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E G Waggoner Studies on Romans part 3



Chapter 5 ‘Saved by His Life’ March 5, 1896 We have now passed through the first four chapters of Romans. The third chapter sums up the argument that all men, whether called Jews or gentiles, whether so-called heathen or professed Christians, are to be judged by the same law, and that all are alike guilty. The law is universal in its jurisdiction, and as it condemns all, none can get righteousness by it, although it is the statement of the righteousness of God.


But God has promised righteousness to men, therefore they must get it aside from the works of the law, namely, in Christ. In his blood there is redemption for Jew and gentile alike. A man is made a doer of the law by faith alone, without the deeds of the law. This is the mystery of the Gospel. It is Christ in men, the hope of glory, and God in Christ working his own righteousness. WOR 82.1 The fourth chapter has taken up the case of Abraham as an illustration of righteousness by faith. The faith which was imputed to him, faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, will bring us the same righteousness, and make us heirs with him of the same promise. But the fourth chapter is really a parenthetical illustration, so that the fifth begins where the third closes. We therefore proceed with the subject of WOR 82.2

Righteousness by Faith “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience;and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But 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.” Romans 5:1-10. WOR 82.3

Questioning the Text What have the preceding chapters set before us? WOR 83.1 Justification by faith. WOR 83.2 Being justified by faith, what do we have? WOR 83.3 “We have peace.” WOR 83.4 What peace do we have? WOR 83.5 “We have peace with God.” WOR 83.6 Through whom do we have peace? WOR 83.7 “Through our Lord Jesus Christ.” WOR 83.8 What else do we have through him? WOR 83.9 “We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.” WOR 83.10 What do we therefore do? WOR 83.11 “Rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” WOR 83.12 What else? WOR 83.13 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also.” WOR 83.14 Why do we glory in tribulations? WOR 83.15 “Knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” WOR 83.16 What does patience work? WOR 83.17 “And patience, experience.” WOR 83.18 What comes with experience? WOR 83.19 “And experience, hope.” WOR 83.20

And what does hope not do? WOR 83.21 “Hope maketh not ashamed.” WOR 83.22 What therefore must hope do? WOR 83.23 It must give boldness. WOR 83.24 How does it give this boldness? WOR 84.1 “Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.” WOR 84.2 How is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts? WOR 84.3 “By the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” WOR 84.4 What evidence have we that God will give us all these blessings? WOR 84.5 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” WOR 84.6 For whom did Christ die? WOR 84.7 “Christ died for the ungodly.” WOR 84.8 In what condition were those for whom Christ died? WOR 84.9 “Without strength.” WOR 84.10 What is the greatest love known to man? WOR 84.11 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:15. Compare with Romans 5:7. WOR 84.12 But what is the love of God for us? WOR 84.13

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” WOR 84.14 When did Christ die for us? WOR 84.15 “While we were yet sinners.” WOR 84.16 Since we were sinners, in what relation did we stand to God? WOR 84.17 “Alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works.” Colossians 1:21. “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” Romans 8:7. WOR 84.18 What did Christ do for us when we were enemies? WOR 84.19 “Died for us.” WOR 84.20 What does the death of Christ do for us? WOR 84.21 “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” WOR 84.22 If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, of what may we be much more sure? WOR 84.23 “Much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” WOR 84.24

Faith Works Real Righteousness.- The first verse of the fifth chapter begins with “therefore.” The word indicates that what follows is a natural conclusion of what goes before. What has gone before? The story of what Abraham gained by faith. He gained righteousness by faith, but it was by faith in the promise that he should have a son. That son was the child of faith. But the same faith that resulted in the birth of Isaac, also brought righteousness to Abraham. And the same will also be imputed to us, if we have the same faith. Therefore, we are taught that the righteousness of faith is as real as was the son that was born to Abraham through faith. Righteousness by faith is not a myth. WOR 85.1

Peace.-What is peace? Most people have the idea that it is a sort of ecstatic feeling. They think that peace with God means an indescribable heavenly feeling; and so they always look for that imaginary feeling as evidence that they are accepted with God. But peace with God means the same thing that it means with men: it means simply the absence of war. As sinners we are enemies of God. He is not our enemy, but we are his enemies. He is not fighting against us, but we are fighting against him. How then may we have peace with him? Simply by ceasing to fight, and laying down our arms. We may have peace whenever we are ready to stop fighting. WOR 85.2

“Peace with God.” -Note that when we have peace with God we are not simply at peace with him, but we have his peace. This peace has been left on the earth for men; for the Lord has said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” John 14:27. He has given it to us. It is ours, therefore, already. It has always been ours. The only trouble has been that we have not believed it. As soon as we believe the words of Christ, then we have in very deed the peace which he has given. And it is peace with God, because we find the peace in Christ, and Christ dwells in the bosom of the Father. John 1:18. WOR 85.3

Peace and Righteousness.-“Great peace have they which love thy law.” Psalm 119:165. “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18. Righteousness is peace, because our warfare against God was our sins that we cherished. God’s life is righteousness, and he is the God of peace. Since the enmity is the carnal mind and its wicked works, peace must be the opposite, namely, righteousness. So it is simply the statement of an obvious fact, that being justified by faith we have peace with God. The righteousness that we have by faith carries peace with it. The two things can not be separated. WOR 85.4

Peace and Feeling.-The question is asked, “Can one have peace with God and not have a feeling of peace?” What says the Scripture? “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” What brings the peace? The faith. But faith is not feeling. If it were necessarily the case that there must be a certain feeling with peace, then if we did not have that feeling we should know that we were not justified; and then justification would be a matter of feeling, and not of faith. The verses which follow show us that we may have peace in tribulation as well as when everything goes smoothly. WOR 86.1

Glory in Tribulations.-This does not mean that we are to seek for martyrdom, as some in the early centuries did. But it means, as it says, that in the midst of tribulations our peace and joy continue the same. This must necessarily be the case with peace that comes by faith. Peace that depends on feeling will depart as soon as we begin to feel tribulation. But nothing can make any difference with the peace that comes by faith. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. WOR 86.2

Tribulation Worketh Patience.-What is patience? It is endurance of suffering. The root of the word “patience” means suffering. We see this in the fact that one who is ill is called “a patient.” That is, he is a sufferer. People often excuse their petulance by saying that they have so much to endure. They think that they would be patient if they did not have to suffer so much. No, they would not be. There can be no patience where there is no suffering. Trouble does not destroy patience, but develops it. When trouble seems to destroy one’s patience, it is simply showing the fact that the person had no patience. WOR 86.3

When Does It Work? -The statement is that tribulation worketh patience. Yet there are many who become more and more irritable the more trouble they have. It does not work patience with them. Why not? Simply because they are not in the condition that the apostle is describing. It is only those who are justified by faith that tribulation works patience. Nothing but faith in God can keep one perfectly patient under all circumstances. WOR 86.4

Will It Always Work? -Yes, invariably. “Well,” says one, “I am sure that anybody would be impatient if he had as much to trouble him as I have.” Question: Would Christ become impatient if he had the things to endure that you have? Did he not have as much to endure, and more? You must admit that he did. Was he impatient? “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7. Then if he were in your place, he would be patient. Why, then, do you not let him be in your place? Faith brings Christ into the heart, so that he is identified with us, and therefore he bears the burdens. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22. WOR 86.5

“All Patience.” -There is no limit to the patience that comes by faith in Christ. This is the inspired prayer: “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” Colossians 1:10, 11. That is, we may be so strengthened by the glorious power by which Christ endured suffering, that we may have all patience even though suffering long, and may rejoice in the midst of it. WOR 87.1

Patience Works Experience.-In what does it work experience? It works experience in the peace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Many people confuse Christian experience with Christian profession. They speak of having had so many years of “Christian experience,” when it may be that they have never really experienced the blessedness of the life of Christ. They have made a profession of religion; but real experience means the actual proving of the power of the life of Christ. When one has that experience, it is not a difficult matter for him to tell something of his experience when occasion calls for it. WOR 87.2

“Not Ashamed.” -Hope makes not ashamed. Why? Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28. “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.” 1 John 4:17. There can not possibly be a more trying day than the day of judgment. Therefore it is certain that those who will then not be ashamed or afraid, will have boldness now. And he who has boldness with God ought certainly not to be afraid of man. WOR 87.3

“The Love of God.” -The reason why hope makes not ashamed is that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Note that it does not say love for God, but the love of God. What is the love of God? “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:3. The Holy Spirit, then, puts into our hearts obedience to the law of God; and it is that which gives us boldness in the day of judgment, and at all other times. It is sin that makes men afraid. When sin is taken away, then fear is gone. “The wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1. WOR 87.4

“Christ Died for the Ungodly.” -“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Timothy 1:15. “This man receiveth sinners.” Luke 15:2. Strange that people will allow a sense of their sinfulness to keep them away from the Lord, when Christ came for the one purpose of receiving and saving them. He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him (Hebrews 7:25); and he says that those who come to him he will in no wise cast out (John 6:37). WOR 87.5 “Without Strength.” -It was when we were yet without strength, that Christ died for the ungodly. Of course; because he died for the purpose that we might be strengthened with might by the Spirit. If he waited for us to gain some strength before giving himself for us, then we should be lost. When were we without strength? Just now; and even now Jesus Christ is set forth evidently crucified among us. Galatians 3:1. “Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” Isaiah 45:24. WOR 88.1

Righteous and Good.-“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” Our English translation does not indicate the difference between the two words used here. The righteous man is the just man, the man who is careful to give every one his due. The good man is the benevolent man, the one who has done us many favors, and who does for us more than we could justly claim. Now, no matter how just a man may be, his integrity of character would scarcely lead one to die for him. Yet it is possible that for a man of great kindness some would even dare to die. WOR 88.2 The Greatest Love.-That is the highest measure of love among men. One may lay down his life for his friends, “but God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,” and therefore enemies, “Christ died for us.” WOR 88.3

“For the love of God is broader Than the measure of man’s mind; And the heart of the Eternal Is most wonderfully kind.” WOR 88.4 “Reconciled by His Death.” -God is not our enemy, but we are or have been enemies to him. Therefore he does not need to be reconciled to us, but we need reconciliation to him. And he himself, in the kindness of his heart, makes the reconciliation. We “are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13. How so? Because it was sin that separated us from him, and made us enemies; and “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. Being cleansed from sin, we must necessarily be reconciled to God. WOR 88.5

The Gift of Life.-“The life of the flesh is in the blood.” “For it is the life of all flesh.” Leviticus 17:11, 14. In that Christ shed his blood for us, he gave his life for us. But inasmuch as the blood is applied to us, to cleanse us from all sin, he gives his life to us. In the death of Christ therefore, if we are crucified with him, we receive his life as a substitute for our sinful life, which he takes upon himself. Our sins are remitted through faith in his blood, not as an arbitrary act, but because by faith we exchange lives with him, and the life which we get in exchange has no sin. Our sinful life is swallowed up in his boundless life, because he has life so abundantly that he can die because of our transgressions, and still live again to give life to us. WOR 88.6

“Saved by His Life.” -Christ did not go through the pangs of death for nothing, nor did he give his life to us for the purpose of taking it away again. When he gives us his life, he designs that we shall keep it forever. How do we get it? By faith. How do we keep it? By the same faith. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Colossians 2:6. His life can never end, but we may lose it by unbelief. For let it be remembered that we have not this life in ourselves, but “this life is in his Son.” “


He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:11, 12. We keep the everlasting life by keeping Christ. Now it is a very simple proposition that if we have been reconciled to God by the death of Christ,-if his life has been given to us for the remission of our sins, then we shall much more be saved by that life since he has risen from the dead. People sometimes say that they can believe that God forgives their sins, but they find it difficult to believe that he can keep them from sin. Well, if there is any difference, the latter is the easier of the two; for the forgiveness of sins requires the death of Christ, while the saving from sins requires only his continued life. WOR 89.1

By What Life? -By the life of Christ, and he has but one. He is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. It is by his present life that we are saved, that is, by his life in us from day to day. But the life which he now lives is the very same life that he lived in Judea eighteen hundred years ago. He took again the same life that he laid down. Think what was in the life of Christ, as we have the record in the New Testament, and we shall know what ought to be in our lives now. If we allow him to dwell in us, he will live just as he did then. If there is something in our lives that was not then in his, we may be sure that he is not living it in us now. WOR 89.2


The Free Gift

March 12, 1896

In the portion of the fifth chapter that we have already studied, we learned of the wonderful love of God, so great that he gave himself for his enemies, in order that they might be reconciled to him; and that, as in the death of Christ we receive the life of God, and are thereby one with him, so by the continuation of that life in us we are saved from sin. Without any further review, we may proceed with the following verses, which present WOR 90.1


A Series of Contrasts

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift; for if through the offence, so also is the free gift; for if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man,


Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:12-19. WOR 90.2


Questioning the Text

How did sin enter into the world? WOR 90.3

“By one man sin entered into the world.” WOR 90.4

What did sin bring with it? WOR 90.5

“And death by sin.” WOR 90.6

Upon how many did sentence of death pass? WOR 90.7

“And so death passed upon all men.” WOR 90.8

Why? WOR 90.9

“For that all have sinned.” WOR 90.10

What then was the fruit of that first offense? WOR 91.1

“By the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” WOR 91.2


But what else comes just as extensively? WOR 91.3

“The free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” WOR 91.4

By what means did it come? WOR 91.5

“By the righteousness of one.” WOR 91.6

How only does righteousness come? WOR 91.7

“By the obedience of one.” WOR 91.8


Joy in God.-The eleventh verse should have been included in last week’s lesson, as the thought is the same as in the preceding verses. By the same life by which we receive the reconciliation and salvation, “we also joy in God.” Christ’s life is a joyous life. When David had fallen, he prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit.” Psalm 51:12. The brightness of the heavens, the beauty of the infinite variety of flowers with which God clothes the earth, and the glad songs of the birds, all indicate that God delights in joy and beauty. Brightness and song are but the natural expressions of his life. “Let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:11. WOR 91.9


There is probably no passage in Romans more difficult to understand than verses 12-19. The reason is that there is so long a parenthesis in the midst of the main statement, and there is so much repetition of the same form of expression. There is really no greatly involved argument. In this study we shall not attempt to deal with every particular, but will note the main thought running through the whole, so that the reader can read and study it more satisfactorily for himself. WOR 91.10

First Principles.-It will be seen from verse 12 that the apostle goes back to the very beginning. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” There can never be any presentation of the Gospel, if these facts are ignored. The story of the fall of man must be as literally true as the story of the cross; for the latter depends entirely upon the former. WOR 91.11


Death by Sin.-Death came by sin, because sin is death. Sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death. See James 1:15. “To be carnally minded is death.” Romans 8:6. “The sting of death is sin.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. There could be no death if there were no sin. Sin carries death in its bosom. So it was not an arbitrary act on the part of God that death came upon men because of sin. It could not possibly be otherwise. WOR 91.12


Righteousness and Life.-“To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6. “There is none good but one, that is, God.” Matthew 19:17. He is goodness itself. Goodness is his life. Righteousness is simply God’s way. Therefore righteousness is life. It is not merely a conception of what is right, but it is the right thing itself. Righteousness is active. As sin and death are inseparable, so are righteousness and life. “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.” Deuteronomy 30:15. WOR 92.1


Death Passed upon All Men.-Note the justice here. Death passed upon all men, “for that all have sinned.” “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20. And this is also a necessary consequence of the fact that sin contains death in it, and that death can not come in any other way than by sin. WOR 92.2


The Conclusion.-It will be noticed that the twelfth verse begins a proposition that is not completed. Verses 13-17 are parenthetical; we must pass on to the eighteenth verse to find the conclusion. But as the mind would naturally lose the first part of the statement on account of the long parenthesis, the apostle repeats the substance of it, so that we may perceive the force of the conclusion. So the first part of verse 18 is parallel to verse 12. “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men to condemnation.” The conclusion is, “Even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” WOR 92.3


The Reign of Death.-“Death reigned from Adam to Moses.” That does not imply that death did not reign just as much afterwards. But the point is that Moses stands for the giving of the law; “for the law was given by Moses.” John 1:17. Now since death reigns through sin, and sin is not imputed when there is no law, it is evident from the statement that “death reigned from Adam to Moses,” that the law was in the world just as much before Sinai as it was afterwards. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56.


There can be no sin imputed when there is no law; but wherever there is sin, there death reigns. WOR 92.4

Adam a Figure.-“Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.” How is Adam a figure of Him that was to come, namely, Christ? Just as the following verses indicate, that is, Adam was a figure of Christ in that his action involved many besides himself. It is evident that Adam could not give his descendants any higher nature than he had himself, so Adam’s sin made it inevitable that all his descendants should be born with sinful natures. Sentence of death, however, does not pass on them for that, but because they have sinned. WOR 92.5


A Figure by Contrast.-Adam is a figure of Christ, but only by contrast. “Not as the offence, so also is the free gift.” Through the offence of one many are dead; but through the righteousness of One, many receive life. “The judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.” There is contrast all the way through. Everything that came through Adam’s fall is undone in Christ; or, better still, all that was lost in Adam is restored in Christ. WOR 93.1


“Much More.” -This might be taken as the key-note of this chapter. Not only is everything that is lost in Adam restored in Christ, but “much more.” “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.” And there is no chance of finding fault with the inevitable fact that we are inheritors of a sinful nature through Adam.


We can not complain that we are unjustly dealt with. It is true that we are not to blame for having a sinful nature, and the Lord recognises the fact. So he provides that just as in Adam we were made partakers of a sinful nature, even so in Christ we shall be made partakers of the divine nature. But “much more.” “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.” That is, the life of which we are made partakers in Christ is much stronger for righteousness than the life which we received from Adam is for unrighteousness. God does not do things by halves. He gives “abundance of grace.” WOR 93.2


The Condemnation.-“Death passed upon all men;” or, as stated later, “judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. All have sinned, and, therefore, all are in condemnation. There has not a man lived on earth over whom death has not reigned, nor will there be until the end of the world. Enoch and Elijah, as well as those who shall be translated when the Lord comes, are no exceptions.


There are no exceptions, for the Scripture says that “death passed upon all men.” For the reign of death is simply the reign of sin. “Elias was a man of like passions with us.” Enoch was righteous only by faith; his nature was as sinful as that of any other man. So that death reigned over them as well as over any others. For be it remembered that this present going into the grave, which we so often see, is not the punishment of sin. It is simply the evidence of our mortality. Good and bad alike die. This is not the condemnation, because men die rejoicing in the Lord, and even singing songs of triumph. WOR 93.3


“Justification of Life.” -“By the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” There is no exception here. As the condemnation came upon all, so the justification comes upon all. Christ has tasted death for every man. He has given himself for all. Nay, he has given himself to every man. The free gift has come upon all. The fact that it is a free gift is evidence that there is no exception. If it came upon only those who have some special qualification, then it would not be a free gift. It is a fact, therefore, plainly stated in the Bible, that the gift of righteousness and life in Christ has come to every man on earth. There is not the slightest reason why every man that has ever lived should not be saved unto eternal life, except that they would not have it. So many spurn the gift offered so freely. WOR 93.4


“The Obedience of One.” -

By the obedience of One shall many be made righteous. Men are not saved through their own obedience, but through the obedience of Christ. Here is where the skeptic cavils, and says that it is not just that one man’s obedience should be counted as another’s. But the man who rejects the counsel of the Lord does not know anything about justice, and is not qualified to speak in the case. The Bible does not teach us that God calls us righteous simply because Jesus of Nazareth was righteous eighteen hundred years ago. It says that by his obedience we are made righteous. Notice that it is present, actual righteousness. The trouble with those who object to the righteousness of Christ being imputed to believers is that they do not take into consideration the fact that Jesus lives. He is alive today, as much as when he was in Judea.


“He ever liveth,” and he is “the same yesterday and to-day, and forever.” His life is as perfectly in harmony with the law now as it was then. And he lives in the hearts of those who believe on him. Therefore it is Christ’s present obedience in believers that makes them righteous. They can of themselves do nothing, and so God in His love does it in them. Here is the whole story: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. WOR 94.1


Why Not All?- The text says that “by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Some one may ask, “Why are not all made righteous by the obedience of One?” The reason is that they do not wish to be. If men were counted righteous simply because One was righteous eighteen hundred years ago, then all would have to be righteous by the same obedience. There would be no justice in counting righteousness to one and not to all, if it were in that way. But we have seen that it is not so.


People are not simply counted righteous, but actually made righteous, by the obedience of Christ, who is as righteous as he ever was, and who lives today in those who yield to him. His ability to live in any human being is shown in the fact that he took human flesh eighteen hundred years ago. What God did in the person of the Carpenter of Nazareth, he is willing and anxious to do for every man that believes. The free gift comes upon all, but all will not accept it, and therefore all are not made righteous by it. Nevertheless, “many” will be made righteous by his obedience. Who will be one of the many? WOR 94.


Grace and Truth

March 26, 1896

In studying the two remaining verses of the fifth chapter of Romans, it will be sufficient for our present purpose if we remember that the main thought running through the chapter is life and righteousness. Sin is death, and righteousness is life. Death has passed upon all men, because all have sinned, and the gift of righteousness has come to all men in the life of Christ. Sin is not imputed when there is no law, yet sin was imputed to Adam and to all who lived after him, even till the time of the giving of the law, in the days of Moses. WOR 95.1

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20, 21. WOR 95.2


Questioning the Text

Why did the law enter? WOR 95.3

“The law entered, that the offense might abound.” WOR 95.4

What took place when sin abounded? WOR 95.5

“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” WOR 95.6

Where did sin abound? WOR 95.7

Wherever the law was; because the law entered that sin might abound, and sin is not imputed where there is no law. WOR 95.8

Then when did sin abound? WOR 95.9

When “the law entered.” WOR 95.10

Then when must grace have superabounded? WOR 95.11

At the entering the law. WOR 95.12


Why did God provide that where sin abounded, grace might much more abound? WOR 96.1

“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” WOR 96.2

How has sin reigned? WOR 96.3

“Unto death.” WOR 96.4

How does grace reign? WOR 96.5

“Through righteousness.” WOR 96.6

Unto what? WOR 96.7

“Unto eternal life.” WOR 96.8

Through whom? WOR 96.9

Through “Jesus Christ our Lord.” WOR 96.10

“The Law Entered.” -This statement indicates that there was offence before the particular time spoken of as the “entering” of the law. Taking into consideration verses 13, 14, we have no difficulty in seeing that the giving of the law upon Sinai is the time referred to. “Until the law,” the time of Moses, and the entering of the law, evidently refer to the one event. WOR 96.11


Sin Abounding.-The law entered that the offence already existing might abound. “But sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Therefore we must know that the law was in the world before the time spoken of as the “entering” of the law, that is, before it was spoken from Sinai. This is what we learned from verses 13, 14. It was not possible that the law should actually make any more sin than already existed. It could only emphasize it, that is, more plainly show its true nature. It was, as stated in chapter 7:13, it was “that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”


There was not one whit more of the law of God in the world after it was spoken from Sinai than there was before; neither was anything that was right before, made sinful by the giving of the law; nor was any act that was sinful before, made more sinful by the giving of the law. But the circumstances under which the law was spoken, tended to show the awfulness of sin, and to impress the hearers with a greater sense of their sinfulness than ever before. WOR 96.12


Grace Superabounding.-It would be well if every person knew this fact. We should hear less talk about being discouraged because we are so sinful. Is the heart full of sin? Know that where sin abounds, there does grace much more abound. This is shown in the fact that Christ, who is full of grace, stands at the door of the heart that is sinfulness itself, and knocks for admission. See Revelation 3:15-20. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15. When Wesley sang, WOR 96.13

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin,” WOR 97.1


he had the authority of Romans 5:20 for it!

Grace at Sinai.-Since the law entered that the offence might abound, it is evident that at the very time of the entering of the law the offence must have greatly abounded. There never was a time when the awfulness of sin was made to stand out more prominently. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Therefore it is as plain as the Scripture can make it, that grace was superabounding at the giving of the law from Sinai. It is a mistake, therefore, to suppose that God designed that any should think that righteousness was to be obtained by their own works of obedience.


On the contrary, the law was spoken to emphasize the boundless grace of God, in pardoning sin, and in working righteousness in men. WOR 97.2

The Law and God’s Throne.-We read that “righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.” Psalm 97:2. Righteousness dwells in his throne. It is the foundation of it. That the law of God is righteousness, even his own righteousness is shown by Isaiah 51:6, 7, where God speaks of his righteousness, and says, “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law.” That is, only they in whose heart is God’s law, know his righteousness. Therefore his law is his righteousness. And the statement that righteousness is the habitation or establishment of his throne, indicates that the law of God is in his throne. He sits upon the throne of righteousness. WOR 97.3


Evidence from the Tabernacle.-The tabernacle built by Moses was for a dwelling place for God. “Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8. In that sanctuary, in the most holy place, was the ark of the testament. This ark is described in Exodus 25:10-22. The cover of the ark was called the mercy-seat. Upon this mercy-seat were the two cherubim of gold. Within the ark, under the mercy-seat, were the tables of the law. See Exodus 25:16-21; Deuteronomy 10:1-5.


Between the cherubim, upon the mercy-seat, and above the tables of the law, was where the glory of God was seen, and where God spoke to the people. Exodus 25:22. In 2 Kings 19:15 and Psalm 80:1 God is addressed as sitting between the cherubim. Therefore we learn that the ark of the testament, with the mercy-seat, or the cover, was a representation of the throne of God. As the Ten Commandments were in the ark in the earthly tabernacle, so the Ten Commandments are the very foundation of the throne of God in heaven. We may note, in passing, that since the earthly tabernacle was a figure of the true tabernacle in heaven, therefore we are taught that the law as it stands in heaven, in the throne of God, is identical with the law as spoken from Sinai, and written on the tables of stone that were placed in the ark. WOR 97.4


God’s Throne and Sinai.-We have learned that the law of God is the very basis of his throne. This is no more than might reasonably be expected, since the basis of any government is its law, and the throne simply stands for the law. Mount Sinai, when the law was spoken from it, was the seat of God’s law. It represented the awfulness of the law, since no one could touch it without dying. The Lord was there with all his angels. See Deuteronomy 33:2; Acts 7:53. Therefore Mount Sinai, at the time of the giving of the law, was designed to represent the throne of God. Indeed, it was for the time the throne of God, the place whence the law goes forth, out of which proceed “lightnings and thunderings and voices” (Revelation 4:5), and around which stand “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” of angels. Here again we learn that the righteousness which is the habitation of the throne of God is the righteousness described by the Ten Commandments, just as they were spoken from the top of Sinai, as recorded in Exodus 20:3-17. WOR 98.1


The Throne of Grace.-But although the throne of God is the habitation of his law, that law which is death to sinners, yet it is a throne of grace. We are exhorted to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. Note that we are to come to obtain mercy. Note also that the top of the ark of the testimony, in which were the tables of the law, was called the mercy-seat. It was the place where God appeared to speak to his people, so that the ark of the earthly tabernacle not only represented the throne where God’s law is enshrined, but it represented that throne as the throne of grace. WOR 98.2


The Law and the Mediator.-We are told that the law was ordained “in the hand of a Mediator.” Galatians 3:19. Who was the Mediator in whose hand the law was ordained? “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all.” 1 Timothy 2:5, 6. The law, therefore, was given from Sinai by Christ, who is and always was the manifestation of God to men. He is the Mediator, that is, the One through whom the things of God are brought to men. The righteousness of God is conveyed to men through Jesus Christ.


The statement that the law was given in the hand of a Mediator, reminds us that where sin abounded grace did much more abound. The fact that the law was in the hand of a Mediator at Sinai shows us this: (1) That God did not mean that any one should suppose that he must get the righteousness of the law by his own power, but only through Christ. (2) That the Gospel of Christ was displayed at Sinai as well as at Calvary. (3) That the righteousness of God which is revealed in the Gospel of Christ, is the identical righteousness that is described in the law as given from Sinai, without the alteration of a letter. The righteousness which we are to obtain in Christ is none other than that. WOR 98.3


The Fountain of Life.-In Psalm 36:7-9 we read: “How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life.” It is because with God is the fountain of life that he makes those who trust in him to drink of the river of his pleasure. What is that river?-“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1. Think of it! A river flowing out of the throne of God. He is the fountain of life. The invitation is to every one that is athirst to drink of the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17, John 4:10-14, and 7:37-39, will help to an understanding of the matter. We take the living water by receiving the Holy Spirit. WOR 99.1


Drinking in Righteousness.-The Saviour says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6. If one is thirsty, how only can he be filled? By drinking. Therefore the Saviour means that we can drink righteousness, if we thirst for it. Remember that God’s throne is the seat of righteousness, and that from it flows the river of life, and we shall see the fitness of the assurance that we may drink in righteousness. Since the throne is the seat of righteousness, the river that proceeds from the throne must, so to speak, be charged with the righteousness of the law. Whosoever therefore believes on Christ, and drinks in of his Spirit, must drink in of the righteousness of the law as it is in the throne, or as it was spoken from Sinai. WOR 99.2


Drinking at Sinai.-Whoever will read Exodus 17:1-6 together with Deuteronomy 4:10-12 (which show that Horeb and Sinai are the same), will learn that at the very time when the law was spoken from Sinai, there was a river of water flowing from its base. That river flowed from Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:4. Christ, the living Rock, stood upon that rock in the desert, from which the water flowed for the thirst of the people, and he it was from whom it came. With him is the fountain of life. And so we have the complete likeness of the throne of God in Sinai. It was the embodiment of the law of God, so that no one could approach it without death, and yet they could drink the living water that flowed from it. And in this figure we again see that the righteousness which those who accept Christ’s invitation are to drink in, is the righteousness that is described in the Ten Commandments. WOR 99.3


The Heart of Christ.-Through David Christ spoke thus of his coming to this earth: “Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:7, 8. He said that he had kept his Father’s commandments. John 15:10. So closely did he keep the commandments that he observed the seventh-day Sabbath, which is sometimes stigmatized as “the Jewish Sabbath.” Canon Knox-Little says, “It is certain that our Lord when on earth did observe Saturday, and did not observe Sunday.”-Sacerdotalism, p. 75. This is not true because Canon Knox-Little said it, but it is true because the Bible teaches it. It is so clear a fact that there is no chance for discussion about it. We have never yet heard of any one who had the hardihood to assert that Jesus ever kept any other day than the seventh, the day enjoined in the fourth commandment. The keeping of “the Sabbath day according to the commandment” was part of the righteousness which was in the heart of Christ. And since Christ is the same to-day that he ever was, it is in his heart still. WOR 99.4


Eternal Life through Christ.-“Even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Christ’s life was given for us and to us on the cross. It is by being crucified with him that we live with him. Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:8. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. In his heart was the law, so that the heart of Christ was really the throne of God. Thus we sing of “Christ enthroned within.” When Christ hung upon the cross, “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” John 19:34. This was the fountain of life, that freely flows for all. It flowed from the heart of Christ, in which the law of God was enshrined. So we find that Sinai, Calvary, and Mount Sion all present the same thing. Sinai and Calvary are not in opposition, but are united. Both present the same Gospel and the same law. The life which flows for us from Calvary, bears to us the righteousness of the law that was proclaimed from Sinai. WOR 100.1


Grace Through Righteousness.-Thus we see how grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life. Eternal life is in Christ, because his life is the life of the self-existent God, who is “from everlasting to everlasting.” But the life of God is the law. The grace of God flows to us through the life of Christ, and bears to us the righteousness of it. Thus in Christ we receive the law as it was ordained, namely, to life. To accept the unspeakable gift of God’s grace, therefore, is simply to yield ourselves to him, that Christ may dwell in us, and live in us the righteousness of the law as spoken from Sinai, and treasured in the throne of God. From Christ that living stream still flows, so that, receiving him, we shall have in us that well of water spring up unto everlasting life.

“The World in Wickedness”

The World in Wickedness.-It is true to-day, as the apostle wrote in the early centuries, that “the whole world lieth in wickedness.” The same Gospel is needed now that the apostles preached, calling men to a change of heart and life, and to something separate from the course of this world. The course of this world is evil, and it is as impossible to drift along with it and still be in the service of the Lord, as it was in the apostles’ days. Many things are labeled Christian that are not, and many courses of conduct are sanctioned by professedly Christian sentiment that are utterly opposed to Christ and his life.


The nations of Christendom are arming for war as never before, and still we hear about Christian nations. The fact that no nation can exist in this wicked world without the employment of physical force and all the refined developments of the fighting art, shows that there can be no such thing as a Christian nation in this present evil world. The citizens of Christ’s kingdom are told by their Lord to love their enemies, bear patiently with the oppressor, and suffer violence, if need be, without retaliation. It is thought by many nowadays that the principles which Christ taught are not applicable to the practical affairs of life. But he lived them in his day, and the same life is the Christian’s life to-day. Chapter 6

Crucified, Buried, and Raised

April 2, 1896

In beginning the study of the sixth chapter of Romans, it must be remembered that we have but a continuation of the fifth. The subject of that chapter is superabounding grace, and the gift of life and righteousness by grace. As sinners we are enemies of God, but are reconciled, that is, freed from sin, by receiving the righteousness of Christ’s life, which has no limit. No matter how greatly the sin may abound, grace does much more abound” “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” This brings us to a consideration of the particulars of our WOR 101.1


Union with Christ

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man in crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:1-11. WOR 101.2


Questioning the Text

For what purpose did the law enter? WOR 102.1

“The law entered, that the offence might abound.” Romans 5:20. WOR 102.2

But what do we find when the offense abounds? WOR 102.3

“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Verse 20. WOR 102.4

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” WOR 102.5

“God forbid.” (Not by any means.) WOR 102.6

And why not? WOR 102.7


“How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” WOR 102.8

If we have been baptized into Jesus Christ, into what were we baptized? WOR 102.9

“So many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.” WOR 102.10

What does baptism mean? WOR 102.11

“We are buried with him by baptism into death.” WOR 102.12

What further? WOR 102.13

“That like as Christ was raised up fro the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” WOR 102.14

If we have been “planted” together in the likeness of his death, what will surely follow? WOR 102.15

“We shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” WOR 102.16

What has taken place? WOR 102.17

“Our old man is crucified with him.” WOR 102.18

Why is the “old man” crucified with Christ? WOR 102.19


“That the body of sin might be destroyed.” WOR 102.20

And what will be the result of that? WOR 102.21

“That henceforth we should not serve sin.” WOR 102.22

From what is he that is dead free? WOR 102.23

“He that is dead is freed from sin.” WOR 102.24

Of what may we be confident if we are dead with Christ? WOR 103.1

“That we shall also live with him.” WOR 103.2

Why have we this confidence? WOR 103.3

“Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” WOR 103.4

Why not? WOR 103.5

“For in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” WOR 103.6

Therefore since we are dead and raised with him, what must be the case with us? WOR 103.7

“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” WOR 103.8


An Important Question.-“Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” The student will doubtless recall a similar question in the third chapter, verses 5, 7, and the answer in verses 6, 8. It is another form of the question, “Shall we do evil, that good may come?” The answer must be apparent to all, “Not by any means,” for this is really the force of the words improperly rendered, “God forbid.” Altho grace superabounds where sin abounds, that is no reason why we should wilfully pile up the sin. That would be most emphatically to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 Corinthians 6:1. WOR 103.9


The Reason Why.-“How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” It is simply an impossibility, and there is really no question as to whether or not we may do it; for it is certain that if we are dead to sin, we can not live in it at the same time. A man can not at the same time be both dead and alive. Now the previous chapter has emphasized the fact that we are reconciled to God by the death of Christ, and are saved by his life. Reconciliation to God means being freed from sin; so that being “saved by his life” means that we have “passed from death unto life.” The life of sin that was enmity has been ended in the life of Christ. WOR 103.10

“Baptized into Jesus Christ.” -Baptism is the symbol of putting on Christ. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles.” 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13. WOR 103.11


Where Christ Touches Us.-It is in death that we come into contact with Christ. He touches us at the lowest possible point. That is what makes our salvation so sure, and so sure for every one without any exception. Sin and sickness are tributary to death. Death is the sum of all the evils possible to man. It is the lowest depth, and it is there that Christ comes in contact with us. We become united to him in death. As the greater includes the lesser, the fact that Christ humbled himself even to death proves that there is no ill possible to us that he does not take upon himself. WOR 104.1


Baptized into His Death.-“So many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.” And what is it to be baptized into his death? Verse 10 tells us: “For in that he died, he died unto sin once.” He died unto sin, not his own, because he had none; but he “bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” 1 Peter 2:24. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.” Isaiah 53:5. Since in that he died, he died unto sin, it follows that if we are baptized into his death, we also die to sin. WOR 104.2


A New Life.-“Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more.” “If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” It was impossible for the grave to hold Christ. Acts 2:24. Therefore, just as surely as we are baptized into the death of Christ, so surely shall we be raised from a life of sin to a life of righteousness in him. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” WOR 104.3


Crucifixion with Him.-As Christ was crucified, therefore, being baptized into his death means that we are crucified with him. So we read, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Galatians 2:20. Crucified, yet living, because crucified with Christ, and yet he lives. Christ said, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” John 14:19. How can we live a new life? We have no power at all of ourselves; but Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father; and in his prayer to the Father he said, “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them.” John 17:22. Therefore, the power that raised Jesus from the dead is exercised to raise us from the death of sin. If we are willing to allow the old life to be crucified, we may be sure of the new. WOR 104.4


“Our Old Man” Crucified.-We shall be in the likeness of his resurrection. If we are crucified with Christ, our sins must also be crucified with Christ, for they are a part of us. Our sins were on him as he was crucified, so of course our sins are crucified if we are crucified with him. But here is a difference between us and our sins when crucified. We are crucified in order that we may live again; our sins are crucified in order that they may be destroyed. Christ is not “the minister of sin” (Galatians 2:17). It was the life of God that raised him from the dead, and in that life there is no sin. WOR 104.5


A Separation.-The reader will notice that the separation from sin is in death. That is because death is in sin. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15. Therefore nothing less than death will effect a separation. We could not separate ourselves from sin, because sin was our very life. If it had been possible for us to effect the destruction of sin, it could have been only by the giving up of our lives, and that would have been the end of us. That is why there will be no future for the wicked who die in their sins; their life having been given up or rather, taken from them, they are out of existence. But Christ had the power to lay down his life, and to take it again; and therefore when we lay down our lives in him, we are raised again by his endless life. Remember that he does not give us our own life back again, but that he gives us his own life. In that life there never was a sin; and so it is that our crucifixion and resurrection with him is the separation of sin from us. This thought must be borne in mind when we come to study the next chapter. WOR 105.1


Living with Him.- “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” When shall we live with him?-Why, as soon as buried and risen with him, of course. Our life with Christ in the world to come is assured to us only by our living with him now in this world. We are separated from sin, by death with him, in order that we may be joined with him. The reader is asked to bear this in mind also until we come to the study of the next chapter. WOR 105.2


“Buried.” -“We are buried with him by baptism into death.” Baptism, therefore, is burial. If people were content to follow the plain reading of the Scriptures, there never would be a question concerning “the mode of baptism.” No one from reading the Bible could ever get any other idea than that baptism is immersion. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12. Baptism represents the death and resurrection of Christ, and by it we show our acceptance of his sacrifice; and the very act is an actual burial, in order to make the lesson the more impressive. WOR 105.3


Why the Change? -How is it that there has been a change from Scripture baptism to sprinkling? The answer is very easy. Baptism is a memorial of the resurrection of Christ. But “the church,” by which is meant the bishops who loved the praise of men more than the praise of God and who wished to curry favor with the “better class” of the heathen, adopted the pagan sun festival. And in order to appear to justify themselves in so doing, they claimed that the rising sun which was worshipped by the heathen was a symbol of the resurrection of “the Sun of Righteousness,” namely, Christ, and that by observing Sunday they were celebrating his resurrection. But they did not need two memorials of the resurrection, and so they dropped the one that the Lord had given.


In order, however, not to appear to throw baptism away, they claimed that the heathen sprinkling with “holy water” which they very naturally adopted with the heathen sun festival, was the baptism enjoined in the Scriptures. The people trusted in the “fathers” instead of reading the Bible for themselves, and so it was very easy to make them believe that the Bible was obeyed. It is true that there are some who follow the word in regard to immersion, who also observe Sunday; but the two practices are inconsistent. The word is neglected in one particular in order to provide a memorial for an event which they already celebrate in accordance with the word. We are sorry to learn, what however might naturally be expected, that scriptural baptism is falling into disuse among those who observe the first day of the week. It must be the case that sooner or later they will wholly give up one or the other.


Instruments of Righteousness

April 9, 1896

Read carefully the first verses of the sixth chapter of Romans, before beginning the study of the remaining verses in this lesson. A few words are sufficient to summarize them. They treat of death with Christ, and burial and resurrection with him. In being crucified with him, we give up our own lives, in order that we may be raised with him in his new life. We are then to continue to live with him, since “Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more.” The lesson closed with the exhortation, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The closing of the previous lesson at verse 11 was purely arbitrary, since there is really no division in the chapter. The present lesson therefore begins with WOR 106.1


An Exhortation

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.


Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh; for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:12-13. WOR 106.2


Questioning the Text

How have we learned that we are to regard ourselves? WOR 107.1

“Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” WOR 107.2

If dead to sin but alive unto God, how are we to stand related to sin? WOR 107.3

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body.” WOR 107.4

If sin reign in our body, what do we do? WOR 107.5

“Obey it in the lusts thereof.” WOR 107.6

What further exhortation is given? WOR 107.7

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.” WOR 107.8

To what are we to yield ourselves? WOR 107.9

“Yield yourselves unto God.” WOR 107.10

In what way? WOR 107.11


“As those that are alive from the dead.” WOR 107.12

And what are our members to be? WOR 107.13

“Instruments of righteousness unto God.” WOR 107.14

If we thus yield ourselves as instruments of righteousness unto God, what will be the result? WOR 107.15

“Sin shall not have dominion over you.” WOR 107.16

Why will sin not have dominion over us? WOR 107.17

“For ye are not under the law, but under grace.” WOR 107.18

“What then? shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace?” WOR 107.19

“God forbid.” Not by any means,-far from it. WOR 107.20

Whose servants are we? WOR 107.21

“To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are.” WOR 107.22

What were we formerly, when not under grace? WOR 108.1

“The servants of sin.” WOR 108.2

But what has now been done for us? WOR 108.3

“Made free from sin.” WOR 108.4


How was it that we were made free from sin? WOR 108.5

“Ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” WOR 108.6

Being made free from sin, what have we become? WOR 108.7

“The servants of righteousness.” WOR 108.8

How are we now to yield our members servants to righteousness? WOR 108.9

“As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity.” WOR 108.10

When we were the servants of sin, from what were we free? WOR 108.11

“When ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” WOR 108.12

What is the fruit of those things of which we are or should be ashamed? WOR 108.13

“The end of those things is death.” WOR 108.14

But what now that we are made free from sin, and are the servants of God? WOR 108.15

“Ye have your fruit unto holiness.” WOR 108.16

And what is the end? WOR 108.17

“The end everlasting life.” WOR 108.18

What is the wages of sin? WOR 108.19

“The wages of sin is death.” WOR 108.20

And what the gift of God? WOR 108.21

“The gift of God is eternal life.” WOR 108.22

Through whom? WOR 108.23

“Through Jesus Christ our Lord.” WOR 108.24


The Reign of Sin.-In the fifth chapter we learned that the reign of sin is the reign of death, because death comes by sin. But we also learned that the gift of life is offered to all, so that whoever has Christ has life. Instead of death reigning over such, they themselves “shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.” The exhortation, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,” is therefore equal to an exhortation to abide in Christ, or to keep his life. We gained the life by faith, and so we are to keep it. WOR 109.1


Whose Servants? -That is very easy to answer. “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey.” If we yield ourselves to sin, then we are the servants of sin, for “whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34. But if we yield ourselves to righteousness, then we are the servants of righteousness. “No man can serve two masters.” Matthew 6:24. We can not serve both sin and righteousness at the same time. No man can at once be both a sinner and a righteous man. Either sin or righteousness must rule. WOR 109.2


Instruments.-We have in this chapter two terms to describe people, namely, servants and instruments. It takes both to illustrate our relation to sin and righteousness. Sin and righteousness are rulers. We are but instruments in their hands. The kind of work a given instrument will do depends entirely upon the one who uses it. For instance, here is a good pen; what kind of work will it do? It will do good work if it is in the hands of a skilful penman, but in the hands of a bungler its work will be poor.


Or, in the hands of a good man it will write only what is good; but in the hands of a bad man it will exhibit that which is evil. But man is not a mere tool. No, not by any means. There is this difference between men and ordinary instruments: the latter have no choice as to who shall use them, while the former have full choice as to whom they will serve. They must yield themselves, not once only, but all the time. If they yield to sin, they will commit sin. If they yield to God, to be instruments in his hands, they can do nothing else but good so long as they are yielded to him. WOR 109.3


A Parallel.-In the nineteenth verse we are exhorted to yield ourselves as servants of righteousness just as we have yielded ourselves servants to sin. This being done, we are assured in the following verses that just as surely as the fruit was sin and death when we were yielded to sin, so surely will the fruit be holiness when we yield ourselves servants to righteousness. Yea, even more sure; for “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Righteousness is stronger than sin, even as God is stronger than Satan. God can pluck out of the hands of Satan the soul that cries out for deliverance; but none can pluck God’s children out of his hand. WOR 109.4


Not under the Law.-Many people are fond of quoting this expression, thinking that it forever absolves them from any observance of the law of God. Strange to say, this expression is used as a cover only for non-observance of the fourth commandment. Repeat the fourth commandment to a man who objects to keeping the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, and he will say, “We are not under the law.”


Yet that same man will quote the third commandment to a man whom he hears swearing, or the first and second against the heathen, and will acknowledge the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments. Thus it appears that men do not really believe that the statement that we are not under the law means that we are at liberty to break it. Let us study the whole verse, and its different parts. WOR 109.5

What Is Sin? -“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. “All unrighteousness is sin.” 1 John 5:17. This is definite; let us hold it well in our minds. WOR 110.1


What Is Righteousness? -Righteousness is the opposite of sin, because “all unrighteousness is sin.” But “sin is the transgression of the law.” Therefore righteousness is the keeping of the law. So when we are exhorted to yield our members as instruments of righteousness unto God, it is the same as telling us to yield ourselves to obedience to the law. WOR 110.2

The Dominion of Sin.-Sin has no dominion over those who yield themselves servants to righteousness, or to obedience to the law; because sin is the transgression of the law. Now read the whole of the fourteenth verse: “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” That is to say, transgression of the law has no place in them who are not under the law. Then those who are not under the law are those who obey the law. Those who break it, are under it. Nothing can be plainer. WOR 110.3


Under Grace.-“Ye are not under the law, but under grace.” We have seen that those who are not under the law are the ones who are keeping the law. Those therefore who are under the law are the ones who are breaking it, and who are therefore under its condemnation. But “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Grace delivers from sin. Distressed by the threatenings of the law which we have broken, we flee for refuge to Christ, who is “full of grace and truth.” There we find freedom from sin. In him we not only find grace to cover all our sin, but we find the righteousness of the law because he is full of truth, and the law is the truth. Psalm 119:142. Grace “reigns” through righteousness or obedience to the law, unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. WOR 110.4


The Wages of Sin.-In the second chapter we learned that those who reject the goodness of God are treasuring up to themselves wrath. Now wrath comes only on the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6. Those who sin are laying up wages for themselves. “The wages of sin is death.” Sin has death in it, therefore “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” There can be no other end to sin than death, because sin is the absence of righteousness, and righteousness is the life and character of God. Persistent and final choice of sin is therefore choice of complete separation from the life of God, and so from all life, since he is the only source of life. Christ, who is the wisdom of God, says, “All they that hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:36. Those who suffer death at last will be only those who have worked for it. WOR 110.5


The Gift of God.-But we do not work for eternal life. No works that we could do would make the smallest part of payment towards it. It is the gift of God. True, it comes only through righteousness, but righteousness is a gift. “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10. “O how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19. When people sin, God gives them only what they have bargained for. But if any yield themselves as servants of righteousness, he provides the righteousness for them, and gives them eternal life with it, all as a free gift. “The way of the transgressor is hard,” but the yoke of Christ is easy, and his burden is light.


Chapter 7

Union with Christ

April 16, 1896

The seventh chapter of Romans is really all contained in the sixth. He who understands the sixth chapter will have no difficulty with the seventh. Let us therefore, before beginning with the seventh chapter, recall briefly the points brought out in the last few lessons. WOR 112.1

By Christ’s obedience we are made righteous. This is because his life is now given to us, and he lives in us. The obedience of Christ which saves us is his present obedience in us. And the obedience is to the law. WOR 112.2


This union with Christ we get by being crucified with him. In that death the body of sin is destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, or, in other words, that we should no more transgress the law. So closely are we identified with sin, it being our very life, that it can not be destroyed without our dying. But in Christ there is no sin, so that while we have a resurrection with him, sin remains dead. So, being raised with him, we live with him, a thing that was formerly impossible on account of sin; sin can not dwell with him. WOR 112.3


A Striking Illustration

“Know ye not, brethren (for I speak to them that know the law), how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.


Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:1-7. WOR 112.4


Questioning the Text

To whom does the apostle speak in this chapter? WOR 113.1

“I speak to them that know the law.” WOR 113.2

What are such expected to know about the law? WOR 113.3


“That the law hath dominion over a man so long as he liveth.” WOR 113.4

What illustration of this is given? WOR 113.5

“The woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth.” WOR 113.6

What takes place when the husband dies? WOR 113.7

“If the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.” WOR 113.8

If while her husband was alive she should be married to another man, what would the law call her? WOR 113.9

“An adulteress.” WOR 113.10

But what if her husband be dead? WOR 113.11

“She is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” WOR 113.12

Why not? WOR 113.13

“She is free from that law.” WOR 113.14

What personal application is made of this illustration? WOR 113.15

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law.” WOR 113.16

By what means? WOR 113.17


“By the body of Christ.” WOR 113.18

For what purpose? WOR 113.19

“That ye should be married to another.” WOR 113.20

To what other? WOR 113.21

“Even to him who is raised from the dead.” WOR 113.22

To what end? WOR 114.1

“That we should bring forth fruit unto God.” WOR 114.2

What fruit was brought forth when we were in the flesh? WOR 114.3

“Fruit unto death.” WOR 114.4

What was it that produced this fruit unto death? WOR 114.5

“The motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” WOR 114.6

What gave them that power? WOR 114.7

“The law.” WOR 114.8

But now what has taken place, since we are married to him that is raised from the dead? WOR 114.9


“But now we are delivered from the law.” WOR 114.10

How is it that we can be married to another, and still be free before the law? WOR 114.11

“That being dead wherein we were held.” WOR 114.12

What is the difference in the service now and then? WOR 114.13

“That we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” WOR 114.14

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? WOR 114.15

“God forbid.” Far from it. WOR 114.16

What proves that? WOR 114.17

“I had not known sin, but by the law.” WOR 114.18

What special commandment revealed the greatness of sin? WOR 114.19

“I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” WOR 114.20


The Illustration.-It is a very simple one, and one which every one can understand. The law of God says of man and woman, “They two shall be one flesh.” It is adultery for either one to be married to another while the other is living. The law will not sanction such a union. For reasons that will appear later, the illustration cites only the case of a woman leaving her husband. The law unites them. That law holds the woman to the man as long as he lives. If while her husband lives she shall be united to another man, she will find herself under the condemnation of the law. But if her husband dies, she may be united to another, and be perfectly free from any condemnation. She is then “free from the law,” although the law has not changed in one particular. Least of all has it been abolished; for the same law that bound her to the first husband and which condemned her for uniting with another in his lifetime, now unites her to another and binds her to him as closely as it did to the first. If we hold to this simple illustration, we shall have no difficulty with what follows. WOR 114.21


The Application.-As in the illustration there are four subjects, the law, the woman, the first husband, and the second husband so also in the application. We are represented as the woman. This is clear from the statement that we are “married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead,” which is Christ. He therefore is the second husband. The first husband is indicated in verse 5: “When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Death is the fruit of sin. The first husband, therefore, was the flesh, or “the body of sin.” WOR 115.1

“Dead to the Law.” -This is the expression that troubles so many. There is nothing troublesome in it, if we but keep in mind the illustration and the nature of the parties to this transaction. Why are we dead to the law? In order that we might be married to another. But how is it that we become dead in order to be married to another? In the illustration it is the first husband that dies before the woman may be married to another. Even so it is here, as we shall see. WOR 115.2


“One Flesh.” -The law of marriage is that the two parties to it “shall be one flesh.” How is it in this case? The first husband is the flesh, the body of sin. Well, we were truly one flesh with that. We were by nature perfectly united to sin. It was our life. It controlled us. Whatever sin devised, that we did. We might have done it unwillingly at times, but we did it nevertheless. Sin reigned in our mortal bodies, so that we obeyed it in the lusts thereof. Whatever sin wished, was law to us. We were one flesh. WOR 115.3


Seeking a Divorce.-There comes a time in our experience when we wish to be free from sin. It is when we see something of the beauty of holiness. With some people the desire is only occasional; with others it is more constant. Whether they recognize the fact or not, it is Christ appealing to them to forsake sin, and to be joined to him, to live with him. And so they endeavor to effect a separation. But sin will not consent. In spite of all that we can do, it still clings to us. We are “one flesh,” and it is a union for life since it is a union of our life to sin. There is no divorce in that marriage. WOR 115.4


Freedom in Death.-There is no hope of effecting a separation from sin by any ordinary means. No matter how much we may desire to be united to Christ, it can not be done while we are joined to sin; for the law will not sanction such a union, and Christ will not enter into any union that is not lawful. If we could only get sin to die, we should be free, but it will not die. There is only one way for us to be freed from the hateful union, and that is for us to die. If we wish freedom so much that we are willing to be crucified, then it may be done. In death the separation is effected; for it is by the body of Christ that “we” become dead. We are crucified with him. The body of sin is also crucified. But while the body of sin is destroyed, we have a resurrection in Christ. The same thing that frees us from the first husband, unites us to the second. WOR 115.5


A New Creature.-Now we see how it is that we are dead to the law. We died in Christ, and were raised in him. But “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18. Now we may be united to Christ, and the law will witness to the union, and sanction it. For not only is the first husband dead, but we also died, so that, although alive, we are not the same creature that we were before. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Galatians 2:20. We are one. The same law that formerly declared us to be sinners now binds us to Christ. WOR 116.1


A Different Service.-Now that the union with Christ has been effected, we serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. In marriage, the woman is to be subject to the husband. So when we were united to sin, we were in all things subject to sin. For a time it was willing service; but when we saw the Lord, and were drawn to him, the service became irksome. We tried to keep God’s law, but were bound, and could not. But now we are set free. Sin no longer restrains us, and our service is freedom. We gladly render to Christ all the service that the law requires of us. We render this service because of the perfect union between us. His life is ours, since we were raised only by the power of his life. Therefore our obedience is simply his loyalty and faithfulness in us. WOR 116.2


Sin by the Law.-The apostle says that when we were in the flesh, “the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Far from it. The law is righteousness. But it is only by the law that sin is known. “Sin is not imputed when there is no law.” “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” So there can be no sin but by the law. But the law is not sin; for if it were, it would not reprove sin. To convince of sin is the work of the Spirit of God, and not of Satan. He would make us believe that sin is right. WOR 116.3


“Thou Shalt Not Covet.” -It once seemed very strange that the apostle should have quoted only this one commandment as the one that convicted him of sin. But the reason is plain. It was because this one includes every other. We learn (Colossians 3:5) that covetousness is idolatry. Thus the law ends just where it begins. It is a complete circle, including every duty of every person in the universe. “I had not known lust,” or unlawful desire, “except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Now lust is the beginning of every sin, for “when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin.”