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v. 16; and "sins" in Ephesians i. 7; ii. 5; and Colossians ii. 13.
Now it will be seen that in Romans v. 20, we could not say that the law entered that sin might abound: that would be shocking. It is followed by "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound," but here a different word (amartia) is used for "sin"-the word we considered at first. So that it is quite clear that the first word (paraptoma) does not mean sin" here; "offence" is the best word. The law entered that the offence (or offensiveness of sin) might abound or be made manifest. It is like putting a straight-edge to a crooked line. The crookedness of the line might have been scarcely noticed, but immediately the straight-edge is placed alongside, its deviation is at once manifest; but the line was as crooked before as after the straight-edge did not increase its crookedness. Thus the law made the extent of
the sin manifest.
The word paraptoma is not translated "sins," except in the three places named above, but is elsewhere translated "trespasses." Perhaps "offence" is the best word for it in all instances.
Another class of words used in scripture is from the negative of dikaios, right, justice, and is translated unjust, ," "unrighteousness," and iniquity in general.
The word referred to above, as "lawlessness," is the negative of "law;" and so "without law," in 1 Corinthians ix. 21. In 2 Thessalonians ii. 8, it is used of Antichrist: "Then shall that lawless one be revealed." And in the definition of "sin," in 1 John iii. 4, as "lawlessness."
Another word is poneeros, from "labour, row," taking, as it were, the effect of sin for the
cause, and so is referred to anything bad or evil; as an "evil" eye, in Matthew vi. 23; "bad" fruit, in chapter vii. 17; a “grievous" sore, in Revelation xvi. 2; “wicked" spirits, in Luke xi. 26; that "wicked" person, in 1 Corinthians v. 13; and Satan as "the wicked one," in 1 John ii. 13, 14.
These are the principal words used in the New Testament in connection with sin. They are important as distinguishing sin from transgression, and in considering the law and those without law, which still applies to the heathen.
It is important, too, to remember that Antichrist is called the lawless one,' for as his day approaches, we may naturally expect lawlessness to be on the increase. And if the spirit of the present age is more striking in one thing than another, it is in lawlessness. We see it in children and in servants, in strikes and combinations among workmen. Let us then guard against it in ourselves, and seek to instruct those under our care, that this is to be Satan's masterpiece of deceit-speciously called the rights of man, but in reality lawlessness.
HINTS ON THE TABERNACLE AND ITS
THE BRAZEN ALTAR AND THE LAVER.
WE come now to the court of the tabernacle. Poles and curtains shut in from public gaze this court. On raising one of the curtains that served the purpose of a door, we behold just two things that stood in that court between the outside entrance, and the door of the tabernacle itself.
The first is the brazen altar. It is in contrast with the golden altar which was for incense. This
was for the sacrificial offerings: and sin was in question, and the meeting of God's righteous requirements, which is typified by the material brass.
The altar was made of shittim wood, five cubits square, and three cubits high, with a horn at each All was overlaid with brass. The various vessels, fleshhooks and fire pans, were all of brass. It was to be made hollow with a grate of network of brass, and the staves were to be overlaid with brass.
Now all this stands in contrast to what was seen in the tabernacle: there everything that met the eye was gold; but here everything was brass. We have already seen why this was.
The altar was about five feet in height, but it was not to be approached by steps: an inclined plane, which could always be made of earth whenever the tabernacle was moved, sufficed for bringing up the sacrifices. The reason given why steps must not be made is "that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon." (Exod. xx. 26.) This is linked with the injunction that if an altar was built of stone, it must be of rough stones, for man's tool would pollute it. Thus neither the work nor the order of man must be in God's altar: it must be made according to the pattern seen in the mount. It was an altar "most holy."
This altar, besides being called the brazen altar, was also called "the altar of burnt-offering" (Ex. xl. 10), though it was used of course for sin and other offerings.
It is significant that it was the first thing seen on entering the court. It told out that the question of sin must be met before the comer could go a step nearer to the holy place.
Next to the altar was the laver. It stood between the brazen altar and the door of the holy place. This was also to be made of brass, and water put therein. At this laver both Aaron and his sons had to wash their hands and their feet, "that they die not." It represented sanctification for communion and service. Though the question of sin had been settled at the altar, this washing was needed for daily communion.
It will be noticed that it is only the hands and feet that are washed, in distinction from the washing of the whole body at the consecration of the priests. (Exod. xxix. 4.) But these washings we find applied to the Christian in John xiii. 10. "He that is washed, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." Here the priests must wash, lest they die. In John our Lord said, "If I wash thee not thou hast no part with me.'
NOTES OF A LESSON ON RITUALISM.
WHEN we considered this subject on a former occasion, something was said about the Jewish ritual. Aaron had a fine dress; and if it was right in him why should it not be right now? Can any of you tell? [No one knows.]
Well, we must remember that God put man to the test in various ways. First, in the garden of Eden. Then, without law; and then under law. In this last there was a grand and imposing ritual. The tabernacle and then the temple were made in a peculiar manner; the priests had particular dresses; trumpets were blown, singers were appointed, &c. Now all this was quite right, because was of God. But man failed under it entirely,
and God brought the whole thing to a close. Is it right then, think you, for men to pretend to know better than God? and for man to set up again what God set aside?
Was it God that set it aside? Did not the Romans destroy Jerusalem, and the temple with it?
Yes; but the Romans were merely instruments in the hands of God. But let us see this from scripture, and first we may go back, and see that God tried the Jews in another manner-namely, in captivity—and then brought them back, and let them build their city and their temple. Had they learnt by the painful experience of captivity? As we know, they failed more than ever, even to the putting to death of their Messiah. But turn to 2 Kings xxiv. 20. "For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence."
Read also 2 Kings xxv. 9. "And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalam, and every great man's house burnt he with fire."
Who did this?
Nebuzar-adan, captain of the king of Babylon. Yes, but he was only God's instrument to punish His rebellious people. And in this punishment the temple was destroyed. Do you know when this was rebuilt? Turn to Zechariah i. 12.
"Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?"
Here we see that the captivity was to last seventy years, and when that time had run out, as we read