To Know Everything
A. T. Jones
If on this occasion I can say something to enable you to see the fullness of the truth expressed in the Sabbath-school lesson that you have studied and recited, I shall be satisfied. I do not know whether in this hour I shall get beyond the first verse of your Sabbath-school lesson. It will make no difference if I do not, because to know the truth, with its consequences, that is expressed in that verse, is to know everything. Indeed, all the verses that follow but express the consequences of the truth of that verse.
That verse reads: “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Rom. 5:12.
Whosoever believes that, and grasps the fact there stated, is prepared to understand the fullness of the salvation that the Lord Jesus brought to the world. And whosoever does not so grasp that which is stated in this verse as to recognize it constantly, cannot grasp, in its truth, in its sincerity, the salvation that Christ has brought.
All have sinned: and death came by sin. But all of us have sinned as the consequence of that which was brought to the world,—because of our being in that vortex into which the world was plunged by the sin of that “one man” to whom God gave the world in the beginning. “By one man sin entered in the world.” When sin had so entered by that one man, it was impossible for any of his, of themselves, to rise above that which he had entailed. It was impossible for any of us to receive from him more than he had. And after he had sinned, sin only was that which he had. Consequently, he sunk the human race under the power of sin—in the sea of sin; and because of that sin we all have sinned; and so death has passed upon all. When that one man sinned, death passed upon him; and he never could draw any of us, any of his posterity, higher than he was. Consequently, when he became subject to death, by sin, we all became subject to death, because, being thus crippled, we all have sinned.
But it is the great problem, to begin with, to get mankind to realize that each one is the subject of death,—that only death is that which belongs to us, as we came into the world, and as we are naturally in the world. If each person in the world would hold upon his heart, would hold in his very consciousness, the truth that death has hold on him,—that to death he is subject, as expressed in the Scripture, though not in our translation: “Death is their shepherd,”—that death is the watchman over all mankind,—that death is to each one as a shepherd herding his flock,—there would be a universal readiness to believe the gospel. But by thousands, even of the people who fear the Lord, and who have a heart to serve him, that truth is not recognized, and by the vast multitudes of people it is not believed at all. And that is why the gospel is allowed so little place in the lives of men.
The deception of thinking that they have life in themselves has been for ages, and is still, the bane of mankind. This deception is couched in the conception of the immortality of the soul. Vast multitudes of the human race, and indeed the whole human race, naturally, as it is, have come under the power of that deception—of thinking that they have life themselves so certainly that even the Lord himself cannot deprive them of it. Through the deception in which they are involved, they have come to believe that a part of themselves is “immortal,” and, logically enough, that, therefore, it is “a part of God”—and then the conclusion, “How can God destroy a part of himself?” By that argument they convince themselves that the Lord himself could not destroy them, if he wished to.
The whole human race is naturally under that deception. And the way in which they came under this deception is precisely the way in which they came under the deception of sin. It is a part of the original deception: yea, rather, it is the very kernel of the original deception. For what was it that the deceiver said to the woman, to get her to depart from God into sin? What was it?—“Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be like God.” You will be like the divine, and not subject to death. That was the original proposition in the original deception that brought us under sin; that was the original deception into which the race went by that “one man,” by whom came sin and death; and it is not strange that this deception of men’s thinking that they have life in themselves should be as widely disseminated as is sin. The two things came in together; and they belong together forever.
But the Lord spoke otherwise. Before this deceiver spoke, the Lord had said: “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen. 2:17. And this was the truth. It was the truth when he spoke it; it was the truth the day they ate of the tree; and it is the truth forever. And the only reason that Adam and Eve did not die in the very hour that they ate, is that Jesus Christ stepped in between, and took upon himself the curse of sin, and its penalty of death. And this he did in order that mankind might be delivered from the death into which they had been plunged by that “one man.” Therefore, since the Lord Jesus stepped in between, and himself received the stroke of death that must come upon the man the day he sinned; and since the Lord Jesus did this solely in order that the man might have the opportunity to receive life instead of death, it became essential, and in the gift of Christ that day it was given, that the man and all mankind should have sufficient space in which to breathe to allow them to live long enough to fix each his choice of life or death.
That is the origin, that is the source, and that is the philosophy, of the life which now we have in the breath that we draw moment by moment. It all lies solely in the gift of Christ: it is indeed Christ, and only Christ. Each person to-day and ever is directly indebted to Christ for the life which he has in the breath that he draws moment by moment.
But now, this which we have, which mankind call life,—this is not in reality true life. The Scripture has defined it: the word of God has named it, not in a figure, but in a statement of truth in answer to the ever pertinent inquiry, “What is your life?” And you know the answer. “It is even A VAPOR, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14.
This life which we have is truly only a vapor. It is given merely as a breath,—“for a little time,”—in order to extend to us the opportunity to seize upon life indeed. Without this life which is but a vapor, we should have no opportunity, man himself anywhere never would have had any opportunity, to partake of life indeed. Surely, if it were not that this life, even though it be truly a vapor, were given us, mankind would never have had any opportunity to breathe at all after Adam sinned. And let it be repeated, for it cannot possibly be repeated too often, this breath itself is given us by the gift of the Lord Jesus; and for the breath drawn moment by moment, every soul in the world to-day, and ever, is dependent upon the gift of Christ, which he made when man had sinned.
The word that Jesus spoke, therefore, is literally true,—true in every sense,—when he spoke of himself as “the living bread which came down from heaven,” and “giveth life unto the world.” For all the life that the world has to-day, is because the Lord Jesus gave himself to receive the stroke of death that otherwise must have come upon the man at the beginning, because of the sin that he had sinned. And, in another place, Christ himself said: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Oh, that tells the whole story again! When did Jesus come, in the meaning of that text? When was his coming? When was he offered? At what time was the offering of Christ made? He is the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world.” The offering of Christ, in its very substance, was when, in the beginning, the man had sinned, and had become subject to death because of the sin. Then and there Christ gave himself: there he set himself forth as the offering. Though not actually appearing in flesh, as afterward, though not actually dying the death, yet there he gave himself: the gift was as certainly made then as it is now. Consequently, when he came thus at the beginning, he came that mankind might have life; because just then mankind needed life.
Adam and Eve needed life from that day in the garden; for if Jesus had not then offered himself, if he had not then thus “come,” death would have come to them the day that they sinned. But the Lord Jesus came and gave himself, and thus took upon himself all that was to fall upon them, or upon us, that Adam and Eve might receive what was better. And in the nature of things, they must have breath to enable them to live long enough to give them time to choose that which God had brought,—the gift of himself, which is life. consequently, at that point he came, that mankind might have life. Then, whosoever will take the proper advantage of this breathing space, of this life which is but a vapor, which is given to us solely that we may choose that which is life indeed,—life eternal,—receives life more abundantly. At the moment when the man had incurred death, He came that we might have life, even life enough to allow us to breathe, in order that we might make use of this breathing spell of life in such a way that we should have life more abundantly, even the life which is eternal substance, even as the fullness of the life of God.
So, you can see that this life which all men have for the mere passing moment, is not real life: it is “even a vapor.” And this death that we meet when that vapor “vanisheth away” is not real death: it is a sleep. Only that life which is the life of God is life indeed; and only that death from which there is no resurrection, from whose power there is no possible deliverance,—only that is death indeed. This life which is but a vapor, and this death which is but a sleep, form for mankind a valley of decision between the life which is life indeed and the death which is death indeed. And this life which is life indeed, is the life, and that death which is death indeed, is the death, referred to in the gospel of Christ, in the word of God, in calling us unto himself, and in giving the gift to deliver us from the curse under which we are: “I have set before you life and death. . . . Choose life that you may live.”
So, then, death has passed upon all men: death is the master, death is the sovereign, death is the shepherd, of the human race. But thanks be to God, who gave his only begotten Son; and blessed be the name of the only begotten Son, who gave himself, that we might have life, and that the death might not fall upon us without our deliberate choice.
And behold! in the abundance of his mercy and the greatness of his grace, God gave not merely a single breath to breathe; not haply an hour in which to live; but has given to every one in the world, time upon time, time upon time, hour extended upon hour, day upon day, of this breathing spell, so that, if by any means in the long-suffering of God, each one might receive the gift and lay hold upon life indeed, instead of receiving death indeed at the last, as that which he has fixedly chosen.
Now I turn to the other consequence. You could not live at all to-day except for the sacrifice made by the Lord Jesus. But there is more to this text. Therefore let us read two verses together, in the fifth chapter of Romans: “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” “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.” The thought is: By one man sin came; and therefore by one Man righteousness must come: by one man death came; therefore by one Man life must come. And as certainly as I became an heir of sin by that one man at the beginning, so certainly I must become an heir of righteousness by that one Man who hath appeared “in these last days.” As I became subject to death, possessed by death, by the sin of that one man at the beginning of the world, so I must become heir of life, and possessed of life, by that other one Man “in these last times.”
There is no hope of righteousness to any soul except by that one Man,—thank the Lord,—the last Adam. True, he is the second Adam; but the Scripture calls him “the last Adam; but the Scripture calls him “the last Adam,” and that is better; for, if it had been only “the second Adam,” there might have been a chance for the suggestion, “There may be a third Adam, and that will give me another chance.” But that will never do: there will be no third Adam. The last Adam who can ever come has come. And whosoever shall not be delivered by that last Adam is forever lost. “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” The first Adam sinned; and by him we became heirs of sin. The last Adam sinned not; and therefore by becoming heirs of him, we become heirs of sinning NOT. The first Adam brought death to us all; and the second Adam, by not sinning, brought life to us all. And do not forget that he is the LAST ADAM.
Thus you can see that life and righteousness must come from one source, precisely as death and sin came from one source. And that source must be not myself. Neither sin nor death entered the world by me, but by that one man. There is the means, though not the source. The source, of course, is in the one who stood back of the man, and persuaded him to go that way; that is, Satan. So Satan is really the cause of sin and death, while that one man is the channel through which he plunged this upon the world. On the other hand, God alone is the source of life and righteousness; and that one man, Christ Jesus,—the last Adam,—is the channel through whom life and righteousness are poured upon the world, in abundance, even to “all the fullness of God.”
Therefore you can see that just as certainly as, to find the source of sin and death, we must look beyond ourselves; so, to find the source of righteousness and life, we must look beyond ourselves. And as, to find the source of sin and death in this world, we must look to Satan through the first Adam; so, to find the source of life and righteousness, in this world and in the next, we must look to God through the last Adam, always, always, always.
Look at it on the other side again—on the side of sin. How many sins have appeared in your life that were not there the day that you were born? Is that saying too much? Have you and I accumulated something new, brought something new into the world, in the way of sin, that was not there before we were?—No. All that has ever appeared in you and me is what was in you and in me before it appeared; and it matters not how long in our lives it was before that thing appeared—it was there. True, it was latent; but it was there. But I need not argue upon that: I simply wish to draw your attention afresh to the reality of it, so that each can bring it home personally to himself, that there never has been anything in your life, or in mine, in the way of sin, that was not in us when we were born, and that did not come to us from the first Adam, who brought sin into the world.
But the time came, thank the Lord, when you and I were born again. And remember we are to be born “from above;” born of God; the children of the last Adam; for he, the Child that was born to us, is “The everlasting Father” as well as “The Prince of Peace.”
Then there is a second Father, the last Adam. And since you and I were born again, born from above, created of God in Christ Jesus new creatures, there never has appeared in our lives anything good, and there never can appear anything good, that was not there the day we were born again, and that does not come from him who caused us to be born again.
Then, as certainly as the first Adam is the source of all the sin that ever appeared in us, the last Adam is the source of all the righteousness that ever can appear in us. Therefore, there comes the next verse in the fifth chapter of Romans, the nineteenth verse: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the OBEDIENCE OF ONE shall many be made righteous.” Just so. As by that one man’s disobedience you and I were made sinners, so by that other one Man’s obedience you and I are made righteous. No man was ever made righteous by his own doing. You and I were not made subject to sin, not made heirs to sin, by our own sinning; it was in us before we had time to sin. That which appeared in us was what was in us—even the leading thing in us: and that is the truth forever. Never will anything appear in you but that which was in you before—and it the leading thing in you.
So then, since Jesus is the source of all righteousness, his obedience is that which makes us righteous. Therefore we read on now, in the third chapter of Romans, as to Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin, and all subject to sin. Nineteenth verse: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law:” so that they shall know what sin is; for “by the law is the knowledge of sin,” “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Not to make men guilty,—the law never came to make men guilty,—but to show to men that they are guilty. Neither the law nor anything that is connected with it, is sent to make men guilty; but that men may see that they are guilty,—that they may see where they are, what their condition is,—that they are lost, and need to be saved.
It is not straight; it is not fair; it is not a true presentation, nor representation, of things, to say to persons who are yet sinners, that they “will be lost.” They ARE LOST. They do not realize it; they do not believe it; but it is the truth. God wishes them to find out that it is so, that they may be saved; for “Jesus came to seek and to save”—what? That which might be lost?—No, sir; but to seek and to save “that which was lost.” Listen again: “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that ARE LOST.” 2 Cor. 4:3. Then he to whom the gospel, in its power, in its saving grace, is hidden is lost.
“If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Verses 3, 4. And it is the bounden determination of the god of this world to keep men so blinded that the light of the gospel may never reach them; while it is the longing purpose of God that the knowledge of his law may reach all men, that they may know, in the light of it, that they ARE LOST; and that there also shines the light of the glorious gospel of Christ that they may be saved; and by it, when they believe, they ARE saved. Thus “the law entered that the offense 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.”
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” Rom. 3:20-22.
Who are those that are lost?—They are those “in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” The lost ones are those who believe not. The saved ones are the ones who believe in Jesus Christ the Savior. So then, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” but “all them that believe” are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness [God’s righteousness] for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness [God’s righteousness]: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Rom. 3:22-24.
Now notice how continuous that is: men are justified by faith; saved by the righteousness of God, “without the law.” It is true forever, to all people, in every moment of the life of anyone who believe in Jesus. Listen: “NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested.” Is that word “now” thrown in there merely as a catchword, as we sometimes use the word “now”?—No. That is not the way the Scripture uses words. That word “now” is used in this place because it means just now—at this present time. This is made emphatic in the twenty-fifth verse: “To declare, I say, AT THIS TIME his righteousness.” Put the two verses together: “NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested . . . to declare, I say, AT THIS TIME his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
So, then, you see that that “now” is an everlasting word. It was “now” when Paul wrote it; it was “now” when Luther believed it and preached it; it is “now” yet. Nobody can ever get away from that “now.” “Now”—“at this time”—it is that the righteousness of God without the law is manifested. So no righteousness can ever come to anybody in this world, by any person, or by any means, but by Jesus Christ; and that, as the free gift of God.
And as life must come from the same source as does righteousness, and this must be life that stands over against the death that lasts forever, so it must be a life that stands forever. And so it is written: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
And since it is only righteousness that goes with life,—and this life is eternal life,—it is only eternal righteousness that can ever go with eternal life. And since eternal life must come from God to me, or I shall never have life that is life indeed; and since I must have eternal righteousness in order to have eternal life,—it follows only that eternal righteousness must come from God to me, or I shall never have either righteousness that is righteousness indeed or life that is life indeed.
Now I wish you to consider for a little while what really is sin: what it is in essence. You know the divine definition: “Sin is the transgression of the law.” Now I wish you to consider what it is to transgress the law. Is it only the positive doing of something that is evil?—No; it is the COMING SHORT of positively doing that which is good. Is it not written that “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all”?
In another word, sin is the coming short of the righteousness of God. To come short of the righteousness of God is to transgress the law. Then, whatever righteousness I may present, whatever deeds I may do, as obedience to the law of God as it stands in his word, which, in any sense at all, or to any degree at all, comes short of the righteousness of God, that is sin: it is indeed transgression of the law. This is emphasized by the fact that both in the Hebrew and in the Greek the word that God selected by which to convey to the minds of men the root-thought of what is sin, of what is transgression of the law, is the word that means to “miss the mark;” and to miss the mark by coming short.
It was in the time when they used bows and arrows that the word was selected. A man, with his bow and arrow, shooting at a mark, would aim most carefully, and would do his very best, to hit the mark: all his intentions were good; his purpose and his endeavor were of the best; but yet he could not reach the mark. He missed the mark by coming short. He was not strong enough to give to the arrow that impetus which would carry it so that it would hit the mark. Remember he did not miss the mark by overshooting, but by coming short of it. That is the root-thought in the word which God chose, both in the Hebrew and in the Greek, to convey to mankind the idea of what sin is.
Now no man in the world is strong enough, doing his very best, to hit the mark of the law of God, which is only the righteousness of God; for “all have sinned, and come short.” That mark is too high as well as too far away for us to hit it. But, bless the Lord, “when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” And in Christ alone we find the hitting of the mark. Therefore, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:13, 14. In Christ it is, only in Christ, that we find the righteousness of God, which is the keeping of the law of God. Only in Christ do we find the keeping of the law of God.
Come then, look with me at that law. By it is the knowledge of sin. That covers everything. All there is in sin is covered by that. Suppose you and I look into the law of God and get the brightest, clearest possible view that a man can get of that law. Suppose we see its demands, in the greatest breadth that a man can; and that we actually fulfill, to perfection, all the breadth of it that we see—have we really fulfilled it? Think of that. Have you? Have you then fulfilled the law as God fulfills it? as God would if he were in your place?—Oh, no. We have fulfilled only what we could see. But have we seen it all, in its intensity of righteousness?—We have not. No one but God can, for it is only the law of God.
That law being the law of God, only God’s righteousness is truly manifest in it: it expresses only that; so it is the reflection of what God is, in character. And that being so, nobody but God can see the true measure of the righteousness that is in the ten commandments. And there is the fallacy of our thinking that we can do true righteousness by keeping the ten commandments. We cannot grasp the righteousness of the ten commandments. do righteousness by keeping the ten commandments.as. If we were able to grasp it, we might do it. But that would require that we be infinite in understanding. But there is none infinite but God. Therefore none but God can grasp the infinity of the law of God.
There is another phase of this: I look into that law, and I see to the greatest height and breadth that I can; and I do to perfection all that I see—whose is the doing?—It is only mine. I have done it to perfection according to my understanding. I have done all that I can see. But the seeing is only mine, not God’s; and the doing is only mine, not God’s; therefore all the righteousness of such doing is but mine, not God’s. Now put this with that. The only righteousness that any man can ever see in the law of God is his own righteousness. And God can see in the law his own righteousness.
Therefore, I state the principle in a broader way: The only righteousness that ANYBODY, God or man, can see in the law of God is his own righteousness. But when God sees in the law of God his own righteousness, it is all right: for it is the righteousness of God; it is holiness; it is the genuine. But when we see in the law of God our own righteousness, it is only “filthy rags;” it is only self-righteousness; it is only sin.
Therefore it is written, in the lesson that you will have for next Sabbath, and don’t forget it when you come to it: “If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Gal. 2:21. To nobody in the wide universe does righteousness come by the law. Righteousness, to angels as to men, as the gift of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the universe, with God. Consequently, there is no righteousness that comes to anybody but by the faith of Jesus Christ. And when the cross was set up on Calvary, it became the center of the universe. The cross of Christ contains the whole philosophy of the plan of salvation: it is the seal of salvation to the angels who never sinned; it is the sign and seal of salvation to men who have sinned. To the angels who never sinned, the cross of Christ is the seal of certainty that their righteousness will abide forever, that they will never sin; to sinful men, it is the sign and seal that they will be saved to the uttermost from all sin, and held in righteousness for evermore.
So, then, righteousness cometh to the world only as the gift of the Lord Jesus. “Now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, . . . even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ.” He is the One through whom it comes; he is the One who paid the price of it, who took upon him the curse; the One who bore the penalty and paid all the claims of sin and death, upon every soul. And to him belong the glory, the honor, and the majesty for all the righteousness of men who have sinned; and for the security in righteousness of angels who never sinned.
This is the gospel, and this is the salvation which the Lord Jesus brought. And this gives a glimpse of the mighty thing that sin is, and of what a fearful depth it is to which sin has plunged us, in plunging us into death—when it took such a gift, and such a price, to deliver us. But, thank the Lord, the deliverance in righteousness and life is as high on that side as the loss in sin and death is deep on that side. And so it is written: “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me”—may have, or maybe shall have, everlasting life? Is that it?—No, no. To you it is written; to me it is written; listen: “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life [listen more], and shall not come into condemnation; but [listen yet more] IS PASSED from,—what? All who know the word, say it. [Voices: “Death.”] “Is passed from death.” Then where was he before he believed?—He was in death. Where is the man who to-day hears the words of Jesus Christ, and does not believe them? Where is he, whoever he may be or wherever he may be? Suppose he belongs to the church? [Voices: “He is in death.”] And has his name on the church book; but does not believe? [Voices: “He is in death.”] Comes to meeting on Sabbath, hears the word of God which Jesus brought, and yet does not believe on him? [Voices: “He is in death.”] Look at it. And Again: “He that loveth not his brother abideth”—abideth, abideth—“in death.” 1 John 3:14. Where is he, then?—He is in death, in the power of death: death is his shepherd.
That emphasizes what we had at the beginning, and all the way through—that death is the only portion of anybody in this world who is outside of Jesus Christ. They are subject to death; death is their ruler, sovereign, and shepherd, who attends them as they go here, there, and everywhere. But, thank the Lord, there is salvation to every man in the world; for he who came CONQUERED DEATH. He conquered death; bless his name.
And note the power that is in him to conquer death, and the power that was displayed in him in the conquering of death. He gave himself up, bodily and wholly, to the power of death. He went into the enemy’s prison-house; he allowed himself to be locked up there, in the bonds of death, and a great stone was rolled unto the mouth of the sepulcher, and the sepulcher was sealed with the seal of the Roman Empire. So, both by the chief of the spiritual powers and by the chief of the temporal powers of this world, the Lord Jesus was locked in the power of death. But, being dead, he broke the power of death!
It is a little enough thing that one who is alive should break the power of death. But, oh, the majesty, the divinity, the infinity of the power of him who, being dead, could break the power of death! That is the majesty of our Savior, of the Lord who has bought you and me, and who is able to, and who does, set us free from the power of death. And when this “vapor” vanishes away, and we lie down, Christ will say, as of Lazarus, He “sleepeth.” True, he was, and we may be, locked in the bonds of death. But what does that amount to when our Lord has so completely conquered all the power of death? Therefore it is written: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I [I who was dead] am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of heel and of death.” Rev. 1:18. That is the power of our Savior.
Look at it again. He came forth from death. Why?—“Because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Think of it! All the power of death exerted to the fullest extent of all temporal and spiritual powers of this world,—all that power could not possibly hold in death him who was DEAD. Bless the Lord! [Voices: “Amen.”] What has he, the Mighty One, to fear from death even? Oh, death is conquered, and the victory is ours to-day, who believe in Jesus. For it is written: “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but IS PASSED FROM DEATH unto LIFE.” Thank the Lord!
Oh, then, rejoice in the life which is life indeed. Stand up as Christians, holding up the head. Take the long, deep breath that belongs to him whose life comes from the depths of the Eternal. This is the salvation which the Lord Jesus brings, and gives, full and free, to every soul. Then drink it in, and rejoice in it for evermore. Tell it to those who are dead. Carry the good news to those who are lost,—that here is salvation—salvation from sin—salvation from death; for he, being dead, conquered death, and manifested the divinity of his power. And rejoice for evermore in it all.
And now let us sing that blessed hymn, never too old, never too familiar, No. 123.
[Would you not? Then, as we sing it, let the spirit that is in it be in you and in me, in thankfulness, in praise, and in gladness.]
“I’d sing the character he bears
[It is his character that is my hope],
[It will take to everlasting days to do it; and, bless the Lord, we have everlasting days in which to do it.]
“Well, the delightful day will come
[when we shall have the chance. It begins now, it is true; but now, with our weak, harsh voices and trembling lips, we cannot make all his glories known, and cannot sing them becomingly. Yet, bless his dear name, “the delightful day will come”]
This “Sermon” was original broken up and published in 3-parts, due to its length, in the “Advent Review and Sabbath Herald.” It was originally printed in a section entitled “Sabbath-school work” without an actual title to this sermon, so liberty was taken and one was selected from within the first paragraph which represents the contents.
It has been reassembled here as one document. The references to the three articles are below:
- A. T. Jones, “The Sermon. The Sabbath-school Work,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 77, 42 (October 16, 1900), pp. 659, 660.