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OBJECTION VI. Continued.

MISINTERPRETED SCRIPTURES.


II. We come now to consider some Old Testament passages which are perverted in such a manner as to prove that no man can be delivered from sin.

1. "If they sin against thee (for there is no man that sinneth not)." I Kings 8:46; II Chron. 6:36. "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." Ecc. 7:20.

Bible students tell us that in the original these passages read, "That may not sin," thus simply showing the possibility of falling. But suppose we should grant that Solomon meant, as our version reads, that there was no man that was free from sinning, what does this prove? Suppose there were none free from sin in his day, does that prove that all who commit sin today when we are living under the full blaze of gospel light? Surely not. As well might we accept the following passage from Solomon to be true today when everyone knows that in religious matters wise women far outnumber wise men. In seeking wise people he says, "One man among a thousand have I found (and may be that was himself); but a woman among all those have I not found (perhaps his thousand wives and concubines)" — Ecc. 7:28.

2. "If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me if I say, I am perfect, it shall also, prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul; I would despise my life." — Job 9:20-2l

What does it all prove although Job should declare he was not perfect, one that knew more than he about his heart said that he was "a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil." — Job 1:1, 8 and 2:3.

3. "Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly." — Job 4:17-18.

No man ever claims to be more just or pure than God. Angels fell into sin and were full of folly.

"How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? Behold, even to the moon, and it shineth not, yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. How much less man, that is a worm, and the son of man, which is a worm?" — Job 25:4-6.

No man in himself is clean in God's sight, all his purity is given him of God, and without God's ever-abiding presence we will inevitably lapse into sin.

5. "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sins?" — Prov 20:9.

No man can cleanse his own heart, but Jesus came to this world, lived and died to cleanse his people from the power and in-being of sin, and his life is a success.

6. "A just man falleth seven times (not seven times a day as some quote), and riseth up again." Prov. 24:16.

There is more than one way of falling; James mentions one. "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." Jas. 1:2. Temptation is not sin.

III. Passages wrested from their obvious meaning.

1. "And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." — Matt. 19:16-17.

Jesus did not mean to state that he himself was not good, but just the opposite. The young man had come for advice and in his anxiety had ascribed to Jesus one of the attributes of divinity. Jesus took occasion to apply the truth that if he (Jesus) was good (and he did not deny the fact) then it must follow that he was God, and hence the conclusion must inevitably be drawn that when he should speak it would be with authority. He then proceeded to show his divine insight and authority by uncovering the young man's sins and demanding reformation.

No man in himself is good, but the Bible mentions several persons that were good because God made them good.

2. "And forgive us ur sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." — Luke 11:4.

There are two definitions of sin in vogue among professors of religion. One makes all mistakes and involuntary transgressions of the law whether caused by ignorance, weakness or otherwise, sin. In this sense of the word all men must pray for the forgiveness of sins. The other definition allows of these shortcomings and does not call them sin.

No holiness professor ever claims infallibility; he always admits that he has constant need of the blood, not only to keep him but to cleanse him from his errors, known and unknown.

IV. Obscure passages that are made to uphold sin.

1. "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me and he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." — II Cor. 12:7-9.

This thorn in the flesh has been variously interpreted by the best scholars to mean sore eyes, a false apostle; his infirmities, severe headaches, etc. But when holiness fighters want an excuse for the necessary indwelling of the thorn, sin, they know sin is exactly what Paul's thorn means. From all such knowing people may we be delivered.

2. "I die daily." 1 Cor. 15:31.

When people desire to fight holiness they can think of no possible meaning for this expression but dying to sin. The apostle mentions a number of things in his experience as death which have no connection with dying to sin.

(a) He died daily by bearing constantly the criticisms of the world: "For I think God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men." 1 Cor. 4:9. Read also verses 8-13.

(b) He died daily by bearing the reproach of Christ. "For thy sakes we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Rom. 8:36. "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp (where he died) bearing his reproach." Heb. 13:13.

(c) He died daily by fellowshipping the sufferings of Christ: "That I might know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." — Phil. 3:10.

(d) He died daily by bearing burdens for the lost and for the church: "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (The reason for the death is given thus.) So then death worketh in us, but life in you." II Cor. 4:10-12.