Correspondence

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31. Swansea. Presenting our bodies a living sacrifice as in Rom. 12:11I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1), is yielding ourselves up, in the activities of the members of our natural bodies, in obedience to the word of God, as constrained by "the mercies of God/' previously brought out in this Epistle. This must be connected with the sacrifice of the claims of self, and the lusts of the flesh.
32. " M.," Newport. Thanks for your kind and encouraging letter, and the enclosed verses. The Lord be praised for all the goodness and mercy you speak of in connection with this little Magazine.
33. " M. A. H," Hastings. It is remarkable how many souls have been troubled with the texts you point out. " For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." (Heb. 10:26, 2726For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26‑27).) And also that other scripture, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, &c.....If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." (Chap. vi. 1-7.) Now if these scriptures mean, as often understood, that if a believer should sin, and for a believer to sin is to fall away from Christ, and cease to be a child of God; if this is the meaning, then who can be saved? This would make the Christian's position far worse than a Jew's. Once a year there was the day of atonement; or, if he sinned, and his sin came to his mind, he could bring another sin-offering. But here is no more repentance, no more restoration: nothing but fearful judgment named in the text quoted; this cannot possibly be the meaning. This Epistle is addressed to the Hebrews. The multitude that believed were also zealous for the law. (Acts 21:2020And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: (Acts 21:20).) The temple still standing and its sacrifices, that could never take away sins, still offered. The Jews had had much elementary truth, but not the perfect truth; and the object of the Spirit is to lead them on from the imperfect to the perfect (Chap. vi. 1, 2); from the baptisms and laying on of hands, that is, on the heads of bulls and goats, &a, to that which was perfect—the one offering of Christ. It was a transition state. They were assembling together as purged worshippers by the blood of Jesus, and, yet not understanding the difference, were offering sacrifices. And some were forsaking the assembling of themselves as Christians. Now it is quite clear, if any fell away from Christianity, that which they had professed -gave it deliberately and willfully up, and went back to the washings and offerings of the law—there could be no such foundation laid again of repentance. The sacrifices and ritual of the law had lost all value now Christ the Holy One had offered Himself the sacrifice for sins.
And more, for a Jew to give up Christianity and to go back to Judaism, he would have to treat Christ as accursed, to trample upon Him as an imposter. If then one that despised Moses' law died without mercy, " of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God." &c. (Ver. 29.) Those who did thus go back were never born of God, were not the children of God. To use the figure of chapter 6:7, "The earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it," &c. They had been in the blessed shower they had tasted, but they had never drank it in so as to bring forth fruit. They were the stony ground, wayside hearers, who had never received the truth into a prepared heart. " We are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." (Chap. 10:39.) Have you thus given up Christ, trampled Him under foot, and gone willfully to Judaism? We admit there is an awful warning in these verses to the Unitarian, who has given up the atoning death of the Son of God. And perhaps equally solemn to those who deny the eternal efficacy of that one sacrifice, by pretending to continually offer up others. To the believer the context of these scriptures clearly teaches the eternal salvation, eternal redemption which we have in the one sacrifice, the one offering that forever perfects those that are sanctified. (Heb. 5. 9. 10)
34. "J.," Walker-on-Tine. Though the word "resurrection'' may not be found in the Old Testament scriptures, the doctrine of the resurrection of the body was clearly taught, and the fact known. Our Lord went back to the books of Moses, when meeting the Sadducees, who denied there was any resurrection, to establish the doctrine from scripture. He said, " Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob; for he is not a God of the dead, but of the living, for all live unto him" (Luke 20:37, 3837Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. (Luke 20:37‑38).) Job also said, "Though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." (Chap. 19:26.) Abraham accounted also that God was able to raise up Isaac from the dead. (Heb. 11:1919Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (Hebrews 11:19).) In Psalm 16 the resurrection of our Lord—path of life after death—was plainly foretold. "My flesh also shall rest in hope, for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (hades), neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corruption: thou wilt show me the path of life." (Vers. 10-12.) We know that His flesh saw no corruption, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Cor. 15:44And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:4).) People in Old Testament days were also acquainted with the fact of resurrection, for not only was the prophet " revived and stood upon his feet" when a man was let down and touched his bones in the sepulcher, (2 Kings 13:22And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom. (2 Kings 13:2).1); but "women received their dead raised to life again," as, for instance, the widow's son, and the Shunamite's son.
Our Lord taught more than the truth of the resurrection of the body. He distinguished between "the resurrection of the just," or" of life," and "the resurrection of damnation," or judgment, and, in the original, we see clearly that He set forth the doctrine of resurrection from among the dead. He said, "They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from [from among] the dead," &c. (Luke 20:3535But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: (Luke 20:35).) He Himself is spoken of as "the firstborn from [from among] the dead" (Col. 1:1818And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18)), because others are to be raised from among the dead. This distinction has been overlooked by many.
The mystery brought out in 1 Cor. 15:5151Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (1 Corinthians 15:51), refers to the living saints when the Lord comes, because it begins with " We shall not all sleep."