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E G Waggoner Studies on Romans part 4



Chapter 8

Freedom

April 30, 1896

We now come to the conclusion of the whole matter. In the eighth chapter of Romans the epistle reaches its highest point. The seventh has presented to us the deplorable condition of the man who has been awakened by the law to a sense of his condition, bound to sin by cords that can be loosened only by death. It closes with a glimpse of the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who alone can set us free from the body of death. This brings us to the state of WOR 123.1


Freedom from Condemnation

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh can not please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:1-9. WOR 123.2


Questioning the Text

What is the condition of them that are in Christ? WOR 123.3

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” WOR 123.4

How do such walk? WOR 123.5

“Not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” WOR 123.6

From what have we been made free? WOR 123.7

“From the law of sin and death.” WOR 123.8

What has done this? WOR 124.1


“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” WOR 124.2

How did God send his Son? WOR 124.3

“In the likeness of sinful flesh.” WOR 124.4

What for? WOR 124.5

“For sin.” WOR 124.6

What did he thus do? WOR 124.7

“Condemned sin in the flesh.” WOR 124.8

For what purpose? WOR 124.9

“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” WOR 124.10

Why could not the law itself do this? WOR 124.11

Because “it was weak through the flesh.” WOR 124.12


How is it then that it can be done in us through Christ? WOR 124.13

Because we “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” WOR 124.14

What is said of those who are after, or according to, the flesh? WOR 124.15

“They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.” WOR 124.16

What of them that are after the Spirit? WOR 124.17

“They that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” WOR 124.18

What is the difference between the flesh and the Spirit. WOR 124.19

“These are contrary the one to the other.” Galatians 5:17. WOR 124.20

What is it to be minding the flesh? WOR 124.21

“To be carnally minded is death.” WOR 124.22

And what to be minding the Spirit? WOR 125.1


“To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” WOR 125.2

Why is it that to be carnally minded is death? WOR 125.3

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God.” WOR 125.4

In what does its enmity consist? WOR 125.5

“It is not subject to the law of God.” WOR 125.6

Can not the carnal mind be brought into subjection to the law of God? WOR 125.7

“Neither indeed can be.” WOR 125.8

Then what necessarily follows? WOR 125.9

“So then they that are in the flesh can not please God.” WOR 125.10

What is the condition of those in whom the Spirit of God dwells? WOR 125.11

“Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” WOR 125.12


What is said of the one who has not this Spirit? WOR 125.13

“If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” WOR 125.14

“No Condemnation.” -There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ. Why? Because he received the curse of the law, that the blessing might come on us. Nothing can come to us while we are in him, without first passing through him; but in him all curses are turned to blessings, and sin is displaced by righteousness. His endless life triumphs over everything that comes against it. We are made “complete in him.” WOR 125.15


“Looking unto Jesus.” -Some say, “I do not find this scripture fulfilled in my case, because I find something to condemn me every time I look at myself.” To be sure; for the freedom from condemnation is not in ourselves, but in Christ Jesus. We are to look at him, instead of at ourselves. If we obey his orders, and trust him, he takes the responsibility of making us clear before the law. There will never be a time when one will not find condemnation in looking at himself. The fall of Satan was due to his looking at himself. The restoration for those whom he has made to fall, is only through looking to Jesus. “


As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” John 3:14. The serpent was lifted up to be looked at. Those who looked were healed. Even so with Christ. In the world to come the servants of the Lord “shall see his face,” and they will not be drawn away to themselves. The light of his countenance will be their glory and it is in that same light that they will be brought to that glorious state. WOR 125.16

Conviction, Not Condemnation.-The text does not say that those who are in Christ Jesus will never be reproved. WOR 125.17

Do you think he ne’er reproves me? What a false friend he would be If he never, never told me Of the faults that he must see!” WOR 126.1


Getting into Christ is only the beginning, not the end, of Christian life. It is the entrance to the school where we are to learn of him. He takes the ungodly man with all his evil habits and forgives all his sins, so that he is counted as though he never had sinned. Then he continues to him his own life, by which he may overcome his evil habits. Association with Christ will more and more reveal to us our failings, just as association with a learned man will make us conscious of our ignorance. As a faithful witness, he tells us of our failings. But it is not to condemn us. We receive sympathy, not condemnation, from him. It is this sympathy that gives us courage, and enables us to overcome. When the Lord points our a defect in our characters, it is the same as saying to us, “There is something that you are in need of, and I have it for you.” When we learn to look at reproof in this way, we shall rejoice in it, instead of being discouraged. WOR 126.2


Law of Life in Christ.-The law without Christ is death. The law in Christ is life. His life is the law of God; for out of the heart are the issues of life, and the law was in his heart. The law of sin and death works in our members. But the law of the Spirit of life in Christ gives us freedom from this. Mark that it is the life in Christ that does this. It does not give us freedom from obedience to the law, for we had that before, and that was bondage, and not freedom. What he gives us freedom from is the transgression of the law. WOR 126.3


Christ’s Work.-This is made very plain in verses 3 and 4. God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” There is no fault to be found with it but with us, because we have transgressed it. Christ’s work is not to change the law in any particular, but to change us in every particular. It is to put the law into our hearts in perfection, in place of the marred and broken copy. WOR 126.4


The Weakness of the Law.-The law is strong enough to condemn, but it is weak, even powerless, with respect to what man needs namely, salvation. It was and is “weak through the flesh.” The law is good, and holy, and just, but man has no strength to perform it. Just as an axe may be of good steel, and very sharp, yet unable to cut down a tree because the arm that has hold of it has no strength, so the law of God could not perform itself. It set forth man’s duty; it remained for him to do it. But he could not, and therefore Christ came to do it in him. What the law could not do, God did by his Son. WOR 126.5


Likeness of Sinful Flesh.-There is a common idea that this means that Christ simulated sinful flesh; that he did not take upon himself actual sinful flesh, but only what appeared to be such. But the Scriptures do not teach such a thing. “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17. He was “born of a woman, born under the law,” that he might redeem them that were under the law. Galatians 4:4, 5, R.V. He took the same flesh that all have who are born of woman. A parallel text to Romans 8:3, 4 is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21. The former says that Christ was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” The latter says that God “made him to be sin for us,” although he knew no sin, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” WOR 126.6


“Compassed with Infirmity.” -All the comfort that we can get from Christ lies in the knowledge that he was made in all things as we are. Otherwise we should hesitate to tell him of our weaknesses and failures. The priest who makes sacrifices for sins must be one “who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” Hebrews 5:2. This applies perfectly to Christ; “for we have not an High Priest which can not be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. This is why we may come boldly to the throne of grace for mercy. So perfectly has Christ identified himself with us, that he even now feels our sufferings. WOR 127.1


The Flesh and the Spirit.-“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Note that this depends on the preceding statement, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The things of the Spirit are the commandments of God, because the law is spiritual. The flesh serves the law of sin (see the preceding chapter, and Galatians 5:19-21, where the works of the flesh are described). But Christ came in the same flesh, to show the power of the Spirit over the flesh.


“They that are in the flesh can not please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Christ dwell in you.” Now no one will claim that the flesh of a man is any different after his conversion from what it was before. Least of all will the converted man himself say so; for he has continual evidence of its perversity. But if he is really converted, and the Spirit of Christ dwells in him, he is no more in the power of the flesh. Even so Christ came in the same sinful flesh, yet he was without sin, because he was always led by the Spirit. WOR 127.2


The Enmity.-“The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The flesh never becomes converted. It is enmity against God; and that enmity consists in opposition to his law. Therefore, whoever opposes the law of God is fighting against him. But Christ is our Peace, and he came preaching peace. “You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” Colossians 1:21, 22. In his own flesh he abolishes the enmity, so that all who are crucified with him are at peace with God; that is, they are subject to his law, which is in their hearts. WOR 127.3


“Life and Peace.” -“To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” To be spiritually minded is to have a mind controlled by the law of God, “for we know that the law is spiritual.” “Great peace have they which love thy law.” Psalm 119:165. “Being justified [made righteous] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The carnal mind is enmity against God. Therefore, to be carnally minded is death. But Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:10. He has abolished death by destroying the power of sin in all who believe in him; for death has no power except through sin. “The sting of death is sin.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. So that even now we may joyfully say, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Sons of God

May 14, 1896

The eighth chapter of Romans is full of the glorious things that God has promised to them that love him. Freedom, the Spirit of life in Christ, sons of God, heirs of God and with Christ, glory and victory, are the words that outline the chapter. Our last lesson closed with the ninth verse, but we will include it in the present lesson in order to get the connection better. WOR 129.1


“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.


Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:9-17. WOR 129.2

Questioning the Text

What have we learned to be impossible for them that are in the flesh? WOR 129.3

“They that are in the flesh can not please God.” WOR 129.4

Then how can we serve the Lord? WOR 129.5

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.” WOR 129.6


How is it that we are “in the Spirit”? WOR 129.7

“If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” WOR 129.8

What if one has not this Spirit? WOR 130.1

“If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” WOR 130.2

But if Christ by his Spirit be in us, then what? WOR 130.3

“The body is dead.” WOR 130.4

Why is the body dead? WOR 130.5

“Because of sin.” WOR 130.6

And the Spirit? WOR 130.7

“The Spirit is life because of righteousness.” WOR 130.8

Of what may we be sure if the Spirit of God dwells in us? WOR 130.9

“He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” WOR 130.10

In the first chapter we learned that we are debtors; but to what do we owe nothing? WOR 130.11


“We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.” WOR 130.12

For what only can the flesh give us? WOR 130.13

“If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.” WOR 130.14

How shall we live? WOR 130.15

“If ye... do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” WOR 130.16

How are we to mortify the deeds of the body? WOR 130.17

“Through the Spirit.” WOR 130.18

Who are the sons of God? WOR 130.19

“As many as are led by the Spirit of God.” WOR 130.20

What spirit have we not received from the Lord? WOR 130.21

“Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear.” WOR 130.22

What Spirit have we received? WOR 131.1

“Ye have received the Spirit of adoption.” WOR 131.2


What does this Spirit enable us to do? WOR 131.3

“Whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” WOR 131.4

To what does the Spirit witness? WOR 131.5

“That we are the children of God.” WOR 131.6

What necessarily follows? WOR 131.7

“If children, then heirs.” WOR 131.8

Whose heirs? WOR 131.9

“Heirs of God.” WOR 131.10

With whom do we have common heirship? WOR 131.11

“Joint-heirs with Christ.” WOR 131.12

Since we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, what shall we enjoy with him? WOR 131.13

“We may be also glorified together.” WOR 131.14

Under what conditions? WOR 131.15

“If so be that we suffer with him.” WOR 131.16


Opposing Forces.-The flesh and the Spirit are in opposition. These are always contrary the one to the other. The Spirit never yields to the flesh, and the flesh never gets converted. The flesh will be of the nature of sin until our bodies are changed at the coming of the Lord. The Spirit strives with the sinful man, but he yields to the flesh, and so is the servant of sin. Such a man is not led by the Spirit, although the Spirit has by no means forsaken him. The flesh is just the same in a converted man that it is in a sinner, but the difference is that now it has no power, since the man yields to the Spirit, which controls the flesh. Although the man’s flesh is precisely the same that it was before he was converted, he is said to be not “in the flesh,” but “in the Spirit,” since he through the Spirit mortifies the deeds of the body. WOR 131.17


Life in Death.-“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Here we have the two individuals of which the apostle speaks in 2 Corinthians 4:7-16. “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” Then he says that “though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Though our body should fail and be worn out, yet the inward man, Christ Jesus, is ever new. And he is our real life. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3. This is why we are not to fear them that can kill only the body, and after that have no more that they can do. Though the body be burned at the stake, wicked men can not touch the eternal life which we have in Christ, who can not be destroyed. No man can take his life from him. WOR 132.1


The Surety of the Resurrection.-“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Jesus said of the water that he gave, which was the Holy Spirit, that it should be in us a well of water springing up unto eternal life. John 4:14; compare John 7:37-39. That is, the spiritual life which we now live in the flesh by the Spirit is the surety of the spiritual body to be bestowed at the resurrection when we will have the life of Christ made manifested in immortal bodies. WOR 132.2


Not Debtors to the Flesh.-“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.” We are indeed debtors, but we do not owe anything to the flesh. It has done nothing for us, and can do nothing. All the work that the flesh can do avails nothing, for its works are sin and therefore death. But we are debtors to the Lord Jesus Christ, “who gave himself for us.” Consequently, everything must be yielded to his life. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” WOR 132.3


Sons of God.-Those who yield to the strivings of the Spirit, and continue so to yield, are led by the Spirit; and they are the sons of God. They are taken into the same relation to the Father that the only-begotten Son occupies. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” If we are led by the Spirit of God, we are now just as much the sons of God as we can ever be. WOR 132.4


Sons Now.-There is a notion held by some people that no man is born of God until the resurrection. But this is settled by the fact that we are now sons of God. “But,” says one, “we are not yet manifested as sons.” True, and neither was Christ when he was on earth. There were but very few that knew him to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. And they knew it only by revelation from God. The world knows us not, because it knew him not. To say that believers are not sons of God now because there is nothing in their appearance to indicate it, is to bring the same charge against Jesus Christ. But Jesus was just as truly the Son of God when he lay in the manger in Bethlehem, as he is now when sitting at the right hand of God. WOR 132.5


The Spirit’s Witness.-“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God.” How does the Spirit witness? This is answered in Hebrews 10:14-17. The apostle says that by one offering he hath perfected them that are sanctified, and then says that the Holy Spirit is a witness to this fact when he says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.


” That is to say, the Spirit’s witness is the word. We know that we are children of God, because the Spirit assures us of that fact in the Bible. The witness of the Spirit is not a certain ecstatic feeling, but a tangible statement. We are not children of God because we feel that we are, neither do we know that we are sons because of any feeling, but because the Lord tells us so. He who believes has the word abiding in him, and that is how “he that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” 1 John 5:10. WOR 133.1


No Fear.-“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:16-18.


Christ gave himself to deliver them who through fear of death were all their life subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:15. He who knows and loves the Lord can not be afraid of him; and he who is not afraid of the Lord has no need to be afraid of any other person or thing. One of the greatest blessings of the Gospel is the deliverance from fear, whether real or imaginary. “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4. WOR 133.2


Heirs of God.-What a wonderful inheritance that is! It does not merely say that we are heirs of what God has, but that we are heirs of God himself. Having him we have everything, as a matter of course; but the blessedness consists in having him. “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup.” Psalm 16:5. This is the fact; it is a thing to be meditated upon rather than talked about. WOR 133.3


Joint-heirs with Christ.-If we are sons of God, we stand on the same footing that Jesus Christ does. He himself said that the Father loves us even as he loves him. John 17:23. This is proved by the fact that his life was given for ours. Therefore the Father has nothing for his only-begotten Son that he has not for us. Not only so, but since we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, it follows that he can not enter upon his inheritance before we do. To be sure, he is sitting at the right hand of God. But God in his great love for us “hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places.” Ephesians 2:4-6. The glory which Christ has he shares with us. John 17:22. It means something to be a joint-heir with Jesus Christ! No wonder the apostle exclaims, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” WOR 133.4


Suffering with Him.-“If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:18. Suffering with Christ means, therefore, enduring temptation with him. The suffering is that which comes in the struggle against sin. Self-inflicted suffering amounts to nothing. It is not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh. Colossians 2:23. Christ did not torture himself in order to gain the approval of the Father. But when we suffer with Christ, then we are made perfect in him. The strength by which he resisted the temptations of the enemy is the strength by which we are to overcome. His life in us gains the victory. WOR 134.1

The remainder of the verse, concerning being glorified together, may well be left until next week, since it forms the principal part of the verses which follow. WOR 134.2


How to Be Free from Want

May 21, 1896

Who would not be glad if he could be assured that he could have everything he wanted? How many people there are who are filled with unsatisfied longings! This is a world of want and woe. It is not only those who have no money who are in want. Often those who suffer the most from unsatisfied desires are those whose money is reckoned by millions. They want more. WOR 135.1

Well, there is a sure way by which every man may have all that he wants,-may have every desire gratified. Here it is: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:3, 4. WOR 135.2


It is a sure thing. Whoever delights in the Lord will have everything he wants. “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly,” or sincerely; and those who delight in the Lord will want nothing but that which is good. Christ himself is the surety for the fulfillment of this promise. He says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7. He has an unlimited supply; for the apostle assures us, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. His riches are unsearchable. Why will men persist in being in want, when they might have abundance?


Glorified Together

In the preceding verses of the eighth chapter of Romans we have seen how we are adopted into the family of God as sons, and made joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit establishes the bond of relationship. It is the “Spirit of adoption,” the Spirit proceeding from the Father as the representative of the Son, that proves that we are accepted as brethren of Jesus Christ. Those who are led by the Spirit must be even as Christ was in the world, and are therefore assured of WOR 135.4*


An Equal Share

in the inheritance with Christ. For “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” WOR 136.1

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. 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. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Romans 8:17-25. WOR 136.2


Questioning the Text

To what does the Spirit bear witness? WOR 136.3

“That we are the children of God.” WOR 136.4

If we are children, then what are we? WOR 136.5

“If children, then heirs.” WOR 136.6

Heirs of whom? WOR 136.7

“Heirs of God.” WOR 136.8

With whom do we share this heirship? WOR 136.9

“Joint heirs with Christ.” WOR 136.10

What did Christ inherit on this earth? WOR 136.11

“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted.” Isaiah 53:7. WOR 136.12

Then if we are joint heirs, what must we do? WOR 136.13

“Suffer with Him.” WOR 136.14


What else will also be sure? WOR 136.15

“We may be also glorified together.” WOR 136.16

What may we know of the sufferings of this present time? WOR 137.1

They “are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” WOR 137.2

For what does the material creation wait? WOR 137.3

“For the manifestation of the sons of God.” WOR 137.4

To what was the creation made subject? WOR 137.5

“To vanity.” WOR 137.6

How? WOR 137.7

“Not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope.” WOR 137.8

What is the hope? WOR 137.9

“The creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption.” WOR 137.10

Into what will it be delivered? WOR 137.11

“Into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” WOR 137.12


What is the condition of the whole creation at the present time? WOR 137.13

“The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” WOR 137.14

What besides the lower creation is in this condition? WOR 137.15

“Ourselves also.” WOR 137.16

For what do we groan? WOR 137.17

“For the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” WOR 137.18

What have we received as a surety that the body will be redeemed? WOR 137.19

“The firstfruits of the Spirit.” WOR 137.20

By what are we saved? WOR 137.21

“By hope.” WOR 137.22

For what do we hope? WOR 137.23

“For that we see not.” WOR 137.24

What does hope lead us to do? WOR 137.25

“We with patience wait for it.” WOR 137.26

Suffering.-Christ’s life on earth was one of suffering. He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He “suffered, being tempted,” but His sufferings were not all in the mind alone. He knew physical pain; “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases.” Matthew 8:17. R.V. He suffered hunger in the wilderness; and His works of love were done at the expense of much bodily pain and weariness. The sufferings which He endured at the hands of the rough soldiers in connection with His mock trial, and His crucifixion, were simply a continuation in another form of what He had endured throughout His whole life on earth. WOR 138.1


Glory Following Suffering.-In all the prophets, the Spirit of Christ was witnessing and testifying of “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. When Christ, after his resurrection, talked with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, he said. “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:26, 27. We know that the first part of those prophecies was fulfilled, and therefore must know that the rest are as sure. As surely as Christ suffered, so surely will the glory follow. WOR 138.2


Suffering Together.-Our suffering is to be “with Him.” We are not to suffer alone. But we could not suffer eighteen hundred years ago, before we were born. Therefore it follows that Christ still suffers. Otherwise we could not suffer with him. Read what is said of his connection with ancient Israel: “In all their affliction He was afflicted.” Isaiah 63:9. So in Matthew 25:35-40 we learn that Christ suffers or experiences relief whenever his disciples suffer or are relieved. He is the head of the body.


Now if when one member suffers all the members suffer with it (1 Corinthians 12:26), how much more must that be true of the Head! So we read of Christ that even now, as high priest, he is “touched with the feeling our infirmities.” Hebrews 4:15. A high priest must be one “who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that He Himself also is compassed with infirmity.” Hebrews 5:1, 2. So we learn that Christ has never divested Himself of the human nature which he took upon Himself, but that he is still identified with suffering, sinful men. It is a glorious truth, to be recognized and confessed, that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” 1 John 4:2. WOR 138.3


Glorified Together.-“If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Christ does not have anything that is not for us equally with Him. His prayer was, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.” John 17:24. And he says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” Revelation 3:21. Whatever He has, we have, and we have it when he has it, since we are joint-heirs with Him. WOR 138.4


Glory Now.-The above statement may at first sight seem to be untrue. It is the common idea that Christ is glorified long before those who are fellow-heirs with him. One text is sufficient to settle this matter: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.” 1 Peter 5:1. Peter declared himself to be a partaker of the glory. This was because he believed the saying of Christ, in his prayer for his disciples, “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them.” John 17:22. If Christ has glory now, his disciples share it also. Again we have the words of the apostle Peter. Speaking of Christ, he says, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:8. WOR 139.1


Grace and Glory.-The apostle John tells us that although we are now the sons of God the world knows us not, because it knew not Christ. There was nothing in the appearance of Christ on earth to indicate that he was the Son of God. Flesh and blood did not reveal that fact to anybody. To all appearance He was but an ordinary man. Yet all the time He had glory. We read that when he turned the water into wine He “manifested forth His glory.” John 2:11. His glory was manifested in the form of grace. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. The grace with which God strengthens His people is “according to the riches of his glory.” Ephesians 3:16. Whoever is in Christ is chosen “to the praise of the glory of his grace.” Ephesians 1:6. Grace is glory, but glory veiled so that mortal eyes may not be dazzled by it. WOR 139.2


Glory to be Revealed.-“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” The glory is for us to possess now, but it will be revealed only at the coming of Christ. It is then that his glory will be revealed (1 Peter 4:13), and then our trials will “be found unto praise and honor and glory.” Christ’s glory has not yet been revealed, except to the chosen three on the mount of transfiguration. At that time the glory that Christ already possessed was allowed to shine forth.


He appeared then as he will appear when he comes. But to the mass of mankind there is no more evidence now that Jesus is the Son of God than there was when he was before Pilate’s judgment seat. Those however who see it by faith and who are not ashamed to share His sufferings, also share His hidden glory; and when He shall appear in his glory, “then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 13:43. That will be “the manifestation of the sons of God.” Then for the first time Christ will be manifested to the world as the Son of God, and those who are His will be manifested with Him. WOR 139.3


The Hope of Creation.-The word “creature” in verses 19-21 means the creation; this may be seen from verse 22 where we read of the whole creation as groaning, waiting to be delivered from that to which it has been made subject. When man sinned, the earth was cursed on his account. See Genesis 3:17. The earth had done no sin, but it was made to share the fall of man, to whom it had been given. A perfect earth was not the dwelling-place for sinful man. But it was made subject to vanity in hope. God made the earth perfect. “He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.” Isaiah 45:18. And He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” Ephesians 1:11. Therefore the earth is sure to be glorified as it was in the beginning. “The creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.” WOR 140.1


Adoption and Redemption.-Both the earth and we are “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” The earth waits for it, because it can not be relieved of its curse until we are set forth as sons of God, and therefore lawful heirs. The Holy Spirit is the pledge of this heirship. The Spirit seals us as heirs, “unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30. It is to us a witness that we are children of God, but the witness is not accepted by the world. They know not the children of God. But when that glory which He has given us is revealed, and our bodies are redeemed from destruction and made to shine like His glorious body, then there will be no doubt in the minds of any. Then even Satan himself will be obliged to acknowledge that we are God’s children, and therefore rightful heirs of the glorified earth. WOR 140.2


Hope and Patience.-Hope, in the Bible sense, means something more than mere desire. It is certainty, because the ground of the Christian’s hope is the promise of God, which is backed by his oath. There is nothing that our eyes can see to indicate that we are the sons of God. We can not see our own glory, and that is why we are charged not to seek it here. We can not see Christ, yet we know that he is the Son of God. That is the assurance that we are also sons of God. If there were any uncertainty, then we could not wait with patience. We should be uneasy, and should worry. But, although the natural eye can not see any indication that we are owned as God’s children, faith and hope assure us of it, and so we with patience wait for that which is unseen. WOR 140.3


Something Wrth Knowing

May 28, 1896

The preceding lessons have shown us that the possession of the Holy Spirit marks our relation to God as sons. It is the pledge of the life and inheritance to come. WOR 141.1

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which can not be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28. WOR 141.2


Questions on the Text

What does the Spirit do for us? WOR 141.3

“The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.” WOR 141.4

Why is this necessary? WOR 141.5

“We know not what we should pray for as we ought.” WOR 141.6

How therefore does the Spirit help us? WOR 141.7

“The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us.” WOR 141.8

In what way? WOR 141.9


“With groanings which cannot be uttered.” WOR 141.10

What does he who searches the hearts know? “He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit.” WOR 141.11

Who searches the hearts? WOR 141.12

“I the Lord search the heart.” Jeremiah 17:10. WOR 141.13

Why does the Lord know the mind of the Spirit? WOR 141.14

“Because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” WOR 141.15

What then do we know? WOR 142.1

“We know that all things work together for good.” WOR 142.2

To whom? WOR 142.3

“To them that love God.” WOR 142.4

How are such ones called? WOR 142.5

“Called according to his purpose.” WOR 142.6


“Praying in the Spirit”

“And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity; for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered; and He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” WOR 142.7


The heart is deceitful above all things, and none can know it except God. Jeremiah 17:9, 10. That in itself is sufficient reason why we do not know what we should pray for. Moreover, we do not know the things that God has to give us; and even if we did, our lips could not describe them, for “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.


But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-12. WOR 142.8

God desires to give to us “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20. Of course a petition for such things can not be put into words. The next clause however says that it is “according to the power that worketh in us;” and the sixteenth verse tells us that the power that works in us is the Spirit. Thus we find the same thing that we read in the eighth of Romans and the second of 1 Corinthians. WOR 142.9


“The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Therefore the Spirit knows just what the Lord has for us. The deepest thoughts are too great for language, and so the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings that can not be uttered. But, although there is no articulate speech “he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” The Lord knows that the Spirit asks for just the things that he has to bestow. He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that whatever is asked according to God’s will is granted. 1 John 5:14, 15. WOR 142.10


Now note how this statement in regard to prayer fits in with what goes before in the eighth of Romans. God has given us his Spirit to be in us, to lead us, and to direct our lives. The possession of the Spirit of God proves that we are the sons of God. Being sons, we can come to him to ask for things to supply our need, with all the confidence of a child to a parent. But while we have all confidence, our thoughts are as the earth is below the heaven. Isaiah 45:8, 9.


Not only are our thoughts feeble, but our language is still more so. We can not give proper expression even to the little that we do realize. But if we are the sons of God, we have in us his own representative, who helps our infirmity and who is able to take of the things of God to give to us. What wonderful confidence this should give us in praying to God; and especially should it give confidence to those who are particularly infirm in regard to language! It makes no difference if one has a very limited vocabulary, if he stammers, or even if he is dumb; if he prays in the Spirit, he is sure to receive all that he needs, and more than he can ask or think. WOR 143.1

With these facts before us, how much more forcible becomes the exhortation of the apostle, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:18. WOR 143.2


All Things for Good

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Without this knowledge we could not have that confidence in prayer that we ought to have and that is indicated in the preceding verses. Whoever knows the Lord must love him, for he is love. And the Spirit reveals him to us. Whoever knows that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” can not fail to love him. And then all things work together for good to him. WOR 143.3


Take notice that the text does not say that all things shall work together for good to them that love God, but that they do so work now in this present time. Everything as it comes is good to those who love and trust the Lord. Many people lose the blessing of this assurance by reading it as though it were for the future. They try to be resigned to troubles that come by thinking that by and by some good will come from them; but in that case they do not get the good that God gives them. WOR 143.4


Note further that the text does not say that we know how all things work together for good to them that love God. People in trouble often sigh piously and say, “Well, I suppose that it is all for good, but I can’t see how.” Of course not; and they have no business to see how. It is God that makes them work good, because he alone has the power. Therefore it is not necessary for us to know anything about how it is done. The fact is knowledge enough for us. God can overrule all the plans of the devil, and can make the wrath of man to praise Him. Our part is to believe. There is no trust in the Lord if we must see how He does everything. Those who must be able to see how the Lord works, show that they can not trust Him out of sight, and thus they give Him a bad name to the world. WOR 144.1


Called of God

God has called everybody to come to Him. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. God is no respecter of persons; he desires that all men shall be saved, and so he calls them all. WOR 144.2


Not only does he call us, but he draws us. No man can come to him without being drawn, and so Christ is lifted up to draw all to God. he tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9), and through him all men have access to God. He has destroyed in his own body the enmity, the wall that separates men from God, so that nothing can keep any man from God unless that man builds up again the barrier. WOR 144.3

The Lord draws us, but does not employ force. He calls, but does not drive. It remains therefore for us to make our “calling and election sure” by yielding to the influence that God throws round us. He says, “Follow me,” and we must make the calling effectual by following Him. WOR 144.4


Purpose of the Calling

God calls us “in the grace of Christ.” Galatians 1:6. “He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 2:4. Still further, we read that he hath “called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Timothy 1:9. In our text in Romans we learned that those who love God are the “called according to his purpose.” His purpose is that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. If we yield to his purpose, he will see that it is carried out. WOR 144.5


God designed man for a companion for himself. But there is no true companionship where there is restraint. Therefore, in order that man might associate with him on terms of intimacy, he made the will of man as free as his own. God can not work against his own purpose; and therefore he not only will not, but he can not, force the will of man. All men are as absolutely free to choose as is God himself; and when they choose to yield to the call of God, His purpose of grace is wrought out in them by the power by which he is able to make all things work together for good.

The Unspeakable Gift

June 11, 1896

Our study this week is inseparably connected with that of last week. Only lack of space prevented the verses of each being studied together. The student, however, will read very thoughtfully the preceding verses before beginning this present study, thus preserving the connection. We have learned about our relation to God through the Spirit, and of the help which the Spirit gives us in prayer, as well as of the assurance that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose.” The grounds for that assurance are infinitely strengthened in the verses that follow:- WOR 146.1


“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them he also called; and whom He called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 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?” Romans 8:29-32. WOR 146.2


Questions on the Text

How may we be sure that all things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to his purpose. WOR 146.3

“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” WOR 146.4

Why did he predestinate them to be conformed to the image of His Son? WOR 146.5

“That he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” WOR 146.6

What is said of those whom he thus predestined? WOR 146.7

“Them He also called.” WOR 146.8

What of those whom he called? WOR 147.1

“Them he also justified.” WOR 147.2


And what of those whom he justified? WOR 147.3

“Them he also glorified.” WOR 147.4

What shall we then say to these things? WOR 147.5

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” WOR 147.6

What has God done, to show that He is for us? WOR 147.7

“Spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all.” WOR 147.8

What then must necessarily follow? WOR 147.9

That He must “with him also freely give us all things.” WOR 147.10


Foreknowledge and Foreordination

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” The word “predestinate” is the same as “foreordain,” which is found in the Revised Version. Volumes of speculation have been written about these terms, but a few words are sufficient to set forth the facts. With respect to these, as well as the other attributes of God, it is sufficient for us to know the fact. With the explanation we have nothing to do. WOR 147.11


It is plainly set forth in the Scriptures that God knows all things. Not only does he know the things that are past, but he sees the future as well. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:18. “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off.” Psalm 139:1, 2. Thus God can tell what people even yet unborn will do and say. WOR 147.12


This does not make God responsible for the evil that they do. Some have foolishly thought it necessary to apologize for the Lord and to relieve him of the charge that if he is omniscient He is responsible for the evil if he does not prevent it, by saying that He could know if he wished, but that he chooses not to know many things. Such a “defense” of God is both foolish and wicked. It assumes that God would be responsible for the evil if he knew it beforehand and did not prevent it, and that in order not to be in a position to prevent it, he deliberately shuts his eyes from it. Thus their “defense” really puts the responsibility for all evil upon God. Not only so, but it limits Him. It makes him like a man. WOR 148.1


God knows all things, not by study and research as man learns the little he knows, but because he is God. He inhabits eternity. Isaiah 57:15. We can not understand how this can be any more than we can understand eternity. We must accept the fact and be not only content, but glad, that God is greater than we. All time, past, present, and future, is the same to Him. It is always “now” with God. WOR 148.2


The fact that God knew the evil that men would do, even before the foundation of the world, does not make him responsible for it, any more than the fact that a man can see by means of a telescope what a man is doing ten miles distant makes him responsible for that other one’s actions. God has from the beginning set before people warnings against sin, and has provided them with all the necessary means for avoiding it; but he can not interfere with man’s right and freedom of choice without depriving him of his manhood and making him the same as a stick. WOR 148.3


Freedom to do right implies freedom to do wrong. If a man were made so that he could not do wrong, he would have no freedom at all, not even to do right. He would be less than the brutes. There is no virtue in forced obedience, nor would there be any virtue in doing that which is right if it were impossible to do wrong. Moreover, there could be no pleasure or satisfaction in the professed friendship of two persons if one associated with the other just because he could not avoid it. The joy of the Lord in the companionship of his people is that they of their own free-will choose him above all others. And that which is the joy of the Lord is the joy of his people. WOR 148.4


The very ones who rail against God for not preventing the ills that he foresees since he is all-powerful, would be the very first to charge him with cruelty if he did arbitrarily interfere with their freedom and make them do that which they do not choose. Such a course would make everybody unhappy and discontented. The wisest thing for us to do is to stop trying to fathom the ways of the Almighty, and accept the fact that whatever he does is right. “As for God, his way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30. WOR 148.5


About Predestination

The text shows that “whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.” God’s thoughts toward men are thoughts of peace, and not of evil. Jeremiah 29:11. He ordains peace for us. Isaiah 26:12. We read nothing about men being foreordained to destruction; the only thing that God has predestinated is that men should be conformed to the image of his Son. WOR 148.6

But it is only in Christ that we become conformed to his image. It is in him that we come “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13. Therefore it is that men are foreordained or predestinated only in Christ. The whole story is told in the following passage of Scripture:- WOR 149.1


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good-pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” WOR 149.2

Everything is in Christ. We receive all spiritual blessings in him; we are chosen in him unto holiness; in him we are predestinated unto the adoption of children; in him we are accepted; and in him we have redemption through his blood. “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9. WOR 149.3


That is God’s purpose and foreordination concerning man. Still further, “whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Whom did he foreknow? There can be no limit; he must have foreknown all. If there were any exception, then God would not be infinite in knowledge. If he foreknows one person, then he foreknows every person.


There has not been a person born into the world whose birth God did not foreknow. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Therefore, since every person has been known to God even before the foundation of the world, and those whom he foreknew he predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son, it follows that God has purposed salvation for every soul that has ever come into the world. His love embraces all, without respect of persons. WOR 149.4


“Then everybody will be saved, no matter what He does,” some one will say. Not by any means. Remember that the purpose of God is in Christ. It is only in him that we are predestinated. And we are free to choose for ourselves whether we will accept him or not. Man’s will has been forever set free, and God himself will not presume to interfere with it. He holds sacred the choice and will of each individual. He will not carry out His own purpose contrary to man’s will.


His will is to give man whatever man decides will best please him. So he sets before man life and death, good and evil, and tells him to choose which he will have. God knows what is best, and has chosen and prepared that for man. He has gone so far as to fix it beyond all possibility of failure, that man shall have that good thing if he chooses it. But the wonderful kindness and courteousness of the great God is seen in this, that He defers in everything to man’s wishes. If man, in his turn, will but defer to God’s wishes, there will be the most delightful and loving companionship between them. WOR 149.5


Called, Justified, Glorified

“Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” This is completed action. We need not stumble over it, if we will but remember that everything is in Christ. In Christ we have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings. All men are called to that which God has prepared for them, but none are “the called according to his purpose” unless they have made their calling and election sure by submitting to his will. Such ones are predestinated to be saved. Nothing in the universe can hinder the salvation of any soul that accepts and trusts the Lord Jesus Christ. WOR 150.1


And all such are justified. The death of Christ reconciles us to God. “He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2. His death has secured pardon and life for all. Nothing can keep them from salvation except their own perverse will. Men must take themselves out of the hand of God, in order to be lost. Much more, then, those who accept the sacrifice, are justified. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” WOR 150.2


“And whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Have we not read in the prayer of Christ for his disciples, not only for those who were with him in the garden, but also for all them that should believe on him through their word and therefore for us, “The glory which thou gavest me, I have given them”? Peter said that he was a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. God has left nothing undone. Everything that Christ has we have if we accept him. All that remains is that it should be revealed. “The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” When God asks concerning his people, “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” who shall presume to say that there is something that he has overlooked? WOR 150.3

All Things Ours

But we have anticipated the apostle. Hear him: “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? 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?” WOR 150.4


How shall He not? That is, How can he avoid giving us all things? In giving Christ for and to us, God could not do otherwise than give us all things, “for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16, 17. WOR 151.1


“Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3:21-23. This, then, answers the question, “Who can be against us?” Everything is for us. “All things are for your sakes.” 2 Corinthians 4:15. WOR 151.2


A general once telegraphed to the seat of government, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” This is what every child of God is privileged to say. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57. “This is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. This is what makes us know that all things work together for good to them that love God. No matter how dark and forbidding the things may seem, if we are in Christ, they are for us, and not against us. WOR 151.3


The Glorious Persuasion

June 18, 1896

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. WOR 151.4

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. WOR 151.5


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. WOR 152.1

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. WOR 152.2


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. WOR 152.3

Abounding love and grace, and salvation through the life of Christ, may serve as the barest outline of chapter 5. WOR 152.4

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. WOR 152.5


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. WOR 152.6

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 to WOR 152.7


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. WOR 153.1


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. WOR 153.2


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:- WOR 153.3

“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.” WOR 153.4

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. WOR 153.5


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. WOR 153.6


“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. WOR 154.1


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. WOR 154.2


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. WOR 154.3


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. WOR 154.4


“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. WOR 155.1


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.” WOR 155.2


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. WOR 155.3


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: WOR 155.4

“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.” WOR 155.5


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:- WOR 156.1

Let good or ill befall, It must be good for me, Secure of having Thee in all, Of having all in Thee.”

Chapter 9

Who Are Israelites?

July 9, 1896

The ninth, tenth, and eleventh chapters of Romans are devoted especially to the answer to this question, so that only a portion of it can be dealt with in this article. The matter has, however, been so clearly indicated in the studies of the second, third and fourth chapters, that we may pass over this ground more rapidly than we otherwise should. This does not mean that the chapters themselves should be dismissed with slight study, for there is no part of the Bible that has more to yield to the patient student; but our work of leading the student to it may be the more quickly done, in consequence of what has already been done. WOR 157.1

At first sight it would seem that the subject of the epistle is entirely changed. A more general view will show us that the apostle here carried out the original subject, showing who are heirs of God’s promise, and how only it is to be obtained. WOR 157.2


Paul’s Love for His Brethren

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect.


For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel; neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, at this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth); it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.


What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will be hardeneth.” Romans 9:1-18. WOR 157.3

This is a long portion of Scripture for study, but if it is diligently questioned, to see exactly what it says, it will not be found so difficult as it is usually thought. We can put only a few of the many WOR 158.1


Questions on the Text

that might and should be asked. WOR 158.2

What burden does the apostle say that he carried continually? WOR 158.3

“I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.” WOR 158.4

For whom did he have this sorrow? WOR 158.5

“For my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” WOR 158.6

How great was his love and sympathy for them? WOR 158.7

“I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren.” WOR 158.8

Who were these brethren? WOR 158.9


“Israelites.” WOR 158.10

What privileges did they have? WOR 158.11

“The adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises,” and “the fathers.” WOR 158.12

What other great honor was theirs? WOR 158.13

“Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came.” WOR 158.14

If their condition was so bad, notwithstanding all the promises, how could the integrity of God’s word be shown? WOR 158.15

“For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” WOR 158.16

Who only of Abraham’s descendants are the seed? WOR 158.17

“In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” WOR 158.18

What is said of the children of the flesh? WOR 158.19

“These are not the children of God.” WOR 158.20

Who are the seed? WOR 159.1


“The children of the promise are counted for the seed.” WOR 159.2

What shows that the children are “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”? WOR 159.3

“When Rebecca also had conceived, ... the children being not yet born.... it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the young.” WOR 159.4

How did the verdict in after years agree with this? WOR 159.5

“Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” WOR 159.6

Is there then unrighteousness with God? WOR 159.7

“God forbid.” Not by any means. He “without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s works.” 1 Peter 1:17. WOR 159.8


On what then does every man’s salvation depend? WOR 159.9

“It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” WOR 159.10

For what purpose did God say to Pharaoh that He had raised him up? WOR 159.11

“That I might show My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.” WOR 159.12

What is the conclusion? WOR 159.13

“Therefore He hath mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” WOR 159.14


Both Jews and Greeks.-Altho Paul was “the apostle of the Gentiles,” he did not forget his “kinsmen according to the flesh.” Wherever he went he sought out the Jews first, and preached to them. To the elders of Ephesus he said, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:20, 21. Paul’s solicitude for all classes, even for those who were personally strangers to him, shows, more than anything else, his likeness to the Lord Jesus Christ. WOR 159.15


Israel’s Advantage.-“What advantage then hath the Jew?” “Much every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” Romans 3:1, 2. So here we read a wondrous list of things that pertain to Israel: the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. A terrible thing it is indeed to prove unfaithful amid such inestimable privileges! WOR 159.16


“Salvation Is of the Jews.” — Thus said Jesus to the woman of Samaria at the well. John 4:22 “Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came.” The Bible was written by Jews, and a young Jewess was the mother of our Lord. As man, Christ was a Jew, of the tribe of Judah. When we read that “we are saved by His life,” we know that it is by His life as a Jew. There is no divine gift and blessing for man that was not “to the Jew first,” and for the knowledge of which we are not indebted to the Jews. WOR 160.1


Nothing from the Gentiles.-The Apostle Paul says of the “Gentiles in the flesh,” that they are “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:11, 12. The covenants, the promises, even Christ himself, all belong to the Jews, and not to the Gentiles. Therefore whoever is saved must be saved as a Jew. “God at the first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name.” Acts 15:14. WOR 160.2

Accursed from Christ.-It makes no difference whether we use the word “accursed,” or “anathema,” or “separated.” All mean the same thing, and express the most deplorable condition. To be without Christ is to be without hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12. WOR 160.3


It was in that condition that Paul would have been willing to be placed for his brethren according to the flesh, if it would have done them any good. What does that show? Simply this, that Israel according to the flesh was, and is, in just that condition accursed from Christ, “having no hope, and without God in the world.” But since all the promises of God are in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20), those who are separate from Christ have no part in the promises; and therefore we learn anew the fact that Israel after the flesh, as a nation of earth, have not and never had any claim upon God above other nations; that God never made any special promises to Israel after the flesh, more than to any other people. WOR 160.4


In the wish that Paul expressed, he showed how completely he was given up to the Lord, and how much he shared in his Spirit. Christ gave himself for men, consenting even to be separated from God, in order that he might reach and save the lost. There is none other name under heaven whereby men can be saved, and consequently Paul’s being accursed would not have saved his brethren, as he very well knew. But he simply showed how desperate was the case of the Jews, and how great was his solicitude. While no human sacrifice can avail, men are privileged to share Christ’s sufferings for others. Paul says of himself, “who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church.” Colossians 1:24. WOR 160.5


Circumcision Made Uncircumcision.-We have before read the words, “If thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.” Romans 2:25. This language was addressed to the Jews, who in the same connection were charged with breaking the law. Romans 2:17-24. In the thirty-first verse of this present chapter we also are told that Israel did not attain to the law of righteousness. And the reason is that they did not accept Christ, through whom alone the righteousness of the law can be obtained. So again we find that Israel, Paul’s “kinsmen after the flesh,” were not Israelites at all, but Gentiles, separate from Christ, “having no hope, and without God in the world.” WOR 161.1


No Failure in the Promise.-This is a sad state of things. All the promises belong to Israel, and there is nothing from God for any other nation, and yet the very people known as Israel are accursed from Christ. Nevertheless the word of God has not failed, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” The unbelief of some can not make the faith of God without effect. Romans 3:3. If every literal descendant of Jacob were lost, that would not weaken in the least God’s promises to Israel, since the true Israelites are only those who believe the promises. WOR 161.2


The Seed of Abraham.-“In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Isaac was the child of promise; therefore those who believe the promises of God are the seed of Abraham. To the Jews who were self-satisfied because of their descent, John the Baptist said, “Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Matthew 3:9. He could do that as easily as he could make man in the beginning from the dust of the earth. WOR 161.3


The Flesh and the Promise.-“They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” This text alone should forever set at rest the speculations about the return of the Jews to old Jerusalem, in order that God’s promises may be fulfilled. Still more should it put an end to the absurd notion that any nation, as England or America, constitutes Israel, and is heir to those promises of God. WOR 161.4


God’s Foreknowledge.-When the children were not yet born, and had done neither good nor evil, it was said of them, “The elder shall serve the younger.” God knows the end from the beginning, and could tell what each one would do. The choice was in accordance with what is said of God, “who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Timothy 1:9. WOR 161.5


“Esau Have I Hated.” -This was not written until many years after the death of both Jacob and Esau. “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord; yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” Malachi 1:2, 3. Of his descendants it is said that they shall be called, “The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever.” Verse 3.


And why? “Thus saith the Lord, For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever.” Amos 1:11. Jacob, on the other hand, while no better by nature than Esau, believed the promises of God, and was by them made partaker of the divine nature and thus an heir of God and a joint heir of Jesus Christ. WOR 162.1

No Unrighteousness with God.-Mark well verses 14-17 for evidence that there is no arbitrariness in God’s choice. It is all of mercy. “He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” So it is all of “God that sheweth mercy.” The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord (Psalm 119:64), and “His mercy endureth forever.” WOR 162.2


God’s Purpose for Pharaoh.-The case of Pharaoh is cited by the apostle as an illustration of the statement that “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” “For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.” WOR 162.3

It is immaterial whether this refers to the bringing of Pharaoh to the throne, or to the preserving of him up to that time. One thing is certain: it does not teach us, as is commonly supposed, that God brought Pharaoh to the throne for the purpose of wreaking his vengeance upon him. It is astonishing that any professed Christian could ever have dishonored God by such a charge against him. WOR 162.4


The purpose of God in raising Pharaoh up, or causing him to stand, was that he might show to him and in him his power, and that his name might be declared throughout all the earth. This purpose was accomplished in the destruction of Pharaoh because of his stubborn resistance. But it would have been accomplished just as well, and much better for Pharaoh if he had listened to the word of God. Pharaoh saw God’s power, but would not believe. If he had believed, he would have been saved, because the power of God is salvation to every one that believeth. WOR 162.5


Pharaoh had an imperious will. His one great characteristic was steadfastness, pertinacity degenerating into stubbornness. But who can estimate the power for good that Pharaoh would have been if his will had been yielded to the Lord? To yield to the Lord would have meant a great sacrifice, as men count sacrifices, but no greater than that which Moses had made. Moses had given up the same throne, to cast in his lot with God’s people. A wonderful and honorable position was offered to Pharaoh, but he knew not the day of his visitation. It involved humiliation, and he rejected it. As a consequence he lost everything; while Moses, who chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, and to share the reproach of Christ, has a name and a place that will endure throughout eternity. The mercies of God rejected turn into curses. “For the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” Hosea 14:9.


‘Accepted in the Beloved’

July 16, 1896

In our last study, embracing the first part of the ninth chapter of Romans, we learned something further in regard to God’s purpose and election. We learned that the Jews by nature were never any more the people of God than any other people, and that apart from Christ they were as much accursed as were the veriest heathen that ever lived. WOR 163.1


We learned also that although God did make choice of certain ones, specially named, who afterwards attained great eminence as children of God, the choice was not arbitrary. Jacob was chosen before he was born, but no more than all other men are. God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, “according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-7. WOR 163.2


“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God, that showeth mercy.” As proof of this, the apostle cited the case of Pharaoh, who was chosen in Christ just as much as Jacob was, and just as much as we are. He was chosen to the praise of the glory of the grace of God, that he might show forth the excellencies of the Lord; but he obstinately refused to submit. But God will be praised even by the wrath of men, if they are not willing to praise Him voluntarily, and so God’s name and power were made known through Pharaoh’s stubbornness. It would have been better if the proud king had yielded himself to the design of God, instead of having that design worked out in spite of him. But the lesson that we are to learn is that every man in every nation under heaven has been chosen in Christ, and that none have been chosen in any other way, and that this choice is that they should be adopted as sons. In this choice the Jews have no advantage over others, but are on an equality with them, as is further shown by the remainder of the chapter:- WOR 163.3


“Thou wilt then say unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As He saith also in Osee,


I will call them my people, which were not My people, and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved; for He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrah. What shall we say then?


That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone; as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling-stone and rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 9:19-33. WOR 163.4

We will omit the usual questions on the text, leaving the reader to press that matter as closely as possible, and will proceed at once to note a few of the lessons set forth in the text. WOR 164.1


Replying Against God.-This is a very common thing, and its commonness has caused most people to lose sight of its wickedness. The man who begins indignantly to ask, “Why does God do so and so?” or to say, “I can’t see the justice in such a course,” as though he were especially and personally affronted, makes it impossible for himself to understand even that which a mortal may comprehend of God. It is very foolish and wicked to blame Him because we are not equal to Him in wisdom. The only way to come to the knowledge of the little that may be understood of God is to settle it once for all that He is just and merciful, and that everything He does is for the good of His creatures. Reverence, and not clamorous questioning, becomes a creature in the presence of the infinite God. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. WOR 164.2


The Potter and His Vessels.-The one who thinks himself competent to criticise the Lord thinks that he has a sure case against him in verses 21-24 of this chapter. “Surely,” says he, “this text teaches us that God has made some men to be saved, and others to be destroyed.” Most certainly we find nothing of the kind! There is a vast difference between what the text actually says, and what men imagine that it says. The potter has power over the clay, and so the Creator has power over his creatures, of natural and unquestionable right. Consider the figure. The potter has power over the clay to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor. Very true; but who in the world ever heard of a potter who busied himself making vessels for the sole purpose of destroying them? He makes vessels of different kinds for various purposes, but they are all intended for use, and not for destruction. So God never made anyone for the purpose of destroying him. WOR 164.3


God’s Longsuffering.-The fact that God does not plan the destruction of any one is shown in that He hesitates long before allowing any to suffer the destruction which their own evil deeds have justly earned. He “endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” They fitted themselves for destruction after their hardness, by treasuring up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath. Romans 2:5. Note that God endured with much long-suffering these “vessels of wrath.” Now we are to “account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation.” 2 Peter 3:15. He “is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Verse 9. The fact, therefore, that God endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath, even after they were fitted to destruction, shows that he longed for their salvation, and would give them every possible chance for it. WOR 164.4


“Whom He Hath Called.” — God’s long-suffering is also for the purpose of making known the riches of His glory “on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.” And who are these? “Even us, whom He hath called.” And who are they who are called? Are they of some particular nation? “Not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” The entire chapter is a vindication of God’s choice of men even before their birth, as illustrated in the case of Jacob; and this verse shows that the choosing of Jacob did not mean that God had special privileges for the Jewish nation, but that He bestows His favors impartially on Jews and Gentiles alike, if they will accept them. WOR 165.1


God’s People.-This is still further shown by verses 25, 26: “As He saith also in Osee [Hosea 1:9, 10], I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” God visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. The apostle Peter described this visit in these words: “God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” And further, “We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” Acts 15:7-11. And so “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” Romans 10:12. WOR 165.2


The Remnant.-“Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” Therefore “at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:5. No matter how many there may be who can trace their genealogy to Jacob according to the flesh, it is only they who are willing subjects of the grace of God who will be saved. There is positively no chance for boasting save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. WOR 165.3


The Gentiles Ahead.-The Jews professed to keep the law, but did not; the Gentiles were not associated with the law, yet they met its requirements. Now, if the reader will recall Romans 2:25-29, he will see that real circumcision consists (and always did consist) in keeping the law. Therefore since the Gentiles by their faith kept the law, and the Jews through their lack of faith did not keep it, it appears that they had changed places; the Gentiles were really “Jews,” and the Jews by nature were the same as the heathen. WOR 165.4


Missing the Mark.-The Jews followed after the law of righteousness, but did not attain to it. Why not? “Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.” How forcibly this sets forth that of which the entire epistle is a demonstration, namely, that faith does not clear one from its transgression, but that by faith alone can the law be kept! The Jews are not blamed for following after the law of righteousness, but for not following after it in the right way. It is not by works, but by faith, that the works which the law requires can be attained. That is to say that bad works can not produce good works; good can not come of evil. There is no discount upon good works. They are the most necessary things in the world. They are the result of the keeping of the law by faith. But there can not by any possibility be good works without faith; for “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23. WOR 165.5


The Stumbling-Stone.-Do not fail to connect the last part of this chapter with the first part. Remember that the beginning presents Israel according to the flesh as accursed from Christ. To them pertained, among other things, the giving of the law, but they came miserably short of it. Why? “For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone.” What stumbling-stone? Christ. They were in the very same condition that so many people are to-day, they would not believe that the promises of God to Israel were wholly and solely in Christ. They thought, as many professed Christians now do, that God honored them for their own sake, without any regard to Christ. Christ is the stumbling-stone over which all stumble who regard the promises to Israel as made to a certain earthly nation, to the exclusion of all others. WOR 166.1


A Sure Foundation.-Strange to say, that very stumbling-stone is a stepping-stone, and a sure foundation. That over which some fall, is the means of lifting up and building up others. “The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein.” Hosea 14:9. Christ is a rock of offence to those who disbelieve, but a sure foundation to those who have faith. He is “the Holy One of Israel,” “the King of Israel,” “the Shepherd of Israel,” and at the same time the fold, and the door into the fold. Without him there could be no such thing as a nation of Israel. Those who think to claim an inheritance in Israel because of their birth and without respect to Christ, will be ashamed at the last because whosoever comes not in at the door, the same will be proved to be “a thief and a robber.” But “whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame,” because his faith will show him to be Abraham’s seed, and thus an heir of God according to the promise.


Chapter 10

The Glorious Gospel

July 23, 1896

Let it be remembered that the ninth chapter of Romans sets forth the condition of Israel according to the flesh-they who are called Israel. They are “accursed from Christ.” They “followed after the law of righteousness,” but did not attain to righteousness, because they sought it not by faith, but by works. The Gentiles, therefore, gained the precedence over them, because they sought righteousness in the right way, namely, by faith. Thus were fulfilled the words of Christ to the self-righteous Jews: “The publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you;” and again, “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Matthew 21:31, 43. WOR 167.1

But the Lord did not cast off his people because they stumbled at the Stone which he had placed for a foundation. He endured with much long-suffering even the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. So the apostle continues:- WOR 167.2


“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law,


That the man which doeth those thing