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26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
"Law" in Hebrew, Greek, and English, is a rule or standard of acting. It was applied to the Mosaic Code, which was the ecclesiastical, civil, and social rule according to which the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the strangers among them were to regulate their actions as tenant-at-will occupants of the Holy Land. The obedience rendered to this law was called "works," of which immersion into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was never one. The law of works was the Mosaic Law, and is that to which the apostle refers in Romans...
...If a man were justified by keeping the burdensome ritual of Moses (which none but Jesus ever did, and even he was cursed by that law because of hanging on a tree,) he would have something to boast of; but in being baptised, which baptism belongs to the law of faith, there is no scope for self-glorification, or boasting; for a man does not baptise himself, but is passive, being baptised of another, which to the subject is no "work" at all-no more than the burial of a corpse is the work of the deceased. "We are buried with Christ by baptism into death" to sin, "that we should walk in newness of life."
Law, then, implies regulated action, or obedience. Law of faith defines the subjects of the law or rule, that is, believers. This law exacts obedience only from believers; none others however willing can obey it; for it is only believers who can render obedience of faith. An unbeliever may perform the act prescribed by a law of faith, but he has not therefore yielded obedience in the sense of the law; because his performance has not resulted from faith in the things propounded for his belief.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Oct 1853
13 Now 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 need God's help and guidance every moment: in everything we do, in every step we take -- however simple or trivial. This is the whole secret of life.
Without this, we do not have a chance. Without this, we are just blind, perishing animals, bumbling out our sad, brief, faceless existence to death and oblivion. Train yourself to keep God in the very forefront of your mind at ALL times. Let Him totally dominate your thoughts. Making pleasing Him your only motive and desire.
Keep pulling your mind back to this, over and over. It will wander, for we are all, and will always be, very much children -- but never give up forcing it back. Don't worry over the failures: we can't change anything that's past. Just keep concentrating on the effort. This is reality. This is living. This alone is joy and peace
Bro Growcott - Search Me O God
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Royal visit to Birmingham
A great stir has been caused in Birmingham by a visit from the Queen. The immediate occasion of the visit was the laying of the foundation of a public building ("the new law courts"); but the visit was understood and accepted as the beginning of the celebration of the Jubilee of Her Majesty's reign...
The only representation the truth had in the midst of the general display was the exhibition of a large banner, 21 feet square, bearing the words "An Open Bible the Glory of Victoria's Reign." The words had a meaning the public would not appreciate, namely, that the Bible had been opened during the last 50 years.
The exhibition of the banner combined a testimony for the truth with the manifestation of respect for the powers that be which are ordained of God for the time being. The subject of the relation of the brethren to such a matter was the topic of an informal and friendly exchange of thought at the Thursday night meeting, March 17th. A brother had referred disparagingly to the preparations for the Royal Visit, remarking how much good the money spent on them would do if distributed among the poor.
Brother Shuttleworth said he did not quite relish that view of the subject. We were commanded to give honour to the rulers, and it seemed to him that those who took part in the honouring of human rulers would be more likely to bow the knee to Christ at His coming than those who acted in the spirit of the Bradlaugh sentiment, of "Down with everything that's up."
Brother Roberts supported brother Shuttleworth's remarks, arguing that even on the score of political expediency, it was wise to maintain and honour the throne as the keystone of the social arch. When the French, nearly a hundred years ago, struck off their king's head, they were not long before they would have given all they had to have it on again. The abolition of royalty liberated the lawless elements at the base of society, and when power came into the hands of the mob, there was an end of all security for any man.
The people began cutting off each other's heads, until blood flowed like water. It was not until another king arose, Napoleon I., that safety returned. British royalty was a poor provision for the real needs of mankind. Nevertheless, it was better than popular anarchy. It was at least an ornamental and comfortable form for the current barbarism to have, and for the time being it was a divine arrangement to which it was the duty of the saints to be in respectful submission.
The Christadelphian, April 1887.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
The fact is - and we do wisely to familiarise our minds with the fact - that the interval that yet lies between us and the Lord's coming may have no existence for us, or at all events a very brief existence indeed. Death will destroy that interval for us as effectually as if the angel of the Lord appeared to us suddenly in the midst of our occupations to tell us the Lord had come.
We may assent to this without feeling its full force. There is great power in it when realised. We miss the power of it through thinking that death will be a long time in coming to us. It may, but it may not. We presume on the average of human life, but that average may not be ours. A comparatively young brother (only 27) died over a week ago, who had every prospect within four days of his death that he would have a long and healthy career. A little internal trouble, that might occur to any of us, and of which within five minutes of his death he thought he was getting better, suddenly ended his useful days - for he was very useful in the little ecclesia of which he was a member.
What has happened to him might happen to any of us; and it would mean that in a moment we would be wafted away from the midst of our mortal cares and occupations into the presence of the solemn, though glorious realities that are associated with Christ at his coming. It would seem to us a momentary, an instantaneous transition. Of course, it would not be really so in relation to the progress of events in the universe, but it would be really so in relation to our own feelings, which in this sense are everything to each of us.
We will be out of the grave before ever we are aware that we have gone in. In this case, the signs of the times and the weary evolution, it may be, of our own anxious lives, will be stopped and abolished in a moment.
Is it not wise and helpful to carry about with us a sense of this imminent possibility? The power of the idea will be instinctively felt by every one, and its value also as a corrective of life in all its relations. We can imagine, for example, how powerfully up-borne in a spiritual direction our deceased young brother would have felt during the month before his death if he had known that in four weeks, his course would be finished.
The advantage of exercising our thoughts in this way lies in the similar stimulus it will impart to us if we realise that we may but a short time have to do with the circumstances of life as it now is, and may in a brief period of time stand face to face with the Lord Jesus who was alive ages before we were born, and will live for ever, whatever may become of us.
If men could carry this thought of common sense more constantly and vividly about with them than is commonly the case, things would be different with them on many points. Many things would receive a less anxious attention, and some things would be better attended to than they are.
Bro Roberts - Applying our hearts to wisdom
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
In this there is an element of terror to those who are obnoxious to that judgment seat; but who are they?
The disobedient and the unforgiven.
The friends of Christ are not disobedient; it is their obedience that constitutes them his friends. Their life, as a whole, is a life of obedience. There may be slips, and faults, and frailties, and shortcomings, but for these there is forgiveness, where there is love. This is one of the elements of the Gospel, that if any man in submission to the Gospel sin thus, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.
The obedient friends of Christ do not feel that these frailties stand between them and the friendship of Christ. The frailties belong to the weak flesh of which they are at present constituted. They themselves remember what is written, that "He knoweth our frame, and remembereth that we are dust." Also, "If thou Lord shouldest mark iniquity, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared;" that is, in the selection of sons for everlasting life, God proceeds upon the principle of forgiveness, that they may be humbled in the sense of benefaction conferred and He exalted, in the exercise of merciful prerogative.
Exhort 276 The Christadelphian, April 1896.