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    March 1, 1899

    “Studies in Galatians. From Prison to a Palace. Galatians 3:22-29. (Continued)” The Signs of the Times, 25, 9.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Law Preaches the Gospel. —“But,” says one, “the law says nothing of Christ.” No; but all creation does speak of Christ, proclaiming the power of His salvation. We have seen that the cross of Christ, “Christ and Him crucified,” is to be seen in every leaf of the forest, and, indeed, in everything that exists. Not only so, but every fiber of man’s being cries out for Christ. Men do not realize it, but Christ is “the Desire of all nations.” It is He alone that “satisfies the desire of every living thing.” Only in Him can relief be found for the world’s unrest and longing. Now since Christ, in whom is peace, “for He is our peace,” is seeking the weary and heavy-laden, and calling them to Himself, and every man has longings that nothing else in the world can satisfy, it is evident that if the man is awakened by the law to keener consciousness of his condition, and the law continues goading him, giving him no rest, and shutting up every other way of escape, the man must at last find the Door of Safety, for it always stands open. In Christ alone will the sinner find release from the lash of the law, for in Christ the righteousness of the law is fulfilled, and by Him it is fulfilled in us. Romans 8:4.SITI March 1, 1899, page 147.1

    Faith Emancipates. —When faith comes we are no longer under the goaler, no longer in prison. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” No longer slaves in chains, to be cast out, but sons, to be received into the Father’s presence as rightful members of the family, and heirs of all that He possesses. Faith is freedom, for the Spirit is given to all that believe (John 7:39); Ephesians 1:13), and “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17).SITI March 1, 1899, page 147.2

    When Does Faith Come? —Strangely enough, many have supposed that there was a definite time fixed for faith to come. This passage has been “interpreted” to mean that men were under the law until a certain time in the history of the world, and that at that time faith came, and then they were henceforth free from the law. The coming of faith they make synonymous with the manifestation of Christ on earth. We can not say that anybody ever thought so, for such an “interpretation” indicates utter absence of thought about the matter. It would make men to be saved in bulk, regardless of any concurrence on their part. It would have it that up to a certain time all were in bondage under the law, and that from that time henceforth all were free from sin. A man’s salvation would, therefore, depend simply on the accident of birth. If he lived before a certain time, he would be lost; if after, he would be saved. Such an absurdity need not take more of our time than the statement of it. No one can seriously think of the idea that the apostle is here speaking of a fixed, definite point of time in the history of the world, dividing between two so-called “dispensations,” without at once abandoning it.SITI March 1, 1899, page 147.3

    When, then, does faith come? —“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17. Whenever a man receives the Word of God, the word of promise, which brings with it the fullness of the law, and no longer fights against it, but yields to it, then faith comes to him. Read the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, and you will see that faith came from the beginning. Since the days of Abel, men have found freedom by faith. The only time fixed is “now,” “to-day.” “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” “To-day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”SITI March 1, 1899, page 147.4

    How Great Is This Freedom? —What is the freedom that comes by faith? That is easily settled by a few texts of Scripture. Christ dwells in the heart by faith, and makes one comprehend “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” Ephesians 3:18, 19. This is the “large place” in which Christ causes the believer to walk at liberty. The whole universe is His. “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.” 1 Samuel 2:8. “For he hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary, from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death.” Psalm 102:19, 20. For “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion.” Ephesians 2:4-7; 1:20, 21. This is “the glorious liberty of the children of God,” the liberty to which the law shuts us up, and towards which it drives us. So emphatically is it true that the law is not against the promise.SITI March 1, 1899, page 147.5

    Putting on Christ by Baptism. —“As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” Romans 6:3. It is by His death that Christ redeems us from the curse of the law; but we must die with Him. Baptism is “the likeness of His death.” We rise to walk “in newness of life,” even Christ’s life. See Galatians 2:20. Having put on Christ, we are one in Him. We are completely identified with Him. Our identity is lost in His. It is often said of one who has been converted, “He is so changed you would not know him; he is not the same man.” No, he is not. God has turned him into “another man.” Therefore, being one with Christ, he has a right to whatever Christ has, and a right to “the heavenly places” where Christ sits. From the prison house of sin, he is exalted to the dwelling-place of God. This, of course, presupposes that baptism is with him a reality, not a mere outward form. It is not simply into the visible water that he is baptized, but “into Christ,” into His life.SITI March 1, 1899, page 147.6

    One in Christ, the Seed. —“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” “There is no difference.” This is the key-note of the Gospel. All are alike sinners, and all are saved in the same way. They who would make a distinction on the ground of nationality, claiming that there is something different for the Jew than for the Gentile, might just as well make a difference on the ground of sex, claiming that women can not be saved in the same way and at the same time as men, or that a servant can not be saved in the same way as his master. No; there is but one way, and all human beings, of whatever race or condition, are equal before God. “Ye are all one in Christ Jesus,” and Christ is the One. So it is that “He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ.” “For ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” There is but one seed, but it embraces all who are Christ’s.SITI March 1, 1899, page 147.7

    Christ Not for Himself. —Christ did not live and die for Himself. It was not necessary that He should bear the curse of the earth in order to possess it as God; for it never passed out of God’s ownership. Christ came as the Son of man, to win back as man, for man, that which man had lost. “He taketh on Him the seed of Abraham.” Therefore it is that it is impossible that the seed should be complete in Jesus alone, as a single individual. He is the representative man. God’s purpose is to “gather together in one all things in Christ.” Ephesians 1:10. So the seed includes every soul who can be induced to accept the Lord Jesus, and become one with Him. And this gives the glorious assurance that whatever He has is ours.SITI March 1, 1899, page 148.1

    “Until the Seed Should Come.” —It needs not many words now to determine what is meant by the phrase, “till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” We know what the seed is, and we know that it has not yet come in its fulness. To be sure, Christ was once manifested on earth in the flesh, but He did not receive the promised inheritance, any more than Abraham did. Abraham had not so much as to put his foot on (Acts 7:5), and Christ had not where to lay His head. Moreover, Christ can not come into the inheritance until Abraham does also, for the promise was “to Abraham and to his seed.” The Lord by the prophet Ezekiel spoke of the inheritance at the time when David ceased to have a representative on his throne on earth, and He foretold the overthrow of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, in these words: “Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.” Ezekiel 21:26, 27.SITI March 1, 1899, page 148.2

    So Christ sits on His Father’s throne, “from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.” Soon will He come, but not until the last soul has accepted Him that can by any possibility be induced to accept salvation. When He comes to execute judgment, and to slay those who said, “We will not have this Man to reign over us,” He comes “with ten thousands of His holy ones.” Jude 14.SITI March 1, 1899, page 148.3

    Then will the Seed be complete, and the promise will be fulfilled. And until that time the law will faithfully perform its task of stirring up and pricking the consciences of sinners, giving them no rest until they become identified with Christ, or cast Him off altogether. Do you accept the terms? Will you cease your complaints against the law which would save you from sinking into a fatal sleep? And will you in Christ accept its righteousness? Then, as Abraham’s seed, and an heir according to the promise, you can rejoice in your freedom from the bondage of sin, singing:—SITI March 1, 1899, page 148.4

    “I’m the child of a King,
    The child of a King,
    With Jesus my Saviour,
    I’m the child of a King.”
    E. J. WAGGONER.
    SITI March 1, 1899, page 148.5

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