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Translation of a Text
In this case, the impact of the word of God is highly contemporary and of great value to discernment in these searching times.
For this, see Red Alert, in a Grey Day, with the Bright Light Coming Ch. 7.
October 6-8, 2001
WHERE ONE AND ONE DO NOT MAKE TWO
In our last chapter, we considered the intrusive, abusive nature of sin, with special reference to international affairs, the state of the world and the fate of nations.
This time, as noted, we turn to Romans 5 to find the root cause. That is what Dr Mahathir of Malaysia reportedly says, is the proper topic for the USA. It would be certain, however, that he would not find as the Bible does, in any analysis he would provide, as the Bible is not his source, and duplication of the mind of God is more impossible than the creation of a new universe.
Let us then see what the actual situation is.
From Profusion of Confusion to Christ as king
VICTORY OVER IT
Introduction to the Case
IN ROMANS 5
The human heart, as we are seeing, can at times with confusion, at others with varied motives, sometimes with celestial projections, perform diabolical deeds, with social manners accomplish slatternly spiritual procedures, indulge in monstrous self-gratifying immoral moralities, congratulating itself on folly, and allow the most hideous assault on what is precious; and for convenience, it can mix murder and method, hatred and idealism, luxury and a Spartan regime (for the doers, less than for the 'directors'). It is altogether a most charming piece of goods, and the question arises, WHY! After all, it is from this source, suitably aided and abetted when sin is there, with other agents of corruption, that the follies which lead to the 'problems' come.
Romans tells us, as reason can only concur (cf. SMR Ch. 1, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7, Repent or Perish Chs. 2, 7, That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1,3,6-7). By man came sin, by sin came death, by both came abounding evil. HOW can sin come by man ? How could it not, since he was free and subjectible to diversions and conversions to this and that ?
Yet WHY should it not be a perfect man with THEREFORE a perfect spiritual profile, incorruptible, good, mannerly, GODLY... Why did this not arrive ? The Bible informs us with total agreement from reason, with the authority of God, that a perfect man did arrive; but did not stay! He ceased in his performance in the area of godliness. He quit. He was not redeemed, merely created; so he quit. To be godly did not meet his penchant, for in the unfettered imagination with which he was endued, and in the test to which he was duly and truly subjected, he simply went a way he elected. Election is part of personality; he had personality; he elected. If he could not, he would not be personal; if he DID not, he would not be ungodly. He did, and so became ungodly. It was something to which he had aptitude, but not necessity.
Ah but, does one not hear, this godly bit! WHY does a perfect man have to be godly.
No reason at all, provided he can make himself, his universe and so on, before he exists. If he were God, he would however BE godly, being himself. He is not God, hence there is this problem when he institutes divorce proceedings. He has only to create himself and the universe ...
Do not be ridiculous ...is this the reply ?
Agreed. That is the answer. It would indeed be ridiculous to create yourself in order to be there; and that is why he needs to be godly.
If not, then he and his Maker at at odds, and His Maker's holy majesty (cf. SMR Ch. 1) is affronted.
Too bad! says one.
Agreed, once again. It is too bad, to last. SO it will not do, to be so. Of that, it is already giving ample signs and signals. It is not a nice old world that can take it, a nice old race that can make it. It will neither take it nor make it. It is on the way out. God has been most patient, indeed to the point that effrontery and arrogance have had whole sessions to discover themselves, and never a more jagged discovery.
Indeed, does not the putative question, WHY SHOULD MAN NOT BE PERFECT! and the hoped for qualification, and that WITHOUT GODLINESS, show the nature of the case ? This already indicates the character of the disease.
But then, one may say, I do not want this liberty to leave God. Godliness is fine.
Very well, we have already proved often enough that the Bible is the word of God (cf. SMR, That Magnificent Rock, Spiritual Refreshings in the Digital Universe Chs. 13, 16, with Repent or Perish Chs. 2 and 7, for example), and on this occasion, we are considering man with respect to it, so that our discussion will be profitable. If a person DOES want to be godly, this means, then, that he or she wants to be free from autonomy, ready to obey God, filled with love, not self-centred, adoring Christ as Redeemer, subjecting all plans to Him, focussing on His magnificence, delighting in His will, word and way, working with His kingdom in view more than any courtier for his king. Is this too what you want ?
Someone may say, Well suppose it were! What then ?
Then you would be forgiving, understanding and gracious, leaving 'vengeance' to God, seeking to do good to all men, not seeking your own, loving your enemies. The world would groan in astonishment. HOW in the world, it might at once begin to ask, can I be expected to be destroyed when the things are so perfect! But no worry: they are not, and it will be destroyed like any other trash can, in the end.
But 'trash can!', one may expostulate.
Of course, what contains trash, is a trash can, or container if you want to be technical.
Man, trash ?
Does he behave very differently ? Yes, at times, and in some cases. Agreed. In most however, the gulf between manliness and godliness is far greater than that between Bill Gates' wealth and that of the most humble untouchable in India. Such a term is not a moral judgment on man, so to speak, merely a destiny-oriented factuality. The sole point being made here is this: That this is the destiny of divorced man, spiritually derelict for all his many pretensions, because disjoined from God; and if you read Mark 9 you will see that it is by NO means an overstatement.
Of course, unconverted man does for the time differ from trash in this, that he MAY be saved from sin, and so from judgment in Christ as Redeemer. SO of course one is not designating the race as 'trash' but merely indicating the defining point of DESTINY, relative to most of it. CHRIST indicated that FEW follow His narrow way (like a water course from a reservoir, it is not a plain, but a road, a channel); and that many walk in the highway to hell. This is not because man's conduct can have no good points; oh no, not at all. A murderer may be kind at home. It is not because in mankind there may not, even now, be in isolation from the overall condition, some admirable qualities.
WIthout any pleasant features ever ? Not at all: a gangster may have a wonderful sense of domesticity.
It is because without God man is without substance, setting, design specifications, is lost from his concord position, from his Father, from his Maker, disoriented from the pattern, program and the sure inter-personal connection with the divine: and the generic for that sort of thing, when it is NECESSARY, for any product, is 'trash'. It is thus an encounter with realism for the destiny in CURRENT terms for unbelieving man, not a judgment on his potential. Like a kite however in the mud, if it is not cleaned, it is mere trash. This is its reference point, HOWEVER wonderful could be the flight it would accomplish if it were subjected to cleaning, drying and skill. Look at Ephesians 2 and consider.
With unconverted man, however, he insists on refusing this. THAT, and not something irreparable, is the reason why the correct designation OUTSIDE salvation, is trash. It is something - let us remove any vestige of misunderstanding - which without remedy, is hopeless, and contrary to design. THAT, it is man without Christ. This is the Bible teaching as you may readily see in Ephesians 2 and 4, and to complete this introduction to Romans 5, let us look personally with our own eyes at some of these declarations from the Lord.
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart...
...put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
When beings like this are let lose, however subtle, or pseudo-spiritual, things will not - because they cannot - go right. So they do not. They will go wrong. They do so with increasing force and fortitude, right being termed wrong and vileness nobility.
As time passes, and the third and fourth generation "of those who hate Me" (Exodus 20) proceed, the contortions arise in ways amazing and macabre. But still worse is to follow, and has already made its wake.
As Christianity is left as a residue on the plate in this reputedly 'post-Christian' Age, of course, it merely means that panel-beating is unfashionable, so deformity is not only normal, but increasingly unrelieved. It is even lauded and applauded in perverse sex, gender 'change', biological invention without wisdom, endless ignoble litigation for illusory pretensions, as if men were god and with a proliferation of would-be mock-up christs proceeding from every inventor's desk, to supplement the old fakes. The Bible is unfashionable, law is unfashionable, erratic life and death is the rage, and rage is the mode.
Since the moral dimensions are included in the so elegant inventions (cf. Ecclesiastes 7:29), it follows that the place must become unlivable, which is precisely two things. The first ? It is what we are seeing. The second ? It is what Christ predicted (Matthew 24:21-25):
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand."
THE CASE ITSELF - ROMANS 5
In Romans 5:12-21 we find that there was a first man who went astray, a thing which personality is and must be, perfectly able to do, in its initial stages at least: for otherwise it would lack the qualities integral to BEING a person. Programmees are not persons. Freedom is not a mathematical, economic or moral necessity. Without freedom, there is only rule, not reality for man. It is the reality of man that he weighs and considers, proposes and disposes, often messing things in the meantime; and that his standards are as far from being set, as on the contrary, they are set in the Artic to Antarctic bird programs by their Designer*2. Freedom was considered in Predestination and Freewill, Part I especially, as in SMR pp. 348ff., Licence for Liberty Preface, I , 2 and elsewhere, in Things Old and New Ch. 1, Beauty of Holiness 5, 7, 8; News 145 (see also indexes SMR and other).
- For the moment, our concern is the OUTCOME. In empirical fact, man went astray: it was his prerogative, he exercised it. It was a consumer-pay proposition. He paid.
He is still paying; he is still sinning. The direction is the same, the speed can increase as multiple assaults are institutionalised more and more, and good teaching is replaced with a moral invention of goodness, whereby evil is treated to glory (cf. Mystery of Iniquity and The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 8).
Now in Romans 5:12 we find the generic, historic declaration. The first man sinned, gained death and his condition became universal to the race as it then was. In verses 13-14, we learn that this was an exceptional case, like your first smash after gaining your driver's licence. It is not a particularly memorable thing, but it is remembered!
SINCE then, we there learn, man sins in a different way from the original idea of sinning, which then was indeed quite original... He sins in a derivative way, lest monumental in kind, but still fatal in type. When Moses was given a heavily codified law, we are told, then sin was decisively, if you like arithmetically accountable. However, before then, it was still sin; God was still divine, man human, results still accrued, and in particular, death.
In making this distinction, chapter 5 of Romans provides us with a link. The sin of man in the first was of one kind, and in the unity of that first man it was dowered to mankind! The first man was a type, illustration, forerunner, of the COMING ONE, we read.
Paul then resumes the argumentation of explication.
It runs well in the Berkeley translation*1. The case is this (this is the sense of it): the first man sinned, getting death and this spread. The case was different in the first, from that of others, who came after the first episode. They sinned with sin already resident. However the first sin was from ONE agent, and the Coming One, to meet it, was another Agent. Each was one. Each was crucial. Not however like the first sin situation is the second man's or the second representative man's action. Sin multiplied by the first; grace abounded by the second.
The basic movement is this, then: Here is the position (v. 12). Just as sin came by man, and spread like a plague, so in complete contrariety, grace came by man, and spread like a bounty. Sin came like that; but otherwise did the coming of grace from the Coming One occur!
This then in verse 15 is the first of no less than 6 parallels, law court sounding presentations, each reinforcing the last, each proceeding to a new phase, and sometimes gathering strength from what went before as well. It is not possible really to interrupt this amazing flow of analysis with brackets and imagined recall of verse 12, as done in both the Authorised Version and the NKJV. It is a cohesive, coherent, deeply integrated series of propositions, like arms and elbows, and hands, each articulated so closely with the other, that interruption is dysfunctional.
The Greek does not carry brackets, so we have to use our own perception. What is clear is found in two points. The verse 12 is explained in verses 13-14 in terms of the first and later sin, and the difference between them. The in verse 15, we have the adversative parallel: That happened in one way, but THIS, it happened in the opposite.
The respect of contrariety is this: THAT was negative, this is positive. That was fatal, this is a balm of life. But BOTH were multiplying in results, like a cyclotron.
THE SIX PARALLELS
1) Thus in verse 15 we have the first of the six parallel statements, mutually developmental. Here is the dismal multiplication contrasted with the delightful abundance, the salient stripping of sin, and the exotic abounding of grace.
2) In verse 16, we have a further and related contrast. There is, in the first man, Adam, the movement to judgment. There is via the second man (as Paul puts it in I Cor. 15 "the Lord from heaven" defining the term), the movement to justification. The one is to sentencing, the other to quashing. The one is to the bar of justice; the other is to the car of deliverance. One indites the guilt; the other waives it. This is the judgment-justification contrast in the parallels built about Adam and Christ.
3) In verse 17, we come to one offence of one man leading to the REIGN of death. Man could not escape, and the preludes and passions of death were the thing that ruled, de rigueur. However as to those who receive the GIFT of righteousness (cf. The Biblical Workman Appendix 4), donated with abundance of grace, these escape that reign. For them there is a substitute reign. It is the reign in life, THROUGH the One, Jesus Christ. This reign is very delightful. Life does not control you; but you in Christ find it is amenable to direction. HE as Lord is able to subdue it, control it, endue it, vitalise it, renew it, endue it, bring to the fore its proper qualities and project it into the space of grace like a missile. It is a reign IN LIFE, through Jesus Christ.
The contrast here is between reign of death and reign in life... THROUGH Jesus Christ the deliverer.
4) In verse 18, we move to the realm of offence and righteousness as performance criteria, rather than moral and legal directions. Here the one man achieved a result, offence. It produced condemnation, like decoration on a cake. It followed and exhibited what it was all the more clearly. The other Man however, also achieved something. It was transcendent in its superiority, opposite in its result.
He performed, and this was this was a life of righteousness unblighted, undimmed, exhibitive of that perfection which no sin touches, no judgment assesses and no fault maligns.
The gift if you will, of the first man was a performance contribution, like a father's will in the monetary sense. You get what you are given. He gave offence and judgment. The other, the One in parallel but in quality and wonder, beyond all comparison: He gave perfection and this, if received, presents justification, that is, the entire re-reading of your record in terms of your Saviour's attainment which you take. This is the OFFENCE achievement, RIGHTEOUSNESS achievement parallel and contrast. Here the direction of results is clarified for all, in the universal offering, one effective however only where received.
5) But the apostle is still further inspired. There is more to follow.
Thus there is the glory of verse 19. Here is the constitutive question answered. The first man's disobedience constituted MANY sinners; the second man's obedience made MANY righteous. Of course, as we have already been shown, the 'many' in the first case are all! Paul has emphasised this repeatedly. In this EFFECTUAL RESULT section, however, to preserve the parallel, Paul uses 'many' for both the fall and the finding. Thus, in the second, which uses the same parallel term in this garden of parallels, it is indeed 'many' as in Matthew 26:28, Romans 8:32. Many have fallen and many arise. The first is the entire multitude of mankind; the second is the entire multitude of those redeemed.
The parallel is thus in format beautiful, and it is for this reason that we have moved from the 'all' above to the 'many' in the case of this verse. It is manifest that Judas was not righteous, but indeed the devil entered into him and it would have been better for him, the Saviour said, if he had never been born.
Thus the word of God declares that "many are constituted righteous". The movement of justification was towards ALL; but the movement is, in terms of constituting people afresh, of regeneration, something quite different. The one has potential, the other actuality. The one is rich in hope; the other rich in fact. There is in some, those who receive the free gift of verse 17, a change that is more than one of the grace that looks differently upon them (and this is of course crucial, since only perfection is acceptable or indeed workable in heaven where sin is excluded, a colour bar that nothing will lift, a moral colour - Revelation 21:8,26).
In this case, it is one of the spiritual transformation of heart and value, priorities and power, of zest and passion, which fixes on God as a man on a rock, in the middle of the ocean. It is moreover not only a new stability and deliverance, but a change within. It is as if climbing onto the rock, the man finds his nature miraculously changed also. It is a transformative rock, not only situationally, but intrinsically.
That is because it is alive, and personal: it is the Creator, and it is in this mode one of transfer of power to create a clean heart, and to renew the mind (Ephesians 3:16, 4:23, Psalm 51).
While to God is known HOW many, the fact that the 'many' is put in parallel here is exhibitive of the grace which would have all men to be saved, however irreparable the reproach of many more, who will not have 'this man to rule over us'. One can sympathise with this for a mere man; it is when the man is what God became in order to save that it is a privilege to obey, a delight to serve and a delicious joy (I Peter 1:8) to be acquainted; and with that, to be a friend of God, it is a bounty beyond all. So has been the way since Abraham was shown the way of grace, till Christ paid for it (Genesis 15:6, II Chronicles 19:7).
6) To Romans 5 verse 20, we now may proceed. The law, in this additional facet of the perspective, says Paul, came to expand in a vigorous realism, the offences. You cannot shrug. It is right or wrong, black or white, and no grays are tolerated, no argumentation. You do or you do not. It is simple, a snare for the self-justifying hordes of non-holiness living, who prefer the vacuity of talk to the virtue of walk. Here then you have OPPOSITE ABUNDANCES.
This said, the apostle continues, the abounding of the law, in defining sin, was outdistanced entirely by the superabundance of grace. But to what did the grace then move its recipients ? Just as sin brought on the reign of death, Paul continues in enrichment of verse 17, so grace now reigns through righteousness to eternal life. NOTHING has been left, in these enclosing parallels!
Hence the reign in life THROUGH Jesus Christ, now becomes the reign of GRACE through righteousness, that of Christ, to something endless: eternal life.
Thus there is a changing of the guard, the death squad out for the redeemed, and the reign of grace is the reign under the face of Christ, for God, as Paul observes in II Corinthians 4:6, who commanded light to shine out of darkness ... has shone in our hearts in which is revealed the light of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. This is transformative continually (II Corinthians 3:18), just as the receipt of grace and the free gift of righteousness is a total change of status, initially.
What says Paul, in Romans 6, are you now going (perversely, as if some enemy were mocking) to say this: That it is so wonderful that there is so much of this wonderful grace, so that we will sin more and more freely, allowing it thus to swamp in in even greater amounts!
God forbid, he declares. Christ had to die to secure this: we who are His die with Him, in Him, through Him. Our sinful personalities, and not merely our sinful deeds, are SIN, and the SIN offering TAKES the sin, of this or that kind, so that we are crucified with Him, planted with Him, buried with Him. This is found in Romans 6:3-6.
Obviously the successive figures have NOTHING to do with the sacrament of baptism, and everything to do with phases of life. They authorise no sacrament; they illustrate the wholly essential elements, the actual ones indeed, which follow when there comes to a person, this dynamic transformation of the Saviour who died and rose, bearing sin, breaking its penalty and presenting life freely, for ever. It is the practice of living, not of symbolic rites which is thrust into view.
ONE AND ONE, ADVERSATIVE, NOT CUMULATIVE
We have then finished this survey of ONE AND ONE, the one dynamically contriving ruin, with initiative, invention, contention and disgrace; the other creating salvation FROM IT, with initiative, invention, meeting challenge and overthrowing opposition to the deliverance, even to the point of resurrection from a penalty-bearing death, comprehending the sins of all who should ever receive Him. The scale is profound, the scope entire.
- These two do not add! They are opposite in contribution, wholly diverse in status, divergent in dynamic.
The scenario does however provide entire focus on Adam and on Christ. They are added to the scene, Adam from earth, his spirit from God, Christ God as man, who yielded His Spirit without spot to God, He the sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:12,19). One adds sin, the other subtracts. One adds sentence, the other subtracts. One adds disobedience, the other obedience; one adds the scope for law, the other the realm of grace. This one and one do NOT make two: they are adversative, not cumulative!
The one is adequate for wreckage; the other for reconstruction. The one suffices for sin; the other for salvation. The one breeds disaster, the other relief. The one catapults man into death, the other makes death relinquish its mirthless jaws, by bearing it. Grace did it, love thrust into it, power accomplished it, purity enabled it. It is the work of God Himself (Hosea 13:14, Ezekiel 34, I Timothy 3:16, Titus 2-3).
That then is the reality of Christianity, when you bypass sacramentalism, neo-evangelicism, neo-orthodoxy, Romanism, liberalism, and the rest (cf. The Biblical Workman Appendix III), and simply take the Lord according to His word, and follow Him.
Devils are numerous. God is one. Error is multiple; truth is one. (Cf. Errors.)
Christ is one. He is the only One who is needed, and He is altogether needed. He is revealed in the Bible, exposed by the Spirit, adopted by grace, and transformative by power. In the last case, it is radical in its initiation and continual in upkeep. In scope, it is ONE MAN doing ONE THING in ONE WAY which has ONE RESULT. The conferred and constant result is status (John 10:27-28); the phase result is function. Both follow because God is alive. Both come through faith in the OBJECT which is thus, and this is Christ, and that, not any Christ, but the LORD'S Christ (Luke 2:26).
REMEDY AND RUIN, never better accomplished than in quack remedies
(Matthew 24:24, Colossians 1:19ff., Ephesians 1:19-23, Galatians 1, 3, 5)
All this is clear ? But of course. Very well. Then WHEN this is done and NOT UNTIL, then the sin problem ceases to be like so many radioactive wastes dispersed on a daily basis, like so many atomic bombs with cobalt delivered to the ground daily, and the kingdom of heaven arises within, in the midst.
When it is not, you have this present world, where not only are there numerous false religions, but numerous false versions of Christ, which never lived, were never born, never acted and never rose, because they are but figments of the imagination. There is evidentially but One. If you take someone else in His name (Iprecisely as was done in II Cor. 11 where Paul rebuked it), it is relevant only in one thing: its presumption adds vastly to your sin, and to the folly in the world, hastening its end. It is done likewise with the Gospel of grace, to substitute things like physical violence (and the world is having its face dipped in this tar, since it is so fond of such false philosophies and religions) and imperfect works, as if some arithmetic could determine eternity, where sin has no place at all.
Sin is an interesting thing, is it not ? The more of it, the sooner the world is unlivable; the sooner it is unlivable, the sooner He comes; and the sooner He comes, the sooner we who are His have the privilege of being taken to Him (I Thessalonians 4); and the sooner these things happen, the sooner the judgment sits. God of course knows when, but these are internal dynamics on the scene. Yet for all that, heaven forbid that one should call sin, for all its acceleration of the end, in the tiniest degree beneficial. Like cancer that left alone, kills you sooner, it is hardly a blessing on account of that! The point is to be cured fast, and be rid of the destructive dynamic.
The cancer is spiritually speaking, sin. It is a figure of it, illustrates it. Sin kills and goes on asserting its just desert. It kills all the more when the remedy is denied, for then it is in the arena of the ultimate dimension of sin, like someone formerly of 20 stone, but now of 45. The world is overweight, with sin.
THAT is the problem. It is so because it does not accept the Saviour. That is the secondary cause which rejects doctor, drug and deliverance. That is like pouring atomic waste into your drinking water. In one sense, it is merely one more senseless act. In another, it is nearing the point of being terminal. As you see in II Timothy 3 and Matthew 24, not to mention Jude and II Peter 3 with I Timothy 4, there is a progression. We are about there. Answers to Questions Ch. 5 shows how VERY nearly we are there.
Your own eyes in the light of the word of God should be able to give you an increasingly interesting read-out as the last few phases (cf. SMR pp. 502ff.) arrive. The Moslem answer in Afghanistan and in so many centres showing vast crowd support for bin Laden, throughout the world, is not apt. Force and guns to produce submission to some being is nothing to do with truth, as we have repeatedly seen in the earlier chapters and the last volume (cf. SMR pp. 50-71).
To "fight against such of those to whom the scriptures were given as believe neither in God nor the last Day ... and do not embrace the true faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued" is entirely irrelevant, a parody of personality and a misplacement of force where it is an outrageous accessory to spiritual crime, not a vehicle of truth (Koran, Surah 9:27). If then the US is to look to root causes of its trouble, it is not to be found here or in such places as this, nor in circumstances where, as to unbelievers, you "make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme" (Koran, Surah 48). These things are a large PART OF THE PROBLEM, not its resolution. The Jews by jihad must go; the US by jihad must yield. Others by jihad must do this and that. Remove this from the Middle East and the impact from the US and much of the problem would be reduced at once.
However these are but part of the total complex of confusion and infusion of man's imagination into divine matters, to his fatal detriment.
It is useless to look for the solution in the realm of its generation. It is hardly a solution to a hurricane to fly into it. It is vain to expect help from the invading elements, that assault the region of faith with force.
Rather needed is love, understanding and opportunity. If the faith is not received, judgment will come soon enough. People need not bother to play god, though they will, for it is so predicted and the world is hastening with all this acceptance of false religion, now even at State level, into this field as if hungry for its own dissolution.
Not dissolution, however, but solution, this is the requirement. That we have been seeing in Romans 5, precisely, as to its nature. As Galatians 1 makes so clear, the capacity of man to add or subtract to this gospel of divine grace, the product not of flesh but of God, the realm of His own mercy, under His own initiative and control, His only: it is zero. Zero alteration leads to infinite blessing. If purity of chemicals is so important to medicine for the mere body, what of purity of truth for the heart and soul, for the relationship with God who both IS it and PROVIDES it from Himself (John 14:6).
THIS IS THE SOLUTION: the LORD's CHRIST as Lord and Saviour in fact, not in theory, in dynamic not in booking for the hospital. THIS, it is an operation which allows your coming to the operating theatre only in repentance, liike a black robe (Luke 13:13), and allows your deliverance only in a trust in the surgeon (Romans 3:25, Galatians 3 and 5) - a thing which would be madness with men. With God, however, it would be madness to withhold it! That trust allows you to receive His directions. They are His, attested and verified, validated solely among all (SMR Ch. 1, Repent or Perish Chs. 2, 7).
Nor is the Bible an option for this operation, for as Christ said, He who wills to do the will of God will know of the doctrine (John 7:17), whether or not it be true, of God; and again, it is the word He has spoken by which He will judge (John 12:48ff.). There is no alteration. God knows His own mind. He has spoken it in word and in work, in His definitive expression, His eternal word, incarnate as Jesus the Christ. It is not obscure; it is not unknown; it not for millenia unheard of, but flashing like lightning on all sides, ever since the only Saviour did the only things that even in one being totally and absolutely, in all respects and at all costs, in every phase and feature, were divine, incapable of imitation, obfuscation or deletion. His words continue as if spoken yesterday; the world obeys, NOT in DOING them, but in receiving the due and precisely stated outcome of its deeds. As in other disease, these are not anything, but highly specialised and the prognosis and the symptoms alike, are all traced out with prodigious detail and exactitude (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9).
The point for this world is this: the gospel of GRACE is given in so many ways, in so many bindings, in so many languages, in so many places that its ignoring is mere wilfulness. The WORK of grace has been wrought in such perfection and attested with such precision that its continued refusal MUST, will and does lead to disgrace, violence and vileness.
THAT was how sin began, in the rejection of the grace of the place provided. It is NOT how it ends. If you want sin never to end for you, so that you either have it in operation or its results in operation, you have merely to reject the Lord's Christ and not receive His words. It is fatally easy. It is as Christ indicated, if one may use modern terms, a four lane highway to hell which is available (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 30).
The other way is exact, exacting but freely given (Matthew 7:13, John 10:9,27-28). It is unbreachable (Romans 5:9-11, I Thessalonians 5:9-10), but reachable (Isaiah 55:1-6). The gate is open (Psalm 118:19, I Timothy 1:10). The gift is free (Romans 6:23, 5:15, 3:23-28, Isaiah 55:1-6). It is without priests (Hebrews 2-10), available by faith through grace, with ONE only your Master, and He, Christ Himself. He ? Sinless, sovereign, the Creator. If you want ot invent God, so be it. You get nowhere, with NOT-God, If you want God, Christ is not a step, but the reality itself (John 8:58), saying, He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:1-10).
"It is therefore as follows: Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death passed on to all persons in that all sinned. To be sure, sin was in the world earlier than the Law; but in absence of law, sin is not charged up. Death, however, held rule from Adam to Moses over those who sinned but did not transgress a command in the way Adam had done - who foreshadowed the Coming One.
"With the free gift, however, it is by no means as it is with the fall, for if through the lapsing of one person many die, far more richly did the grace of God and His gift, that comes through the favor of one man Jesus Christ, overflow to the many. "
We could with perhaps more consonance with the actual text write.
It is therefore as follows: As through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin and that passed to all persons since all sinned (for until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not charged up, law not being in place, but death reigned from Adam to Moses, even on those who had not sinned after the manner of Adam's transgression, who is a figure of the Coming One): yet not as the offence, so is the free gift. For if through the offences of the one, many died, much more the grace of God and the gift in grace which is derived from one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to the many.
This adversative parallel is most interesting. AS THIS happened, yet not so was it with THAT.
It is even more sophisticated. "The Coming one" in the interpolation or aside, is itself a link within what we put in brackets for simplicity of thought, to the next term. It gives the pivot for the next development in contrariety. If it is NOT as the first thing, the fall, this gracious gift, then in what mode is it to come. Anticipating this need, Paul refers to the Coming One BEFORE he mentions the contrast with the gift. Hence the grace is preceded by the Gracious One, and the Agent appears before the act, hence smoothing the transition, which nevertheless has a most delightful wrench to the heart, and impact on the mind. NOT like that is it when the Coming One comes, for it is OTHER!
Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 9 - glamour, stammer, hammer ... flitter and glitter;
Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Ch. 3 (the soporific self, and the unity glide, under the sedation of sin);
The Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith Ch. 11 - twigs and towers;
News Fact and Forecasts - Chs.
Repent or Perish Ch. 5 inventions in mind, gender, politics ...