"OUT of the depths have I cried unto Thee, 0 Lord." Ps. 130:1. And he did not cry in vain. The depths from which he cried were the depths of sin; for he said, "If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, 0 Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared." "Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities." So out of the depths of iniquity we may cry to the Lord, with the assurance that He will gladly help us.
We can not deceive God, and it is useless to deceive ourselves or others. "The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 1 Sam. 16:7. The circumcision in which the "false brethren" were seeking to induce the Galatians to trust, meant self-righteousness, instead of righteousness by faith. They had the law only as "the form of righteousness and of truth." With their works they could make "a fair show in the flesh," but it was only an empty show; there was no reality in it.
THE first thing to be thought of in every case is the message. In fact, we may say that the only thing that we as Seventh-day Adventists need to know is what is termed among us the third angel's message, which is but another name for the closing up of the everlasting gospel. Paul determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified ; and that was what gave him success.
Keeping the commandments is something more than a form.
THERE are few texts that have been the subject of more anxious inquiry than 1 John 3:9: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." This is made much of by the self-styled “holiness" people, who use it to bolster up their own claims to perfection. They seem to take it for granted that they are specially referred to in the text, and think that all one has to do to be beyond the reach of sin is to profess to be born again.
“Why is it said that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, when just before He is declared to be the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob? I believe the text, but should be glad to have it made more plain through the pages of PRESENT TRUTH."
HERE we must learn, as elsewhere, that the answer lies in the text itself. Of course other texts serve to make it plainer; but in every case the very text over which we stumble has within it the way out of the difficulty.