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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'. Herald 03/53
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
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.