CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 18 February Christlikeness By Dan Cartwright Christlikeness 0 Comment “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:21-22 (NIV) A few days ago I was engaged in what a co-worker and friend of mine likes to call one of our “theological discussions.” He had been wrestling with the issue of “Christlikeness” and his thought process had reached a certain conclusion. A paraphrase of his reasoning could sound like this: “Christ lived a perfect life and never sinned.” “The Bible tells us to be like Christ, therefore God demands perfection from us.” “Since we can’t get there from here, it’s the mother of all guilt trips.” If we were to believe that sinless perfection in the life of a Christian is a commandment from God, then my friend is absolutely correct! If, on the other hand, we accept the premise that Christians, even after having received redemption and salvation, have a tremendous capacity to sin (and we do), God’s command for us to be imitators of His Son and to live holy lives before Him (Isaiah 53:9; 1 Pet 1:16) might have a slightly different meaning and purpose. John Wesley's thoughts on the matter follow: “I think it was in the latter end of the year 1740 that I had a conversation with Dr. Gibson, then Bishop of London, at Whitehall. He asked me what I meant by Perfection. I told him, ‘ without any disguise or reserve.’ When I ceased speaking he said, ‘Mr. Wesley, if this be all you mean, publish it to all the world.’ I answered, ‘My Lord, I will’; and accordingly wrote and published the sermon on Perfection. A pastor from Pennsylvania explains it this way: “That is, in all His perfections, Jesus is the standard by which we are to measure our own lives. He is the model after which we are to pattern our lives. He is the example which we are to imitate. He is the measure of men.” (This author’s emphasis.) In the words of Saint Augustine, Patron of the Order of Canons, ‘O God, Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.’ The Apostle Paul, writing to the early Christian church and by extension to us, also emphasizes the importance of Christ as our Example: “Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).” (1Cor. 11:1, AMP). Paul’s admonishment was that others would imitate him only to the extent to which he was an imitator of Christ. The imitator without disguise or reserve who rests in Christ. Thomas A. Kempis, in Imitators of Christ said: “With vivid clarity he shows man's complete dependence on, and need of, God, and the empty futility of life lived apart from its only source of true Life and Light.” Arvid Gradin, a Swede who was a member of the Moravians said: “Repose in the blood of Christ; a firm confidence in God, and persuasion of His favor; the highest tranquility, serenity, and peace of mind; with a deliverance from every fleshly desire, and a cessation of all, even inward sins.” We are to be imitators of Christ. We cannot be Him, but we can be imitators of Him (provided ‘be’ means to submit to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to empower us as credible imitators). And let me tell you, the enemy absolutely hates it when the saints become Christlike! He knows that he is a defeated enemy of God, and he knows that the same Christ that wrought his complete and utter defeat lives inside of each and every believer! Dear friends, as believers we need to know and believe the same things the enemy already knows! Arthur W. Pink, in his book entitled The Holy Spirit, said: “...ignorance of the Third Person of the Godhead is most dishonoring to Him, and highly injurious to ourselves. The late George Smeaton of Scotland said, “Wherever Christianity has been a living power…the distinctive feature of Christianity as it addresses itself to man’s experience, is the work of the Spirit, which not only elevates it far above all philosophical speculation, but also above every other form of religion.” The Christ within us is the perfect Son of the living God, who “. . . committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” He is the One in whom Satan has no foothold, no ground, and against whom he has no hope of victory! Hear Christ Himself, speaking to His disciples after His last meal with his followers and before the Gethsemane experience: “I will not talk with you much more, for the prince (evil genius, ruler) of the world is coming. And he has no claim on Me. [He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over Me.] (John 14:30 AMP) This same Jesus who has defeated every enemy and made impotent every foe, this is the same Jesus who lives inside each and every believer! What an unfathomable gift! “What is the supreme benefaction, the gift and treasure above all others which even God can give? He gives Christ to be in our nature forever. This is God’s supreme and final gift. . . . He makes us the repository of the nature and person of the Lord Jesus. ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’” (Col 1:19-29), A.W. Tozer, God’s Greatest Gift to Man. It is this same Jesus, the very hope of all glory who desires to express Himself to a world enslaved by sin through those whom He redeemed! The measure of Christ expressing Himself through us in the exact measure of our Christlikeness, and truly the weapon most feared by the enemy of our soul! “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:21-22 (NIV) A few days ago I was engaged in what a co-worker and friend of mine likes to call one of our “theological discussions.” He had been wrestling with the issue of “Christlikeness” and his thought process had reached a certain conclusion. A paraphrase of his reasoning could sound like this: “Christ lived a perfect life and never sinned.” “The Bible tells us to be like Christ, therefore God demands perfection from us.” “Since we can’t get there from here, it’s the mother of all guilt trips.” If we were to believe that sinless perfection in the life of a Christian is a commandment from God, then my friend is absolutely correct! If, on the other hand, we accept the premise that Christians, even after having received redemption and salvation, have a tremendous capacity to sin (and we do), God’s command for us to be imitators of His Son and to live holy lives before Him (Isaiah 53:9; 1 Pet 1:16) might have a slightly different meaning and purpose. John Wesley's thoughts on the matter follow: “I think it was in the latter end of the year 1740 that I had a conversation with Dr. Gibson, then Bishop of London, at Whitehall. He asked me what I meant by Perfection. I told him, ‘ without any disguise or reserve.’ When I ceased speaking he said, ‘Mr. Wesley, if this be all you mean, publish it to all the world.’ I answered, ‘My Lord, I will’; and accordingly wrote and published the sermon on Perfection. A pastor from Pennsylvania explains it this way: “That is, in all His perfections, Jesus is the standard by which we are to measure our own lives. He is the model after which we are to pattern our lives. He is the example which we are to imitate. He is the measure of men.” (This author’s emphasis.) In the words of Saint Augustine, Patron of the Order of Canons, ‘O God, Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.’ The Apostle Paul, writing to the early Christian church and by extension to us, also emphasizes the importance of Christ as our Example: “Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).” (1Cor. 11:1, AMP). Paul’s admonishment was that others would imitate him only to the extent to which he was an imitator of Christ. The imitator without disguise or reserve who rests in Christ. Thomas A. Kempis, in Imitators of Christ said: “With vivid clarity he shows man's complete dependence on, and need of, God, and the empty futility of life lived apart from its only source of true Life and Light.” Arvid Gradin, a Swede who was a member of the Moravians said: “Repose in the blood of Christ; a firm confidence in God, and persuasion of His favor; the highest tranquility, serenity, and peace of mind; with a deliverance from every fleshly desire, and a cessation of all, even inward sins.” We are to be imitators of Christ. We cannot be Him, but we can be imitators of Him (provided ‘be’ means to submit to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to empower us as credible imitators). And let me tell you, the enemy absolutely hates it when the saints become Christlike! He knows that he is a defeated enemy of God, and he knows that the same Christ that wrought his complete and utter defeat lives inside of each and every believer! Dear friends, as believers we need to know and believe the same things the enemy already knows! Arthur W. Pink, in his book entitled The Holy Spirit, said: “...ignorance of the Third Person of the Godhead is most dishonoring to Him, and highly injurious to ourselves. The late George Smeaton of Scotland said, “Wherever Christianity has been a living power…the distinctive feature of Christianity as it addresses itself to man’s experience, is the work of the Spirit, which not only elevates it far above all philosophical speculation, but also above every other form of religion.” The Christ within us is the perfect Son of the living God, who “. . . committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” He is the One in whom Satan has no foothold, no ground, and against whom he has no hope of victory! Hear Christ Himself, speaking to His disciples after His last meal with his followers and before the Gethsemane experience: “I will not talk with you much more, for the prince (evil genius, ruler) of the world is coming. And he has no claim on Me. [He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over Me.] (John 14:30 AMP) This same Jesus who has defeated every enemy and made impotent every foe, this is the same Jesus who lives inside each and every believer! What an unfathomable gift! “What is the supreme benefaction, the gift and treasure above all others which even God can give? He gives Christ to be in our nature forever. This is God’s supreme and final gift. . . . He makes us the repository of the nature and person of the Lord Jesus. ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’” (Col 1:19-29), A.W. Tozer, God’s Greatest Gift to Man. It is this same Jesus, the very hope of all glory who desires to express Himself to a world enslaved by sin through those whom He redeemed! The measure of Christ expressing Himself through us in the exact measure of our Christlikeness, and truly the weapon most feared by the enemy of our soul! Related Grace: The Life Under Grace Grace: The Life Under Grace Introductive The salvation in grace which God accomplishes for those who believe includes, among other things, the placing of the saved one in position as a son of God, a citizen of heaven, and a member of the family and household of God; and, since every position demands a corresponding manner of life, it is to be expected that a rule of conduct as exalted as heaven itself will be committed to the believer. This is precisely what we find; for grace not only provides a perfect salvation and eternal keeping for the one who believes on Christ; but grace provides, as well, the instruction for the daily life of the one who is saved, while he is being kept through the power of God. This instruction for the daily life, it will be found, is a particular revelation from God to Christians only. As it is wholly gracious in character, it is entirely separate from, and independent of, any other rule of life which is found in the Word of God. The Bible, being the one Book from God for all people of all the ages, contains the detailed expression of the will of God concerning the manner of life of various dispensational classes of people as they are related to God in different periods of time, and under the several corresponding covenants. Among these revelations, is the rule of conduct regarding the daily life of those who are saved by grace in this dispensation which occupies the time between the cross and the second coming of Christ. This gracious rule of life is complete in itself and stands alone in the Scriptures, disassociated from any other and uncomplicated. It is the teachings of grace. The remainder of this discussion will be occupied, in the main, with the identification and application of the extended body of Scripture relative to the teachings of grace. The value of knowing this revelation cannot be estimated, (1) because no Christian may hope to live well-pleasing to God who does not know the facts of the revealed will of God for his daily life, and (2) because appalling ignorance exists on every hand concerning these vital truths and distinctions of the Word of God. No careful reader of the New Testament can fail to observe the fact that doctrinal strife obtained at the very opening of the Christian dispensation. This controversy was concerned mainly with the question of whether law or grace furnishes the governing principle for Christian conduct. Although the New Testament contains specific and lengthy warnings against both the legalizers and their teachings, and their systems are therein proven to be opposed to the doctrines of pure grace, their successors from generation to generation to the present time have ever sought to discredit the grace of God. Their messages, though steeped in error, have often exhibited great zeal and sincerity; but zeal and sincerity, greatly to be desired when well directed, fail utterly in God’s sight as substitutes for a consistent presentation of the truth. The only hope of deliverance from the false doctrines of legalizing teachers is through unprejudiced consideration of the exact revelations of Scripture. This examination of the Scriptures should be free from a blind following of the teachings of men, and should be made with a heart willing to receive “reproof” and “correction” from the Word of God as well as “instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). Only the one to whom these teachings are crystal clear can appreciate the transcendent value of understanding the teachings of grace. In presenting this introductory consideration of the extensive theme of the teachings of grace, it is necessary in some instances to assume conclusions the fuller proof of which are taken up in subsequent treatments of the discussion. Likewise, in completing the various lines of argument, repetition at certain points is unavoidable. SECTION ONE GRACE PROVIDES A PARTICULAR RULE OF LIFE In chapter 2 of the Epistle by Paul to Titus, beginning at verse 11, we read: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldy lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world [age]; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Two widely different ministries of grace are set forth in this passage: First, the grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men. This, it is clear, refers to the saving grace of God which has come into the world by Christ Jesus, and is now to be proclaimed to all men. It is a message for all men, since its provisions are universal and its invitation is to “whosoever will.” Grace upon grace is bestowed both now and unto the consummation of the ages upon those who believe. Second, the passage reveals, as well, that it is the same grace which has brought salvation to all men, that teaches “us.” The word us, it should be observed, does not refer to the wider class of all men mentioned before; but it refers only to the company of those who are saved. The importance of this distinction is evident; for whatever grace proposes to teach, its teachings are addressed only to those who are saved by grace. This qualifying aspect of the teachings of grace is not limited to this one passage, though that would suffice; it is an out-standing characteristic of the whole body of grace teachings as they appear throughout the New Testament. These teachings, being addressed to Christians only, are never intended to be imposed on the Christ-rejecting individual, or the Christ-rejecting world. This fact cannot be emphasized too forcibly. The word of God makes no appeal to the unsaved for a betterment of life. There is but one issue in this dispensation between God and the unregenerate man, and that is neither character nor conduct; it is the personal appeal of the Gospel of the grace of God. Until the unsaved receive Christ, who is God’s gift in grace, no other issue can be raised. Men may moralize among themselves, and establish their self-governments on principles of right conduct; but God is never presented in the unfoldings of grace as seeking to reform sinners. Every word regarding the quality of life is reserved for those who are already rightly related to Him on the greater issues of salvation. Could it be demonstrated that God has made the slightest moral appeal to the unregenerate other than that which is implied in the Gospel invitation, then it must be admitted that, should that moral appeal be complied with by any individual, that individual would have moved nearer to God. The works of man would become meritorious, and thereby a third classification of humanity would be created, standing somewhere between those who are “under sin” and those who are “in Christ,” or “under grace.” In this age, no such intermediate group of people is possible. If such a class existed, they could not be saved; for they would no longer be fit objects of grace. Men are either lost and condemned “under sin,” or wholly and eternally saved by grace in Christ Jesus. The common practice of presenting the great standards of Christian living indiscriminately to mixed congregations by preaching, and to people in general through public print, is a tragedy of infinite proportions. If the unsaved are present when the teachings of grace are discussed, there should be a Gospel appeal made by which the unsaved are classified and excluded from any share in those teachings. Apart from this appeal, it is impossible to save the unregenerate from receiving the impression that God is now seeking their reformation before He seeks their regeneration. Nothing is more wholesome for the unsaved than lovingly to be reminded that they, according to the Word of God, have no part in the Christian life, and that they are shut up to the acceptance of Christ. Saving results are sure to follow the continued, clean-cut, discriminating preaching of the Word in its right application to both the saved and the unsaved. It is alarming to the unsaved to be warned that they are lost until they receive Christ, and such faithful preaching, being the Truth of God, is owned and used of the Spirit of God. Nothing need be said here of the crime against high heaven which is committed by men who are purposely urging moral betterment on the unsaved in lieu of the Gospel of grace. The unrevoked anathema of God rests upon them; “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8, 9). There is a possibility, however, that, through carelessness or ignorance, some, whose intentions are good, may make the same fatal error in presenting God’s Truth. As certainly as the exercise of pure grace is the supreme divine purpose unto the eternal glory, so certainly to hinder an understanding of that grace, or to mislead one soul by a misstatement, is the supreme blunder. How momentous is the practice of preaching and of personal work, both for those who hear and for those who speak! Well might the high crime of dealing damnation to the souls of men in the name of Christian preaching be treated, from a mere humanitarian viewpoint, with a thousand-fold greater penalty than the crime of dealing deadly poison to the bodies of men. Sinners are to be saved by grace. It is Satan’s device to complicate this simple fact with the lesser issues of Christian living. The teachings of grace, it will be found, comprise all of the teachings of the Epistles, the Acts, and also certain portions of the Gospels apart from their mere historical features. Returning to the passage already quoted from Titus, we discover that only a portion of the whole appeal of the teachings of grace are mentioned in this Scripture; but here the believer is taught that he is to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, godly, and looking for the personal return of his Lord from heaven. This describes a life of peculiar devotion and sweetness. Thus would God “purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” According to the Scriptures, Christians are confronted with a two-fold danger: On the one hand, they may go in the way of the irresponsible, careless sin of the Gentiles, or, on the other hand, they may go into the legality of the Jews. They may “walk as do the Gentiles,” or they may “fall from grace.” They are warned as much against the one mistake as against the other. The doctrines of grace may be so perverted that, while there is a holy horror of slipping into careless sin, it is deemed most pious to assume the cursing burden of law. The teachings of grace give equal warning against the sin of turning either in the way of Gentiles or in the way of the Jews. In discovering the fact and scope of the teachings of grace, it will be noted that, (1) The Christian’s daily life is to be directed only by the teachings of grace, (2) The law is excluded from the grace teachings of Christ, (3) The law is excluded from the teachings of the Apostles, and (4) The life and service of the Apostle Paul is an illustration of a life which is lived under grace. I. THE CHRISTIAN’S DAILY LIFE IS TO BE DIRECTED ONLY BY THE TEACHINGS OF GRACE In exact accord with the fact that Christians are to be governed only by the teachings of grace, the Biblical appeal in grace never contemplates an observance of the law. Through the death of Christ, the law is not only disannulled; but, as a rule of life, it is never mentioned, or included in the teachings of grace. It is rather excluded. The believer is to walk by a “rule,” but that rule, it will be seen, is never an adaptation of the law (Cf Gal. 6:16; Phil. 3:16). This important fact should be carefully verified by the reading of all the Epistles. It is impossible to refer here to this extensive body of Scripture beyond a very few illustrative passages. In the following Scriptures, as in all grace teachings, the law, it will be found, is not once applied to believers: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Rom. 14:17–19). “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:9–11). “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Phil. 4:8, 9). “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature [creation]. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:14–16). “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Gal. 5:5, 6.) “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnnessed by the law and the prophets” (Rom. 3:21). “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4). “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14). “False brethren … who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal. 2:4, 5.) “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well” (Acts. 15:28, 29). “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such things” (issues of the law. Acts 21:25). “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). By these passages, selected from the whole body of New Testament teaching concerning the believer’s walk in grace, it is seen that the teachings of grace do not include the precepts of the law as such; but that they exclude those precepts. However, no vital principle contained in the law is abandoned. It will be observed that these principles of the law are carried forward and are restated in the teachings of grace; not as law, but as principles which are revised, adapted, and newly incorporated in the issues of pure grace. II. THE LAW IS EXCLUDED FROM THE GRACE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST Concerning the admixture of the principles of law and grace, it will be seen that these principles are wholly separated in the teachings of Christ. Are Christians to keep the law as the rule of their conduct either because of a command from Christ, or because of the example of Christ? No light will be gained on these questions until the two-fold aspect of the ministry of Christ is distinguished. According to Rom. 15:8, 9, Christ was, first, “a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers”; and, second, “that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.” This two-fold distinction obtains at every point in the Gospels and Epistles. So, also, it obtains in the Old Testament types and prophecies relating to Christ. Christ sustained a particular and unique relation to the nation Israel as the One who fulfilled the great Messianic covenants given to that people. At the opening of His ministry He said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt. 15:24); and when, at the same time, sending His disciples out with the Jewish message of “the kingdom of heaven,” He instructed them, saying, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 10:5–7). As a Jew, and as the Consolation and Hope of Israel, He personally acknowledged, kept, taught, and enforced the law. As the Savior and Hope of the world, He established the new manner of life and relationship which belongs to the believer under grace. Speaking to the Jewish ruler, Christ said: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt. 19:17).1 True to the Jewish dispensation, He said with reference to the law of Moses: “This do and thou shalt live”; but when contemplating the cross and Himself as the bread come down from heaven to give His life for the world, He said: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he [God] hath sent” (John 6:29). These opposing principles are not to be reconciled. They indicate that fundamental distinction which must exist between those principles that obtain in an age of law, on the one hand, and an age of grace, on the other hand. What interpretation should be given, then, to the word commandments as used by Christ or as related to Christ, according to the following passages: “If ye love me, keep my commandments”; “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me”; “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love”; “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments”; “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight”; “He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him”; “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments”; “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”; and, “Blessed are they that do his commandments” (John 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 John 2:3; 3:22, 24; 5:2; Mt. 28:20; Rev. 22:14)? Is Christ here requiring the commandments as given by Moses? In considering this crucial question, it should be noted that, when dealing with Jews as such, He gave no “commandments” of His own relative to the rule of their lives. He recognized only the law of Moses and the law of the kingdom. In matters of life-relationship to God He said, “What readest thou in the law?”; but when He began to instruct those who were saved by grace through His cross, He began to announce what He was pleased to term “my commandments.” This term is not found in all the Gospels until the record is given of His farewell words in the upper room on the night before His death (John, chapters 13–17).1 This is most significant; for it is evident that the upper-room discourse was addressed, not to Israelites, but to those who were “clean” through the word He had spoken to them. In this portion of the Scriptures, the cross is treated as an accomplished fact (John 16:11. Cf 12:31); the whole body of teaching is dated by Christ beyond the cross by the words, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe” (14:29); and, finally, the only reference to the law in this great message of the upper room is so stated as to place those Jews to whom He was speaking outside its authority: “But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their [not your] law” (John 15:25). The upper-room discourse is the genesis of the Epistles of the New Testament; for in it, in germ form, the great doctrines of grace are announced. The phrase my commandments is reserved until this grace-revelation, because this term refers to the teachings of grace, rather than to the law. Added proof that the term, my commandments, refers to the teachings of grace may be seen when the passages which indicate the character of His commandments are considered. Some of these are: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”; “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you”; “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave commandments”; “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also”; “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous”;1 “I rejoice greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.” To this the Apostle Paul has added a testimony concerning the commandments of the Lord. By the testimony of Paul, the whole teaching of grace, as set forth by himself, is related to the commandments of the Lord: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord”; “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus”; “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (John 13:34, 15:12; 1 John 3:23; 4:21; 5:3; 2 John 4, 5; 1 Cor. 14:37; 1 Thes. 4:2; Gal. 6:2). The “commandments” of Christ are not, therefore, the law, or any aspect of the law; they rather constitute “the law of love,” and “the perfect law of liberty.” They enter into the teachings of grace as those teachings are set forth by Christ, and by those to whom He gave authority and commandment (Mt. 28:18; Acts 1:3; Lk. 24:46–48; Heb. 2:3, 4). III. THE LAW IS EXCLUDED FROM THE TEACHINGS OF THE APOSTLES From the teaching of the Apostles it will be seen that the principles of law and grace are not to be mixed. There can be no question but that their teachings are exactly according to Christ’s message concerning grace. As an example, and in harmony with the teaching of all the Apostles, it may be observed that the Apostle Paul spoke by the authority of Christ (1 Tim. 1:1; Tit. 1:3; 1 Thes. 4:15; 1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:11, 12; Eph. 3:1–11). It is equally evident that he contended only for the blessings of pure grace. At no point would he suffer the principle of law to intrude. The Jewish element in the early church was slow to abandon the law, and there is evidence that, by the provisions of men, a double standard was suffered to exist for a time—one, a legality for the Jews, and the other, pure grace for the Gentiles. This fact of a double standard is revealed in connection with the first council of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:19–21. Cf 21:18–26); but the Apostle Paul never countenanced this double standard (Rom. 1:16, 17). The change from law to grace was revolutionary, and the age-long covenant of works did not readily yield to the new teachings of grace, nor has it wholly yielded to this day. There are some who, ignorant of the dispensational divisions of God’s Word, and seeking to qualify the clear grace teachings of the Apostle Paul, are encouraging themselves in legalism on the strength of the fact that Christ kept and vindicated the law in the days of His particular ministry to Israel. The teaching of these legalists is a circumvention of the whole revelation of divine grace. IV. THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL IS AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE TEACHINGS OF GRACE The personal position and practice of the Apostle Paul is evidence that the principles of law and grace should not be mixed. The Spirit has prompted the Apostle to make a six-fold exhortation to believers to be followers of himself (1 Cor. 4:6; 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 1 Thes. 1:6; 2 Thes. 3:7, 9). This appeal was warranted because his doctrine was revealed to him from Christ (Gal. 1:11, 12; Eph. 3:1–10), and was in fact, therefore, the very teachings of Christ; because he was an Apostle; and because his own attitude toward Judaism and his own experience was a living illustration of the power of a life in grace. The Epistles of Paul are an uncompromising protest against the intrusion of law, or any phase of law, into the reign of grace. Among very many Scriptures, there is one passage in particular which reveals the Apostle’s own position. Speaking of his hope of a reward because of faithful service, he proceeds to describe the details of that service. In this connection he is incidentally led to disclose his own position at that time, as compared to other possible positions before God. We read: “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law” (1 Cor. 9:19–21). These various relationships should be considered: First. “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews.” Was not the Apostle a Jew? did he not make that his boast (Phil. 3:4, 5)? He was a Jew by origin, birth, and training; but when he became saved by grace he passed over onto new ground where there “is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11). In like manner, Gentiles when saved, are no longer Gentiles in the flesh: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, … now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:11–13). The new creation in Christ is in view here. Through the new birth by the Spirit, a new humanity is being formed, and, though drawn from both Jews and Gentiles, it is neither Jew nor Gentile; it is the Church of God—the redeemed of all generations from Pentecost until the Lord returns for His own. According to the Scriptures, humanity is now classified under three major divisions: “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God” (1 Cor. 10:32). The Apostle made an effort to become “as a Jew, that he might gain the Jews.” Thus he left his own position, as it were, to adapt himself to the position of the Jew. To what length he went, it is not revealed. As regarding himself, it is clear, however, that he everywhere disclaimed every Jewish relation to God. There are very many questions which might be discussed between a Jew and a Christian; but the Apostle passed these by that he might get to the heart of the Jew with the one issue of the Gospel of the grace of God. Second. “To them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law.” While it is evident that the law was never addressed to any outside the one nation Israel, and also that, since the death of Christ, no Jew, Gentile, or Christian is now under the law either for justification, or as a rule of life (which statement will receive fuller proof at another place), there was a multitude of people in Paul’s day, both Jews and Christians, as there are to-day, who have placed themselves under the law. This does not suggest that God has placed them there, or that He recognizes them as standing in their self-imposed position. However, having assumed a position under law they are morally obligated to “do the whole law” in the interests of consistency. It is not a mere repetition, then, when the Apostle makes reference first to the Jews and then to those that are under the law. The important point to be observed here is that the Apostle did not consider himself to be under the law; for he represents himself as leaving his own position that he might approach the man who is under the law. What endless discussions might he have waged with the one who was under the law! He set all these questions aside that he might rather present the more vitally important blessings of grace. The supreme issue was not, and is not, one of correcting the outward life by the application of one rule or another: it was, and is, one of believing on Christ unto salvation by grace. When that is accomplished, and because of the very character of salvation, the saved one, of necessity, is subject only to the governing principles of grace. Third. “To them that are without law, as without law, … that I might gain them that are without law.” Thus the Apostle implies that, as to the rule of his life, he is not “without law.” The class referred to as being “without law” is not the heathen to whom no missionary has ever gone; it refers, rather, to the great Gentile world to whom the law was never addressed. To these the Apostle went, acknowledging as he went, that he, as a Christian, had no part with the lawless and ungoverned. Fourth. “Not being without law to God, but under the law [literally, inlawed] to Christ.” Here the Apostle reveals the exact truth as to his own relation to God as a Christian. It is unfortunate that the theological discussion which has proceeded on the supposition that a Christian must either be under the law of Moses, or else be absolutely lawless and ungoverned, could not have made place for the fact that there is a third ground of relationship to God which is neither the law of Moses, nor the ungoverned lawlessness of the world. To be “inlawed to Christ” is to be under the teachings of grace as a rule of life. These teachings include the “commandments” of Christ which are addressed to Christians as such in the upper room, and these “commandments” of Christ have been taken up, enlarged, and advanced, under the guidance of the Spirit in the book of the Acts and the Epistles of the New Testament. They constitute a separate and sufficient rule of life for the believer which is divinely adapted to his position in grace, and these great governing principles of grace are addressed to the believer alone, and not to the Christ-rejecting world. The message of God to the unsaved world is that they believe on the Savior who is offered to them in limitless grace. The message to the saved is that they “walk worthy” of the calling wherewith they are called. SECTION TWO THE TEACHINGS OF THE LAW In seeking an understanding of the teachings of grace, it is necessary to give due consideration to the teachings of the law; for, according to the Scriptures, the latter, with its covenant of works, is the one principle which is opposed to the teachings of grace. The law may be considered in a three-fold way: (1) As to the meaning of the word law as used in the Bible; (2) As to the relation the law sustains to the time of its reign; and, (3) As to the application of the law. I. AS TO THE MEANING OF THE WORD LAW AS USED IN THE SCRIPTURES The foundation of all divine law is the Person of God. What He requires is only the expression of what He is. Since He is holy, just and good, His ideals, standards and requirements must be holy, just and good. The ideals and ways of fallen men are, of necessity, far removed from these divine standards which reflect the character of God. Comparison of these two standards has ever demonstrated the measure of human failure. Throughout the history of God’s dealings with the world this comparison has brought into bold relief the unmeasured gulf which exists between God and man, between holiness and sin, and the complementary revelation of the divine compassion which led God to bridge that gulf. The word law, as commonly used, means a rule which regulates conduct. It naturally implies the adequate authority and power on the part of the law-giver for its enforcement, and the proper penalty to be inflicted in case of its violation. The use of the word in the Bible is, however, much wider than its common usage. At least a seven-fold use of the word law is found in the Word of God. First, The Ten Commandments The Ten Commandments have the peculiar distinction of having been written by the finger of God on tables of stone. They are therefore the direct writings of God. They are themselves a crystallization of the entire law given to Moses. They are summarized by Christ when He said to the Jewish lawyer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Mt. 22:36–40). The Apostle Paul summarized the law in two great statements: “Love is the fulfilling of the law”; and, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Rom. 13:10; Gal. 5:14). So, also, James has written: “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well” (Jas. 2:8). In no sense is the law applied to the believer by these Scriptures; they merely imply that the law is fulfilled by the exercise of that love which is most vitally the duty of every child of God. That this limited declaration of commandments from God is termed “the law,” is proven beyond question in Rom. 7:7–14. In this passage the Apostle records: “I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” The same precept is also called a commandment; for he goes on to say: “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.” Further, it is evident that the Decalogue is the heart of the law as the law is stated in the Old Testament. Particular emphasis is given to the fact that the Commandments are a part of the law, because there are those who teach that the whole law might be set aside without affecting the Ten Commandments. They claim that these commandments were never any part of the law, and, though the reign of the law ceased with the death of Christ, the binding authority of the Ten Commandments did not cease. The Bible teaches that the Commandments are a part of the law, and though their principles are restated under grace, the Commandments ceased to be the rule of conduct when Christ fulfilled the law, and it came to its end in Him. Second. The Whole System of Government for Israel in the Land The law in this larger aspect was divided into three major parts: 1. The Commandments, which were the revealed law of God relative to His righteous will. Of this revelation, the Decalogue was the center (Ex. 20:1–17). 2. The Judgments, which were the revealed law of God relative to the social life of Israel (Ex. 21:1 to 24:11). 3. The Ordinances, which were the revealed will of God relative to the religious life of Israel (Ex. 24:12 to 31:18). This three-fold governing system of law covered all divine requirements which were imposed on an Israelite in the land. The three divisions of the system were both interrelated and interdependent. This three-fold system provided its own instruction as to what was good, and its own prohibitions against that which was evil. In the prescribed sacrifices its own divine remedy was provided for the wrong committed. No other provision for a broken law has ever been disclosed to man than that of the animal sacrifices, and the final, and fulfilling sacrifice of the cross where every demand of the law was met forever. The projection of the Commandments into this dispensation disassociated from the ritual and sacrifices to which they are interrelated, is done with seeming plausibility only at the expense of one of the most vital dispensational distinctions in the Word of God. Third. The Kingdom Rule of Messiah The still future dispensation of the reign of Messiah, which will be the fulfillment of all God’s covenants with Israel, is to be a reign of pure law. This, it will be seen at a later point of the discussion, is proven both by the precise statements of Scripture, and by a careful study of the character of those injunctions which constitute the laws of the kingdom, and which find their application in the yet future dispensation of the kingdom. Fourth, The Whole Revealed Will of God for any Individual, or Nation, when Contemplated as a Covenant of Works which is to be Wrought in the Energy of the Flesh The essential principle of the law was embodied in the covenant of works. The divine blessing was conditioned on the performance of the entire law of God. Under the new covenant of grace, the undivided, undiminished, divine blessing is first bestowed by God’s favor, and by this bestowal, an obligation is created for a life corresponding to the divine blessing. When any work is undertaken for God by which it is hoped thereby to gain divine favor, that work is wrought of necessity on the basis of pure law. On the other hand, when any work is undertaken for God because it is recognized that divine favor and blessing already have been received, it is wrought in harmony with pure grace. Thus the highest ideal of grace if prostituted by the motive of securing divine favor, takes on the character of law. Moreover, the will of God for the daily life of the one who is perfectly saved in grace has been clearly revealed by extended and explicit injunctions, or beseechings. These injunctions and beseechings, being gracious and heavenly in character, anticipate the imparted and inwrought enabling power of the indwelling Spirit for their fulfillment. The covenant of grace is a covenant of faith. Thus when the injunctions or teachings of grace are attempted in the strength of the flesh, the very teachings of grace thereby become, in principle, a covenant of works. Therefore any revelation of the righteous will of God for any individual or company of individuals is, apart from the one exception of a personal reliance of faith on the power of the Spirit, a covenant of works, or a law of God. One illustration may suffice: In Romans 8:4 the statement is made that the “righteousness of the law” is to be fulfilled in us, rather than by us. To this end Christ has died, and to this end the energizing Spirit has been sent into the world (8:2, 3). The phrase, “the righteousness of the law,” which is here said to be fulfilled in us, proposes more than a fulfillment of the limited demands found in the Mosaic system; it proposes nothing less than the divine energy of the Spirit realizing continuously every aspect of the revealed and unrevealed will of God in the believer. It is conditioned on one thing only: “Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” No better example of a man-made, self-imposed law can be found than the experiences of every unsaved person who is trying, even in the slightest degree, to live the Christian life. He is doing what he does with a view to being accepted of God, not because he is accepted; and he is doing what he does in the energy of the flesh, not in the power of the Spirit. To such an one, the Christian’s manner of life in grace is only a yoke of bondage. Likewise, there is reference to the whole will of God in the following Scriptures wherein that revelation is termed the law: “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Rom. 7:22). There is the possibility of a wide difference between what is indicated by the two terms, “The law of Moses,” and “The law of God.” The law of Moses is the law of God, but the law of God may be much more than the law of Moses. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Since the Decalogue contained no reference to the great issues of Christian service and prayer, or the details of the character of the believer’s walk in the world, no one, upon serious thought, will be willing to limit this great definition of sin as merely the transgression of the law of Moses. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law” (1 Cor. 15:56). Sin, again, is nothing less than failure in any aspect of the will of God. When this fuller requirement of the will of God is considered in its present application under grace, it is termed “the perfect law of liberty” (Jas. 1:25. Cf Rom. 8:21; 1 Cor. 8:9; 10:29; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 2:4; 5:1–13; Jas. 2:12). Fifth. Any Rule of Conduct Prescribed by Men Here the use of the word law is extended to the regulations men may make among themselves. We read: “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners” (1 Tim. 1:8, 9). “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” (2 Tim. 2:5. Cf Mt. 20:15; Lk. 20:22). Again, to this classification of law as being man-made, may be added any self-imposed law. Thus the law of Moses or the law of the kingdom when assumed as a rule of life by Jews, Gentiles, or Christians, becomes a man-made and self-imposed law. It is written: “For when the Gentiles [the same is equally true now of Jews or Christians], which have not the law, do by nature [usage] the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves” (Rom. 2:14). The law, though not addressed to them is self-imposed and becomes to that extent a mere man-made obligation. Sixth. Any Recognized Principle in Operation In this aspect of the meaning of the word law it is seen to be used as the equivalent of power. In common usage, reference is made to the law of gravitation. Which is likewise the power of gravitation. Thus it is used in the Word of God: “For the law [power] of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law [power] of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). Seventh. The Necessary Sequence Between a Cause and its Effect This particular aspect of the use of the word law is seen in Rom. 7:21: “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” Discrimination of these widely different meanings of the word law is imperative for a right understanding of this great theme in the Scriptures. II. AS TO THE RELATION THE LAW SUSTAINS TO THE TIME OF ITS REIGN The Scriptures teach that the law given by Moses, which was a covenant of works, was given from God to man at a particular time. The human family had walked before God upon the earth for upwards of 2500 years prior to the imposition of the law. Thus it had been demonstrated that God is able to deal with men in the earth without reference to the law of Moses. In the Word of God the period between Adam and Moses is particularly contrasted with the dispensation of the law. The revelation is final: “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: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed where there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression)” (Rom. 5:12–14). Physical death, the unavoidable penalty for sin, antedates the giving of the law, and death reigned from Adam to Moses; but sin was not “imputed” where there was no law. As it does now, death reigned over sinless infants, good people, and bad people alike. Sin, in this connection, is evidently the inbred fallen-nature which all have received from Adam; and not the transgressions personally committed. Thus the penalty—death—is due to the fallen-nature which all have received and is not due to individual transgressions. Since the sin-nature from Adam is universal, its penalty is universal. Should one member of the human family be delivered from the possession of the sin-nature, the fact would be proven by a like deliverance from its penalty—death. None are delivered from physical death so long as Christ tarries. It is “by the offence of one” that “judgment came upon all men to condemnation” (Rom. 5:18). The all important distinction between the sin-nature of man, which is the universal possession, and the personal wrongdoing of the individual, is maintained throughout the Scriptures, including the revelation of the cross. There are two aspects of the death of Christ as that death is related to sin: He died “for our sins,” which fact is the basis of the divine cure for personal sin by justification (Rom. 3:21 to 5:11); and He died “unto sin,” which fact is the basis of the divine cure for the reigning power of the sin-nature (Rom. 6:1 to 8:4). Sin and death reigned from Adam to Moses because sin, in its essence, is the fallen-nature itself, and death is its penalty; but sin, which is the personal wrongdoing of the individual, “is not imputed where there is no law.” Thus is the relation of man and God described covering the great period between Adam and Moses. The pertinent question—“Wherefore then serveth the law?”—is both propounded and answered in the Scriptures (Gal. 3:19). Continuing we read, the law “was added because of transgressions.” That is, it was “added” to give to sin the augmented character of transgression. Sin had always been evil in itself and in the sight of God; but it became disobedience after that the holy commandments were disclosed. The fact of the sin-nature is not changed by the introduction of the law; it was the character of personal wrongdoing which was changed. It was changed from sin, which is not imputed where there is no law, to sin which is the rebellion against the command of God, and which must reap all the punishment attendant upon broken law. Israel, to whom the commandments were given, being a chosen, exalted people, were, by the imposition of the law, constituted a more responsible people before God; but they were wholly unable to keep the law. The giving of the law to Israel did not result in an obedient people; it rather proved their utter sinfulness and helplessness. The law became a ministry of condemnation to every one who failed to keep it. Nor did the giving of the law really tend to their betterment at heart, or retard the power of sin; it provoked them to sin. As the Apostle says: “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence” (Rom. 7:8). There can be no question as to the righteous character of the law; for it is written: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful” (Rom. 7:12–13). Thus the purpose of the giving of the law is stated: “That sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” Apart from the Man Christ Jesus, there was universal failure in the keeping of the law. This is not to say that the law was imperfect in itself. The universal failure in keeping the law is the revelation of the helplessness of man under the power of “sin in the flesh.” Two passages give evidence as to the failure of the law through the weakness of the flesh to which it made its appeal: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh” (Rom. 8:3); and, “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly [poverty-stricken] elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Gal. 4:9). The appeal is strong: Why, after having come to know the power of God through the Spirit, do ye turn to a relationship to God which as a means of victory and blessing has always been, and must always be, “weak” and “poverty-stricken”? The law was never given as a means of salvation or justification: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20. Cf Gal. 3:11, 24). Though given as a rule of conduct for Israel in the land, it, because of the universal failure in its observance, became a curse (Gal. 3:10), condemnation (2 Cor. 3:9), and death (Rom. 7:10–11). The law was effective only as it drove the transgressor to Christ. It became a means of turning the people to God for His mercy as that mercy is provided in Christ. The law was a “schoolmaster,” or child trainer, to bring the offender to Christ. This was immediately accomplished in his turning to the sin-offerings which were provided, and which were the type of Christ in His death; but more fully, was this accomplished when the dispensation itself came to its end in the death of Christ. “The law made nothing perfect, … but the bringing in of a better hope,” and the law was a “shadow of good things to come” (Heb. 7:19; 10:1). The reign of the law is limited to a period of about 1500 years, or from Sinai to Calvary—from Moses to Christ. These boundaries are fixed beyond question in the Word of God. First. The Law Began its Reign at Mount Sinai The law was never imposed upon any people or generation before it was given to Israel at the hand of Moses. “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day” (Deut. 5:1–3). “When the law was proposed, the children of Israel deliberately forsook their position under the grace of God which had been their relationship to God until that day, and placed themselves under the law. The record is given thus: “And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD” (Ex. 19:3–8). While it is certain that Jehovah knew the choice the people would make, it is equally certain that their choice was in no way required by Him. His description of the relation they had sustained to Him, until that moment is most tender and pleading: “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” Such is the character of pure grace. By it the sinner is carried on eagles’ wings and brought to God. It is all of God. Until that hour they had had been sustained in the faithfulness of Jehovah and without the slightest reference to their wickedness; but His plan and purpose for them had remained unchanged. He had dealt with them according to the unconditional covenant of grace made with Abraham. The marvelous blessedness of that grace-relationship should have appealed to them as the priceless riches of the unfailing mercy of God, which it was. The surrender of the blessings of grace should have been allowed by these people on no condition whatever. Had they said at the hearing of the impossible law, “None of these things can we do. We crave only to remain in that boundless mercy of God, who has loved us, and sought us, and saved us from all our enemies, and who will bring us to Himself,” it is evident that such an appeal would have reached the very heart of God. And the surpassing glory of His grace would have been extended to them without bounds; for grace above all else is the delight of the heart of God. In place of the eagles’ wings by which they were carried unto God, they confidently chose a covenant of works when they said: “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.” They were called upon to face a concrete choice between the mercy of God which had followed them, and a new and hopeless covenant of works. They fell from grace. The experience of the nation is true of every individual who falls from grace at the present time. Every blessing from God that has ever been experienced came only from the loving mercy of God; yet with that same blasting self-trust, people are now turning to a dependence upon their works. It is far more reasonable and honoring to God to fall helpless into His everlasting arms, and to acknowledge that we rely on His grace alone. Upon the determined choice of the law, the mountain where God was revealed became a terrible spectacle of the unapproachable, holy character of God. “And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.… And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish” (Ex. 19:18–21). He who had brought them to Himself under the unconditional blessings of His grace, must now warn them lest they break through unto the LORD and perish. That the burning mountain was a sign of the unapproachableness of God under the new covenant of works, is again declared in Heb. 12:18–21. Speaking there of the glory and liberty of grace, it is said: “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burnt with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:). But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” By this passage, the great contrast between the relationship to God under the law covenant of works, and the relationship to God under grace, is set forth clearly. Under their works, Israel could not come unto God lest they die; but under grace they were carried on eagles’ wings unto God, and so, under grace, all come unto God, and to Jesus, and to the blessed association and glory of heaven itself. The children of Israel definitely chose the covenant of works, which is law, as their relationship to God. In like manner, every individual who is now under the law, is self-placed, and that law under which he stands is self-imposed. In every case such relationship is clung to in spite of the appeal of pure grace. Had the legalists minds to understand and hearts to feel, they would realize that there is no access to God by a covenant of works and merit. To such as seek to come to Him by the law, God is as unapproachable as flaming Sinai. Second. The Reign of Law was Terminated with the Death of Christ The truthfulness of the statement that the reign of the law was terminated with the death of Christ is to be determined by the Word of God, rather than by the traditions and suppositions of men. The law, when given, was only a temporary, or ad interim, dealing “until the seed should come” (Gal. 3:19), and the “seed” is Christ (3:16). This conclusive passage (vs. 22–25) continues: “But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” The distinction between Jew and Gentile is broken down and all are “under sin.” There is provided and offered in Christ a new access and relationship to God. It is “through Christ” and “in Christ.” It is gained upon a principle of faith alone. Christ is the object of faith. It is nothing less than the “promise by faith of Jesus Christ,” and it is given to them who “believe.” Thus the new covenant of grace through faith in Christ is placed in contrast to the old covenant of works. The passage goes on to state: “But before faith [the new principle in grace] came, we [Paul is here speaking as a Jew of his own time] were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [child leader] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith [the new principle in grace]. But after that faith [the new principle in grace] is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (the law). As a standard of holy living, the law presented the precise quality of life which was becoming a people who were chosen of God and redeemed out of the bondage of Egypt. At the cross, a new and perfect redemption from sin was accomplished for Jew and Gentile alike. The redemption from Egypt was a type of the redemption from sin. As the redemption from Egypt created a demand for a corresponding holy life, so the redemption from sin creates a demand for a corresponding heavenly walk with God. One is adapted to the limitations of the natural man; the other is adapted to the infinite resources of the spiritual man. One is the teaching of the law; the other is the teaching of grace. III. AS TO THE APPLICATION OF THE LAW The law was given only to the children of Israel. This statement admits of no discussion when the Scriptures are considered. A very few passages from the many are here given: “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” (Mk. 12:29–30); “And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I have set before you this day?” (Deut. 4:8); “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day” (Deut. 5:1–3). The message given from the mount was that great covenant of works of the law contained in the Ten Commandments, which is here included in the “statutes and judgments.” This covenant was never made with any other nation or people; for God made no covenants with people other than Israel. “The LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant” (Deut. 9:11). Speaking of the covenants in relation to Israel, it is said: “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever” (Rom. 9:4, 5). Speaking of the Gentiles it is said: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, … that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:11, 12). It is expressly declared that the Gentiles have not the law: “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature [usage] the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves” (Rom. 2:14). In harmony with this, Pontius Pilate, a Gentile ruler, denied any responsibility to Israel’s law: “Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law” (John 18:31). We conclude, therefore, that the law which was given by Moses was a covenant of works, that it was “added” after centuries of human history, that its reign was terminated by the death of Christ, that it was given to Israel only, and that, since it was never given to Gentiles, the only relation that Gentiles can sustain to it is, without any divine authority, to impose it upon themselves. Additional proof of these facts concerning the law are yet to be presented. SECTION THREE THE KINGDOM TEACHINGS According to the Scriptures, all time is divided into seven periods, or dispensations. The Bible is occupied, in the main, with the last three of these periods. All that lies between Exodus, chapter 19, and Revelation, chapter 20, is the unfolding of the exact scope and character of these three ages. These ages are: The age of the law of Moses, which is measured by the duration of the reign of that law, or from Sinai to Calvary; The age of the kingdom, which is measured by the earth-reign of the King, or from the second coming of Christ when He comes to occupy His throne (Mt. 25:31), to the bringing in of the eternal state in the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1; 1 Cor. 15:24–28); And lying between the age of the law of Moses, which is wholly past, and the age of the kingdom, which is wholly future, there is the present age of grace, bounded by the death of Christ, on the one hand, and by His second advent, on the other. The revelation concerning the out-standing ordinance for this age also marks the limit of duration of the age itself with a future event—dateless, but never-the-less sure: “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” Due recognition of the essential character of each of these ages is the key to the understanding of the exact manner of the divine rule in each age. The rule of God in each case is adapted to the conditions which obtain. Since the respective characteristics of the ages are widely different, the manner of the divine rule is correspondingly different. The practice of confusing these three ages in respect to their characteristics and the manner of the divine rule in each is common, and is, doubtless, the greatest error into which many devout Bible interpreters fall. It is perhaps easier to confuse the present age with that which immediately precedes it, or with that which immediately follows it, than to confuse it with conditions which are more remote; although there need be no confusion of these immediately succeeding but sharply separated periods of time, for they are divided by age-transforming events. The age of the law of Moses is separated from the present age of grace by the death of Christ, when He bore the curse of the law and finished the work by which man may stand justified before God forever, and justified as he could not have been justified by the law of Moses. The age of grace is separated from the age of the kingdom by the second coming of Christ to the earth—the time when He comes to reign, to bind Satan, to terminate human governments, and to cause righteousness and peace to cover the earth as the waters cover the face of the deep. The divine government could not remain the same in the earth after the world-transforming, spiritual victories of the cross, as it had been under the law of Moses. So, likewise, the divine government cannot remain the same in the earth after the world-transforming temporal victories of the second coming, as it has been under the reign of grace. All this is reasonable; but, what is far more impelling and compelling, this is what is precisely revealed by God in His Word. There are, then, three separate and distinct systems of divine government disclosed in the Scriptures, corresponding to three separate and distinct ages to be governed. In respect to the character of divine government, both the age before the cross and the age following the return of Christ represent the exercise of pure law; while the period between these two ages represents the exercise of pure grace. It is imperative, therefore, that there shall be no careless co-mingling of these great age-characterizing elements, else the preservation of the most important distinctions in the various relationships between God and man are lost, and the recognition of the true force of the death of Christ and His coming again is obscured. Kingdom teachings will be found in those Psalms and prophecies of the Old Testament which anticipate the reign of Messiah in the earth, and in the kingdom portions of the Gospels. These teachings as found in the Old Testament and the New are purely legal in essence; both by their inherent character, and by the explicit declaration of the Word of God. The legal requirements of the kingdom teachings are greatly advanced, both in severity and detail, beyond the requirements of the law of Moses. This intensification of legal requirements, as it appears in the kingdom teachings, should not be looked upon as a mere continuation of the law of Moses. The kingdom teaching is a system complete and perfect in itself. Moreover, this intensification of legal requirements in kingdom revelations does not move the teachings of the Mosaic law nearer the heart of the teachings of grace. On the contrary, it removes them still farther in the opposite direction, inasmuch as the teachings of the kingdom increase the burden of meritorious workers over that which was required by the law of Moses. In the kingdom law, anger is condemned in the same connection where only murder had been prohibited in the law of Moses, and the glance of the eye is condemned where only adultery had previously been forbidden. The kingdom Scriptures of the Old Testament are occupied largely with the character and glory of Messiah’s reign, the promises to Israel of restoration and earthly glory, the universal blessings to Gentiles, and the deliverance of creation itself. There is little revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures concerning the responsibility of the individual in the kingdom; it is rather a message to the nation as a whole. Evidently the details concerning individual responsibility, were, in the mind of the Spirit, reserved for the personal teaching of the King, at the time when the kingdom would be “at hand.” As to the reign of the King, two important disclosures are made in the kingdom portions of the Old Testament: (1) His will be a rigid reign of righteousness that shall go forth from Jerusalem with swift judgment upon the sinner (Isa. 2:1–4; 11:1–5); and (2), according to the new covenant which He will have made with his people, He will have put His laws into their minds, and will have written them on their hearts (Jer. 31:31–40; Heb. 8:7–12). The writing of the law upon the heart is a divine assistance toward the keeping of the kingdom law which was in no wise provided under the reign of the law of Moses. However, the written law on the heart, as it will be in the kingdom, is not to be compared with the power of the indwelling Spirit which is the present divine enablement provided for the believer under grace. Under the new covenant, God will have put away the former sin of the nation forever. This, it is revealed, He is free to do through the blood of His Son who, as God’s Lamb, took away the sin of the world (Mt. 13:44; Rom. 11:26, 27). The great key words under the Mosaic system were “law” and “obedience”; the great key words in the present age are “believe” and “grace”; while the great key words in the kingdom are “righteousness” and “peace.” The following are brief excerpts from the Old Testament Scriptures bearing on the kingdom: “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:1–4). “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins” (Isa. 11:1–5). “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.… And they shall dwell in their own land” (Jer. 23:3–8). “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their King; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days” (Hosea 3:4, 5). Turning to the New Testament Scriptures bearing on the kingdom, it is important first to consider again the two-fold character of the work and teachings of Christ. He was both a minister to Israel to confirm the promises made unto the fathers, and a minister to the Gentiles that they might glorify God for His mercy (Rom. 15:8, 9). These two widely different revelations are not separated in the Scriptures by a well-defined boundary of chapter and verse; they are intermingled in the text and are to be identified wherever found by the character of the message and the circumstances under which it is given. This, it should be remembered, is the usual divine method of presenting truth. To illustrate: there is no chapter and verse boundary in the prophetic books of the Old Testament between that portion of the Scriptures which presented the immediate duty of Israel, and that portion of the Scriptures which presented their future obligation in Messiah’s kingdom. The prophets, while unfolding both of these widely differing obligations, co-mingle these messages in the text and the different messages are discerned only through an observance of the character of the truth revealed. Likewise, there is, to some extent, a co-mingling in the Gospels of the message of the kingdom and the teachings of grace. Moreover, these teachings were given while the law of Moses was in full authority. In harmony with the demands of that dispensation, many recognitions of the Mosaic system are embedded in the teachings of Christ. The Gospels are complex almost beyond any other portion of Scripture, since they are a composite of the teachings of Moses, of grace, and of the kingdom. In attempting to discover and to identify the kingdom teachings of Christ as they are co-mingled with the teachings of grace, and of the law, it is of value to note the peculiar feature of each Gospel: The Gospel by Matthew is a message to Israel of her King and His kingdom. In that Gospel He is introduced first as the “Son of David” (1:1), which title immediately relates Him to the Davidic covenant, and that covenant eternally secures for Israel a throne, a King, and a kingdom. Christ, being the Son of David, is the Messiah-King—the Hope and Consolation of Israel. While this Gospel is primarily of the King and His kingdom, the closing portion is of Christ as the Son of Abraham. The Gospel by Mark presents Christ as the Servant of Jehovah. It records more concerning His service than of His teaching, and, like Matthew’s Gospel, it is almost wholly addressed to Israel. The Gospel by Luke presents Christ in His humanity, and, while written to Jews, the avowed purpose of the writer is to “set in order” and establish the “certainty of those things which are most surely believed among us.” This certainty of testimony is thus sealed: “Having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first” (“from above.” Cf John 3:31; 19:11; Jas. 1:17; 3:15, 17). The Gospel by John was also written for a particular purpose: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (20:31). Thus the saving grace of God in Christ is declared to be the theme of this Gospel. While the ministry of Christ to Israel is acknowledged by the words, “He came to his own, and his own received him not” (1:11), the Gospel by John is primarily of the grace of God in salvation through Christ. The Gospel by John divides the teachings of Christ into two parts: chapters 1 to 12, the grace of God that saves; and chapters 13 to 16, and 19 to 21, the grace of God that teaches. From this brief consideration of the four Gospels it may be concluded that those teachings of Christ which confirm the covenants made unto the fathers, or Israel, will be found primarily in the Synoptic Gospels, and that these kingdom teachings are crystallized in the first portion of the first Gospel. The position of this kingdom portion in the context of the Scriptures is also significant—following immediately, as it does, on the Old Testament. The Old Testament closed with its great hopes unrealized and its great prophecies unfulfilled. These hopes were based on covenants from Jehovah, to which He had sworn with an oath. These covenants guarantee to the nation an earthly kingdom in their own land, under the abiding reign of Messiah, sitting on the throne of His father David. No such promise was fulfilled in the Old Testament period. The kingdom as provided for in the faithfulness of Jehovah was revealed in the Old Testament only in predictive prophecy. No such kingdom situation existed when Christ was born. It is expressly declared that Israel’s great hope and consolation was yet in expectation when Christ came (Lk. 1:31–33; 2:25). The children of Israel were then largely scattered among the nations and their land was under the authority of Rome. At this point and under these circumstances, a new message went forth: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was proclaimed by the forerunner—John the Baptist (Mt. 3:1–2), by Christ (Mt. 4:17), and by His disciples (Mt. 10:5–7). The strongest prohibition was imposed against the giving of this message to any Gentile, or even to a Samaritan (Mt. 10:5, 6. Cf 15:24). The message, though brief, was calculated to arouse all the national longings of the people to whom it was spoken. The messengers needed no analytical training to sense the exact meaning of their Theme. As instructed Israelites, the kingdom hope had been their expectation and meditation from birth. Later on, and in contrast to this, their utter slowness of heart to understand the new facts and teachings of grace is most obvious. Even when, after His resurrection, Christ had given forty days of instruction in things pertaining to the kingdom of God, they said: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), so little had they grasped the meaning of His death and the immediate purpose of grace. On the other hand, there is no record that the messengers needed or received one moment of exposition as to the meaning of the message relative to the Gospel of the kingdom before they were sent forth to deliver it. It was evidently Israel’s hope. The phrase, the kingdom of heaven, is peculiar to the Gospel by Matthew, and refers to the rule of God in the earth. In that particular, it is to be distinguished from the kingdom of God, which is the rule of God throughout the bounds of the universe. One, in certain aspects, is included in the other, and there is, therefore, much that is common to both. The Messianic rule of God in the earth was the theme of the prophets; for the prophets only enlarged on the covenants which guaranteed a throne, a King, and a kingdom, over regathered Israel, in that land which was sworn to Abraham. The term, the kingdom of heaven, was used by Christ to announce the fact that the covenanted kingdom blessings were “at hand.” This good news to that nation was the “gospel of the kingdom,” and should in no wise be confused with the Gospel of saving grace. The national hope was centered in the genuineness of the claims of both the King and His forerunner. The evidence was carefully weighed, it may be believed, and it was found unimpeachable; but the wickedness of heart prevailed. They imprisoned the forerunner, who was later beheaded by Herod, and they crucified the King. Both the forerunner and the King fulfilled prophecy in respect to the office of each in every detail. The forerunner was the voice of one crying in the wilderness. The King was of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, a son of David born of a virgin, in Bethlehem of Judæa, He came out of Egypt, and was called a Nazarene. At His birth He was proclaimed, “King of the Jews.” In His public ministry He took up the message of a King. At His entrance into Jerusalem He was hailed as Israel’s King. At His trial before Pilate, He claimed to be a King. And He died under the accusation, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” The crown of thorns had no significance in relation to His sacrificial death for sin: it was the emblem of the nation’s derision for His kingship claim. They thus fulfilled by act the very prophecy the King had made: “We will not have this man to rule over us.” There should be no confusion at this point. The rulers of the nation who demanded His death were not personally rejecting a Savior, as sinners are rejecting Him now; they were rejecting their King. They did not say, “We will not believe on the Saviour to the salvation of our souls”; they said, “We have no king but Cæsar.” The rejection of the King was according to “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23); for His rejection and humiliation were foreshadowed in the types, and foreseen in the prophecies of the Old Testament; He was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” At every step in the record His rejection and death are said to be the fulfilling of the Scriptures. It is recorded of Him in sixteen passages that He, by His rejection and death, fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures. It is also recorded of Him in nine passages that He was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the King. The first ministry of Christ was, then, to Israel as her King. In this He appeared; not as a personal Savior, but as her long expected Messiah; not as a Lamb, but as a Lion; not as a sacrifice by which a Church—the spotless Bride—might be purchased to Himself from among all nations, but as the Son of David, with every right to David’s throne, over Israel at Jerusalem, in the land of promise. In the Synoptic Gospels, there is, therefore, no record of any step toward the formation of the Church, or any reference to that great purpose, until, from His own nation, His rejection as King is evident. According to the Synoptic Gospels, the early teachings of the King were of that nation, and were in no wise related to the great results which would afterwards be accomplished through His death and resurrection in the calling out of His Church from all the nations of the earth. Upon His rejection, He began to speak, in anticipation of His death, of the formation of His Church, and of His coming back again to the earth. He likewise related the sure fulfillment of every covenant with Israel to the time of His return. Was, then, the Gospel of the kingdom, as announced by John, by Christ, and by His disciples, a bonafide message? Did it really mean what it announced? Was Israel’s long predicted kingdom at hand? If so, and had they received their King, what would have become of the divine purposes of redemption as they were to be accomplished through His death? These questions are insistently asked to-day; but the answers are not difficult. The Gospel of the kingdom was a bonafide message to Israel. To treat it otherwise, is to accuse God of trickery and deception. It is likewise a serious misrepresentation of all the related Scriptures to apply the message and teaching of the King to the present purposes of God in this age of grace. All confusion which arises concerning the kingdom message in its relation to the cross arises from the failure to recognize the important distinction between the divine viewpoint and the human viewpoint. It is only another application of the rationalistic trick of playing the free will of man against the sovereignty of God. On the human side, there was a clear-cut issue with unrestrained power to choose, or reject, the King. On the divine side, there was a genuine offer of the kingdom in the Person, presence and ministry of the King; but back of this was the foreknowledge of God which was absolute as to the choice they would make. Their choice would be but the outworking of the eternal purpose of God in Christ, and for that choice they would be held guilty. On the divine side, it is said: “Therefore they could not believe” (John 12:39), and on the human side, it is said: “They hated me Without a cause” (John 15:25). Is this the only example of such a problem in the Scriptures? By no means. Every dispensation represents a new divine purpose in the testing of man. In every case man is seen to fail, and to be guilty before God; yet we behold God patiently and faithfully bringing man face to face with the issues involved. After a brief experience in the wilderness, He took Israel to Kadesh Barnea where He provided and offered an immediate entrance into their own land. The choice was theirs; they refused to enter. They were guilty. God knew they would refuse to enter the land; yet His offer was genuine, and His purposes were realized. In chastisement, God sent them back into the wilderness for forty years of added discomfort. In His own time, and by His own power, they finally entered the land. This portion of Israel’s history may be taken to be typical. When Christ came, the nation had then experienced over five hundred years of trial in dispossession of their land and the vacancy of David’s throne. When their Messiah came, they refused the divine provisions centered in the King, and, as typified at Kadesh, they returned to what has now proven to be two thousand years of added affliction. The day is coming, however, when, according to the faithfulness of God, they will receive their King and abide under His undimmed glory. Turning to the Old Testament, the student is confronted with the problem of the right adjustment as to the time of fulfillment of two great lines of prophecy concerning Christ. On the one hand, He was prophesied to come as a Monarch whose reign and kingdom would be everlasting (Cf 2 Sam. 7:16; Ps. 72:1–20; 89:35–37; Isa. 9:6, 7). The thought of His death is foreign to this body of prophecy. It is no function of a king to die,—“Long live the king!” But, on the other hand, there is prophecy equally as explicit regarding the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Christ (Ps. 22:1–21; Isa. 53:1–12). Manifestly, these two lines of undertaking could not be accomplished simultaneously. Christ could not be the resistless, undying King, and be an unresisting sacrifice, at one and the same time. It was this very time-element in the problem which Peter declared was not disclosed to the prophets. He writes: “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Pet. 1:10, 11). Since the present age of grace and its purpose was not revealed to the writers of the Old Testament, the time-element relating these two lines of prophecy could not be disclosed. When the fullness of time came, it pleased God to present His King in fulfillment of prophecy and according to all His covenants to Israel. Both by the “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” and by the free choice of the nation, the King was rejected and crucified. It is evident, therefore, that the prophecies concerning the King and His earthly kingdom remain unfulfilled to this hour. They are not forgotten or abandoned. Neither are they receiving a spiritual fulfillment. They are yet to be fulfilled when the King returns to the earth. In like manner, the same clear light as to the divine purpose is revealed through Daniel when he predicts the order of events to be fulfilled in the period between his own time and that of the reign of Messiah. In this prophecy the “cutting off of Messiah” precedes the reign of the King. Thus did God anticipate what would take place; but this in no wise lessens the exercise of free choice on the part of the nation Israel in rejecting the King. It is puerile to assert that the cross of Christ was held in jeopardy until Israel’s choice concerning the King had been consummated. Let those who traffic in such tricks of argument be consistent to the point of applying their rationalism to all the great issues wherein the sovereignty of God and the free will of man are found to meet. The ministry of Christ was genuine. He was a minister to the circumcision to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. He was likewise the open door into the grace of God that Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. Though real, His rejection as King was the necessary step in all redemption, and God in faithfulness will yet fulfill every covenant related to the throne, the King, the nation, and the land. This He will do when the King comes back to the earth again. It has been necessary to outline the relation of the covenanted, earthly kingdom to the first advent of Christ, in order that the kingdom teachings of Christ may be seen in their true setting. Referring to the first section of the Gospel by Matthew (chapters 1 to 12), wherein the Gospel of the kingdom is preached to Israel, it will be found that this precise message of the kingdom Gospel was first announced by John the Baptist, of whom it is said: “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Mt. 3:1–3); it was announced by the King Himself (Mt. 4:17); and by the disciples (Mt. 10:5–7). Embedded in this context wherein only the Gospel of the kingdom is in view, and completely bounded by the records of these proclamations, is the “Sermon on the Mount,” which is evidently, the Manifesto of the King (Mt. 5:1 to 7:29). In this Manifesto the King declares the essential character of the kingdom, the conduct which will be required in the kingdom, and the conditions of entrance into the kingdom. This kingdom rule of life is purely legal, both in its inherent qualities and by its own claim (Mt. 7:12). It is, however, very different from the law as given by Moses. In the kingdom teachings, as has been stated, the commands of Moses are advanced into requirements vastly more impossible as to detail, and this does not relieve, but rather intensifies, its character as strictly legal. Christ does not disown the principles of the law in the unfoldings of kingdom requirements any more than He does in all His dealings with Israel before His death. He is rather presenting a new degree and standard of law which is adapted to the conditions which shall obtain in the kingdom, and which He contrasts with the law of Moses. The great kingdom words—righteousness and peace—are dominant, and there is never a reference either to salvation, or grace. Nor is there the slightest reference to those great realities of relationship which belong to the new creation wrought by Christ through His death and resurrection. Such a complete omission of any reference to any feature of the present age of grace, is a fact which should be carefully weighed. The minute accuracy of the Scripture is seen in Christ’s use of the phrase my commandments. During the days of His ministry to the nation Israel, He enforced the commandments of Moses, and spoke of the new principles which were to be applied in the kingdom as “these sayings of mine,” and “I say unto you”; but at no time did He use the term my commandments until He used it with His disciples in the upper room, and at the time when He was unfolding the new principles which were to condition the daily living of those who should stand on resurrection ground, in the new creation, and under grace. It is also significant that the first use of the term commandment in this grace message is when He said, “A new commandment I give unto you” (John 13:34). There is, therefore, a possible limitation to be placed on the extent of the responsibility imposed by Christ in His great commission wherein He said: “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:20). It is hardly probable that He intends all the Mosaic law, the governing principles of the kingdom, and the teachings of grace, to be combined and applied to those who receive the message of the great commission. In the teachings of the kingdom, the characterizing phrase is, “hear and do” (Mt. 7:24), while the characterizing phrase under grace is “hear and believe” (John 5:24). The essential character of the teachings of the kingdom as they are contrasted with the teachings of Moses, and as they are contrasted with the teachings of grace, will, at another point of the discussion, be considered at length. There is a sense in which the kingdom of God, as the rule of God in the hearts of individuals, is present in the world to-day. This should not be confused with the Messianic kingdom which is to be set up over a nation, and extended through them to all nations, with the King ruling, not in the individual heart, but on the throne of David, in the city of Jerusalem. As the King came nearer to His death, and the rejection became more evident, He made mention of that aspect of the rule of God in the individual heart which was to characterize the hitherto unannounced age of grace. The following passage (like Mt. 13:1–52), taken from the later teachings of Christ as recorded by Luke, is an example: “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation [outward show]: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (in your midst. Lk. 17:20, 21). In no sense could it be truthfully said that the kingdom of God was in the hearts of those Christ-rejecting Pharisees. There was, however, a real sense in which the kingdom of God was to be, as it is now, in the hearts of individual believers; but the direct statement of Christ is to the effect that the kingdom was then, in the Person of the King, in their midst. So, also, the phrase, the kingdom of God cometh not with outward show, anticipates the present aspect of the rule of God in the individual heart; but after this, and according to all prophecy, the kingdom of heaven will come with outward show. There is much promise of a transformed earth, which condition will be ushered in, not by unseen forces and processes; but through the resistless power and presence of the returning King. So, also, He could say to Israel: “The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you” (Lk. 10:9). As certainly as the King was before the nation, so certainly their kingdom was before them, and this was the appeal of the Gospel of the kingdom which was given to “the children of the kingdom” only. When the King was rejected, His kingdom was rejected. When His kingdom was rejected and its realization delayed until the return of the King, the application of all Scripture which conditions life in the kingdom was delayed, as well, and will be delayed as long as the King tarries. This necessary delay is easily accepted with reference to the earthly, national glory, which is the theme of the kingdom teachings of the Old Testament; but it is equally true that there is a necessary delay in application of the last detail of human obligation related to the earthly kingdom as set forth in the New Testament. The kingdom teachings are a sufficient and complete statement of all that it will be necessary for one to know concerning the terms of entrance into, and conduct in the Messianic kingdom on the earth. Much in these kingdom teachings is similar to that which is found in the teachings of Moses. Much is similar, also, to the teachings of grace; but these facts do not constitute these teachings an indivisible whole, nor do they justify a careless co-mingling of these great systems of rule in the earth. The characterizing elements in each will be found to be those principles which are peculiarly applicable to the dispensation to which they belong, rather than in the principles wherein they are similar. SECTION FOUR CONTRASTS BETWEEN LAW AND GRACE TEACHINGS Having considered the fact that God provides different rules of life, as recorded in the Scriptures, to fit His succeeding dispensational dealings with man, it is important to consider the wide difference which exists between the principle of law, and the principle of grace, as applied to the divine government of man. While the purpose of this section is to emphasize the fact that the three systems of divine government are essentially separate, each one from the others, and each one, being wholly complete and sufficient in itself, is in no wise exchangeable for either of the others, and cannot be co-mingled; it should be observed that there are important fields of Bible interpretation and instruction besides the limited aspect of truth which is suggested by the various rules of conduct. The Scriptures unfold many highways of truth with unbroken development from “the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” The important features of this unity in the Scriptures are: 1. The revelation concerning God. He is first revealed in the Old Testament by His names and works, and to this the New Testament adds the fuller emphasis upon the Trinity, the relation of the Persons of the Godhead to mankind, and the various aspects of saving grace. The continuity of the Old Testament testimony concerning Christ was proven by Himself on the Emmaus road, as it is recorded: “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk. 24:27). 2. Prophecy and its fulfillment. Every recorded instance of the fulfillment of prophecy shows that every detail of the prediction was fulfilled to the letter. 3. The union between type and antitype. Almost every important truth of the New Testament was typified and foreshadowed in the Old Testament. This fact proves the symmetry of all Scripture (See 1 Cor. 10:1–11). 4. The revelation concerning Satan and evil. In this body of revelation, likewise, the Bible story is uninterrupted, save for the new material added in the development of the divine message. 5. The doctrine of man and his sin. The exact manner of the application of the divine remedy for sin varies from dispensation to dispensation; but there is no variation in all the record concerning the essential facts of human failure, and the gracious, divine remedy through blood alone. 6. The requirement of holiness in the conduct of saints. While there is wide difference between the rules of conduct which are imposed in the various ages, there is unity in the revelation that a holy manner of life is the divine requirement in every age. 7. The continuity of purpose in the program of the ages. In this aspect of the truth it should be observed that, while each age possesses a character exclusively its own, the divine purpose throughout all the ages is one, ending in the ultimate consummation which God has decreed. This fact is stated in Heb. 1:2. Speaking of God as revealed in, and related to, the Son, it is written: “By whom he programmed the ages” (literal). Such is the wonderful unity of the Scriptures throughout; but in no sense are the various systems regulating human conduct the same, and the exact application of these systems must be guarded at every point. If truth for the children of God under grace is to be drawn from the teachings of the law of Moses, or the kingdom, it should be acknowledged that it is taken from a system foreign to grace, and that it is applicable only by way of illustration. These governing principles differ in three particulars: (1) They present independent, sufficient, and complete systems of divine rule in the earth. (2) In these systems the order varies as to the sequence of the divine blessing and the human obligation. (3) These systems differ according to the degree in which the divine enablement has been provided. I. THEY PRESENT INDEPENDENT, SUFFICIENT, AND COMPLETE SYSTEMS OF DIVINE RULE IN THE EARTH As has been stated, there are three of these systems of divine government. (1) The teachings of the law of Moses; (2) The teachings of grace; and (3) The teachings of the kingdom. Naturally there is field here for wide expansion, since these three systems of authority occupy the major portion of the Bible. A brief review only of the essential character of these systems is here given: (1) The Teachings of the Law of Moses This rule of life was revealed from God and accepted by Israel at Sinai, and was at no time addressed to the nations of the world. It was a peculiar form of government for a peculiar people, and accomplished a peculiar purpose in condemning the failure of man and in leading him to Christ. Its full detail is revealed in the writings of Moses; but the history of Israel under the law occupies the rest of the Old Testament, and the major part of the Gospels up to the record of the death of Christ. In the doctrinal teachings of the New Testament, very much additional light is given to the character and purpose of the law of Moses. There the law is held in contrast with the teachings of grace. There, also, as will be seen more fully in the later discussion, the law is represented as having passed out of force through the death of Christ; and, it may be observed, that, after the death of Christ, the law is in no instance treated as being directly in force. The law of Moses was complete within itself. It was sufficient to regulate the conduct of an Israelite under every circumstance that might arise. No other rule of life had been revealed during the days in which the law of Moses was in effect, hence there was no temptation for Israel to complicate her governing principle with any other. In her relation to God, that nation remained for fifteen hundred years under pure law. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (2) The Teachings of Grace Like the teachings of the law of Moses, the teachings of grace have not applied to men in all ages. These teachings were revealed from God through Christ and His apostles. Moreover, they are never addressed to the world as applicable to it in the present age; but are addressed to a peculiar people who are in the world, but are not of the world. These teachings constitute the divine instruction to the heavenly citizen and unfold the exact manner of life that such a citizen is expected to manifest even here in the earth. The full detail of this rule of life is found in portions of the Gospels, portions of the Book of Acts, and the Epistles of the New Testament. As light is given in these particular Scriptures of the New Testament by way of contrast, concerning the character and purpose of the law of Moses, so, in like manner, the very foundations of grace and its relationships are laid in the types and prophecies of the Old Testament. It is revealed that God dealt graciously with the human family from Adam to Moses; but it is also revealed that the precise form of divine government which is the present teaching of grace was not then disclosed, nor was it applied to men until the reign of the law had been terminated in the death of Christ. It is likewise revealed that the death of Christ was the necessary foundation for the present, full manifestation of superabounding grace. It is equally as certain from revelation that the teachings of grace will apply to the children of God under grace as long as they are in the world, and these principles will cease to rule, of necessity, when the people to whom they alone apply are gathered out and taken from the earth at the coming of Christ. This period between the death of Christ and His coming again is not characterized in the Scriptures as a time when the supreme purpose of God is the governing of the nations of the earth; this age is rather spoken of as “the times of the Gentiles” in all matters of human government in the earth. Nor is this age the period in which God is realizing the fulfillment of His unchanging covenants with the nation Israel; that nation is now said to be scattered, peeled, blinded, broken off, and hated of all nations, and they are to remain so to the end of the age. This age is not the time of the salvation of society; that great undertaking is clearly in the purpose of God, but it is reserved for the age which is yet to come. The present age is characterized by a unique emphasis on the individual. The death of Christ contemplated above all else the need of the individual sinner. The Gospel of grace, which the death of Christ made possible, is an appeal to the individual alone, and the very faith by which it is received is exercised only by the individual. The message of grace is of a personal faith, a personal salvation, a personal enduement of the Spirit, a personal gift for service, and a personal transformation into the image of Christ. The company of individuals thus redeemed and transformed, are to be in the ages to come the supreme manifestation of the riches of God’s grace. Unto this eternal purpose the whole universe was created and all ages have been programmed by God. The glory of this dispensation is lost to a large extent when the reign of the law is intruded into this age which followed the death of Christ, or when the social order of the kingdom, promised for a future age, is expected before the return of the King. The Bible affords no basis for the supposition that the Lord will come to a perfected social order. At His coming He will gather the saved to Himself, but the wicked He will judge in righteousness. The transcendent glory of this age is that grace which will have been either accepted or rejected by the individual. The teachings of grace are perfect and sufficient in themselves. They provide for the instruction of the child of God in every situation which may arise. There is no need that they be supplemented, or augmented, by the addition of precepts from either the law of Moses, or the teachings of the kingdom. (3) The Teachings of the Kingdom The teachings of the kingdom have not been applied to men in all the ages; nay, more, they have not yet been applied to any man. Since they anticipate the binding of Satan, a purified earth, and the personal reign of the King, they cannot be applied until God’s appointed time when these accompanying conditions on the earth have been brought to pass. The kingdom laws will be addressed to Israel and beyond them to all the nations who will enter the kingdom. It will be the first and only universal reign of righteousness and peace in the history of the world. One nation was in view when the law of Moses was in. force in the earth; the individual is in view during this age of grace; and the whole social order of mankind will be in view when the kingdom is set up in the earth. The reign of the King is never said to be ushered in by a gradual process of world improvement; it is introduced suddenly and with great violence. The return of the King to rule is like a smiting stone, and will demolish the structure of world empires, will grind them to powder, and will scatter them as the wind scatters the chaff of the summer threshing floor (Dan. 2:31–45). Satan and the satanic deception will have been removed from the earth, Israel will have realized the glory of her covenants, and the long predicted blessing will have come upon all the Gentiles, and upon creation itself. The church is not once mentioned in relation to the teachings of the kingdom, nor are those teachings applied to her; for her part in the kingdom is not to be reigned over, but to reign with Christ—her Head. She, being the Bride of the King, is His consort. She will still be under the heavenly teachings of grace, and her home will be in the bosom of the Bridegroom in the ivory palace of the King. The King will reign with a rod of iron. Sin and iniquity will be rebuked instantly and judged in perfect righteousness. Clear conception of the glory of the kingdom is lost if it is confused with the age of grace which precedes it, or with the sinless new heavens and new earth of the eternal state which follows it. The kingdom closes with a demonstration of the failure of man and thus it adds the last message of the converging testimony to the wickedness of the fallen heart, and to the fact that in the exceeding grace of God alone is their salvation. The teachings of the kingdom are found in portions of the Psalms, the kingdom prophecies of the Old Testament, and the kingdom teachings in the Synoptic Gospels. These teachings are complete and sufficient to direct the life of the children of the kingdom in every condition that may arise under the rule of the King. There is no need that these teachings be supplemented or augmented by additions from either of the other governing systems. Under God’s classification, there are only three major divisions of the human family—“The Jew, the Gentile and the church of God.” Wherever they are mentioned in any portion of the Bible they are recognized as distinctly separate peoples, and it is important to follow the divine record concerning each from its beginning to its end. The Jew, or Israel, began with Abraham, was favored in relationship to God above all the nations of the earth for fifteen hundred years in the promised land, is the object of all of Jehovah’s purposes and covenants in the earth, is now as free from the law, and is as effectually shut up to the Gospel of the grace of God as are the Gentiles, and will yet inherit the limitless blessings of all the kingdom covenants in the earth. The Gentile began with Adam, received no direct instruction or covenant from Jehovah in all the ages past, is now the object of appeal, with the Jew, in the Gospel of grace, and will share in the glory of the kingdom to come, when the divine blessing will be poured out on all the Gentiles (Acts. 15:17). The Church began with the death of Christ and the descent of the Spirit, is the divine objective in this age, is a heavenly people taken from both Jews and Gentiles, and will reign with the King as His Bride, in the ages to come. Since there is so wide a difference in the character of these ages—of law, of grace, and of the kingdom—and in the peoples of the earth—the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church—as they stand related to God throughout the ages, it is to be expected that there will be a variation in the divine government according to the essential character of the several ages. This is not only reasonable; it is the precise teaching of the Bible. Since these great governing systems are wholly separate and sufficient in themselves, and since there is much which is held in common in them all, a brief comparison of the systems is here undertaken: First. The Similarity and Dissimilarity Between the Teachings of the Law of Moses and the Teachings of Grace In this discussion, the law of Moses will be limited to the Decalogue; for no legalist proposes to carry forward into grace the judgments which governed the social life of Israel, or the ordinances which governed their religious ritual in the land. However, the moral commandments of the Decalogue are almost universally imposed upon the church by these legalists. In justification of this imposition, the plea is usually made that apart from the direct application of the Decalogue there could be no divine authority or government in the earth. In no sense does this question involve the issues of world government; for God has never addressed either the teachings of the law, or the teachings of grace to the whole world. The world has borrowed certain moral precepts from the Bible for its self-government; but it does not follow that God has accepted the world on the basis of the teachings of the law, or the teachings of grace. In reality, the world is shut up to the one appeal of the Gospel of grace. Until this appeal is heeded, the individual is neither under law, nor grace, as a rule of life; but is “under sin.” The issue is, therefore, between law and grace as governing principles in the life of the Christian. Must Christians turn to the Decalogue for a basis of divine government in their daily lives? Scripture answers this question with a positive assertion: “Ye are not under the law, but under grace.” If this be true, are the great moral values of the Decalogue discarded? By no means; for it will be seen that every moral precept of the Decalogue, but one, has been restated with increased emphasis in the teachings of grace. These precepts do not reappear under grace in the character and coloring of the law, but, rather, in the character and coloring of pure grace. The following brief comparison will demonstrate the fact that the moral values of the law are reincorporated in the teachings of grace. 1. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” 1. “We … preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God” (Acts 14:15). 2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; … thou shalt not bow down to them nor serve them.” 2. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). 3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.” 3. “But above all things brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath” (Jas. 5:12). 4. “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.” 4. No such command is found in the teachings of grace. 5. “Honor thy father and thy mother.” 5. “Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Eph. 6:1). 6. “Thou shalt not kill.” 6. “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). 7. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” 7. “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers … shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9, 10). 8. “Thou shalt not steal.” 8. “Steal no more” (Eph. 4:28). 9. “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” 9. “Lie not” (Col. 3:9). 10. “Thou shalt not covet.” 10. “Covetousness, let it not be named among you” (Eph. 5:3). While some principles of the Mosaic law are restated under grace, those aspects of the law which are foreign to grace are omitted. The command to keep the seventh day is omitted wholly. This fact and the reason thereof will he considered more at length later in the discussion. So, also, the one promise of the Decalogue is omitted. This promise occurs in connection with the precept concerning the obedience of children. It reads: “Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” The fact that the law presented a promise to obedient children is pointed out in the New Testament (Eph. 6:1), with no inference that the promise is in effect now; but as a reminder of that which obtained under the law. It would be difficult for any individual, or child, in the Church to establish a claim to a God-given land, or to demonstrate that any law now obtains by which long life is guaranteed to those who are now obedient to parents. Again, concerning Israel and her relation to the land it is written: “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed”; “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever”; “For the upright shall dwell in the land” (Ps. 37:3, 29; Prov. 2:21). No land has been given to the Christian. He is a “stranger and pilgrim” here, an “ambassador,” a citizen of heaven. If he is taught in the Scriptures, he is not looking for a long life here; but he is looking for the coming of his Lord. He is not clinging to this life; for “to depart, and to be with Christ, … is far better.” The serious manner in which people apply an Old Testament promise, impossible under grace, to themselves is a revelation of the measure of inattention with which the Scriptures are too often read and quoted. Since every adaptable precept of the law is restated in grace, it is not necessary to violate the Scriptures by forcing the law into the sphere of grace. The Decalogue, in its moral principles, is not only restated in grace, but its principles are greatly amplified. This is illustrated, again, by the same precept concerning the obedience of children. In the teachings of grace, the whole issue of obedience is taken up at length, and to this is added the instructions to parents as well. Under the teachings of grace, the appeal of the first commandment is repeated no less than fifty times, the second twelve times, the third four times, the fourth (about the sabbath day) not at all, the fifth six times, the sixth six times, the seventh twelve times, the eighth six times, the ninth four times, and the tenth nine times. Yet further, that which is even more vital should be noted: The teachings of grace are not only gracious in character and of the very nature of heaven itself, but they are extended to cover the entire range of the new issues of the life and service of the Christian. The Ten Commandments require no life of prayer, no Christian service, no evangelism, no missionary effort, no gospel preaching, no life and walk in the Spirit, no Fatherhood of God, no union with Christ, no fellowship of saints, no hope of salvation, and no hope of heaven. If it is asserted that we have all these because we have both the law and grace, it is replied that the law adds nothing to grace but confusion and contradiction, and that there is the most faithful warning in the Scriptures against this admixture. A few times the teachings of the law are referred to by the writers of the Epistles by way of illustration. Having stated the obligation under grace, they cite the fact that this same principle obtained under the law. There is, however, no basis here for a co-mingling of these two governing systems. The law of Moses presents a covenant of works to be wrought in the energy of the flesh; the teachings of grace present a covenant of faith to be wrought in the energy of the Spirit. Second. The Similarity and Dissimilarity Between the Teachings of the Law of Moses and the Teachings of the Kingdom As will be seen more fully further on, these two systems of divine government are both legal in character and order. If this is true, it is to be expected that there is much in common between them. (1) They are similar because they are both based on a covenant of works. (2) They are similar because of elements which are common to both. (3) They are dissimilar because of certain points in which they differ. 1. They are similar because they are based on a covenant of works The nature of a covenant which is based on human works is obvious. Whatever God promises under such a covenant, is conditioned on the faithfulness of man. Every blessing under the law of Moses was so conditioned, and every blessing in the kingdom relationship will be found to be so ordered. Turning to the kingdom teachings of Christ wherein the issues of personal conduct and obligation in the kingdom are taken up, it will be seen that all the kingdom promises to the individual are based on human merit. The kingdom blessings are reserved for the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peace maker. It is a covenant of works only and the emphatic word is “do.” “This do and thou shalt live,” is the highest promise of the law. As men judge, so shall they be judged. A tree is approved, or rejected, by its fruits. And not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of “my Father” which is in heaven. As the individual forgives, so will he be forgiven. And except personal righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there shall be no entrance into the kingdom of heaven. To interpret this righteousness which is required to be the imputed righteousness of God, is to disregard the teaching of the context, and to introduce an element which is not once found in this whole system of divine government. The kingdom teachings of the “Sermon on the Mount” are concluded with the parable of the house built on the rock. The key to this message is given in the words, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them.” Turning to the law of Moses, we discover that it presents no other relation to God for the individual than this same covenant of works: “And it shall come to pass, that if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day [including the Decalogue], that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee … Blessed shalt thou be …” (Deut. 28:1–14). “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee … Cursed shalt thou be …” (Deut. 28:15–68). “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Ex. 20:12). “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do” (Ex. 19:8). “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God … And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Lk. 10:25–28). By these references to the law of Moses and the law of the kingdom, it may be seen that both of these systems are based wholly on a covenant of works. 2. They are similar because of elements which are common to both In the law of the kingdom, the Mosaic law is carried forward and intensified. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.… Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill … But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.… Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Mt. 5:17–28. Cf 31–48; 6:1–18, 25–34). “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets” (Mt. 7:12). By these illustrative passages it is clear that the law of Moses and the law of the kingdom are similar in that they contain elements which are common to both. 3. They are dissimilar because of certain points in which they differ In the law of the kingdom, certain features are added which are not found in the law of Moses. These new features can be mentioned here only in part. It has been revealed in the Scriptures above quoted that the law is intensified in the kingdom teachings. From these no element of the law of Moses has been subtracted. Rather, to the Mosaic revelation are added the kingdom teachings of Christ concerning marriage and divorce, the taking of an oath, and the personal obligation to others. The law demanding “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” is replaced by required submission. The other cheek is to be turned, the second mile is to be traveled, and to him that asketh, there is to be no refusal. Even the enemies are to be loved. These things are to be done “that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven,” and are only further evidences that in fact and force they issue from the covenant of works. There is a new appeal for sincerity in alms-giving, in prayer, and in fasting. There is a new revelation concerning prayer; but it is prayer for the kingdom and according to conditions in the kingdom alone. Special instruction is given concerning the use of riches in the kingdom and also concerning anxiety and care. Third. The Similarity and Dissimilarity Between the Teachings of Grace and the Laws of the Kingdom The importance of an unprejudiced consideration of these Scriptures which disclose the whole field of comparison between the teachings of grace and the laws of the kingdom cannot be too strongly emphasized. The theme is extensive, but an outline-treatment only can be given here. While this study of contrasts should be extended into all the kingdom teachings of the Gospels, the plan will be to follow a brief analysis of the Manifesto of the King as recorded in Matthew, chapters 5 to 7, and to compare the various precepts there revealed with the precepts given to the believer under grace. It will be necessary, also, to compare these precepts with the kingdom teachings of the Old Testament; for it will be found that the teachings of the kingdom presented in Matthew, chapters 5 to 7, are in exact accord with the Old Testament predictions regarding the kingdom, and are almost wholly in disagreement with the teachings of grace. In Luke 16:16 it is written: “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” The message of John the Baptist was something new. It was in no sense the preaching of the “law and the prophets” as a direct application of the Mosaic system. Nevertheless, his preaching was purely legal in character. An important exception to this is found in the Gospel by John. In that Gospel, the characterizing words, selected from all the sayings of John the Baptist are, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (1:29). The Gospel by John is distinctly of salvation and grace through believing, and the selection of this one message from John the Baptist beautifully illustrates the mind and purpose of the Spirit in the selection of material for the construction of that Gospel of divine grace. This exceptional word from John the Baptist, fitted to the message of grace in the Gospel by John, should not be confused with his legalistic preaching as recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, where his real ministry as the forerunner is set forth. What he preached, is clearly stated in Luke 3:7–14: “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance … And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answered and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” The intense emphasis on the covenant of meritorious works is obvious in this message; but John did not preach Moses and the prophets. The law and the prophets were until John. It is to be concluded that the preaching of John the Baptist was wholly new, and was according to his mission as herald of the King; but that message is legalistic, and not gracious. It is a covenant of works, and not a covenant of faith. Added light is also given in Luke 16:16 as to the kingdom character of John’s preaching. The divine rule in the earth which Matthew terms “the kingdom of heaven” is by Luke termed “the kingdom of God.” This is justified since the kingdom of God includes the kingdom of heaven, or the earth-rule of the King. Since Matthew and Luke are so evidently referring to the same divine rule in the earth, and often reporting the same message when employing these two phrases, it is conclusive that Luke’s use of the term, “the kingdom of God,” here, and elsewhere, is with reference to the limited divine rule in the earth. Into that kingdom, men who enter are said to be “pressing in.” “To crowd oneself in,” is the literal meaning, and the word suggests intense human effort, and implies the need of merit, which is required for entrance into the kingdom. There are at least three major distinctions which will appear when the teachings of grace are contrasted with the teachings of the kingdom. (1) In the kingdom message, hope is, in the main, centered in the kingdom of heaven, and, in Mark and Luke, in that aspect of the kingdom of God which corresponds with the kingdom of heaven. This, it should be remembered, is not heaven: in this connection, it is the rule of the Messiah-King in the earth. However, the larger rule of the kingdom of God is mentioned once (Mt. 6:33), and at a point when all the divine interests are in view, and three times the kingdom message holds the anticipation of heaven itself before its children (Mt. 5:12; 6:20; 7:23). In the teachings of grace it is heaven itself which is in view, with never a reference to the kingdom of heaven, other than that the saints shall reign with the King. Christians, on the other hand, are often related to the larger sphere of the kingdom of God (See John 3:3). (2) These two lines of teaching may be identified, also, by the use of the great words they employ. According to both the Old Testament and the New, righteousness and peace are the great words of the kingdom. The “Sermon on the Mount” is the expansion of the full meaning of the personal righteousness which is required in the kingdom. The great words in this age are believe and grace. Not once do these words appear in connection with the kingdom teachings of Matthew, chapters 5 to 7. Mercy is unfolded in grace, rather than in righteousness. (3) The kingdom teachings, like the law of Moses, are based on a covenant of works. The teachings of grace, on the other hand, are based on a covenant of faith. In the one case, righteousness is demanded; in the other it is provided, both imputed and imparted, or inwrought. One is of a blessing to be bestowed because of a perfect life, the other is of a life to be lived because of a perfect blessing already received. Too often it has been supposed that the kingdom reign of Messiah will be a period of sinlessness on the earth, corresponding to the new heavens and new earth which will follow. Every Scripture bearing on the kingdom emphasizes the moral conditions which will obtain in the kingdom. Because of the binding of Satan, and the immediate judgment for sin, the high moral requirements in the kingdom will be possible; but there will be evil to judge, the enemy will persecute, and many who have professed will fail because they have not actually done the will of the King. So great will be the moral advance in world conditions in the kingdom over the present age, that righteousness will then “reign”; while at the present time, righteousness “suffers” (2 Tim. 3:12). The various topics presented in the “Sermon on the Mount,” are here considered in order: 1. The Beatitudes (Mt. 5:1–12) This kingdom message opens with the record of the nine-fold blessing which is promised and provided for the faithful child of the kingdom. These blessings are won through merit. This is in sharp contrast to the blessings in the exalted position of the Christian to which he instantly attains through Christ at the moment he believes. a. “Blessed are the poor in spirit [humble]: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” As the little child, “of such is the kingdom of heaven.” In the Old Testament vision of the coming manifestation of the King, it is said: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa. 57:15). To the Christian it is said: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind” (Col. 3:12). These virtues are not put on by the Christian to gain heaven; much less the kingdom of heaven. They are put on because these elements of character belong to the one who is already “elect of God, holy and beloved.” Christ is the pattern (Phil. 2:8), and God resists aught but humbleness of mind (Jas. 4:6). In the teachings of grace, “put on” does not mean to pretend, or assume; it is the manifestation of the life through the power of the Spirit (See Eph. 4:24; 6:11; Col. 3:12). b. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Mourning does not belong to the Bride of Christ. To her a different message has been given: “Rejoice, and again I say, Rejoice.” Mourning is the portion of Israel until her King comes, and when He comes, it will be “to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isa. 61:2, 3. Cf Isa. 51:3; 66:13; 35:10; 51:11; Zech. 1:17). c. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Under grace, meekness is wrought in the believer by the Spirit, and is never rewarded; but the judgments of the King will be to “reprove with equity for the meek of the earth” (Isa. 11:4. Cf Isa. 29:19; Zeph. 2:3; Ps. 45:4; 76:9). The earth is to be inherited in the kingdom reign. The glory of the King will be in the earth. It could hardly be supposed that the meek are inheriting the earth now, or that this is any promise to the Church, to whom no earthly promise is made. Those who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, have an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven. d. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” The Christian may crave a closer walk with God; but he is already “made the righteousness of God in him.” In distinction to this, righteousness is that quality which must be attained in the kingdom (Mt. 5:20). “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake will I not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory” (Isa. 62:1, 2. Cf Ps. 72:1–4; 85:10, 11, 13; Isa. 11:4, 5). e. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” The exact condition revealed in this promise should be carefully considered; for in this passage, mercy from God is made to depend wholly on the exercise of mercy toward others. This is pure law. Under grace the Christian is besought to be merciful, as one who has already obtained mercy (Eph. 2:4, 5; Tit. 3:5). The mercy of God will go forth in grace to the nation Israel when He gathers them into their own land (Ezk. 39:25); but He will, at the same time, deal with them as individuals by law: “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them” (Ps. 103:17, 18). “Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; with the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward” (Ps. 18:24–26). Under grace, He is rich in mercy, even when we were “dead in sins.” f. “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” Opposed to this, and under grace it is written: “But we see Jesus,” and “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (Heb. 2:9; 2 Cor. 4:6). In Christ, God now is revealed to the believer, while the kingdom promise to the pure in heart is that they shall see God. The kingdom promises continue: “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly.… Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty” (Isa. 33:15–18). “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:3, 4). g. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Peace is one of the two great words in the kingdom. The King who is “the Prince of Peace,” shall so reign that righteousness and peace shall cover the earth as waters cover the face of the deep (Cf Ps. 72:3, 7). In that kingdom there will be special distinction given to the one who promotes peace. “They shall be called the children of God.” Under grace, no one is constituted a child of God by any works whatsoever. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). h. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Again, the issue is righteousness. The Christian, on the contrary, suffers with Christ and for His sake, and his reward is in heaven. “But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake” (John 15:21). “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). i. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” The believer is called to suffer for Christ’s sake: “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Phil. 1:29). “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Tim, 2:12). It should be noted that when the children of the kingdom are compared to any class of men in suffering, they are taken back to prophets which were before them, and not to the saints who comprise the body of Christ. Concluding these observations concerning the nine beatitudes, attention should be given to the fact that, in contrast to the nine-fold, self-earned blessing of the kingdom, the believer under grace is to experience a nine-fold blessing which is produced in him by the direct power of the indwelling Spirit. A careful comparison should be made of the nine-fold blessing which is promised under the kingdom, with the nine-fold blessing which is prepared under grace. It will be seen that all that is demanded under the law of the kingdom as a condition of blessing, is, under grace, divinely provided. The two aspects of life which are represented by these two groups of characterizing words are most significant. The total of all the blessings in the kingdom is not comparable with the superabundant “fruit of the Spirit”—“love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (self-control, Gal. 5:22, 23). The very tense of the verb used is important. Under grace, the fruit of the Spirit “is,” which indicates the present possession of the blessing through pure grace; while under the kingdom, the blessing “shall be” to such as merit it by their own works. 2. The similitudes of the righteous in the kingdom (Mt. 5:13–16) In this portion of Scripture the children of the kingdom are likened to the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. “Salt,” as a figure, is not so used in the teachings of Moses or in the teachings of grace. However, the Christian is said to be “light in the Lord,” and is exhorted to “walk” as a child of the light (Eph. 5:8). Again, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day” (1 Thes. 5:5). But, concerning Israel in her coming kingdom blessing, it is said: “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles”; “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth”; “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning”; “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising”; “The LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended” (Isa. 42:6; 49:6; 58:8; 60:3, 20). Still another contrast appears in this connection: The Christian is appointed to manifest Christ (1 Pet. 2:9); but the children of the kingdom are appointed to manifest their good works (Mt. 5:16). 3. Christ interprets the law in its relation to the kingdom (Mt. 5:17–48) This Scripture declares that the law shall not pass until it is fulfilled. This has to do with observance, for it is added: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments … shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” It is the law of Moses intensified. In so doing, Christ transfers the obligation from the outward act to the attitude of the heart. This intensifies, rather than relieves, its legal character. It carries with it the most scorching condemnation possible to law. The Christian is not under law. He has no “altar” other than Christ (Heb. 13:10). The altar is always related either to the Mosaic system, or to the coming kingdom, and is intensely legalistic in character. Concerning the kingdom it is said: “Their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar” (Isa. 56:7. Cf 60:7; Ezk. 43:13–27; Zech. 14:20). The child of the kingdom must agree with his adversary quickly, lest he be cast into prison where there is no degree of mercy available (5:25, 26). To the child of God it is said: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:17–21). The high standard of generous submission is, in the kingdom teachings, substituted in place of the exact equity of the law of Moses (5:38–48). In place of the principle of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” the other cheek is to be turned, the cloak is to be added to the coat, the second mile is to be traveled, no goods are to be withheld from him that asketh, and enemies are to be loved. This is not to be done as an expression of a high position already received in grace: it is to be done meritoriously that “ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” Such relations between men will be required and practiced in the day when the King shall reign in righteousness and Satan is bound. The teachings of grace concerning murder, adultery, divorce, and swearing, are all clearly stated in the Scriptures. In this portion of the “Sermon on the Mount,” the extreme legal penalty for wrong-doing is imposed (5:20–22, 29, 30). Is any child of God under grace in danger of judgment, or the awful penalty of hell fire? Argument is uncalled for in the light of the Scriptures: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [judgment]; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24); “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man [created thing] pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28); “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). It is quite true that believers will be judged by Christ as to the character of their life and service, that the Father chastens every son whom He receiveth, and that the Apostle Paul suggested that he might visit a certain church with a rod; but how different is all this from the penalty of hell fire which is unconditionally imposed on the children of the kingdom because of their sin! How imperfectly believers realize, when they turn from grace, the awful penalties of the law and the meaning of eternal damnation! How precious, too, that such ignorance of the law does not change the abiding, divine covenant of grace into which the believer has been brought through faith in Christ! 4. Mere externalism rebuked (Mt. 6:1–7, 16–18; 7:21–29) In the kingdom, a spirit of vain show as the actuating motive in alms-giving, offering of prayer, and professions of devotion, will be judged instantly. On the other hand, these things, if done in secret, will be rewarded “openly.” Such recompense should not be confused with the rewards for service which are promised the Christian at the judgment seat of Christ. Humble faithfulness in the kingdom will receive its immediate recognition from the King. 5. Prayer for the kingdom, and in the kingdom (Mt. 6:8–17; 7:7–11) What is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer,” but what is, in reality, the prayer that the Lord taught His disciples when contemplating the kingdom, is not intended to be a ritual prayer. He said: “After this manner therefore pray ye.” The prayer is directly concerned with the issues of the coming kingdom. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Of the great themes mentioned in this model kingdom prayer, but one is taken up for special comment and emphasis. It is as though the Spirit of God was seeking to save the reader from any confusion at this point. This special comment amplifies the one petition: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” The divine comment on this reads: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” This, again, is purely legal. Forgiveness on the part of the Christian is enjoined; but it is enjoined in agreement with the exalted principle of grace: “Tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”; “Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13. Cf 1 John 1:9). The legal character of this great kingdom prayer should not be overlooked because of sentimental reasons growing out of early training. Attempts have been made to relate this divine forgiveness, which is conditioned on a forgiving attitude of the sinner, with the Father’s present forgiveness toward the believer who is under grace. Such an interpretation is as foreign to the precise relationships which belong to grace as it would be if the passage were said to teach the present divine forgiveness of the unsaved. Present forgiveness for both the unsaved and the saved is a matter of pure grace, and the divine conditions which are imposed are in perfect harmony with this fact. In this age, the unsaved are forgiven as a part of the entire accomplishment in salvation on the one condition that they believe (Eph. 4:32), and the saved are forgiven on the one condition that they confess (1 John 1:9). These two words do not represent meritorious works; they represent the simple adjustment of the heart to that which is already provided in the grace of God. The cross has changed things for all. A covenant purely of law-works is stated in the passage in question. Such a covenant is the very foundation of all kingdom teaching; but it is wholly foreign to the teachings of grace. Christ, as some claim, must not be presented as a stern, austere Ruler. The marvel is that He is ever anything else. God’s holiness is not subject to gracious leniency toward sin. Apart from the cross where redemption’s price has been fully paid, there could be nothing but the consuming fire of judgment; but, since God in infinite love has provided a Substitute, there is boundless grace. In this age, God is dealing with men on the ground of His grace as it is in Christ. His dealings with men in the coming age are based on a very different relationship. At that time, the King will rule with a rod of iron. There is no word of the cross, or of grace, in the kingdom teachings. This prayer is, by its own expression, a kingdom prayer. The whole basis of appeal in this prayer, as in 7:7–11, is the faithfulness of the Father to His children in the kingdom. The basis of appeal in prayer during the days before Christ, or under Moses, was the faithfulness of Jehovah to His covenants. The basis of appeal in prayer under grace is that of the believer’s present union and identification with Christ. Access is provided only through Christ (Heb. 10:19, 20), and the new argument of appeal in prayer is, in the name, and for the glory, of Christ. Long after He had taught His disciples the kingdom form of prayer, and after He had turned to the teachings of pure grace He said: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). The kingdom form of prayer omits every feature of the essential note of prevailing prayer under grace. 6. The law governing riches in the kingdom (Mt. 6:19–24) The right use of riches, as under grace, will be rewarded in heaven, and there is no compromise: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” 7. The Father’s care over the children of the kingdom (Mt. 6:25–34) This portion of the Scriptures is one of surpassing sweetness. As God clothes the lillies of the field, so will He clothe those who rest in Him by faith; but here His care is only for such as seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness: while, under grace, His care is unconditioned by any human work or merit: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you”; “Be careful for nothing” (1 Pet. 5:7; Phil. 4:6). The same principle of divine care was presented under the law of Moses; but in the form of pure law: “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Ps. 55:22). 8. Warning against judgment of others (Mt. 7:1–6.) This kingdom law is unyielding: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” One under grace has passed beyond all judgment, by virtue of his acceptance in Christ who died for him (John 5:24). He may be chastened by his Father, which is a form of judgment (1 Cor. 11:27–32); but such judgment is never said to be the return of his own sin back upon his own head, as is prescribed in this portion of the kingdom teaching. 9. Warnings against false prophets (Mt. 7:15–20.) “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.” The warning here is against false prophets who are to be discerned by the quality of their lives. The warning to the children of God under grace is against false teachers who are to be discerned by their doctrine concerning Christ (2 Pet. 2:1; 2 John 7–11): never by their lives; for outwardly, false teachers are said to appear as the “ministers of Christ,” and to be dirctly under the power of Satan who himself appears as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13–15). The attractive personality of the false teacher affords great advantage as a background for the appeal he makes for his doctrine. 10. Three determining statements concerning the kingdom a. “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:20). Exposition is unnecessary concerning this passage. It is the foundation of all the demands for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. It should in no wise be confused with the believer’s entrance into heaven through the finished work of Christ: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Tit. 3:5). b. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Mt. 7:12). This passage stands as a conclusion of the whole appeal of this kingdom teaching. It is as a key to all that has gone before. The legal principle, restated in this passage, is not said to be any part of the teachings of grace: it is rather “the law and the prophets.” c. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Mt. 7:13, 14). Under the conditions laid down in the kingdom teachings, life is entered by a personal faithfulness (Mt. 5:29, 30; 18:8, 9; Lk. 10:25–28). When this same exhortation is stated in the Gospel by Luke (13:24), it opens with the words, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.” The word strive is a translation of agonizomai, which means to agonize. It suggests the uttermost expenditure of the athlete’s strength in the contest. Such is the human condition that characterizes all the kingdom passages which offer entrance into life. An abrupt change is met when turning to the Gospel by John, which Gospel was written to announce the new message of grace, which is, that eternal life may be had through believing. No two words of Scripture more vividly express the great characterizing relationships in law and grace than agonize, and believe. Grace is the unfolding of the fact that One has agonized in our stead, and life is “through his name,” and not by any degree of human faithfulness, or merit. There is a dangerous and entirely baseless sentiment abroad which assumes that every teaching of Christ must be binding during this age simply because Christ said it. The fact is forgotten that Christ, while living under, keeping, and applying the law of Moses, also taught the principles of His yet future kingdom, and, at the end of His ministry and in relation to His cross, He also anticipated the teachings of grace. If this three-fold division of the teachings of Christ is not recognized, there can be nothing but confusion of mind and consequent contradiction of truth. Again, it is not unreasonable to recognize that these kingdom teachings should directly apply to a yet future age. The Bible is the one revelation from God to all peoples of all the ages. It is not difficult to understand that much of the Scripture applies to conditions which are now wholly in the past; nor should it be difficult to understand that some of the Scripture applies to conditions which are wholly of the future. How else shall we know of the future? Certain revelations are of the coming tribulation period and are in no sense applicable to the present time. Who has ever prayed that his flight should not be on a sabbath day? Yet Christ commanded that prayer to be prayed (Mt. 24:20). In like manner, the use of the word “whosoever” in Mt. 7:24 does not imply that all the people of all the ages are addressed. It is more reasonable to believe that it applies to the people living under the conditions of the period which the passage describes. The all-inclusive word he is used by Christ when He said, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mt. 24:13); but nothing could be more contradictory to the teachings of grace than the principle set forth in this passage. There will be a salvation in the tribulation for those who endure its trials to the end. Under grace, the believer endures because he is saved. If the word “whosoever” in Mt. 7:24 includes those who are saved by grace, then they have been thrust into the blasting covenant of works which that passage proposes, and grace is wholly sacrificed. Thus it may be concluded that the teachings of the law, the teachings of grace, and the teachings of the kingdom, are separate and complete systems of divine rule which are perfectly adapted to the varied conditions in three great dispensations. The teachings of Moses and the teachings of the kingdom are purely legal, while the instructions to the believer of this dispensation are in conformity with pure grace. There is much that is held in common within all these rules for conduct; but this is no justification for their admixture. All that in the law appertains to life under grace is preserved and restated from the law in the great injunctions and beseechings of grace. To transgress these bounds, is to frustrate grace, and to complicate the individual with the system of law in such a manner as to make him a debtor to do the whole law. The law cannot be broken or divided. It stands as a unit. To undertake any part of it, is to be committed to it all. Nothing could be more unreasonable, or more unscriptural, than to borrow some portions from the law system, either that of Moses, or of the kingdom, and, at the same time, reject other portions. He who will choose the law must, to be consistent, do the whole law (Rom. 10:5), and if he shall break it at one point, he is guilty of all (Jas. 2:10). How precious are the riches of grace in Christ Jesus! How sweet and fitting to the child of God in grace are the heavenly beseechings of grace! II. THE ORDER VARIES AS TO THE SEQUENCE OF THE DIVINE BLESSING AND THE HUMAN OBLIGATION The second major distinction between the teachings of law and the teachings of grace is seen in the varying order between the divine blessing and the human obligation. This variation is found to exist when the principle of grace is compared with the principle of law in any form of the law whatsoever. It is equally true of the law of Moses, the law of the kingdom, or, when legally stated, of the larger conception of the law as being the whole revealed will of God. When the human obligation is presented first, and the divine blessing is made to depend on the faithful discharge of that obligation, it is of and in conformity with pure law. When the divine blessing is presented first, and the human obligation follows, it is of and in conformity with pure grace. The varying orders under law and grace may be stated in the words “do and live”: or “live and do.” In the case of the law, it is do something with a view to being something; in the case of grace, it is be made something with a view to doing something. Is the Christian who is under grace saved and kept by good works, or is he saved and kept unto good works? The law said “If you will do good, I will bless you”; grace says, “I have blessed you, now do good.” Under the law, man lives well to become accepted of God; under grace man lives well since it becomes one to live well who is already accepted. The law presents first a human work to be done: grace always presents first a divine work to be believed. Law begins with the question as to what man ought to do; grace begins with the question as to what God has already done. Every word of the law revelation is thus made to be a conditional covenant of human works: while every word of the grace revelation is made to be an unconditional covenant of divine works. The instructions given to Israel under Moses, and the instructions proposed for the government of the yet future kingdom in the earth, are purely legal in their character. The farewell word of Moses to Israel as recorded in the closing chapters of Deuteronomy is the crystallization of the whole law of Moses. One passage is the heart of this message: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be … But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be” … (Deut. 28:1–68). Every teaching of the kingdom which contemplates the responsibility of the individual is, in like manner, based on a covenant of human works, and is, therefore, purely legal in character. This may be observed in all the kingdom teachings of the Old Testament, and the kingdom teachings of the New Testament. Grace is extended to the nation when, apart from all merit, she is placed in her land, and restored to divine blessing; but the rule of the King will be on the basis of pure law, and the responsibility of the individual to that rule necessarily will be in conformity to the same. Beyond what has gone before in the discussion, this fact will need but a passing illustration from the kingdom teachings of the New Testament: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”; “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”; “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven”; “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”; “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”; “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven … Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man” (Mt. 5:5, 7, 20; 6:14, 15; 7:1, 2, 21–24). To this may be added all other kingdom teachings of the New Testament. The kingdom teachings, likewise, are to be distinguished from the teachings of grace by the order which each presents between the divine blessing and the human obligation. The word of the kingdom is, he that heareth my words and doeth them shall be blessed (Mt. 7:24). The word of grace is, he that heareth my words and believeth them shall be blessed (John 5:24). In the teachings of grace, the gracious, divine blessing always precedes, and is followed by the human obligation. This is the order maintained throughout the great doctrinal Epistles of the New Testament. These Epistles are therefore subject to a two-fold division. In the first division, the mighty undertakings of God for man are disclosed: while in the second division the saved one is besought and exhorted to live on the plane to which he has been brought in the exceeding grace of God. The first division of the Book of Romans is the unfolding of the saving grace of God toward sinners, which is extended to them on the sole condition that they believe (1:16; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4); the second division is an appeal for a corresponding manner of daily life, which life is “reasonable” in view of the results which God has already achieved in sovereign grace. This appeal is stated in the first verse of the second section: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). The Book of Ephesians opens with three chapters in which there is not one requirement for human conduct; it is the unfolding of the marvelous grace of God in bringing the believer to the exalted heavenly positions which are his in Christ. The opening verse of the second section is a condensation of all that follows: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [calling] wherewith ye are called” (Eph. 4:1). So, in like manner, the Book of Colossians opens with a portion which is devoid of even a semblance of an appeal in matters of conduct, since it is occupied with the unfolding of the glory of Christ and the fact of the perfect standing of the believer in Him. The second portion is an appeal: not for the human works which might induce God so to bless the sinner; but for works which are consistent with the present, God-wrought, glorious union with Christ: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). The grace order between the divine blessing and the human obligation is preserved in every offer of salvation to the sinner and in every purpose looking toward the preservation of the saint. Since this is the basis of the divine purpose in the ages and the only hope of the sinner, or the saint, it should not be questioned upon a superficial consideration of the Scriptures. There is the widest possible difference between the two replies of Christ to practically the same question: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Answer:—“This do, and thou shalt live.” Again: “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Answer:—“This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom he hath sent.” One answer is related to the law of the kingdom: the other is related to grace, wherein Christ is seen as the “living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” It is to be concluded, therefore, that the sinner is saved by grace apart from every human demand other than that he receive that grace as it is for him in Christ, and that the saint is kept by grace unto good works; but not by good works. The righteous Father must insist on the good works in the life of His child; but He does not make these works the condition of His faithfulness. This is the vital distinction, then, between the order relating divine blessing with human obligation in the two systems—law and grace. One is a covenant of pure works; the other is a covenant of pure grace. Since the covenant of grace which is based on human faith was established in the promises made to Abraham, the covenant of the law, made four hundred years later, and added only for a temporary purpose, cannot disannul it. The reign of law, with its covenant of works, ceased with the death of Christ. Its purpose had been accomplished, and its appointed time had expired. Thus the by-faith principle which was announced in the Abrahamic covenant is brought again into force through the death of Christ. The divine blessing is now unto him that “worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly.” “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:3, 5, 24, 25). By this Scripture it is announced that the by-faith principle of the Abrahamic covenant is continued and now offered through the sacrificial death of Christ. This fact is restated thus: “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.… The law is not of faith” (Gal. 3:9–12). The law was a covenant of works; but the works always failed through the weakness of the flesh, and the law then became, of necessity, a condemnation and curse. According to this same Scripture, the holy will of God is not ignored in grace: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (3:13). This, it must be observed, was wrought under the one great purpose: “That the blessing of Abraham [acceptance in the imputed righteousness of God] might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ” (3:14). After declaring that the law has passed, either as the grounds of the justification of the sinner (Gal. 3:24), or as the rule of life for the believer (Gal. 3:25), the Apostle challenges the law-ridden Christians at Galatia to consider the fact and force of two great covenants which can in no wise co-exist. He therefore points out that one gave way to the other: “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law [and he is writing to Christians only, concerning the law as a rule of their lives], do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants [the by-works covenant which would depend on the flesh and the by-faith covenant which would depend only on God]; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar [the bondmaid]. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia [where the Mosaic law was given], and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children [Israel]. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all [typified by Sarah, who illustrates the by-faith principle which depends on God alone]. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not [suggesting the utter helplessness of the flesh before God]; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband [or the arm of flesh on which one might depend]. Now we, brethren [Christians], as Isaac was, are the children of promise [we have been saved by faith]. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman [not merely her offspring, but the whole by-works principle which she represents] and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” (Gal. 4:21–31). It was concerning the promise of the supernatural birth of Isaac that Abraham believed God, and that belief was counted unto him for righteousness. Afterwards, Abraham turned to the flesh in the birth of Ishmael (Gen. 16:1–4). This two-fold fact illustrates, with all the perfection of the Word of God, the two covenants—one of faith, and the other of works. The lapse in Abraham’s faith typified the intrusion of an age of law. So, also, the relationship with Agar represents what man can do in his effort to be accepted of God. The supernatural relationship with Sarah represents what God can do for one who will believe. The marvels of grace are indicated by the multitudinous offspring of Sarah: not that her physical seed, Israel, are the children of faith; but they, being more exalted than the children of Agar, typify the surpassing victory of God through grace. There can be no co-mingling, or compromising, of these two great covenants. “What saith the Scripture?” should be the end of discussion. The testimony is, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” The by-works principle of the law, and the by-faith principle of grace, cannot co-operate, or co-exist, either in the salvation of the sinner, or in the rule of life for the believer. The by-works principle of the law is not limited to the fleshly effort to do the particular things found in the law of Moses, and the law of the kingdom. It is the fleshly effort to do anything by which one seeks to become acceptable to God. Therefore, when the teachings of grace are attempted with a view to being accepted of God, they become purely legal in their character. In like manner, when the elements which are contained in the law and restated under grace are attempted in the power of the Spirit and on the basis that acceptance with God is already gained through Christ, these precepts become purely gracious in their character. This principle may be extended to the larger sphere of any and all self-imposed law, regardless of Bible injunctions. In which case it will be seen that the doing of any good works with a view to being accepted of God, is purely legal in character; contrawise, the doing of any good works because one believes himself to be accepted through Christ, is purely gracious in character. The legalist may thus enter the field of the teachings of grace and suppose himself to be subject to the whole Bible, when, in reality, he has no conception of the blessings and relationships in grace. A person either chooses to accept Christ in the confidence that Christ is all he will ever need to make himself acceptable to God, or he chooses to depend on the best that he can do for himself by good works. The latter is the normal bent of the natural mind. The proposition of becoming acceptable to God by being good, appeals to the fallen heart as the only reasonable thing to do, and, apart from that which it has pleased God to reveal concerning grace, it is the only reasonable thing to do. It therefore becomes a question of believing the Record God has given concerning His Son (1 John 5:10). Since there is so much delusion in a counterfeit, the person most difficult to reach with the Gospel of divine grace is the person who is trying to do all that a Christian ought to do, but is doing it as a means of becoming accepted before God. His willing acknowledgment of the value of the Christian life, his unquestioned reception into the fellowship of believers, and his real sincerity in all Christian activities, constitute his greatest hindrance. Such an one is more deluded than the person who acknowledges no relationship to God. Both fall short and are lost through their failure to believe on Christ as the all-sufficient Savior; but, naturally, the person who has no false hope is more apt to become conscious of the fact that he is lost than is the person who believes he is a Christian. The law cannot save, and the one who transforms the teachings of grace into a legal system by attempting to do them in order that he may be right with God, is still unsaved. Turning to meritorious works as a basis of salvation, be those works a precise counterfeit of a true Christian life, is to be under a by-works relation to God, and therefore to be under condemnation; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight. Turning to meritorious works as the basis of keeping after one is saved, or as a rule of life for the saved, is to return to a by-works relation to God, from which one has already been saved. It is to fall from grace, and to lose the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. The by-works principle can no more avail for our keeping, than it can avail for our salvation. As God could provide Abraham with a seed under an unconditional covenant, so, under the same unconditional covenant, He could guarantee the future of that seed even to the time when their number shall exceed the stars of the heavens. Likewise, under the present unconditional covenant of grace made in the blood of Christ, God can guarantee the future security of every child of His under grace. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure (Rom. 4:16). Lastly, the covenant of works is “cast out” because it is fulfilled and superseded by the fuller and more perfect covenant of faith. All that the covenant of works contemplated as a result of a lifetime of human struggle, is instantly accomplished in the power of God through the covenant of faith. By faith in Christ, the believer is made the righteousness of God in Him, and made accepted in the Beloved. This is a perfection of relationship with God to which no human works could ever attain, and to which human works can add nothing. Being related to God through the by-faith principle, the whole object of law-works is more than fulfilled. Thus the law is ended in the death of Christ. The bondwoman is cast out. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Amazing indeed, is the blindness of heart that is not instructed by the tragic experience of failure on the part of the countless millions who have been lost under the by-works covenant! Yet men are still turning to their own works, both moral and religious, in the vain hope that through them they may be accepted of God. To such He must ever be as unapproachable as the mountain of awful fire, thunder, lightning, and earthquake; but to the one who turns to the sufficiency which is in Christ, God becomes the Father of all mercies, and His power and grace are exercised in the behalf of that one for all time and eternity. The awful throne of God’s holy judgments becomes a throne of infinite grace. To one thus saved, and whose security is guaranteed, the by-works covenant of the law is in no wise adapted as a rule of life; for that covenant looks beyond to a time of acceptance still future, when the flesh shall have completed its task. Only the teachings of grace are consistent for one who is saved by grace. Those teachings alone counsel him as to that manner of life which is in accord with his present position in grace. The second major distinction between the rule of law and the rule of grace is, then, that these two systems are opposites in reference to the order between the divine blessing and the human obligation, and this holds true for any life or service whatsoever which may be undertaken. III. BECAUSE OF DIFFERENT DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY AND DIFFERENT DEGREES OF DIVINE ENABLEMENT The three rules of life—the law of Moses, the law of the kingdom, and the teachings of grace—are widely different because of two facts: (1) The requirements of the manner of life under them are far from uniform, and (2) these systems differ in the degree of divine enablement which is provided in each. These two facts are so closely related with these governing systems that it is necessary to consider these two facts in their relation to each rule of life: First, The Law of Moses In discussing the law as a regulation for human conduct, attention should be given, 1. As to the measure of requirement which is imposed The standard of conduct presented by the law of Moses was limited in its requirements to the extent that its demands were imposed on even unregenerate men. The Mosaic law was addressed to the natural man, and, it is evident, its requirements did not exceed his limitations; yet because of the weakness of the flesh, these demands were never actually fulfilled by any person other than Christ. 2. As to the degree of divine enablement There is no hint in connection with the proclamation of the law of Moses of any divine enablement being provided for the keeping of that law. God addressed those commandments to men, and the result was no more than the unaided flesh would produce. The law dispensation, extending over a period of fifteen hundred years, thus became a demonstration of the universal failure of man under the reign of pure law. Christ, through His death, became the end of the reign of law; as He, through His death, is the end of confidence in self-works for all who put their trust in Him. Second. The Law of the Kingdom Again, attention should be given, 1. As to the measure of requirement which is imposed The standard of conduct which will be required under the law of the kingdom is, as has been seen, advanced and intensified in its demands beyond that which is presented under the law of Moses. In the kingdom rule, portions of the Mosaic law are extended beyond the overt act to include the very thought and intent of the heart. Added to this, there are entirely new requirements concerning matters of personal yieldedness and devotion to God which are foreign to the Mosaic system. 2. As to the degree of divine enablement The degree of divine enablement which will obtain under the rule of the kingdom is seen in three provisions: (a) The environment, (b) the inclined heart, and (c) the outpoured Spirit. (a) The environment in the kingdom will be that of a purified, transformed earth; creation will be delivered from its present bondage and corruption; Satan will be bound and confined to the abyss; and the subjects in the kingdom will realize the immediate power and inspiration of the personal reign of the King, which will be extended over all the earth. (b) Added to this is the revealed fact that the King will have inclined the hearts of His people to do His holy will. This great promise is made to Israel as a vital part of the new covenant under which Israel, during the reign of her Messiah King, will yet live in her own land (Cf Jer. 31:33–37; Heb. 8:7–12). These kingdom blessings will also be extended to the nations of the earth (Isa. 11:10). In the prophecy by Moses concerning the attitude of heart which Israel will experience when restored to her own land, we read: “And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.… And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day” (Deut. 30:5–8. Cf Hos. 2:14–23; Zeph. 3:14–20; Rom. 11:26, 27). So, again, in the new covenant it is stated: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:31–34. Cf Heb. 8:8–12). (c) The promise concerning “the last days” for Israel, according to Joel 2:28–32, is that the Spirit is to be poured out upon all flesh. He records further: “And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” That this great promise began to be fulfilled at Pentecost, is explicitly stated by Peter in his sermon on that day. It must be borne in mind, however, that Peter’s reference to Joel’s prophecy concerning the kingdom was made in connection with the renewed appeal to Israel, extended at Pentecost, that she repent and receive her Messiah whom she had slain. As the Gospel was extended to Gentiles in the formation of the Church, the abiding ministries of the Spirit became evident, and the final outpouring of the Spirit which, according to Joel, is to characterize the inception of the kingdom in the earth, awaits the return and enthronement of the King. Little is revealed as to the enabling power of the Spirit for the individual’s life and conduct in the kingdom. Doubtless, to some extent, such power will be imparted. The particular emphasis falls on the national glory as suggested by the phrase “all flesh,” and the individual is said to be moved to prophesy and to see visions and to dream dreams. Thus will Israel be situated in the kingdom. She will have her added responsibilities in the larger demands of the kingdom law, and she will have the added advantage of the kingdom environment, the inclined heart to do the will of the King, and upon her the Spirit will be poured out. Third, The Teachings of Grace The standard of conduct prescribed under the teachings of grace is immeasurably more difficult to maintain than that prescribed either by the law of Moses, or the law of the kingdom. It is as much higher than these as heaven is higher than the earth. Similarly, the divine enablement provided under grace is nothing less than the infinite power of the indwelling Spirit. The teachings of grace are addressed only to the supernatural man who is both born of the Spirit and indwelt by the Spirit. These teachings are such as naturally belong to a citizen of heaven. Since the saving work of God places the believer in the heavenly positions in Christ, and transfers his citizenship from earth to heaven, it is only consistent that he should be required to walk as it becometh a citizen of heaven. This, it is evident must be a supernatural life. Turning to the Scriptures which reveal the position and responsibility of the child of God under grace, it is found that a superhuman manner of life is proposed and that a supernatural power is provided for its exact and perfect execution. These are two of the most vital facts concerning the teachings of grace and they should be observed with great care: 1. As to the character of the requirements which are imposed The manner of life which is enjoined under grace is superhuman. This aspect of the teachings of grace may be seen at every point. A very few passages will suffice by way of illustration: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5); “That ye should shew forth the praises [virtues] of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9); “Giving thanks always for all things unto God” (Eph. 5:20); “That ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Eph. 4:1); “Walk in the light” (1 John 1:7); “Walk in love” (Eph. 5:2); “Walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16); “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4:30); “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thes. 5:19). There is no question as to the superhuman character of these injunctions. What human resource is able to reproduce the very virtues of Christ? Who is able to give thanks always for all things? Who will be able so to live that he will not grieve the Holy Spirit, nor quench the Spirit? This demand is for a superhuman manner of life, and the passages quoted are only representative of the whole character of the teachings of grace. These teachings surpass the standards of the law of Moses in the measure in which infinity surpasses the finite. When unfolding the high character of the teachings of grace, Christ said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”; “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34; 15:12). The new commandment is in contrast to an old commandment of Moses: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” These Scriptures may be taken as a fair illustration of the difference between the standards of the law of Moses, and the standards of grace. Under the Mosaic system, love for others was to be in the degree in which one loved himself: under grace it is to be in the degree in which Christ has loved us and given His life for us (1 John 3:16). The standards of the teachings of grace surpass the standards of the laws of the kingdom. The same example—of love one for another—will again illustrate. The requirement in the kingdom on this point is stated thus: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?” (Mt. 5:43–46). This is a great advance over the standard of love demanded under the law of Moses. There love was required to a limited degree; but nothing was said concerning the necessary attitude toward the enemy. Christ implies that the law of Moses proposed love for the neighbor and hate for the enemy. The degree of love expected under the ideals of the kingdom is only such as might reasonably be expected from the heart that has been inclined to do the kingdom law. It bears no comparison to the standards of love which are proposed under grace. Consider, first, that love under grace is the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22). Literally, “the love of God is shed abroad [gushes forth] in our hearts by [out from] the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5). This both guarantees the exact reproduction in the child of God of the love of Christ—“as I have loved you”—and destroys every ground of personal reward for such love. The believer is not said to be rewarded for those graces which are not his own, but which are produced in him by the indwelling Spirit. On the other hand, love, according to the standards of the kingdom is distinctly said to be a matter for personal reward. By such love for enemies, the children of the kingdom will be the children of their Father which is in heaven. This, it is evident, is made to depend on self-wrought conformity to the Father who Himself is benevolent to His enemies. In the “Sermon on the Mount,” the Spirit is not once mentioned nor is any divine enablement suggested. Consider, also, that love, as anticipated in the teachings of grace, is the very heart of the Evangel and evangelism. By the imparted, divine compassion for the lost which brought Christ from heaven to earth and took Him to the cross to die, under grace, men are to be impelled to win souls. Such divine compassion for souls has been the dynamic of all soul-winning work from Pentecost until now. It was the experience of the Apostle Paul as disclosed in his testimony: “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:1–3). There was no occasion for the Apostle to be accursed from Christ, nor did he expect to be; but he was willing to be. Thus was the love of Christ, who bore the sin of others, definitely reproduced in the one in whom the Spirit wrought. True passion for the salvation of men is not a manifestation of love springing out of human nature. It must be imparted from God. Therefore evangelism is neither expected nor required in either the law of Moses, or the law of the kingdom. By this very partial treatment of the varying degrees of difficulty presented in these dissimilar rules of conduct, it may be seen that the standards under grace are infinitely higher than the standards of either the law of Moses, or the law of the kingdom. They are superhuman. 2. As to the divine enablement A supernatural power is provided for the exact and perfect execution of the superhuman rule of life under grace. There is no aspect of the teachings of grace which is more vital than this, or which so fully differentiates these teachings from every other rule of life in the Bible. Under grace, the all powerful, abiding, indwelling and sufficient Holy Spirit of God is given to every saved person. This statement is abundantly established by revelation (John 7:37–39; Rom. 5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:12; 6:19; Gal. 3:2; 1 Thes. 4:8; 1 John 3:24; 4:13),1 and is assumed in every teaching of grace. The superhuman manner of life under grace is not addressed to some spiritual company alone within the whole body of Christ; it is addressed to all believers alike. The imposition of this superhuman manner of life upon all believers alike, carries with it the revelation that all have the supernatural power by which to live according to the superhuman standards. This, it is evident, is according to the teaching of the Word of God. The character of pure grace is destroyed when the reception of the Spirit into the individual heart is made to depend on any human merit, goodness, or personal consecration whatsoever. In 1 Cor. 6:19, 20 we read: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The law element is excluded here. Under the law, it would have been written: “Glorify God in your bodies and spirit and ye shall become temples of the Holy Spirit.” Under grace, believers are temples of the Spirit without reference to merit, and this is true of every aspect of their salvation. The fact that they are temples of the indwelling Spirit is the basis of this appeal for a holy life. A consideration of 1 Cor. 5:1, 2, 13; 6:1–8 will give abundant evidence of the meritless condition of the Corinthian saints at the time the Spirit addressed this appeal to them through the Apostle Paul. The earnest supplication is for a daily life which corresponds to the wonderful fact that they are already temples of the Spirit. There is an important distinction to be noted between the indwelling and the infilling with the Spirit. No Scripture asserts that all believers are filled with the Spirit. The filling with the Spirit, which is the requirement for an experience of blessing and the exercise of divine power, is an issue which should be considered wholly apart from the revelation concerning the indwelling Spirit. The fact that the Spirit indwells every believer is peculiar to the age of grace. In the law dispensation, for particular divine purposes, certain individuals were, at times, filled with the Spirit; but there is no revelation stating that every Israelite, being under the law, was a temple of the Spirit. In like manner, under the law, there was no abiding character to the relationship between the Spirit and individuals upon whom He came (Ps. 51:11). The Spirit came upon them, or departed, according to the sovereign purpose of God. Under grace, the Spirit is not only given to every believer, but He never withdraws. This assurance is based on the unfailing prayer of Christ (John 14:16). This is in precise accordance with the conditions embodied in the covenant of grace. Should human merit determine His abiding presence, then, under that relationship, the basic principle of grace would be superseded by the principle of law-works. The entrance of the Spirit into the heart, and His abiding presence there, is a part of the saving and keeping power of God, which is by grace alone. The revelation of the New Testament with regard to the indwelling, abiding Spirit in every believer is in full agreement with the doctrine of pure grace. When considering the question of the enabling power of the Spirit in the individual lives of the children of the kingdom, it will be seen from the Scriptures that, at the opening of that period at least, the Spirit is to come upon all flesh, and the individual will prophesy, dream dreams, and see visions (Joel 2:28–32; Acts 2:16–22); but there is no revelation to the effect that this will be an abiding presence and ministry, since it is related to mighty signs and wonders in nature which accompany the second advent of Messiah. And, in like manner, there is no revelation concerning the enabling power of the Spirit for conduct in the daily life of the individual in the kingdom. The kingdom teachings of the Scriptures do not emphasize the work of the Spirit. Any divine provision for personal enablement in daily life, it would seem from a careful examination of the Scriptures, is foreign to every aspect of law-rule; whether it be that of Moses, or that of the kingdom. So vital is the fact that the enabling Spirit is now given to every believer as a part of salvation by grace, that it is presented as a fundamental characteristic of this age. This is the dispensation of the indwelling Spirit. We read: “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit [Spirit], and not in the oldness of the letter” (Rom. 7:6). Thus the new enabling power of the Spirit characterizes this age, as the “oldness of the letter” characterized the age that is past. Likewise circumcision is now “of the heart,” in the Spirit, and not in the “letter” (Rom. 2:29), or as it was in the flesh under the law. Again, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit [Spirit]: for the letter killeth, but the spirit [Spirit] giveth life” (2 Cor. 3:6). Reference in this passage is not made to different methods of interpreting Scripture—a spiritualizing, or a literal method; but to two dispensations with their different methods of divine rule. “The letter killeth”—such is the inevitable ministry of the law; “But the spirit giveth life”—divine life, spiritual vitality, energy, and power is provided for the believer under grace, and for every believer alike. Thus it is revealed that the blessing of the indwelling Spirit is an essential characteristic of this age. If the manner of life under grace is superhuman, so, also, the provided enablement is supernatural, and is as limitless as the infinite power of God. Since God has proposed a humanly impossible manner of life, He has, in full consistency, provided the Spirit who giveth life. Too much emphasis cannot be placed on the fact that, since God has proposed the impossible rule of life and provided the sufficient Spirit, the believer’s responsibility is thereby changed from being a struggle of the flesh to being a reliance on the Spirit. Grace thus introduces a new problem for the believer’s life which is wholly foreign to every aspect of the law. It is the problem of the adjustment of the heart to the holy presence of the Spirit, and of maintaining the unbroken attitude of dependence on the Spirit. The new principle of achievement consists in getting things accomplished in the believer’s daily life and service by trusting the power of Another, rather than by trusting the energy of the flesh. The revelation concerning this new problem of life under grace constitutes the major part of the teaching of the Epistles. Not only is the faith principle directly taught in the Epistles; it is implied and assumed in every injunction under grace. The unfolding of the precise relationship between the personality of the Spirit, and the personality of the believer, is not omitted. Experimentally, the believer, when empowered by the Spirit, will be conscious only of the exercise of his own faculties. The Spirit does not disclose His presence directly; His ministry is to reveal and glorify Christ. His presence will be evidenced, however, by the victory that is wrought, which victory could be wrought only by the Spirit. Thus, either the by-works principle of the law, or the by-faith principle of grace, may be chosen by the believer as a method of achievement even within the deepest issues of Christian conduct and service. If these heaven-high demands are undertaken in the energy of the flesh, they become purely legal in character; if they are undertaken in full reliance on the provided energy of the Spirit, they are purely gracious in character. One is wholly within the scope of the covenant of the law, which covenant is based on works; the other is wholly within the scope of the covenant of grace, which covenant is based on faith. Thus the teachings of grace, when attempted in the energy of the flesh, become a legal code, the demands of which are the most impossible to meet. How very many Christians are under this aspect of law; even those who give some attention to the actual precepts of grace! There are two inseparable revelations given in the grace teachings of the New Testament. Each one is the counterpart, complement, and supplement of the other, and untold violence is done to the whole revealed purpose of God in this age when either one of these themes is made to stand alone. One theme is presented in that body of Scripture which sets forth the character of conduct that is becoming to the one who is already saved and safe in the grace of God; the other theme is presented in that body of Scripture which sets forth the fact that the life in grace is to be lived in sole dependence on the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit. The latter body of Scripture includes all the details and instructions concerning the life of faith, and the walk in the Spirit. It is obviously imperative that these two revelations shall not be separated. Otherwise, on the one hand, the teachings of grace will seem to be an impossible law-code, or, on the other hand, the walk in the Spirit will seem to be an uncharted, aimless procedure. In the grace teachings of the New Testament, these two aspects of truth are never separated. In adducing proof of this, it is impossible in a work of this length to review every Scripture bearing upon this truth. Proceeding from the fact that the superhuman manner of life under grace is taught in all the New Testament books beginning with the Gospel by John, there is space for only one quotation from each of these up to, and including, the Epistle to the Colossians. This body of Scripture discloses the truth that the life in grace is to be lived only by the enabling power of God: John 7:37–39. “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified).” Here the superhuman outflow of rivers of living water is distinctly said to be the result of the energy of the Spirit. Acts 1:8. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me.” The revelation here is that, apart from the power of the Spirit, there can be no vital witness unto Christ. Rom. 6:14; 8:4. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” No enabling power was provided for the doing of the law; but such power is provided under grace. “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” No passage in the teachings of grace is more decisive than this. “The righteousness of the law,” referred to, is evidently no less than the whole will of God for His child under grace. This divine will is to be fulfilled in the believer; but never by the believer. 1 Cor. 12:4–7. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh [energiseth] all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man [Christian] to profit withal.” As all Christian service is by the exercise of a spiritual gift, these gifts are wholly realized by the energy of the power of God. 2 Cor. 10:3–5. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [fleshly], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds); casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” For this superhuman manner of life, the believer is to be “mighty through God.” Gal. 5:16. “This I say then, Walk in [by means of] the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” This promise is as sure as it is far-reaching. Eph. 6:10, 11. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” True overcoming strength is none other than the imparted “power of God.” Phil. 2:13. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Here the divine enablement reaches to the very molding of the desires of the heart, and to the full accomplishment of those desires. Col. 2:6. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” In this Scripture the very same faith-principle, by which alone a soul can be saved, is continued as the principle by which alone he is to walk. The whole aspect of grace, which provides a supernatural sufficiency for the superhuman, heavenly conduct, and which is the believer’s reasonable life and service, is summed up in two great doctrines of the New Testament: a. The superhuman manner of life is to be Christlike. He is the pattern: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5); “As he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17); “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21); “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). To be inlawed to Christ (1 Cor. 9:21) is to be committed to the very standard of which He is the ideal. Therefore the Christian’s standard is superhuman, and beyond the power of human achievement. b. It is the supreme purpose of the indwelling Spirit to reproduce Christlikeness in the believer. The most comprehensive statement of the reproduction of Christ in the believer is found in Gal. 5:22, 23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (self-control). Every word, as here used, represents a superhuman quality of life. It is an exact description of the life of Christ; but Christlikeness is never gained by the energy of the flesh. These virtues are not found in human nature; they are the “fruit of the Spirit.” Under the law, that degree of love is required which is possible to the natural man; under grace, the divine love is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit. This is true of all the superhuman demands under grace. They are wrought into the life by the Spirit. The heavenly standard requires: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). This is humanly impossible, but the fruit of the Spirit is “joy,” and the Lord has said, “That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13). The standard of grace requires that “The peace of God” shall “rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:15). Man has never achieved this, but the fruit of the Spirit is “peace,” and Christ has said: “My peace I give unto you” (John 14:27). The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit represents the true Christian graces, since under grace, this fruit is produced in the heart and life by the Spirit. Likewise, Christian service is to be superhuman. It is the outflow of “rivers of living water”; but “this spake he of the Spirit” (John 7:37–39). It is the full proof of “that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2); but, “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). It is all supernaturally wrought; for it is the exercise of a spiritual gift—a “manifestation of the Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:7). As Christian character is the composite of the inwrought graces, so Christian service is an imparted “grace.” “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Eph. 4:7); and, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Cor. 12:7). Divine grace, inwrought and imparted by the indwelling Spirit, results in a manifestation of the very graciousness of God in and through the heart of the believer. It is in no sense an imitation of God’s graciousness; it is a reproduction by the indwelling Spirit of that graciousness in the life and service of the believer. This truth is one of the most extensive doctrines of the New Testament (Cf Rom. 12:3–6; 15:15; 1 Cor. 1:4; 3:10; 15:10; 2 Cor. 1:12; 4:15; 6:1–3; 8:1, 6, 7, 9; 9:8, 14; 12:9; Gal. 2:9; Eph. 3:2–8; 4:7, 29; Phil. 1:7; Col. 3:16; 4:6; 2 Thes. 1:12; 2 Tim. 2:1; Heb. 4:16; 12:15; Jas. 4:6; and 2 Pet. 3:18). It may be concluded, then, that there are three major distinctions between law and grace: (1) They are unlike because they impose separate and sufficient rules of life, which are, in their character, either wholly legal or wholly gracious; (2) They are unlike because there are in these systems opposite orders between the human obligation and the divine blessing; and (3) They are unlike because the requirements of these systems of divine rule differ, with corresponding revelations concerning divine enablement provided in each. SECTION FIVE THE LAW DONE AWAY Since law and grace are opposed to each other at every point, it is impossible for them to co-exist, either as the ground of acceptance before God or as the rule of life. Of necessity, therefore, the Scriptures of the New Testament which present the facts and scope of grace, both assume and directly teach that the law is done away. Consequently, it is not in force in the present age in any sense whatsoever. This present nullification of the law applies not only to the legal code of the Mosaic system and the law of the kingdom, but to every possible application of the principle of law. The larger conception of the law, as before defined, is three-fold: (1) The actual written instructions of both the teachings of Moses and the teachings of the kingdom; (2) The law covenant of works in all of its applications, which conditions blessing and acceptance with God on the ground of personal merit; And, (3) the law principle of dependence on the energy of the flesh, in place of the faith principle of a dependence on the power of the indwelling Spirit. It will also be seen that (4) Judaism is done away. That the law, in the widest three-fold meaning of the term, is now set aside, is revealed as a fundamental fact in the divine economy of grace. That the law has now ceased, even in its widest meaning, should he considered with unprejudiced attention. I. THE ACTUAL WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS OF BOTH THE TEACHINGS OF THE LAW OF MOSES AND THE KINGDOM ARE DONE AWAY These actual written commandments, either of Moses or the kingdom, are not the rule of the believer’s life under grace, any more than these systems are the basis of his salvation. The complete withdrawal of the authority of these two systems of law will now be considered: First, The Passing of the Law of Moses is the Explicit Teaching of the New Testament Scriptures An important and determining feature of this truth is found in the difference which is revealed between the abiding, eternal character of the Abrahamic covenant and the temporal, limited character of the law covenant of Sinai. The Abrahamic covenant anticipated both the earthly seed through Israel, and the spiritual seed that would stand related to God on the principle of faith. This covenant, being without human condition, simply declares the unchanging purpose of Jehovah. It will be achieved in pure grace, apart from every human factor, and its accomplishments are eternal. On the one hand, the covenant of the Mosaic law was a temporary, ad interim, dealing with God, which was deliberately chosen by the nation Israel, and which applied to them only. It was plainly designed to govern that people in their land, and for such time as might intervene between their acceptance of that covenant, and the coming of the promised Seed. The Seed is Christ. The coming of Christ into the world was the realization of the hope contained in the Abrahamic covenant, and, of necessity, the termination of the ad interim reign of the law. We read: “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise [the Abrahamic covenant] made of none effect: because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression [though there is sin]. Therefore it [the promise through Abraham] is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law [believing Israelites], but to that also which is of the faith [even believing Gentiles] of Abraham; who is the father [on a faith principle] of us all.… And therefore it [the faith] was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Rom. 4:13–24). Thus it is demonstrated that the law has no place in the divine dealings under grace. “We read again: The law “was added … till the seed should come” (Gal. 3:19); but when the Seed did come, the authority of the Mosaic law was no longer required, or even possible, as a principle of divine rule. It was the purpose of God to close every door of access to Himself, but one. This fact is next stated in the argument from the Scriptures: “But the scripture hath concluded all [both Jew and Gentile] under sin” (Gal. 3:22). This, it has been seen, is more than a declaration that men are sinners by nature and by practice, and therefore subject to divine displeasure; it is a universal, judicial decree which places the whole race absolutely without merit before God From that position there is no escape other than through the exercise of pure grace on the part of God. The divine motive in the universal sentence of the race under sin is declared to be, according to that which follows in the text: “That the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Gal. 3:22). Thus the ad interim reign of the law is completely annulled, and the divine blessing is now centered in Christ as the sole object of faith, being promised to them that believe. The law principle is not retained as a possible optional relationship to God: “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). It is important to observe, however, that, while God has completely terminated the reign of law by the death of Christ, so far as His relation to man is concerned, man is free to reject or distort the truth of God, and to impose the law obligation upon himself. In such a case, it does not follow that God accepts, or even recognizes, any self-imposed legalism. He could not do so. It does follow, however, that the self-constituted legalist, to be consistent with his own choice, should any part of the law be accepted as binding, must observe the whole of the law to do it. The law was a unit. He that offendeth in one point is guilty of all; whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law, and, he is a debtor to do the whole law. Since the law is done away, these statements can only apply to the one who, without divine sanction or recognition, has assumed the obligation of the law. The following Scriptures disclose the fact that the law was never given to any people other than Israel: “Hear, O Israel” (Deut. 5:1); “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law” (Rom. 9:4); “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature [practice] the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves” (Rom. 2:14); “Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law” (John 18:31); “Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: but if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters” (Acts 18:14, 15). The chief captain of the Roman army wrote of Paul, “Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law” (Acts 23:29). Paul answered for himself: “Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all” (Acts 25:8); “But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their [not your] law” (John 15:25). There is no record of any assumption of the law on the part of Gentiles before the death of Christ. At the cross, it will be seen, the divine application of the law ceased even for the Jews, and all—Jew and Gentile—were shut up to grace alone; but the Jews, because of unbelief, still persist in the observance of the law which was given to them from God by the hand of Moses; while Gentiles, because of failure to recognize the meaning of the death of Christ and the essential character of pure grace, are assuming the law obligation. This many are doing, some as a means unto justification before God, and some who are saved by faith in Christ, as a rule of life. These two errors—that of the Jew and that of the Gentile—are clearly set forth in Scripture. Of Israel it is said: “But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.” But in the case of an individual Jew receiving Christ it is said: “Nevertheless when it [the heart of a Jew] shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away” (2 Cor. 3:15, 16). Turning to the Gentiles, there are two aspects of their assumption of the law: (1) With reference to the certainty of divine judgments on the Gentiles before the cross, or during the period in which the law was divinely imposed on Israel, it is said: “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law.” Then it is added concerning Israel, “And as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law” (Rom. 2:12). It is impossible that this Scripture offers an optional choice between justification by the law, and justification which is by faith alone; for the word is final relative to God’s dealing in this age: “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” (Rom. 3:20). Reference here is, without question, to conditions which did obtain when the law was in force. (2) Regarding assumption of the law by Gentiles it is said: “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature, [practice] the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another” (Rom. 2:14, 15). Thus the anticipation of assumption of the law by Gentiles is revealed, and the precise effect of the law upon them. The conscience is molded and they stand before a self-imposed condemnation. To such there is no blessing. All that the legal conscience can do is to accuse or excuse for failure. Let it never be supposed that, because of self-imposed legality and misguided conscience, there is any divine recognition of Gentiles as being under the law. God must be true to His eternal purpose as revealed in His Word, and men stand, or fall, before Him now on the sole basis of their attitude toward His saving grace in Christ. Those who are now lost may honestly suppose that they do the will of God in perpetuating the principle of the law with its blasting curse; but they are lost notwithstanding, apart from Christ. It is the people of a past age who will be judged by the law. The Gentiles who now practice the things contained in the law are not said to be subject to divine judgment because of broken law: they are, by that self-imposed law, either self-accused, or self-excused, according as they have created a conscience in regard to the law. The law produces the effect only of discomfort, misdirection, confusion, and limitation of their own conscience. Before turning to the positive teaching of the Scripture relative to the passing of the law, it may be important to restate the three major aspects of the law, which are yet to he considered in this connection more at length: 1. Both the commandments and requirements of the Mosaic system, and the commandments and requirements of the kingdom, are wholly legal in their character, and, together, comprise the written statement of the law; which law, it will be seen, is set aside during the present reign of grace. 2. Every human work, be it even the impossible, heaven-high beseeching of grace, which is wrought with a view to meriting acceptance with God, is of the nature of a legal covenant of works, and, therefore, belongs only to the law. Through the finished work of Christ, acceptance with God is perfectly secured; but that acceptance can be experienced only through a faith which turns from dependence on merit, and rests in Christ as the sufficient Savior. In like manner, it will be seen, the whole proposition of legal, meritorious acceptance with God has passed during the reign of grace. 3. Again, any manner of life, or service, which is lived in dependence on the flesh, rather than in dependence on the Spirit, is legal in character and has passed during the present period in which grace reigns. It is written: “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Gal. 5:18). The law made its appeal only to the flesh, and, therefore, to turn to the flesh, is to turn to the sphere of the law. The law, though wholly superseded by grace, may now be self-imposed. This may be done by turning for a rule of life to the written legal code of Moses, or of the kingdom; it may be done by turning to self-works as the basis of acceptance with God; or it may be done by depending on the energy of the flesh for power to live well-pleasing to God. Self-imposed law, of whatever kind, is not acceptable to God; but it, like all human sin, may be chosen by the free will of man, and may be practiced in opposition to the revealed will of God. In view of the positive Biblical statements relative to the passing of the law, question may be raised as to the meaning of certain passages: Gal. 3:23. “But before faith came we were kept under the law.” This is in no sense the present experience of the unsaved before they accept Christ. The Apostle is here speaking as a Jew, and of those circumstances which could have existed only for the Jew of the early church who had lived under both the dispensation of Moses, and the dispensation of grace. Nevertheless, in the wider meaning of the law before stated, all humanity was delivered by the death of Christ from the obligation of meritorious works, and from the necessity of depending on the flesh. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”; “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law”; “God sending his own Son … condemned in sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us” (Gal. 3:10, 13; Rom. 8:3, 4). 1 Cor. 9:20. The Apostle said that he became “to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law.” This is plainly a consideration of the whole class of people who have imposed the law upon themselves in any aspect of the law whatsoever (Note Gal. 4:21). Rom. 4:14. “For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.” This is equally true of all humanity when the larger aspects of the law are in view; but, it should also be pointed out that, the age-long designation of the Jews as being “of the law,” in contrast to Gentiles to whom no law was ever given, still obtained in the early church (Cf Rom. 2:23; 4:16). Rom. 2:13. “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” This is to state an inherent principle of the law. It was an absolute covenant of works. No one is now to be justified by the law (Cf Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:11). Again, “As it is written. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision” (Rom. 2:24, 25). This, likewise, is a principle which belonged to the law. Failure to keep the law was a discredit to God, and an insult to His righteousness (Cf Isa. 52:5). The same principle is a warning to all who attempt, or even contemplate, the keeping of the law (See, also Jas. 2:10). Rom. 3:31. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” The law has never been kept by those who tried to keep it. It is kept, however, by those who humbly acknowledge their helplessness to do anything well-pleasing to God, and who turn and find shelter in Christ who has met every demand of the law for them. Such, and only such have ever vindicated the holy law of God. The people who attempt to keep the law have always outraged the law. Rom. 7:16. “If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.” The use of the word “law” throughout this whole context (7:15 to 8:13) is clearly of the wider sphere of the whole will of God, rather than the limited commandments of Moses. Not once is Moses mentioned; but “the law of God” is three times referred to (7:22, 25; 8:7). The complete passing, through the death of Christ, of the reign of the Mosaic law, even for Israel, is the extended testimony of Scripture. A few important passages which declare the fact of the passing of the law are her given: John 1:16, 17. “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for [added to] grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” According to this passage, the whole Mosaic system was fulfilled, superseded, and terminated in the first advent of Christ. Gal. 3:19–25. “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made … that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we [Jews] were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [child-conductor] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we [Jews] are no longer under a schoolmaster” (the law). Comment is unnecessary concerning this unconditional declaration as to the passing of the Mosaic system. Rom. 6:14. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” While the direct message of this passage is of the enablement that is provided for the life under grace, which was never provided under the law, the positive statement is made, “Ye are not under the law.” Rom. 7:2–6. “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit [Spirit], and not in the oldness of the letter.” Several important revelations are given in this passage. The relation of one who had been under the law (which was true of the Apostle Paul) to the teachings of grace was that of a wife to her second husband. The law, or obligation, of the wife to her husband ceases with his death. Should she be married to a second husband, she is then under an entirely new obligation. The sacrificial death of Christ was the ending of the reign of the law, which law is likened to the first husband. “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead.” Nothing could be clearer than this. The Christian is now under obligation to Christ. He is “inlawed” to Christ. He has only to fulfil “the law of Christ.” Certainly it is most unreasonable to propose that a woman should try to be obligated to two husbands at the same time: yet this is the divine illustration of the error of co-mingling the teachings of law and the teachings of grace. Spiritual polyandry is offensive to God. In the new union which is formed with Christ, there is to be the bringing forth of fruit unto God. This is a reference to the fact that the Christian’s life and service is to be enabled by the power of God and therefore is superhuman. The Christian, it is clearly stated, is not only “dead to the law,” but is “delivered from the law,” and every aspect of the law, that he should serve in “the newness of the Spirit”; for the teachings of grace are particularly characterized by the fact that they are to be wrought by the enabling power of the Spirit. The Christian is not to live and serve in “the oldness of the letter,” which is the law. It is by vital union in the body of Christ as a living member that the believer is both absolved from every other relationship, and is made to be centered only in that which belongs to the living Head. Thus positively is it indicated that the opposing principles of law and grace cannot co-exist as rules of conduct. 2 Cor. 3:7–13. “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: how shall not the ministration of the spirit [Spirit] be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: and not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.” It is the law as crystallized in the Ten Commandments which is in view; for that law alone was “written and engraven in stones.” In the midst of the strongest possible contrasts between the reign of the teachings of the law and the teachings of grace, it is declared that these commandments were “done away,” and “abolished.” It should be recognized that the old was abolished to make place for the new, which far excels in glory. The passing of the law is not, therefore, a loss; it is rather an inestimable gain. The striking contrasts which are presented in this whole context are here arranged in parallels: The Teachings of the Law The Teachings of Grace 1. Written with ink. 1. Written with the Spirit of the living God. 2. In tables of stone. 2. In fleshy tables of the heart. 3. The letter killeth. 3. The Spirit giveth life. 4. The ministration of death. 4. The ministration of the Spirit. 5. Was glorious. 5. Is rather glorious. 6. Done away. 6. Remaineth. 7. Abolished. 7. We have such hope. Gal. 5:18. “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” There is no place left for the law, and hence no occasion for its recognition. To be led of the Spirit is to realize a manner of life which surpasses and more than fulfills every ideal of the law. Eph. 2:15. “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” Col. 2:14. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” John 15:25. “But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law.” This one and only reference in the upper-room discourse to the law of Moses is most significant. As has been shown, Christ, in this discourse, has taken His followers beyond the cross and is unfolding to them the very foundations of the new teachings of grace. These men were Jews; but in this teaching Christ does not speak to them as though the law of Moses was binding on them. He says “their law”; not “your law,” thus indicating that these Jews who had come under grace were no longer under the reign of the law of Moses. By this Scripture not only is the whole law system definitely declared to be done away during the dispensation of grace; but it is noticeable that the law, as law, is never once applied to the believer as the regulating principle of his life under grace. This is not an accidental omission; it is the expression of the mind and will of God. Thus it may be concluded that the written law of Moses is not intended to be the rule of the believer’s life under grace. Yet, on the other hand, the abiding principles of the law which are adaptable to grace, are carried forward and restated under the teachings of grace; not as law, but reformed to the mold of infinite grace. This great fact is aptly illustrated by the experience of an American citizen who was in Germany at the breaking out of the recent war. Fleeing through Holland, he reached England with his pocket filled with German gold coin. This coin, bearing the German stamp, was of no value as currency in England; but, when melted and restamped in the mints of England, it bore all the value of coin in that realm. Thus the intrinsic value of the gold of the law is preserved and reappears bearing the stamp of the new teachings of grace. In applying the teachings of grace it is legitimate to point out that a similar principle obtained under the law of Moses, thus to demonstrate that the precept in question represents the unchangeable character of God; but it is both unscriptural and unreasonable to apply the teachings of the Mosaic system directly to the children of grace. Since both the law of Moses and the teachings of grace are complete in themselves, neither one requires the addition of the other, and to combine them is to sacrifice all that is vital in each. Great importance should be given therefore to the positive, unvarying message to the believer which is stated in the words, “Ye are not under the law, but under grace”. Second. The Error of Co-mingling the Law of the Kingdom with the Teachings of Grace If it be accepted that the Messianic, earthly kingdom, with Israel restored to her land in the full realization of all her covenants, under the reign of Christ sitting on the throne of David, has not been established, and there is now no semblance in the light of present world conditions of that kingdom on earth, then it follows that the laws and principles which are to govern in the kingdom, and which could apply only to conditions within that kingdom, are not yet applied by God to the affairs of men in the earth. It is not a question, as in the case of the law of Moses, of discontinuing that which has once been in force under the sanction of God; it is rather a question as to whether the kingdom laws, which have their application of necessity in the future earthly kingdom of Messiah, should be imposed now on the children of God under grace. Definite proofs are needed to establish the fact that there are kingdom laws presented in the Scriptures. These proofs have already been offered. Having granted that the kingdom laws are found in the Scriptures, should they be considered as any part of the divine instruction now governing the daily life of the Christian? Certainly it is no more difficult to believe that Scripture reveals a rule of life which is not yet in force because belonging to a yet future age, than it is to believe that Scripture reveals a rule of life which is not now in force because belonging to an age which is wholly past. In considering the question as to whether the laws of the kingdom are to be applied to the Christian in this age, the fact that there is a complete system of kingdom ruling, and that this ruling is strictly legal in its character, is assumed on the basis of proofs already given. Certain vital issues, though already mentioned, should not be forgotten at this point: 1. The two systems cannot co-exist The laws of the kingdom, being legal in their character, introduce those principles of relationships to God which can never co-exist with the relationships which obtain under grace. By such co-mingling of opposing principles, all that is vital in each system is sacrificed. On the one hand, the sharp edge of the law, which constitutes its sole effectiveness, is dulled by an admixture of supposed divine leniency; on the other hand, the truth concerning the absolute graciousness of God is corrupted by being commercialized, conditioned on the merit of man, and made subject to the persuasion of man. The principle of pure grace demands that God shall in no wise recognize human merit, and that He invariably shall be graciously disposed toward man, and therefore needing at no time to be persuaded by man. God is never reluctant in the exercise of grace: instead, He seeks, draws, and entreats man. The principles of law and grace are mutually destructive, and doctrinal confusion follows the intrusion of any legal principle into the reign of grace. When law is thus intruded, not only is the clear responsibility of the believer under grace obscured, but the priceless attitude of God in grace, which He purchased at the infinite cost of the death of His Son, is wholly misrepresented. Since the kingdom rule is purely legal, and since the believer is not under law, it follows that he is not under the injunctions of the kingdom. 2. It is not necessary to combine them The laws of the kingdom are not required to be combined with the teachings of grace, since every item within those laws, which could have any present application, is exactly and amply stated in the teachings of grace. It is not necessary, then, for the believer to assume any law obligation whatsoever. When it is shown by Scriptural exposition that the laws of the kingdom are not applicable to the Christian under grace, opposition is sometimes aroused which is based on wrong personal training, habits of misinterpretation, and prejudice. The cost of unteachableness should be weighed with much care; for the sacrifice of the liberty and blessing which belongs to uncomplicated grace is a loss too great for computation. By the right division of the Scriptures, the truth will be clearly seen that grace reigns uncomplicated and undiminished by law. The kingdom law is a complete and indivisible system in itself. It is therefore unscriptural, illogical, and unreasonable to appropriate convenient and pleasing portions of this law, and to neglect the remainder. It should be considered that, as in the Mosaic system, to adopt some portions of the law is to be committed logically to all its teachings. “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them”; “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”; “And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them” (Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:10, 12. Cf Lev. 18:5); “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law” (Rom. 3:19); “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law” (Gal. 5:3). Not only are some aspects of the kingdom law never attempted by Christians (Cf Mt. 5:42); but its whole character, being legal, is opposed to grace. The law of Moses is interrelated and wholly dependent on the sacrifices and ritual provided for Israel in the land. The laws of the kingdom are only related to the yet future kingdom conditions which shall be in the earth under the power and presence of the King when Satan is bound, creation delivered, and all shall know the Lord from the least unto the greatest. All harmony of truth is shattered when there is the slightest co-mingling of the principles of law and grace. Grace alone now reigns through Christ to the glory of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. II. THE LAW COVENANT OF WORKS, IN ALL OF ITS APPLICATION, WHICH CONDITIONS BLESSING AND ACCEPTANCE WITH GOD ON PERSONAL MERIT, IS DONE AWAY Under this conception of law, its scope is extended beyond the actual writings of the Mosaic system and the law of the kingdom, and includes, as well, any human action, whether in conformity to a precept of Scripture or not, which is attempted with a view to securing favor with God. The law formula is, “If you will do good, I will bless you.” It matters nothing what is undertaken as an obligation. It may be the highest ideal of heavenly conduct belonging to the teachings of grace, or it may be the simplest choice of moral action in daily life; but if it is attempted with a view to securing favor with God, such relationship to God is self-imposed, since it ignores His attitude of grace, and such attempt is purely legal in character and result. Let it be restated that the basic principle of grace is the fact that all blessings originate with God, and are offered to man graciously. The formula of grace is, “I have blessed you, therefore be good.” Thus it is revealed that the motive for right conduct under grace is not to secure the favor of God, which already exists toward saved and unsaved to an infinite degree through Christ; it is rather a matter of consistent action in view of such divine grace. The unsaved are not urged to secure salvation by meritorious conduct, or even to influence God in their behalf by asking for salvation. Since God is revealed as standing with out-stretched hands, offering His greatest possible blessings in grace, and is moved to do so by His unchanging, infinite love, it illy becomes a sinner to fall before Him in an attitude of coaxing and beseeching, as though he were hoping to move God to be merciful and good. The message of grace is: “But as many as received him, to them gave he the power [right] to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). The eternal saving grace of God is offered to all who will believe. Moreover, the saved do not return to divine fellowship after a relapse into sin because they plead for divine forgiveness; their restoration is conditional on confession. They do not abide in divine fellowship because they seek, or merit, the light; they are instructed to “walk in the light” which is all theirs through riches of grace. In no case are divine blessings to be secured by human merit, or by pleading; they await the faith that will appropriate them. Every gift of divine love is provided and bestowed in pure grace; and not of necessity, nor as a payment, nor a recognition of human merit. Such lavishings of grace create a superhuman obligation for that manner of life which is consistent with the heavenly blessing and position which grace bestows; but the heavenly blessing and position is never earned by even a superhuman manner of life. The determining character of pure law is seen in the fact that it is a covenant of works wherein the divine blessing is conditioned on human merit. No semblance of this principle is to be found under grace, except that rewards are to be bestowed for faithful service upon those who have already entered into every present position and possession provided in grace. It therefore follows that, not only the written rules of the law, but the very principle of the law covenant of works, has been done away in this age of grace. III. THE LAW PRINCIPLE OF DEPENDENCE ON THE ENERGY OF THE FLESH, IN PLACE OF THE GRACE PRINCIPLE OF DEPENDENCE ON THE POWER OF THE INDWELLING SPIRIT, IS DONE AWAY The third and last major distinction between law and grace is seen in the attitude of heart-dependence which is maintained in view of any and all obligation toward God. The law, being a covenant of works and providing no enablement, addressed itself to the limitations of the natural man. No more was expected or secured in return to its commands than the natural man in his environment could produce. The requirements under the law are, therefore, on the plane of the limited ability of the flesh. On the other hand, grace, being a covenant of faith, and providing the limitless enablement of the power of the indwelling Spirit, addresses itself to the unlimited resources of the supernatural man. The requirements to be met under grace are, therefore, on the plane of the unlimited ability of the Spirit. There is no divine injunction addressed to the unregenerate concerning his daily life. The Gospel of the saving grace of God alone is offered to him. The only divine injunctions now in force in the world are addressed to those who are saved, and these heaven-high standards are to be realized on the principle of faith toward the sufficiency of the indwelling Spirit, and never by dependence on the energy of the flesh. Thus, it may be seen, that any aspect of life, or conduct, which is undertaken in dependence on the energy and ability of the flesh is, to that extent, purely legal in its character; whether it be the whole revealed will of God, the actual written commandments contained in the law, the exhortations of grace, or any activity whatsoever in which the believer may engage. Dependence on the arm of the flesh is consistent only with pure law; dependence on the power of God is demanded under pure grace. Since there is no provision for the flesh in the plan of God for a life under grace, the law is done away. IV. JUDAISM IS DONE AWAY It is often inferred that Christianity is an outgrowth or product of Judaism. In reality these two systems are as independent of each other as the two opposing principles of law and grace. Being thus so widely different in their essential elements, they are, like the principles which they embody, as far removed the one from the other as heaven is higher than the earth. One is of the earth, the old creation, and the flesh; the other is of heaven, of the new creation, and the Spirit. As there are elements and threads of truth which run throughout the entire Bible, so certain features which belong to Judaism are seen to reappear in Christianity; but this obvious fact should not be made the basis of a supposition that these systems are the same, or that one was merged into the other. God, holiness, Satan, man, sin, redemption, and the issues of eternity, are not only relevant facts of both Judaism and Christianity, but they are essential facts of all time, from its beginning to its end. It is true that the same God is the God of the Gentile as well as of the Jew, and that the Jew anticipated the value of Christ’s death by sacrifices, as we realize the value of His death through faith; but it does not therefore follow that God’s purposes and ways are the same with Israel as with the Church. When these two systems are confused, it is because the differentiating essentials which constitute the Jewish religion and Christianity are ignored. First. Considering Them as Rules of Life The Old Testament system of law is absolutely superseded by the new system under grace. Christians are not under law either for justification or for sanctification. When Christ said, “I came not to destroy, but to fulfil,” and that nothing should pass from the law until all was fulfilled (Mt. 5:17, 18), He was dealing with Israel while Judaism was still in force, and anticipating the Messianic Kingdom which, it is revealed, will be purely legal in its character. Second. Considering Them under Their Respective Aspects In the matter of service, there is nothing but contrast between Judaism and Christianity. Israel, under Judaism, went in to perform a sacrifice; we go out to proclaim a sacrifice. Judaism had its ritual, its forms, and its ceremonies which were typical. Christianity could incorporate none of these since it provides a living union to Christ who is Substance and Antitype of all that Judaism prefigured. Third. Considering Them in Respect to Personal Relationship to God Under Judaism, the nation was related to Him by the covenant of Sinai, the Abrahamic covenant being temporarily set aside until Christ should come (Gal. 3:19), and individual Israelites were spiritually renewed through their personal faith, though the exact character of their salvation is not revealed. But, under grace, all the positions and possessions of the believer in relation to God transcend the earthly promises of Israel. The message of Ephesians 2:18 to 3:10 does not teach that the Church is being built on the prophets of the Old Testament; reference is only to the prophets and apostles of the New Testament (Cf 4:11). In like manner, the “mystery” (3:6) is the formation of a new humanity—the Church—out of both Jews and Gentiles, and not a combining of Old Testament saints with New Testament saints. The theological term, The Old Testament Church, has no Scriptural warrant (Acts 7:38 is no exception, being merely a reference to an assembly of people). The true Church began at Pentecost, and was made possible through the new outflow of grace in Christ Jesus,—by His death, resurrection, and ascension,—and the descent of the Holy Spirit. Similarly, Gentile branches are not grafted into Judaism, but into Christ (Rom. 11:17). He is the Vine. Judaism speaks of an earthly people and an earthly walk in the flesh. Christianity speaks of a heavenly people and of a heavenly walk in the Spirit. Since one is of the old creation, its people are under the curse of the First Adam, and its history closes in failure. Since the other is of the new creation, its people are ensphered in the resurrected Christ, and its history will be the consummation of the glory of divine grace. Christianity is indebted to Israel for the humanity of Christ and for the Oracles of God; but Israel, the people, must be distinguished from Judaism, the law system. Israel abides to the present hour, while Judaism, so far as divine recognition goes, ceased with the death of Christ. Israel, like all the nations, was, as a whole, in Adam, lost and undone. While for Israel there was healing for sin and mercy from God, no one under Judaism had any clear vision or revelation of the new life and relationship under grace, which more than all else distinguishes Christianity. The new life and relationship which characterizes Christianity is Christ as the sphere of the new creation. CHRISTIANITY IS CHRIST. It is the unlimited, unrestrained love of God in Christ and its final result will be the unveiling of the glory of His grace in the ages to come. Judaism, through the nation Israel, purposed the highest glory in the earth. Christianity, through the Church, purposes the highest glory in heaven. One is of the “first man” who is “of the earth, earthy.” The other is of the second Man, who is “the Lord from heaven.” Judaism was based on the law and, like the law, applied only to Israel and passed out of force with the death of Christ. So, likewise, Israel alone was delivered from the written commandments of Moses through the death of Christ. However, both Jew and Gentile were delivered by that death from the hopeless principle of human merit, and from the useless struggle of the flesh. The exalted quality of the law is never questioned. It is the expression of the very character of God. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Rom. 7:12). The law did not die; it was a race that died unto the law in Christ the Substitute. The holy demands of infinite righteousness can never change or pass away; but man may be changed in his exact responsibility to God and to certain particulars of His holy demands. The sanctity of the law is never preserved by those who attempt to keep it. The holy will of God was never wrought by any person other than Christ. The effort of man has universally failed. The supposition that God will be pleased and honored by any fleshly attempt to do His will, is a delusion as old as the race. Those who try to keep the law, or try by their own effort to do the whole will of God, outrage the law at every step by their absolute failure. On the other hand, those who, in recognition of the righteous character of the law, bow before those holy demands, acknowledging their utter failure and inability to fulfil them, and who flee to Christ that they may stand in His redemption and partake of the very righteousness of God in Him and be sheltered under the cross whereon He met every demand of the law for them, are the only ones who really uphold the law, or keep it. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Rom. 3:31). We may conclude, then, that every aspect of the reign of the law has ceased with the death of Christ and the introduction of the reign of grace. There is no longer any obligation to do the things which are written in the law, only as they have been transferred and restated under the teachings of grace; there is no longer any obligation to secure favor with God by human merit; and there is no longer any yoke of bondage, or impossible burden to do what no flesh has ever been able to do. There is perfect liberty and victory in the priceless provisions of grace; “For ye are not under the law but under grace.” SECTION SIX THE SABBATH, A TEST QUESTION The distinction between the reign of law and the reign of grace is at no point more sharply drawn than in the question of the observance of the seventh day of the week or the first day of the week; for these two days are symbolical of the dispensations to which they are related. Likewise, at no point is personal religious prejudice, which is born of early training and sentiment, more assertive than on the sabbath question. It was His liberal teaching on the observance of the sabbath which, more than aught else, provoked the wrath of the Jewish leaders against Christ, and, it may be observed, there is no religious subject to-day which so draws out personal convictions and opinions. The reason is evident. Few have really comprehended the exact character and principle of grace. To many, Christianity is a system of human works and character building from which merit accrues. And the observance of a sabbath day presents extraordinary opportunities for the exercise of meritorious works. The question is a far deeper one than the observance, or the manner of observance, of a day. It is the fundamental question whether grace is to reign supreme in place of law, or whether it is to be co-mingled with law. The roots of this problem reach down to the bedrock issue which forms the very structure of the two opposing principles of pure law and pure grace. For its solution, the question demands more than a superficial opinion. Truly the choice of a particular day and the manner of its observance is a test question as to the individual’s intelligent adjustment to the whole grace revelation. As there can be no proper co-mingling of the reign of law and the reign of grace, there can be no proper co-mingling of elements which, according to the Scriptures, are the essential features of these widely different days. A “Christian Sabbath” is a misnomer, and the very use of the term indicates inexcusable inattention to Bible terms, and an unchallenged freedom of mind and heart which is willing to sacrifice the richest treasures of grace by co-mingling them with law. It is not a problem of interpretation; it is a question of whether personal sentiment, prejudice, or ignorance, shall blindly override the very foundation of the right divisions of Scripture. These two days, typical of two opposing governing principles and two great dispensations, are absolutely unrelated. Of the whole Decalogue, it is the sabbath-day commandment only which is not carried forward in any manner whatsoever into the reign of grace, nor could it be. Failure to base the distinction between these age-representing days upon the essential character of their respective relationships—pure law and pure grace—is resulting in an almost universal confusion of mind on the subject among Christians, and this, in turn, provides the opportunity for present-day legalists to promote their Christ-rejecting heresies. Intelligent comprehension of pure law is clarifying to the mind, for its very oppositeness to pure grace safeguards a clear comprehension of grace. On the other hand, the greatest foe of such clear comprehension of pure grace and its issues is the confusing, soul-wrecking and unscriptural admixture of these opposing principles. This admixture is ruinous at every point; but at no point is it more destructive of Scriptural distinctions than in the confusion of a Jewish sabbath with the Christian’s day—the Lord’s day, or Sunday. Consideration at length might be given to many vital differences between the law obligations and the obligations under grace, such as circumcision, tithing, and sacrifices; but unlike the sabbath question, these issues are self-adjusting when the glory of grace in some measure is comprehended. To many, on the other hand, the sabbath question bulks largest as an essential of their religion. It, therefore, demands particular consideration. The reasons for this discussion are four: (1) It vitally determines the individual’s conception of, and blessing in, grace. (2) It, of necessity, determines the character of the believer’s conduct and measure of comprehension of his Scriptural obligation to God. (3) It is the central issue of a misleading heresy. And, (4) it is now urged as a national reform, in which it is proposed to legislate a Jewish sabbath on a Christ-rejecting world. This consideration of the Sabbath question is based on the preceding analysis of the principles of law and grace and this discussion cannot be followed clearly apart from an understanding of what has gone before. So, also, in so far as an earnest appeal may avail, the reader is besought to leave prejudice behind, and to stand on the uncompromised “Thus saith the Lord.” Two major aspects of this subject are here considered. (1) The Biblical testimony regarding the Jewish sabbath, and (2) The Biblical testimony concerning the Christian’s “Lord’s day.” To this is added (3) A consideration of certain current errors. I. THE BIBLICAL TESTIMONY REGARDING THE JEWISH SABBATH This theme is to be taken up in sub-divisions in which the Jewish sabbath is considered as related to various periods of time: First. The Period from Adam to Moses Two theories obtain concerning the question of sabbath observance during this period. There are those who contend that the sabbath was committed to man in Eden, and there are those who contend that the sabbath was given to Israel only, at the hand of Moses. The first theory is usually advanced with a view to applying the institution of the sabbath to all men before the law even was given, in order that the sabbath law may be treated as now applicable to all men, even after the termination of the Mosaic law in the cross. This form of argument is not restricted to the Seventh-Day legalists; it is employed by many writers and religions leaders who are attempting to transfer the Biblical authority concerning the Jewish sabbath to the observance of the Lord’s day. These, by Judaizing Christianity, are obscuring the truth about grace. When it is claimed that the sabbath obtained from Adam to Moses it is said: “The sabbath was divinely sanctified at creation.” This sanctification, it is true, is clearly stated in Gen. 2:1–3: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” When it is assumed that the sabbath was imposed on man at Eden, it is based on the supposition that this passage so teaches; which, however, the passage does not necessarily imply. And it should also be remembered that Genesis was not written until Moses’ time, and, when seeking for Biblical evidence regarding the pre-Mosaic observance of the seventh day it will be found that, unlike other religious activities, such as prayer, circumcision (Cf John 7:22), and sacrifices the observance of which is recorded of that period, there is no mention of a sabbath observance from creation to Moses. It is incredible that this great institution of the sabbath could have existed during all these centuries and there be no mention of it in the Scriptures dealing with that time. The words of Job, who lived five hundred years and more before Moses, offer an illustration. His experience discloses the spiritual life of the pre-Mosaic saint, having no written Scriptures, and striving to know his whole duty to God. Job and his friends refer to creation, the flood, and many details of human obligation to God; but not once do they mention the sabbath. Again, it is impossible that this great institution, with all that it contemplated of relationship between God and man, could have existed at that time and not have been mentioned in any portion of the argument of the book of Job. There is little force in the contention that a seven-day week was recognized as early as Jacob’s time, and therefore a sabbath day must have existed which marked off the week. The seven-day week is the natural fourth part of a lunar month and does not necessarily demand a sabbath day with religious significance for its measurement. Likewise, there is little force in the suggestion that Chinese history hints at the observance of one sacred day in every week. Such argument, even if true, should not be set over against the positive testimony of the Scriptures. There is one passage which determines this question beyond all discussion. The following quotation from the confession of the priests and Levites under Nehemiah definitely fixes the time of the institution of the sabbath: “Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: and madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant” (Neh. 9:13, 14). The sabbath given to Israel as a sign (Ex. 31:12–17), was never given to Gentiles. There is no record that Gentiles ever recognized the sabbath, either between Adam and Moses, or between Moses and Christ. The sabbath is of the law, but the law did not begin to reign until Moses (Rom. 5:12–14). It is to be concluded, then, that the sabbath was imposed upon Israel only and as a part of the law as given by Moses. Second, The Period from Moses to Christ The sabbath began to be observed by Israel from the time of its institution through Moses. Invested with the character of a sign between Jehovah and the nation Israel, it was in no sense extended to Gentiles. These facts are disclosed in the following Scriptures: “The LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Ex. 31:12–17). Nothing but blind prejudice could apply this or any other Old Testament Scripture concerning the sabbath, to the Gentiles. The sabbath was a part of Israel’s law, and it was the possession of that law which distinguished that nation from all other peoples of the earth. It is equally erroneous to insist that the sabbath was always celebrated on the last day of the week. The sabbath, but for necessary exceptions, was the seventh in a series of seven, whether days or years. Of necessity it often fell on other days of the week as as well as on Saturday. There were at least fifteen sabbaths which were fixed dates in their given month, and these sabbaths fell on those particular dates regardless of the day of the week. In one instance, seven sabbaths were counted from the fifteenth day of the month, and the day following that last sabbath of the seven, was Pentecost (Lev. 23:15, 16). These seven sabbaths, it is evident, became pre-determined dates by arbitrary reckoning from the first sabbath. So, likewise, the day that Christ was in the tomb was a fixed sabbath. It was the fifteenth of Abid, which by divine arrangement in that particular year fell on a Saturday. That this was a fixed sabbath is proven by the fact that the day before was “preparation” day (Mk. 15:42), which day was determined for the fourteenth of that month (Ex. 12:2, 6). Again, certain working days were established days. The lamb must be taken on the tenth day of the first month and be killed, roasted with fire, and eaten on the fourteenth day of the month. Likewise, Abid sixteenth could in no wise have been a sabbath for that date was appointed as the beginning of harvest (Deut. 16:9. Cf Lev. 23:15). All these labors would have been direct violations of the sabbath law; yet these ceremonies were appointed for certain pre-determined dates, and from time to time must inevitably have been in conflict with the pre-determined sabbaths. By all of this it is evident that the sacred character of the day belonged to its relative place in a series of seven days, and not to a particular day of the week. During the period from Moses to Christ in which the sabbath obtained under the direct sanction of God, it was, as the word sabbath indicates, a day of physical rest. It was binding on the whole nation Israel, and death was the penalty for its violation. No fire was to be kindled, no food prepared, no journey undertaken, no buying or selling permitted, and no burden to be borne. Even the land was to have its sabbaths (Ex. 31:12–17; 35:3; 16:22–26; Neh. 10:31; 13:15–21; Lev. 25:4; 2 Chron. 36:21). The sabbath law, like all of the law, was so poorly observed that Jehovah finally carried the nation into captivity with the declared purpose that the land might enjoy its sabbaths. The sabbath was inter-related with the law, just as it is embedded in the heart of the Decalogue. The exact manner of its observance is revealed only in the teachings of Moses, and since the law was a covenant of human works, the sabbath was the divine provision for rest under that covenant. The modern conception of a sabbath, isolated from the laws which governed it, and adapted to the Christian dispensation as the day of religious activity, public meetings, Christian service, and worship, is entirely out of harmony with every Scripture bearing on the sabbath. It is taught by some that although the laws which conditioned the manner of sabbath observance have ceased, the recognition of the day, whether it be Saturday, or Sunday, remains as a binding obligation. The result of such teaching is the imposition of the observance of a day without any exact instruction as to the manner of such observance. This teaching is both inconsistent and unscriptural. Moreover, the unscriptural inconsistency is greatly increased when the celebration of the sabbath is changed from Saturday to Sunday, and is imposed on Gentiles. The sabbath was a vital institution under the reign of the law. It depended on the entire law system for its proper observance, and the law system depended on the sabbath for its normal action. The complete legal system stands, or falls, together. The Mosaic age was given over to the uncomplicated functioning of the entire law system; but that age, and all that characterized it, was, when Christ died, superseded by the reign of grace. Third. The Period Represented by the Gospels Much confusion concerning the sabbath is due to a failure to recognize the peculiar character of the period represented by the Gospels. It should be remembered that Christ was first a “minister of the circumcision”; He was “made under the law”; and He lived and wrought under the law. The law did not pass at His birth. It passed at His death. During the days of His ministry, He recognized, kept, and enforced the sabbath as an integral part of the whole Mosaic system. True, He insisted that the Mosaic system, and the sabbath in particular, be delivered from the encrusted teachings of men which had been superimposed on the law of Moses. These man-made additions to the law were held by the Jews to be as binding and sacred as the very Word of God. Because He ignored all else but the Word of God, Christ appeared as a liberalist on the question of the sabbath. He also claimed to be “Lord of the sabbath,” which He was, and by virtue of that position, He had authority to change the sabbath, or, if He chose, to abolish it forever. A greater than Moses, through whom the law came, was in their midst. It is certain that He purposed to rescue the sabbath from being an enslaving institution and to restore its functions as a benefit to man. This He announced when He said: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” That is, man was not made to be sacrificed for a day; but the day was made for the blessing of man. Before His death, the sabbath was one of the most important issues in the experience and ministry of Christ. However, it is both obvious and suggestive that He never mentioned that day in the upper-room discourse, nor is that day once mentioned as an obligation in all of His post-resurrection ministry. It is inconceivable that the sabbath, which was so vital a part of the Mosaic system, should be omitted from these great age-characterizing teachings of Christ, if it was the purpose of God that this Jewish day should have any place in the present reign of grace. It has also been claimed that Christ extended the sabbath-keeping obligation to all men, when He said: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” This issue turns on the exact meaning of the word man as here used. did Christ signify by this statement that the Jewish sabbath was by His authority extended to all men! Or did He use the word man in its more limited sense as applying only to the nation Israel? Two facts determine the answer: (1) The sabbath is never by any subsequent Scripture applied to Gentiles, and (2) the word man is used in the Old Testament no less than 336 times, when referring to Israel alone, and many times in the New Testament when referring only to Christians. It is said: “Christ is the head of every man”; the Spirit “is given to every man”; “If any man build on this foundation”; “Every man shall have praise”; “That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” In all these Scriptures the word man has only the limited meaning. It is therefore evident that Christ said, in harmony with all Scripture, that the sabbath was made for Israel; for there is no Biblical evidence that Christ ever imposed the Jewish sabbath on either Gentiles or Christians; but true to the law, He did recognize its important place and obligation in relation to Israel until the reign of the law should be terminated through His death. Fourth. The Period Represented by the Acts and the Epistles In considering the sabbath question, great importance must be attributed to the exact character of those teachings of the New Testament which come after the founding of Christianity through the death and resurrection of Christ, and by the advent of the Spirit on Pentecost. It should be observed first that the law, as a rule of conduct, is not once applied to the Christian, and that these Scriptures by overwhelming revelation, assert that the law has passed, through the death of Christ. They assert that the law has ceased both as a means of justification, and as a rule of life for the one who is justified (John 1:16, 17; Rom. 6:14; 7:1–6; 2 Cor. 3:1–18; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14; Gal. 3:19–25). If it is claimed that the Decalogue, in which the sabbath is embedded, was not of the law, and therefore was not terminated with the death of Christ, this contention is disposed of completely by the reference in Rom. 7:7–14 to the last of the commandments, in which Scripture this commandment is explicitly mentioned as “the law.” So, also, according to 2 Cor. 3:7–14, that which was “written and engraven in stones”—the Decalogue, including the sabbath day—is “done away” and “abolished.” It should be observed next that, if an issue so vital as was the sabbath under the law, is imposed on the Church, it is incredible (1) that the early Christians would not be reported as having at some time discharged their personal obligation to the sabbath, or (2) that the necessity of recognizing the sabbath would not be somewhere incorporated in the new teachings of grace. Turning to these Scriptures we discover: 1. The sabbath in the Book of The Acts The word sabbath is used nine times in the Acts, and wherever it is referred to as a day which is observed, it is related only to the unbelieving Jews, who, as would be expected, perpetuated, and who still perpetuate, the observance of the sabbath day. Not once in this Book is it stated, or even implied, that Christians kept a sabbath day. It is said that the Apostle Paul went into the synagogue of the Jews and reasoned with them every sabbath; but this can imply nothing more than that he took advantage of their gathering together on that day in order that he might preach to them. Such may be the experience of any missionary to the Jews to-day. 2. The sabbath in the Epistles Turning to the Epistles, it will be seen in this portion of the Scriptures, as in the Book of Acts, that no Christian is said to have observed a sabbath day. It is highly probable that some in the early church who were drawn into the observance of the law were also complicated with issues of sabbath keeping; but the Spirit of God has omitted every such incident, if such there was, from the pages of Scripture. Thus the Inspired Record does not reveal the complication of one believer with the Jewish sabbath, even as an error in conduct; nor are sinners termed Sabbath breakers. Upon examination of the direct injunctions and doctrinal teachings of the Epistles, it is discovered that the word sabbath is used but once, the term seventh day mentioned in one passage only, and the legalistic observance of a day is referred to but once. These passages deserve particular attention: Col. 2:16, 17. In the context in which this Scripture is found, the Apostle warns believers against any complicity with the law, or works-covenant, since they have been transferred to a position under grace. The passage states that they have been made “complete” in Christ, to which estate nothing could ever be added; hence for the one who is “in Christ,” the objective of all meritorious works is already gained, and the legal obligation to do good works is forever met (v. 10). The believer is also said to be “circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” Therefore, since the flesh, the one thing the law proposed to control, is, in the sight of God, put away, there is no need of the law. The Jewish child was circumcised on the eighth day, which was the first day of a new week following the passing of a completed week. The circumcision on the eighth day, or first day of a new week, typified the deliverance from the old creation which would be accomplished for believers through the resurrection of Christ from the dead; for in that death He bore all the curse of the old creation. For this reason the believer under grace is not called upon to celebrate any aspect of the old creation which was represented by the sabbath (v. 11). The one who is saved has been “buried with him in baptism, wherein [the baptism] also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God [his own faith in God’s power], who hath raised him from the dead.” The use of the aorist tense in connection with the reference to a burial with Him in baptism, places that burial as being contemporaneous with the circumcision just mentioned. Therefore it is evident that the baptism with the Spirit which vitally relates the believer to Christ is in view (1 Cor. 12:13. Cf Gal. 3:27). In that baptism, as in no other, the Christian partakes of all that Christ is, and all that Christ has done. He shares in Christ’s crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:1–10). With the old creation thus buried in the tomb of Christ, the believer is in no wise obligated to any observance related to the old creation (v. 12). Again, the believer has been delivered from the law by no less an undertaking than the nailing of the law with its handwritings and ordinances to the cross. After this great transaction, how can the child of God reasonably recognize the law in any respect whatsoever (v. 14)? To the one who is thus complete in Christ, circumcised in Christ, buried with Christ, and delivered from the authority of all handwritings and ordinances, the Apostle writes: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days [day]: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [substance] is Christ.” All these were essential features of the law (1 Chron. 23:31; 2 Chron. 2:4; 31:3), and as such were to cease in the present age of Israel’s chastisement (Hos. 2:11), and are to be reinstated in the coming kingdom (Ezk. 45:17). They were but shadows of the Substance—Christ. Having the Substance, the believer is warned against turning to the mere shadow. According to this Scripture, the law, which included the sabbath day, is abolished. If it is objected that the reference in this passage is to extra ceremonial sabbaths, the contention cannot be sustained; for the words here used are ton sabbaton, which are the exact words that are invariably used to designate the regular Jewish sabbath. It is significant, then, that in all the Epistles, wherein the believer’s obligation under grace is set forth, the only use of the word sabbath is under absolute prohibition concerning its observance, and that it is there held to be in conflict with the most vital and superseding elements of grace. Heb. 4:4. In this passage the one reference in all the Epistles to the seventh day is found. We read: “For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.” As before, the occasion for this reference to a seventh day is explicit in the context. In the whole passage (4:1–13) Hebrew Christians are warned lest, as their fathers failed to enter into rest under Joshua (v. 8), they themselves should fail to enter, experimentally, into the rest provided in the finished work of Christ, of whom Joshua was but a type. In the application of this passage, it may be noted that the rest under Christ is not for one day in the week, nor is it that sabbath-rest which was due after a six-day strain of meritorious works. It is rather the abiding rest of faith in Another who, as Substitute, has wrought all the “works of God.” This blessed rest is promised “to him that worketh not.” Likewise, it is in no sense the rest of death. It is rather the rest of Christ’s imparted, resurrection life, and that life is ceaselessly active. The extent and character of the activity of the new life in Christ is a violation of every commandment which enjoins a sabbath day of rest. Gal. 4:9, 10. At this point in this Epistle, the Apostle chides the Galatian believers for observing “days” which are borrowed from the law, and tells them that by the keeping of legal days they have turned from grace to the law: “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” The phrase, “weak and beggarly elements,” is a description of the character of the law. As a means of securing moral and spiritual conduct, the law was “weak” since its correct observance was impossible through the “weakness of the flesh” (Rom. 8:3). As a source of heart-blessing, the law was “beggarly” (lit. poverty stricken) as compared to the riches of grace in Christ Jesus. From this consideration of the Scriptures which describe and define the life of the believer after the cross, it is notable that in these Scriptures there is no example of the observance of a sabbath day by any believer, and no injunction for such observance. On the other hand, there is the most conclusive teaching concerning the complete ending of the law by the death of Christ, and the most faithful warnings lest the believer shall become ensnared by complicity with sabbath-day observance. Fifth. The Sabbath in Prophecy There are two distinct aspects of the sabbath in prophecy: (1) Concerning its cessation in this age of Israel’s chastisement, and (2) concerning its reestablishment when the present purpose in the Church is accomplished. 1. The cessation of the sabbath It is clear from Hos. 2:11 that the chastisement which was to fall on Israel, and which she is now experiencing, would be characterized by the cessation of all her solemn feasts and sabbaths: “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” Such is the unalterable decree of God, and had one word of this prophecy failed, He would have been proven untrue. These Jewish observances which were to cease included all her sabbaths. They ceased at the beginning of this age of grace, so far as any recognition from God is concerned. Otherwise, when will this prophecy be fulfilled? Uninstructed people may impose a solemn feast, or a Jewish sabbath, upon themselves; but this will accomplish no more than the creation of an abnormal conscience which either accuses or excuses but never satisfies the heart. Such is the invariable effect of self-imposed law (Rom. 2:14, 15). 2. The reestablishment of the sabbath Upon the completion of the present divine purpose in the Church, Israel’s sabbaths will be reinstated. This is assured both for the great tribulation which must precede the glorious coming of Christ, and for the kingdom age which follows that coming. Concerning the great tribulation it is said: “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day” (Mt. 24:20). No Christian has ever been inclined to offer this prayer. The time of its fulfillment does not concern him, nor does he have any relation to a sabbath day. It will be in the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” and Israel’s sabbaths will then be observed again. Concerning the kingdom age we read: “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD” (Isa. 66:23); “Thus saith the LORD GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened” (Ezk. 46:1). This is according to all prophecy concerning the kingdom. It is then that Israel shall “do all his commandments,” including the sabbath (Deut. 30:8). The sabbath must be reinstated; for it is a “perpetual covenant” and sign between Jehovah and Israel, except for such time as He shall cause it to cease in His chastisement of that people (Ex. 31:16). Sixth. The Exact Day The supposition that an exact continuation of weekly sabbaths is now being kept by all who observe the seventh day, is without foundation. It should be noted: (a) No day is holy in itself. From the natural standpoint, all days are alike and are equally subject to the same physical conditions. A day is holy by divine decree, and that decree is subject to change at the appointment of God. By no means did the day always fall on Saturday, nor were the sabbaths always separated by six full working days (b) The sabbath was to begin with sunset and end with sunset. This was simple enough when ordered for Israel in the small geographical boundaries of Palestine. It is far different when applied to the whole earth, and, as some dare to claim, to heaven as well. No uniformity of the observance of an exact day is possible over the whole earth. While some are keeping Saturday on one hemisphere, others are keeping Sunday (as sabbath) on the other. Should two persons start from a given point to go around the earth in opposite directions, and both observe each sabbath from sundown to sundown, upon their return to the starting point, one would be observing Friday and the other Sunday. The question of observing an exact day from sunset is even more perplexing in the far North. The sun sets there but once in six months. In that region, to be Biblical and exact, there must be a twelve-month sabbath, and a week of seven years (c) The exact day in which God finished creation and rested is quite unknown. He rested on the seventh day; but it could hardly be proven that sundown on Friday night at a given place on the earth is the perpetuation of the exact moment when God began to rest from His work of creation. Who can trace the exact moment, day, or year, through Eden, the flood, the bondage in Egypt, and the dark ages? Yet apart from the assurance that Saturday at a given place on the earth is the exact day in rotation of weeks from creation, there is no basis for the claim to the sacredness of the exact time to be observed. Ignorant people are too often encouraged in the belief that they are actually celebrating the rest of God in creation when they observe the hours as they fall on Saturday in the locality where they chance to live. It is therefore the manner of the observance of the day, and not the exact time, which is in question. Shall it be the seventh day, or the first day? It must be one or the other; for there is nothing more unreasonable, illogical, and unbiblical, than the observance of the seventh day with confusion of Christian issues of worship and service, which is the practice of every sabbatarian, or the observance of the first day with confusion of the sabbath law, which is the present practice of Christendom. There would be little occasion for discussion of the question if the simple distinctions between law and grace were recognized. II. THE BIBLICAL TESTIMONY CONCERNING THE LORD’S DAY This aspect of truth will be considered under two general divisions: (1) The reason for the observance of the day, and (2) The manner of observance of the day. First, The Reason for the Observance of the New Day Even a cursory reading of those portions of Scripture which condition the daily life of the Christian will reveal the fact that, while every other fundamental principle of righteousness found in the Decalogue is restated in the teachings of grace, the sabbath is not once imposed upon the believer. On the contrary, as before shown, there is explicit warning against the observance of a sabbath day. This is a fact of revelation which should not be overlooked. Throughout the history of the church, a new day has been observed which superseded the Jewish sabbath, and this change of days has not been contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, as some insist; it has, rather, been according to the revealed plan and purpose of God. There are certain Biblical reasons for this change: 1. The Mosaic system has ceased The whole Mosaic system, including its sabbath day, has given way to the reign of grace. To this important truth sufficient proof has already been presented, but in spite of the clearest Biblical statement on this subject, there are two groups of professing Christians who evidently do not receive this divine testimony (a) Those who persist in the observance of the seventh day; and (b) those who observe the first day, but who invest it with the character of the Jewish sabbath, and observe it on the authority of the law which was given to Israel by Moses. The position of these two classes should be considered separately: (a) Those who persist in the observance of the seventh day, do so on the claim that, while the law passed away in the death of Christ, the Decalogue is not a part of the law and therefore it, with its sabbath day, has not been abolished. The answer to this subtle argument is clear and conclusive. Not only is the Decalogue included and embedded in the Old Testament statement of the law, but, in the New Testament, the Decalogue, as has already been shown, is distinctly said to be “the law.” In Rom. 7:7, the Apostle Paul has written of the tendency of his own heart toward sin. He states: “I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Thus he refers to the Tenth Commandment as “the law.” Furthermore, it is impossible now for any Jew or Gentile to keep the Ceremonial law of Moses, and thus it is evident that the New Testament warnings against law observance could not be a warning against an observance of the Ceremonial law. The Ceremonial law required for its observance the presence of Jehovah in the holy of holies, an altar, a priesthood and a temple in Jerusalem. All these prerequisites for the observance of the Ceremonial law were withdrawn at the beginning of the present age. The church of Rome, in its attempt to continue the law system, proposed to meet this difficulty by creating its own altar, temple service, and priesthood, and alleges that the Lord is present in the consecrated bread. The warnings which are found under grace against the keeping of the law are of necessity applicable only to the Decalogue, and not to the Ceremonial law. The Ceremonial law governed the precise manner of the observance of the sabbath and there is great unreasonableness, with attending confusion, when the attempt is now made to keep the Jewish sabbath apart from the Ceremonial law. The class of legalists who now try to observe the seventh day, having no way to introduce the Ceremonial law, borrow the features of the new day of grace. They hold services, worship, and do much religious work on the seventh day, which, being strictly a day of rest, was never designed to be a day of activity, religious or otherwise, nor was such activity ever allowed on this day during the reign of the law. (b) There is even greater inconsistency in the position of those who recognize the first day of the week, but invest that day with the character of the sabbath, and keep the day on the authority of the law of Moses. Not only has the whole Mosaic system ceased with its sabbath and every requirement related to that day; but there could be no consistency in borrowing even one of the features of the Jewish sabbath. This error of borrowing certain features of the Jewish sabbath is committed by both of these classes of legalists. The law of Moses was never subject to a partial observance. It is a unit; for “what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law;” and, “the man which doeth those things shall live by them;” and again, “cursed, is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of law to do them.” There is no Scriptural warrant for a partial acceptance of the law, or a partial recognition of its sabbath day. The observance of the day with all its requirements must be perfectly kept, or not at all. The slightest recognition of the least of all the features of the sabbath commits a person who attempts it to keep the whole law. It therefore follows that the Christian who, while keeping the first day of the week, is influenced in the slightest degree by the law of Moses concerning a sabbath day, is, both by Scripture and reason, committed to keep every feature of the Jewish sabbath, as well as the whole Mosaic system. For example, the person who adopts even one feature of sabbath observance on the ground that it is enjoined by the law, is bound by that same sabbath law to stone to death every person who fails to keep any feature of that law. In fact, if he himself had been so guilty as to observe the first day of the week in place of the seventh, he must bow to the death penalty, in vindication of the righteous judgments of God. This death penalty is the uncompromising provision made in God’s Word for sabbath breakers. The original heresy of the church was the attempted admixture of law and grace teachings. It is one of the most destructive heresies of the present hour, and at no point of contact do the opposing principles of law and grace become more clearly crystallized than in the question of the exact day which is to be observed. There is no “Christian Sabbath.” The new day which belongs to grace is in no way related to the sabbath. Observance must be either of one day or the other. To co-mingle them, as every legalist does, is to frustrate grace. 2. A new day is divinely appointed under grace This new day is also a particular day of the week and has been given a name which is in accordance with its character. Its divine appointment is first recorded in a prophetic message: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:22–24). In this Scripture, both the death and the resurrection of Christ are in view. He was the rejected Stone, and His Father, through the resurrection, has made Him the Head Stone of the Corner. The resurrection was appointed to take place on a certain day which the Lord had determined, and that day was by divine intention to be celebrated with joy and gladness. The divine commentary on this passage is given through the Apostle Peter as recorded in Acts 4:10, 11: “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” Therefore the day which the Lord had appointed when the rejected Stone would become the Head Stone of the Corner, is the day of His resurrection. This is the “day which the LORD hath made.” It is therefore the Lord’s day. In that day we are to “rejoice and be glad.” This new day is the day to which the Apostle John makes reference when he said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10). These words of John were written fully sixty years after the death of Christ and at a time when the new day had become the accepted day among all believers. The Lord’s day should in no wise be confused with “The Day of the LORD.” One is the first day of every week, which is observed as a commemoration of the resurrection of Christ. The other is a prophetic period, which is still future, and which concerns Israel and the whole creation. The first Lord’s day was the pattern of all the Lord’s days that should follow. It began “very early in the morning,” when the risen Lord said, “All Hail” (lit. rejoice)! It continued with His precious fellowship, and closed with His benediction of peace. From that early morning to its close it was a day of worship, activity, and joy. The sabbath, on the other hand, with no less symbolical significance, began with the setting sun, which spoke of complete cessation of activity, and of perfect rest. The Christian has an unchangeable day. He may extend its observance to all days, but He cannot change the one day, which is divinely appointed, any more than Israel, or any one else, could change the divinely appointed seventh day. A change of the first day to another breaks the symbolic meaning of the day as it represents the true relationships under grace. It results in robbing Christ of that glory which is His alone. This is one of the wrongs committed by all those who persist in an attempted seventh-day observance. The two days do not present an optional choice to the Christian. The choice between these days is one which carries either acceptance or rejection of the most vital relationships between Christ and the believer under grace. 3. A new day is indicated by important events Beginning with the resurrection, and following it, every event recorded in the New Testament which had important religious significance fell on the first day of the week, or the Lord’s day. No greater emphasis through events could be given to this new day than that found in the teachings of grace, and, added to this, is the fact that in these same Scriptures the sabbath day is wholly set aside. If it be claimed that there is no direct commandment for the keeping of the Lord’s day, it should be observed that there is explicit command against the observance of the sabbath day, and that the lack of commandments concerning the Lord’s day is both in accordance with the character of the new day, and the entire order of grace which it represents and to which it is related. Mention should be made of the great events which fell on the first day of the week. a. On the first day of the week Christ arose from the dead. His resurrection is vitally related to the ages past, to the fulfillment of all prophecy, to the values of His death, to the Church, to Israel, to creation, to the purposes of God in grace which reach beyond to the ages to come, and to the eternal glory of God. Fulfillment of the eternal purposes related to all of these was dependent upon the coming forth of the Son of God from that tomb. He arose from the dead, and the greatness of that event is indicated by the importance of its place in Christian doctrine. Had not Christ arisen—He by whom all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, He for whom things were created, who is before all things, and by whom all things consist (hold together)—every divine purpose and blessing would have failed, yea, the very universe and the throne of God would have dissolved and would have been dismissed forever. All life, light, and hope would have ceased. Death, darkness, and despair would have reigned. Though the spiritual powers of darkness might have continued, the last hope for a ruined world would have been banished eternally. It is impossible for the mind to grasp the mighty issues which were at stake at the moment when Christ came forth from the tomb. At no moment of time, however, were these great issues in jeopardy. The consummation of His resurrection was sure, for omnipotent power was engaged to bring it to pass. Every feature of the Christian’s salvation, position, and hope was dependent on the resurrection of his Lord. Very much depended on the death of Christ, but every value of that death would have been sacrificed apart from the resurrection. When Christ arose from the dead, Christianity was born, and the new creation was brought into existence. There is nothing in the old order for the believer. He stands on resurrection ground. He belongs only to the new creation. God is faithful to all that He has wrought in Christ and He, according to His Word, will not suffer the child of the new creation to go back and celebrate the beginning of the old and fallen creation from which His child has been saved through infinite riches of grace. If the children of grace persist in relating themselves to the old creation by the observance of the sabbath, it is evidence of their limitations in the knowledge of the “Word and will of God; it is to fall from grace. Since the day of Christ’s resurrection is the day in which the new creation was formed, and all that enters into the Christian’s life and hope was brought into being, both according to Scripture and according to reason, the Christian can celebrate no other day than the Lord’s day. b. On the first day of the week Christ met His disciples in the new power and fellowship of His resurrection life. c. On the first day of the week Christ symbolized the new resurrection fellowship by breaking bread with His disciples. d. On the first day of the week He gave them instructions in their new resurrection ministry and life for Him. e. On the first day of the week He commanded the disciples to preach the new message to all the world. f. On the first day of the week Christ ascended into heaven as the “Wave Sheaf.” In fulfilling the Old Testament type and the eternal purpose of God, it was necessary that He should appear in heaven as the earnest of the mighty harvest of souls whom He had redeemed and who came out of that tomb with Him to share His eternal life and glory. So, also, He must, having accomplished the sacrifice for sin, present His own blood in heaven (Lev. 16:1–34; Heb. 9:16–28). Having not yet ascended, He said to Mary, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17). How little the mighty import of this message from Christ was understood then, and how little it is understood even now! That He ascended on that day is evident; for He said unto them at evening of that day, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see” (Lk. 24:39). He had ascended to heaven, accomplished His work there, and returned to earth to complete His post-resurrection ministry. g. On the first day of the week He breathed on His disciples and imparted the Holy Spirit to them. h. On the first day of the week the Spirit descended to take up His age-characterizing ministries in the world. i. On the first day of the week the Apostle Paul preached to the assembled believers at Troas. The Spirit of God has distinctly emphasized the fact that the Apostle was in Troas seven days. Of necessity, then, the stay in that city included both a seventh day and a first day of the week. The Apostle was thus free to choose either day for his public ministry to the assembled saints. The record reads: “We … came unto them to Troas … where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them” (Acts 20:6, 7). j. The Apostle commanded the Corinthian believer to “lay by him in store,” on the first day of the week, “as God hath prospered him” (1 Cor. 16:2). k. On the first day of the week Christ appeared to John on Patmos in that revelation of Himself in all His present resurrection, heavenly glory. He appeared to John on the Lord’s day. 4. The new day typifies the new creation The rite of circumcision, being accomplished on the eighth day, was a suggestion of the spiritual circumcision of the flesh which Christ wrought by His death and resurrection. The eighth day was the first day following a completed week. It is thus a picture of that new order which came through the death and resurrection of Christ. The Apostle writes: “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (Col. 2:11). Not only has the old nature been judged in the crucifixion, death, and burial of the Son of God, and the new victory in the resurrection life of Christ been made possible; but, for the believer, the old creation went into that tomb and a new creation with its heavenly power and glory came out. The old creation was abolished and with it the sabbath which commemorated it. Only a new standing in the resurrected Christ abides and this both demands and provides a new day. That new day is the eighth day, or the first day following the ending of the old creation. 5. The new day is typical of unmerited grace The first day of the week is a type of the facts and relationships which are under grace; while the seventh day is a type of the facts and relationships which are under the law. On the seventh day man rested from all his work. This is in harmony with the law covenant of works, which required a man to do good in order that he might receive the blessing of God. Under the law, six days of faithful labor are followed by one day of absolute rest. On the other hand, the observance of the first day of the week is typical of the believer’s position under unmerited grace. He begins with a day of blessing before any works are wrought, and then he is expected to live the following six days in the power and blessing he has received on that day. This is the order of the grace covenant of faith in which all saving grace is first bestowed as a gift from God, and is then followed by a life which is lived in the power of that new relationship with God. A day of rest belonged to a people who were related to God by works which were to be accomplished. A day of ceaseless worship and service belongs to a people who are related to God by the finished work of Christ. The seventh day was governed by an unyielding, ironclad law. The first day is characterized by the latitude and liberty belonging to grace. The seventh day was observed with the hope that by it one might be accepted of God. The first day is observed with the assurance that one is already accepted of God. The keeping of the seventh day was wrought by the flesh. The keeping of the first day is to be wrought by the indwelling Spirit. 6. The new day began to be observed with the resurrection of Christ It is claimed by a certain group of Sabbatarians that the sabbath was kept by the early church until the day was changed by the Emperor Constantine in the year 321 A. D., or even later by the Pope of Rome. There is no ground for this erroneous and misleading teaching. The sabbath was never changed. It could not be. A new and far different day in significance, which alone could belong to this age of grace, superseded it. When this age is completed and law reigns again in the earth, the sabbath will be observed; but in no wise will man have changed the day. There is conclusive evidence that the first day of the week has been observed by the church from the very resurrection of Christ. This evidence is found both (a) in the Scriptures and (b) in the writings of the early fathers: (a) Turning to the Epistles of the New Testament, wherein is conditioned the believer’s life under grace, we discover that there is prohibition against the observance of a sabbath day, and that there is not one record that any Christian kept a sabbath day, even in error. On the other hand, there is abundant evidence, as has been seen, that the first day of the week was observed in the manner consistent with its significance. (b) The testimony from the early fathers is also conclusive. Eusebius, 315 A. D., says: “The churches throughout the rest of the world observe the practice that has prevailed from Apostolic tradition until the present time so that it would not be proper to terminate our fast on any other day but the resurrection day of our Savior. Hence there were synods and convocations of our Bishops on this question and all unanimously drew up an ecclesiastical decree which they communicated to churches in all places—that the mystery of the Lord’s resurrection should be celebrated on no other than the Lord’s Day.” Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, 300 A. D., says: “We keep the Lord’s Day as a day of joy because of him who rose thereon.” Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, 253 A. D., says: “The Lord’s Day is both the 1st, and the 8th day.” Tertullian, of Carthage, 200 A. D., says, speaking of the “sun-worshippers”: “Though we share with them Sunday, we are not apprehensive lest we seem to be heathen.” Clement of Alexandria, 194 A. D., says: “The old sabbath day has become nothing more than a working day.” Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, 178 A. D., says: “The mystery of the Lord’s resurrection may not be celebrated on any other day than the Lord’s Day.” Bardesanes, 160 A. D., says: “Wherever we be, all of us are called by the one name of the Messiah, namely Christians, and upon one day, which is the first day of the week, we assemble ourselves together and on the appointed days we abstain from food.” Justin Martyr, 135 A. D., says: “Sunday is the day upon which we all hold our communion assembly, because it is the first day on which God having wrought a change in the darkness and matter made the world and Jesus Christ our Savior, on that day, rose from the dead and on the day called Sunday all who live in cities or in the country gather together in one place and the memoirs of the Apostles, or the writings of the prophets are read as long as time permits.” “On the Lord’s Day all Christians in the city or country meet together because that is the day of our Lord’s resurrection; and then we read the apostles and prophets. This being done, the president makes an oration to the assembly exhorting them to imitate and to practice the things which they have heard, and then we all join in prayer, and after that we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.” Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, 110 A. D., says: “If then those who walked in the ancient practices attain unto newness of hope no longer observing sabbaths, but fashioning their lives after the Lord’s Day, on which our life also arose through him, that we may be found disciples of Jesus Christ, our only teacher.” Barnabas, one of the Apostolic fathers, writing 70 A. D., says: “Finally He saith, ‘Your present sabbaths are not acceptable to me. I shall make a new beginning of the eighth day, that is the beginning of another world,’ wherefore also we keep the Lord’s Day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose from the dead.” Also, the “Didache of the Apostles” 70 A. D., says: “On the Lord’s own Day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks.” By this line of unbroken testimony the evidence concerning the observance of the Lord’s day is carried back to the days of the writings of the New Testament. It is quite true that Emperors and Popes have made decrees regarding the first day of the week. Everything was done that could be done to persecute the Jew, and to abolish Jewish practices; but the Jewish sabbath passed, and the new day came to be, not by the decree of man, but by the resurrection of Christ which brought in all that the Lord’s day signifies. 7. The new day has been blessed of God Christians have observed the Lord’s day under the evident blessing of God for nearly 2000 years. Among them have been the most devout believers, the martyrs, the missionaries, and a countless throng of those who would have passed through any trial or persecution to know and do the will of God. It is a very serious charge to say that all these faithful saints have been disobedient, or as some sabbatarians now call all Christians who do not keep sabbath, “heretics,” “deceivers,” “having the mark of the Beast,” and “blinded by Satan.” The Gospel of grace is by these people substituted by “another gospel” which is to the effect that only those who keep the sabbath will be saved, and they also teach that God has “forsaken His church” and that she is “abandoned to Satan who rules her.” In spite of the fact that God has never once imposed the sabbath upon the age of grace, they make the preaching of the sabbath their major theme, and in seeming bitterness, do not hesitate to hinder the good works of all who love and keep the Lord’s day. Along with the error of preaching the law in place of the Gospel, these Sabbatarians hold and teach other misleading heresies and unbiblical doctrines. Being so much in error concerning many fundamental doctrines of the Bible,1 it is not strange that they persist in sabbath legality. The reasons for keeping the Lord’s day, or the first day of the week, are clear and sufficient to those who will receive the teachings of God’s Word without prejudice. Second. The Biblical Observance of the Lord’s Day The manner in which the first day of the week should be observed is clearly indicated by the very name which is given to it in the Scriptures. Being the Lord’s day, it is to be lived in that manner which will most honor and glorify the Lord. Whatever enters into the present relationship between the believer and his Lord, such as prayer, joyful worship, and service, will naturally characterize the observance of the day. Particular care should be exercised that no element of a Jewish sabbath be incorporated into the manner of the keeping of the Lord’s day. Not only does such an intrusion create confusion in the mind as to the meaning and purpose of the day, but it is a co-mingling of the elements of law and grace, and this, it is certain, is not according to the mind of God. The two days are similar only in one respect: they both sustain the ratio of one particular day in seven. There is not the slightest reason for any combination of their respective features. Should this exhortation to watchfulness lest these days be confused seem to be extreme, it should be remembered that only thus can a believer stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made him free, and not be entangled again in a yoke of bondage. Only thus can he be saved from violating the most precious aspect of his own relation to God under grace, and from disregarding the most vital injunctions of those Scriptures which condition his life under grace. Christians have been saved from the curse of the law by the death of Christ (Gal. 3:13). This marvelous deliverance has cost the sacrifice of the Son of God, and it cannot be an unimportant issue in the mind of God. The believer who would really keep the day in conformity to the revealed will of his Lord, should duly consider the fact that every aspect of sabbath observance is purely legal, and related only to law, and that Christ has died to save him from any complicity with the law. The observance of the Lord’s day as recorded in the New Testament, is free from every relationship to the Jewish sabbath. When contemplating the Scriptural observance of the Lord’s day, three considerations arise: (1) It belongs to a particular people; (2) it is not subject to rules; and (3) its observance is not limited to one day. 1. The Lord’s day belongs to a particular people As the sabbath under the law belonged only to the nation Israel, so, in like manner, the new day in grace belongs only to those who are regenerated by the Spirit. In arriving at the full force of this statement, it should be noted: a. The Lord’s day, like every other aspect of grace, is an appeal to the individual believer only As men are now saved by a personal faith, and afterwards their service is in the power of an individual gift by the Spirit, they walk alone in the Spirit, and they receive their own reward for faithfulness to God. In conformity with this truth, therefore, the observance of the day is to be personal. The exact manner of its observance is a matter between the individual believer and his Lord. The Scriptures presuppose that the believer is a normal Christian to the extent that he is yielded to God and walking in the Spirit, that it will be his delight to do the will of God, and to rejoice above all else in the larger freedom which the Lord’s day affords for worship and service. If perchance he is not thus yielded to God, no forced, outward observance of the day will correct his carnal heart, nor would such an observance of a day be pleasing to God. No day has been committed to the Church as a body. Apart from the two exceptions that the believer is to consider his possible influence upon a weaker brother, and his own conduct in the light of expediency, the day is to be observed by the individual out of the fullness of his own heart. Beyond this there are no rules, nor could there be; for apart from this there is no possibility of continuing in those exact relationships which belong to grace. Concerning the observance of the Lord’s day the Apostle said: “Let every man [Christian] be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5). b. The Lord’s day is not for the unregenerate The unsaved sustain no relation to the Lord’s day, since that day belongs only to the new creation, and therefore the pressing of the observance of a religious day upon the individual who is unsaved, is misleading in the extreme; for it tends to the utter confusion of the Gospel of grace. God is not calling on the unsaved to keep a day to which they could in no way be related. The issue between God and the sinner is the one issue which the new Gospel of grace has raised and imposed. It is a question as to whether he will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ unto forgiveness and eternal life. The person who observes a day while rejecting Christ as Savior, is no nearer salvation or acceptance with God than he would otherwise be. That supposed merit, gained by keeping a day, may be the one thing that hinders him from discovering Christ as the Savior for a meritless sinner. Men are not saved by any works whatsoever, and any teaching which misdirects them at this point is “another gospel” and subject to the anathema of God (Gal. 1:8). If the motive in pressing the religious observance of a day upon the unregenerate be for the moral and civic good of the community, the question should be answered as to whether the moral and civic betterment of the world is more important than the salvation of men. c. The Lord’s day is not a national day When a day is imposed upon the nation it is, without exception, upon the authority of the Jewish sabbath of rest, and not on the authority of anything which obtains in the new creation. The error of this legalism needs no further exposition. God is certainly not imposing a legal sabbath on any nation, or the world, when He has given His Son to remove that whole law-curse and to place men where they might be saved apart from works of their own. In this age God is represented as dealing with the individual only. In matters of human government, it is the “times of the Gentiles,” with all that is involved, and no individual or nation is now accepted of God on the basis of human works. It is most imperative that a day of rest for man and beast be maintained by civic authority. No intelligent person could vote otherwise; but the day should be enforced as all other humanitarian laws. and other portions of the Decalogue are enforced, and not as a meritorious religious observance. At any cost the sabbath-observance stumbling-stone should be kept from the path of the unsaved. d. The Lord’s day and the children The question often arises in the Christian home as to the manner in which the Lord’s day should be observed by children. Upon this subject a suggestion may be advanced: Until he is of age, the child is properly under the direction of the parents and the government of the home. He should live in conformity to the wishes and customs of the parents, but it is vitally important that the child should be brought to know Christ as a Savior at the earliest possible moment. Then the Lord’s day becomes to him a matter of his own privilege and personal delight, and not a law prescribed by the parents. Care should be taken, as well, that the day of grace should not become a subject of dislike and prejudice in the mind of the child. 2. The Lord’s day is not subject to rules Such is the character of all the teachings of grace, and at this point the grace teachings are wholly in contrast to the teachings of all law. The law contemplated the people to whom it was addressed as being children and thus subject to “tutors and governors.” Every detail of their prescribed life was a matter of explicit law. The flesh was in no way depended upon to direct itself. The believer under grace is an adult son in the Father’s house, with the wider latitude which belongs to the full-grown, self-responsible man. Therefore the teachings of grace are not explicit as to detail. They anticipate the immediate inner judgment by the indwelling Spirit. Under grace, great principles are announced, but the outworking of those principles is to be according to the leading of the Spirit in the individual. Liberality is enjoined, but the object and amount of the gift is a matter of prayerful dependence on the Spirit. As to service, every Christian is to be instant in season and out of season, but the gifts for service and the manner and place of their exercise is “as he will.” Prayer is to be offered without ceasing, but we know not what to pray for as we ought. However in this again, the Spirit helpeth our infirmities and He maketh intercession for us according to the mind of God. The believer’s life under grace is a “walk in the Spirit.” Step by step, every detail is to be wrought in the heart by the Spirit, and there are no more detail-rules for the observance of the Lord’s day than for the outworking of any other responsibility or privilege under grace. The flesh is not now to be controlled by laws; but by the Lordship of the Spirit. Not having specific rules for the keeping of the Christian’s day, and not duly considering the divine provision for a spiritual life in the power of the Spirit, men, hoping to keep control of the flesh, have turned to the Jewish sabbath laws and forced them onto the Lord’s day. In so doing, they have repudiated one of the most vital accomplishments of the death of Christ, they have robbed believers of their liberty in grace, and, so far as their influence goes, they have degraded the full-grown sons of God to the level of mere children who are under “tutors and governors.” The real question is not, How shall we preserve the sacredness of the day unless we have laws and enforce them? It is rather, can the believer, to whom the day belongs, be trusted, when filled with the Spirit, to glorify God on the Lord’s day? Evidently there will be no failure to observe the day on the part of the Spirit-filled believer. But what of the great company of carnal Christians? Should they not be held by laws to the keeping of the day? In reply to this important question it should be stated: The position of a carnal Christian is different from that of the unsaved. The Lord’s day belongs to the Christian, but it does not belong to the unregenerate. The Christian alone faces the problem related to the Lord’s day. The problem, therefore, resolves itself into this: Is God satisfied when the Christian’s life is merely a forced, outward conformity to unpleasant ideals? The answer is obvious. One of the essential glories of grace is that God-honoring manner of life which is an outflow and overflow of the heart. No painful observance of law will ever correct a carnal heart. The cure is found only in the right adjustment of the heart to the Spirit. Too often the Christian life is presented as being a matter of observing certain rules and sustaining a superficial outward conduct, to the neglect of the divinely provided, victorious, overflowing life in the Spirit. Notwithstanding the consternation of the untaught legalist who proposes to regulate Christian conduct by precept, the truth stands that the Lord’s day imposes no rules, and yields to no law. True to grace, there are, however, certain well-defined principles to be stated: a. It, being the Lord’s day, is to be lived well-pleasing to Him This principle is the embodiment of all other principles related to the keeping of the Lord’s day; but the detail of this heaven-high ideal, as has been seen, cannot be determined by rules, nor can it ever be wrought by the flesh. There is but one exception: It has pleased the Lord to give minute instruction as to the manner of the observance of His memorial supper. b. The Lord’s day celebrates the resurrection of Christ If this be true, then all obligation to observe the day of rest, which is related to the old creation, is excluded. The day is to be celebrated in the new life and service of the resurrected Christ. c. The Lord’s day yields to no law Like all law, the law of a certain day has been kept and fulfilled for the believer by Christ. There remains for the believer only overflowing praise and joyful service. The element of necessity has likewise passed. Men are not compelled to keep a day to be accepted of God. They, if saved, are already accepted “in the beloved.” The day should be kept because of perfection in Christ, and not unto perfection in Christ. d. It is a day of personal delight When the Lord’s day becomes a burden to the individual, to him it is no longer a day of grace. It is characterized by that attitude of heart which delights to do the will of God. When this day was prophetically announced, it was said: “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” So, also, the first word from the lips of the resurrected Christ on the morning of His resurrection was, “All hail!” (The word here is chairo, and means rejoice, or, O joy!.) The Lord’s day should be celebrated in the fullest experience of the “joy of the Lord.” e. The Lord’s day is a day for the largest Christian activity The risen Lord revealed the character of the day on that same early morning when He said: “Go tell.” This is the obligation toward the new evangel, the giving of which is to occupy every believer. As the Old Testament priests went in to perform a sacrifice, the New Testament priests,—all believers under grace,—are to go out to the ends of the earth to tell of the sacrifice which has been performed. The Lord’s day is not a day for selfish entertainment or amusement. It is not a day for idleness and rest. Its privileges should be, and will be, preserved by all who delight to do His will. It becomes an opportunity for many who are held by secular work during the days of the week, to offer the fuller service of prayer, worship, and testimony which belongs to their Lord. The instructed Christian no longer labors to be accepted of God, which was the obligation under the law; but he, being accepted in grace, labors to glorify his Lord who saves him. He has ceased from his own works, and though ceaselessly active, is working in the power and energy of the Spirit. His activity is not limited to one day, or to six days: it is “in season and out of season” according to the mind and will of the Spirit. Spirit-filled believers have always violated every feature of a strict Jewish sabbath of rest when serving as “able ministers of the new covenant.” If led of the Spirit thus to serve, the resulting violation of the sabbath is in reality the work of the Spirit. It would be a herculean task, indeed, to attempt to prove that all Christian service and activity exercised on the first day of the week for nineteen centuries has been offensive to God because it violated the demands of a sabbath of rest, or that the neglect of the seventh day by all the believers of the Christian era, has, in the mind of God, merited the penalty of death. Yet this is the logical charge to be made against all these believers unless it be admitted that they had individually entered, as a prerequisite to service, into the sabbath rest of that which is finished forever in the cross. f. The Lord’s day observance is to be governed by the law of expediency, and the law of love The law of expediency permits the undertaking on the Lord’s day of only those things which are advisable, advantageous, and suitable. Judgment in these things should be formed only in view of the Biblical teachings concerning the Lord’s day responsibility,—not the Jewish sabbath,—and in view of the need of others, and the possible influence which any particular action might have upon others. The Christian objective is not a slavish conformity to certain laws governing a day. It is concerned rather with the question as to what will most glorify Christ and advance the cause of His saving grace in the earth. When adjusted to the law of love, the Christian will not exercise his own liberty in such a manner as to hinder and offend a weaker brother who through false teaching has developed a conscience toward a Jewish sabbath, nor will he rob others of the exercise of their own worship and service. Such issues have to be given due consideration when dealing with all questions of travel and of relationship to those who serve. 3. The manner of the observance of the Lord’s day may be extended to all days The Lord’s day observance alone is capable of being extended to all days; for in no wise could a Jewish sabbath be thus extended. It is evident, therefore, that the Apostle’s reference to the keeping of a day, as found in Rom. 14:1–12, is a reference to the Lord’s day and not to a sabbath day. He writes: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.… For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.… So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.” The primary teaching of this passage puts the emphasis on the fact that Christian conduct is largely a matter to be settled between the believer and his Lord. There need be no fear; “God is able to make him stand.” The passage might be understood as presenting a contrast between a man who keeps one day, and a man who keeps no day at all. In such a case, God will deal with the wrong in His child, if wrong there be. In attempting to adjust such a situation, men might compel the erring one to observe a day, or, as a penalty for failure, exclude him from their fellowship. The divine method is to change the heart. This God alone can do. But in this particular instance it will be observed that concerning the man of whom it is said that he does not regard the day, it is also said that “unto the Lord he doth not regard it.” It is as much a matter of devotion to God in the case of the one man as it is in the case of the other. It is therefore probable that the contrast is between the man who keeps one day as unto the Lord, and another man who keeps all days as unto the Lord. There must be sufficient room in the Christian fellowship for these two equally sincere men to live in joyful companionship in Christ. It would be quite human for each of these men to form mutually exclusive denominations for the conservation of his own peculiar convictions. This, however, would not be in harmony with the life under grace. The man who esteems all days alike, extends the joyous worship, praise, and service belonging to the Lord’s day into every day. This leads to the consideration of the fact that there is (a) a true sabbath under grace, and (b) there is yet to be a millennial sabbath in the earth. a. The true sabbath under grace The sabbath under the law was a day. The sabbath under grace is a life. The law, even of the sabbath, was but “a shadow of good things to come,” but Christ is now the Substance. The sabbath under grace knows no shadow. It is radiant with the glory of the resurrected Christ. In Hebrews 4:1–16 there is full revelation concerning the sabbath under grace. This whole message is gathered up in one brief portion of the passage: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His” (vs. 9, 10). There is no reference in this Scripture to the rest into which the Christian enters at death. It is rather, “For we which have believed do enter into rest” (v. 3). It is the rest of “him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly” (Rom. 4:5), and the rest of the one who, “walking in the Spirit,” discovers that he does not fulfill the lust of the flesh, and who enters into the realization of the provision through the indwelling Spirit that the whole will of God is to be fulfilled in him, rather than by him. This great blessing is not restricted to a sabbath day; it is an unbroken sabbath life. The sabbath of the law was, then, a day of absolute rest; the sabbath under grace is a life which is delivered from all works of the flesh since Christ has wrought, and is free from every dependence on the flesh since the Spirit has been given. No burden was allowed to be borne on the sabbath under the law; every burden is to be cast on the Lord in the sabbath of grace. The sabbath of the law was a day of rest for self; the sabbath of grace is a rest from self. It is a life which is to be lived to the glory and praise of Another. In the sabbath under the law, man was to cease from doing his own will for one day in seven; in the sabbath under grace the believer is to be constantly and wholly yielded to God.1 Every vestige of the system which provided for the giving of one-seventh of the time in conformity to the will of God, is removed, and in its place the everyday, unchanging experience of that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God has been substituted. It is inconceivable that Christ was more devoted to His Father on one day than on another. To intrude the legal sabbath into the present order of fellowship with God, is to rob Him of six-sevenths of His glory in grace. It is true that the Christian has a day which is given to him from God, and this day is to be observed; but its observance is never a matter of greater piety, devotion, or yieldedness to God than of any other day. Its observance consists in a larger freedom, because of the cessation of temporal cares, to do all that his heart is yearning to do all the days. The sabbath in grace is, therefore, an experience of all that enters into the highest ideals of the Christian’s life and devotion to God. Blessed indeed are the children of God who learn to turn from holy days, from lenten seasons, and from all mere forms, if these even suggest the thought of fitfulness in fellowship and service with Christ. Doubtless, in spite of the glory of the true sabbath under grace, there will always be those who will continue to give their tenth, in place of giving themselves and all that they are and have, and who will give a mere fraction of their time for devotion to God, rather than their lives. The true sabbath under grace is well stated in these words: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31); “Be instant in season, out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2); “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17); “Giving thanks always for all things” (Eph. 5:20); “Rejoice evermore” (1 Thes. 5:16); and, “Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). b. The millennial sabbath The sabbath, as a type, will have its final earthly fulfillment in the coming kingdom-reign of Christ. It seems probable that it will be at the end of its six thousand years of labor and oppression under the power of sin and Satan, that the earth will celebrate its predicted thousand-year, jubilee sabbath of rest. During that period the Church will be reigning with the King as His Bride, and Israel will again keep her seventh-day sabbath, but in the new enabling power which is to be provided in that age of the divine glory in the earth. Of that kingdom-age it is written: “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD” (Isa. 66:23). III. CERTAIN CURRENT ERRORS A brief recapitulation of what has already been covered of the current errors on the sabbath question is here given in conclusion of this aspect of the teachings of grace. First. That the Sabbath Obtains from Creation to the End of Time There is no Scripture upon which this claim may be based, either for the period from Adam to the giving of the law, or from the death of Christ until the end of the present age of grace. Second. That the Sabbath was Ever Given to Gentiles The disastrous results of the prevalent custom of borrowing certain features from Judaism, including its sabbath, and intruding them into Christianity cannot be too strongly emphasized. This error carries with it the obligation to keep the law in its totality, disregards one of the most vital accomplishments of Christ in His death, and creates a condition of hopeless confusion in all matters related to the right divisions of the Scriptures. The whole seventh-day error is a logical outcome of an assumed freedom to apply Jewish Scriptures to the Church of God. Third. That the Decalogue was Never a part of the Law, and Therefore the Sabbath of the Decalogue is Now Binding Though the Law is Done Away This claim is silenced by the Scriptures. The Decalogue is included, incorporated, and embedded in the Old Testament statement of the law; and in the New Testament, the decalogue is explicitly declared to be “THE LAW” (Rom. 7:7). Fourth. That the Jewish Sabbath was Changed to the Lord’s Day Emperors, Popes, church councils, and creeds have declared the obligation to observe the first day of the week as the sabbath. Such decrees have never changed the sabbath to the Lord’s day. The sabbath could not be changed. An entirely different day has been established by God Himself. This new day belongs to the transcendent realities of the new creation which was brought into existence through the resurrection of Christ. The Lord’s day is different from the sabbath in every consideration but one, namely, like the Jewish sabbath, it is a reservation of one particular day in seven. Fifth. That the Lord’s Day Should be Called the Christian Sabbath The practice of speaking of the Lord’s day as the Christian sabbath is wholly without Scriptural warrant, and is no doubt more often the result of careless habit, or lack of due consideration of the Bible teachings, than of unbelief. Sixth. The Practice of Adopting Rules from the Jewish Sabbath Law to Supplement the Precious Absence of Rules for the Lord’s Day This blasting error should be judged without mercy, for it, in effect, drives every grace-aspect of the Lord’s day from the field, and induces one “to tempt God” (Cf Acts 15:10). The toleration of this error not only reveals a total misconception of the glories of grace, but it darkens counsel, and complicates the saving Gospel of Christ. Seventh. That the Universal Observance of a Sabbath, or Lord’s Day, Should be Required by Legislation of a Town, a State, or a Nation This teaching, likewise, is foreign to Scripture. Let those who are pursuing this idea pause to consider whether their energy might not be employed in a manner which is more pleasing to Christ by heeding His last command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, rather than to attempt to compel unwilling, Christ-rejecting hearts into a mere religious formality which only develops self-righteous Pharisees who are as surely doomed without Christ as though they had never heard of a holy day. SECTION SEVEN CHRIST, THE BELIEVER’S SPHERE IN GRACE There is probably no word of Scripture which more clearly defines the essential fact concerning the Christian than the phrase, “In Christ,” and as the Christian is the most important fact of all creation, there has never been a word uttered which was so far-reaching in its implication, or which is fraught with greater meaning to humanity than the phrase, “In Christ.” This phrase, with its equivalents, “In Christ Jesus,” “In Him,” “In the Beloved,” “By Him,” “Through Him,” and “With Him,” appears in the grace teachings of the New Testament no less than 130 times. This most unusual emphasis upon one particular truth is arresting, and its import must not be slighted. Over against the emphasis which is given to this truth in the teachings of grace, is the corresponding fact that there is no hint of a possible position in Christ in any teaching of the law or of the kingdom. The believer’s present position in Christ was not seen even in type or prophecy. In the ages past it was a secret hid in the mind and heart of God. He who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, “hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery [sacred secret] of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of time he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” Who can comprehend the full scope of these eternal wonders? Knowing the limitation of the human heart, at this point the Apostle breaks forth into prayer: “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding [heart] being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” Having thus prayed that the Christian may know by divine illumination the hope of his calling and the riches of the glory of the inheritance which God now has in the saints, he continues to pray that they may also know by the same divine revelation, “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:2–23). Growing out of this glorious relationship in Christ, is a most natural responsibility to walk worthy of the calling; but the issues of a daily life and the character of the conduct which should enter into it, though important in their place, are lost and forgotten in the blaze of the eternal glory of that unchangeable grace which has brought the believer into the new creation in Christ Jesus. To be in Christ is to be in the sphere of His own infinite Person, power, and glory. He surrounds, He protects, He separates from all else, and He indwells the one in Him. He also supplies in Himself all that a soul will ever need in time or eternity. The union which is formed in Christ is deeper than any relationship the human mind has ever conceived. In His priestly prayer, in which He had advanced onto resurrection ground, and where He contemplated the glory of His finished work as having been already accomplished (Cf John 17:11), Christ spoke of three unities within the sphere of one relationship: (1) The unity within the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, (2) the unity between the Persons of the Trinity and all believers, and (3) the unity between the believers themselves, since they are in Him. We read: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.… I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:20–23). Who can fathom the depths of the revelation that the believer is related to Christ on the very plane of that oneness which exists between the Father and the Son? Again, Christ likens the union which exists between Himself and the believer to the vital, organic relation that exists between the vine and its living branch. The branch is in the vine and the life of the vine is in the branch; but the branch possesses no independent life in itself. It cannot exist apart from the vine. The human child may outgrow dependence upon its parents and, in turn, support and sustain them; but the branch can never become independent of the vine. In like manner, the fruit and every manifestation of life in the branch is due to the ceaseless inflow of the vitality of the vine. The fruit is as much the fruit of the vine as it is the fruit of the branch (Cf John 15:5; Rom. 7:4; Gal. 5:22, 23). Thus it is with the one who is in Christ. Considering the same fact of unity, the Apostle Paul likens Christ to the head and the believers to members in a body. This figure illustrates the same vital, dependent relationship. The member in the body partakes of the merit and honor of the head, and the life and power of the head is imparted to the member. So perfect is this unity between the Head and the members of the body, that it is probable that Christ will never be seen in glory apart from His body, and the body will never be seen apart from Him (Cf 1 Cor. 12:12). From these illustrative Scriptures it will be observed that the unity between Christ and the believer is two-fold: The believer is in Christ, and Christ is in the believer. The believer is in Christ as to positions, possessions, safe-keeping, and association; and Christ is in the believer giving life, character and dynamic for conduct. It has already been pointed out that the upper-room conversation, recorded in John, chapters 13 to 16, presents the grace teachings of Christ, and is the germ of all the truth that is found in the Epistles, which, in turn, contain the revelation of the essential fact of the new creation and the resulting obligation as to daily life. The doctrinal truth of the Epistles, which is the doctrinal truth of grace, is subject to the same two-fold division—what the saved one is in Christ, and the character and power of the daily life that will be experienced when the victorious energy of the indwelling Christ is imparted. At one point in the midst of the upper-room discourse, Christ compressed the whole doctrinal structure of grace into one brief phrase. This phrase is notable because it is the key to all the facts and relationships under grace, and because of its simplicity and brevity of language: “Ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). These two aspects of the truth under grace will be considered separately. (1) “Ye in me,” (2) “I in you.” 1. “YE IN ME.” Every child of God is vitally united to Christ. He is placed in Christ by the baptism with the Spirit, which ministry of the Spirit is not only a part of salvation and therefore already accomplished for all who are saved, but it is distinctly said to be a ministry that is wrought for all who believe on Christ. The Scriptures state: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). This is the one passage in the Word of God which reveals the precise meaning and objective of the baptism with the Spirit. Since its meaning is clear, there is no excuse for the prevalent errors connected with this truth. Being accomplished for “all,” the baptism with the Spirit includes the one who has just been saved. Thus the time of its accomplishment is revealed. It is, of necessity, synchronous with salvation itself, and therefore a part of it. Likewise, the same passage presents the divine objective which is accomplished by the Spirit’s baptism. It is “into one body,” and that believers may be “made to drink into one Spirit.” There was a time when the individual was not in Christ, which is the present estate of all who are unsaved. There follows a time when the individual, being saved, is in Christ. This great change consists in the fact that he has been placed in that vital organic union with Christ by the baptism with the Spirit. By the Spirit he has been baptized into the very body of Christ, and this ministry of the Spirit, likewise, unites all who are saved into a unity of their own; for they are “made to drink into one Spirit.” There is no other work of God for the individual which seems to accomplish so much as the baptism with the Spirit; for by it the living union with Christ is established forever, and by virtue of that union the believer has entered the sphere of all heavenly positions and all eternal possessions which in grace are provided for him in Christ. To the Christian, Christ has become, in the divine reckoning, the sphere of his being, and this reckoning contemplates all that the Christian is and all that he does. Certain aspects of this truth, among many, are to be noted: First, Christ is the Sphere of the Believer’s Positions A sphere is that which surrounds an object on every side and may even penetrate that object. To be within a sphere is to partake of all that it is and all that it imparts. Thus the bird is in the air and the air is in the bird; the fish is in the water and the water is in the fish; the iron is in the fire and the fire is in the iron. Likewise, in the spiritual realm, Christ is the sphere of the believer’s position. He encompasses, surrounds, encloses, and indwells the believer. The believer is in Christ, and Christ is in the believer. Through the baptism with the Spirit, the Christian has become as much an organic part of Christ as the branch is a part of the vine, or the member is a part of the body. Being thus conjoined to Christ, the Father sees the saved one only in Christ, or as a living part of His own Son, and loves him as He loves His Son (Eph. 1:6; John 17:23). As an accompanying result of this vital union in Christ certain facts of relationship are created which are the believer’s new positions in Christ, and are the consequence of the work of God in grace. To present fully all the new positions into which the Christian is brought in Christ, would necessitate an analysis of all the great doctrinal portions of the Epistles. By way of illustration, a brief selection from these positions is here presented.1 Of the saved one it is said that he is: Elect and called of God (1 Thes. 1:4; 5:24). Redeemed by God through the blood of His Son (Col. 1:14). Reconciled to God by the death of His Son (2 Cor. 5:19). Sheltered eternally under the propitiation made in the blood of Christ (1 John 2:2). Forgiven all trespasses, past, present, and future (Col. 2:13). Condemned no more forever (Rom. 8:1). Justified freely by His grace (Rom. 3:24). Sanctified positionally, or set apart unto God in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30). Perfected for ever (Heb. 10:14). Made meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light (Col. 1:12). Made accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6). Made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). Made nigh to God in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:13). A child and son of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:3). Free from the law and dead to the law (Rom. 7:4, 6). Delivered from the power of darkness (Col. 1:13). Translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col. 1:13). Founded on the Rock Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 3:11). God’s gift to Christ (John 17:11, 12, 20; 10:29). Circumcised in Christ (Col. 2:11). An holy priest, chosen and peculiar (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). Object of divine love, grace, power, faithfulness, peace, consolation (Eph. 2:4, 8; 1:9; Heb. 13:5; Col. 3:15; 2 Thes. 2:16). Object of Christ’s intercession (Heb. 7:25). His inheritance (Eph. 1:18). Seated in the heavenly in Christ (Eph. 2:6). A citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20 R. V.). Of the family and household of God (Eph. 2:19; 3:15). Light in the Lord (Eph. 5:8). In God, in Christ, and in the Spirit (1 Thes. 1:1; John 14:20; Rom. 8:9). Possessed with the first fruits of the Spirit. Born (John 3:6), baptized (1 Cor. 12:13), indwelt (1 Cor. 6:19), and sealed (Eph. 4:30). Glorified (Rom. 8:30). Complete in Him (Col, 2:10). Possessing every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). Of these and all other positions which are the present possession of the child of God through his vital union with Christ, it may be said that they are: 1. Invisible The believer’s positions, like all things related to the Spirit, are invisible; but as is true of spiritual things, they are more real and abiding than visible things. “For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18), and, “Whom having not seen, ye love” (1 Pet. 1:8. Cf 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16; Heb. 11:27; 1 John 4:12). Even the present revelation by the Spirit is such as “Eye hath not seen.” 2. Unexperienced The positions in Christ are never subject to human experience. They produce no sensation by which they may be identified. They are taken by faith, and joyous appreciation may come as a result of believing. 3. Apprehended by faith Faith is the new and effectual faculty of the spiritual life. By it what is said in the Word of God is received as true. Such apprehension is, at best, only partial; but, notwithstanding the limitations of human knowledge, the positions are all perfect through Christ. Of this perfection, “the half has never been told.” 4. Contested Scripture presents the warfare of Satan as being waged in the sphere of “the heavenly.” There is abundant assurance that Satan’s power can never spoil any aspect of the believer’s actual positions in Christ; but Satan is able, except as the believer lays hold by faith of the power of God, to hinder the life of blessing which should flow out of that vital union with Christ. 5. Unmerited Human merit, as in all the operations of grace, is excluded from the divine reckoning concerning these positions in Christ. They rest on the perfect merit of Christ. This is the very heart of the new standing before God. “In Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13). 6. Unchangeable The standing and position of the child of God in Christ cannot be increased or decreased. It abides as He is, “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8). 7. Eternal Finally, since these positions in Christ are related to, and depend only on Christ, they will endure as long as He endures: “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost [without end] that come unto God by him” (Heb. 7:25). These great positions and relationships in Christ are the result of the unrestrained outflow of the exceeding grace of God. They, therefore, do not appear in any teaching of the law of Moses or of the kingdom. These positions could not be gained by law-works or by any human merit. Correspondingly, the manner of life which they propose cannot be lived according to the law in the energy of the flesh. The whole system of grace is both inter-related and complete within itself and cannot yield to the principle of the law at any point whatsoever. Second, Christ is the Sphere of the Believer’s Possessions Again the enumeration must be partial: 1. A new standing in Christ The new standing in Christ includes all the positions under grace, a portion of which have just been enumerated. These positions are “the riches of grace in Christ Jesus.” The possession for a day even of one of these glories of grace would be well worth the trials and struggles of a lifetime. But in contrast to such a valuation, they are all gained, and all retained without struggle or trial; they are God’s gift in grace. Such wealth cannot be comprehended by the unaided human mind. The Apostle prayed: “The eyes of your understanding [heart] being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18); “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:19); “That ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Col. 1:9). There are no limits to be placed on the possibility of the illumination of the mind by the Spirit. 2. A new life in Christ The Scriptures lay great emphasis upon the fact that the Christian possesses a new life from God. That life is imparted. Christ said: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The satanic counterfeit of this fundamental truth is the teaching that the new life consists in a new manner of life,—a new standard or ideal. A new life imparted will naturally result in a new manner of life; but no manner of life, old or new, constitutes the means through which the imparted life is gained. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our lord” (Rom. 6:23); and, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish” (John 10:28). Life from God is bestowed through a new birth, results in sonship, and secures the Fatherhood of God. 3. The new presence and power of the Spirit It is stated in Rom. 5:5 that “the Spirit is given unto us.” This is true of every person who is saved. The Spirit is the birth-right in the new life. By Him alone can the character and service that belongs to the normal daily life of the Christian be realized. The Spirit is the “All-Sufficient One.” Every victory in the new life is gained by His strength, and every reward in glory will be won only as a result of His enabling power. 4. A new inheritance The inheritance of the old creation in Adam was beyond description in its horror. It was to be “without Christ … having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). With Christ, God hath freely given us all things else (Rom. 8:32). The Christian’s inheritance is nothing short of “all things”; for he is an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17). Peter writes: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3, 4). The present blessings of the presence and power of the Spirit are but an “earnest of our inheritance” (Eph. 1:14. Cf Acts 20:32; 26:18; Col. 1:12; Heb. 9:15). This inheritance is a present possession which is sealed to the child of God under grace. In addition to the “all things” of Christ, it includes the “all things of the Father” (John 16:12–15), and these are to be revealed to the heart now by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:9, 10); “The living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17); “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Appollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:21–23). 5. A new enemy To be in Christ is to experience the same enmity and opposition from Satan which he entertains toward Christ. There is no enmity on Satan’s part toward the unsaved. They form a part of his world-system and are said to be under his power (Eph. 2:2; Col. 1:13; 1 John 5:19, R. V.; 2 Cor 4:3, 4). Satan’s enmity is against God and against the people of God because God, by His divine nature, is in them, and they are in Christ. We read: “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and the strength of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:10–12. R. V.). 6. Access to God A mediator is required between God and man since God is holy and man is unholy. Job, who lived many centuries before Moses, gave utterance to his own sense of need of a mediator. Speaking of God he said: “For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job. 9:32, 33). There could be none to mediate between God and man unless God Himself should provide. This He did in the Person of His Son. It is written: “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one” (Gal. 3:20). A mediator must stand between two parties; for there is no occasion that he mediate for one. The teaching of the Scriptures is that God mediated His own case. That is to say, He stood between Himself and sinful man. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Cor. 5:19). God undertook through the death of His Son to protect the sacredness of His own holy standards and law which had been outraged by sinful man, and at the same time to secure the welfare of the offender. This is the work of a mediator. Every demand of His holiness was met in Christ who, as Substitute, bore the judgment which God in righteousness must impose, and every interest of the sinner was provided for in the marvels of saving grace which were set free through the death and resurrection of Christ. Christ has thus become the one and only ground of meeting between God and man. “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). The present wide-spread tendency to slight the fact of the holy demands of God against sin and to assume that the sinner is free to come to God on the basis of divine goodness and mercy, is not only a gross misrepresentation of the truth of God’s Word, it is a satanic device to keep men from the salvation that is in Christ. The goodness and mercy of God can never be questioned, but that goodness and mercy has been exercised to the last degree of divine ability in the provision of a Mediator who is mighty to save. Christ said: “I am the light,” “I am the door,” “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is, therefore, no approach to God for saint or sinner other than through the Mediator whom God has provided. All the types of the Old Testament which forshadowed the work of Christ for man were equally clear on this great truth. As the shed-blood of the animal sacrifices typified the efficacious blood of Christ, no individual of the Old Testament dispensation was permitted to come into the presence of God apart from the shedding and sprinkling of blood. Christ is the Mediator of a new and better covenant. His shed-blood is the antitype of all that was required in the sacrifices of the Old Testament; but in the present relation between God and man, the truth takes on an added reality and intensity which is beyond estimation. No man is now free to thrust himself into the presence of God simply because he wills to do so. Every door is closed but One. If God does not destroy the offender as He did in the old dispensation, it is not because the offense is any less worthy of death; it is because of His present attitude of longsuffering through grace. So much the more is man now obligated to respect the unchangeable truth that Christ is the only way to God. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). This mediation of the Son of God is seen in certain aspects: a. Access into the grace of God It is through Christ and Him alone that we have access into the grace of God. “By whom also we have access into this grace” (Rom. 5:2). This is as true for the saved as it is for the unsaved. The unsaved are saved only through the grace which is in Christ Jesus. Likewise, the saved are kept and stand only through Christ, and all their relationship to God is through Christ alone. b. Access into fellowship with God All communion and fellowship with God is on the basis alone of the Person and work of Christ. As the high priest of the old order went into the holy of holies once a year and communed with God, likewise, the priest of the new order—the child of God—is free to enter the presence of God and there to abide. But as the priest of the old order was received before God only because he was under the sprinkled blood, with the same divine discrimination, the priest of the new order is received only because he is under the precious blood of Christ. God receives His children into fellowship on the sole basis of the efficacious blood of Christ whether they understand this fact or not. How vitally important it is, however, that they should understand and give continual heart-acknowledgment of all that Christ is to them! “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:19–22). c. Access to God in prayer Christ is the only access to God in prayer. How misleading is the supposition that any one can reach the ear of God who will simply speak to Him! Apart from the Mediator Christ Jesus, there is no access to God in prayer and there can be no real prayer. The new basis of prayer in the present relationship to God is that, prayer is to be made in the Name of Christ. This is revealed by Christ in the upper room and is a part of His unfolding of the glories of grace. “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it”; “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 14:14; 16:23, 24). God receives all His children when they pray; but He receives them in Christ, and their prayer is effectual and prevailing only as it is in the Name that is above every name, and on the ground of the blood that has been shed. How important, again, that the saved one understand this truth and that he come to God with full heart-acknowledgment of the Mediator—Christ! The unsaved have no access to God in prayer. “But,” it is often asked, “how then can they be saved, if they cannot ask God to save them?” The answer is simple: No person is ever saved because he asks God to do it. He is saved through grace only when he believes. God is offering salvation to men. He does not need to be implored or moved in their behalf. He has been moved to give His Son to die. What more could He do? This marvelous gift of His grace is for all who will believe. 7. The Word of God The written Word of God is one of the priceless possessions of the child of God in Christ. It is the unfolding of all the revelation concerning the majesty and grace of the Father, the salvation and glory that is in the Son, and the power and blessing that is in the Spirit, the facts about heaven and earth, about sin and salvation, about angels and Satan, about life and death, and all that is future and all that is past. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16); “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). The Word of God is as a title deed to all that the Christian possesses in Christ. It is a covenant guaranty from God which is sealed in heaven. Assurance of the divine grace and blessing is never left to depend on the changeable feelings, or vain misunderstanding and imaginations of the human heart. “It is written.” “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). Third. Christ, the Sphere of the Believer’s Safe-Keeping As the First Adam transmitted what he was to those who were born after the flesh, so the Last Adam, transmits what He is to those who are born after the Spirit. The Christian’s standing is in Christ, and there will be no fall in the Last Adam. He is as secure as God can make him secure, for the preservation of the believer is not conditioned by the thought which he has about the matter; it is according to the purpose of God. As has been stated, all the eternal purposes of infinite grace are involved in the issue of the safe-keeping of each one who is in Christ. In like manner, the security of the Christian is not merely the preservation of the possessions which together total his own inheritance; the believer is a part of the divine inheritance. God has an inheritance in the Christian (Eph. 1:18). The real question becomes one, therefore, as to whether God is able to keep that which is His inheritance and whether He is disposed to keep. Against His power nothing can prevail, and He has paid the price—the blood of His own Son—to redeem this possession to Himself. Since He is free through the cross to do so, and His love is unending, it is inconceivable that He will not keep the one He has saved. He has sealed His inheritance unto the day of redemption. An illustration of the safe-keeping which results from being in Christ, is seen in the panoply which God has provided under which the believer may “stand” against the strategies and warfare of Satan. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:13–17). The fact that Christ is the armor is a hidden beauty in this passage. He is the Truth, our Righteousness, our Peace, our Faith, our Salvation, and the Word of God. Christ encompasses the believer and insulates him from the power of every foe. Fourth. Christ, the Sphere of the Believer’s Association The believer’s association extends to every relationship he sustains, and the character of these associations is molded in conformity to his position in Christ. Some of these relationships are: 1. With God the Father Through the death of Christ, and through the regenerating work of the Spirit, an individual who believes is made a son of God by receiving the divine nature and is made to stand before God forgiven, righteous, and justified forever. He has entered the family and household of God, and the Father’s tender care, which is all that infinite grace can provide, is over him. The unsaved do not know God; He is not in all their thoughts. They may know about God; but this is far short of knowing God. Such knowledge is only gained by the personal introduction to the Father by the Son: “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Mt. 11:27). And to know the Father signifies the possession of eternal life: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). God was not usually known as Father under the past dispensation. He was honored and trusted as a “covenant-keeping God.” The Psalmist wrote: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him” (Ps. 103:13). 2. With Christ the Son The extent of this relationship is limitless since it contains all that enters into the new sphere in Christ. It includes all that He is as Saviour and Lord; all that He is in partnership with the believer in service, in suffering, and in betrothal; and all that He is in the Christian’s fellowship, “and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). Christ is the object of ceaseless devotion and praise. 3. With the Spirit of God At this point, association is nothing less than identification itself in all matters of life, character, and service; for the believer is appointed to live only by the power of the indwelling Spirit. The association with the Spirit is immediate and intimate because He indwells every believer. The presence of the Spirit is not disclosed through human emotions and feelings; it is rather detected by the things which He does. 4. With Satan and his emissaries As has been stated, the believer is brought, through his new position in Christ, into a sphere wherein Satan’s enmity is directed against him as it is directed against God. “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12. R. V.). The victory is provided only through the indwelling Spirit: Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). 5. With the angels The angels are messengers or ministering spirits “sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:14). While their care attends the child of God, it has not pleased God to give the Christian fellowship with them. Their ministry as messengers is revealed throughout the Word of God. 6. With the world The Christian is not of this world. He has been translated into the kingdom of Christ. He is a citizen of heaven, and his only relation to this world is that of an ambassador and witness. He is in the enemy’s land; for Satan is “the god of this world.” The kingdoms of this world are given unto Satan under the permission and purpose of God (Lk. 4:6). The Christian is related to the world and all that is in the world only as he is related to it through Christ. This relationship is three-fold: a. To the world system This is the whole sphere of human life with its institutions, ideals, and projects. Concerning this world-system the believer is thus warned: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15–17); “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11); “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col. 4:5, 6). b. To human governments According to the Bible, these are under the direct authority of the Gentiles. The present is the times of the Gentiles (Lk. 21:24). Human government is of God only to the extent of His permissive will and the realization of His purpose; but the citizen of heaven is instructed to be in subjection to governments: “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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation [judgment]. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Rom. 13:1–7); “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Pet. 2:13–17). c. To the unsaved individual The consistent attitude of the Christian is the same as that of his Lord who died for lost men. As He is, so are we, and therefore we are to manifest His spirit in this world. Of his own attitude toward lost men, the Apostle Paul wrote: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead [all died in the Substitute] … Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Cor. 5:14–16). Having beheld Christ as God’s Lamb which taketh away the sin of the world, and the One who died for all, and in whose death all have partaken, the Apostle says: “Henceforth know we no man after the flesh.” The usual distinctions among men, of Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, bond and free, are submerged in the overwhelming estimation of that which is accomplished for all men through the death of Christ. The Apostle now recognizes them only as men for whom Christ has died. This conception of the estate of the unsaved is the normal one for all Christians, and it leads on to a reasonable service for Christ in soul-winning. 7. With the whole body of Christ The Epistles of the New Testament disclose the basis for a fellowship and kinship within the company of the redeemed which exists in no other association of people in this world, and this union calls for a corresponding manner of conduct from the Christian toward fellow-believers. This relationship is seven-fold: a. A Christian’s relation to other Christians in general Love is revealed as the underlying principle of this relationship. It is embodied in the first commandment of Christ in the grace teachings of the upper room: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34, 35). This same truth is set forth in many passages. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14); “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor. 12:26); “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us” (Eph. 5:2); “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God”; “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:7, 11); “Let brotherly love continue” (Heb. 13:1); “Let love be without dissimulation.” This is one of the great passages on Christian love and care one for another. The whole context should be read (Rom. 12:9–16). “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:12, 13). “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Pet. 3:8, 9); “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging” (1 Pet. 4:8, 9). The Christian is called upon to recognize the vital union into which he has been brought by the baptism with the spirit: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1–3). Special emphasis is given as well to Christian kindness: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:31, 32); “That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified;” “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another” (1 Thes. 4:6, 9); “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thes. 5:11); “Speak not evil one of another, brethren” (Jas. 4:11). Christians are to submit one to another and in honor prefer one another: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21); “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:3, 4); “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5). The Christian’s gifts are to be especially directed to the need of the children of God: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10); “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17). Prayer is to be offered for all saints: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Eph. 6:18); “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (Jas. 5:16). b. A Christian’s relation to those who are in authority in the assembly of believers On this important question the Word of God is explicit and comment is unnecessary: “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Heb. 13:7); “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Heb. 13:17); “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thes. 5:12, 13). To this body of truth should be added all of the pastoral Epistles. c. The relation of Christian husbands and wives The grace teaching on this aspect of Christian relationship is also explicit: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Eph. 5:22, 25. Cf Eph. 5:21–33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1–7). d. The relation of Christian parents and children “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;” “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Eph. 6:1, 4. Cf Eph. 6:1–4; Col. 3:20, 21). From this body of revelation it will be seen that the children of Christian parents are to be governed as in the Lord. One of the conditions which will characterize the last days of this age will be the disobedience of children (2 Tim. 3:2). e. The relation of Christian masters and servants “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;” “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven” (Col. 3:22 to 4:1. Cf Eph. 6:5–9). f. A Christian’s obligation to an erring brother “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1); “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men” (1 Thes. 5:14); “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us”; “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies … yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (2 Thes. 3:6, 11–15). A sharp distinction must be drawn at this point between a disorderly brother who is a busybody, shirking his honest toil, and careless in matters of Christian conduct, on the one hand, and a sincere believer who may disagree with another on a matter of interpretation, on the other hand. Endless confusion and disgraceful contention has followed the exercise of unwarranted freedom among sincere believers in separating from each other over minor questions of doctrine. Should one fail to hold the true doctrine of Christ (2 John 9–11), that one can have no rightful place in a Christian communion; but men have divided over secondary issues and have gone so far as to exclude earnest Christians from their fellowship with whom perchance they disagree in a minor question of doctrine. Such separation is unscriptural, a violation of the priceless unity of the Spirit, and foreign to the order of grace. There is Scripture teaching concerning Christian discipline, but it does not necessarily impose a penalty of separation. The brother who may have been overtaken in a fault is to be restored, and only by one who is himself spiritual. This he must do in the spirit of meekness considering his own utter weakness apart from the enabling power of God. No other may undertake this important service. If the erring brother proves to be persistent in his fault, it is required that he be debarred from the fellowship of believers until he has seen the error of his way. Equally sincere brethren must not break fellowship, however, over minor issues. Of those who are thus disposed, the Apostle writes: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:17, 18). g. A Christian’s obligations to a weak brother The tender conscience of a weak brother must be considered. This important principle applies to very many questions of the day. In the Apostles’ time there was a grave question concerning the eating of meat which had been offered to idols and was afterwards placed in the public market for sale. There were those who had only recently been saved and rescued from the grip of the power of idol worship. There were others who were so deeply prejudiced by their former experiences with idols that, while saved and free, they were not willing even to touch anything connected with an idol. It would be natural to say that the first class should know better than to be drawn back to idols, and that the second class should be made to give up their prejudice; but this is not according to the “law of love.” It is written: “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand” (Rom. 14:1–4). From this passage it is clear that instruction is also given to the weaker brother to the intent that he shall not “judge” the Christian who, through years of Christian training and deeper understanding of the liberty in grace, is free to do what he himself in his limitations may not be able to do. There is hardly a more important exhortation for Christians to-day than this. The cure is clearly revealed: God reserves the right to correct and direct the life of His own child. Much hurtful criticism might be avoided if Christians would only believe this and trust Him to do with His own child what He purposes to do. God is the master before whom alone the servant standeth or falleth. The passage continues: “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.… For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense [to his own convictions]. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned [condemned] if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:15–23). “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). Due regard for the conscience and liberty of others is two-fold: On the one hand, let the strong be charitable toward the weak. On the other hand, let the weak desist from judgment of the strong. The result will be a mutual fellowship and an exercise of all the liberties of grace. 2. “I IN YOU.” The believer’s new sphere consists not only in his place in Christ with its positions, possessions, safe-keeping, and associations; it consists as well, in the fact that Christ is in the believer. The Scriptures teach that God the Father (Eph. 4:6), that God the Son (Col. 1:27), and that God the Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) indwell every child of God. No doubt the mystery of the unity of the Godhead is involved in this revelation; for it is also said that the Christian has partaken of the divine nature, and this divine nature is not identified as being one only of the three Persons of the Trinity. The divine nature is evidently the indwelling presence of God—Father, Son, and Spirit. There is a body of truth which teaches that God, in the unity of the three Persons, dwells in the heart of the child of God. Likewise there is an even greater body of Scripture which emphasizes the indwelling of the believer by the individual Persons of the Godhead. When the full unity of God is in view, it is usually spoken of as the indwelling Christ. As indwelling the Christian, the Spirit of God is once spoken of as “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9). It may be concluded, therefore, that the phrase I in you is to be received as referring to the whole divine Person—Father, Son, and Spirit. The result of this indwelling of Christ is three-fold: (1) A new divine life, (2) A new enabling power, and (3) A new “hope of glory.” First. A New Divine Life The branch is in the vine and the vine by its life and vitality is in the branch. Thus the believer is in Christ and Christ is in the believer. The new imparted life is Christ, and is therefore eternal because He is eternal. When only the question of an unbroken manifestation of that new life is under consideration, it is said to depend on abiding in Christ as the sole condition. The believer’s place, or position, in Christ is neither attained, nor maintained, through abiding in Him. That position is instantly wrought by the power of God through grace for every one who believes. Nor is the possession of the divine life, which is the indwelling Christ, secured by abiding in Him; it is the “gift of God.” However, the normal manifestation of that life does depend on abiding in Him. Abiding is simply the right adjustment between the Christian and his Lord. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). How important, then, it is that the Christian should understand precisely what is included and required in the commandments of Christ! As pointed out before, the commandments of Christ are only His grace teachings; this term being not once employed by Christ before He began in the upper room to unfold the believer’s life and walk in grace. Eternal, divine life, therefore, is Christ indwelling the believer by His Spirit and that life is the present possession of all who believe. The victories, joys, and fruits of that life depend upon abiding in Him which abiding is accomplished only by doing His will. Second. A New Enabling Power The theme of the enabling power of God, being one of the most vital in the divine plan of grace, though before mentioned, should at this point be reviewed in its two-fold aspect: 1. Christian character Under the law relationship between God and man, character was the product of the energy and struggle of the flesh. This, too, is the conception of human character which is held by the world, and, alas, through false teaching, it is the only one in the minds of many Christians. It is commonly preached that the sum-total of an individual’s acts will determine his habits, the sum-total of his habits will determine his character, and the sum-total of his character will determine his destiny. Whatever may have been true under the law, this doctrine is foreign to grace. Destiny is not now determined by self-promoted character; it depends only on the faith which receives the saving grace of God. Heaven’s glory will not be a display of human character; it is to be the unveiling of the riches of grace in Christ Jesus. Nor is Christian character a product of the flesh; it is “the fruit of the Spirit.” The divine record of all that enters into true Christian character is stated thus: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (self-control, Gal. 5:22, 23). These graces are elements of divine character which are never found unless divinely wrought. They are “the fruit of the Spirit.” They are never gained by struggle, long or short; they are the immediate experience of every believer who comes into right adjustment with the Spirit. Therefore the way to a victorious life is not by self-development; it is through a “walk in the Spirit.” In the context in which the above passage appears, the Apostle also states: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit [by means of the Spirit], and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (5:16). The believer’s responsibility is not the walk; it is rather that of yieldedness to the Spirit who promotes the walk. When thus yielded, the result is instant and perfect: “Ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” So long as the walk is continued by the power of the Spirit, this spiritual life will be experienced. Should the adjustment to the Spirit cease, the walk must cease, and the flesh will again be manifested. The New Testament term, “the flesh,” indicates the sum-total of what the natural man is—body, soul and spirit. “Within this whole, and as a part of it, is the fallen Adamic nature—sin. Three means for the control of the sin-nature are taught—two of which are the product of human reason and one the revealed provision of God: a. Is the sin-nature controlled by eradication? Though this theory is advanced by certain schools of thought it lacks the support of even one passage of Scripture. It is accepted because it seems reasonable, the thought being that if the source of sin is checked, would not the flow cease? Doubtless it would; but God has revealed no such program. If eradication of the sin-nature were accomplished, there would be no physical death; for physical death is the result of that nature (Rom. 5:12–21); parents who had experienced eradication would, of necessity, generate unfallen children. But if eradication were secured, there would still be the conflict with the world, the flesh (apart from the sin-nature), and the devil; for eradication of these is obviously unscriptural and is not included in the theory itself. As God purposes to deal with the world, the flesh, and the devil, thus He proposes to deal with the sin-nature which is a part of the flesh. The full deliverance is by the overcoming power of the Spirit through the work of Christ on the cross. The work of Christ on the cross secured the judgment of the old nature (Rom. 6:6); but it also secured the judgment of the world (Gal. 6:14), the flesh (Gal. 5:24), and the devil (Col. 2:15). The work of Christ is a divine judgment which has made it righteously possible for God to control the world, the flesh and the devil as they may affect the believer. Within the flesh, and as a part of it, is the sin-nature. This nature is no more subject to eradication than is the world, the flesh, or the devil. The divine plan for the deliverance of the believer from the power of the sin-nature is exactly the same as for the deliverance from the other opposing principles. It is by the overcoming power of the Spirit made possible through the death of Christ. This provision brings the child of God into moment-by-moment dependence upon his Lord. It drives him to the most intimate relationship with God. Eradication, if it were true, would tend to wean the Christian from Christ in the measure in which it would fit him to get on alone. In the midst of the description of the divine ideal for a spiritual walk, it is said that the victory is due to the fact that the Spirit is lusting against the flesh, therefore, when walking by means of the Spirit, “ye cannot do the things that ye otherwise would” (5:17). It is evident from this passage wherein the highest ideal of life is presented that the flesh is contemplated as being present, but it is under the control of the Spirit. b. Is the sin-nature controlled by rules? It is proposed by others that the flesh shall be controlled by rules and regulations. The seeming sanction of the Scriptures for this theory is gained by turning to the law; for under the law, the flesh was to be governed by rules. The law-history of 1500 years, however, is sufficient evidence of the failure of this method; yet it seems impossible for many to be delivered from the belief that a spiritual life may be gained by the keeping of rules. It is supposed that the divine ideal has been realized when people have been induced to attempt to regulate their lives by rules. c. Is the sin-nature controlled by the Spirit? According to the Scriptures, such is the divine plan for the control of the flesh in the believer’s life under grace. It provides all that God desires or requires in any life, and brings the saved one into the closest fellowship with God, and into constant dependence upon the Spirit. It is the only victory possible for the Christian to experience; for it only is according to the purpose and Word of God. If the quality of the believer’s daily life is to be improved, what steps are to be taken? Will carnality and coldness of heart be corrected by enforcing rules of conduct? When a carnal Christian does not wish to do the will of God, will God be satisfied if that Christian merely complies externally with the law of God? The answer is obvious. God looks on the heart. In the provisions of grace, God proposes to change the desires of the heart and to empower unto the full realization of these God-wrought desires. The law could work no change in the heart, nor can the attempt to keep rules; but the Spirit can change the desires. The law could give no enabling power; but the Spirit can. Therefore it is said: “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Gal. 5:18); and against the “fruit of the Spirit,” “there is no law” (Gal. 5:23); again, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). 2. Christian conduct The manner of the Christian’s life, including every activity of the child of God, is described in the Scriptures by the words walk and conversation. This aspect of the truth is to be distinguished from the believer’s character. The walk refers to that which is outward; while character—“the fruit of the Spirit”—is inward. In point of importance, character is supreme; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Under grace, God proposes by the Spirit first to create the heavenly motives and desires, and then, by the same Spirit, to empower the life unto the full realization of those desires. While these heavenly desires are said to be “the fruit of the Spirit,” the resulting activities are said to be the exercise of a “gift” through the Spirit. A “gift,” like the “fruit” of the Spirit, is never a product of the flesh nor any ability within the flesh. The Spirit may choose to use the native ability, but a “gift” is the direct undertaking of the Spirit in and through the human instrument. It is the Spirit doing a work and using the one in whom He dwells to do it. Thus both Christian character and Christian conduct are dependent on the enabling ministration of the Spirit. This divine provision is not merely for crisis-moments in the experience of the Christian; it is for every moment, whether it be one of activity or one of rest. The divine standards for the believer’s character and conduct are superhuman. This is reasonable since he is a citizen of heaven. The superhuman manner of life becoming to a heavenly citizen is to be lived by the enabling, supernatural power of the Spirit. The Spirit has taken up His abode in the heart in order that He may undertake this for the child of God, and if He does not accomplish His work, it is because He is hindered by the carnality of an unyielded life. The problem of improvement in the conduct of a Christian is never solved by the application of laws, nor by exhorting and stimulating the flesh; it is only solved by adjustment to the Spirit. When Spirit-filled, the child of God is both moved to glorify God in every moment of life, and is enabled to realize that heavenly ideal. There is much said in the Scriptures about the Christian life being a “warfare,” a “fight,” and a “race.” The Christian is to be watchful, steadfast, and unmovable. He is not exhorted to attempt to do what the Spirit alone can do; he is rather to maintain the attitude of co-operation with, and yieldedness to, and dependence on, the Spirit. The grace-manner of life in the Spirit will be lived according to the grace teachings. These teachings, or principles of life, are written both to prepare the Christian for an intelligent walk in the Spirit, and to furnish a norm by which he may compare his daily life with the divine ideal. The grace teachings are not laws; they are suggestions. They are not demands; they are beseechings. They are not followed in order to gain acceptance or favor; they are acknowledged and followed in the glad assurance of present acceptance and completeness in Christ through grace. There are three laws, or principles, which characterize the teachings of grace concerning the manner of the daily life of the believer: a. The perfect law of liberty The child of God is free. He has been delivered from every aspect of the law—as a rule of life, as an obligation to make himself acceptable to God, and as a dependence on the impotent flesh. Likewise, he has been delivered from ideals and conventionalities of the world. He is as free in himself as though he had already passed on into heaven. He has been brought into the priceless liberty of grace. Against the spoiling of this liberty the Christian is to contend: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). The actual experience of contending for the preservation of liberty which is in Christ Jesus is foreign to the great mass of nominal Christians. Pressing in on every hand are the false teachings of a law-ridden church, the fleshly ideals of the world and its god, the natural rationalism of the human mind, and the ever-present tendency to depend on self. Against all this, the fact of true liberty in Christ is little known. It is therefore important that the scope and character of Christian liberty be defined, and, in so doing, no aspect of liberty is in view other than the liberty which belongs to the child of God under grace. The word liberty is defined thus: “The state of being exempt from the dominion of others, or from restricting circumstances.” It is freedom to do according to one’s own preference and choice. It is emancipation. The thought of necessity and servitude is of the law. Grace glories in liberty and freedom. Is it not imperative that the children of God should be placed within the bounds of reasonable law? Absolutely No! The Christian’s liberty to do precisely as he chooses is as limitless and perfect as any other aspect of grace. But God has provided a sufficient safeguard which consists in the fact that the divine ideal is first wrought in the heart: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). In this one passage, the whole divine scheme for the believer’s life under grace is crystalized. God can propose absolute liberty to the one in whom He is so working that the innermost choice is only that which He wills for him. Having molded the desires of the heart, He can give His child unbounded freedom. There is no other freedom in the world but this. By the inwrought “fruit of the Spirit,” God Himself has determined the desires of the heart. The outworking of those desires will be according to His own energizing power. Thus the character and the daily life of the Christian is wrought on the basis of pure grace. As God saves and keeps in grace apart from every human assistance and merit, so, in like manner, He proposes to produce the character and conduct of His child apart from every assistance or intrusion of the flesh. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3). In harmony with the whole program of divine grace, no other manner of life could be imposed on the believer than the one in which God alone undertakes and accomplishes. To be true to His own purposes in grace, He must not only create the motive and choice of the heart but He must provide the sufficient power for its execution. Should it be objected that this is an idealism which is effective only with a limited company of believers who are so yielded to God as to be Spirit-filled, and that the great mass of carnal Christians must be held by rules, the reply would be that carnal Christians are no more subject to law than are the spiritual Christians. God does not countenance the attitude of the carnal Christian to the extent of providing a rule of government for him. As He holds only one issue before the unsaved—the acceptance of Christ as Saviour—likewise, He holds only one issue before the carnal Christian. That issue is not, “Will you live in a way which is in harmony with your carnality?” It is, rather, “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13). The carnal Christian is abnormal. His position is perfect in Christ, but in character and conduct he violates the most precious principles and provisions of grace. The divine ideal for the believer’s life under grace remains unchangeable. When God is molding the desires of the heart, there is liberty. When He is empowering the life, there is victory. Thus it may be seen that grace is not a way of escaping obedience to God; it is the only possible way in which true obedience can be secured. The Spirit-filled believer is never abandoned to self-will; he is “inlawed to Christ.” God in grace does not lower standards; He proposes and gloriously realizes the very character and conduct of heaven. b. The law of expediency Because of the Christian’s position and circumstances in the world, the law of personal liberty in Christ is subject to the law of expediency. That which is expedient is to be chosen for two reasons which are stated in the Scriptures: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any”; “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Cor. 6:12; 10:23). Thus it is seen that the law of expediency contemplates the danger to the believer’s own life in the matter of personal habits or injury, and the responsibility to others in the matter of edification. Much that he is free to do, so far as his relation to God is concerned, he is not free to do when contemplating his own personal good and the good of others. His manner of life must be adapted to the ignorance and prejudice of men to whom he is a witness for his Lord and whom he would seek to lead to Christ or to build up in the faith. Any sacrifice of personal liberty will be made willingly if Christ thereby may be made known. When considering the law of expediency, one does not ask, “What harm is there in this, or that?” He rather seeks to know what is the good. In all your precious liberty, “see then that ye walk circumspectly” (Eph. 5:15). c. The law of love Again the liberty of the Christian will be qualified by the love which he has for others. The sympathy of the unsaved must be gained and the conscience of the weaker brother must be considered: “But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.… Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend” (1 Cor. 8:8–13). Liberty is easily set aside by those who would be “all things to all men that by all means” they might save some. The supreme example of the sacrifical principle of grace was manifested by Christ in His death: “He saved others; himself he cannot save” (Mk. 15:31). Third. Christ in You the Hope of Glory The word mystery as used in the New Testament refers to a sacred secret, or something which was not revealed in the ages past, but is revealed in the present time. The body of truth which has been unfolded in the revelation contained in the mysteries is the present plan and purpose of grace. Among these mysteries are two which are primary and around these the other mysteries are gathered. 1. Christ the manifestation of God and of the Church That portion of this truth which directly concerns and involves the child of God is regarding Christ as the Head of the Church which is His body, and the believers as “members in particular.” This figure speaks of identity. Being in Christ, the member of His body partakes of all that the Head has ever been, all that He is now, and all that He will ever be. So, also, being in Christ, the member of His body partakes of all that Christ has ever done, of all that He is doing, and all that He will ever do. No human mind is able to grasp this revelation. Its inexhaustible riches will occupy the heart throughout the ages to come. In the letter to the Colossians the Apostle Paul, by the Spirit, unfolds the glory of Christ. He presents. Christ as the manifestation of God, the One in whom all divine purposes center, and the One in whom, by the mystery of unity, the saved one is forever complete. He writes of the “mystery of God” which is Christ (2:2). From all Scripture it may be discovered that Christ is both the manifestation of God and the manifestation of the saints who are in Him. What God is, may be seen in Christ. So, likewise, what the saved one is may be seen in Christ. The Son of God is not only the Mediator between God and man and the Savior of the lost; He is the manifestation of all that God is, and, at the same time, the manifestation of all that the believer is in Him. Christ has brought God to man, and He has brought man to God. Man now sees God in Christ, and God now sees saved men in Christ. To the Christian, Christ is not only a position; He is also a possession. Through the marvels of divine grace, in the reckoning of God, whatever Christ is, the Christian is in Christ,—“Ye in me.” 2. The indwelling Christ Accordingly, the second primary sacred secret is that of the indwelling Christ,—“I in you.” Turning again to the Colossian Epistle, we read: “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (1:27). Being in Christ, is a position which can have no corresponding experience. This is not true of the mystery of the indwelling Christ. His presence may be discerned and thus become an assurance and guaranty of every position and possession in Christ. The believer’s heavenly glories will be unveiled when the Lord returns to receive His own: “For ye are dead [ye died], and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:3, 4). Not only is Christ Himself the “hope of glory,” but, according to His own promise (John 14:1–3), that moment in which He will appear is a “blessed hope.” The presence of “Christ in you” is the imperishable “hope of glory.” “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Both for want of space and that the thread of truth might not be broken, there has been but little mention in this section of the truth that these great features and properties of grace, which grow out of the fact that Christ is now the sphere of the believer’s life, are not found, even to the slightest degree, in either the law of Moses or the kingdom teachings. These wonderful accomplishments in grace are what differentiate Christianity from Judaism. One is of the old creation with its earthly purpose and promise; the other is of the new creation with its heavenly glories. The believer could not be under law; he is “inlawed to Christ.” He has been saved out of the world and is no longer a partaker of its past, its present, or its future. Its past is a record of sin and death; its present is a record of confusion under the permitted rule of “the god of this world”; and the future will be a record of judgment. Law is adapted to the earth. It is the divine method of dealing with the people of the earth whether it be in the age which is past, or in the age which is to come. The child of God has been delivered from every aspect of the law. The code of rules contained in the law has been superseded by the injunctions and beseechings of grace. The legal necessity of becoming accepted of God by human merit, has been superseded by the divine accomplishment through grace wherein the Christian is already accepted and safe in Christ forever. And possessing the presence of God through the indwelling Spirit, the child of God is saved from that struggle and defeat of the flesh which characterized the law and because of which defeat, the law became a curse and an instrument of death. In place of the law there is grace. In place of condemnation there is salvation. In place of death there is life. In place of ruin in Adam there is resurrection in Christ. In place of bondage there is liberty. In place of defeat there is victory. In place of hell there is heaven. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Chafer, L. S. (1922). Grace (pp. 332–352). Philadelphia, PA: Sunday School Times Company. (Public Domain) Romans 8:10 - The Spirit is Life Sins are not a list of petty irritations drawn up for the sake of a jealous God. They are, rather, a description of the impediments to spiritual growth. We are the ones who suffer if we sin, by forfeiting the development of character and Christlikeness that would have resulted if we had not sinned. Muck, T. C. (1989). Vol. 19: Sins of the body : Ministry in a sexual society If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (NASB) And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (KJV) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. (NLT) But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. (NET) Two natures remain in every believer: the flesh and the Spirit. They are diametrically opposed to each other. To live in the Spirit brings life. To live in the flesh brings death! The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (Galatians 5:17 NLT) But even though the believer the believer remains in the flesh (en sarki) he does not have to live according to the flesh. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. (Romans 8:12-13 NLT) The indwelling Holy Spirit empowers the believer to gain victory over sin and if they remain (abide) the victory will be continuous. When a person becomes a Christian, he or she receives the Holy Spirit within. Often, however, the Holy Spirit does not have control of that life even though He resides there. The Scriptures teach that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we are to live overcoming lives. This is not some emotional, mystical event. To be “filled with the Spirit of God” means in a very practical way that a believer has surrendered completely to the Lordship of Christ and sincerely desires to be directed by the Holy Spirit in order to worthily exalt Christ and be an effective representative for God. One of the most compelling evidences of a Spirit-filled life is our consistent, Christ-like daily living. (Edwin Hatch, 1835–1889) And as we experience God’s work in our midst, we will grow closer to one another. As we take our eyes off each other and look together toward Christ our guide star, then we will be drawn together in his purposes. For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. (Galatians 5:13-26 NLT) Paul is drawing a contrast between two kinds of life. (i) There is the life which is dominated by sinful human nature; whose focus and center is self; whose only law is its own desires; which takes what it likes where it likes. In different people that life will be differently described. It may be passion-controlled, or lust-controlled, or pride-controlled, or ambition-controlled. Its characteristic is its absorption in the things that human nature without Christ sets its heart upon. (ii) There is the life that is dominated by the Spirit of God. As a man lives in the air, he lives in Christ, never separated from him. As he breathes in the air and the air fills him, so Christ fills him. He has no mind of his own; Christ is his mind. He has no desires of his own; the will of Christ is his only law. He is Spirit-controlled, Christ-controlled, God-focused. These two lives are going in diametrically opposite directions. The life that is dominated by the desires and activities of sinful human nature is on the way to death. In the most literal sense, there is no future in it--because it is getting further and further away from God. To allow the things of the world completely to dominate life is self-extinction; it is spiritual suicide. By living it, a man is making himself totally unfit ever to stand in the presence of God. He is hostile to him, resentful of his law and his control. God is not his friend but his enemy, and no man ever won the last battle against him. (William Barclay) Comments are closed.