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1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the ecclesia which is at Cenchrea:
This implies a prominent, active, if not official position on the part of the sister in question. He further distinguishes her by making her the bearer of the epistle to the Romans, of which, for a time, she was the sole custodian. He entreats the whole Roman ecclesia on her behalf, saying of her that "she hath been a succourer of many, and of me also."
... It is the part of true nobility to shine in the performance of the humblest duties, we will not say "stoop," or "condescend," because there is no stooping in the case. These humble duties, which are most important in the economy of life, become exalted in the hands of intelligence and worth. But to insist on confining sisters to these, would be to ignore the fact that they have brains as well as bodies; and that men have other needs of help-meetship besides those of knife and fork.
Such a boorish doctrine would destroy companionship, where brethren need it most, and unfit their wives to fulfil the highest function of motherhood, which is to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In fact, it is a doctrine to be opposed and detested as much as any hurtful doctrine may be. The man who holds, and much more the man who preaches it, deserves to be deprived of every social advantage, and to be shut up in a cave. This, in fact, is his destiny at last.
Bro Roberts - Woman's position
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Paul says, the only wise Deity establish you "by my evangile," good-announcement, or gospel,
"and proclamation of Jesus Christ; by the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret in aionian times, but now is made manifest through the prophetic writings by command of the aionian Deity (the Deity of the times of the law) made known for obedience of faith to all the nations."
They set forth in their teaching the gospel preached to Abraham; and afterwards preached by Moses to the enslaved Israelites in Egypt; and next proepeggeilato, previously announced through His prophets in the holy writings; and then by John the Baptist, Jesus and his disciples, before the crucifixion; after this, they proved that Jesus was the promised and expected Christ, or Son of David and Son of the Deity, raised from among the dead to be King of Israel; and they showed how remission of sins and eternal life might be obtained through his name.
"The sufferings of the Christ and the glory that should follow,"
are the more general and twofold division of the mystery; or in other words, "the things concerning the Kingdom of the Deity, and the Name of Jesus Christ;" which every one taught by them who desired to share in the great salvation, practically elaborated by the Spirit-Angel of the Bow, believed, and obtained a right to by being aqueously immersed into Christ.
From this exposition, then, the reader will perceive, that, the mystery previously announced through the prophets, and preached by the apostles, is not yet finished.
Multitudes have received the remission of sins and a right to eternal life, on the basis of the sufferings of the Christ, belief of the truth, and immersion into his name; but the realization of their right in the kingdom of which they are "heirs;" and the blessedness of all nations in Abraham and his Seed, are parts of the mystery previously announced to the prophets, "the Hope of the Gospel" and "the Hope of Israel," which yet remain to be developed by the almighty power of the Spirit-Angel of the Bow, in "the days of the seventh angel," when he shall synchronically consummate "the wonders" and "the times" (Rom. i. 2; xvi. 25,26; 1 Cor. ii. 7,8; Eph. i. 9,10; iii. 3-9; vi. 19,20; Col. i. 26; iv. 3; Matt. i. 17).
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:
Jesus has revealed himself as "the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him," and to none else, there is nothing that carnal pietism revolts from so instinctively as obedience. It will believe and do any thing and every thing not required of it; but the thing commanded for the "obedience of faith" is just the thing that it will not submit to.
... an erroneous faith is no more justifying than no faith-they are in this matter virtually equivalents.
... Now, men are justified by the belief of the true gospel, and not by the action of immersion; though it is true at the same time, that they cannot be justified without it. If they be ignorant, or faithless, of the true gospel they have nothing in their hearts to be counted for righteousness, justification, or remission of sins, in being immersed. Their immersion, therefore, goes for nothing; and we say, get faith, get wisdom, get understanding; and when they are acquired, be immersed, and then you will be the subject of the "one baptism."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Dec 1854
"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