PAGES FROM THE PAST
February 1, 1987 Issue
M. Lynwood Smith
I'm not sure if this fine article comes from the files of The Truth or the early issues of The Old Paths Advocate. I have had this in typewritten form for 30 years or more. I once entertained an idea of putting Bro. Harper's articles in print, but have not done it. This is another one of his fine works.
H. C. Harper
We now come to a very important distinction made in the word of God--that between faith (personal faith) and "the faith"--"the faith of Jesus Christ,"--the faith that came by Jesus Christ. And we shall take the text, the third verse of Jude--"Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints."
We found (Jn 1:17) "the grace and the truth" that came by Jesus Christ in distinction from the law that came by Moses. And now we shall find "the faith" set out in distinction from the law. We read: "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before the faith came, we (Jews) were guarded under the law, having been shut up into the faith about to be revealed; so that the law has been our pupil-guard to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But the faith having come, we are no longer under a pupil-guard; for ye are all sons of God in Christ Jesus through the faith: for as many as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ--Gal 3:22-27.
Again: "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all of them that believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."--Rom 3:21 -24.
And when Peter wavered to bring the Christians under the law, Paul met with him with "If you, being a Jew, livest as do the Gentiles, and not the Jews, why dost thou advocate to Judaize the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ?" Gal 2:14-16.
Again: "Let us run with endurance the race lying before us, looking unto Jesus the institutor and completer of the faith."--Heb 12:2. (It is not "our," but "the," in the original.)
Again: " But they only heard that he who once persecuted us, now preaches the faith which once he ravaged" (Gal 1:24), "showing that all preached the same gospel, one faith" (Eph 4:5), "the faith." (This is a plain refutation of those who claim that Peter and Paul preached a different gospel.)
Again: "The word of the faith, which we preach" (Rom 10:8), shows that it was "the faith" which all preach. Yes, it is "the"--"the faith" here in the original; and Paul goes on here to show that this is the same thing as "the gospel," in saying, from Isaiah: "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things."--v. 15. Again: "But they have not all obeyed the Gospel."--v. 16.
Now we see "the faith" is preached; and we learn that "A great multitude of the priests were obedient to the faith."--Acts 6:7. And Peter says of the Gentiles, after he commanded (Acts 10:48) them to be baptized, that God "Put no difference between both us (Jews) and them, having purified their hearts by the faith."--Acts 15:9. (Yes, it is "the--the faith," in the original.)
We have seen (Rom 3:21 -24) that "the faith" is now Gods "righteousness," that is, Gods way of making people, sinners, right with him. And the Jews that rejected "the faith of Jesus Christ" were left unsaved, as Paul shows in Rom 10:1-24.
Now, the commands in "the faith" to be obeyed are: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9, 10; Mark 16:16). "Repent ye" (Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30; Lk 24:47). "Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus" (Rom 10:9), 10; Mt 10:32; Acts 3:37; Acts 22:16). "Be baptized" (Acts
2:38; Acts 10:48; Acts 8:38; Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16).
"With the heart man believeth unto righteousness."--Rom 10:10. This makes faith in Christ as the Son of God come before righteousness is obtained. "Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life--Acts 11:18. This makes repentance come before "life," spiritual, is obtained. "Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus... with the mouth confession is made unto salvation ."--Rom 10:9, 10. This makes confession with the mouth of Christ as the Son of God (Acts 8:37) come before "salvation" is obtained. "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins--Acts 2:38. This makes repentance and baptism come before "the remission of your sins" is obtained.
"Dead in your sins" before baptism, Col 2:11-14. "Dead to sin" and "alive unto God" after baptism (Rom 6:2, 11).
"Ye were the servants of sin; but God be thanked that ye obeyed from the heart that form (form, tupos-burial and resurrection of Christ; tupos the burial and resurrection by baptism) of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."--Rom 6:17, 18. This obedience comes before "made free from sin"--obedience in baptism.
"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having for given you all trespasses... If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." --Col 2:12, 13; 3:1, 2. "Salvation before baptism," is a doctrine of the devil. The unbaptized is "dead in your sins." When baptized. he is "dead to sin, but alive unto God."--Rom 6:11; I Pet 2:24.
At baptism, the sinner comes "into Christ."-- Rom 6:3; Gal 3:27. At baptism, the sinner comes into the death of Christ."-- Rom 6:3. At baptism, the sinner comes "into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Mt 28:19. And no one outside this name is saved, for only those baptized are to be taught to live as children of God "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."-- Mt 28:20. Thus teach whom? -Those baptized.
Only those baptized have "put on Christ--Gal 3:27. No one out of Christ is saved. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."--Mk 16:16. This makes belief and baptism come before "saved.
Again I say: The doctrine of "saved" before baptism is not true.
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