1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
But how doth the God-instructed and gospel-believing sinner "from faith," as the motive principle pass "into faith?" Answer: "In delivering his self-condemnatory verdict according to the divine testimony, which convinces him of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come." He sentences the thing styled "self" and "me," that is, "the flesh, in which dwells no good thing," to crucifixion, death and burial; that a new and self-denying character, styled "the new man" and "the new creature," may thenceforth come into living manifestation.
... No believing sinner ought to be buried till he is "dead to sin." by the water-burial he enters "into faith;" "into Christ," "into the Yahweh-Name," and his believing is counted to him for righteousness; he is therefore in faith, in Christ, in the Name, in God; and no longer an uncleansed, naked, sinner; but a purified, pardoned, sanctified, man, or saint, clothed with the Christ-Name as with a garment, waiting for the wedding.
Bro Thomas, The Ambassador of the Coming Age, April, 1869
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
The blood of the covenant being in heaven, and we upon the earth, there must exist some appointed thing as a medium of access to it. The blood is to justify and sanctify, or to cleanse and make holy, those who are sprinkled by it. Such are said to stand in the grace of God, rejoicing in hope of his glory. If then we ascertain how access is obtained into this grace, we also learn how access is obtained to the blood of the covenant.
Paul says, "we have access by faith;" a saying which agrees with that of the prophet, "the just shall live by his faith."-"God," says Peter, "put no difference between Jews and Gentiles, purifying their hearts by faith." "I send thee," said the Lord Jesus to Paul, "to open the eyes of the Gentiles, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them who are sanctified by faith which is into me."
"A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." "There is one God who shall justify the Jews on account of faith, and the Gentiles through the faith." Such is the testimony of scripture on this all-important subject, which summarily amounts to this, that the sons of Adam are purified, sanctified, justified, or pardoned, and obtain eternal life by faith; in other words, as the apostle says to those who had been delivered from their past sins, "in grace ye are, having been saved (sesosmenoi) through the faith; and this not of (or originating from) yourselves (ex hymon); but the gift of God." By faith in the faith the great salvation is obtained when the better hope which is the subject of it is no longer unseen, but an eternal and accomplished reality.
To say that a man is purged, purified, or cleansed is the same as to affirm that he is justified, or constituted righteous, and sanctified or made holy. It is sin that makes unclean-unclean by nature, because born of sinful flesh; and unclean by practice, because transgressors in the sight of God.
The cleansing process is therefore intellectual, moral, and physical. The work begins by cleansing the intellect, casting out as it were all the devils that have established themselves there through the doctrines of fleshly men. This is done by the truth understood and believed.
If the soil be good, the truth sown in the understanding will take root in the heart, or moral sentiments, and bring forth "fruit unto holiness, the end of which is everlasting life." In this way the whole heart is cleansed by a faith yielding obedience, as the apostle saith, "Ye have purified your souls (intellectual and moral faculties) in the obedience of the truth-en tee hypakoee tees aleetheias." The person so cleansed has no more conscience of past sins, but is able to stand in God's presence without shame or fear as Adam was before he fell.
This is a spiritual cleansing, but no less real and literal for that. "Ye have purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit-dia Pneumatos." Spirit operating upon soul and spirit. How? By the word of truth evangelized enlightening the mind, and creating a right disposition. It is God's work, not man's; for the apostle saith, "Of his own will the Father of Lights begat us by the word of truth;" "and this," saith another, "is the word which is evangelized unto you."
But the cleansing of the soul needs to be followed by the cleansing of the body to make the purification of the man complete. If the spiritual cleansing have been well done (and if the word of truth have done it, it will) the corporeal cleansing will be sure to follow. Not, however, as a physical effect of the truth diffusing itself over the body as nervous influence from the brain, and so annihilating evil in the flesh; but a corporeal purification effected by the Spirit at the believer's resurrection, or transformation, as a part of the reward promised to all such who "patiently continue in well-doing."
A man so cleansed is every whit whole; and qualified to receive and enjoy the hope of the better covenant by the blood of which he had been "purged from his old sins." Justification and sanctification, therefore, are consequent upon cleansing; hence if a man refuse to be cleansed, or be not cleansed, it is folly for him to talk of being just, or holy, or righteous in the sight of God.
He may be what the world calls "good and pious;" he may overflow with the milk of human kindness, be very "wise," and learned, devout of tone, oily in speech, of solemn face, and exuberant in profession of "love" to Christ and all mankind, and may pass before his fellows as a saint too holy for this nether world: but if he have not submitted to the righteousness of God "in the obedience of the truth," he is but a "pious" sinner, uncleansed, and therefore unholy and profane.The Mystery of the Covenant of the Holy Land Explained
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Oct 1855
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
A character without patience is a character without use to God or man. Patience with impulse subdued and penetration tempered by tribulation. It is patience that God is working in you by all the tribulations that you endure. In this sense you can join with Paul when he said,
"We glory in tribulation also."
You CAN glory in it as an experience which - though painful for the time being - is working out for you unspeakable sweetness in the day of the perfected work. Therefore, beloved, bear up under it. Do not be destroyed by it. It is only for a season, and that a short one. A few years more at the worst, and it will be all over, and God's work in you accomplished for the endless ages.
Bro. Roberts, 1885.
The human mind is naturally given to shallowness and folly and the infantile, characterless pursuit of pleasure and excitement. Very few ever get beyond this stunted stage.
Tribulation, if we are rightly exercised by it, forces us to come face to face with the sober realities of life, and intelligently adjust our purposes and characters to them. This is the teaching of the Scripture, and the wholesome experience of any with any sense and maturity.
Some run away crying, vainly seeking solace in animal emptiness, and gain nothing from their sorrows. This is tragic.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God does not ask us for great accomplishments. He is not an exacting Master -- He is a loving Father. What does a Father ask but love, and what else can we give Him? He asks us to love Him with our whole heart and mind and soul, and to let that love pervade and direct our every act and thought and word. That is all -- but that is everything.
Bro Growcott - Holy and Blameless in Love
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
The sacrifices of the Bible were not to pay for sins; nor were they a substitute to suffer and die in the place of the sinner, as orthodoxy teaches. True, pagan sacrifices doubtless were this, for they were a corruption and perversion of the true - the true, revealed Divine conception being far above the comprehension of the mind of the flesh.
The sacrifices of the Bible were a humble recognition that the only condition acceptable to God is purity and perfection; that sin is filth and uncleanness; and that sinful man can be reconciled to God only by being covered by, and washed in, the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
"Atonement," then, as it occurs in the AV, does not mean an external payment or compensation or expiation: that is, something done outside of ourselves; something substitutionary. This is a corrupted, orthodox meaning.
It means an internal covering, cleansing, purging, purifying, and putting in a right condition: something done not so much for us as to us. (Of course, it is all "for" us in the sense of "for our sakes," "on our behalf.")
Bro Growcott, - The 'Purifying of the heavenly'
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
'...before sin entered into the world by Adam, the economy was "very good;" and God was "the all things for all" the living souls he had made. In this state of being there was no adversary, and no death, because there was no sin, and death being absent, there was no viceregal kingdom to make war upon hostile powers, for the purpose of subduing them, and substituting the power of God instead.
But when sin entered into the world, and death by sin, a rebellion commenced against God which has never been put down effectually from that day to this. It has ever gathered strength, and is at the present crisis more defiant of his authority than ever.
All was peace and harmony between God and man upon earth'.
The imputation of Adam's crime to his offspring is a doctrine of the Apostacy. Adam's sin was his own, and no one else's. His sin has bequeathed to every man an evil and condemned nature, but not guilt; no, not of any kind.
Any theory which makes man, and worse still, which makes Christ, an artificial criminal, and, as such, deserving of punishment, is a theory which should be promptly shown the door.
God is no juggler, nor is He an unreasonable avenger. He is good, and He is just. Man dies because he is sinful, and he is sinful as the outcome of Adam's rebellion. Christ (who was more than a mere man) was born under the Adamic condemnation, and cut off in the midst of his years, as a means of declaring the righteousness of God, and establishing a basis on which He could save a sinning and sinful race.
Christ's sacrifice was not a matter of paying (by a method of legal fiction) a debt incurred by sinners, but of solemnly showing forth the respective positions of God and the race-the purity and holiness and majesty of the one, and the corruptions of the other, and of providing a becoming platform on which He could dispense His inestimable mercy and favour.
Bro A Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Aug 1899
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
The great point of Paul's argument is, that if death justly entered the world by Adam's one act of disobedience, how great is the Divine favour which offers to pass by the myriad offences that have since submerged his descendants as in a hopeless sea of death. This is lost sight of in the treatment that deals with the chapter as if it were a lawyer's treatise on Edenic pains and penalties.
The Christadelphian, Oct 1896. p381
DEATH is hateful - it is a curse.
Sobbing friends at the grave-side are an evidence of this. Even Jesus wept in the presence of death. Some people may affect to smile at death, but the smile is not sincere. No amount of laugh can alter the sad nature of death. We may pile our beautiful flowers on the coffin lid, but these only increase the tears. The faithless infidel doesn't laugh when brought face to face with death. On the platform he may talk glibly of death, but for this allowances have to be made.
How genuinely pathetic was the account by the daughter of the late Charles Bradlaugh of her father's dying hours. How touchingly she related how she watched sorrowfully and hopelessly at the bedside, and saw her parent's life slowly but surely ebb away. Yes, father dies, mother dies, children die, valued friends die. And why? There must be an explanation. There is. Where are we to find it? In the Bible, and nowhere else.
What is the explanation? Sin-rebellion against God on the part of man. Oh! say some, such a cause is not equal to what we see-the rebellion of one is not sufficient to account for the universality of death. This is foolish talk, and against facts. Let such rather open their eyes to the heinousness of sin, as evidenced by the institution of death, and to the purity, holiness, and majesty of God, who cannot pass by it without notice.
Adam's sin has filled the earth with helpless transgressors. God is not angry with us because of our helplessly sinning condition, but He cannot overlook it. And His recognition of it necessitates the accompaniment of death with sin. We must not separate ourselves from Adam-we are the offspring of a sinner.
The reign of sin is the evolution of transgression. But in the Scriptures there is not only light, but hope and comfort. God intends to abolish sin, and take away death. God has provided Christ, who, by a life of absolute sinlessness, and a death which exhibited the righteousness of God, has made a way of salvation for all who will come to God through him.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Nov 1902
Why do we die?
Death - a sentence which defiled and became a physical law of his (Adam's) being, and was transmitted to all his posterity - Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith Clause 5.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned... through the offence of one many be dead" - Rom 5: 12,15.
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Question: "Was Jesus born under condemnation?"
Answer.-"In the scriptural sense of hereditary condemnation, the answer is yes; but this requires to be fenced against the misunderstanding natural to the terms employed. Condemnation in its individual application implies displeasure, which cannot be affirmed of Jesus, who was the beloved of the Father. But no one is born under condemnation in its individual application. That is, no one is condemned as an individual until his actions as an individual call for it. But hereditary condemnation is not a matter of displeasure, but of misfortune.
The displeasure or wrath arises afterwards when the men so born work unrighteousness. This unrighteousness they doubtless work 'by nature,' and are therefore 'by nature children of wrath'-that is, by nature they are such as evoke wrath by unrighteousness. It was here that Jesus differed from all men. Though born under the hereditary law of mortality as his mission required, his relation to the Father as the Son of God exempted him from the uncontrolled subjection to unrighteousness."
- Christadelphian, 1874, page 526.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
"By one man (Adam, the first man-see v.14) sin entered the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men."
What then is sin, which Jesus' sacrifice was to "put away"? Simply and primarily, it is disobedience to God's law,
"Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4).
The earth is God's. He is the Creator and Owner of everything. He has made man, given him life, and set him upon God's earth. It is both right and necessary that He should instruct man how to behave, so that he may conduct himself in harmony with the rest of God's plans and arrangements for the general good.
It is both right and necessary that an ignoring or rejecting of God's instructions requires the taking away of the abused and destructively perverted gift of life.
But sin, which has to be destroyed from the earth, goes deeper than just specific acts of disobedience. We all know this to our sorrow. Paul says, and he speaks for us all-
"Sin dwelleth in me...I find a law in my members that evil is present with me...the law of sin in my members" (Rom. 7:17-23)
So sin is an ingrained thing in human flesh, a natural and universal urge to rebel against God's laws, a willfulness of contrary desire. This entered into the constitution of the race through the first man's transgression-
"By man sin entered into the world."
Now the Scriptures never tell us that some innocent person has to pay the sinner's debt so the sinner can escape punishment for his sins. There are only two scriptural ways of dealing with sin, either blotting out the sinner by punishment or blotting out sin by forgiveness.
But the Scriptures do say that SOMEONE MUST LAY AN ACCEPTABLE BASIS BEFORE GOD whereby sin may be forgiven through him and for his sake without obscuring or nullifying the principles of truth and righteousness and justice by which God's universe is maintained. We are told this very clearly in Romans 3:25-26:
"Jesus Christ, whom God set forth to be a propitiation...
-this word "propitiation" is translated "mercy-seat" in Heb. 9:5. It refers to the Mercy-seat or Kapporeth of the Mosaic Tabernacle and means
"a place of covering or forgiveness"-
"...to be a place of forgiveness through faith in his blood, to declare His (God's) righteousness for the remission (or "passing over") of sins that are past through the forbearance of God.
"To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness, that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
God's righteousness had to be declared and set forth-recognized, manifested, vindicated and upheld for all ages so that He would be established as just even though, in His love and mercy, He forgave sins and remitted the punishment due.
Now how did the death of Christ declare God's righteousness? Here is where the substitution theory fails completely. To punish the innocent instead of the guilty is the farthest thing possible from declaring God's righteousness and demonstrating God's justice.
But the scriptural picture of representation beautifully fulfills the requirements. If one of the condemned race-a true representative man-is perfectly obedient to God in all things, thereby publicly testifying that in all things he recognizes and submits to the righteousness of God's laws and then at the command of God, voluntarily lays down his life in recognition of the fact that God was righteous in condemning the race to death because all are part of Adam and are defiled-in consequence of their oneness with Adam-by the law of sin and death within them-in this case we can immediately see how beautifully and completely God's righteousness is declared, and how a sound basis is laid whereby He can extend forgiveness to others in and through and for the sake of this perfectly righteous man, without compromising or obscuring His own holiness.
The essential key-in order to declare God's righteousness in his death-is that HE MUST BE ONE OF THE CONDEMNED RACE.
Jesus Christ is repeatedly spoken of as a man, as being of our flesh, born of a woman, born of the seed of David, born a descendant of Adam. This in itself would be sufficient to prove that he was subject to the same constitution and condemnation that is common to all men-that he found the same "law in his members" that Paul and all others have found as their heritage from the first man.
Bro Growcott - Made a curse for us