||Chosen no: R-688 a, from: 1884 Year.
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FAITH AND WORKS
relationship between faith and works is simple and clear when seen
from a scriptural standpoint, yet very obscurely recognized by the
can never justify us, nor so long as we are under the
imperfections resultant from sin can God recognize works at
all. He is perfect, and cannot accept or enjoy that which is
imperfect. Since of the Adamic race there are none righteous, no not
one, it follows that Jesus' works only are well pleasing and
acceptable to God.
here comes in the province of FAITH. Jesus having "died for our
sins," faith may grasp the fact that he bore our sins in his own
body on the tree and appropriated to us the freedom from
sin--justification which results. Thus we are justified and brought
into fellowship with God, not by our own works, but by FAITH in the
works which Jesus did for us; and as a result of our faith in
the thoroughness of Jesus' work and its acceptableness to God as a
"propitiation [satisfaction] for our sin," we realize that
"there is now therefore no condemnation" resting
upon us in Jehovah's sight. Our works alone could not accomplish this
result, and to attempt to add them to the perfect work which
Jesus did for us would be to doubt the perfection and
completeness of Jesus' work--his sacrifice--and thus to lose all our
interest in it; for it is imputed to us as a result of faith.
it appears that our works are ruled out entirely, and have no
share in justifying us to life. What, then, is the value and province
of works on our part? We reply that when faith has grasped and
appropriated justification through Jesus' work, then we reckoned of
God as thus freed from sin, can bear fruit, i.e., perform
works acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
The works of many
justified ones are really no better, and perhaps
through a larger share in the Adamic fall and depravity, not actually so good as many others, yet from God's standpoint the works of those
justified by faith in Christ's work are counted
absolutely perfect, both the works and the person being
acceptable to God by or through the implied or imputed merits
of Jesus. On the contrary, he who accepts not of Jesus' ransom is not justified; hence, neither himself nor his works would be
acceptable to God. He abides still under the condemnation [the same
word elsewhere translated damnation]--that is on the world.
(Rom. 5:18; Jno. 3:18.)
The whole world, as tried
representatively in Adam, was found disobedient and condemned to the penalty prescribed, viz., excommunication from God and final
extinction of being. This penalty still remains, and is strictly
enforced. (Rom. 5:16.) Consequently the grand aim of
all should be, not to avoid being condemned--it is too
late for that, all are condemned. (Rom. 5:18.)
Our object must be to escape [from] the condemnation that is
on the world.
is only one way to escape, and that is an absolutely certain
and perfect way. God provided it. You cannot escape by your own
righteousness [truly we have none; yours and mine are only "filthy
rags,"] even as you were not condemned for your own sin. We are
condemned on account of another's sin, and a way of escape has been
provided through a ransom given on our behalf.