the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in
thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ
down from above); or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to
bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is
nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of
faith, which we preach: that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:6-9.
we accept these words, especially the statement in the last verse, as
literally true? Shall we not be in danger if we do? Is not something
more than faith in Christ necessary to salvation? To the first of these
questions we say, Yes; and to the the last two we say, No; and refer
to the Scriptures for corroboration. So plain a statement cannot be
other than literally true, and one that can be depended on by the trembling
an instance in proof, take the case of
the Jailer at Philippi.
Paul and Silas, after having been inhumanly beaten, were placed in his
care. Notwithstanding their lacerated backs and their manacled feet,
they prayed and sang praises to God at midnight, and suddenly an earthquake
shook the prison, and all the doors were opened. it was not alone the
natural fear produced by feeling the earth rock beneath him, nor yet
the dread of Roman justice if the prisoners in his charge should escape,
that caused the jailer to tremble. But he felt in that earthquake shock
a premonition of the great Judgement, concerning which the apostles
had preached; and, trembling under his load of guilt, he fell down before
Paul and Silas, saying, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
Mark well the answer; for here was a soul in sorest extremity, and what
was sufficient for him must be the message to all lost ones. To the
jailer's anguished appeal, Paul replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:30, 31. This agrees exactly
with the words which we quoted from Paul to the Romans.
one occasion the Jews said unto Jesus, "What shall we do, that
we might work the works of God?" Just the thing that we want to
know. Mark the reply: "This is the work of God, that ye believe
on him whom he hath sent." John 6:28, 29. Would that these words
might be written in letters of gold, and kept continually before the
eyes of every struggling Christian. The seeming paradox is cleared up.
Works are necessary; yet faith is all-sufficient, because faith does
the work. Faith comprehends everything, and without faith there is nothing.
trouble is that people in general have a faulty conception of faith.
They imagine that it is mere assent, and that it is only a passive thing,
to which active works must be added. But faith is active, and it is
not only the most substantial thing, but the only real foundation. The
law is the righteousness of God (Isa. 51:6, 7), for which we are commanded
to seek (Matt. 6:33); but it cannot be kept except by faith, for the
only righteousness which will stand in the Judgement is "that which
is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by
faith." Phil. 3:9.
the words of Paul in Rom. 3:31: "Do we then make void the law through
faith? God forbid; yea, we extablish the law. " Making void the
law of God by man is not abolishing it; for that is an impossibility.
It is as fixed as the throne of God. No matter what men say of the law,
nor how much they trample upon it and despise it, it remains the same.
The only way that men can make void the law of God is to make it of
none effect in their hearts, by their disobedience. Thus in Num. 30:15,
a vow that has been broken is said to have been made void. So when the
apostle says that we do not make void the law through faith, he means
that faith and disobedience are incompatible. No
matter how much the law-breaker professes faith, the fact that he is
a law-breaker shows that he has no faith. But the possession of faith
is shown by the establishment of the law in the heart, so that the man
does not sin against God. Let no one decry faith, as of little moment.
does not the apostle James say that faith alone cannot save a man, and
that faith without works is dead? Let us look at his words a moment.
Too many have with honest intent perverted them to a dead legalism.
He does say that faith without works is dead, and this agrees most fully
with what we have just quoted and written. For if faith without works
is dead, the absence of works shows the absence of faith; for that which
is dead has no existence. If a man has faith, works will necessarily
appear, and the man will not boast of either one; for by faith boasting
is excluded. Rom.3:27. Boasting is done only by those who trust wholly
in dead works, or whose profession of faith is a hollow mockery.
how about James 2:14, which says: "What doth it profit, my brethren,
though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?"
The answer necessarily implied is, of course, that it cannot. Why not?
- Because he hasn't it. What doth it profit if a man say he has
faith, if by his wicked course he shows that he has none? Must we decry
the power of faith simply because it does nothing for the man who makes
a false profession of it? Paul speaks of some who profess that they
know God, but who deny him by their works. Titus 1:16. The man to whom
James refers is one of this class. The fact that he has no good works
- no fruit of the Spirit - shows that he has no faith, despite his loud
profession; and so of course faith cannot save him; for faith has no
power to save a man who does not possess it. END. TOP
is Man? -- The
Gospel in Creation, pp. 137-138 --
the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into
his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [living
the beasts, he was taken from the ground. He is but "dust and ashes."
He cannot boast at all, not even over the beasts that are placed under
him; for it is simply by the power of God, who can make of the same
clay a vessel to honor and one to dishonor, that he is any different
from them. The earth is the source whence all animate creatures spring.
"All are dust, and all turn to dust again." After death and
decomposition the dust of the prince cannot be distinguished from the
dust of the pauper, not even from that of his dog. If at the last he
does not share the fate of the beasts, and go into oblivion, it is only
because he has had humility enough to accept the wisdom that come from
God; for "man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like
the beasts that perish." "Oh, why should the spirit
of mortal man be proud?"
is made from the dust, that he may remember that he is nothing in
himself; but also in the image of God, that he may know the infinite
possibilities before him - association with God Himself; of himself
having no more might than the dust upon which he walks, but capable
of the greatest things through the power and goodness of God. And
strange as it may seem, his capabilities are the greatest when he
is most sensible of his weakness. "When I am weak, then am I
strong." End. TOP
Convicting Jewish Witness --by
David L. Cooper D.D. --
One day as I was journeying from Los Angeles to Denver,
I had a most delightful interview with an elderly Jewish man. I was
sitting in the carriage reading my Hebrew Testament when this man
appeared at my side. "You cannot read that," he declared.
Immediately I gave him a practical demonstration by
reading a passage. With a shrug of the shoulders he asked, "Where
did you learn that?"
"In the seminary and University."
"Well you do not know what it means." Again I read it and
translated a verse for him.
"Hum - and you are not a Yid," he commented.
Moving over I invited him to a seat beside me and introduced myself.
My new acquaintance told me his name was Baron. Then we settled ourselves
for a chat.
"Can you read this Mr. Baron?" I asked.
At once he read fluently the passage I indicated.
"Now will you tell me what it means?"
He translated with difficulty although he seemed to understand the
substance of what he had read.
"Mr. Baron are you acquainted with this book?" I enquired.
He turned to the title page. He read the words, "New Testament."
He had never seen it before.
Reaching for my grip I pulled out my Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
and said; "Mr. Baron I want to ask you a question. What is the
meaning of the word Elohim?"
"It means God."
"But," I said, "my teachers have told me that this
word means 'Gods."'
"They do not know what they are talking about," he retorted
"But Elohim is a plural number".
"You are wrong," my friend declared, "I went to Yeshibah
(Rabbinical School) and I know Elohim means God - singular."
"What is the meaning of the word Baal, Mr. Baron?" I inquired.
"Master," was his ready reply.
"What is the meaning of the word Baalim?"
"Masters," was his ready reply, "more than one."
"What is the meaning of seraph?"
"One of the angels," he said.
"Seraphim?" I asked.
"Many of them," he answered, "more than one."
"Then if Baal-im and Seraph-im, mean more than one would not
Eloh-im also mean more than one?" He looked puzzled.
"Let us turn to the Ten Commandments, and notice the 2nd Commandment
- 'Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.'
Now what does the word 'Gods' mean?"
"It is plural and means many - more than one," he replied
and added, "It means all those heathen gods".
Turning back to the first verse of the book of Genesis I said, "You
admit that Elohim in the passage we have just seen means 'Gods."'
I continued - "Then what about the same word here at the beginning
of the book of Genesis." For an answer my companion put his hand
to his head in a quick gesture of complete surprise.
"The rabbi did not tell us that".
"Never mind about the rabbi," I rejoined. "If the word
is plural and means 'gods' in one instance, then it must be plural
in the other instance for it is spelt exactly the same way."
"That sounds right," he admitted, "But I wonder why
they did not tell me that at the Rabbinical School?"
"Mr. Baron what is the meaning of Shema (The rabbinical name
of the great confession of Deuteronomy 6:4)? I want to ask you particularly
about the meaning of the Hebrew word Elohenu? My instructors have
taught me that it meant 'Gods,"' I continued.
"Well they are wrong. It means one God."
"What is the meaning of the word Abhothenu?"
"Of Eholayenu?" I asked.
"Then Mr. Baron," I concluded, "If all these words
ending in enu means 'fathers,' 'sicknesses,' 'transgressions' and
'sins,' surely Elohenu means 'Gods' - plural." For an answer
my Jewish friend threw out both hands in a gesture of helpless perplexity.
"But the Rabbi's," he breathed -
"We are not interested in the Rabbi's just now," I told
him. "You admit that it is right that we should translate it
plural do you not?" He slowly nodded. I continued, "One
more question - What is the meaning of Echad?"
"One," he promptly replied.
"My teachers have told me that it is a word which means Unity!"
"Well you were taught wrong," he retorted quite hotly.
"My friend, here in the first part Genesis we are told that there
was evening and morning making one day. There was darkness and light,
two different and opposite things. Put them together and they make
one. A little farther on we are told that a man was to leave father
and mother and cleave unto his wife and the two were to become one
flesh. When the two are married they become one. That is Echad. God
speaks similarly about Himself. The Shema really says, "THE LORD,
OUR GODS IS ONE LORD" - Echad - a unity."
I then took him to various passages of the Old Testament
and concluded with the words, "The Scriptures teach that there
is a Godhead of more than one, and that the second person of the Godhead
came to earth to dwell among us and gave his life for us all."
His face was a study. He said, "I am old now, if
I had only met you many years ago, how different my life would have
been." He then said, "I certainly would have changed my
I urged him to change then and there. This was bringing home the truth
to a Jew in a language that he understood clearly.