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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:
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