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.
Tribulation is a moral necessity
We cannot be brought into a reasonable state without it. Paul defines its mission thus:
"Tribulation worketh patience;"
And through much tribulation it is appointed we must enter the kingdom of God. The wisdom of it is not difficult to see. Humility and patience are indispensable attributes of excellence of character. They are characteristic of the angels, to equality with whom the gospel invites us, and who have known evil in their day. They come only with tribulation.
They do not come with luxury and indulgence. The silver spoon usually generates pride and impatience. Tribulation drives those out of the natural man, and helps us to come more and more into that state in which God will be able to find pleasure in us, and forgive us for Christ's sake, and give us an abiding place in the glorious household of His Son.
Recognition of this will enable us to take trouble with a little more composure than if we supposed it were a pure and aimless evil. It is by no means such. It is pre-eminently among the "all things" which
"work together for good for those who love God, who are the called according to his purpose."
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
The future is too great to realize
...in the future, we get into a region beyond experience, and, therefore, beyond our grasp, though it may come into the compass of our knowledge by faith.
Yet, let us glance at it for a moment. We know that in a short time, the state of things on the face of the earth will be completely changed. Human soeiety, as now constituted, will be broken up; all the laws men have made for themselves-political, municipal, social, and domestic will be blown to the winds by the breath of God in Jesus Christ, and an entirely new system will be established, based upon perfect holiness, perfect right-eousness, perfect neighbourly feeling, perfect brotherly love; and all who stand in the way of the great revolution will be broken to pieces.
Those who will carry out this revolution will be those of all ages whom Jesus shall pronounce worthy, by reason of their faith and obedience.
These, made in nature equal with the angels, will have the wealth of the whole world placed in their hands, and armed with power to execute the will of their captain, such as no human being ever had before-a power that will be superior to all the armour-plated ships and fields of rifled ordnance that may be brought against them, and with which they will break in pieces every obstruction to the divine government.
Their mission will be to bring everything into subjection to God's king-to exact from every tongue, and every knee, and everything that breathes upon earth that homage due to the man whom God has ordained to rule the world.
Those only will be admitted to association with the great fraternity who have chosen now, in this present time, when there is darkness and night brooding over all, to identify themselves with the preliminary and humble form in which this work exists.
Sunday Morning 20
The Christadelphian May, 1870
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.
To what extent are we entitled-to what extent are we expected and required-to appropriate that promise to ourselves, and to adjust ourselves to the staggering magnitude of that promise?
Is the apostle just speaking of the miraculous Spirit-powers of the first century-the especial and specific external Spirit-gifts of miracles, prophecy, tongues, etc., which ceased with that generation-or is he speaking of something far deeper and more marvellous and of vital concern to us individually today?
A careful consideration of the whole verse, and its spirit and context, and similar verses of similar revolutionary import elsewhere, will make manifest that the latter is unquestionably the glorious and overwhelming meaning, for Paul is clearly speaking here of the general inward experience of all believers in their vital relation to God their Father-not just of some incidental, outward, bestowed power on the part of just some of the believers, as the possession of an external Spirit-gift.
The whole sense of his reasoning requires-to give it any meaning-that what he says should be an essential part of every believer's experience-
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us."
Is this love of God that is shed into the hearts to be restricted just to those who happened to be given the Spirit-gifts for the development and edifying of the early ecclesia? Is not the love of God shed into the hearts of all true believers? Surely; and it is done, says the apostle, "by the Holy Spirit which is given us."
The miraculous gifts of the Spirit did not affect the heart or character of the possessor, nor did they have any direct bearing on his salvation or his relation to God. It is apparent that Judas, in common with other apostles, was given these powers when sent forth to preach (Mark 3:14-15). The Galatians had received the gifts of the Spirit, but were astray from the Faith (Gal. 3:5). The Corinthians had to be instructed to use the Spirit-gifts for edifying and not for vainglory and confusion (1 Cor. 14).
But here is a completely different aspect of the operation of the Spirit. Here is an operation that relates to the heart and character, and that is spoken of in terms that require us to apply it to every true believer as an essential element of the development and preparation of the purified Bride. To the Corinthians Paul said:
"He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."
"In our hearts"-there is the key. It is an essential operation of God upon the hearts of His elect. This becomes even more manifest in the apostle's words to the Galatians (4:6)-
"That we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant but a son."
Here the Spirit sent by God into the heart is related to, and resultant upon, the sonship of the believer. The Spirit-operation is the result, evidence and intensification of the sonship. It creates that sense of unity with God that finds expression in the heart-felt ecstasy of the cry: "Abba, Father!"
But the thought is even clearer still in Rom. 8. There, in several verses, this indwelling of the Holy Spirit is described as the deciding factor as to whether the individual is in the way of life or death, as in vs. 8-9-
"They that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit-IF so be that the spirit of God dwell in you."
V. 11-"IF the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
This cannot just mean "spirit" as disposition and frame of mind; there is manifestly more to it than that for it is the power by which God shall "quicken your mortal bodies."
Nor can it possibly relate to the special Spirit-gifts of the first century that passed away, because it is spoken of as something that has to happen in and to every accepted believer-something their salvation depends on. It is the very means by which they are transformed and saved.
Vs. 15-16 contain the same thought concerning the inseparable relationship of the Spirit-indwelling to the sonship as we have noted in Galatians-
"Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father! The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God."
How does the Spirit of God bear witness with our spirit that we are God's children? John answers that when he says-
"He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us-by the Spirit which He hath given us" (1 John 3:24).
Note that it is related to the keeping of the commandments, and it is the evidence of the God-abiding which is promised in John 14:23 to "him that keepeth my commandments" (v. 21).
In this passage again the whole tenor of the words show that they necessarily relate to all God's children, not just to those who had Spirit-gifts. John further says, in the next chapter (4:12-13)-
"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit."
The essential connection between this Spirit-operation and the believer's redemption and transformation is further revealed in Rom. 15:13. There Paul prays-
"The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit."
We cannot escape the clear teaching of this passage-it is God Himself that fills His elect with the joy and peace of belief, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Bro Growcott - Filled With All the Fullness of God
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
Made Sin for Us
Christ was "made sin" in being born into a sin-constitution of things-a state in which evil prevails because of sin, for the cure of that evil and the removal of that sin in being treated as a sinner when he was not a sinner.
He was "made a curse for us" (a synonymous expression) in becoming subject on our account to a curse to which he was not individually liable-namely, the curse of the law to which he was obedient in all things, but under which he came in the mode of his death;
"for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Gal. 3:13).
Undeserving of curse, and guiltless of sin, he was "made a curse," and "made sin," in dying as one under curse and a sinner. He did this for his brethren, who were sinners and accursed. He did it by coming under the curse himself, for he could not otherwise remove it.
"He bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24),
and the testimony that "he died for us" Rom. 5:8) is equivalent to the affirmation that he was "made sin for us, " and "made a curse for us."
These elliptical expressions are but another form of Isaiah's testimony:
"It pleased the Lord to bruise him; He hath put him to grief" (Is. 53:10).
He did so to magnify His own law and exhibit or declare His own righteousness as the basis of our forgiveness. We cannot and need not get nearer than this. It was an arrangement of love, in harmony with justice and wisdom, for the deliverance of such as come through that arrangement to God in humility for forgiveness, recognising themselves as crucified with Christ-by whom nevertheless they live, because he rose again.
The Christadelphian, Sept 1898
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:
In whom all sinned
Sin in the flesh is hereditary, and entailed upon mankind as the consequence of Adam's violation of the Eden law. The "original sin" was such as I have shown in previous pages. Adam and Eve committed it, and their posterity are suffering the consequence of it. The tribe of Levi paid tithes to Melchisedec many years before Levi was born. The apostle says,
"Levi, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham."
Upon the same federal principle, all mankind ate of the forbidden fruit, being in the loins of Adam when he transgressed.
This is the only way men can by any possibility be guilty of the original sin. Because they sinned in Adam, therefore they return to the dust from which Adam came, says the apostle,
"in whom all sinned."
Elpis Israel 1.4.
'...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'.
Adam, before transgression, though a living soul (or natural body-1 Cor. 15:44-5), was not necessarily destined to die, as obedience would have ended in life immortal.
After transgression, his relation to destiny was changed. Death (by sentence,) was constituted the inevitable upshot of his career. He was, therefore, in a new condition as regarded the future, though not in a new condition as regarded the actual state of his nature.
In actual nature, he was a corruptible groundling before sentence, and a corruptible groundling after sentence; but there was this difference: before sentence, ultimate immortality was possible; after sentence, death was a certainty.
This change in the destiny lying before him, was the result of sin. That is, his disobedience evoked from God a decree of ultimate dissolution. This was the sentence of death, which, though effecting no change as regarded his constitution at the moment it was pronounced, determined a great physical fact concerning his future experience, viz., that immortality, by change to spirit nature, was impossible, and decay and decease inevitable.
The sentence of death, therefore, appertained to his physical nature, and was necessarily transmitted in his blood, to every being resulting from the propagation of his own species....there was a change in Adam's relation to his maker (that is, in the purpose of God concerning the future of Adam's experience: immortality being made impossible, and death inevitable); but not in the nature of his organization.'
Again, 'it (sin in the flesh,) is not expressive of a literal element or principle pervading the physical organization,' but of the impulses which lead to sin, and sin (in the results it evokes from the mind of God,) re-acts upon the flesh in bringing upon it a condition in which it is mortal, and physically impure." - Bro Thomas 1869
The Christadelphian, Aug 1869
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
Adam's nature was created "very good" (chapter and verse, Gen. 1:31). In the days of Paul, Adam's nature as handed down to his children had ceased to have any good in it and had become mortal, (chapter and verse, Rom. 7:18-23; 1 Cor. 15:53; 2 Cor. 5:4), or "dead because of sin" (chapter and verse, Rom. 8:10).
Consequently, somewhere between the one state and the other, a change had taken place. There is no difficulty in fixing the "when" and the "where." Paul says it was by one man that sin entered the world, and death by sin (Rom. 5:12), and that sentence came at that time upon all men to condemnation.
The Christadelphian, Oct 1898
There is one remarkable absurdity not to be pretermitted in this exposition of the Sign of Beast. Its "reverend" sorcerers say that the water they use is sanctified by the Holy Ghost to the mystical washing away of sin, and that the babe, sprinkled on the forehead with this sanctified water, is released from sin, and sanctified with the Holy Ghost!
Now, the question is, what sin is this ghostly sanctified babe released from?
The apostle saith "sin is the transgression of law;" what law has a babe transgressed who is without speech and without volition? Every one not drunk or insane knows that a babe is not an actual transgressor; and, therefore, has no sins to be released from.
But, as they refer to the fact, that "all men are conceived and born in sin," it is to be inferred that this is the sin to be released from - "original sin," as causing the flesh to be what it is.
There is no other sort of sin a babe can be released from. To be released from sin is to be released from subjection to it, and from the penalty thereby incurred. Does such a release result from the subjection of a babe to the "outward visible sign?" Is it released from sin's flesh and its "emotions?"
If so, how does it come to be sick or to die?
The punishment of sin is death, a sentence passed upon all the descendants of Adam, eph' hopantes hemarton, in whom all sinned-Rom 5:12. Upon this federal principle, the babe sinned in Adam, and, therefore, falls sick and dies, although it has committed no sins.
What a monstrous absurdity in the face of these stubborn facts, to say that sanctified water (supposing it were really sanctified) or the essence of holiness supposed to be in it, releases a babe from the only sin that can be imputed to it, seeing that it is released from none of the evils that sin entails!
If the inward spiritual grace said to be contained in the outward visible sign released the babe from sin, it would be freed from "all the ills that flesh is heir to," and live forever.
In such an event the Sign of the Beast would be a wonderful institution; but as it accomplishes nothing claimed for it by the "reverend divines" who practice it, there is no other conclusion that can be arrived at than that it is a sign characteristic only of those who obey and worship the Beast,
"of whom there has not been written the names in the book of life of the Lamb from the foundation of the world"-ch. 13:8; 17:8.
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.
The two Adams are two federal chiefs; the first being figurative of the second in these relations. All sinners are in the first Adam; and all the righteous in the second, only on a different principle. Sinners were in the loins of the former when he transgressed; but not in the loins of the latter, when he was obedient unto death; therefore, "the flesh profiteth nothing." For this cause, then, for sons of Adam to become sons of God, they must be the subjects of an adoption, which is attainable only by some divinely appointed means.
The apostle then brings to light two sentences, which are co-extensive, but not co-etaneous in their bearing upon mankind. The one is a sentence of condemnation, which consigns "the many," both believing Jews and Gentiles, to the dust of the ground; the other is a sentence which affects the same "many," and brings them out of the ground again to return thither no more. Hence, of the saints it is said,
"the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit (gives) life because of righteousness" (Rom. 8:10-11);
"since by a man came death, by a man also came a resurrection of dead persons . For as in the Adam they all die, so also in the Christ shall they all be made alive. But every one in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (1 Cor. 15:21-23).
It is obvious that the apostle is not writing of all the individuals of the human race; but only of that portion of them that become the subject of "a pardon of life,". It is true, that all men do die; but it is not true that they are all the subject of pardon. Those who are pardoned are "the many," oi polloi, who are sentenced to live for ever.
Elpis Israel 1.4.
"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
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
The destruction of the antediluvians by the flood, the perdition of Sodom, the desolations of Israel are but so many illustrations of the great fact that the wages of sin is death; and how blessed a fact is this!
While punishing, it cures. While judicially dealing with evil, it extinguishes it. While vindicating the dishonoured majesty of the heavens and repaying the malice of wicked men, it allays the suffering caused to God and man by human perversity, and brings the blessed guarantee that at the last, good will prevail, and the earth be filled with glory and everlasting joy, when the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and there shall be no more curse and no more death.-(Rev. 21:4; 22:3.)
...Experience of men is not accordant with the notion that they are of celestial origin and nature. Persons exclusively moving in cultivated society, or surveying the world from the "country-seat" point of view-young ladies living in refinement, and knowing nothing of the world but what they learn from morocco-bound editions of the poets-may dream themselves into harmony with the notion that man is an immortal "creature of the sky;" but very different feelings are engendered by contact with the great, coarse, selfish, unprincipled work-a-day world, or ... with savage man in the dark places of the earth.
By such contact we are made to feel instinctively how degraded a creature he is, when left to the resources of his own nature, and how much he is "of the earth, earthy;" and how true are the unsentimental descriptions of the Bible which tell us that "all flesh is as grass;" that
"man hath no pre-eminence above a beast" (Eccles. 3:19)
The Christadelphian, March 1871