Grace Abounding over Adam’s Fall

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Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life (Romans 5:18).

A.E. Saxby, in God in Redemption, gives us a wonderfully logical reason for rejecting the notion that God will condemn anyone to eternal damnation and suffering, and rather proves that He has provided for the salvation of all mankind.

He says,

If a human act was effectual for ruin, how much more shall a Divine act be effectual for salvation?

How quickly we believers will latch on to some fragment of a verse, in a whole context, to prove a negative perception and then propagate it as truth, to the total exclusion of the whole context of the doctrine being presented.

Why do we so easily jump to conclude all men to condemnation, but find it so terribly difficult to accept with the same unabashedness the accompanying text which says that “the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life”?

How can anyone think that, as the first Adam’s act could bring about the “ruin” of all of his descendants, the second Adam’s act was nowhere near as efficacious to provide the remedy whereby all of those descendants would be rescued from such a penalty? It’s really quite an illogical act of mental gymnastics to interpret Romans 5 that way.

It is rather amazing that we never consider that, as sin abounded in its effect on all of the first Adam’s posterity, God’s grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20).

Thus, if the first Adam’s act was so powerful as to affect the ruin of all of his future generations, how much less of an effect would God’s grace be through the redeeming act of the Second Adam, that even one of those offspring could be eternally lost forever to the loving grace of His Creator and Father?

It is too much to comprehend that we serve a God and Father so callous to the welfare of His creation, that He would allow any one of His dear creatures to go unprovided for in the eternal plan of His “great love wherewith He loved us.”

AndréAndré Sneidar

Bible Student’s Notebook

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GodInCreation

God in Creation, Redemption, Judgment and Consummation

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What is Ultimate Reconciliation?

by A. E. Saxby (1873-1960)
A classic on God’s work in the salvation of all creation.
(#1750) 88pp PB $10.95

God Is No Respecter of Persons

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Our God never has a headache. He is never worried as we worry when our plans go wrong, for His plans never do. In the working out of the divine plans, there are no contingencies. All history is pregnant with the guiding counsel of the all wise God. His purposes never fail or cave in. They never collapse. No disasters ever attend the undertakings of God. He is sovereign Lord. An experiment is an experiment because of its possible failure. God never fails, hence He makes no experiments. The doctrine of annihilation discounts our conceptions of the divine wisdom.

When our theology involves the possibility of man becoming an unanswerable riddle to Deity, and when annihilation suggests that God’s final action of human problems is their destruction, then we have lowered the thought of the omniscience of God.

We may best say that if the divine interference is absolutely necessary to the salvation of any creature, it must also be necessary for every creature. The fact that He does save one of his creatures is conclusive proof that He in time will save all of them because if He saves some and not others, a few and not all, the Scriptures which HE inspired would be nothing more than a lying mockery and deceit. God is no respecter of persons.

Alan Burns (-1929)
Faith Fellowship Magazine, Vol. 58, Number 1

’Tis The Season to Be …

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We all know the rest of the line from this 16th century Welsh yuletide carol Deck the Halls: “’Tis the season to be jolly.” A “jolly” season is surely a very delightful thought. Unfortunately, such is not the reality in the lives of many. December can be a very difficult and stressful time of the year, even melancholy for some, and depressing for others.

There are a number of reasons for difficulties during this season. One is simply that life can be hard and full of heartbreak and disappointment. When one finds themselves in the middle of problems during this time of year, the struggle can increase just by knowing that one is supposed to be “jolly.”

Then, of course, there are those who struggle with living in the past – especially in such a sentimental season. “Living” in the past is not really living though, but just “existing” through the rehearsing of a former life that has already been lived. Sentiment is a heavy burden for many to bear – living with the ghosts of Christmas past.

Certainly, there are also those who become easily obsessed with that 24-hour window of the future – from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. They get trapped in all of the anxious plans and fretful details that must be managed so that these few hours turn out just right. Sometimes this bondage actually originates from a heart that genuinely desires to bring blessing to others – but in the process of all of the activity one can easily lose sight of what is really important, and like Martha of Luke’s Gospel, they become disgruntled by being “cumbered by much serving” (10:40).

The Understandable Version says that she was “preoccupied with all the preparations [i.e., for entertaining her beloved guest].” I am sure that many a host and hostess could easily identify with Martha. Unquestionably, the idea of her being “preoccupied” is that she had been “distracted” (as Young, Weymouth, Rotherham and the CLNT have translated it) from what was of real importance. It is easy to lose heart in our service when undue importance is placed on artificial days or things.

In all of the situations that present seasonal occasions for being sad, depressed, overwhelmed and anxious, it is important that we keep our eyes on Father and His Son. Like Moses, we get through our trials only by “seeing Him Who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). Like Peter, we will begin to sink beneath the waves of circumstances if we take our eyes off of our only source of true joy and strength (Matthew 14:22-33).

Much attention is given in this season for the “Babe in the manger,” but we must look to the “Lord of Glory” Who is now at the right hand of the Father, and we are seated there with Him (Colossians 3:1). As in all other parts of the year we should live our day-to-day lives unto Him, and Him alone (Colossians 3:17, 23).

While we may occasionally look to the past with thanksgiving to Him, and we may plan for the future so as to be His blessing to others, we must keep our bearings in this season by living neither in the past, nor in the future, but in the present. We, or our loved ones, may never come to see the upcoming 24-hour period over which we are so stressed. Our lives are but a vapor, and none of us are promised a tomorrow (James 4:14).

All that we have is today. Seize it. Live in it. Enjoy it,

For in Him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).

With Him, every day is a glorious season – every day a sacred holiday (Romans 14:5-8; I Corinthians 10:31). During this season, whatever steps you may be taking on your journey, remember to enjoy HIM, Who is your life (Colossians 3:4).

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Praying in Your Own Gethsemanes

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Being in agony – He prayed more earnestly! (Luke 22:44).

This is the record of our Savior’s Gethsemane experience. Like a bright lamp, this Scripture shines amid the olive trees of that garden to show us the path to comfort in our time of sorrow. Never before, nor since, has there been such grief as the Redeemer’s that night; but His agony lessened as He prayed, until at last its bitterness was all gone. There is no other place for true comfort and help. We learn from our Lord’s Gethsemane agony – how to pray in our own Gethsemanes.

God never blames us for asking to have the bitter cup removed, nor for the intensity of our prayers; but we must always pray with submission to His will. When we sincerely pray, “Not my will, but may Your will be done,” comfort comes, and then peace.

JR Miller - YoungerJ.R. Miller (1840-1912)

 

 

 

 

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Best of MillerBest of J.R. Miller

by James Russell Miller

Miller was a prolific author, was born of Irish/Scottish decent to James Alexander Miller and Eleanor Creswell, near Frankfort Springs, Beaver County, PA. He was a graduate of Westminster College (New Wilmington, PA) Allegheny Theological Seminary (Allegheny, PA). Miller pastored churches in New Wilmington, PA, Philadelphia, PA, and Rock Island, IL; and was the author of over 60 published books, as well as countless booklets and pamphlets; and also served as supervisor of over two dozen periodicals with a combined annual circulation of over 66 million copies at the time of his death.

80 pages, paperback (#2425) $9.95

Paul’s Message Is Safely in God’s Hands

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For I know Whom [he does not say, in whom] I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that [he does not say what] which He has committed unto me against that day [he does not say what day] (II Timothy 1:12: R.V. margin).

That which God had committed unto Paul was “that goodly deposit” – the revelation of the mystery concerning the Body of Christ. The word παραθήκη (parathēkē) occurs only here (:14) and I Timothy 6:20 (according to the best texts).

It was committed to Timothy also, and he was to guard it by the Holy Spirit dwelling within him. And though all might turn away from him and his teaching concerning it (:15), yet God would guard it and care for it, and preserve it against that day.

EWBE.W. Bullinger (1837-1913)
Figures of Speech (page 62, Ellipsis)

We Rely on the Living God

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We rely on the living God, Who is the Savior … (I Timothy 4:10.

Our expectation is built and settled “on the living God.” That means we are optimistic in every way. As we begin this new year we look forward to great things. But these are not great things of our accomplishment or as measured by the world about us. We expect the great blessings of joy that issues from appreciation of God’s grace; of peace that issues from acquaintance with God’s work of conciliation; of invigoration that issues from the evangel that is God’s power for salvation. Like Paul, we are not despondent, even though our bodies are decaying and we stumble into all sorts of troubles and perplexities, because we know these things are temporary, even momentary in comparison to what God is leading us into (II Corinthians 4:7-18). God is living, and He is saving, and He is bringing about “a transcendently transcendent eonian burden of glory.”

Dean HoughDean H. Hough
Unsearchable Riches Magazine, Vol. 87

Global Warming

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The debate on Global Warming is pointless for the believer. The globe may in fact be warming, and it may be attributed to man’s supposed actions; but either way it is all at the decree of God. We are thankful to Father that we don’t have to place our faith or support in the science or politics of either “side.” They are mere diversions. We embrace the only “side” that really counts: the absolute sovereignty of God! If He wills the temperature to increase, it will increase; if He wills it to decrease, it will decrease: His creatures notwithstanding. As in all other areas, this is His story (true history), not man’s.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Suffering: Our Path to Glory

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Just as in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Scriptures are plain on this respect, our path to Glory is through suffering as well.

Rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. … But the God of all grace, Who has called us to His age-lasting glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you (I Peter 4:13; 5:10).

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).

Just as Christ, we must learn to submit ourselves to the wise and loving will of our Father. Father’s answer to us may at times be deliverance from our trials. More often than not, however, as in the case of our Savior, when we approach His gracious throne, what we find is His “grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

When we pray for the cup of our heavy burdens and trials to pass, may we also have the courage of faith to pray “nevertheless not my will, but Yours be done.” While deliverance may be in our hearts, may our hearts obediently submit to His wise and loving will; and with Christ we can – “for the joy set before us” – endure our trials.

The knowledge of Father’s wise and loving will can settle the weary heart and bring peace to the troubled mind. Regardless of the situations that we face, Father knows best. Rest in that.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

 

 

 

 

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Suffering_1247_925.inddSuffering: God’s Forgotten Gift

by — Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Two gifts given to the believer are mentioned by Paul in Philippians 1:29. The first is “to believe on Him.” This is a glorious gift. Every believer has been given this gift from God. Those who possess it may not even fully recognize it as a gift from Him; but, indeed, faith is God’s wonderful gift to us. Faith is a rich gift from God, but there is also another gift from God to the believer, mentioned by Paul in Philippians 1:29, that is equally as glorious. The second gift is “also to suffer for His sake.” This, too, is a glorious gift. Every believer has been given this gift from God as well; but those who possess it often do not fully recognize it for what it is. Indeed, suffering for His sake similarly is God’s wonderful gift to us. Paul teaches us to embrace this second gift as well as we do the first!

(#5150) ISBN: 9781934251584 — 100 page PB. $9.95

Suffering: Christ’s Path to Glory

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The Scriptures are plain in this respect: Christ’s path to glory was through suffering.

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:26).

But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9).

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow (I Peter 1:11).

This is the divine principle: suffering, then glory. While deliverance may have been in Christ’s heart, He learned obedience to His Father’s wise and loving will; and “for the joy set before Him” endured His trials.

The knowledge of Father’s wise and loving will settled His weary heart and brought peace to His troubled mind. Regardless of His situation He knew that Father knew best. He rested in that.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

The Divine Cycle

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Out of Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36).

Here’s the simple, glorious truth of this verse in a threefold nutshell:

(1) All is out of God.
(2) All is through God.
(3) All is to God.

The knowledge that all comes “out” of God, that all operates “through” God, and that all is returning “to” God settles the weary heart and brings peace to the troubled mind. This is the Divine cycle.

Father is in control. Rest in that.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.