The Apostle Paul directs our attention to man in the beginning, crowned with glory and honor, and set over the works of God’s hands. Directing us to fix our gaze upon man in Eden, lord over all that he saw, the apostle continues, “But now we see not yet all things put under him.” Hebrews 2.8. Why not? —Because he fell, and lost the kingdom and the glory. But we still look at the place where we first saw man in the glory and power of innocence, and where we saw him sin and come short of the glory, and “we see Jesus.”
In 1888, Christ came to His own ...
“He came unto His own, and they that were His own received Him not.” He came to His own inheritance, but His own people rejected Him. Jesus set this forth most clearly in the parable of the vineyard which was let out to husbandmen, who killed the heir when he came. See Matthew 21.33-44
Others, however, acted on the principle that Sunday-keeping must be right because, (1) It has been kept by nearly all the world for many centuries; (2) The leaders of the church do not accept the seventh-day Sabbath (see John 7:47, 48), and they certainly ought to know what is right; (3) It would be very inconvenient to make a change; and therefore (4) They were determined not to change. Having come to this conclusion, they felt that it was incumbent on them to give some reason for their course of action, especially since they were very strongly urged to do so by those who kept the Sabbath “according to the commandment.” Accordingly they promptly gave, substantially, the following “reasons:”—
Since He is not ashamed to call us brethren, how dare we be ashamed to acknowledge our kinship with all fallen humanity, and to recognize their claims on us? Perhaps when we learn the full meaning of those words, “He is not ashamed to call them brethren,” we shall experience the full power of the Gospel in our efforts to save men.
The Jews did not believe, therefore they did not get the works of God, and consequently they could not enter into His rest; for since God’s works are perfect and complete, whoever has the works, has the rest, and he in whom the works of God do not show themselves, does not have the rest.
Think a moment of the incongruity of the statement by a professed Christian that he couldn’t live if he kept the Sabbath of the Lord; that he wouldn’t dare take the risk. But if he dare not trust the Lord for the life that now is, how dare he trust Him for the life to come? If the Lord cannot keep us alive for a few short years, what possible hope is there of eternal life?
What is this “Confession of faith,” to which we are exhorted to hold fast? It is that which is referred to in the two preceding verses. A confession is simply an acknowledgment of the truth. The great truth—the Gospel of great joy—for all people, is that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” 1 John 4.2.
We are not sent into the world to chase after sin,—to hunt it out, trace it to its den, investigate it, attack it, and expose it to view to be hated—and then loved. What are we then to do with sin?—Let it alone; simply love righteousness; be a positive force instead of merely negative.
One word was sufficient to dry Mary’s tears, and to bring her in rapture at the feet of Jesus. It was her name, uttered as only Jesus could speak it. He said “Mary,” and she at once greeted Him as her Divine Master, and not the gardener, as she had supposed. Would you like to have the same experience? It is yours already.
Here is the situation: Men have transgressed the commandment, and have forfeited their lives. They are lost. But here comes the message of salvation—salvation not only from the consequences of the transgression, but from the transgression itself, so that there remains no sin to be punished. That is complete salvation.
Man has committed sin of his own free will; but since it was the life of God that was used in the commission of it, God takes the responsibility of it upon Himself, although He was not responsible for it. Sin is most distasteful and abhorrent to God, yet it is upon Him; therefore He says: “I, even I, am He that blots out thy transgressions for Mine own sake.” Isaiah 43.26