Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    August 15, 1895

    “Lessons from One of Christ’s Miracles” The Signs of the Times, 21, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Lessons from One of Christ’s Miracles. —When Jesus had fed five thousand men, besides women and children, with five loaves and two small fishes, and they had all eaten till they were satisfied, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.1

    Here was more than an ordinary lesson in economy. It is doubtful if any one would have thought of saving the remnants of the dinner, if Jesus had not spoken of it. If any thought were given to it, it would naturally have been on this wise. There is no use in bothering with these little fragments, when we have one with us who can so miraculously supply us with abundance. But Jesus in this has shown us that while he supplies our need, he does not pledge himself to supply our extravagance. We must show our appreciation of his bountiful gifts by not squandering them.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.2

    The men who saw how easily Jesus had provided food for the multitude at once resolved to take him and make him their king. Here was such a king as they desired,—one who could assure them a living. They felt sure that they would never be troubled with a scarcity of provisions with him for their king, no matter whether the season was good or bad. A good living, without any work, has been the desire of certain classes, even till this day. People will readily profess faith in Christ when they are led to believe that Christianity consists in being supported without any effort on their part.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.3

    But Jesus frustrated their designs by taking himself out of their way. They had entirely mistaken his mission. When they found him the next day on the other side of the sea, he reproved them for seeking him because of the loaves and fishes. He wished to be followed for his own sake, for the rich spiritual blessings that he could bestow, and not for merely temporal supplies.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.4

    There are many to-day who are making the same mistake about Jesus that the Jews of old made. Even Christian ministers are falling in with the idea, and are causing the people to believe that Christianity means short hours and long wages. They are trying to catch the masses with the promise of abundance of loaves and fishes. By such inducements they are only preparing the people for a bitter disappointment, and for rejecting Christ as fiercely as the Jews did when they found out that he would not serve their selfish ends.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.5

    It is true that Jesus has promised that all needful things shall be given to us, but the first thing is to seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. He does not promise wealth, nor even comfort, in this life. It is enough that the disciple be as his Lord, and he had not on earth a place of his own whereon to lay his head. With power to feed others, he was dependent on the kindness of friends for his own daily food. The reproach of the Jews, as he hung on the cross, was true. “He saved others; himself he can not save.” He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.6

    “Hearken, my beloved brethren. Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him.” James 2:5. The portion of Christ’s followers is in this life poverty of worldly goods, and the riches of his grace, but in the world to come they will have possessions far beyond the utmost stretch of human imagination. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things.” E. J. W.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.7

    “The Waves and the Rock” The Signs of the Times, 21, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is impossible to imagine what some of the song writers would do if they were shut off from likening the Christian life to a voyage upon the ocean, and the Christian to a man in a boat tossed by the waves, and buffeted by the winds. But if they had a strick regard for Scripture imagery, they would be forced to forego such illustrations.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.8

    The Bible does refer to the sea, but not as affecting the Christian. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” Isaiah 57:20. It speaks also of the man who does not have faith in God, but who wavers. “He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:6. But surely a man receives nothing from the Lord.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.9

    When a ship is in the sea, it must of necessity be more or less at the mercy of the winds and the tide. Perhaps this is the reason why so many who have accepted the idea of the “Gospel ship” as scriptural, have supposed that instability is a necessary part of Christian experience. They expect to be up and down, according to the state of the tide.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.10

    But what saith the Scripture? The Christian is not on the restless waves, but on the solid rock. The Lord “brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” Psalm 40:2. Walking upon a rock is vastly different from being rocked in a boat.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.11

    The wind and the waves have no effect upon the rocks. The tide rises and falls, but the rock remains unchanged. The fierce waves beat against it with a thundering sound, but it moves not. It does not even tremble. Therefore he who is upon the solid rock can not be affected by the ebb and flow of the tide, nor by wind or weather. Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.” Matthew 7:24, 25.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.12

    Jesus Christ is the everlasting Rock. “He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:15. His word is the same as himself. “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89. “The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” Psalm 111:7, 8. “They are Spirit and they are life,” even his own eternal life. Reader, where are you? Are you floating upon the sea? or are you established upon the Rock? E. J. W.SITI August 15, 1895, page 497.13

    “Not Justified by Works” The Signs of the Times, 21, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “But you know we are not justified by the law, but by faith; no works of our own are of any effect whatever.” These are the words with which many seek to parry the force of the commandment which says: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” Exodus 20:8-10.SITI August 15, 1895, page 499.1

    It is strange that nobody ever thinks of urging this as a reason for not keeping Sunday, even when Sunday is supposed to be enjoined by the fourth commandment; but as soon as it appears that the only day to be observed is the seventh day of the week, immediately we are told that we cannot be saved by the works of the law; and that is supposed to absolve us from all necessity of keeping “the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Let us give this matter a little careful examination.SITI August 15, 1895, page 499.2

    There is nothing made more clear in the Bible than that no man is justified by works, but that justification is wholly by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9. “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7.SITI August 15, 1895, page 499.3

    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7. “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:24, 25, 28.SITI August 15, 1895, page 499.4

    These texts show plainly that no works of man have any effect in securing his justification. But do they discredit the law?—Not by any means. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31. The law is the only standard of justice; because, “not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:13. Christ’s righteousness is perfect obedience to the law, which was within his heart. John 15:10; Psalm 40:8. Christ dwells in the heart by faith (Ephesians 3:17), and it is his presence in the heart that justifies us, as we by faith take his life instead of our own. So we are justified by faith, because faith brings Christ and his obedience into the heart and life.SITI August 15, 1895, page 499.5

    Now let us read something in continuation of texts already quoted. The apostle tells us that we are not justified by works, “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained [prepared] that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. The good works come as soon as we become new creatures in Christ.SITI August 15, 1895, page 499.6

    Again: “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable.” Titus 3:8. How are we to maintain good works?—By faith, just as we received them; for we are exhorted, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Colossians 2:6.SITI August 15, 1895, page 499.7

    The case, then, is simply this: The law is the standard of righteousness, but the law is spiritual, and we are carnal (Romans 7:14), it is the perfect righteousness of the Holy Spirit, and therefore infinitely above us. Our best efforts are only violations of it. But Christ is the righteousness of God, because he is God. The law of God is therefore his very nature. He was made flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14), being in all things “made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17. He is “the wisdom of God, and the power of God,” as well as the righteousness of God, and therefore “what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” What for?—“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” Romans 8:3, 4.SITI August 15, 1895, page 499.8

    Thus we see that, although we are not justified by the works of the law, we are by no means justified in ignoring and transgressing the law. Christ has called us unto liberty, but not that we should make that liberty an occasion to the flesh. Galatians 5:13. We find our liberty only in seeking is precepts. Psalm 119:45. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17), and “the law is spiritual;” therefore only in obedience to the law, which is found in Christ, is there true liberty.SITI August 15, 1895, page 490.1

    In closing, let us see how the argument which is brought against the Sabbath, as noticed at the first, will work when applied to some of the other commandments besides the fourth. The idea is that since we are not justified by the works of the law, therefore we are not required or expected to keep the commandment which says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” and which tells us that the seventh day is the day upon which we should rest. Now the third commandment says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Suppose I am a swearer, and some one who hears me take the name of God in vain, reminds me of that commandment. But I reply: “Ah! do you not know that we are not justified by the works of the law, but by faith? Christ has set me free from the law, and therefore I swear; I dare not keep that law, lest I be brought into bondage.” Would not my reprover be shocked at my blindness, which would justly seem to be almost, if not quite, blasphemy? and would he not tell me that Christ died for the express purpose of saving me from the sin of swearing? And if I should plead the same excuse for lying and stealing, he would tell me that faith in Christ does not warrant me in breaking the eighth and ninth commandments, but that it is for the purpose of saving me from those, and from all other sins.SITI August 15, 1895, page 490.2

    We are not justified because we do not take the name of God in vain; yet no one would on that account risk his salvation by swearing. We shall not be saved simply because we do not steal; but few, if any, would expect to be saved if they were thieves. We cannot be justified by the ninth commandment; yet we have the positive statement that all liars shall perish. No one can claim admission to heaven on the ground that he has never killed anybody; but it is as certain that no one would think of basing a claim to heavenly glory on the fact that he was a murderer. So while we are not justified by the fourth commandment, we are not therefore justified in breaking it. Christ saves men to obedience.SITI August 15, 1895, page 490.3

    Reader, are you one of those who have been “partial in the law”? If so, stop and ask yourself why you have any more right to disregard the fourth commandment than you have to disregard the third. “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” This is true of the whole law, and not merely of a portion of it. May you therefore be one of those of whom it will be said, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. E. J. W.SITI August 15, 1895, page 490.4

    “What Does It Mean?” The Signs of the Times, 21, 32.

    E. J. Waggoner

    As Jesus was coming down from the mount of transfiguration, with Peter, James, and John, “he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.” Mark 9:9, 10. What did it mean?—It meant just that, and nothing else. But they were sure in their own minds that it could not mean that Christ should really die and rise again, and so they kept wondering and speculating as to what it could mean.SITI August 15, 1895, page 490.5

    And that is the way that thousands of the followers of Christ are doing to-day. They read something in the Scriptures, and straightway they ask, “What does this mean?” They feel quite sure that it must have some mysterious meaning, different from what the words themselves indicate, because they have it settled in their minds how it must be, and are sure that the thing actually declared can not ever take place. Thus they miss the instruction and comfort of the Scriptures, and are unprepared for the things that come. If the disciples had learned to take the Lord at his word, they would not have been thrown into such confusion when he was crucified. They learned better afterwards; let us learn now from their example to believe that the word means what is says. E. J. W.SITI August 15, 1895, page 490.6

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents