Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

eousness ” (holiness, justice, goodness). James 5:16, " the prayer of a righteous (holy, just and good) man availeth much.” I. Peter 2:24, "we should live unto righteousness” (holiness, justice, goodness). I. Peter 3:12, “the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous” (holy, just and good). I. Peter 4: 18, “ if the righteous (holy, just and good) are scarcely saved, etc.” II. Peter 3:13, "new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness” (holiness, justice, goodness). I. John 2:1, “Christ the righteous" (the holy, just and good). I. John 2:29, “ he is righteous (holy, just and good), and all that are born of him doeth righteousness (holiness, justice, goodness). Rev. 16:5," thou art righteous (holy, just and good), O Lord.” Rev. 16:7, “ true and righteous (holy, just and good) are thy judgments.” Rev. 19:8, "and to her (the bride) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness (holiness, justice, goodness) of saints.". Rev. 19:14, "and the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,” which is a beautiful symbol, representing holiness, justice and goodness. Rev. 22:11, “he that is righteous (holy, just and good), let him be righteous (holy, just and good) still.”

Now let us examine a few passages and substitute the words holiness, justice and goodness, for the word righteousness, and see if the sense will not be more apparent. Rom. 10:3, 4, "for they, being ignorant of God's holiness, justice and goodness, and going about to establish their own holiness, justice and goodness, have not submitted them. selves to the holiness, justice and goodness of God.” In the same epistle, 9:30, 31, “what shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who follow not after holiness, justice and goodness, have attained to holiness, justice and goodness, even the holiness, justice and goodness which is of faith.” “But Israel, who followed after the law of holiness, justice and goodness, hath not attained to the law of holiness, justice and goodness.” And in Rev. 16:7, “true and holy, just and good are thy judgments.” And in Rom. 7:12, "wherefor the law (of righteousness) is holy and the commandment holy, just and good.” Again, in chapter 3:5, “but if our want of holiness, justice, goodness commend the holiness, justice and goodness of God, what shall we say? Is God unholy, unjust and not good?” And in Matt. 10:41, “he that receiveth a holy, just and good man in the name of a holy, just and good man, shall receive a holy, just and good man's reward." And in Matt. 21:32, “John came unto you in the way of holiness, justice and goodness.” And in Matt. 25:37, “then shall the holy, just and good, answer him, and say, when saw we thee naked,” etc. And in Acts 10:35, “ in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh holiness, justice and goodness, is acceptable to him." Again, Rom. 14:17, " the kingdom of God is holiness, justice and goodness.” This verse explains Luke 17:21, for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The kingdom of God is holiness, justice and goodness, peace and joy; so the kingdom of God is with you. And in Matt. 13:43, "then shall the holy, just and good shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their fathers.” And in I. Cor.

1:30, "Christ is made unto us wisdom, and holiness, justice, goodness, sanctification and redemption.” Notice how nicely Paul discriminates when he uses the word righteousness for the words holiness, justice, goodness; then he adds sanctification and redemption. Again, I. Cor. 15:34, "awake to holiness, justice, goodness, and sin not." And in I.Tim. 6:11, “pursue holiness, justice, goodness (that is, righteousness; then adds), godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” See how carefully Paul discriminates, and how completely the word righteousness fits in, when divided into its composite words-holiness, justice, goodness. Again, Titus 2: 12, "we should live in sober, holy, just, good and godly manner”' (free translation). And in Heb. 1:9, "and thou didst love holiness, justice, goodness." James 5:16, “the prayers of a holy, just and good man availeth much.” I. Peter 2:24, "we should live to holiness, justice, goodness.” And in I. Peter 3: 12, "the eyes of the Lord are upon the holy, just and good.” And in I. John 2:29, "he is holy, just and good, and all that are born of him, doeth holiness, justice and goodness.” And in Rev. 16:5, “thou art holy, just and good, O Lord;" also 16:7. "true and holy, just and good are thy judgments.” And in Rom, 14:17, "the kingdom of God is holiness, justice, goodness (which is righteousness), peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Now, there can be no doubt that the Greek word, dikaosune, translated righteousness, means holiness, justice, goodness, as Paul defines it. And what a clear and beautiful light it reflects upon the dark and obscure passages of the Bible, where the word righteousness is written. Paul's definition of righteousness shines in many obscure passages, and enables us to understand it far better. Now, reader, this is the key to the Bible, and if you wish to understand it, sink Paul's definition deep in your memory.

For God instructed men by giving them brilliant examples of righteousness; from righteous Abel down to the giving of the ten commandments, “which are holy, just and good.” And the law and the prophets prophesied until John (Matt. 11;13), who was the last and greatest of that long line of holy men, commencing with Abel, dressed in camel's hair raiment, belted around the waist with a piece of rawhide, in Elijah's mode of dress, he stood the last and greatest. No riches could tempt him, for he had no need of them; living alone in the desert, outside of all luxuries that men crave, he could easily live the righteous life; and "he was in the way of righteousness.”

I(John), the representative of the old dispensation, must decrease; you, Christ, the representative of the new, must increase. Thus the new dispensation of love is substituted for, in the place of, the old dispensation of law. God first presented righteousness to man by holy examples; secondly by the ten commandments, and now by universal love. “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” The scale advances from holy examples to the law, from the law to divine love.

Christ now opens the new dispensation of love by saying, “it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness and repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The identical words that John had previously spoken, “A new commandment give I you, that you love one another." "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, etc., and your neighbour as yourself;" "love your enemies;" "he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law;" the end of the commandment is love." "Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not love, I am become as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; and though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

And now abideth faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” And, finally, "God is love." Thus we are led by the teachings of the Bible from Abel's righteousness to the ten commandments; from the commandments to universal love; from universal love to God, for “God is love." This book must be divine. Forit commenced thousands of years ago, written by divers of men, in divers ages, in divers languages, in divers countries; yet its unity of design and purpose never varies; its objective point always the same, to elevate man to the eternal love of God. An all wise mind must have dictated its teachings. It must be true.

SERVANTS. In many places in the New Testament various Greek words of different shades of meaning are rendered servant or minister. The word doulos (bondman) is rendered servant. Paul calls himself the bondman of the Lord Jesus, Rom. 1:1; I. Cor. 3:5. There the Greek word, doulos, is also rendered servant or minister. In Matt. 20:26, 27, “who soever would be great among you, let him be your diacon (servant); and whosoever would be first let him be your doulos" (bondman). Again the word leitourgos, which means public servant, is often in the New Testament rendered servant, Rom. 13:6 and 15:16 and 15:27 and Heb. 1:7 and 8:2. Paidos, in the New Testament, is rendered servant, in Acts 4:25. And in verse 27, the same word, paidos, is rendered child. Now, if the sacred writer intended child, why did he not write technon, which means child. Episcopos, rendered bishop, means overseer; and episcopos and presbutiros meant the same office. See Titus 1:6, 7, etc. These are specimens; we will give each its literal meaning.

THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH. What is a church? It is an assembly of holy, just and good men and women, accepting Jesus as their master and teacher, and believing him to be he Son of God, fully and completely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Why cannot all denominations accept this, and this alone, and have one general, united Christian church? Let us go back, brethren, to this bed rock, and worship God as our father Abraham worshipped him. Let us lay aside expensive churches, costly preaching, rented pews, anxious seats, sentimental revivals; let us lay these all aside, and have one church, an assembly of holy, just and good men and women, one Preacher, the divinely inspired Son of God; and His teachings read to us by leaders elected by the popular vote of the church. Surely Abraham's worship was more acceptable to God than ours. Let us go back, brethren, and imitate our father Abraham in his primi. tive worship of the eternal God.

But the primitive church worshipped in their private houses. See Aquila and Priscilla his wife, whether at Rome, or Corinth, or Ephesus, they always had a church in their house. Doubtless in the large room, in which they and Paul made tents, they held religious meetings. And others had churches (assemblies) in their houses. See the close of several epistles. There was no fine churches in those days, though the Christians had multiplied greatly; for about the time Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, Tacitus, the historian, says the number of Christians at Rome was no less than ten thousand. Yet we read in the same epistle of greeting assemblies (churches) in private houses. If you will read Paul's letters to the Corinthians attentively, we think you will conclude, that they had no churches as we have, but at stated times they had a general meeting of all to celebrate the Lord's (Master's) Supper.

They elected their church officers mostly by popular vote, but in a few instances they were appointed.

Pliny, in a letter to Trajan the Emperor, gives an account of how the Christians worshipped in Bithynia. They would meet together by daylight, and a leader would read and then comment on what he had read; pray, sing, take the lord's supper; bound themselves by laws more severe than the Roman law, and they lived up to them.

BAPTISM. The ordinance of baptism is symbolical, which represents death, burial and a resurrection. The ordinance was performed by the immersing of the body into water. It represents death to sin and alive to holiness, justice, goodness, which is righteousness. This is John's baptism, that is immersion. Christ's baptism included all of this, and beside a belief in his resurrection and ascension to heaven. Acts 19:3, 4, 5, “into what then were ye immersed? And they said into John's immersion, and having heard they were immersed into the name of the Lord Jesus.”

So as Christ died and was buried, rose again and ascended to heaven, so we (in this symbol) die and are buried, and arise to a life of holiness, justice and goodness, and finally to heaven, where Christ sitteth.

Now, the Greek word baptizo means to immerse. But our translators did not so translate it, but gave Greek word, baptizo, the English form, baptize. You see they changed the final letter of the Greek word, baptizo, into the English letter e. Thus changing baptizo into baptize, an English form of the Greek word, and changing the accent at the same time. So the Greek word baptizo is not translated, but given an English form. Why did our translators do this? They should have translated the Greek word, baptizo, into the English word, immerse. Now, wherever you may see the word baptize or baptism, substitute immerse or immersion, and it will make sense. As an example, "John the immerser came immersing in the wilderness," etc. The reason that confusion is made, is the giving a Greek word an English form. You may take any Greek word and give it an English form, and you will cause confusion. Each individual then can give the English form of any Greek word whatever interpretation he may please. For in fact the word is not translated, but simply transformed into an English word.

But let us expand a little on John's immersion and Christ's immersion. In Acts 19:3, 4, etc., we have: "and he said unto them, into what then were you immersed? and they said into John's immersion. Then said Paul, John verily immersed with the immersion of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him, who should come after him (John). When they heard this they were immsersed into the name of the Lord Jesus.” So first they were immersed into John's immersion; because Apollus knew no other, but after he was instructed in another immersion, then a second time the converts were immersed, and into the name of the Lord Jesus.

So, then, immersion is a symbol, representing death and burial to sin, resurrection and life in holiness, justice, goodness and faith in the Lord Jesus. What a beautiful symbol this is! And if the word baptizo be translated immerse, how clearly and beautifully it shows the meaning of the symbol!

But certain passages are not intelligible unless this word means immerse. In Colos. 3:1, etc., "since then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth,” etc. How raised? Evidently out of a watery grave; that is, by immersion, otherwise there is no sense in this passage. A little farther on, in verse 3, "for ye died and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Thus showing that, in the mind of the writer, a figurative death and resurrection is meant, as by the symbol in immersion. Rom. 6:4, “we were buried therefore with him through immersion, unto death, that as Christ was raised up from among the dead, by the glory of the Father, so also we, in newness of life should walk." Fifth verse, "for if conjoined we have been in the likeness of his death, so also of his resurrection we shall be.” Colos. 2: 12, "having been buried with him in baptism (immersion), in which ye also were raised,” etc.

So that, taking this'view, immersion is a beautiful symbol, representing death and burial to sin, resurrection to a holy, just and good life, faith in Christ, and an immortal, blessed state beyond the grave.

But the thing itself which the symbol represents is cleansed of sin; and passages speak of being baptized in a cloud, etc., so that this sym

« ForrigeFortsett »