The National Labor Tribune April 8, 1915


Q' What should we understand by the following: "The wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life?" If sin, merits death, should not righteousness merit life? I notice it says life is a gift, not merited.

Answer' There are none of the human race who of themselves merit eternal life because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All are partakers in the results of the fall, and consequently are on that account out of relationship with God. Only Jesus the harmless one undefiled and separate from sinners possessed life because he was, indeed, righteous. If then anyone else gains life it must be by some other means than personal merit. And this is so, for faith in Jesus is the God-provided way for all who will pass from death to life. Thus we see the Scriptures truly say, "The gift (free gift) of God is eternal life."

Q' Please explain Heb. 11:40: "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."

Answer' The Apostle in this chapter is recording the names of some of those who lived in the previous ages, and had demonstrated their faith in God under adverse conditions. As a reward for their obedience they were promised a better resurrection (verse 35), and although they received a good report through their faith they have not as yet received what was promised (verse 39), because God will first perfect the Church of this age in the first and best resurrection Christ's Resurrection to share with him the Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). Then through the Church the Ancient Worthies will be brought forth from the dead, by an instantaneous resurrection to human perfection a better resurrection than that of the world, who will be gradually raised to human perfection if obedient during the Millennium (Acts 3:21 ,Eze. 33:15, 16).

Q' What is a New Creature in the sense the Bible uses the term?

Answer' A New Creature, from the spiritual standpoint, is one to whom old things both good and bad have passed away, and all things have become new. Such a one may have been a noble, natural man, or a less noble, or a most degraded natural man. The change may take place regardless of the moral station of the individual. Reasonings and philosophies may and do affect the natural man, sometimes favorably and sometimes unfavorably, but these do not produce the change from natural to spiritual, from earthly to heavenly, nature. This change comes from only one source, and only to persons in one condition of mind, or heart. It comes from on high. It is superhuman and in its effect it is revolutionary. It comes to those who, because of natural humility of mind, realize themselves to be sinners, and with natural conscientiousness and veneration, desire to approach their Creator and to obtain his favor and forgiveness of sins, and who thus are led to accept Christ as their personal Savior and Deliverer from sin. Or it may [HGL706] come to others naturally less tender of heart, through sorrows and sufferings and heart-breaking experiences, leading them to look for the Friend above all others and to accept his proffered forgiveness and guidance. These experiences, accompanied by a turning from sin, with a desire to live soberly and righteously, bring such characters to the place which the Scriptures designate justification by faith. Still, however, they are not New Creatures. The word justification implies making right and does not imply making over, or a change of nature. It is the human nature that is justified or reckoned right in God's sight, because of faith in the precious blood of Jesus the Redeemer. Another step must be taken before the change of nature can take place the step of consecration, of devoting life, time, aims, ambitions, all, to the Lord and to His service. It is to such only that the blessing of the Holy Spirit from above is granted. Its effect is the opening of the eyes of their understanding to new hopes and prospects and interests not earthly, but heavenly.

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