Larger font
Smaller font

General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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





    No Authorcode

    WE have reached a point in the epistle where it may be well for us to stop a moment, and consider what we are studying. We are apt to get our minds fixed upon the thought that Paul was trying to turn everybody from Judaism to Christianity, and that the people to whom he was writing were all Jews. So we infer that the customs that he brings in and speaks against, are jewish customs. But it does not matter whether they were Jewish or heathen, if they do not belong to the gospel of Christ, the apostle treats them in the same way. Paul made no especial attack against the Jews. The fact is, he was writing to the Gentiles, or heathen. That makes it all the more applicable to us. The book of Hebrews is more difficult to study because we understand so little of the customs of the people to whom it was directly addressed. This leads often to wrong interpretation of certain passages, by which they lose their real force. But this book was written to a people who, like us, could not claim anything from being the descendants of Abraham.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.1

    Every one who has not accepted Christ is bound by some tradition or habit. He may say, “I will give up myself and all I have:; yet there is still something to which he is clinging. What we want to do is to cut loose from all these things, and get a heart connection with the Saviour. It is not enough to have an arm, hand, or finger union; we want the vital union of heart to heart.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.2

    Turn to John 15 and notice the figure by which Christ teaches the union between himself and his followers. “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” Verse 5. Can you tell where the branch ends, and the vine begins? No. The branch is simply an extension of the vine. Such is the union between Christ and the believer. When you see a branch, you know it belongs to a grape vine. So when people see you, they should know that you are of Christ.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.3

    The branch that is connected with the true Vine is further distinguished by bearing fruit. When connected with Christ, we are bound to bear fruit. But the man who looks to ordinances for fruit, is like a man who has a vine, and ties the grapes on it, instead of letting it bear fruit. We want to have such a close union with Christ that fruit will grow on us, and then it will be sure to be the right kind of fruit.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.4

    “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. For we are members of his body, and of his bones.” Ephesians 5:25-27, 30.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.5

    There is a union between our body and the risen body of the Lord Jesus Christ, which gives us the right to claim for our mortal frame all the vital energy of his perfect life. His body is ours. His life is ours, and it is all sufficient.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.6

    The Scripture abounds in expressions setting forth the holy, unblamable character of the people of God. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Perhaps we have sometimes wondered why the Bible puts the sinner above sin; connected with Christ, yet living right here in the midst of wickedness. As we read these things, we may say to ourselves: That is good doctrine, and I am going to live that way. I am resolved to read the Bible more than I have. I shall be more faithful in my devotions, public and private, and shall go to meeting more regularly. I think I shall also change my diet a little, that I may be more holy. But when we go to work in that way, with the avowed purpose of trying to make ourselves holy and unblamable, the first thing we meet with is that we fail. It fares with us as with the man in the legend. He thought the reason why he had such a bad temper and got angry so quickly, was because his neighbors were mean and provoked him. So he went off all by himself, and built him a hut in a lonely place. Now, he thought, he could serve God in peace, and show what a meek-spirited man he really was. But one day he went out to the spring to fill his pitcher with water. He set it on a rock, but the place was slippery, and the water tipped it over. He picked it up, and put it in place again, but it upset a second time. This was too much for the hermit. Immediately his fiery temper asserted itself, and he grabbed the pitcher, and dashed it on the rock.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.7

    This life of Christ cannot be obtained by mechanical work. Men may be temperate in their habits, but they will not be Christians unless Christ dwells within. The experience that we want to-day is not one that will try to produce the life; we want the life that will produce these things.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.8

    “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” Song of Solomon 2:16. That is the relation of husband and wife, and it is precisely our relation to Christ. We ought to believe with all confidence that he is ours, and we belong to him. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.” Romans 3:21. This is the union with Christ to which the law itself testifies. In the eyes of the law, we and Christ are one person, no longer two. How is it with the marriage relation? Before the man and woman were united in wedlock, there were two names, were there not? But after the ceremony is over, there is but one name. And whose name? The man’s. so when the believer is united with Christ, his own name and character drop out of reckoning with the law, and Christ’s are taken in their place. Then Christ himself lives in his flesh, and there can be no condemnation of his life.GCB February 13, 1895, page 136.9

    “By all this is that a better covenant of which Jesus is the sponsor.” Hebrews 7:22 (Syriac). What is a sponsor? One who takes the place of another. Christ is not only a husband to us, but a sponsor. “He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.” Galatians 3:16. The promises were made to Christ, and he takes the place of individuals who need the benefit of those promises. They take his name, and thus obtain all the promises made to him.GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.1

    In the Authorized Version, Hebrews 7:22 reads: “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” Christ is our surety. What do we mean by that word? I borrow ten dollars of a man. He has my word that I will pay it, but that is not the surest thing in the world. I may not be able to pay it. But here is another man worth thousands of dollars. He steps in and is my surety. If I fail, he is sure. Jesus Christ, however, does even more than that He does not ask us to pay it at all. But he says Let me come in and live in you, and I will pay it all myself. And he has paid it. The union brought about between Christ and us, places his righteous life in the place of our past life of transgression. And then he says to us, My life shall be in you from the time you accept me. I am so thankful to God this morning that we don’t need to live our past life over. We can take the life of Christ, and be looked upon as though we had never sinned.GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.2

    “Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3:22, 23. Every Christian can read that, All are mine.GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.3

    Now let us turn to Colossians, and read the ninth and tenth verses of the second chapter: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him which is the head of all principality and power.” The word here translated “complete” is literally rendered, “fully furnished.” The meaning of the text is that in him we are fully furnished with all things. The same thought is clearly brought out in 2 Peter 1:3: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” There is not a temptation that God will not prepare us to meet. So then, we need not be afraid to go out into the battle of life. All that we need to know is that God is leading us, and then we may be sure that all will be well. Not that we are to fold our hands, and say we cannot sin if we were to try to. I don’t see how a man could be any happier in being held from sin when he wants to be in it, than he would be in being kept from doing right when he wanted to do it. Let Jesus live in the heart, and then he will direct the life himself. But the religion of Jesus Christ is not a religion of impressions. By trusting to impressions we soon get away from all religion, and end in fanaticism. Faith is believing that when God says it is so, it is so. God’s Spirit does its work in close connection with his Word. So don’t think that you are led by that Spirit when you are neglecting his word.GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.4

    Now let us read together a few passages of scripture, and as we do so, endeavor to chain them together in our minds. We are Christ’s (John 17:20), and have the witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:14), he gives us his fullness (Colossians 2:10), for the supply of all our needs (Ephesians 3:17, 18, Philippians 4:19), and we live in him (Galatians 2:20), and shall not want any good thing (Psalm 34:10), for by his grace (1 Corinthians 1:4, 5), we have access to the treasures (Colossians 2:3), and live by faith (Hebrews 11:38).GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.5

    Brethren, let us make these promises real to ourselves this morning. I am not reading new scriptures, but simply putting the old ones together, that we may see more in them than we have before, and thus get a stronger hold of Christ.GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.6

    “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:11, 12.GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.7

    As circumcision was a sign of faith (Romans 4:11) to the Jew, so baptism is a sign of the same thing to us. One was not the type of the other, but both are outward signs of inward faith. “Risen to walk in newness of life,” says the apostle. It is the walk of faith.GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.8

    “And you, being dead in your sins and the circumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgive you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” Colossians 2:13, 14.GCB February 13, 1895, page 137.9

    How does Christ quicken us? by giving us his life. The word translated “blotten out” really means wiping out, obliterating. It does not mean simply to smear over. In our next lesson we will consider the things that were wiped out.GCB February 13, 1895, page 138.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font