Scripture Queries and Answers: Taken and Left; Thanks for Bread and Cup; Commendatory Letters; Crafty; 1PE 3:21

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
A.-" Taken" for judgment by the coming King; " left " for blessing in the kingdom. If the Lord had been here speaking of the church or Christian, the taking would have naturally pointed to being caught up to heaven. But the context proves decisively in both Gospels that He speaks of Jews in that future day of His appearing after the heavenly saints have been translated and appear with Him in glory.
A.-Though spirit is far beyond letter, it is sad to allow a slipshod way with the Lord's Supper. Even the Lord Himself, as all three Synoptic Gospels show, teaches by His action what is comely on our part. Nothing can justify irreverence or self-will. We have only to follow Him. As He took bread and gave thanks before breaking it, so He did with the cup. Why should any one depart from His example? Is it not habit, or carelessness?
A.-From such as are known to have the assembly's confidence. If others took on them to write, what weight could they have? If a man wrote of contention or faction, the letter would represent his own bad state. We have the Spirit of God to guide by the word; but all is vain if we be unspiritual habitually, or carried away by prejudice or prepossession at any particular time.
To doctrine, as to discipline, the same principle applies. If a saint were of single eye, the whole body would be full of light. And all things when convicted by the light are manifested. The errors of a Christ born at a distance from God, of uncertainty as to possessed and known life eternal, and of a fabulous propitiation in heaven, distinct from Christ's expiation on the cross, are lies of the enemy; and " no lie is of the truth." Nor will faithful men tolerate any of them, or whittle them down, or pretend that the light does not manifest them. It is grievous to know that any and all of these heterodoxies have excusers, who are more guilty and dangerous by their wicked sophistry than the misled. In such questions, it is " the eye " that is wanted, not "the light," for this is quite clear.
A.-It is the low insult which " deceitful workers " insinuated among the Corinthian saints, to defame the apostle and exalt themselves. They dared to say that, if he did not burden them directly, he all the more craftily reaped what he could through Titus and others. None fall into such depths of baseness as Christian professors alienated and self-seeking. In short then, it is the language, not of the apostle, but of his adversaries, whom he exposes for our admonition; and he calls such words of his speaking " folly," because it was not about Christ but himself, to which their iniquity compelled him,
A.-Christian baptism sets forth, not new birth, but salvation by the work of Christ. We are, as another apostle says, buried therein to His death; the virtue of which was proved by His resurrection. This a good conscience requests and receives. But it is carefully said, to avoid superstitious perversion, " not the putting away the filth of the flesh," which was all that water could do, but what a good conscience as to God asks for, salvation by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For He was given up for our sins and was raised again for our justification. Thus have we acceptance in Him.