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was the substance, and so Paul says, “ The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.” Wherefore, when Christ came, did the Jews as a people and nation accept him?. No, they did not; they rejected and killed him; and in so doing, they broke God's covenant with them, – that is, they broke the law and refused to do the things contained in the law. Therefore the Jews, the natural branches, were broken off, and the Gospel was sent to the Gentiles, and they were invited to come and be grafted into the good olive tree, to be partakers of the root and fatness of the olive tree.
Now the Gentile was under no. law that required him to accept Christ when he came, but the Jew was. Therefore when the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles, they did voluntarily and of their own free will, naturally, or as Paul says, “ They did by nature," the things contained in the law, when they believed the Gospel, and were baptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and their faith in Christ and in the promises of God in him was accounted to them for righteousness. Therefore what Paul here says has no reference whatever to Gentiles who never heard of Christ, but he refers exclusively to those Gentiles to whom the Gospel was preached and who obeyed it naturally, of their own free choice, and who will be judged in the day of Christ, not by the law of nature, but by Paul's Gospel, as he himself says (Rom. 2:16), “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
Again Paul says (Rom. 2: 25-27), “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? and shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? Here again, How does uncircumcision, which is by nature, fulfil the law ? and how does the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law? Simply by doing what the unbelieving Jew refused to do; and therefore he says (9:30-32), "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith; but Israel which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law, for they stumbled at that stumbling stone."
THE EARNEST EXPECTATION OF THE CREATURE” These same commentators who wrest Paul's words and build upon them a natural gospel to Gentiles who never had any supernatural revelation and who lived and died without any knowledge of Christ, have also, by wresting another Scripture contained in the same epistle, concocted thereupon another gospel to dumb beasts, and a hope of their resurrection from the dead, in attempting to interpret Paul's words (Rom. 8: 19-22) saying, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; because the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious
liberty of the sons of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not they only, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. The same interpreters explain the “creature," and "the whole creation referring to the natural brute creation, and seek to find proof of such a theory, but in vain. Therefore without attempting to follow them through all their speculations about the lower animals and the probabilities of their resurrection from the dead, we will proceed to interpret Paul's words in harmony with himself, and with the writings of other inspired men.
The “creation ” which Paul refers to in this place, is neither the Gentiles, as some imagine, nor the brute creation, as Matthew Henry's commentary puts it. Instead, he refers to that creation which God made at Mount Sinai when he laid the foundation of the Mosaic world, consisting of the whole house of Israel, every creature of whom was placed under the fiery law, called also the ministration of death, or as the Scripture that we are considering states it, “the bondage of corruption." Consequently, when Paul's opponents went among the churches of Galatia, bewitching the disciples and requiring them to be circumcised and keep the sabbath day and other holy days, new moons, et cetera, as required by the law, Paul writes to them and says, “But now, after ye have known God, or rather are known of God, why turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage (the bondage of corruption)?” These people had been made free from sin and corruption through the faith of Christ, and so he says,
Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ profiteth you nothing; for I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of none effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law: ye are fallen from grace." This would place them again under the bondage of corruption and death (Gal. 5:2-4).
The Lord said by the hand of Isaiah to his people, “But now, thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, fear not" (
(43:1); and again, “I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” Thus the house of Israel is God's “creation." On the same principle, the body of Christ is called a "creation," to whom Christ stands related and spoken of as the “ beginning of the creation of God, the firstborn of every creature” (Rev. 3: 14; Col. 1: 15).
These “creations " and creatures have reference to people, and not to dumb animals. Consequently when Paul says (Rom. 8:19), “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God," he refers to the men of faith under the old covenant, who lived in hope of good things to come; and the doctrine contained in this passage is identically the same as that contained in his speech before King Agrippa where he said, “ And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers, unto which promise our twelve tribes instantly serving God hope to come. ... Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead?” Thus the men of faith among the twelve tribes, who constituted the real tribes under the law of Moses,
waited for the manifestation of the sons of God at the resurrection of the dead.
Again he says (verse 20), “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.' That is, the called under the law were made subject to vanity, that is death, by the terms of that law, as all persons under the law were under the curse; but the wise looked forward in hope, expecting that they would be redeemed from the curse of the law, and therefore Paul says in his letter to the Hebrews (9:15), “ And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called (under the law) might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Verse 21) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (that is, from under the curse of the law) into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” There were many righteous people developed before the law was given, and many more after Christ came, among the Gentiles. Paul said to the Galatians (5:13), “Brethren ye have been called unto liberty, only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh.” They had been released from the bondage of sin by the faith of Christ, and were exhorted to stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free.
(Verse 22) "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” In this passage the house of Israel under the law is likened to a travailing woman, and therefore it is said by the prophet on behalf of Israel, “ Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” That Son was Christ, and so Paul says (Gal. 4:4), “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons." While they were under the law, they were not sons; they were sinners under the law of sin and death; but Christ was born under the law to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons, and so be introduced into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
Thus we have endeavoured to roll away this reproach from Paul's words, and to show again that what he says in this place is in perfect harmony with his words elsewhere. For when he speaks of the whole creation which groans, travailing to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, — if that is to be applied to the natural creation, as is done by these lights of the Presbyterian Church, and if they are to be reproduced again by resurrection, where would there be place found for them, — the tame beasts, the wild beasts of the forest, the fowls of the mountains, the serpents and reptiles, and creeping things of the ground, and the fishes of the sea? They would fill the seas and cover the whole face of the earth, like a living mass, jostling one against another, or be piled up upon each other. No, such theories cannot, and will not be.
THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST
Christ's nature — Doctrine of antichrist in both forms — Principles of doctrine of Christ – First, foundation of repentance from dead works — Second, faith toward God — Faith in Christ Third, doctrine of baptisms — Fourth, doctrine of laying on of hands — Fifth, doctrine of resurrection of dead — Sixth, doctrine of eternal judgment --- The true and only hope set before us — Heirs according to the promise — Entering within the veil Good works - Mercies of new covenant - Love, the fulfilling of the law Duty of children to parents Law of Marriage — Divorce Prayer.
GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS, GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE
The doctrine of Christ constitutes the very foundation of Christianity, and is one of the first things for a person to inform himself in, if he desires the salvation and inheritance that God in his mercy has provided for the children of men; for without a scriptural understanding of this doctrine, and a hearty belief of the same, no man can be saved. And for any man after he has embraced the knowledge of God, which comprehends this doctrine, and has rendered the obedience of faith, to corrupt again or deny this doctrine, is a sin for which there is no forgiveness and the penalty against all such is the second death. It is concerning this sin that the apostle says, “There is a sin unto death; I do not say that ye shall pray for it.” The gravity, therefore, of this matter should command our most careful attention, that we may comprehend it in its fullness.
“God," says Paul, was manifest in the flesh.” The term," the flesh," which is pointed out so often by the apostles of Christ, is what we will call attention to first. Paul said among other things to the Athenians as he stood in the midst of Mars Hill: God that made the world hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of all the earth.” Now we inquire, How could this be done? If God at the beginning had created Eve directly from the dust of the ground, as he did Adam, and then had given her to him to be his wife, then their posterity would not have been of one blood, but of two, and so the matter of unity would not have been manifested. Then Paul could not have said that God had made of one blood all nations of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth.
But to accomplish that necessary thing that Paul speaks of, the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and while he slept, he removed a portion of Adam's body, and from that he made a woman, and brought her to the man. And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” In this way only could Paul's words be true, for the children of Adam and Eve would be one flesh with themselves, no matter how many millions they might be multiplied into.
Now the importance of this fact is seen when we consider that another Adam was to arise from among the first Adam's posterity, who also “is the seed of the woman," and of whom Paul also says that the first Adam was the figure. Again to the Corinthians, Paul says, " There is one kind of flesh of men.” All mankind, therefore, are a unit, being all of one blood and of one flesh and bones; and Christ, by being partaker of the same flesh and blood as Adam and all of Adam's posterity, thereby sustains a relation to them all; and if you change the physical nature of any of Adam's posterity, that involves a new creation, and breaks the connection with all the rest, and there the representative character of Adam, the first, is lost, which immediately introduces confusion into the work of God. Paul says that we all sinned in Adam, and so by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; and again, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.” Therefore if the flesh of any man is at all shaded, and in any way made to differ from the rest, he is a nondescript, and separated from all the rest. And if Christ's flesh was made in any wise to differ from Adam's and his posterity, then he is no saviour for us, and we must look for another.
Now concerning the nature of Christ, Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, speaks particularly. He quotes two Scriptures, one from the twenty-second Psalm, which was spoken for Christ before he was born, which says, "I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee"; and another from the eighth chapter of Isaiah (verse 18), which reads, “Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.” Now what object had Paul in quoting these Scriptures? Why, it was in order to draw from them certain logical conclusions in regard to Christ's nature, and in regard to his relations to his brethren as their High Priest and Saviour, which could not be denied or gainsaid; for he says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of Aesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
Now we are to note particularly the points so clearly made here by the apostle; namely, that as the children are partakers of Alesh and blood, Christ also himself likewise took part of the same. The force of the Apostle's words are to the effect that there was no distinction whatever between Christ's flesh and the flesh of the other children; and the necessity for the inspired man of God to be explicit on that point is seen in the fact that this doctrine would be tampered with and thrown out by false teachers in after times. • Further, Paul says, “ For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” Now why should Paul say to the Hebrews, “ For verily he took not on him the nature of angels," if angels have not Aesh and bones ? For it cannot be denied that Jesus was born of a woman,
and grew up to manhood as other children do, and it was well