Answers to Correspondents.: Women Preaching; Christ as Man and God; Acts 15:29,1 Cor. 10:25; Matt. 13:44; The Shout and the Trumpet Call

Acts 15:29; 1 Corinthians 10:25  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 8
A. B. C.—No one can deny that the preaching of Christian women has been the means of the conversion of very many. But that is no valid reason for regarding it as a divine institution. If women preach in public, and God blesses their labors, we are not obliged to conclude that it is a part of His original design, when the whole trend of Scripture leads to an opposite conclusion. Can He not allow a breach of His order to provoke to becoming zeal the spirit of sluggish men? We believe that to be a solution of the whole matter. Speaking for ourselves alone, we would not dare hinder the preaching of any lady used of God in saving blessing to souls, though, as a man, we might feel it a very humiliating thing. We are sure that if Christian men were more faithful and devoted, they would be His instruments for public testimony and not women. These, indeed, might labor with equal devotedness in spheres for which they are admirably fitted both by nature and grace. They might, like the daughters of Philip the Evangelist, possess a very high order of gift which assuredly is not to be buried in the earth. They might labor in the gospel as Euodias and Syntyche did with Paul. And much more they might do without leaving the place they are designed to fill. But Scripture, as we read it, does not allow us to go further, though we gladly concede that in the wisdom of God women might be stirred up to preach in order to shame the slothfulness of men and to provoke them—if they have any conscience at all—to a work that is legitimately their own.
J. B.—We must guard with jealous care the glory of the Person of the Savior, and tremble lest on so high a subject we utter a word not in accordance with the truth. That He who died for our sins upon the cross was man is most certain, or how could He die at all? That He was infinitely more, even the Maker and Upholder of all things, is equally true, or what would be the value of His death? But we should, hardly be satisfied to say that He died as man, still less that He died as God, for neither statement would, in our judgment, be the whole truth. He who did die to make atonement for our sins was in Himself both. In incarnation "the Word became flesh," as John 1:1414And 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) tells us, and "God was manifest in the flesh," as it says in 1 Tim. 3:1616And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16). Thus in one divine and holy Person there is the union of the two. But this is a profound mystery—a mystery we do not pretend to unravel, and in the presence of which the soul taught of God can only adore.
HELPED.—Acts 15:2929That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15:29); 1 Cor. 10:2525Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: (1 Corinthians 10:25).—We see no difficulty in reconciling these, passages. The former simply enjoins abstinence from meats offered to idols, and the latter bids us eat, asking no questions. If it was known that they had been so offered, the believer was not to partake of them, for the sake of others' consciences, though knowing for himself that the idol was nothing. But if he did not know, he was not to ask questions; let him eat and be thankful. As to Matt. 25, we might not be able to distinguish the wise from the foolish virgins at a glance. God alone can look beneath the surface. But "by their fruits ye shall know them"; and if a man be indwelt by the Spirit of God, we may surely expect to see some evidence of it in his life. Coming now to John 12:2525He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (John 12:25), it means that to love life here, to live only in the present, to have no eye fixed on unseen an eternal things, to make getting on in the world our one object, that is, in reality, to lose one's life. It is misspent and has failed altogether in the purpose for which it was given. To pursue an opposite course is to keep one's life though the world may think it lost. Luke 10:1616He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. (Luke 10:16) had special reference to the Lord's sent ones of that day, though in principle applying now. Certainly ale Lord's servants may depend on their Master to meet their few earthly wants. Finally, we believe Mark 16:1616He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16) holds good still. We have answered your queries with more than our usual brevity owing to their number. In future, kindly let us have one or two at a time, so that, if needs be, we may deal with them more fully.
INQUIRER. —Scripture is much more exact than many suppose. It never confounds purchase with redemption—a thing theologians of differing schools constantly do. The field was bought for the sake of the treasure that was in it (Matt. 13:4444Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44)). Wicked men deny the Sovereign Lord that bought them (2 Peter 2:11But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)). Redemption is another thing, and so far as men are concerned, the term can only be applied to the believer. He alone is redeemed. And redemption is viewed in various aspects. There is redemption by blood, as Israel on the night of the Passover. There is redemption by power, as Israel when they had crossed the Red Sea and the mighty waters had swallowed up their ancient foes; and there is moral redemption, as in Titus 2:1414Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14), "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity." Who, with any reverence for Scripture, ever dreams of applying all this to everybody in the wide world? Purchase is world-wide, redemption embraces only the saved. So with the great truths of propitiation and substitution. "Jesus Christ the righteous" is not only the propitiation for our sins, but also for the whole world (1 John 2:22And 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)). In virtue of this propitiatory sacrifice the door of blessing is thrown open for all to enter in. It is the' widest aspect of the death of the Lord Jesus. But in substitution the thought is narrower, and only embraces those who have faith in Him. Let us not blot out these distinctions by the use of vague and general terms, but rather use diligence to hold them inviolate. By so doing our own soul and those of others will be established and blessed.
T. J. M.—We have no reason to believe that when the Lord returns with assembling shout, with arch, angel's voice and with trump of God, to raise the sleeping saints, to change the living ones, and to take both to be forever with Him, the world at large will be cognizant of it. The shout and voice and trumpet-call will be for those who are Christ's and for no other. And all shall take place "in a moment, in the -twinkling of an eye." The onus of proof rests with those, who affirm that the world will hear. We know of no scripture that says anything of the sort.