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    June 18, 1896

    “Studies in Romans. The Glorious Persuasion” The Signs of the Times, 22, 24.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We come now to the close of the eighth chapter of Romans. It is the Pisgah of the epistle, for from it the eye of faith sees the promised land a certainty. Perhaps at this point a very brief summary of the ground already passed over may be profitable. The following is perhaps about as briefly as it can be put.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.1

    In the first chapter we have the theme of the epistle put in a few words, the gospel of Christ, the power of God unto salvation. It is to both Jew and gentile, and has been made known to all through the works of God. The condition of men who have refused to learn of God is then described.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.2

    The second chapter shows us that at heart all are the same; that all are to be judged by one and the same standard; and that knowledge and high profession do not in themselves recommend any one to God. Obedience to God’s law is the only mark of an Israelite indeed and an heir of God.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.3

    The third chapter emphasizes the preceding points, and especially that there are no obedient ones. “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” But there is nevertheless hope for all, because the righteousness of the law is put within and upon all who believe in Christ, so that a man is made a doer of the law by faith. One God justifies both Jews and Gentiles alike through faith. Faith is not a substitute for obedience to the law, but insures the doing of it.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.4

    The fourth chapter we have Abraham set forth as an illustration of righteousness gained by faith. We learn also that faith in Christ’s death and resurrection is the only way by which to inherit the promise to the fathers, which promise embraced nothing less than the possession of the earth made new. The blessing of Abraham is the blessing that comes by the cross of Christ. And since the promise to Israel was only the repetition of the promise to Abraham, we learn that Israel consists of those in every nation who gain the victory over sin through the cross of Christ.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.5

    Abounding love and grace, and salvation through the life of Christ, may serve as the barest outline of chapter 5.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.6

    New creatures in Christ may serve to bring to the mind of the faithful reader the main thought of the sixth chapter. It sets forth death, burial, resurrection, and life with Christ.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.7

    In the seventh chapter we learn how close is the union between Christ and believers. They are married to him, so that they are “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” The struggles by which freedom is secured from the first husband the body of sin, are vividly portrayed.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.8

    The eighth chapter, the crown of the book, describes the blessings of the free-born son of God. The hope of future immortality is the actual possession, through the Spirit, of the present life and glory of Christ. Those who are in Christ are predestined to eternal glory. And thus we are brought toSITI June 18, 1896, page 370.9

    The Shout of Triumph

    “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.10

    Everything for Us

    The apostle has asked, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” The answer must be, “No one.” God is greater than all, and none can pluck anything out of his hand. If he who has power to make all things work together for good is for us, then it is certain that everything must be for us.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.11

    But the question often arises in the minds of people, “Is God really for us?” People often wickedly charge Him with being against them; and even professed Christians sometimes think that God is working against them. When troubles come, they imagine that God is fighting against them. Now that question is forever settled by one fact, and that is, that God is he who gives himself for us, and who justifies. Read the question and answer:—SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.12

    “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.13

    Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s own chosen? Shall God, who justifies them? Impossible. Well, God is the only one in the universe who has the right to lay anything to the charge of any; and since he justifies instead of condemning, we must be free. We are free if we believe it. Whom does he justify? “The ungodly.” That leaves no doubt but that he justifies us.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.14

    And what about Christ? Will he condemn us? How can he, when he gave himself for us? But he gave himself for us, according to the will of God. Galatians 1:4. “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:17. He is risen again for our justification, and he is at the right hand of God for us. He interposes himself between us and the death that we have deserved. Then there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.15

    “But,” says one, “Satan comes to me and makes me feel that I am such a sinner that God is angry with me, and that there is no hope for me.” Well, why do you listen to him? You know his character. “He is a liar and the father of it.” What have you to do with him? Let him accuse all he will; he is not the judge. God is the judge, and he justifies. Satan’s sole object is to deceive men, and allure them into sin, making them believe that it is right. Be sure, then, that he never tells an unforgiven man that he is a sinner. God does that by his Spirit, in order that the guilty man may accept the pardon that he freely offers.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.16

    The case then stands thus: When God tells a man that he is a sinner, it is in order that the man may receive his pardon. If God says that a man is a sinner, then he is a sinner, and ought to acknowledge it, but “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” And this is true, no matter who tells us that we are sinners. Suppose that Satan tells us that we are sinners; we do not need to parley with him, or to stop a moment to discuss the question; we can let the accusation go, and comfort ourselves with the assurance that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. God doesn’t condemn even when he convicts of sin; and nobody else has any business to condemn. If they do condemn, their condemnation does not amount to anything. Therefore there is no condemnation to those who trust the Lord. Even Satan’s accusations may serve as encouragements to us; for we may be sure that he will never tell a man that he is a sinner, so long as that man is in his power. Since God is for us, everything is for us.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.17

    Everlasting Love

    “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3. Since this is so, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” His love is everlasting, and knows no change. And his love is for us; therefore nothing can separate us from it. Our own deliberate choice can reject it, but even then his love continues the same; only we have in that case removed ourselves from it. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he can not deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.18

    Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword, separate us from the love of Christ? Impossible, since it was in those very things that his love for us was manifested. Death itself can not separate us from his love, since he so loved us that he gave himself to die for us. Death is the pledge of his love. Sin, that separates us from God, does not separate us from his love, for “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “Him who knew no sin be made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.SITI June 18, 1896, page 370.19

    “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” It must be so, since everything is for us. Since Christ suffered hunger, and distress, and peril, and even death itself, in order that he might deliver us, all those things are for us. It was through death that he gained the victory for us; therefore even in death we gain an overwhelming victory. Those whom Satan persecutes even to death, gain the greatest victory over him. That which seems to be a victory for Satan, is his most crushing defeat.SITI June 18, 1896, page 371.1

    Behold what a wonderful provision God has made for our salvation! It is easy enough to see that if Satan did not trouble us at all, we should be saved. If our enemy would leave us entirely alone, we should have no trouble. So on that side we are safe. But he will not leave us alone. He goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Very well, God has so ordered it that even his attempts to destroy us help us along. Death is the sum of all the ills that Satan can bring upon us, and even in that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”SITI June 18, 1896, page 371.2

    A Good Persuasion

    “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15. “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” Hebrews 3:14. Our faith is the victory. God alone is our strength and salvation. Therefore our strength consists in confidence in him. “Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 27:5.SITI June 18, 1896, page 371.3

    The apostle Paul had been “in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.” He says: “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” 2 Corinthians 11:24-27. Surely he is one who can speak with the authority of great experience. Hear, then, what he says:SITI June 18, 1896, page 371.4

    “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”SITI June 18, 1896, page 371.5

    No Fear for the Future

    Only to those who willfully reject the love of God is there “a fearful looking for of judgment.” Christ says to us, “Be not therefore anxious for the morrow.” He does not desire that we should have our minds filled with fear and anxious forebodings. Some people can never be at rest, even under the most delightful circumstances, because they are afraid that something terrible will happen by and by. Now it makes no difference what may come, since neither things present nor things to come can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are assured that things to come, as well as things present, are ours. 1 Corinthians 3:22. Therefore in Christ we may sing:—SITI June 18, 1896, page 371.6

    “Let good or ill befall,
    It must be good for me,
    Secure of having Thee in all,
    Of having all in Thee.”
    E. J. W.
    SITI June 18, 1896, page 371.7

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