophet says: “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:34. It will not be necessary for them to teach one another, (1) because the law will be written in their hearts, and (2) because they can go direct to the great Fountain of truth. The prophet, speaking of the time when the promise shall be fulfilled, says: “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” Isaiah 54:13.SITI August 12, 1886, page 486.5

    When “the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them;” when “they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads,” there will be no necessity for one man to say to another, “Know the Lord.” When men can come in person to that glorious and awful throne of God, whose foundation is the perfect law of God, and can talk face to face with the author of that law, then there will be no need for copies of the ten commandments written in books, or even engraved on rock of man’s hewing. The preaching of the gospel will be no more heard, and Bible societies will not be known. The law will have done its work in bringing men to Christ, and thus to perfect obedience to it, and then “They shall all know the Lord,” for his law shall be in their hearts, and his name shall be in their foreheads.SITI August 12, 1886, page 486.6

    5. To say that when that time shall come there will be no less law than there is now, or than there was in the days of Abraham, or of Adam, or before it was spoken from Sinai, is now unnecessary, for all must see it plainly. Indeed, it will then be far better known than it has been at any time since the fall, for men will literally “walk with God,” as did Adam and Enoch. This point will be still more fully developed when we consider verses 24 and 25. W.SITI August 12, 1886, page 486.7

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