An Interpretation of the English Bible JAMES, I and 2 THESSALONIANS I and 2 CORINTHIANS by B. H. CARROLL


An Interpretation of the English Bible

JAMES, I and 2 THESSALONIANS
I and 2 CORINTHIANS

by B. H. CARROLL
Late President of Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

Edited by
J. B. Cranfill

BAKER BOOK HOUSE
Grand Rapids, Michigan

New and complete edition
Copyright 1948, Broadman Press
Reprinted by Baker Book House
with permission of
Broadman Press
ISBN: 0_8010_2344_0
First Printing, September 1973
Second Printing, September 1976

PHOTOLITHOPRINTED BY GUSHING _ MALLOY, INC.
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
1976

CONTENTS

A. General Forward v
I. Historical Introduction to James 1
II. An Analysis and Exposition of Chapter I 11
III. The Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 25
IV. Teacher and Tongues 32
V. General Admonitions and Applications 41
VI. Introduction to I Thessalonians 56
VII. Exposition 67
VIII. A Lesson on Christian Morals 76
IX. A Body of Rules 87
X. Introduction and Exposition to II Thessalonians 96
XI. The Second Coming of Christ and the Man
of Sin 105
XII. The Plan of Salvation – Some Lesson on
Discipline 120
XIII. Introduction to I Corinthians 129
XIV. The Salutation – Eloquence and Factional
Divisions 139
XV. The Preacher and Factions 150
XVI. The Revolt Against Paul’s Apostolic Authority 158
XVII. The Relaxation of Morals 168
XVIII. The Perversion of the Lord’s Supper 179
XIX. The Misuse and Abuse of Miraculous Gifts 192
XX. Love, the Greatest Thing in the World 203
XXI. The Gift of Tongues 212
XXII. Marriage, Divorce, and the Position of Women
in Public Assemblies 226
XXIII. The Resurrection of the Dead 238
XXIV. Death and the Resurrection of the Dead 246
XXV. The Great Collection; Many Adversaries; In_
ferior, but Worthy Brethren; Household
Churches; and Anathema Maran_atha 256
XXVI. Historical Introduction and Exposition 263
XXVII. The Two Covenants 272
XXVIII. The Gospel Ministry and the Glory That Is to
Come 284
XXIX. The Ministry of Reconciliation 295
XXX. The Great Collection for the Poor Saints
Jerusalem 304
XXXI. Exposition and Paul’s Reply to His Enemies 309

I
HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION TO JAMES

The first point to which attention is called is the place of
this epistle in the New Testament canon. This letter of James,
and some others, were called antilegomena. In other words,
they were in dispute or in doubt. Later on the letter of
James received universal acceptance. After a careful exami_
nation into its claim it was received by all Christian people
as a part of the New Testament, until the Reformation.
Luther, in the preface to his commentary on it, uses language
which may be translated thus: „A very strawy epistle.” The
thought with him was that it flatly contradicted the teaching
of Paul on justification by faith, and Luther would not accept
anything from anybody that contradicted that teaching. The
trouble with Luther was that he misconceived the teaching
of James. It is quite true that the letter of James was slow
in coming into circulation, but it gradually worked its way
into general acceptance, and there is no just ground for ques_
tioning its authenticity or canonical place.
The heading in the King James Version is, „The General
Epistle of James.” The word „general” is left out of the
American Standard Revised Version. The Greek word,
katholikos, meaning „general,” or „universal,” is not found
in the Bible, neither in the Greek of the Old Testament nor
in the Greek of the New Testament. That is one of my objec_
tions to the position of certain Baptists on the universal, or
Catholic Church; they should not insist upon using a word
which has not the recognition of the Word of God, neither
in the Old Testament nor in the New Testament. It is cer_
tain that the word „general” was put there some centuries after
Christ, and it was meant to indicate the character of seven
letters: James; I and 2 Peter; 1, 2, and 3 John; and Jude.

The letters of Paul to the Romans, to the Corinthians and to
Timothy, are special letters. The word „catholic,” when it
first came into use, did not mean orthodox, but simply gen_
eral, as opposed to particular, or special. Later it came to
mean orthodox – „the holy Catholic Church.” It does not
belong in the New Testament, and hence the revisers very
wisely left it out.
Who wrote this letter, how, when, why, and to whom was it
written? As to who wrote this book, our own answer is, James,
the eldest half_brother of our Lord; that is, he was younger
than Jesus, who was Mary’s first_born, and the first son of
both Joseph and Mary. And yet it is a question which has
been very much controverted in some of its phases, and I
must go a little into the controversy. In Mark 6:3, the peo_
ple of Nazareth say concerning Jesus, „Is not this the car_
penter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses,
and Judas, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with
òus? And they were offended in him.” The first question to
be determined is, what was the relation of these four brothers
there mentioned, and these sisters whose names are not
given, to Jesus, the Son of Mary? I refer the reader to some
elaborate discussions on the conflicting theories. The best,
clearest, simplest, and most forcible is found in Dr. Broadus’
Commentary on Matthew on chapter 13:55. In Schaff’s „His_
tory of the Christian Church” (page 272, Vol. I, second edi_
tion), the author discusses the matter with great clearness and
force, and agrees with Dr. Broadus throughout. Another book
is Lightfoot on Galatians, one of the finest commentaries ever
prepared. Dr. Lightfoot elaborately discusses the question of
the relationship of these four men and these unnamed sisters
of our Lord. He takes a different position from Dr. Broadus
and Dr. Schaff. These authorities are accessible, and a bright
student who wants to keep up with the discussions on impor_
tant matters in the Bible should acquaint himself with these
discussions.
Here is the sum of the whole matter: There are three
theories as to who these people were. One theory is the one
advanced in my answer, that they were the younger half_
brothers and sisters of Jesus, Joseph and Mary being their par_
ents; hence it is called the brother_theory, as Dr. Broadus
describes it. This is styled in classical history, „The Helve_
tian Theory.” About A.D. 383 Rome, which was coming into
power, attacked this position.
Second theory: They were the children of Joseph by a
former marriage and were half_brothers of our Lord. That
is called the theory of Epitheanus. That is the theory Light_
foot advocates, and the theory upon which the Greek Catholic
Church stands. (The first theory is sometimes called the
Protestant theory.)
Third theory: That they were cousins of Jesus, the children
of Mary who was a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
And this theory maintains the identity of James, the brother
of our Lord, and James the son of Alpheus, in the list of the
twelve apostles. It also maintains the identity of Jude, the
author of another letter, with Judas, not Iscariot, another one
of the apostles, and that the Simon mentioned in Mark 6:3
was another one of the apostles. So this theory claims that
three of the brothers of Jesus Christ were apostles. Then it
also identifies Alpheus and Cleopas. This is the Roman Catho_
lic theory, and its object is to prove the perpetual virginity
of Mary, the Mother of our Lord. Later, the Roman Catho_
lics by an „infallible” bull declared the perpetual virginity
of Mary, and made its acceptance essential to salvation.
The Catholic theory is in every way preposterous. The idea
of making three brothers of Jesus members of the original
twelve of the apostolic college, when just a little while before
Jesus was crucified, John says emphatically that his brothers
did not believe on him, and every time they are mentioned
it is in contradistinction to the apostles, has no basis in fact.
They are never mentioned in a way to make it possible to
believe that they were apostles. Evidently sentiment had
much to do in influencing some Protestants to deny that they
were brothers of Jesus.
We count it settled that James, Judas, Joses, and Simon,
mentioned in Mark 6:3 as brothers of Jesus, were really his
brothers. This brings us to another question: Did James,
this brother of Jesus, write this letter? It could never have
been James, the son of Zebedee, because we have an account
of his death in Acts 12. All of the arguments go to show
that the author of this book is James, the half_brother of
Jesus.
Having settled as to who wrote the letter, we want to get an
idea of the writer, and shall now form a connected Bible his_
tory of the man. We will take Dr. Broadus’ Harmony of the
Gospels and follow it as far as it goes.
1. John 2:12 (Harmony, p. 20), reads: „After this we went
down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren and
his disciples; and there they abode not many days.” Here
the names of the brothers are not given, but it shows that this
family of children follow that mother and go around after
Jesus. That is just after Jesus worked his first miracle. In
the working of the first miracle it speaks only of Jesus and
his mother being present, but undoubtedly his brothers were
there then. That is to say, that when he left to go to that
wedding, his mother and brothers went with him, and from
that wedding they went and sojourned all together a little
while in Capernaum. Jesus gets an invitation to a wedding,
and in order to get Jesus they invite his mother and the more
obscure members of the family.
2. Matthew 12:46_47, with Mark 3:31_32, with Luke 8:19
(Harmony, p. 59). Let us see Matthew 12:46_47: „While
he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and
his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him. And one
said _unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand
without, seeking to speak to thee.” Then Mark: „And there
come his mother and his brethren; and, standing without, they
gent unto him, calling him. And a multitude was sitting
about him; and they say unto him, Behold, thy mother and
thy brethren without seek for thee.” Luke says: „And there
came to him his mother and brethren, and they could not come
at him for the crowd.” It must be clearly stated as to what
the object was. Here Jesus was teaching, and he was so very
busy that he did not stop to eat. The report of that comes
to his mother and these half_brothers of his, and they come
there to arrest him, just exactly as we would get out a writ
of lunacy for any man that will work so continuously with_
out stopping to eat. It is important to see the relation of
these brothers to Jesus as it ‘is presented in the scripture. It
is on that occasion that he says, resenting the interference with
his work by his family, „Who is my mother and my breth_
ren?” And waving his hand to his disciples he says, „These
are my brothers. Whosoever doeth the will of my Father, the
same is my mother, my brother, and my sister,” placing dis_
cipleship and obedience far above any fleshly relation to him.
As later he was going to the cross a woman cried out, „Blessed
is the mother that bore thee,” and he said, „Yea, rather blessed
is she that doeth the word of God.”
3. Matthew 13:55 with Mark 6:3 (Harmony, p. 70): This
is the second time that Jesus comes to Nazareth, and coming
into his own country he taught them in their synagogue, inso_
much that they were astonished and said, „Whence hath this
man wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the car_
penter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary?” Notice what
Jesus said about that: „A prophet is not without honor, save
in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own
house.” So we see that up to this time he was without honor
with his own kin.
4. John 7:3 (Harmony, p. 3): „Depart hence, and go into
Judea, that thy disciples also may behold thy works which
thou doest. For no man doeth anything in secret, and himself
seeketh to be known openly. If thou doest these things, mani_
fest thyself to the world. For even his brethren did not be_
lieve on him. Jesus therefore saith unto them, My time is
not yet come; but your time is always ready. . . . I go not up
yet unto this feast.” That was not a very great while before
his crucifixion, and shows the attitude of his family toward
him so far.
5. I Corinthians 15:7 (Harmony, p. 229): After he arose
from the dead he appeared unto his brother James. So far
as the Bible teaching goes, up to the time after the resurrec_
tion when Jesus appeared to James, the very man that wrote
this letter, he had not been a Christian. Hence he could not
have been one of the twelve apostles.
6. Acts 1:14. When he ascended into heaven, the angel
said to those who were looking at his up_going, „Why stand
ye looking into heaven?” Then it is said that they went back
to the upper room, Mary and his brethren. There, doubtless
with the crowd, they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
There were 120, including the brothers.
7. Galatians 1:19 with Acts 9:27. That is Paul’s first visit
to Jerusalem. He says, „When I made that first visit to see
Peter, I saw him, but did not see any other of the apostles,
but I did see James, the brother of our Lord.” He did not
say that James was an apostle. Dr. Broadus and Dr. Schaff
both say that the Greek and also the margin in the revision
do not imply that James was an apostle; it says, „I saw no
other apostle but Peter, but I saw James.”
8. Acts 12:17. Peter escaped from prison and told the
crowd that was praying in the house of John Mark’s mother
to go and tell James that he had escaped, indicating that by
this time James occupied a position of authority. In other
words he was pastor of the first church at Jerusalem. The
apostles were not pastors; they had general work to do.
9. Acts 15, with which compare Galatians 2:9. That is the
time that the great conference was held at Jerusalem concern_
ing Paul’s work as to whether the Gentiles were to be re_
ceived into the kingdom of God without becoming Jews.
James presided over that meeting, as the pastor of the Jeru_
salem church, because the man who made the trouble came
from his church, and the first church at Antioch had referred
this question to the church where the trouble had originated.
James makes a speech on that occasion, as well as Peter, Paul
and others, and James is unquestionably the author of the
letter which was adopted by the church.
10. Galatians 2:12. That is after the whole matter had
been settled by that conference; Paul says that, at Antioch
when certain ones came from James, Peter and Barnabas
began to dissimulate; they had heretofore been eating with
the Gentiles.
11. I Corinthians 9:5. That shows he was a married man.
12. Acts 21:18. That is on the occasion of Paul’s last visit.
James is still the pastor.
13. The last reference, except the letter itself, Jude, verse 1:
„Jude, . . . brother of James.”
Here then are thirteen references which put clearly before
us the author of this letter. He was an intense Jew, very much
devoted to the law and to the customs of his people. That he
never did become such a Christian as Paul and others we
shall see as we study his epistle.
We have found the writer of this letter to be James, the son
of Joseph and Mary, and half_brother of our Lord. And we
have studied his history in the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles,
up to the time that he writes this letter. Now for some fur_
ther questions.
1. To whom does he write this letter? The answer is: Not
to the Gentiles anywhere, not to Jews of any kind in the Holy
Land, not to Christian Jews in the Holy Land, but to Chris_
tian Jews of the dispersion. As verse I says, „James, . . . to
the twelve tribes which are of the dispersion.” That brings
up the old question of the „lost ten tribes.” And this context
shows that James does not consider that they were lost. The
Old Testament shows that the ten tribes who were transported
to Assyria, and most of whom never returned, were not lost.
A great many of them came back, and the continuity of the
tribes was kept up, which can be proved by many scriptural
references, in both the Old and New Testaments. The Greek
word, diaspora, „the dispersion,” needs to be understood. The
word, „dispersion,” occurs a number of times in the Bible, and
it means that a large class of Jews, who at different times
were carried away into several captivities, or who went away
for purposes of commerce, or trade, and settled in foreign
countries, losing in the long lapse of time their mother tongue,
and speaking only the tongues of the people where they lived,
losing a great many of the scriptural customs of the people
who lived in the Holy Land, yet maintained their nationality.
These people came up to the great feasts. They were there
on the day of Pentecost, when James received the baptism
of the Holy Spirit; they were there from the banks of the
Euphrates and the Tigris, from Mesopotamia, which means
„between the rivers”; from all places in Asia Minor; from
Southern Greece and Rome and Northern Africa. And they
remained there until they were first dispersed by the perse_
cution of Saul of Tarsus and the persecution mentioned in
Acts 12. As they bad gone away, James writes to_them. They
had been there together in that great meeting, very probably,
on the day of Pentecost. The first deportation of these people
was when the ten tribes were carried into captivity, then later
the Jews in Judea were carried away, still later Alexander
established a great number at Alexandria, in Northern Egypt,
at the mouth of the Nile, and Pompey carried a great number
of them into captivity to Rome. In Egypt they received
special privileges. A temple was built there, and an immense
part of the influence on the thought of the world comes from
the Alexandrian Jews. I am explaining now to whom this let_
ter was written, and what was the occasion of the writing.
These people had been there and had been through this long
persecution; now they were scattered to their several homes,
and James is writing to them.
2. When did he write ‘it? He could not have written it after
A.D. 62, for he was killed at that time, as is told by Josephus.
He did not write it after A.D. 50, because there is an absence
of reference in it to later controversies. So that my opinion of
the time is somewhere about A.D. 45, corresponding in date
with the incidents mentioned in Acts 12. There was then a
great persecution raging. James, the son of Zebedee, was
killed, and Peter was imprisoned. The members of the church
were scattered abroad. James was the head, or pastor of that
church. There were probably 100,000 members in it. We can
see the concern he would feel when these people were all
driven abroad. The reasons for this early date are not merely
the appropriateness of the occasion, which has just been stated,
but it is evident from this letter itself that the line of de_
marcation between Christians and Jews was very slight. The
Christians were still meeting in the synagogues. Later, they
separated from the Jews at the synagogues, and either rented
houses of worship, built them houses, or met in private homes.
3. Why did he write this letter, or what was his object?
Three reasons, from the letter itself, evidently influenced him
more than all others put together. The first one is that these
dispersed Jews were suffering severe trials and persecution,
and he wanted to show them how to receive and to bear these
trials. In the second place, a great many Jews had accepted
Christ intellectually, but were not regenerated. Just like the
devil, they believed in God, and so James says, „Thou believ_
est there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe
and tremble.” It was this barren faith that was not influencing
many of their lives for good. And then a characteristic of
them at home and abroad was that they were a very „fussy”
people, regular „Kilkenny cats,” fighting in their synagogues
at every meeting, and eight years later destroying the nation
by their fighting in the streets of Jerusalem against one an_
other. He is writing to these suffering people, some of them
holding on to Christ with a spirit of nominal faith, to show
them that the true faith endures suffering and is fruitful in life.

QUESTIONS
1. What is the meaning of antilegomena, and what are the antilegomena epistles?
2. What did Luther call the epistle of James, and why?
3. Is there any just ground for questioning the authenticity of this letter?
4. How did catholikos come to be used in this title, and when?
5. What did it mean originally? 6. What did it come to mean later?
7. Who wrote this letter?
8. What three theories concerning the relation to our Lord sustained by the children named in Mark 6:3?
9. What is included in each of these theories?
10. In general terms, how do Protestants, Greek Catholics, and Roman Catholics align themselves on these theories?
11. What is the object of the Catholic theory?
12. What was the „infallible” bull respecting this?
13. What caused some Protestants to deny that those named in Mark were brothers of our Lord?
14. Where may we find the clearest and strongest presentation of each theory?
15. Why could it not have been James, the son of Zebedee, who wrote this letter?
16. In the Protestant theory, meet the objections based on John 19:26_27?
17. Observing the order of time in citing passages, trace the New Testament history of the James named in Mark 6:3.
18. From this history show how it was impossible for him to be one of the twelve.
19. Who, then, was the author of this letter?
20.What was his character, reputation, and death, according to Josephus?
21. What his acquired position among Jerusalem Christians?
22. What his position both as a Jew and a Christian?
23. To whom was this letter written?
24. What old question does verse I bring up?
25. What James’s position on that question?
26. What is the meaning of the Greek word diaspora?
27. What is the difference between the Jews of the dispersion and of Palestine?
28. On what occasions did they assemble at Jerusalem?
29. What were the great deportations of the Jews?
30. What the occasion of this letter? 31. When did he write it?
32. What the proof? 33. Why did he write this letter?

II
AN ANALYSIS AND EXPOSITION OF CHAPTER I
James 1:1_27.
ANALYSIS

The salutation, from whom to whom, 1:1.
The body, or matter, of the letter:
1. Concerning trials from without.
God himself chastens his children in love, and often permits
Satan and evil men to afflict them in malice as a test of faith
and as a discipline, therefore –
1. Count them for a joy through discipline (1:2_4). (Com_
pare with the case of Job, who did not know how nor from
whom to count them, and with the case of Paul, who did
know.)
2. If you need wisdom in order to do this – ask God for it
(1:5_8). (Compare the case of Solomon, I Kings 3:5_13; and
4:29_34.)
3. But ask in faith (1:6). (Compare the Lord’s teaching in
Mark 5:36; 9:23_24; and Paul’s, Romans 4:18_21; and He_
brews 11:6.)
4. Having regard to other laws or conditions of acceptable
prayer (4:3).
5. For there are two kinds of wisdom, unlike in origin, na_
ture and result (3:13_18). (Compare Genesis 3:6; 2 Corin_
thians 11:3; Galatians 3:1; I Corinthians 1:18_22.) (Compare
the Greek legend of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, spring_
ing full grown from the brain of Jupiter, with Milton’s repre_
sentation of Sin, in the form of a beautiful woman, coming
from the brain of Satan – Paradise Lost, Book II.)
6. How the foregoing directions may be made to apply im_
partially to both rich and poor brethren (1:9_11).
II. Concerning temptations from within (1:13_17).
Note how the same word in one connection means a trial,
in another connection means an incitement to evil.
1. Incitement to evil not from God (1:13_17).
(1) Because opposed to his nature (1:13, 17_28). He is the
Father of lights. He is unchangeable. He willeth our regen_
eration. (Compare I Timothy 2:4 and Ezekiel 33:11.)
(See the author’s sermon on „God and the Sinner.”)
(2) Because opposed to his practice of giving good things
only (1:17).
2. Incitement to evil from the devil (4:7). (Compare Gen_
esis 3:1_5; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Galatians 3:1; I John 3:8_12.)
3. The commission of sin man’s own act (1:14). This ap_
pears from the analysis of sin (1:14_15.) The complete order
is:
(1) Incitement by Satan. (2) Desire. (3) Will to gratify
it. (4) The deed. (5) Death. (6) Hell. (Compare the genesis
and development of the first human sin, Genesis 3:1_8; and
the case of Achan, Joshua 7:20_21. See the relations of Satan,
Sin, Death, and Hell) and Dogs or Remorse in Paradise Lost,
Book II, lines 648_814.)
III. Concerning the word of God.
1. Its offices:
(a) The means of regeneration (1:18).
(b) The mirror for disclosing imperfections (1:23).
(c) The perfect law of liberty (1:25).
2. How communicated in effecting regeneration (1:21).
Note the implanting of a seed, and compare the parable
of the sower, the seed, and the four kinds of soil, Matthew 13:
4_9, 18_23; with Jeremiah 4:3. See also I Peter 1:23.
3. How received when so communicated (1:21).
4. How treated when received:
(1) Forsake the evil it condemns (1:21).
(2) Do the good it enjoins (1:22).
(Compare Isaiah 1:16_17; 55:7; Matthew 7:24_27. See also
John 14:15; 15:14; Acts 2:37; 16:30_31; 22:10; with 26:19.)

OBSERVATIONS

The Mirror. – Let the reader explain the mirror illustration,
showing how and why the word of God is so used.
The case of Mr. Moody, his dirty boy and the mirror, show_
ing the mirror’s use, not for washing, but to disclose dirt, or
imperfection, and by thus convincing the one looking in it of
the need of cleansing. Let the reader compare the mirror_
illustration of James with Paul’s mirror illustration (2 Cor.
3:18) and point out clearly the distinctions. Illustrate Paul’s
use by the Peruvian Temple of the Sun in Cuzco. Read
Keeble’s poem on Paul’s illustration.
The Law of Liberty. – Let the reader fix clearly and firmly
in his mind the New Testament idea of liberty, who is the
liberator, what the bondage from which he delivers, how the
word of God operates in securing the liberty, and why it is a
perfect law of liberty. To this end see the discussion in John
8:31_36; Galatians 4:21_31 and 5:1; Romans 6:14_20.
Compare Ingersoll’s lecture on „Liberty for Man, Woman,
and Child,” delivered in Waco, with the author’s reply thereto.
Read Bishop Soule’s sermon on „Perfect Law of Liberty,” in
Methodist Pupil of the South, and mark the points from
which you dissent, if there be any.
IV. A definition of practical religion.
1. Negative, i.e., vain religion (1:26).
(1) Deception of heart
(2) Unbridled tongue
2. Positive, i.e., pure and undefiled (1:27).
(1) Keeping oneself unspotted from the world
(2) Visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction

OBSERVATIONS
Note all the New Testament uses of the words here rendered
„religion,” „religious.”
Derivation of the English word.
Read F. W. Robertson’s sermon (in Vol. Ill) showing the
mission of James to teach the moral rectitude side of the gos_
pel rather than dogma.
V. Concerning faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. It must be held without respect of persons (2:1_7), i.e.,
the conduct of one believer in Jesus toward another believer
in Jesus must have regard only to the claims of a common
humanity and of a common salvation, disregarding distinc_
tions based on race, nationality, tribe, caste, sex, titles, honors,
social position, wealth, or poverty. (Compare Deuteronomy
1:7; Luke 18:42_45; 22:24_27; Acts 10:34; Galatians 3:28;
Colossians 3:10_11.)
2. It must fulfil the royal law (2:8).
3. It must be held without respect of commandments (2:9_
12).
Note the unity, or solidarity, of the law. Illustrate it. Who
wrote the following couplet?
Compound for sins they are inclin’d to,
By damning those they have no mind to?
What the legend of Jupiter and the two bags?
4. It must be evidenced by good works (2:14_20). Case
of Abraham (2:21_24). Case of Rahab (2:25). Questions:
(1) What said Luther of this letter, and why?
(2) And yet what says Luther about faith and works in
his preface to the epistle to the Romans?
(3) In what sense do works justify?
(4) Meaning of „perfect” in 2:22?
(5) What says Paul of the relations between grace and
faith on the one hand, and good works on the other hand?
(See Ephesians 2:8_10; Titus 2:11_15; 3:4_8.)
(6) What the theory of Dr. J. B. Link, editor Texas Bap_
tist Herald?
(7) Why was Rahab’s case selected by James, and in He_
brews 11:31?
VI. Concerning teachers (3:1_18).
1. A caution against many teachers (3:1).
2. The teacher must bridle his tongue, because:
(1) This makes the perfect man. Note the relative power
of the tongue (3:2_4). Note the illustrations – the bridle, the
helm, the forest fire.
(2) Because the devil’s tongues of fire are contrasted with
the Spirit’s tongues of fire at Pentecost (3:6_12). These
tongues are restless, untamable, forked, full of deadly poison,
worlds of iniquity, set on fire of hell, setting on fire the whole
course of nature.
(3) The teacher must seek the true wisdom, because there
is another wisdom earthly, sensual, demoniacal.
Note: – The tongue has slain more than the sword, and has
burned up more homes and cities than all the incendiaries in
the annals of time.
VII. General applications and exhortations
1. Inordinate lusts originate strife and nullify prayer (4:
1_3).
2. The spirit of divine love within us is jealous against the
world love tempting us (4:4_6).
3. The great direction (4:7_10).
4. Censoriousness libels laws and usurps the divine pre_
rogative of judgment (4:11_12).
5. The twelve tribes are dispersed by the lust of commerce,
which presumes on the future and ignores the divine will (4:
13_17).
6. The follies and ‘iniquities of the rich (5:1_6).
7. The coming of the Lord teaches patience (5:7_8).
8. The outlet for great emotions (5:9_13).
(1) Not murmuring
(2) Not swearing
(3) But prayer or praise; the case of Job
9. Directions for the sick (5:14_18).
(1) Send for the elders of the church
Query: Who are they?
(2) Anoint the patient with oil
Why? Is this direction binding now? Is this the Romanist
extreme unction?
(3) The promise
(4) Confession of sin
Query: Is this the Romanist auricular confession?
(5) Elijah’s case the example of prayer
Query: Is it right now to pray for rain?
10. Conversion of a sinner (5:19_20).
Query: Meaning of „shall cover a multitude of sins”?
We shall now give the main points in the analysis of chap_
ter I, as follows:
(1) Salutation – from whom to whom (1:1).
(2) Trials from without and how to receive them (1:2_13).
(3) Trials from within – their origin, development, and ter_
mination (1:13_17).
(4) The Word of God – its nature, its offices, and how to
treat it (1:18_25).
(5) Seeming and Real Religion (1:26_27).
I will now commence the exegesis according to that analysis.
I would not, for worlds, have this letter of James left out, and
if when we get through, the reader does not see that it is a
great letter and of inestimable value, then I shall question
his judgment.
First the salutation, 1:1: „James, a servant of God and
of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of
the dispersion, greeting.” We have, in an introductory chapter,
specified what James this was. We see that he counts himself
God’s servant, and the servant of Jesus. Considering that all
during the life of Christ he did not believe in his brother, and
that he was converted only at the resurrection of Christ, it is
astonishing in this book to see how complete is his faith in
Jesus as the Messiah: „The Lord Jesus, the Christ.” Those
to whom he writes, the twelve tribes of the dispersion, we have
just considered.
We now take up trials from without, and how they are to
be received. „Count it all Joy, my brethren, when you fall into
manifold temptations.” Pretty hard thing to do, isn’t it? Job
had a hard time counting his trials joy, and we notice in Paul’s
case it makes him shouting happy because God counted him
worthy to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ. But we have to
have religion to do that. „Count it all joy.” Why should it
be? „Because the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
„Tribulation,” says Peter, „worketh patience.”
A most charming lady, a member of my church in Waco,
and one of the sweetest spirits that I ever knew, came to me
one day and said:
„I just pray and pray for patience, and about the time I
think I am patient, here comes some new trouble. Tell me
about it.”
„Why,” I said, „that is the mill that grinds patience, viz.:
tribulation, and so if you really want to be patient, then you
must count these tribulations that come on you, joy, for they
will bring you the patience, if you are rightly exercised by
them. And in order to profit by it, let patience have her per_
fect work, that you may be patient and endure, wanting
nothing.”
The word, „perfect,” does not mean sinless in the New Testa_
ment at any time. It means mature. Perfection means matur_
ity. Just here the trouble comes up with any of us when
subject to these trials from without – we are not wise enough
to know how to receive them. Hence, the next direction, „If
any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all
men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.”
He knows that a lack of wisdom oftentimes causes us to fail.
The case of Solomon is in point. He was a young man when
he was made successor to his father, and while he was offering
sacrifices in the tabernacle, God came to him in a dream at
night and said (how would you, dear reader, like to be ap_
proached by day or night and have God pressing this question
on you?), „What do you want? Make a selection. I will give
it to you.” Solomon says, „Lord, give me wisdom. I am a
little child, and I do not know how to go out or to come in,
and you have put me at the head of a great people, and I have
to discharge my duty. I must have wisdom.” God was so
pleased that he not only gave him wisdom, but riches and
honor, and many other blessings.
How different would be the answer of most people to that
question. Perhaps one would say, „I want a spring bonnet.
That is the thing that is standing between me and happiness.”
Another would say, „I want to feel my fingers in the neck of
my enemy.” What a tremendous thing is that wisdom! I do
not mean knowledge. There is much difference between wis_
dom and knowledge. The wisest man is not the man that
knows. Wisdom is the application of knowledge. To know
just what to do, to know just how to do it, and to know how
to do it at the right time – that is wisdom. It is a rare gift or
qualification.
I heard an old Baptist deacon say, „Our pastor, if we ever
get him up in the pulpit, is not only a Boanerges, a son of
thunder, but he is a Barnabas, a son of consolation, but just
as soon as he steps down out of the pulpit, he has not sense
enough to lead a goose to water. He needs a guardian.” And
the old deacon told the truth. He was called „the Spurgeon of
Texas,” and he was called also the „inspired idiot.” Out of
the pulpit an idiot, and in the pulpit a flame of fire. He was
a schoolmate of mine.
Most of the trouble that comes upon churches comes from
a lack of wisdom on the part of the pastor. They do not know
how to handle with the proper delicacy cases of discipline.
Without ever understanding it, a great many pastors make
themselves the occasion of a split in a church) of endless strife
and confusion. We can get wisdom in no other way than by
asking for it. One says, „I asked for it, but did not get it.”
Let me give the next verse. „But let him ask in faith, nothing
doubting, for he that doubteth is like_the surge of the sea,
driven by the wind and tossed. For let not that man think
that he shall receive anything of the Lord; a double_minded
man, unstable in all his ways.” Ask in faith: „Whatsoever ye
ask in my name, according to the law of God, and believe, ye
shall receive.”
The most of us are like the old woman, who read where it
says, „If you have faith equal to a grain of mustard seed you
could say to the mountain, be moved into the sea, and it would
be moved.” So she concluded she would try it, and she prayed
that a certain mountain might be moved into the sea. The
next morning she says, „There it is. I knew it was going to
be there. It is Just as I expected.” This is the way of our
faith in praying.
These trials from without come upon rich and poor alike.
The rich in the trial finds that his wealth has taken to itself
wings and flown away, and he is brought down to a low estate.
They have their trials. The poor man also has his. They are
not the same in all cases, but there is no road from here to
heaven that does not pass through tribulations. A man that
properly endures trials that come upon him from without has
this glorious incentive, that when he is tried he shall receive
the crown of life which the Lord has promised to them that
love him. In the letters of Peter we find out how he treats the
same subject.
We now come to the trials from within: „Let no man say
when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot
be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: but
each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust.”
We have the responsibility of that inward sin, and we must
not put it on God. God never enticed anybody to do evil. The
food. She desired; she was enticed by her desire. Achan, not_
enticement must come from our own desire. Eve looked upon
the fruit of the tree of death, and it seemed to her good for
withstanding the prohibition of God about the spoils of Jeri_
cho that were devoted, consecrated to God, saw the goodly
Babylonish garment, and a wedge of gold, and he wanted
them. Now, it isn’t worth while for Achan to say, „God put
me in a position to see that.” The origin of our desires cannot
be put on the shoulders of some one else.
Here is the finest analysis of the inside sin, its development
and its termination, that I know of anywhere: „Then the lust,
when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is
full grown, bringeth forth death.” Desire; sin, death! We will
have occasion more than once to call attention to James’s pow_
er to analyze a fact, to show its development, its culmination,
and its fruit. In verse 17 he shows why that this enticement
to sin does not come from God: „Every good gift and every
perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of
lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that
is cast by turning.” That is what comes from God. If it is a
good gift, a perfect gift, it comes from above; it comes from
the Father of lights, it comes from that God with whom is no
variableness or even shadow of turning. Apply what James
says as to how to treat trials that come from the inside. That
is the secret of life. This is an intensely practical writer, and
if one cannot apply what he says, then he will go through life
soured, unhappy, unprofitable.
Let us look at his great discussion on the word of God
(w. 18_25). The analysis says, „The word of God, its nature,
its offices, and how to treat it.” It is a seed, an implanted
seed: „Receive with meekness the implanted word.” The word
is „planted” – „the implanted word of God.” And how often
do we find that the word of God is treated as a seed! „The
sower went forth to sow,” the parable of tares, the parable of
the seed that groweth by itself, and then in the Psalms, „He
that soweth in tears shall reap in joy,” and „he that goeth
forth weeping bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come
again rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” And the pas_
sage in Peter, „born again, not of corruptible seed, but of in_
corruptible, by the word of God that liveth and abideth for_
ever.”
If the word of God as to its nature is an implanted seed,
then what are its offices? First, it is an instrument of regen_
eration. The record says, „Of his own will he brought us forth
by the word of truth.” How is regeneration to be brought
about? By preaching the word. The sower goes out and sows
the word – the seed, which is implanted, and becomes the in_
strument of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. What is the
second office of this word? That is expressed in verse 25: „But
he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and
so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth, but a doer
that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.” There
the word of God is called the law of liberty, that is to say,
„Whoever takes the word of God reaches real liberty.”
Ingersoll came to Waco when I was pastor there, and de_
livered his notorious lecture on „Liberty for Men, Women, and
Children,” and I replied to it from the pulpit: „If the Son
shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed,” and showed what
was real liberty and how this liberty is to be found.
The word of God brings liberty; to deliver from the bondage
of sin, the bondage of Satan; it translates us into the kingdom
of God. We can get these three lessons: (1) It is the instru_
ment of regeneration. (2) It is a mirror for revealing sin.
(3) It is the perfect law of liberty.
I heard Dr. Richard Burleson preach a great sermon on
„How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed
thereto according to thy word.” That is ‘in Psalm 119. Every
verse of it has reference to the word of God. The young man
in his ways is inclined to be a slave. How shall he be free?
„How shall be cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto ac_
cording to thy word.” „The entrance of thy word giveth
light.” Whosoever liveth in darkness and dark places is in
slavery. There must be light in order to be free.
One of the most famous Irish orators in an address pictured
Ireland as a woman in shamrock and bound, and then pleaded
for the liberty of Ireland, and as he held up his hands he said,
„There shall come a day in the providence of God when Erin,
poor Erin, shall be redeemed and regenerated and disenthralled
forever.” If it ever comes it shall be by the Irish people’s tak_
ing greater heed to the Word of God. This is the way to get
that kind of liberty.
Let us now review a little. This letter was written by James,
the half_brother of our Lord, the son of Joseph and Mary. It
was written from Jerusalem. It was written about A.D. 45. It
was written to the dispersed Jews that had become Christians.
In the analysis of this letter there was presented: First,
what James had to say concerning trials from without; that
God himself chasteneth his people for their discipline, and
permits the devil and evil men to persecute them in malice.
He then tells them how to receive these trials; to count them
a joy through discipline, and if they need wisdom, to ask God
for it. But they must ask in faith, and they must have regard
to the other laws of God. For instance, a man may ask and
not receive because his object is to use what he asks for his
own pleasure. The direction to go to God for this wisdom
arises from the fact that there are two kinds of wisdom, one
from above, first pure and then peaceable, and bringing forth
the fruits of righteousness; the other earthly, sensual, devil_
ish; that does not come from God. He then shows that these
directions apply just as much to the rich man as to the poor
man. His first point is that. Still speaking in review, he then
takes up the same word, „temptation,” but uses it in another
sense. And concerning these temptations from within he shows
that God is not the author of them – that God never entices
any man to evil. He cannot do it on account of his nature,
and he gives only good things and never evil things; that this
enticement to evil may indeed come from the devil or from
some other man, but when the sin is committed by the man
the responsibility rests upon him. It is his act, no matter who
entices – man or devil. This appears from the analysis of sin
which he gives, that every man is tempted when he is drawn
away by his own desire, and that desire when it has conceived
bringeth forth sin and sin when it is full grown bringeth forth
death. One of the finest points in the epistle is the fixing of
the responsibility of the commission of sin upon man.
The next subject that he discusses is the Word of God, in its
nature, as a seed implanted. In this letter James gives the
offices of the Word of God. In its first office, it is a means of
regeneration – „Begotten by the word.” In its second office,
it serves as a mirror. A man looking into a mirror discovers
his own imperfections. The mirror faithfully presents himself
to himself, just as he is. The Word of God is to be used as a
mirror. Paul also uses the mirror illustration in another sense.
Where and what?
In the next office of the Word, it is the perfect law of liberty,
that is, it is the means through which, when properly observed,
the slave to sin becomes a freeman to Jesus Christ. That per_
fect law of liberty is a great pulpit theme. There is a sermon
on „The Perfect Law of Liberty” by a leading Methodist,
Joshua Soule, who was bishop in the South when the division
took place between the North and the South. It may be found
in a book, The Methodist Pulpit of the South, and it will jostle
a young preacher to read it. No Baptist will accept all of it,
but it is intensely interesting.
The Word of God is the means of regeneration, a mirror for
convicting of sin and the perfect law of liberty. James then
tells how this Word is communicated, and in that way he
brings out its nature as of a seed implanted: „Receive ye the
implanted word of God.” And then he asks how it is to be
treated when it is received. Then he answers, „Forsake the evil
which it condemns and do the good which it enjoins.” Then he
gives a loose, but very practical definition of practical reli_
gion in four strokes, two of them negatives: „If any man
thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his
tongue, but deceiveth his heart, this man’s religion is vain.” And then defines pure and undefiled religion with two strokes: He must keep himself unspotted from the world; he must visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction. The reader will notice the ethical use of the phrase, „Pure and undefiled religion.” Look up the etymological definition of religion. How is the word derived? It is a big word over the world. Here we recall the song:
“Tis religion that can give sweetest pleasures while we live;
„Tis religion must supply solid comfort when we die.

QUESTIONS
1. Give the main points in the analysis of chapter 1.
2. How does James characterize himself in the salutation?
3. What is in this book about James that is astonishing?
4. How are trials from without to be received, and why? Illustrate by Job and Paul.
5. What illustration from the author’s life?
6. What the meaning of the word „perfect” in the New Testament?
7. Why the direction just here concerning wisdom?
8. Illustrate by the life of Solomon.
9. What the difference between wisdom and knowledge?
10. What the point of the case of the „inspired idiot”?
11. How obtain wisdom, and what the one essential in obtaining it? Compare our Lord’s and Paul’s teaching on this point.
12. What the two kinds of wisdom, and what the characteristics of each? Compare the Greek legend of Minerva and Milton’s representation of sin.
13. What incentive to endure trials?
14. How may the foregoing directions be applied to rich and poor?
15. Whence come trials from within?
16. Why does not this enticement to sin come from God? From whom does it come, and what the proof?
17. What examples in the letter, of James’s power of analysis in tracing things to their fountain head.
18. What the complete order of his analysis of sin? Compare the cases of Eve and Achan, and also Milton’s description of the relation of Satan, Sin, and Death.
19. What is the Word of God as to its nature?
20. What are its offices according to James?
21. Compare James’s use of the word „mirror” with Paul’s, and illustrate each.
22. What the New Testament idea of liberty, who the liberator, what the bondage from which delivered, how does the Word of God operate in securing liberty, and what the perfect law of liberty? Compare Ingersoll’s lecture on it.
23. What is one of the finest points of this letter?
24. In four strokes give James’ practical definition of religion.
25. What is the etymological definition of religion?

III
THE FAITH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
James 2:1_26.

The second chapter of James is a discussion of one theme.
It is concerning the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. James
attempts no definition, either abstract or theological. But in
an intensely practical way he shows the distinction between
the true and the false faith in so many particulars that the
chapter is a perfect mine of religious wealth. First, the true
faith must be held without respect to persons. A man wants
to know whether he has faith in Jesus Christ or not, and
James gives him the practical side of it. Good and true faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ must be without respect of persons.
The man who has faith in Jesus must not, in the exercise of
that faith, make a discrimination between people of high de_
gree and low degree, between rich and poor people.
There is one plane of humanity and one plan of salvation,
just as the eagle had to swoop down and fly into the door of
the ark over whose portals the snail crawled.
There was not any top place for the eagle to come in. All
who stand upon one plane of humanity are to be favored with
absolute impartiality, and as Paul puts it, „In Christ there is
neither male nor female, Barbarian, Scythian, Greek nor
Jew.” In other words, all distinctions based on race, nationali_
ty, tribe, property, wealth – everything of that kind is lost
sight of in the exercise of true faith in Jesus.
He gives some reasons why there must be no discrimination
in the exercise of faith in favor of the rich as against the
poor: „You observe that it is from the poor that God calls
those who are richest in the faith, and that it is the rich that
oppress you, and that if you make discrimination in favor of
the rich, and you do that in the church when you meet, you
dishonor the poor.” This is the first test of faith. It must be
without respect to persons.
Second, it must fulfil the royal law, i.e., the words of the
King of law: „Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Paul
says that love is the fulfilling of the law. James calls the law
to love your neighbor as yourself the royal commandment –
the king of all the commandments. Who first wrote, „Thou
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”? Who originated that?
The third test of faith is that it must be held without re_
spect of commandments. This faith in Jesus Christ cannot
go to God’s commandments and pick out some of them and
say, „I like these; I will keep them,” and to others and say,
„I do not like these; I will not keep them.” He goes on to
show the unity and solidarity of the law, and in that way
proving that one must not have faith with respect to com_
mandments; that the law is a unit; it is a solid thing, and that
if a man is guilty of one thing he is guilty of all. A rope is
no stronger than its weakest part, and a chain is no stronger
than its weakest link. Suppose a man has stolen $500, and
when he is brought into court he says, „I have not killed any_
body.” The fact that he had not killed anybody does not
save him from any other part of the law. Therefore, James
says that they must hold their faith without any respect to
commandments. In a sermon on this subject I ventured to
quote Samuel Butler, an old English poet, who tells of those
who
Compound for sins they are inclin’d to,
By damning those they have no mind to.
Many people lay to themselves an unction of complacency by
talking about the sins of other people: „Just look at that mur_
derer, or that thief,” while they may, though innocent of those
particular offenses, be guilty of others just as bad.
A fair illustration of this is what I call „The New England
Conscience.” I call attention to some points upon which the

New England conscience acted very strangely. Nearly all the
writers from New England write about the purity of the New
England conscience. It has always been a strange conscience
to me. That conscience said, „For you to persecute us is sin.
It is all right for us to persecute you.” That conscience said,
„The sin of the Southern slavery will not let us sleep, but our
own sectional sins put us to sleep.” That conscience said, „It
was an awful thing for South Carolina to threaten only to nul_
lify a Federal law, but it was patriotism for us to nullify many
times, actually, a Federal law.” That New England conscience
says, „It is a sin for you people in England to persecute us,
but if we whip Roger Williams and burn a few witches that
is not sin.” That conscience said, „Southern secession is trea_
son, but it is patriotism for us to originate and teach the doc_
trine of secession as the best thing for ourselves.” That
conscience said, „It was treason for Beauregard to train his
guns upon the Federal flag floating over Fort Sumter,” and at
the same time it canonized John Brown for pulling down the
Federal flag. That conscience said, „It was a sin for the South
to disrupt the Constitution, ” while they themselves said, „The
Constitution was a covenant with death and a league with
hell.” That conscience pilloried Gen. Early for burning one
town, but it glorified Sheridan for burning all the homes in the
Shenandoah Valley and Sherman for burning a section seventy
miles wide from Atlanta to Savannah. That conscience said
that it was a great sin for Federal soldiers to be ill treated
in the Civil War, but it was not pained at all at the ill treat_
ment of the Southern soldiers. I doubt not that there are
Southern sins of a like nature, for which we condemn Northern
people.
James says that when one exercises faith he must exercise
it without respect to commandments. He must not discrimi_
nate. One man says, „I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ,
but I don’t see any use in being baptized and joining the
church.” In other words, he says, „It is true that baptism
means immersion, but why take a damp road to heaven, seeing
that a few drops of water are just as efficacious as the ocean?”
A soul that trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ will say, like Paul,
„Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” And then say, „Where_
upon, 0 King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly
vision.” The word of Jesus Christ will be sufficient, and that
is what James has to say upon that point.
Then he goes to the next point when he says that this faith
must be fruit_bearing. A man may say, „I will show you my
faith without my works.” James says, „I show you my faith
by my works.” It must be evidenced to all by work. If a
thing has life there must be some sign of that life: „Faith
without works is barren.” „Faith apart from works is dead.”
That is what James says. You may have a faith, but just as
sure as it never works it is not worth a snap of the finger.
Then he gives an illustration in which he says, „If a brother
or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you
say unto them, Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled, and
yet ye give them not the things needful to the body, what
doth it profit?”
But the reader makes a great mistake if he supposes that
James’s teaching upon this subject is different from the teach_
ings of the other New Testament writers, our Lord, for ‘in_
stance, or Paul, who is sometimes held up in opposition to
James. Our Lord says, „Whosoever heareth these sayings of
mine and doeth them not, shall be like a man who built his
house upon the sand. When the storm came . . . that house fell,
and great was the fall thereof,” and it was our Lord who said,
„If ye love me keep my commandments,” and, „Ye are my
friends if ye do whatsoever I command you,” and it was Paul
who said, „It is true, by grace ye are saved through faith and
that not of yourselves. But ye are created unto good works.”
Then, in the letter to Titus he says, „When the kindness and
mercy of heaven to man appeared, not by works of righteous_
ness that we have done, but according to his mercy he saved
us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the
Holy Spirit.” And he goes right on to say this, that it is the
grace of God that bringeth salvation; that we should live
soberly and godly in this present world.
Both Christ and Paul agree with James that faith must evi_
dence itself in good works. There never would have been any
controversy at all if James had not used the word „justify”
there in a peculiar sense, just like the word „temptation.”
„Justify” may be a legal, forensic term, a term of the court.
We are justified by faith. That is the acquittal of God. But
our Lord uses the word „justify” in quite a different sense.
He says, „By your words shall you be justified and by your
words shall ye be condemned.” So that James has in mind
when he discusses justification by works, a thought that was
not in the mind of Paul. Paul takes the case of a sinner and
is trying to ascertain how that lost sinner can be declared just
before God, and he says that it is through faith and apart
from works. James takes a Christian, not a sinner, and shows
how that Christian’s works justify the Christian’s profession.
Just as our Lord said, „The publicans and harlots justified
God.” That does not mean that they acquitted God, but they
vindicated God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
James uses a second illustration in the case of Abraham,
who was justified by faith and received salvation, according
to Genesis 15. That is when he was converted. It is true in
a certain sense that he believed in God, but he was never a
converted man until we find him in Genesis 15, that remark_
able chapter that introduces so many words. There it is said
that Abraham believed, and it is the first time that we come
to the word. He believed Jehovah, and when he believed he
was converted. Forty years after that, this believer, Abraham,
did what God would have him to do in the case of Isaac, and
the works justified him. Justified him in what sense? Not in
a legal sense, but justified him in the sense of vindicating the

profession of faith which he made. They did not make a sinner
into a Christian, but justified the profession of the Christian.
I have never yet known a commentator nor a public speaker
to give any evidence that he had noticed even this point that
James now makes. He says that when forty years after Abra_
ham’s conversion he did what God told him to do, that
then was fulfilled the scripture, which said, „And he believed
on Jehovah and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.”
Every time afterward ‘in his life that he obeyed God as a
Christian he fulfilled the scripture which speaks of his con_
version. In other words, it was the verification, „filled full,”
or „fulfilled.” He says, bearing upon what was said forty years
before, that it was imputed unto him for righteousness.
Many years ago Dr. J. B. Link was the editor of The Texas
Baptist Herald, and he wrote an essay for critical examina_
tion, taking this position: „The sinner is justified by faith;
the Christian is justified by works.” You see the position. I
wrote a reply to the article at the time, conceding that a part
of the ‘idea in his mind was correct. A Christian makes a pro_
fession. That Christian is a servant of Jesus Christ; his fidelity
to Christ must be attested. If he is faithful, he is declared
righteous in his fidelity. In that secondary sense works justify,
not in the sense of justifying a sinner in order to that sin_
ner’s becoming a Christian.
Precisely the same thing comes up in the case of Rahab.
Her faith saved her. That saving faith was evidenced by
works, corresponding to the profession, and these works justi_
fied the avowal of her faith, as in that passage in Timothy
where Paul says Christ was justified by the Holy Spirit, i.e.,
the Holy Spirit vindicated Christ, who claimed to be the Son
of God. It seems somewhat curious to me that James and
Paul, the author of the letter to the Hebrews, both of them
selected Rahab, the harlot, i.e., who had been a harlot. The
reason that she was selected is that she became an ancestress
of the Lord, just like Ruth, the Gentile; just like Bathsheba,
who had been the wife of Uriah, and afterward the real wife
of David. All of these were the mothers, in the ancestral
sense, of Jesus.

QUESTIONS
1. What is the theme of chapter 2?
2. What the marks of true faith?
3. What the reasons for not discriminating faith in favor of the rich
against the poor?
4. What is the „royal law,” and why so called?
5. Who originated it?
6. What is meant by the unity, or solidarity, of the law, and how
does James show it?
7. What English poet is quoted here?
Compound for sins they are inclined to,
By damning those they have no mind to.
8. What modern discriminations are made in the commandments of
Jesus?
9. What was Paul’s attitude on this point?
10. What is meant by a dead faith?
11. What James’s illustration of this kind of faith?
12. What the teaching of Jesus on this point?
13. What the teaching of Paul on the same point?
14. What one word used by James caused the controversy about his
letter?
15. What its meaning as used by James? by Paul?
16. Illustrate
17. Why was Rahab selected by James and Paul aa an example of
faith?

IV
TEACHERS AND TONGUES
James 3:1_18

All of James 3 is concerning teachers. It starts out this way:
„Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that
we shall receive heavier judgment.” That is, don’t be in a rush
to crowd into the teacher’s office, since the teacher is held to a
more stringent account than the pupil. Dr. Broadus used to
say that the ministry had a great attraction for weak minds.
And it is certain that a great many weak minds do turn to
the ministry. James merely wishes that the entering into the
ministry should be a very careful, prayerful, thoughtful step.
This chapter is one of the most important parts of the book of
James, and ‘indeed the Bible, and its value is simply incalcu_
lable to young preachers. By their profession they become
teachers of the word of God; hence, no other chapter ought
to be more important to them in their official character than
this chapter. He then says, „If any stumbleth not in word,
the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.”
He is saying that the most difficult perfection to attain is per_
fection in talking; that it is harder to do right in talking than
in anything else in the world. He uses three illustrations:
1. A bridle is put into a horse’s mouth – a very little thing –
yet with that bridle one can guide that horse wherever he
wants him to go.
2. He uses the helm of a big ship. The helmsman with that
little instrument makes that ship go in the direction that he
wants it to go.
3. „Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire!”
As it is expressed in the margin, „Behold, how great a forest
of trees is consumed by a little fire!” Some one scampered

along and carelessly left a fire. A spark blew out and caught
the leaves and burned up a hundred million feet of wood
timber. In the northern states and Canada, every year we
have the most appalling accounts of forest fires, and very
richly the saying of James expresses the thought, „Behold,
how great a forest a little fire will burn down!” J. R. Graves,
in one of his flights of eloquence, describes a man walking
down the street lighting a cigar and throwing the match down;
the match set fire to a shaving which curled over on some
other shavings, and they caught fire and burned, and set fire
to a great pile of lumber; and that lumber to a house and
that house to a block and that block to a city, and a confla_
gration came that painted hell on the sky and left a hundred
thousand people without homes.
James says of teachers that when they rush into the teacher’s
office, they must remember the power of the tongue for good
or evil, and that it must be controlled, as the horse must have
the bridle, and the great ship the helm; and as the thought_
lessly kindled spark may destroy a world, so must they set a
watch for the fire of their lips. In one of my opening addresses
before the Seminary, I took as my theme, „Tongues of Fire
and Rivers of Water.”
But we come now to a part of James that is set over against
Pentecost. Pentecost shows how the Holy Spirit sets on fire
the tongues of preachers to preach the salvation of men. Here
James brings out the devil’s tongues of fire – set on fire with
tongues of demons. What a theme for a sermon – Pentecost
tongues and the devil’s tongues! The tongue is a little mem_
ber, it is a restless member, it is an unruly member, it is full
of poison. It is set on fire of hell, and it sets on fire the whole
course of nature, when it is kindled, just as the Holy Spirit
fills the hearts of good men and gives them tongues of fire to
proclaim the word of life in love and meekness, so the devil
may kindle the tongues with a fire of hell, and use them
as a means of universal ruin. Somebody, someday, will win
immortal fame in contrasting the devil’s tongues of fire and
the Spirit’s tongues of fire, in a sermon.
I recapitulate: The first admonition to the preachers: „Be
not in haste to enter into the teacher’s office.” How well our
Lord speaks to this point: „Be ye not called Rabbi; for one is
your teacher and ye are all brethren. And call no man father
on the earth; for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven.
Neither be ye called masters (magister, from which we get the
word „master”) for one is your master, even the Christ.”
It was the characteristic fault of a Jew both at home and
abroad to covet the honor of the teacher’s office more than the
efficiency in the service of a teacher. Vanity and conceit would
lead men to thrust themselves forward where angels dared not
tread. Whoever is inspired to enter the teacher’s office
from a spirit of vanity rather than the spirit of hard work is
utterly unworthy of the position.
Paul, in Romans 2, says, „But if thou bearest the name of a
Jew, and restest upon the law, and gloriest in God, and know_
est his will, and approvest the things that are excellent, being
instructed out of the law, and art confident that thou thyself
art a guide of the blind, a light of them that are in darkness,
a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having in the
law the form of knowledge and of the truth; thou therefore
that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that
preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? thou that
sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit
adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou rob temples?
thou who gloriest in the law, through thy transgression of the
law, dishonorest thou God?” The thought of Paul is that the
life of the teacher must harmonize with what he teaches. Read
Cowper on this.
Again, we are told by Paul (I Cor. 14:29) that the teaching
gift must be exercised, even when possessed, with due discre_
tion, looking always to order and never to confusion. His
picture of the Corinthian church shows that there were many
teachers in that congregation. He says, „What is it then,
brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath
a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an inter_
pretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” He rebukes
this church because of the disorderly method of teaching. In_
stead of convicting sinners, they produced an impression upon
the mind of the ignorant man and of the skeptical man that
they were crazy.
Again, Paul says that one who seeks the office of a bishop
must be apt to teach. He must have the capacity to attract
and hold the attention, to instruct the mind, to awaken the
conscience, to lead the convicted sinner to Christ, to expound
the word of God, rightly dividing that word. Unfortunately,
the candidates for the teacher’s office are not all apt to teach.
The caution to these would_be teachers is on the line that
vanity should not be the cause of one entering the work of a
teacher, seeing that he should not covet the honor more than
the work itself, and that his life and his gifts must be exer_
cised to the upbuilding of the church, and not confusion, and
that unless he be apt to teach, he should not seek the position
of a teacher. There are men with natural aptitude for teach_
ing that are very ignorant. There are men full of information
and a wide range of knowledge that cannot teach at all. They
cannot impart what they know. They never wake up a soul,
they never stir an audience, as Demosthenes did his audiences.
When he got through, the crowd would be wild, and would
say, „Let us fight Philip!”
His second admonition enjoins that the teacher must bridle
his tongue. He gives two reasons for this governing of the
tongue. He who can govern his tongue is a perfect man. I re_
peat that the word „perfect” is never used in the New Testa_
ment in the sense of sinlessness, but ‘in the sense of maturity;
and James certainly does not mean sinlessness, because he
preceded his statement with the saying that we all stumble;
that we all sin some. What he means by a „perfect” man is
one who is mature; he who has bridled his tongue we call a
mature man, just as a grown person is called an adult. His
two reasons for bridling the tongue arise from its relative
power for either good or evil. He uses the illustration to which
attention has already been called. We put a bridle on a horse
so as to turn his body wherever we may desire; so a bridle
should be put on our own mouths. And as a helmsman steers
a mighty ship in the storm through the use of the helm, so
the one who would be a teacher must be able in every storm
of life to have power of rightly directing his course, whatever
be the direction of the wind or the force of the waves. He is
led to say in illustration of the power of the tongue, „How
great a forest a little fire destroyeth!”
His illustration is familiar in the classics. A writer has well
said, „A little torch can burn the summit of Ida.” Homer
says, „A spark scarce seen fires a boundless forest.” Vergil
tells us of a careless shepherd who „wraps the forest in a robe
of flame” by his carelessness at his campfire. Edgar Allan
Poe tells of one who in a dream was caught up and carried
away by an angel until he saw a volcanic island without soil
or fountains or vegetation, hideous with ashes, its lava and
its scars. „What is this?” he said to the angel. The angel re_
plied, „This is an evil word that you spoke in yonder world
that went on acting and reacting until it struck the shores of
eternity, and God crystallized it into this horrible volcanic
island.” The angel then carried the dreamer away to behold
another island covered with verdure; the grass carpeted it,
the flowers beautified it and filled it with perfume. Luscious
fruits bung from the boughs of many trees. Birds were sing_
ing in the groves. Fountains were playing and sending forth
living waters. It looked like a paradise of God. Said the
dreamer to the angel, „What is this?” „This,” said he, „is a
good word you spoke in yonder world. It went on acting
and reacting until, striking the shores of eternity, it was
crystallized into this island of the blessed.”
Another reason assigned for the teacher’s keeping his tongue
consists in the fact that through the devil’s gift men receive
tongues of fire. As James expresses it, „Set on fire of Gehenna.”
We have seen the Spirit’s display of power on the day of Pen_
tecost, and these tongues are employed in speaking of the
wonderful works of God in leading men to salvation. He de_
clares that this tongue, set on fire of hell, is restless, duplex,
body_defiling, and that it sets on fire the whole wheel of na_
ture. Man’s control is vividly set forth by James. Everything
that swims, that walks, that crawls, that flies, bath been tamed.
The elephant has been trapped and trained and employed in
man’s service. The huge python has been brought from his
home in the forest to become a show, and women take these
hideous monsters and coil them around their bodies with im_
punity. The tiger’s cub has been bound with a chain, and the
lion has been caged and forced to be harmless and dumb in
the presence of the trainer. It is a fearful commentary on the
untamable nature of the tongue that it is more untamable than
any wild animal of the jungle, or bird of the air, or serpent of
the rock, or fish of the sea. When set on fire of hell, this
tongue is said to be full of deadly poison. Indeed, it is de_
clared to be a world of iniquity; that is, there is no evil ever
known to man that has not in some instance been brought
about through evil speaking.
Solomon declares that in the lips of the worthless man is a
scorching fire. David, in denouncing the evil counselor who
sought his overthrow, says, „His mouth was smooth as butter,
but his heart was war. His words were softer than oil, yet they
were drawn swords.” Again he prays, „Deliver me, great Jeho_
vah, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue. What shall
be given unto thee, and what shall be done more unto thee,
thou deceitful tongue, sharp arrows of the mighty coals of
juniper?”
The tongues of the devil in malice curse men, made in the
image of God. It becomes duplex, that is, it uses words to con_
ceal ideas. This tongue, set on fire by the fires of hell, whis_
pers away the good name of the innocent. It is given to back_
biting, while friendly to the face; it slanders when the man’s
back is turned. As the prophet says that the wicked in their
talking eat up the sins of God’s people, the tongue set on fire
of the devil is always murmuring, always scolding and is al_
ways foul.
In an early day in the history of the Waco Association, Dr.
Riddle and myself were visiting all the churches, and one night
we were bound to camp, and while looking at the stars the
conversation turned upon the conversation of preachers, and I
proposed that we enter into a solemn covenant, never while
we lived would we tell a questionable anecdote. In the course
of time we got about one hundred preachers into that cove_
nant. And when Dr. Riddle was dying he called his wife to
him and said, „Wife, we have been together a long time and
now I am leaving you. Now, when I am dead, don’t you be one
of those complaining women.” Tears have come into her eyes,
at least a dozen times since the dying admonition of her hus_
band, as she has explained to me why she is not a murmurer or
a complainer.
The third admonition is that the teacher must seek true
wisdom. And as the Spirit’s tongues of fire had their opposite,
the devil’s tongues of fire, so the true wisdom has its opposite,
the devil’s wisdom. The contrast between the two kinds of
wisdom is very sharp. One is from above and the other is
earthly. One is full of mercy and good works without vari_
ance, without hypocrisy; the other sensual, carnal, devilish.
The fruits are also contrasted. Peace is the fruit of one and
strife of the other. This contrast between the two ought to be
read whenever there is friction, evil speaking, and strife.
When I was a young man I became impressed by the vast
amount of trouble that comes from talking the wrong kind of
talk, and I caught myself in talking the wrong thing, so when
I read that chapter I determined to see if I could find a way
by which I could keep from evil speech, and, particularly, from
anger. Naturally, I am impulsive, quick to take offense, quick
to strike, and quick to say, and seeing that fault ‘in myself I
determined to learn a way by which when I was angry I could
be silent; that I wouldn’t say anything. Well, it was the
hardest thing to do that I ever tried. To be angry and not say
anything! But I certainly accomplished it. I heard my daugh_
ter when she was twenty_one years old, say, „Papa, I have
never heard you speak an angry word.” That is the best way
that I know to cure anger, that is, don’t say anything. If a
man just won’t say anything he is safe, but he cannot when
his mind is on fire with anger keep from doing wrong if he
just lets his tongue be tied in the middle and wag at both ends.
Now, dear reader, try it. It will be a big job. When you have
worked hard and are tired it is so easy to be petulant; it is
easy to growl and whine, and it is so easy to become a man
with a grievance. The world gets tired very soon of the man
who has a grievance. Just carry your sorrow in your own
heart.
There are great things in this for preachers. A man might
steal from a man, might burn his house, but, if he burns a
house, that burns out after a while, but if he says something,
that goes on in every direction. I have known some lives
blasted by gossip and slander just as a mighty forest fire blasts
the vast trees.

QUESTIONS
1. What is the theme of chapter 3?
2. What is the first admonition concerning the teacher’s office?
3. What Dr. Broadus’ saying on this point?
4. What the special value of this chapter to preachers?
5. What is the most difficult perfection to attain?
6. What three illustrations used by James on this point?
7. What theme for a sermon suggested?
8. What the teaching of our Lord on the point of rushing into the
teacher’s office?
9. What the characteristic fault of the Jew?
10. What does Paul say about the teacher and his teaching?
11. What Paul’s rebuke to the Corinthians on this line?
12. What qualification does Paul show that one must have who
seeks the office of a bishop?
13. What his second admonition, and the application to teachers?
14. What the first reason why a teacher should guard his tongue?
15. Give classic illustrations of James’s use of fire.
16. What Poe’s illustration of the power of a spoken word?
17. What is the second reason of James why the teacher should keep
his tongue?
18. What Solomon’s testimony on this point?
19. What David’s?
20. What are some of the things the devil’s tongue can do?
21. What was the Carroll_Riddle covenant?
22. What the teacher’s need of true wisdom?
23. Contrast the two kinds of wisdom, as to origin, elements, and fruits.
24. What is the beat way to cure anger?

V
GENERAL ADMONITIONS AND APPLICATIONS
James 4:1 to 5:20.

We will not examine the seventh general head of the analy_
sis. Chapters 4_5 consist of general admonitions and applica_
tions. In chapter 4 we have five of these. First, he speaks
concerning the swaying of the passions, and shows that inordi_
nate lusts originate strife and nullify prayer. The letter of
James is remarkable for its analysis of human action. In.
tracing things to their fountain head, just as he traces sin in
the abstract, so here he traces strife and faction in the con_
crete – that when we covet things contrary to God’s law this
lust leads us to make war upon all who oppose our selfish ends.
The evil of yielding to these inordinate desires is manifested
in the fact that a man’s prayers are unanswered. He comes
before God with his petitions, but God does not hear him. He
is not seeking God’s glory. He is not seeking God’s will, but
he is seeking that he may obtain things to be consumed upon
his appetites, and on this account his prayers are unanswered.
In the next place James shows that friendship with the world
is enmity to God. With all the clearness of our Lord himself,
who taught that we cannot love God and mammon, he sets
forth the fact that one who seeks the friendship of the world
is guilty of spiritual adultery. Spiritual adultery is idolatry.
The soul has been espoused to Christ. To seek our greatest
pleasure and happiness in the world is to be guilty of marital
infidelity.
Just here we come upon two difficulties. In 4:5 the common
version reads, „Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain,
The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” The new ver_
sion reads, „Or think ye that the scripture speaketh in vain?
Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envy_
ing?” The first difficulty is in finding the scripture which, ac_
cording to the old version, James seems to quote. Commenta_
tors are unable to find any passage of scripture which reads,
„The spirit which dwelleth in us lusteth to envy.” Indeed,
there is no such scripture. Then to what scripture does James
refer? Some have supposed that he referred to a scripture
showing that the friendship of the world is enmity with God.
This could be obtained from Matthew’s gospel, but that gospel
was not yet written. And it is hardly probable that James has
a back reference. We must look further on to find the scrip_
ture, and we do find it in the restatement at the close of verse
6: „Wherefore the scripture saith, God resisteth the proud, but
giveth grace to the humble.”
Our next difficulty on that verse consists in determining what
spirit is meant when it says, „Doth the spirit which he made
to dwell in us long unto envying?” In other words, does it
refer to the Holy Spirit dwelling in the Christian, or does it
refer to our own spirit? If we interpret it to mean our own
spirit, then this is the idea: Those men whom James is re_
buking were justifying their envyings and strife by charging
it to God, since the envyings arose from the spirit which he
made to dwell in them; that is, they were naturally so consti_
tuted that they could not help this envying. Hence, James
would meet this statement by asking, „Does the spirit which
he made to dwell in us long unto envying?” His form of ques_
tion indicates a denial. Supported by his next statement,
„But he giveth more grace”; that is, „suppose you say your
envying comes from your corrupt soul; God did not corrupt
your soul, and even though God did corrupt it, the corruption
is your fault or Adam’s fault; yet there is no justification for
yielding to it, since he has promised grace with which to over_
come this envying, and the grace is stronger than the depravi_
ty.” If, however, we make the spirit that dwelleth in us mean
the Holy Spirit, then the meaning, must be this, according to

the marginal rendering: That Spirit which he made to dwell
in us yearns for us, even unto a jealous envy. This follows the
idea that the Lord God is a jealous God; he will brook no
rival. And if the soul commits adultery by seeking the friend_
ship of the world, it provokes the jealousy of the Spirit which
he made to dwell in us. While the passage is exceedingly dif_
ficult, my own impression is that the first meaning given is the
better one.
We now come to some of the most important directions in
the Word of God (4:7_10), which reads as follows: „Be sub_
ject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee
from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye
double_minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your
laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt
you.” This expression gives the means by which we obtain con_
trol of our passions, and by which we resist the enticements of
the world. This text is twice expounded in the author’s first
book of sermons. It constitutes a marvelous theme for a re_
vival meeting. It shows that we must be under one leader or
the other – God or the devil. It not only calls upon us to
resist the devil, but assures us that we have the power to re_
sist him and turn him to flight. It is an exhortation to contri_
tion, repentance, and faith. The contrition is expressed by the
words, „Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep. Humble yourself
in the sight of God.” The reformation following repentance is
expressed by cleansing of the hands from sin and purifying
the heart from double_mindedness; the faith is expressed by
submission to God.
It is greatly to be feared that much of the preaching of mod_
em times has lost its depth and power. The plow does not run
deep enough. There is no deep conviction of sin. There is no
mourning for sin such as we find set forth in Zechariah 13. We
find our way to a modern profession of religion, dry_eyed.
There is no weeping in it. And hence, feeling ourselves to be
but little sinners, we need only a little Saviour.
The next admonition relates to censoriousness – that spirit
that continually judges another. Here James follows, as al_
most throughout the epistle, our Lord’s great Sermon on the
Mount where he says, „Judge not, that ye be not judged. For
with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with
what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you.” The
censorious spirit, says James, violates the law of God and
usurps the divine prerogative of judgment. There is one Judge
and one Law maker.
From the evil of censoriousness he passes to consider the evil
of the commercial spirit, a sin of which the Jews of the dis_
persion were pre_eminently guilty. It is true that their several
captivities led to the deportation of many thousands of their
people in different ages of the world. But a mightier power
than the Assyrians, mightier than Nebuchadnezzar, mightier
than Pompey, deported the Jews from their own land, and this
was the spirit of trade. Cut off from the great honors of a free
national government, all of their energies were turned to money
making. Their merchant ships were on every sea; their ped_
dlers in every land. As they were then, so they are now. James
does not condemn commerce. They presumed on the uncer_
tainty of the future and ignored God. Without counting on
the brevity of human life and their ignorance of what a day
might bring forth, without considering the providence of God,
the Jew, incited by his love of trade, would say in mapping
out his plans, „To_morrow we will go into this city, and spend
a year there, and trade and get gain.” James said they should
have said, „If the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this or
that.” His teaching harmonizes with the old proverb, „Man
proposes, but God disposes.” The recklessness evinced by the
Jews of the dispersion in yielding to a commercial spirit which
took no account of time or the brevity of life or of the gov_
ernment of God. in less degree characterizes the traders of the
Gentile world today. Men leave God out of their calculations.
Men consider not their own frailty or the uncertainties of life.
Chapter 5 also is devoted to five applications of these ad_
monitions. The first is a denunciation of the rich. Of course he
means the Godless rich, and what he says is more needed now
than when he said it. He sees the miseries of the rich coming
upon them. They accumulate more wealth than they can use,
and hence become corrupt. In their strenuous desire to be_
come wealthy, they disregarded the rights of their employees.
The men whose money made their wealth are treated as
machines or as dumb brutes. The cry of the toilers goes up
to the Lord of hosts, just as the Israelites in bondage in Egypt
cried out and God heard their cry and came down to intervene.
They are warned that they are sapping their virility by deli_
cate living, and that in their greed to amass fortunes, they
have not hesitated to kill the righteous. The pages of modern
magazines and newspapers are ablaze with denunciations of
millionaires and syndicates and their measures. Political par_
ties are aligning themselves upon the issues raised between the
rich and their employees, or between the rich men and the peo_
ple who have been robbed by their methods of trade.
The general theme of this letter is patient endurance of af_
fliction. In 5:12 we have this language: „But above all things,
my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the
earth, nor by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and
your nay be nay; that you fall not under judgment.” James
is not talking at all about oaths that one takes in a court
room, nor oaths unto God, but he is discussing the question of
the outlet of our emotions when we are in great trouble or
great joy. He says that if we are in great trouble, we should
not swear. Notice how common it is for men who are afflicted
to curse. And in the same way some people, when they are
very happy, give an outlet to their emotions in swearing. The
thought of James is this: In the deep emotions which come to

a human being in the vicissitudes of his life, never let swear_
ing be the outlet.
Then he goes on to tell what shall be the outlet. He says,
„If any of you are suffering, don’t swear, but pray. Let prayer
be the outlet.” Again, if filled with great joy; if the heart is
bubbling over with happiness, how may one keep from making
a mistake in the outlet of these emotions? James says in that
case, „Sing psalms.”
We will be sure to misinterpret this letter unless we under_
stand what his object is. The object is to show both negatively
and positively what outlet shall be given to the emotions when
one is greatly stirred up, either from afflictions or joy. Just at
the point of great suffering or great joy comes a danger. What
are you going to say? Are you going to swear or pray or sing
psalms?
James now comes to a case of sickness. „Is any among you
sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them
pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the
Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it
shall be forgiven him.”
The first thought in connection with the scripture is the
word, „elders.” Carefully note these scriptures: Acts 11:30,
which precedes in time James’s letter; Acts 14:23; 15:2, 4, 6,
22; 16:4; 21:18. No one can read these passages about the
elders without noting that .there is a distinction between a lay_
man and an elder – that the latter has an office – that he occu_
pies a representative position. In the pastoral epistles there
are many references to elders, and the term elder, (Greek,
presbuteros,) is used interchangeably with episkopos, „bishop”
or „pastor,” showing that an elder was a preacher. The only
difference I see between the New Testament churches and the
Baptist churches of the present time upon that subject is that
at the present time Baptist churches pay no sort of regard to
any sort of elder in their church unless he is their pastor. In
the New Testament churches the preachers of the church, those
who had been set apart as God’s ministers, though only one of
them could be pastor of the flock, yet every one of the others
was treated as an officer of the church of Jesus Christ and en_
titled to consideration. In Acts II when Paul and the bishops
took that collection to Jerusalem, they turned it over to the
elders. If a man is sick let him send for the elders of the
church. Good commentators see in that direction that when
the elders respond to that invitation they come in a repre_
sentative capacity. It is as if the church had been assembled
to pray for the sick man. The preachers come together and
pray in the name of the church.
The next thing is, What do they do? This scripture says,
„Let them anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” We
come to this question, Was that oil to be used for medicinal
purposes, as Dr. Eaton says in The Recorder, and as Dr. Wink_
ler says in his Commentary on the Book of James I (A part of
the „American Commentary,” and withal about the best com_
mentary on James that I know.)
I cannot agree with these brethren. I don’t think that oil
was used as a medicine. I think if there had been a desire to
secure medical help, James would have said, „Send for the doc_
tor.” But he says, „Send for the elders of the church and let
them anoint him with oil.” Another reason why I don’t think
oil was put upon the sick man for medicinal purposes is that
while oil is a splendid remedy for some sickness, it is no
remedy for a good many others. It is a good medicine when a
man has a fever. The third reason is that it was not the oil
that procured the recovery from sickness. It distinctly says
that the prayer of faith and not the oil shall heal the man. It
seems clear to my mind, then, that the anointing with oil was
not to make doctors out of preachers.
Then it must have been used symbolically. A holy anointing
of oil was poured upon the heads of kings, prophets, and
priests, and this oil signified the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is the Anointed One. He is not anointed with the
symbolic oil, but with what the oil symbolizes. I think, then,
that the use of the oil was symbolic of the accompanying power
of the Holy Spirit, just as the laying on of the hands in ordi_
nation is a symbolic act. It symbolizes the descent of the Holy
Spirit on the man ordained, to qualify him for preaching.
Here is another question: Is James giving a direction for all
times? In other words, is that direction binding upon us now?
Or was it simply carrying out what is expressed in Mark 6:
13? When Jesus sent out the twelve apostles and told them to
heal the sick, cast out demons, the record says (Mark 6:10),
„They anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed
them.” That is to say, it was in the apostolic days a miracu_
lous, divine attestation of those who employed it. And James
is living and writing in the days of the apostles. He is the earli_
est of the New Testament writers. At that time the apostles
were still living and had that commission of our Lord to
anoint with oil and heal the sick, and that commission through
the apostles comes to the church.
My own judgment is that James speaks of the miraculous at_
testation of the church, and when the attesting was complete,
the sign ended.
I have never felt that an obligation rested upon me as a
preacher to go to the sick and anoint them with oil in the name
of the Lord in the expectation that they should be miraculously
healed.
There are some good brethren who believe that this injunc_
tion was meant for all time, and so all along through the ages
there have been those that held that the right thing to do with
the sick was to send for the preachers and let the preachers
carry out this injunction. I have never carried out the injunc_
tion because I did not believe the injunction rested on me. It
is evident that this method of healing, a miraculous method,
even in the days of the apostles, was not a constant thing. It
was simply a sign occasionally used.
For instance, Paul says, „I left Trophimus at Miletus sick.”
Why did not he anoint him with oil and raise him up, if this
was the standing order? To Timothy, who was in feeble
health, he prescribes wine, not oil. Timothy was a teetotaler
and did not believe he ought to touch ardent drinks. Paul says
in this particular case, „Use a little wine for thy stomach’s
sake.” Why did not he tell them to anoint Timothy with oil?
Paul had a thorn in his own flesh) but he did not send for the
elders of the church to come and anoint him with oil.
My point is that these were directions of attestation, a mar_
velous manifestation of the miraculous power of the Spirit of
God for specific purposes, just as tongues were for a sign. But
tongues were to cease, and miracles were to cease, and proph_
ecies were to fail just as soon as they accomplished their
object. That is what James refers to here.
But one may ask me if at the present time I pray for sick
people to get well. I say, „Yes.” Prayer is to be kept up;
prayer never ceases. The anointing with oil that was a symbol
of the miraculous power may cease, but the praying does not
cease, and I pray for sick people that if it be God’s will they
may get well. In some instances they do get well, but in some
instances it is not God’s will that they should get well, so they
die. When a man is invited to pray for the recovery of a sick
person he ought to do it, and he ought when he prays to submit
the disposition of the matter to the will of God, otherwise it
would mean that if a little band of praying people got to_
gether it would stop death over the world, which was not the
purpose of God. We cannot escape death.
The Roman Catholic Church establishes upon this passage
of James what they call the sacrament of „extreme unction,”
one of the seven sacraments. When a Catholic is given up by
his physicians, and he is in articulo mortis, they anoint him,
and on account of his dying state they call it extreme unction
– the last anointing. The trouble about getting that from this
passage is that James prescribes a duty for recovery. They ap_
point a sacrament for the dying. The Romanist also tells us
how that oil is to be made – that it is valueless unless the
bishop makes it and the priest anoints.
The Roman Catholic was at one time the state religion of
England and continued so until the time of Henry VIII, and
the Episcopalians retained in their ritual a great many things
that had been handed down to them through the Romanists.
Here is what their prayer book says must be done when a man
is about to die. It is in the first prayer book of Edward VI:
„If the sick person desires to be anointed, then shall the priest
anoint him upon the forehead or breast only, making the sign
of the cross, saying, ‘As with this oil I anoint thee, may Al_
mighty God grant of his infinite goodness that thy soul in_
wardly may be anointed with the Holy Ghost who is the spirit
of all strength from relief and sickness, and vouchsafe from his
great mercy, if it be his perfect will to restore unto thee bodily
health and strength to serve him.’ ” There is no harm in the
prayer itself.
F rom the particular case James enlarges: „Confess therefore
your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may
be healed.” This extends beyond elders. The confession of sins
is a doctrine of both the Old Testament and the New Testa_
ment. John the Baptist would not baptize a man who did not
confess his sins. He baptized them in the river Jordan, con_
fessing their sins. John says, „If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”
A question here arises about the confession, and on that is
a great deal of remarkable history in the annals of the so_
called churches. They have gotten themselves into a good deal
of trouble on it. Some of them used to take the position that
a man was under obligation to get up and confess every sin
publicly that he had been guilty of since the church met before.
Then they fell upon the method that the confession should in_
deed be made, but it should be made privately and let the
preacher advise whether it should be made public. They tried
that until one preacher made a public announcement of sin
confessed without the consent of the man who confessed to him,
and that created such a fury that they stopped it.
What James means is this: If I do wrong to a brother I must
confess to him my wrong. If he wrongs me, he confesses that
wrong to me. If I have sinned against God, I must confess that
sin to God. The confession, then, must be made to the one who
has been wronged. Sometimes a man wrongs the church, that
is to say, he is guilty of such open, public, outrageous sin, like
drunkenness, that a confession is due to the church and he
must confess to the church in such a case. But suppose I have
only had wrong thoughts in my mind, must I confess to the
church? No, I should confess that to God. Go right along and
confess that wrong fully to him, but not to the world.
Upon what James has said about confession the Romanists
have another doctrine called „auricular confession,” or a con_
fession in the ear. Every priest has a certain station in the
church building, with a little bit of a window. He is shut up
on the inside and puts his ear to that opening, and each mem_
ber of the congregation is compelled once every year at least
to come and whisper into the ear of the priest every sin he has
committed. In that way they get possession of the secrets of
the world. They know all the skeletons in every family. It be_
comes a tremendous power in their hands.
They connect this doctrine with penance. When a lady leans
over and tells what sins she is guilty of, he prescribes a
penance: „You must recite so many Ave Maria’s. You must
fast so many days. You must pay so much money.” When
the penance is performed, then they have their doctrine of ab_
solution. The priest absolves from sin the one who has con_
fessed and done penance. There is not one thing in this pas_
sage to warrant auricular confession with its attendant usage.
In the time of the Protestant Revolution the Council of Trent
passed a decree to this effect: „Let anyone be anathematized
who denies that sacramental confession was instituted of divine
right, or who denies that it is necessary to salvation, or who
says that the manner of confession to the priest alone, which
the church has observed from the beginning and doth still ob_
serve, is alien from the institution and command of Christ and
is a human invention.” So they make it essential to salvation.
Many a time have persons come to me and started to tell
things. I say, „Stop; hold on, I am no priest. I don’t know
what you are going to tell me. It may be something you
ought not to tell me. If it is absolutely essential to right ad_
vice that I know, you may tell me, but you must carefully
think over in your mind before you make that confession.”
Three times in my life I have had jarring, startling confessions
made to me. It would beat a novel if I were to tell what they
were, but I will not. I say to the one who is in trouble, if you
have sinned against God, go and confess to God. If you have
sinned against your neighbor, go and confess to your neighbor;
but I am sure that because I am a preacher, I cannot be made
the receptacle of every slimy thought that ever crawled
through the minds of the people where I live, and of every
evil imagination. I would rather be dead than have to listen
to such things. But sometimes I have to let them tell me to
get them out of the ditch they are in.
James then cites the case of the power of Elijah’s praying,
and lest anyone might say that Elijah was a prophet, he goes
on to state that Elijah was a man of like passions with us and
be prayed that it might not rain and it rained not; and he
prayed that it might rain and it did rain. That brings up the
question whether it is the proper thing now to pray for rain.
I say, „Yes, pray for anything.” There is nothing in the
world that man needs either in body or soul that should be ex_
cluded from the petition.
I never shall forget a statement made by Dr. Ford when he
returned from England, having visited Mr. Muller, called „the
man of faith.” When he got to the place he was very anxious
to see the most remarkable man of faith living in the world,
but Mr. Muller had gone away and had not returned. They
were all assembled, and it was a time of horrible drouth. Dr.
Ford himself had been choked with dust in getting to the place
where they had called all the people together to pray for rain.
About that time Mr. Muller himself walked in, covered with
dust. One of the deacons got up and said, ‘Mr. Muller, we are
distressed about the drouth, and we thought we ought to take
it to the Lord. Is it right to pray for rain?” And he said, „Yes,
let us pray.” Then he stood up and prayed just like a little
child: „Oh Lord, look at the dumb brutes, lowing for water
and perishing. See the travelers choked with the dust on the
thoroughfares. See the people’s crops and gardens impov_
erished; Lord God, send rain to thy people.” And before they
were dismissed the rain came that flooded all that section of
the country. Dr. Ford in telling about it said the most im_
pressive thing he ever witnessed in his life was Mr. Muller’s
childlike manner and the faith with which he took hold of
the promises of God.
The scientists say that to pray for rain is an attempt to
change the laws of nature. Not a bit of it. Why, then, pray
for anything else? The scientists say that the way to get wis_
dom is to study for it. There is not anything that we can pray
for at all if we let that argument hold.
We now reach the last thing in the book: „My brethren, if
any among you err from the truth.” James does not mean if
he goes astray in doctrine. James does not discuss doctrine.
To err from the truth with James was to go astray in practical
religion from God. „And one convert him, let him know that he
who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save
a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.” What
is the signification of „cover a multitude of sins”? Then, whose
sins? The Romanist says it is the sins of the man who does the
converting, as if to say, „Now if you want to accumulate a
fund of righteousness that will be to your account by which
you may be justified on the last great day, convert some one
else from the error of his way and thus cover your sins.” That
is the thought and that is the doctrine involved in it, but that
was not the thought of James. It is not the converter’s sin that
will be covered, for nothing is said about his sins, but it is the
sins of the one to be converted that are to be covered.
Then, what does „cover” mean? There is a proverbial ex_
pression that charity covereth a multitude of sins. It is so used
in the book of Proverbs. It is so used in the letter of Peter.
That is to say, „Love is not censoriousness.” It does not look
for specks and spots and deficiencies, and when it sees faults,
it is more apt to put the mantle of charity over them than to
unveil them. Does this mean that kind of covering of sin?
I will tell you why I don’t think so. „He who converteth a
sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death,
and shall cover a multitude of sins.” It is his salvation that
is accomplished. Here is a sinner who has erred in his life and
has gone away from the law of God. He is one whose steps
take hold of death and hell, and we are exhorted to try
to save him by prayer, by faithful admonitions, by preach_
ing to him the means of salvation, and then encouragement is
given us that if we do become the means of his salvation, we
have saved a soul from death and covered a multitude of sins.
What does that „cover” mean? In Psalm 32 David says,
„Blessed is the man whose sin is covered. Unto him the Lord
imputeth not iniquity.” There the covering gets its idea from
the mercy seat, that the sin is counted covered which by faith
has been placed in Jesus Christ and forgiveness comes. Paul
quotes David: „Blessed is the man whose sin is covered,” and
shows that it means justification, forgiveness of sins.

QUESTIONS
1. Of what do chapters 4_5 consist?
2. How many in chapter 4?
3. What is the first one, and its relation to prayer?
4. How does James characterize the friendship of the world?
5. What the two difficulties of 4:5, and what their solution?
6. What is taught. in 4:7_10?
7. What apprehension about modern preaching?
8. What admonitions on censoriousness, where is found the same
teaching of our Lord, and in what does the sin consist?
9. What was the ain of which the Jews of the dispersion were pre_
eminently guilty?
10. now did this sin cause their dispersion, and in what did it consist?
11. What prescription was given by James for those possessed with
this spirit?
12. What is James’s attitude toward the problems of „capital and
labor”?
13. What the general theme of this letter?
14. What does James mean, both negatively and positively, by „swear
not at all”?
15. What prescription does he give for the outlet of sorrow or joy?
16. What the distinction between elder and pastor, and what capacity
of the elder here referred to?
17. Was the anointing oil here to be used as medicine? Give three
reasons for your answer.
18. What then the use made of the oil?
19. Does James give a direction for all times? If not, then explain
and give proof.
20. Is it right to pray for the sick? If so, how?
21. What „sacrament” of the Catholic Church based upon this passage?
22. What the fallacy of this Romanist position?
23. What does James say about confession, what remarkable history
connected with it, and what the real meaning of the passage?
24. What institution of the Catholic’s based upon this passage, and
what its evils?
25. Is it right to pray for rain? Illustrate.
26. In 5:19 what is meant by „err from the truth”?
27. In 5:20 whose sins are referred to?
28. What is meant by „cover a multitude of sins”?

VI
INTRODUCTION TO I THESSALONIANS

We shall now consider „the apostolic letters which made glad
the young and foe_girt churches of the Lord.” These letters
of Paul constitute the richest legacy of inspiration and inesti_
mable treasure – a sacred deposit of truth. The apostle Paul ‘is
connected directly with fourteen of the New Testament books
and indirectly with four others, making eighteen in all. So
that one may get a connected New Testament spirit of Paul by
reading in the following order these eighteen books of the New
Testament:
1. Luke, which is called the Pauline Gospel.
2. Acts.
3. 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
4. 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans.
5. Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and Hebrews.
6. 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy.
7. James.
8. 2 Peter

The letters of Paul are divided into four groups. The first
group was written on his second great missionary tour, and
consists of I and 2 Thessalonians. The second group was writ_
ten on his third great missionary tour, consisting of I and 2
Corinthians, Galatians, Romans. The third group consists of
letters written when he was first a prisoner at Rome, viz.: Phi_
lippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and Hebrews. The
fourth group consists of letters written after his release from
the first captivity at Rome, viz.; 1 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Tim-

othy. These were written in the interval between his first and
second imprisonments, and at Rome during his second captivity
just before his martyrdom.
These groups differ from one another very much in the doc_
trinal matters discussed, and in style. The first group, I and
2 Thessalonians, discusses mainly what in theology is called
Eschatology – the doctrine of the last things. The whole of
these two letters is grouped around the doctrine of the second
coming of Christ. The clearest teachings on the second com_
ing of Christ are in I and 2 Thessalonians. There are other
places where the doctrine is taught, particularly in our Lord’s
great prophecy, I Corinthians 15 and 2 Peter 3, but these let_
ters were written specifically upon that subject.
The next group of letters, I and 2 Corinthians, Galatians,
and Romans, was called forth mainly by the controversy be_
tween the Judaizing spirit in the churches, which would make
Christianity a mere sect of the Jews, and the Pauline spirit
in the churches, which would lead the churches away from the
narrow Jewish limitations into a worldwide religion. In the
third group, his doctrine goes to higher things, the controversy
not being _on making Gentiles become Jews in order to be
Christians, but shall Christians reject Christ and his gospel
and relapse into Judaism?
Before commencing the study of Paul’s letters it is well to
fix the following things in our minds about him:
1. His history from his birth to his conversion, that is, up
to the time that he is thirty_three or thirty_four years old.
2. That nine years of his life from his conversion until he
entered on his great missionary work. Three years of this
period were devoted to the preparation in receiving the gospel
and six years in preaching at Damascus, at Jerusalem, in
Cilicia, and in Syria. There is very little history about that
nine years in the Bible.
3. The period of active missionary labor, about fifteen
years, covering the three great missionary tours described in
Acts 13_21, and in which he wrote the letters to the Thea_
salonians, Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans.
4. The period of his imprisonment at Jerusalem, at Caesarea,
on his voyage to Rome, and in Rome. In that time he wrote
five great letters – Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephe_
sians, and Hebrews. We have very little account of this part
of his life.
5. The period of his release from captivity, in which he wrote
I Timothy and Titus. We gather the history of this period
from his pastoral letters.
6. The period of his second captivity at Rome and his mar_
tyrdom. In this period he wrote 2 Timothy.
In the Acts we see Paul as he appears to the historian, Luke.
In his letters we see him as he appeared to himself. These
letters constitute a literature in themselves, of great variety
in matter and style. Some of them, like Galatians, are a rush_
ing, impetuous torrent; others, like Romans, Ephesians, and
Hebrews, are calm, deliberate, logical, approaching the form
of an elaborate treatise; some are personal and exquisitely
tender, as Philemon; some are developments of the main
thought ‘in previous and more local letters, as Romans from
Galatians, Ephesians from Colossians and Philippians, and all
of them matchless, each of its kind.
In commencing this great series with I Thessalonians, we
should fix in our minds the geographical place of the city,
Thessalonica, and somewhat of its history. On the second great
missionary journey Paul came to Troas, starting from Anti_
och. There he received a call to go into Macedonia and help
the people there. At Philippi a church was established. That
is the first place where he preached the gospel in Europe.
There he strikes the Roman road which extends from Con_
stantinople, or Byzantium, to Rome. That was one of the best
worked roads in the world. It connected Rome, the Western
Empire, with Constantinople, the Eastern Empire. When Paul
left Philippi, he came to Thessalonica, passing two places on
the way without stopping. The geographical position of that
place in every age of history has been reckoned as very im_
portant, not only because it was on that great road, but be_
cause it was at the head of the commerce of the Aegean Sea,
connecting with the Mediterranean Sea, and also because it
commands the passes between the high mountains.
Every Bible student ought to know something about Thes_
salonica before Paul came there. Away back in Grecian his_
tory the name was Therma, or Hot Springs, just like Hot
Springs, Arkansas. Three hundred and fifteen years before
Christ, just after Alexander the Great died, Cassander, one
of his generals, married Thessalonica, and made that Hot
Springs a great city and named it after his wife, Thessalonica.
She was the daughter of King Philip of Macedon, and the daugh_
ter of Alexander the Great. It became a very populous and
very important city. About 168 B.C. Macedonia was conquered
by Rome and divided into four districts, and the capital of one
of these districts was Thessalonica. Afterward the districts
were abolished, and they had just one province, and Thes_
salonica was the capital of that province. About A.D. 42, just
after the great battle at Philippi between Octavius Caesar and
Mark Anthony on the one side, and Brutus and Cassius on the
other side, Thessalonica was made a free city. Strabo, the
great geographer of the age about 24 B.C., said that Thessaloni_
ca was the most populous town in Macedonia, and the same
thing was said in the second century after Christ, and in the
fifth century after Christ it had 200,000 inhabitants. There
are about 100,000 people there now. It is today the second city
in importance in what is called Turkey in Europe, and the
third in population. About a third of these people are Jews.
Up to a short time ago three great cathedrals were there, built
by Christians, but they have passed into the hands of Moham_
medans and become mosques. Something over twenty years
ago the chief one of these cathedrals, the Mosque of St. Sofia,
was destroyed by fire, to the regret of the whole world on ac_
count of its magnificence and of marvelous relics of ancient
times kept there.
This city was captured by the Saracens, or Mohammedans,
in A.D. 934, after a long and desperate siege. These Saracens
held it until A.D. 1185, when the Crusaders recaptured it. There
are some marvelous things in the history of these two sieges.
The Crusaders held it until 1430, not far from the time that
Columbus discovered America, when the Turks captured it,
and have held it ever since.
It was a favorite stopping place of Cicero. Some of his most
famous letters were written from Thessalonica. He was there
with Pompey’s army just before that army was defeated at
the battle of Pharsolus. It is interesting to compare those let_
ters of Cicero, written from Thessalonica, with those two let_
ters that Paul wrote to the people of Thessalonica not more
than 100 years later. (See introduction to Thessalonians in
Cambridge Bible.)
The church established by Paul at Thessalonica, with all of
its subsequent development down to the present time, has been
a very famous theme in church history. It got the reputation
of being called the orthodox city, and it became the center of
the wonderful missionary activity when the Goths and the
Slavs invaded that country. These Christian people determined
to convert them, and Thessalonica headed the great missionary
movement. It now affiliates with the Greek Catholic Church
and has done so for many hundred years. A Greek Catholic
Archbishop lives there,, and most of them haven’t much reli_
gion. This is a brief account of that place before and after the
apostle Paul touched it.
But let us see how Christianity reached Thessalonica. Turn
to Acts 17 and read carefully verses 1_9 which give the his_
topical account of the establishment of the church at Thes_
salonica by Paul, Silas, and Timothy: „Now when they had
passed through Amphiboles and Apologia, they came to Thes_
salonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews.” They always
liked to commence their preaching at a synagogue because,
first, they felt they ought to lead the Jews to Christ, and
second, because grouped around the synagogue was always a
large class of Gentiles who had been proselyted with different
degrees of proselytism to the Jews. There were quite a number
of them in Thessalonica who had become disgusted with the
idolatry of the heathen and were attracted by the pure mono_
theism of the Jews. The gospel was received more readily by
Jewish proselytes than by any other class. Then the synagogue
gave them a house in which to preach, as well as a congrega_
tion, until the line had to be sharply drawn. „And Paul, as
his custom was, went in unto them, and for three sabbath days
[He met them on their own sabbath days.] reasoned with them
from the scriptures.” In their synagogue, on their sabbath day,
out of their Holy Book he reasoned with them.
Let us see what he talked about: „Opening and alleging
that it behooved the Christ to suffer.” He showed that the Old
Testament books taught that the Messiah must die, plainly
as prophesied by Isaiah (Isa. 5S), or typically, as in the sacri_
fices which foreshadowed his vicarious expiation. It was a hard
thing to convince a Jew that when his Messiah came he must
die. Then Paul had to prove his second position: „This Jesus
whom I proclaim unto you is your Messiah.” You see what a
logician Paul was, and how tactful: „I will come to your house.
I will come to your day of worship. I will take your own
books and let them be my text_books, and prove from these
Old Testament scriptures that the Messiah set forth in them
was to die and rise again the third day. That is my first prop_
osition. Then I will prove to you that Jesus of Nazareth, whom
I preached unto you, is that Messiah.”
That lasted three sabbath days. Let us see with what re_
sult: „And some of them were persuaded, and consorted with
Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude
[They always came in more readily.], and of the chief women.
not a few.” Notice how the gospel reaches women. See how it
reached Lydia back yonder at the place for a prayer meeting
in Philippi, where they did not have a synagogue. Notice how
it reached them under the preaching of Christ. Imagine those
chief Greek ladies in that city, those that thought and had
hearts, and consciences, seeing the shameful degradation of
woman under the heathen idolatries, how intently they listened
to a religion that exalts woman, lifts her from slavery, makes
her the companion and equal of man and the subject of divine
grace.
„But the Jews [here we come to the struggle], being moved
with jealousy, took unto them certain vile fellows of the rab_
ble.” We have them in every city, called the „riff_raff –
toughs.” What a mean thing it was to conspire with that kind
of a crowd to raise a mob against those preachers! Yet, I have
known similar things to be done. „And gathering a crowd, set
all the city in an uproar; and assaulting the house of Jason,
they sought to bring them forth to the people. And when they
found them not, they dragged Jason and certain brethren be_
fore the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the
world upside down have come hither also.”
This is the accusation – that they were revolutionary; that
they were guilty of treason against Caesar, since they set up
another king, one Jesus. Precisely the same charges were
brought against Christ – treason and sedition. „And they
troubled the multitude and the rulers of the city, when they
heard these things.” Those Roman judges, however, were not
very easily led aside to do a wrong thing. In jurisprudence,
the Romans were the most just of all the governments of the
ancient world. So they took security. Far back goes the cus_
tom of putting a man under bond: „And when they had taken
security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.” That is
the history in the Acts.
The first and second letters to the Thessalonians bring out
many details of that work that Luke in his account in the Acts
does not give. Let us see what Paul preached while he was
there. First, as I have shown, he preached to the Jews, show_
ing that the Old Testament Messiah must suffer and die and
rise again from the dead, and that Jesus was that Messiah.
Then he set forth the purpose of that death. That was to the
Jews. When they spoke to the Gentiles they told forth the fal_
sity and the wickedness of idolatry. We learn that many of
them turned from their idols and served the true and living
God. They preached the glorious kingdom of God, and Jesus
Christ the King. Here was one world empire, Rome. They
preached another world empire and Jesus Christ as the King.
And particularly did he emphasize that Jesus, who died, rose
again, and ascended to heaven, will come a second time to
judge the world in righteousness. I will show how this matter
is brought out. In I Thessalonians 1:10 it says, „And to wait
for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even
Jesus, who delivereth us from the wrath to come.”
Take 2:19: „For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glory_
ing? Are not even ye, before our Lord Jesus Christ at his
coming?” Take 3:13: „To the end he may establish your
hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at
the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” Take 4:14_
18; it is all about the second coming of Christ. Take 5:23:
your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without
blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I have given
you a passage in each chapter of that letter bearing upon the
second coming of Christ. We will discuss these things more
particularly when we go to discuss the letter itself. I am show_
ing you what he preached at Thessalonica.
The doctrines that he preached were closely followed by
moral applications. The morals of the poor people among the
heathen were awful, and the upper classes were worse than
they. Paul preached to them that they must be pure in life.
The worship of their idols was accompanied with debasing
forms of adultery and fornication. These people of Thessalo_
nica were not half as moral in their lives as the lowest and most
ignorant of the Negroes here in this country, with their crude
ideas of the sanctity of marriage and the purity of life. Paul
emphasized the doctrine of purity. Then he emphasized the
doctrine of loving the brethren and, particularly, he struck
them a hard blow on honest self_support. The streets of those
old cities then were filled with idlers and loafers, hang_
ing around and begging. If we were to walk through
the streets of Thessalonica today, we would need a
guard to keep off the professional beggars. Paul laid
down the unwelcome proposition that professors of faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ who would not work, should
not eat. What a wonderful doctrine for the time and
place! What a reforming power it must have been with
that kind of a population! It is a pity that the great cities of
the Latin race and of the Orient do not now have the doctrine
that a grown man who hangs around in rags and begs, without
visible means of support, is not entitled to respect and ought
not to be allowed to eat. It was on this account that he him_
self worked night and day to support himself. He wanted to
give them an example. He writes to them and tells them that
he had a right to demand a support from them, but he did not
exact his right. He wanted to uphold the dignity and majesty
and honor of good, honest, hard work. We ought not to have
any respect for a religion that makes idlers now.
That is what he preached, and the results we have already
seen: a few Jews, a great many proselytes, including the most
honorable women in the city, were converted, and as soon as
the line was drawn the Jews began to persecute, and he told
them when he came back with his sores from stripes received at
Philippi that there was nothing ahead of him but death, bonds,
and imprisonment. He told these poor people, and reminded
them of the fact that he had told them before, that they who
follow Christ must suffer persecution. It was no easy path that
he pointed out to them.

Now, compelled to leave there under the circumstances of
that persecution, we want to know how long it was before he
wrote this letter. Luke tells us that he went from there to
Berea. He left that big road and went off to the quiet coun_
try. He stayed there until the Jews at Thessalonica followed
him and raised a persecution against him. Then he left Berea
and they took him to Athens. There he preached, and from
Athens he went to Corinth. From Athens he sent Timothy back
to Thessalonica to find out how these people were getting along,
and so we learn in Acts 18:5 that Timothy rejoined him at
Corinth, and we learn from I Thessalonians 3:6, his first let_
ter, the same thing: „But when Timothy came even now unto
us from you, and brought us glad tidings of your faith and
love, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, long_
ing to see us, even as we also to see you.” There is the occasion
of the letter. Who wrote it? Paul. Where? At Corinth. When?
About five or six months after be left Thessalonica.
What is the character, or style, of this letter as a piece of
composition? Everybody is glad that it is not a logical trea_
tise; that it is not a sermon. Everybody is glad that it is a
letter from the heart, Just as if he were speaking face to face
with these people, pouring out his heart to them. The letter of
a missionary to a church where he has labored with much pain
and affliction, and yet with great success; full of love, full of
consolation, full of exhortation, every line of it blazes with his
own fiery impulse and passionate devotion to Christ, and love
for them.

ANALYSIS OF DR. BROADUS
Introduction (1:1).
1. Reminding them of the past (1:2 to 3:13).
(a) When he was with them (1:2 to 2:20).
(b) Since his departure (3:1_13).
2. Exhortations for the future (4:1 to 5:25).
Farewell Salutation (5:26_28).
QUESTIONS
1. What the comparative value of Paul’s letters?
2. What eighteen books must one read to understand fully the spirit
of Paul?
3. How many and what groups of Paul’s letters, what the books of
each group, and when and where was each book written?
4. Of what does each group treat?
5. What are the periods of Paul’s life?
6. What the different views of Paul in the Acts and his letters?
7. What the variety of style in his letters?
8. What the geographical situation of Thessalonica, and what the
land and sea advantages?
9. What the history of Thessalonica before Paul went there??
10. What its history since Paul’s day, and what its present condition?
11. What distinguished Roman citizen wrote letters from Thessa_
lonica, and how do they compare with Paul’s letters to the church
there?
12, What the place of the church at Thessalonica in history, what its
missionary activity, and with what church do the people there now
affiliate?
13. Give briefly how Christianity reached Thessalonica, Paul’s method
there, and the results?
14. What did Paul preach while he was there?
15. What of the moral condition of these people, and how did Paul
deal with it?
16. What the occasion of this letter?
17. Who wrote it?
18. Where did he write it?
19. When did he write it?
20. What is the character, or style, of this letter as a piece of composition?
21. Give the short analysis by Broadus.

VII
EXPOSITION
I Thessalonians 1:1 to 3: 13.

We shall follow a full and extended analysis that takes cog_
nizance of everything in this letter. In that analysis the first
thing that we consider is the salutation: „Paul, and Silvanus,
and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God the
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.”
It was customary in ancient times for a salutation to intro_
duce two matters. The Romans particularly had that habit.
In this salutation the first question is, Who saluted? The
answer is, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, who co_labored in the
establishment of this church. The next question is, Whom sa_
luted? „The church of the Thessalonians in God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Note (speaking of the Greek word
ekklesia, which is rendered „church”) that there were three ec_
clesias in Thessalonica at one time: First, the Jewish syna_
gogue; second, the Greek ecclesia – that civil body which man_
aged the affairs of the city. To these two that are already
there a new ecclesia comes, a new congregation having a new
business, giving a new atmosphere, and that is the church or
ecclesia of God the Father. But when it adds „and the Lord
Jesus Christ,” that separates it from the Jewish church. That
also separated it from that civil business body, the Greek ec_
clesia.
Is this the first letter ever written to a Christian church of
which we have any knowledge? Before answering, read Acts
15. James’s letter precedes it in order of time, but it was not
addressed to a church.
The next item in the letter is the salutation proper, „Grace
and peace.” If one will pass rapidly over the letters of Paul,
he will find that he followed the Oriental custom of salutations.
Nearly all the time he brought in „grace and peace” and some_
times added „mercy.” It is interesting to take the beginning
of all his letters and see how in writing them he salutes them
in that way. It was the grace of God that secured their salva_
tion, and through their justification they found peace with God.
The next division is the thanksgiving. That commences at
verse 2 and includes verse 10ùa most marvelous thanksgiving:
„We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of
you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work
of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord
Jesus Christ, before our God and Father.” Here it would be
interesting to take up the letters of Paul and notice his custom,
right after the salutation, of putting in a thanksgiving if he had
anything to be thankful for. Trace that through his letters
and see if he does not, as here, in wishing grace and peace to
the people to whom he writes, first seek out the ground of
thankfulness that he has toward God concerning them. There
was one letter that he wrote in which he omitted the thanks_
giving – the letter to the churches of the Galatians. They had
taken the back track to such a fearful degree that Paul, when
he wrote to them, left out the thanksgiving.
Notice in the second place the extent and broadness of his
thanksgiving here. It exceeds any that we find anywhere else:
„We give thanks unto God always for you ail,” all the way
and all the time. When he wrote a letter to the Corinthians
and put in his thanksgiving he could not give thanks for every_
one of them, for one of them had been guilty of an awful sin,
and of others of them he said that, even weeping, he must say
that they were enemies of Christ.
Paul says to these Thessalonians, „Every time I pray for you
I thank God for you; and second, every time I remember three
things about you, your work of faith, your labor of love, your
patience of hope, I also thank God for you.” Notice Paul’s
trinity of Christian graces – faith, hope, and love. He brings

that out in his letter to the Colossians and again in I Corin_
thians 13: „But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and
the greatest of these is love.” Here compare the three heathen
graces, which may be found in Anthon’s „Classical Diction_
ary,” with the three Christian graces, and tell wherein the
Christian graces are superior to the heathen graces.
Notice the work of faith, Greek ergon, the labor of love,
kopos, and the endurance of hope, hupomone. I am inclined to
think that these Thessalonians through their faith had done
some miraculous work that we do not know anything about.
When we read Hebrews II we see the great work that faith
did, and each one has a particular work: „By faith Enoch was
translated . . . by faith Abraham . . . by faith Noah . . . by
faith Rahab . . . ,” etc. Each one performed some mighty ex_
ploit, an ergon, or work – „the work of faith.” This being sin_
gular, ergon, I am inclined to think that there was some ex_
plicit exploit rendered by these Thessalonians to which Paul
refers when he says, „Every time I remember your work of
faith I am thankful.” Just what the particular work was I do
not know. It was a work of faith in the Roman amphitheater
when the brave Christian woman preferred to be cast to the
wild beasts rather than abjure her faith. These Thessalonians
were very much persecuted after they had professed the Chris_
tian religion, and there may have been some signal incident of
persecution. Anyhow, faith that does not work is not worth a
cent. These are the three things that every time Paul thought
of the Thessalonians he was thankful about.
Now we come to a new topic, beginning with verse 4:
„Knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election, how that
our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power,
and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; even as you
know what manner of men we showed ourselves toward you
for your sake. And ye became imitators of us, and of the Lord,
having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the
Holy Spirit; so that ye became an ensample to all that believe
in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you hath sounded
forth the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia,
but in every place your faith to Godward is gone forth; so
that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves re_
port concerning us what manner of entering in we had unto
you; and how ye turned unto God from idols, to serve a living
and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he
raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivereth us from the
wrath to come.”
„I am thankful,” says Paul (mentioning three reasons why
he is thankful), „every time I pray; every time I remember
the three things; every time I know that you are elected, I am
thankful.”
Let us consider somewhat the matter of election. It is some_
thing that may be known. He says he knew it.
Once I helped to ordain a man for whom I conducted the
examination. I asked the questions just as fast as I could fire
the shots at him:
„What does election mean?”
„To choose.”
„Who chooses?”
„God.”
„When?”
„Before the foundation of the world.”
„Unto what?”
„Salvation.”
„In whom?”
„In Christ.”
„Was this election based on foreseen repentance and faith,
or did repentance and faith result from the election?”
This was the thing that Paul was discussing: „I am thank_
ful, brethren, because I know you are elected. You are chosen
of God unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and
belief of the truth in Jesus Christ.”

That being the doctrine of election, _that God chose those
people in eternity, yet Paul here in time could find out. So
what are the tokens or signs that one is elected? These tokens
are of two kinds: signs to Paul, the preacher, and signs in
them, or the evidence that they are the elect. When he saw
these signs he knew they were elect. How important that thing
is for us. Our articles of faith say it is our privilege and duty
to ascertain whether we are elected. We ought to find out
whether we have been chosen of God. There is a way to find
out: „How that our gospel came not unto you in word only,
but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much as_
surance.”
I heard a man once quote that to show that these Thes_
salonians had assurance because they had faith. He is not
talking about their assurance but his assurance – that he
(Paul) preached not in word only, but in power and in the
Holy Spirit and in much assurance. From this he argued: „I
come to a place to preach. Do I find that I can preach there?
Do I feel drawn to preach there? Am I impressed in my heart
that the Lord has a people to call out? Does it impress me so
that when I go to preach I feel that the power of the Holy
Spirit is with me? If I can feel these things, that is a token
that somebody there belongs to the elect.”
But that does not locate .the elect. It shows that they are
there, but not which ones. But these are the signs in them:
„Ye received this word which I preached, not as from men, but
as God’s word, or the manner in which you listened to me;
second, your conversion: ‘Ye turned unto God from idols to
serve the living and true God.’ ”
Notice next: „And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom
he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivereth us from
the wrath to come.” In other words, „When I see how you
heard me, from what you turned, to what you turned, that
patient waiting for the risen Lord, that you had faith in him,
the patience of hope – hope which takes cognizance of the
second coming of Christ, your waiting under great afflictions,
I know that you are elect.”
Another token is, „You became imitators of the church of
Judea in suffering affliction and persecution. If when you were
persecuted you had fallen away and said, If being a Christian
is to walk this hot road I will turn back and seek the shade,’ ”
then, he would have known that they were not the elect, but
since they heard his preaching as the word of God, turned
from idols and patiently waited for the coming of the Lord,
who was to deliver from the wrath to come, and since while
waiting they followed the footsteps of Christians elsewhere,
imitating these Christians in bearing up patiently under the.
persecutions to which they were subjected, he had that as_
surance. For instance, Jason whom they arrested and took be_
fore the magistrate and put under bond to keep the peace, they
would have put to death if they had had the power. „Jason,
does this prejudice you against the religion you profess?”
John Bunyan tells how Christian and Pliable came to the
Slough of Despond, and they both fell in the mire, and Pliable
began to say, „Is this the great road you are talking about to
the great country you are going to? I am going back to the
country I came from.” As we look at him we know that he
was not elect. But if this other man, though sinking in the
Slough of Despond, finally pulls out, covered with dirt, yet
with his face toward the heavenly city, that is a token that he
is elect.
Still another token: „So that ye became an ensample to all
that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.” That is, they be_
came an example in all Greece and Peloponnesus. „For from
you hath sounded forth the word of the Lord, not only in
Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith to God_
ward is gone forth.” When we want to consider the question of
election, here we have it.
God does not permit us to climb a ladder and go into his
secret archives and turn the pages and see if a man’s name is
written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. But he does permit us to
know whether we are elect or whether anybody else is elect.
When this knowledge comes to the missionary that the men
to whom he preaches are elect, then he is thankful, as Paul
says, „knowing your election.”
We come now to the next ‘item in the full analysis. The
fifth general head is, „The Reminder of the Past.” What is it
he reminds them of? See 2:1_2: „For yourselves, brethren,
know our entering in unto you, that it hath not been found
vain; but having suffered before and been shamefully treated,
as ye know, at Philippi, we waxed bold in our God to speak
unto you the gospel of God in much conflict.” In other words,
„Now, you know when I got there from Philippi, so bruised
from those stripes received from the lictor’s rod, and weak
from imprisonment, brethren, ye remember how boldly I came
to you and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was not
scared. I was not discouraged on account of receiving punish_
ment at the hands of the lictors in Philippi. I had no idea of
turning back.”
Here are some negative things to which he wants to call
our attention, and what a pity that every preacher could not
say this: „For our exhortation is not of error [he brought them
no heresy], nor of uncleanness, nor in guile; . . . not as pleas_
ing men, . . . for neither at any time were we found using
words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness,
God is witness; nor seeking glory of men.” Let us get these
„nots.” He is reminding them of things when he was with them
before, calling their attention to his manner of entering in and
preaching to them; that wherever he went and preached, he
didn’t preach a heresy; that he didn’t go in uncleanness as the
teachers of the heathen did, using their influence over their
disciples to bring them to shame; not in guile; not to make
money; not, indeed to please. „I am not seeking your pleasure,
nor flattering you.” How hard it is to keep a preacher, when he
sits down by some member of his church, from saying a few
flattering words. Paul calls their attention to the fact that
when he preached among them he did not use flattery.
Let us see what he did: „But we were gentle in the midst of
you, as when a nurse cherisheth her own children; how gentle
.she is!” Paul says, „I was not rough, affectionately desirous
of you.” „I was with you in affection.” „Willing not only to
impart the gospel to you, but my own soul. For ye remember,
brethren, our labor and travail, that we might not be a burden
to you, working every day and night.” They were heathen; it
was missionary ground, and they knew nothing about the prin_
ciples of missionary support. If he had demanded a salary of
these heathen, he never would have gotten them. That is why
we have to pay a missionary a salary. They are going where
there are no churches and where the very mention of compen_
sation turns the people away that we want to convert.
Notice again: „Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily
and righteously and unblamably we behaved ourselves toward
you that believe; as ye know how we dealt with each one of
you, as a father with his own children.”
When I get to reading Paul, it digs me up by the roots, so
that I feel like I have never done the right kind of preaching
and did not have the right kind of spirit.
The next thing is his impeachment of the Jews, 2:14: „For
ye also suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even
_as they did of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus and
the prophets, and drove out us, and please not God, and are
‘contrary to all men; forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that
they may be saved; to fill up their sins always; but the wrath
is come upon them to the uttermost.” That is a fearful in_
dictment against his people, and every word of it is true.
From 2:17 on to the end of chapter 3, he reminds them of
the things since he left them. He goes on to show that since
he left them he had continually desired to come back, and
twice tried to come back, but Satan hindered him, and in order
that something might be added to their faith, he was willing
to be left alone at Athens in order that Timothy might go back
and supply what was lacking in their faith. So on through
chapter 3.

QUESTIONS
1. What the salutation of this letter, verbatim, who saluted, and
whom saluted?
2, What the three ecclesias at Thessalonica, and what the distin_
guishing characteristics of each?
3. Was this the first New Testament letter written to a church?
4. What two things does Paul, according to Oriental custom, intro_
duce in this salutation, and why?
5. What was Paul’s habit as to what followed the salutation of his
letters, and what notable exception?
6. Show the extent and broadness of this thanksgiving, and how
Paul was limited in some other thanksgivings in his letters.
7. What Paul’s trinity of Christian graces, and wherein are they
superior to the heathen graces?
8. What did Paul remember in the Thessalonians which furnished a
ground of thanksgiving, and what the meaning and application of these
things?
9. What is election, who elects, when, unto what, in whom, and what
the relation of election to repentance and faith?
10. Show how Paul knew of their election of God, (1) from signs in.
him, and (2) from signs in them.
11. What the literal meaning of conversion, and what illustration of
it in this letter?
12. What the characteristics of Paul’s preaching while at Thessalonica,
and what the characteristics of their reception of his preaching?
13. What claim does Paul make for his life among them?
14. Describe the terrible indictment Paul brings against his own
people in 2:14_16.
15. Give an. analysis of 2:17 to 3:13, pointing out ita principal
teachings..

VIII
A LESSON ON CHRISTIAN MORALS
I Thessalonians 4:1_18.

This exposition commences at I Thessalonians 4, which
brings us to the sixth item of the extended analysis, the title
of which is, „A Lesson on Christian Morals,” that is, it con_
sists of an exhortation to purity/of life, to brotherly love, and
to honest work.
Let us observe here, as in all of Paul’s letters, how the prac_
tical is deduced from the doctrinal. He had no conception of
the practical apart from the doctrinal, otherwise this letter
might have closed with the end of chapter 3, making good doc_
trinal sense, but it was ever Paul’s custom, after he had written
the body of the discourse and of the theory, to transmute this
further into the fruits of godliness.
Let us look at the first lesson on Christian morals: „Finally
then, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus,
that, as ye received of us how ye ought to walk and to please
God, even as ye do walk, – that ye abound more and more. For
ye know what charge we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification; that ye
abstain from fornication; that each one of you know how to
possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who know not
God; that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in the mat_
ter; because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as also
we forewarned you and testified. For God called us not for
uncleanness, but in sanctification. Therefore, he that rejecteth,
rejecteth not man, but God, who giveth his Holy Spirit unto
you.”

That is a remarkable lesson, and particularly let us ob_
serve the necessity, in the case of these Gentile converts, for
this exhortation, owing to the past habits of their lives. I mean
that their religious habits were associated with the most de_
basing crimes and uncleanness, and it was a difficulty in the
way of gospel preachers then, as our missionaries in heathen
lands find it today, after men are converted to keep them from
relapsing into those vile, beastly sins of the body.
I witnessed our missionaries dealing with that problem in
Mexico, where the peons, or low class of Mexicans, know not
what decency of life means. They were converted or professed
to be, but what a difficult thing it was for the missionary to
impress upon their consciences the sanctity of the family, or
the chastity of the marriage relation.
Note this reference: „God called us not for uncleanness, but
in sanctification.” It is as noticeable in the conversion of a
sinner as it is in the call to the ministry. The call, made
through the gospel and by the power of the Holy Spirit, singles
out a man and brings him in touch with God, and wherever
it is a true and effectual calling it always ends in justification,
sanctification, and the glorification of the body. Paul says,
„Whom he called them he also justified; and whom he justified
them he also glorified.” The glorification of the body is its
complete sanctification and freedom from all dishonor, weak_
ness, and immorality. Whoever then sins, sins against the call
that he received that made him a Christian. On that account,
notice the nature of the offense: „Therefore, he that rejecteth
[that command], rejecteth not man, but God, [because it was
God who called him], who giveth his Holy Spirit unto you.”
If he be a Christian, the Holy Spirit is dwelling in him. In
many places in Paul’s letters the exhortation to purity of life
is based on the doctrine that our bodies are the temples of the
Holy Spirit, and that whosoever defileth or destroyeth the
temple of God, him will God destroy.

The second exhortation is brotherly love: „But concerning
the love of the brethren ye have no need that one write unto
you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another;
for indeed ye do it toward all the brethren that are in all Mace_
donia. But we exhort you, brethren, that ye abound [in this
love] more and more.” There is a beautiful thought there,
that the love which a Christian has for a fellow Christian is
the result of going to school to God – that God himself teaches
the lesson. Hence our old_time Baptist preachers, in preach_
ing upon the evidence of conversion, dealt particularly on
love: „We know that we have passed out of death into life,
because we love the brethren.”
I remember once in a great meeting a little girl timidly came
forward and offered to join the church. She was very small,
and one of the brethren moved that the case be deferred – that
she seemed too young to understand. I said, „Let us be sure
we are right before we defer this case. This child is old enough
to trust and old enough to love, and we will hear what she
says for herself.” So I put this question: „Little daughter, how
do you know that you love God’s people?” She said, „I have
thought about that, and I have asked myself this question, ‘If
I should come to a place where the road of life forks, one way
very pleasant and the other very unpleasant, and God’s peo_
ple went the unpleasant way, which crowd would I prefer to
follow?’ and I thought that I should prefer to go with God’s
people over a bad road than with ungodly people over a good
road, because I love God’s people more than the other people.”
Whereupon, the objectors began to distrust their wisdom, and
when I examined her on faith she seemed to possess the sweet_
est trust in Jesus that I ever heard related. Where did she get
it? She was God taught. Young as she was, she had been a
pupil of the Almighty, and she had learned to love and trust
Jehovah, and she had just as clear ideas about what is meant
by loving the people of God by which we may know that we
have passed from death unto life, as any grown person. There
was not an objection in the house when we took the vote on
receiving her for baptism. Young people are more apt to prove
faithful than those who are converted when they are advanced
in life.
He continues his exhortation: „And that ye study to be
quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your
hands, even as we charged you; that ye may walk becomingly
toward them that are without, and may have need of nothing.”
What a sturdy Christianity Paul had! A loafer and a dead_
beat got no respect from him at all. If able, anybody ought to
work, not only that he may not lack anything, but in order that
he may walk honestly before them that are without. Idleness
leads to theft and dishonesty, and Paul elevates labor very
high in dignity.
I read two things in the papers recently that pleased me
very much. One was that the Ladies’ Aid Society of the Bap_
tist Church at Mart, wanting to make a contribution, got in
a wagon and went two miles in the country to a farm and
picked a lot of cotton for which they received $12. That was
no degradation to those women. The other thing was, that
Deacon M. H. Standifer, of the First Church at Waco, took a
wagon load of Baylor University boys out one Saturday and
picked cotton, although it rained. Surely the Christian religion
is in favor of good honest work. There is not a bit of shame
in it.
Paul told these Thessalonians squarely that if anybody
would not work, he must not ea – that he was not entitled even
to his one meal a day, much less three meals, if he was an
idler. If a man had a hundred million dollars, he would be
both sinful and unhappy if he did not work. One of the kings
of France had a carpenter’s shop fixed up for him, and he
went out there and worked at that business. His wife had a
dairy, and there she would take her maids of honor and teach
them how to keep their milk vessels clean, and have sweeter

cream and make better butter than anyone else in the whole
kingdom.
We come now to the richest and sweetest things in all the
Word of God, which brings us to the seventh item of the analy_
sis. This extends from 4:13 to 5:11, and bears upon the great
doctrine of the second advent, using certain facts to enable
him to comfort all the people who were needlessly distressed
concerning their dead.
I want to make perfectly clear the significance of this great
passage of scripture. I will venture the assertion that almost
every preacher who has conducted many funeral services has
used this scripture. Let us see how rich it is in thought and
meaning, and see if we can’t get some new light: „But we
would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that
fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest who have no
hope.” Ignorance concerning the state of the dead necessarily
brings great anxiety and sorrow. We may be ignorant about
human history, or the sciences, about the commonest facts of
the world, but it is awful for us to be ignorant concerning the
state of the dead. Upon that subject God has flashed the light
of the brightest knowledge, and because of that bright light
the keenness of sorrow is taken out of our hearts when our
Christian loved ones die.
The special point of their ignorance that caused them sor_
row was their belief that to die before Christ came would be
a calamity. If one could just live until Christ came it would
be all right, but he would suffer loss to die before Christ came.
Paul wants to show them that it does not make the snap of a
finger’s difference about whether we die before Christ comes
or not, and it is foolish to set our hearts upon being alive when
Christ comes. That desire arises from ignorance of the state
of the righteous dead. If we notice the state of the righteous
dead, we would see no difference in dying before Christ comes
or being alive when he comes.
The next thought is that when a good man dies his spirit
goes to Jesus. In that respect he is ahead of us who are alive.
Hence, Paul says, „Brethren, for me to die is gain, for when I
am absent from the body I am present with the Lord.” No loss
there. As Jesus said, „Father, into thy hands I commend my
Spirit.” As the book of Ecclesiastes says, „Then shall the body
return to the dust as it was, but the spirit unto God who gave
it.” Get that fixed, that when the earthly house of this taber_
nacle is dissolved we have a building with God, a house not
made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The advantage, then,
is with the one that dies. Paul says, „On my part it will be a
gain to die; personally, I would be much better off, for when
I am dead I shall be with the Lord.”
Here are some doctrines: If the soul of a Christian lodges in
some halfway house, and is under some disability while there,
and has to stay there until the resurrection day, well may we
weep over our dead; well may we desire to be alive till Jesus
comes. If the soul is imprisoned somewhere and does not go
directly to heaven, I can understand those Thessalonians weep_
ing over their dead. If the Roman Catholic theory that when
a soul dies it goes into some intermediate place and is in suf_
fering and flames, be true, well may we weep and make gifts
to the priests to pray our people out of that awful place. But if
the soul, just as soon as the body dies, goes right to heaven,
and right to the presence of God himself, we ought not to be
ignorant of that. What a corrective of unnecessary sorrow I
Therefore, I have always combated the theory of any mid_
dle place where the soul lodges and stays till the judgment
day. I am sure it is not a teaching of the New Testament. I
am sure if it had been the teaching of the New Testament the
Thessalonians would have had something to sorrow about, and
Paul could not have comforted them. They are gone to God,
the Judge. They are where God is, where the angels are, the
new Jerusalem, the heavenly Zion, to the spirits of the just
made perfect, to Jesus, the Mediator.
Jesus said to the thief on the cross, „Today shalt thou be
with me in paradise.” The poor, ignorant thief prayed, „Lord,
remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” Not
„then,” but „today, shalt thou be with me in paradise,” says
Jesus.
In the book of Revelation, we see that the tree of life is on
the river of life that rises under the throne of God. Let us get
that point deep in our hearts, and let us not preach any half_
way house for the dead. „It came to pass that the rich man
also died and in hell he lifted up his eyes.” He did not lodge
anywhere.
That idea of a middle life was derived in medieval Chris_
tianity, in the dark ages, coming from heathen origin. The
heathen (and these were the heathen that had Just been con_
verted, these very Greeks), believed that if one died and was
unburied, for example if drowned and the body not recovered,
then the soul or shade would wander around unblessed until
the body was buried. In the book of Vergil, a shade meets the
poet as he is descending into the lower world, a flitting, rest_
less spirit, and says, „Oh bury me, bury me! And if you can_
not put me under the ground, then it may serve to sprinkle
a little sand on me, and count it for a burial.” It was pre_
cisely that thought that led to the institution of sprinkling
instead of immersion. Those poor Thessalonian people had all
the terrors about those who died.
Notice, in the next place, that when Jesus comes he will
bring with him those spirits of the Christians whose bodies
died here upon the earth. They are up there, and when he
starts back here, the spirits will be with him. It is only the
body that sleeps. So the truth of the hymn, „Asleep in Jesus,
blessed sleep!” Charles Wesley, in his dying hymn, presented
the change, or transfiguring, of the bodies of the living, so
there is no advantage in living on the earth until the second
coming of Christ, and the souls of the living people do not
get to Christ first, because Christ brings those Christian souls
who are dead with him.
There is an equal participation between those who live until
he does come and those who died before he comes. The dead
are raised, and the living are changed, so together they are
caught up. Where is any advantage? We may ask where Paul
gets all this. He says, „I received this gospel, and with it I
received knowledge of the word of God, and I am taking away
all this trouble concerning the dead. The Lord himself shall
descend.”
It will be a real coming. The coming of the Lord is a per_
sonal thing. He comes in death, he comes in the judgment, but
I have always contended that the personal coming of the Lord
is the hope of the world.
„For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of
God.”
In studying the Gospels we find what the shout is: „Behold
the bridegroom cometh! Go ye out to meet him!” And we
have found out who sounds the trumpet.
It was not Gabriel. That is Negro theology. The object of
the blowing of that trumpet is not to wake the dead, but to
summon the holy angels. All the angels will come down when
he comes, and there will be that great trumpet sound that
waxes louder and louder and louder until their hearts within
them shall be stirred. Job says, „Hide me in the grave until
thy wrath has passed; thou wilt call and I will answer thee.”
Just as Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus and said,
„Lazarus, come forth!” so he will speak and call our names,
and our bodies will arise, and when he comes that second time
there will be a mighty shout, „Behold the bridegroom!” All of
the earth and heaven will ring with sonorous peals of that
shout, the sealed doors of death will be opened, and the Spirit’s
power will then throw off the cerements of the grave in re_
sponse to the voice of Jesus Christ.
Notice the double voice: To the living: „Behold the bride_
groom!” To the dead: „Come forth!” You see how the voice
is adapted to each case. It also says the voice of the arch_
angel.
There is a passage in the book of Revelation that has some_
times been interpreted to mean what the archangel says. That
says, „I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven
. . . and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot
on the earth . . . and lifted up his hand to heaven and swear
. . . that there should be time no longer,” i.e., the end of time.
That ‘is beautiful, but I question the interpretation. I think
that it means when that angel plants one foot upon the sea and
the other foot upon the shore, it is an answer to the prayers
of those Christians, „How long, 0 Lord, how long?” Then the
angel says, „Time was, time is, but there shall be time no
longer. You will get your answer now.” I think that is the
meaning. There are hierarchies in the angelic body, princi_
palities and powers. Michael is called the prince, Gabriel is
a prince, and in connection with him we have all the traditions
about the trumpet.
It is that trumpet sound that brings the angels. They have
double work to do. In the parable of the tares it is said that
the tares and the wheat grow together until the harvest. The
harvest is the end of the world. The good seed are the Chris_
tians; the bad seed are the devil’s children. They grow to_
gether until the harvest. At the end of the world the angels
shall gather up the tares ready for burning, and that is one
reason why another parable tells us that at the coming of the
Lord the angels shall gather up the wicked out of every place
on the earth, and that is the office of the angels. That is why in
that great prophecy he tells about two women, one of whom is
taken and the other left. The angel swoops down and that
woman is taken – one gathered to the harvest for heaven, and
the other gathered for the pit of hell.
Imagine the joy! It comforts me a great deal. As it is, my
body is not a very satisfactory body. The head gets sick; the
heart sore; the hand gets a finger nail mashed off; the muscles
take the rheumatism; it looks like everything in it is a disap_
pointment. But at that time the body is at rest. It is sown in
the image of the first Adam, and raised in the image of the
Second Adam. When that time comes and the disembodied
spirit now being able to get back into the old house which has
been regenerated, will rejoice, and it will be a time of great
joy.
I noticed a bird last year, which seemed to come from afar.
I knew the bird, for it had a broken wing. We had allowed it
to build its nest in a certain place. When she saw the nest still
there she commenced to rejoice and sing her glad song of
home_coming. In like manner the soul, like a bird which flies
into its old nest, leaps into the body glorified, and then, as
Paul says, it is sanctified, body, soul, and spirit. What a hap_
py time when the long separated parts are brought together!

QUESTIONS
1. What three moral virtues are inculcated in I Thessalonians 4:1_12?
2. What Paul’s conception of the relation between doctrine and
morals? Illustrate from this letter.
3. What the special application of 4:1_8 to the Thessalonians, and
what illustration from modern missionary work?
4. What the relation of the Gospel to a sinner and the life? What
the nature of the offense when a Christian sins, and why?
5. What the great lesson on Love in 4:9_10?
6. What the great lesson on honest work in 4:11_12?
7. What illustration of this in modern history?
8. What great consolation is given in 4:13_18?
9. What the relation of the ignorance of the future state to human
sorrow?
10. What the special point of their ignorance which caused their sor_
row, and how does Paul relieve their fears?
11. With whom is the advantage, those who live till Christ’s second
advent, or those who die before, and why?
12. What great heresy suggested by this passage, and what the proof
to the contrary?
13. What the origin of this heresy, and what examples cited?
14. When the poet wrote, „Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep!” what
was his meaning?
15. How does Paul show that there is an equal participation between
those who live till Christ comes and those who die before he comes?
16. What the shout of 4:16?
17. Who will sound the trumpet, and what its purpose?
18. What the double voice? Illustrate.
19. What questionable interpretation here cited, and what the true
interpretation?
20. Are there hierarchies among the angels, and what the proof?
21. What the double work of the angels at Christ’s second advent?
22. illustrate the joy of the soul returning to its glorified body.

IX
A BODY OF RULES
I Thessalonians 5:1_28.

This fifth chapter is mainly a body of rules. The first part
of it needs explanation. The chapter commences thus:
„But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have
no need that aught be written unto you. For yourselves know
perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the
night.” He has just been comforting the Thessalonians with
the account of the second coming of our Lord, with the resur_
rection of the bodies of the righteous before the change in the
living righteous, saying that the two classes are caught up to_
gether in the air to join the Lord and are ever to be with the
Lord. So far he has not discussed the effect of the coming of
our Lord upon the wicked. We will have the case of the wicked
in the second letter.
He says here, „But concerning the times and the seasons,”
and there is a distinction in the meaning of „times” and „sea_
sons.” „Times” means stretches of time, or periods. They had
doubtless written a question to him to this effect: „Tell us
precisely how long it will be before Jesus comes, on what day
he will come, and what hour.” He is here replying to that
question, saying that it is not necessary for him to write on
that, because he has already explained to them that neither
the times nor the seasons has God put in any man’s power.
That is what our Saviour taught. No angel in heaven and no
apostle knew, and the Son of man, in the limitations of his
humanity, did not know.
But while our Lord as to his human nature did not know,
while no angel knew, and while no apostle knew, we are not
at all surprised to find a great many who do know exactly
this very thing of all others that God has hidden from any
human or angelic sight. I call attention now, particularly, to
this subject, as it is fascinating, and as some people are at_
tracted so much by the curious and sensational things of reli_
gion. They prefer to preach sermons on these subjects rather
than upon faith, hope, and love. They seek an answer to ques_
tions that God has not answered to any angel of heaven, or
apostle on the earth, and that was hidden even from the hu_
manity of Jesus Christ.
There seems to be a little irony in Paul’s reply. They want
to know precisely. He says, „For yourselves know perfectly
that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”
Our Lord himself discussed that very question. He taught that
if the householder knew exactly what month a burglar would
come around, and on what night of the month, and at what
hour of the night, it would be a very easy thing to forestall
him. But God hid those things, and now just as a burglar
does not write to a man that on November 9 at II P.M. he will
call at his house and come in through the back window in order
to steal his jewelry and whatever money is lying around, so
we need not expect such information with reference to the
second coming of Christ.
Christ’s second coming will be like a flash of lightning from
one end of the heavens to the other. There will be no external
premonition of it.
He then assures them that this fact need not disturb them,
however terrible it may be to the wicked. He says, „God has
not appointed you unto wrath but to obtain salvation by our
Lord Jesus Christ who died for you that whether you wake or
sleep you shall live together with him. Inasmuch as you are
guaranteed against the thief by the protecting care of God,
it makes no difference what night the thief comes. Whether you
live till Christ comes, whether he comes heralded or unherald_
ed, it is utterly immaterial with you, because from the begin_

ning he has chosen you for salvation and you will get the
benefit of that salvation when he comes.”
Now come some rules, a few of which need comment. The
others are all so obvious in their meaning that an attempt at
explanation will only mystify. The first one is in verses 12_13:
„But we beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among
you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and
to esteem them exceeding highly in love for their work’s sake.”
That shows that even this early there were those set apart
by the Lord as preachers, and having the oversight of churches,
and he is writing that they should approve their preachers and
should be subordinated to the rule of the pastor in the things
in which it is lawful for him to rule, and there are things in
which God has made him the overseer. That is what the word,
„bishop,” or episkopos, means.
I have heard some people say that the work of the church
should be determined by the deacons. That is expressly not so.
The deacons have committed unto them the finances of the
church, but the great work of the church is dependent upon
the spiritual leader. It is his voice that must give the signal, it
is his sermon that must give the instruction, it is his exposition
of God’s word that must lay down the law, and in this high
sense he is the legitimate ruler.
There is a spirit of lawlessness in the world that objects to
all rule. There are some people so constituted that they won’t
work „in the harness” at all. There are some horses that won’t
work except in the lead, and some that are not good except
as wheel_horses, and others that will not work at all with a
bridle or harness; they kick and squeal and prance, and finally
tear off at a tangent. There are some people of that kind in
the churches.
Here are some rules that need no comment: „Be at peace
among yourselves, admonish the disorderly, encourage the
faint_hearted, support the weak, be long_suffering toward all.
See that none render unto anyone evil for evil; but always fol_
low after that which is good, one toward another, and toward
all. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give
thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you_
ward.” These are rules which everybody ought to memorize,
and be able to call up each one. They ought to be on the walls
of every church as the standing orders of the Lord Jesus Christ
concerning Christian communities.
Here are others that need some explanation: „Quench not
the Spirit; despise not prophesyings; prove all things; hold
fast that which is good.” Every one of these directions relates
to the spiritual gifts conferred on the day of Pentecost and
later in the apostolic days. I have heard preachers preach
from the text, „Quench not the Spirit,” and speak on it as if it
referred to the witness of the Spirit within a man, or to the
indwelling Spirit in a man or to the Spirit of regeneration.
But none of these can be quenched. What he says, „Quench
you not,” in this special miraculous endowment that God be_
stowed so richly upon the apostolic churches for the purpose of
attesting them. He gives rules both ways on these spiritual
gifts: „Don’t quench them. They were given for a useful pur_
pose.” He taught in the letter to the Corinthians that a man
had control over them, and he could so act that they would
depart from him altogether. „Despise not prophesyings,” i.e.,
don’t hold in contempt these utterances that come from the
lips of men that have these gifts. A man would leap up in
the church and say, „Brethren, the Spirit is moving me, and
under the Spirit I want to make a declaration,” and he would
make it. In other words, „No matter what you may think
about what he will say, don’t quench the spiritual gifts, and
don’t despise prophesyings, but test what he is saying.” In
another letter John says, „Try the spirits to see whether they
be from God.” There are some spirits that are not from God.
There is an inspiration that comes not from God. There is
devil inspiration.
We had in Waco, when I was a young pastor, a great stir
upon the subject of spirit rapping, mediums and alleged com_
munications from the dead. I preached on the subject about
a week and put these things to the test, just as God commands
that they should be tested. The question I put to one of these
mediums was this: „Did Jesus Christ as God become manifest
in the flesh?” The answer was; „No, that is a misapprehen_
sion.” That answer settled his case, and I said, „You are con_
demned, because the scripture says that whosoever denieth
that Christ is come in the flesh is a liar and the truth is not
in him.” That is what Paul means here. He is not referring
to their conversion, nor to the Spirit that bore witness with
their spirits that they were children of God, nor to regenera_
tion) but this temporary miraculous gift that resteth with such
signal power upon the apostolic church.
He says, „Prove all,” not all things, but all these prophesy_
ings, that claim to come from the Spirit. „Hold fast to that
which is good.” In other words, „If it corresponds to the re_
vealed will of God set forth in the Bible, you may take it. If
it is contrary to that, reject it.”
The next rule calls also for some explanation. In the King
James Version, it reads: „Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
In my younger days how many times have I heard the old
brethren quote that! It was not enough for them that a thing
was bad; if it appeared to be evil, one had to shun it. That
is not the meaning of it at all. The rendering is bound to be
one of these two: „Abstain from every form of evil,” not some_
thing that simply appears to be evil; or else it means, „Ab_
stain from every evil show.” There are some shows we ought
not to attend. I went once in my life to a theatrical representa_
tion and I was glad I had no young lady with me. When I got
out I apologized to myself and told the Lord if he would for_
give me I would never go to see an evil show of that kind any
more. There are some shows so suggestive of indecency, in
word, or posture, or dress, they advertise their vileness. What

he teaches is, „Let evil come in any shape it may – abstain
from it.”
Another passage, just here, needs a little explanation. It is
his prayer, „The God of peace himself sanctify you wholly.”
That means „entire.” If we say concerning a thing composed
of fourteen parts, „Let it be sanctified wholly,” that would
mean in every one of its parts. And he continues, „And may
your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without
blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here a ques_
tion has been asked as to whether there be a threefold distinc_
tion in the nature of man. Are there three distinct parts in
man – body, soul, and spirit, or a tripartite nature? Or is man
of a dual nature – soul and body? In systematic theology,
those that hold to the dual nature of man are called dichoto_
mists, and those who hold to the threefold nature of man are
called trichotomists. My view of the subject is that from the
beginning God represents man as consisting of two distinct
elements, the inward man, and the outward man. The outward
man is the body; the inward man is the soul. When we con_
sider the inward man from another viewpoint we call it spirit.
Here it is important to note the time when sanctification is
consummated – „At the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
that is, when the body is raised from the dead and glorified.
Then only is a man completely sanctified. His soul, or spirit,
is sanctified at death, but his body is not sanctified until the
resurrection, and that is when Christ comes.
The last thing I need to say about anything in this chapter
is this: „I adjure you by the Lord that this epistle be read
unto all the brethren.” He wrote this letter to the church.
Every member of the church is entitled to hear it. What a
lesson that is to us that the Word of God is for everybody!
It is not for the preacher to take the letter and deal out as
much of it as he pleases to the congregation; not for him to
say, „I have here a letter from your Heavenly Father, and I
will read you such parts of ‘it as I think will do you good.”
Let the man himself have his Father’s letter – all of it. It
was written to him. It was not written to the priest. There
is no justification in withholding any part of it from a child
of God.
I heard Dr. McDonald, one of the mightiest preachers and
one of the sweetest spirits of the Southern Baptist Conven_
tion, who recently passed away, give an account of his con_
version from Roman Catholicism. He had been reared in that
faith in Ireland, and on his visit to the United States he saw
for the first time in his life a gathering in an old log house,
and he went in to find a Baptist meeting in progress. He
was wonderfully impressed with the way they did things, and
he was surprised to hear the preacher ask the people to take
their Bibles and see that everything he said was so. He did
not know that he had a right of that kind, and when the old
preacher very solemnly said, „Brethren, this book is God’s
letter to each one of you. If my mother were to write me a
letter, what man would have a right to capture my mail, and
pome to me and tell me that he would read such passages
of my mother’s letter to me as he thought was best for me?”
There the thought first entered his mind that became the
entering wedge which separated him from the Romanist faith,
and which led to his conversion. Paul wanted this letter
read to every one of the members of that church.
I will comment a little on one other expression: „Salute all
the brethren with a holy kiss.” The reader will excuse a
humorous allusion: When the great controversy between the
Baptist and the Campbellite brethren came up, the latter
claimed that they stood by what the book said, and one day
down in South Texas one of their preachers said to the con_
gregation, as the book says, „Salute each other with a holy
kiss,” that they must kiss each other, and he had been trou_
bled about it in view of the fact that some of the brothers in
the church were colored. But he says, „I insist that we do
just what it says.” Whereupon, another brother got up and
said, „Brother moderator, we had better go slow on this; I
don’t believe I could kiss a colored member of this church
nor some of the white ones.” His wife spoke up and said,
„That’s right, John, if you kiss a Negro you shall never kiss
me again.”
And yet this scripture has a meaning. In the directions of
our Lord to the apostles when he sent them out he said, „Sa_’
lute no man by the way.” He did not mean that one of his
preachers should be discourteous, nor refuse to say, „How do
you do?” or, „Good_by.” But in that country the forms of
salutation took up a vast amount of time – they had so many
„bowings and scrapings” and waving of hands. But because
these apostles were on urgent business he told them to salute
no man by the way. As it was an Oriental custom to salute
even men with a kiss, this is put in here, not prescribing
that we shall kiss, but when we salute, let it be a holy salu_
tation. Let it be the salutation of a Christian, and not in_
sincere and simply form.

QUESTIONS
1. What the distinction in meaning between „times” and „seasons”
in I Thessalonians 5:1, and what the application?
2. What fascinating theme for many preachers suggested here, and
what the Bible teaching on it?
3. What is Paul’s illustration of this thought, and what our Lord’s
illustration of the same point?
4. What assuring fact does Paul here give them relative to this point?
5. State the rules of holy living in 5:12_18.
6. What does 5:12_13 show relative to „bishops,” or pastors?
7. What are Paul’s four rules concerning miraculous spiritual gifts?
8. What the meaning of „Quench not the Spirit”?
9. What the meaning of „Despise not prophesying”? Illustrate.
10. What the meaning of „Prove all things?”
11. What the meaning of „Hold fast that which is good”?

12. In 5:22, the common version reads, „Abstain from all appearance
of evil;” does the original mean, „Abstain from everything seeming to
be evil,” or „from every form of actual evil,” or „from every kind of
an evil show”?
13. What does „sanctify you wholly” mean, when does sanctification
begin, and when will it be consummated?
14. Is man dichotomous or trichotomous, and what is the distinction
between „soul” and „spirit” in 5:23?
15. What great privilege maybe fairly deduced from the charge
“that this epistle e read unto all the brethren,: what religious denomi-
nation violates this principle most, and what illustration cited by the
author?
16. How may be interpreted the „holy kiss” so as to make the perfect
binding now?

X
INTRODUCTION AND EXPOSITION
TO 2 THESSALONIANS
2 Thessalonians 1:1_12.

We commence this discussion with an outline of 2 Thessa_
lonians and then we will give an exposition of chapter I of
the book.
OUTLINE
1. The occasion of this second letter to the Thessalonians. –
After writing the first letter, tidings had been received con_
cerning the reception of the first letter and concerning the
state of affairs in that church. These things particularly he
had learned:
(1) That the persecution was more violent than when he
was there; that their love and their faith increased with the
persecution.
(2) That a report was circulated as coming from one with
miraculous gifts that Paul himself, either by word or letter,
had taught that the day of Christ’s second coming was close
at hand.
(3) That in consequence of believing this report, some of
these Thessalonians quit every other business. The merchant
dropped his yardstick; the blacksmith threw down his ham_
mer; the farmer left his plow in the field, and all stood around
with nothing else to do except talk about the ascension to
heaven. You see why it was that Paul told them to prove
those prophesyings.
2. The time and the place. – The place was Corinth. It
was from Corinth that he wrote the first letter. The time is
somewhat uncertain. Paul remained at Corinth, as we know
from Acts, for eighteen months, and it may have been as

much as a year between the two letters. The outline itself
consists of all the points:
(1) Salutation like the first letter.
(2) New ground for thanksgiving.
(3) Another view of our Lord’s second advent.
(4) Paul’s prayer for them.
(5) His correction of the misapprehension of the time of
the advent, showing in his correction that two things must
precede that advent: (a) the great apostasy, and (b) the
revelation of the man of sin.
(6) The plan of salvation: how that plan conduces to
steadfastness, and in view of that plan, what things to hold
fast.
(7) Another prayer for them.
(8) He asks their prayers for him.
(9) Directions for corrective discipline in the church.
(10) In view of reported letters from him which he did
not write, he adopts for the future a method of authenticat_
ing his letters. Paul was nearly blind, and usually dictated
his letters, but from now on he signs his letters with his own
hand, all except one, Hebrews, and I will explain why he did
not sign that when we get to it.
(11) An orderly arrangement of every passage that bears
upon the second coming of Christ, with the analysis of those
several statements showing the sum of the teachings of them.
The first item of the analysis of this letter is the saluta_
tion, but I have no remarks to make on the salutation con_
tained in this second letter to the Thessalonians because
everything necessary has been said on the similar one in the
first letter. But in the thanksgiving that follows the salu_
tation there is this new element: Their faith, hope, and love
increased in proportion to their afflictions. That is a fine tes_
timony. Many Christian people, depressed by afflictions, say
if they had an easier time they could exercise more faith

and love. But these Thessalonians increased in faith and love
as their tribulations increased.
We now come to the important part of the second letter.
Here is a new viewpoint on the day of our Lord – the sec_
ond coming of Christ. The closing paragraph of I Thessa_
lonians 4 and the first paragraph of I Thessalonians 5, present
the second coming of our Lord with reference to the Chris_
tian people, giving up some incidents, to wit: That Jesus
will bring with him the spirits of all Christians who have
died, and that their bodies will be raised before the living
Christians are changed. In chapter 5 he adds that on the
wicked, that day will come like a thief in the night, and their
destruction will be wholly unanticipated. But he has very
little to say about the wicked there. Here he deals with the
result of the second coming just as much on the wicked as on
the righteous. He does not re_open the discussion of the
resurrection, which has already been clearly set forth in the
first letter, but presents the doctrine of the judgment that
follows the coming of our Lord. We are always to under_
stand that there will be first a resurrection, and then a judg_
ment. We are now to look at the judgment part of this
letter.
The first thought concerns the earth. This is the language,
referring to the increase of their patience and faith in all
their persecutions and afflictions: „Which is a manifest token
of the righteous judgment of God,” that is, here in this world
when good people, pious and God_fearing, are crushed under
persecutions, the mind begins to inquire, why does not God
punish the wicked? Is there divine justice? Paul says the
fact that these Christians bear with love and patience the
wrongs put upon them is a token of the righteous judgment
of God. It proves that if exact justice is not meted out in
this world it will be in the world to come. When we see the
good down, and evil on top, and that state continues for a
great length of time, it is a token that there must be a
judgment hereafter to right that wrong, or else one must doubt
the justice of God.
The next thought is, that when Jesus comes he will recom_
pense rest to the afflicted people, and afflictions to those that
afflict them. Both take place when Jesus comes. There will
be no difference in time, no gap between these two. It is
a mistaken interpretation of the word of God that judgment
on the righteous will be separated by any great lapse of
time from judgment on the wicked. The double judgment
takes place at the same time. Let us see if that point is not
clear: „If so be that it is a righteous thing with God to
recompense affliction to them that afflict you, and to you that
are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus
from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire,
rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them
that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer
punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the
Lord and from the glory of his might, when he shall come to
be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them
that believed.”
As this is the letter that discusses the second coming of
Christ as no other part of God’s Word, giving such a com_
prehensive view of it, great weight should be attached to every
statement in it.
No public teacher is excusable who fails to see in many per_
fectly plain, literal, unfigurative teachings of God’s Word that
the resurrection is a general resurrection, and the judgment is
a general judgment, and that the two classes come before the
Lord at the same time.
Particularly, note the remarkable prophecy of our Lord in
Matthew 25, where he says, „When the Son of man shall
come in his glory [in his first advent he came in humiliation],
and all his holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the
throne of his glory and before him shall be gathered all
nations and he shall separate them as a man separates the
goats from the sheep. And he shall say to those on the left
hand, ‘Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,’ and to those
on the right hand, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father.’ ”
That is not allegory, parable, symbol, nor vision, but plain,
literal teaching.
That is in perfect accord with his other teaching where
he says that the Ninevites that were converted in the time of
Jonah should rise up in the judgment with this generation.
Here were converted and unconverted people rising up in the
judgment together. That is exactly as he states it in the
next paragraph, when he says, „The queen of the south shall
rise up in the judgment with this generation and shall con_
demn it.” It is in exact accord with the literal part of Reve_
lation, commencing at 20:11, where the white throne appears,
and him that sat thereon, and where all the dead, great and
small, are brought before him for judgment, and the books are
opened. Those that are found written in the Lamb’s Book of
Life are saved, and those not found written in that book are
cast into the lake of fire.
I emphasize the teaching of many plain, literal passages –
that when Jesus comes the whole world will stand before
him, all the angels good and bad, and judgment will be ren_
dered to all angels and all men at the same time.
The evil angels have already received their punishment for
leaving their first estate, but there is new matter for judg_
ment in the treatment which they gave to the cause of Christ
and his people. If the good angels have been ministering
spirits to them that are the heirs of salvation, they will be
so confirmed that it will never be possible for another angel
to fall, and if the evil angels have hindered the cause of
Christ they will be cast into the eternal hell prepared for
them.
The judgment rendered upon good and bad is an eternal
judgment. Listen at this language „Who shall suffer punish_

ment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and
from the glory of his might.”
When the saints are glorified, when their souls and bodies
are reunited, there will never be any possibility for one of
them to incur a future judgment, because it will be impossible
for them in their new condition to sin.
Not only is the destiny eternal, but it is expressly called
„punishment,” and not „consequence” in the case of the
wicked. There are some people whose sensibilities shrink
from the thought of anyone’s suffering eternal punishment.
They certainly have not studied the Bible. Even here on
this earth if a man become incorrigible in wickedness, we
stop him by eternal laws so far as our power can go, from
doing further harm. If he be not executed on the gallows, he
is at least imprisoned for life. It is the love of God that
inflicts that punishment and makes it eternal. See a parent
awaking in the night and beholding a wolf about to seize the
baby lying on the floor asleep. Do the mother and father
fold their hands and say, „Oh, it is cruel to hurt anything!
Go away, Mr. Wolf, I won’t hurt you”? Or does the love
of that parent prompt to strike fast, hit hard, and hit to kill?
When for thousands of years the wicked have been oppos_
ing God’s people, ridiculing them, inflicting wrong after wrong,
and when age after age God’s people have prayed, „Come,
Lord Jesus,” and the souls of God’s saints under the altar
have cried out, „How long 0 Lord, holy and true, wilt thou
not avenge us upon our adversaries?” there must come a
time when God hears that prayer and puts it forever out of
the power of the wicked to oppress his people.
There is always a tendency to fixedness of type. Man
after a while becomes so wicked, waxing worse and worse, that
his character crystallizes. That man hates light, and he
would be in hell if he were in heaven. I am not right sure
but heaven would be more painful to him than hell, because
he would have no sympathy with anything there. He would
have only hatred and antagonism toward it. Science unites
with revelation in that fixity of type. Science tells us that
the tendency toward fixedness of type will bring crystalliza_
tion of character that cannot change and is without remedy.
Then take this thought: What is ‘it that keeps men here
on earth from becoming totally bad? It is the restraining
presence of human law, the light of religion, the illustrious
examples of the saints, the preaching of the word of God, and
the Holy Spirit. Hundreds of thousands of loving fathers
and mothers of Christian people are working for their salva_
tion, but when Jesus comes, preaching stops, praying for the
lost stops, and in the place to which they go, they may indeed
pray, but not be heard; their tears may fall, but not in mercy’s
sight. There is no gospel preached to them. The Spirit dis_
pensation is ended, and without the power of the Spirit they
could not be converted, and thus the means of salvation are
withdrawn. That alone would make their status eternal.
The eye of every Christian should be fixed on the second
coming of the Lord in view of the judgment that will follow
that coming, and his heart should turn to the fact that with
that day everything that goes wrong in time will be righted.
I do not suppose that there was ever a man on earth, good
or bad, but who some time or other in his life has asked for a
general judgment in the world to come. Every wicked man
will tell about certain wrongs he has suffered, and these
wrongs here have never been righted, and the consciousness
of his wrongs has made him appeal to the final arbitrament
of their cases and to a decision that will be both righteous and
inexorable.
There is here a thought of marvelous beauty _to which I
wish to call attention: „When he shall come to be glorified
in his saints and to be marvelled at in all them that be_
lieved.” The thought is that the power of any man and the
benevolence of his intelligence are estimated by the greatest
product of his mind and hand.
Sir Christopher Wren is glorified in Westminster Abbey,
which was the greatest work of his genius, and as one steps
into the abbey he passed under a sentence which reads, „Who_
ever wishes to see the monument of the architect, let him
look around.”
The illustration helps us to see what will be the character
of the glory of Jesus Christ in his people. When he saw them
they were utterly lost, their nature depraved, under condem_
nation, without a friend, sinking down beneath the righteous
frown of God. He came to save them, some of them drunk_
ards, some of them whore_mongers, some robbers, some mur_
derers, and commencing the good work in them by regenera_
tion, and continuing it by sanctification, until their spirits
were perfected, and consummating it by the resurrection and
glorification of their bodies so that these that had been drunk_
ards, liars, thieves, murderers, adulterers, stand there on that
day in his own glorious image. Who did this? What mighty
architect? It was Jesus. Jesus will be glorified in his peo_
ple just as the sculptor will be glorified in the statue that
comes from the skill of his hands and the thought of his mind.
The sculptor looks on a piece of rough, unhewn marble, that
a thousand people can see nothing in but marble, but with his
eye of genius he sees in it the angel that can be carved from
it. He begins to chip and chisel until, at last, form and out_
line appear. The rough outline assumes symmetry; the face
takes on ‘expression, the eyes seem to glow with fire, and as
the finishing touch is put upon the statue, we marvel at the
artist in his work. In that way Christ will be glorified in his
people. This is the last thought in chapter 1.

QUESTIONS
1. What the occasion of the second letter to the Thessalonians, when
and where written?
2. What the analysis of the letter, seriatim?
3. What new ground for thanksgiving?
4. What advance in the discussion of the second advent here?
5. How does the patient endurance of the Thessalonians under per_
secution become a token of future and final judgment of God?
6. What does Paul teach in this letter aa to the effect of Christ’s
coming on the wicked and the righteous?
7. What the teaching of our Lord on the same point
8. What the teaching of Revelation on this same point?
9. What new matter for judgment relative to the angels?
10. What the nature of the judgment discussed here, and the proof?
11. What is the nature of the destiny of the wicked as revealed in this
letter?
12. What the relation between God’s love and the punishment of the
wicked? Illustrate.
13. What tendency of human nature here pointed out? Illustrate.
14. What keeps men here on earth from becoming totally bad?
15. Why should the Christian have his eye fixed on the second coming
of our Lord?
16. How will Christ at his second coming be glorified in his saints?
Illustrate.

XI
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND THE MAN
OF SIN
2 Thessalonians 2:1_12.

In the beginning of chapter 2 Paul says that the second
coming of Christ is not only not at hand, but it is not even
imminent: „Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the com_
ing of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto
him; to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your
mind, not yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by
epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at
hand; let no man beguile you in any wise; for it will not be,”
and then he goes on to tell what must precede it.
Upon that point I wish to speak very plainly. The sec_
ond advent of our Lord Jesus Christ is the doctrine of the
Christian’s future, and a wrong belief about a doctrine can_
not escape damage. There were good people when the prom_
ise was made about the first coming of Christ that expected
it in their day. Eve thought that the Seed of the woman had
come in the birth of Cain. Poor woman, how badly she was
deceived! How far off it was till the coming of the Lord!
Prophets and kings longed to see the day, and men lived and
generations passed away, and governments underwent revolu_
tions, and ages and ages rolled on, and not till the fulness of
time, the time appointed, the very day set aside by Almighty
God, did Jesus Christ come the first time. Every predicted
antecedent event had to precede it. So everything unrolled
before the eye of the prophet touching any nation, any per_
son, any church, any apostasy, any great religious movement,
must come before Jesus can come the second time. Jesus
said just before he went away that he would send the Holy
Spirit, and they must wait until the Holy Spirit came. Was
it possible for him to come before that descent of the Spirit
on the day of Pentecost? Jesus said to Peter, „You shall
die on the cross.” Could Peter then expect to see the coming
of the Lord in his time? In the very letter where he is dis_
cussing the second coming of Christ, Peter says, „The Lord
has shown me how I must put off this mortal body, and I
think it is right as long as I am in it to stir your minds up to
a remembrance of the teachings concerning the second com_
ing of Jesus Christ.” Then he goes on to tell the long series.
of events that must come first. Precisely in that way did
Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 24, when the disciples crowded
around and said, „Lord, what is the sign of thy coming and
of the end of the world?” And Paul does just like Christ.
Jesus says, „Let no man deceive you. There will come a
great many false christs. There will be wars and rumors of
wars. There will be earthquakes and fearful signs in the
heavens. But this is only the beginning of things. The end
is not yet.” How careful he was to show them that they
must not every morning, when they got up, look out of the
window to see if Jesus had come. John fills the whole book
of Revelation with a series of mighty events covering hun_
dreds and even thousands of years that must take place be_
fore the coming of Jesus, and it does not make a particle of
difference to us about our dying before he comes. One dying
is better for it. His soul gets to heaven quicker and his
body gets to rest quicker.
Paul points out two stupendous events that must precede:
„Except the falling away,” or apostasy, comes first. Here
was a marvelous turning away from sound principles of the
gospel of Jesus Christ by professed Christians. That must
take place first, and he says that the mystery of that thing
was already at work; that is, there were men in his time that
were beginning to deny certain fundamental doctrines of the
gospel.

My own opinion is that this apostasy began to take defi_
nite form in the second and third centuries, and later ripened
into the papacy and culminated in the Pope in 1870. So we
ourselves have a view of the apostasy, already prolonged
more than 1,000 years, and we are not to the end of it yet.
We see the simplicity of the gospel changed, the engrafting
of that simple gospel all of the types and shadows of the Old
Testament, and mixing them with many heathen legends and
customs, the union of church and state, the power organiza_
tion called the scarlet woman seated upon the beast of seven
heads, making herself drunk with the blood of the saints
that she had slain. Nor has that apostasy yet reached its
full fruition. How can it be possible for Jesus to come be_
fore that time? He has just said of that time, „the season
and the hour are hidden from you.”
But another marvelous event must precede our Lord’s final
advent – the revelation of the man of sin: „Let no man
beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the fall_
ing away comes first, and the man of sin will be revealed, the
son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against
all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth
in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. Remem_
ber ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these
things? And now ye know that which restraineth, to the
end that he may be revealed in his own season. For the mys_
tery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that
restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. And then
shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall
slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the
manifestation of his coming.” If I had proof that the man of
sin was living I would know that Christ would come in the
lifetime of that man, because it is expressly declared that
Jesus shall, at his coming, slay the man of sin.
This is one of the most mysterious passages in the Word
of God, and on its interpretation, much as I have studied it,
I will not assume to be dogmatic. I concede to anybody the
privilege of differing with me about its meaning. Indeed, only
the fulfilment itself when it comes can make plain and verify
the true interpretation. The apostle is explaining why they
should not expect the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ any
time soon, and he assigns as the first reason that there must
first come a great apostasy. That apostasy I have already
discussed, but let us have the passage before us: „Now we
beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; to the
end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet
be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as
from us, as that the day of the Lord ‘is just at hand; let no
man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the
falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the
son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against
all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth
in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. Remem_
ber ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these
things? And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end
that he may be revealed in his own season. For the mystery
of lawlessness doth already work: Only there is one that
restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. And then
shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall
slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by
the manifestation of his coming; even he, whose coming is
according to the working of Satan with all power and signs
and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for
them that perish; because they receive not the love of the
truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God
sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a
lie: that they all might be judged who believed not the truth,
but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
That is utterly unlike any other paragraph in the Bible.
In the Old Testament there are some prophecies that are
questionably construed to refer to the same thing, particularly
Daniel 11:45, but in Revelation one passage at least con_
nects in meaning with it, though it is symbolical language.
But this passage here is literal, plain, straight_out prophecy.
From the time these words were written by Paul until this
hour this paragraph has perhaps excited more attention, called
forth more discussion and developed a more voluminous lit_
erature than any other part of the Word of God. Indeed,
every century has developed a special literature upon the
subject, and many commentators devote a special excursus to
it.
In the whole period of the Reformation it excited much
attention, and by Protestants generally was construed to refer
to the Romanish Church and the papacy, but it is not possi_
ble, considering the context, to refer both 2 Thessalonians 2:4
and Revelation 13:1_8 to the same person or institution. The
importance of the subject is indicated by the persistent in_
terest it has awakened and the controversies it has excited.
One crucial fact differentiates this man of sin from all other
antichrists: He will be alive when Jesus comes, and will be
destroyed by the brightness of the Lord at his final advent.
Another thing is certain – Jesus cannot come before that man
of sin. In order to approach this subject properly, we need
to consider other parts of the scripture leading up to it, which
must be studied in connection with it, particularly Daniel,
Matthew 24, and Revelation 13_20.
It is characteristic of prophecy to make a primary reference
to an event forecast a more distant and important future
event, and that event forecast a greater one beyond, just as
the foothills between a spectator and a mountain peak are
merged into one view with the peak, and a still higher peak
beyond blends with the same view as if all three constituted
one peak. But as the spectator draws nearer, the widely sep_
arated parts differentiate, and each elevation is isolated from
the one beyond. So is the perspective of prophecy. A prophe_
cy may commence with Solomon and then pass on to David’s
greater Son, our Lord himself.
In the prophetic scriptures appear four great antichrists
with characteristics so similar that they have been hopelessly
confused by most interpreters. The person so forecast is
never the same in any two instances, but each foreshadows
his successor. Certain characteristics belong to all, which
blend the view as if all were one. But as the first becomes
historical, we see there is a greater one beyond, and so on
through the series. Two of these persons have already be_
come historical, and two are yet to come, the climax being
the last, which is Paul’s man of sin. Anticipating the argu_
ment, I name the four in order:
1. Antiochus Epiphanes (Dan. 8:9_12), the little horn of
the Greek Empire.
2. The papacy (Dan. 7:8, 23_25), the little horn of the di_
vided and changed Roman Empire. In Revelation he is the
beast that looked like a lamb, but had a voice like a dragon
(Rev. 13:11), who was developed out of the heathen Roman
Empire after it, and who, by union of church and state, be_
came „The Holy Roman Empire” (Rev. 13:1_10).
3. The secular ruler who seeks to destroy the Jews after
their restoration to the Holy Land (Dan. 11:34_45; Zech. 14:
1_11; Rev. 19:11_21; Isa. 63:1_6). This conversion puts the
Jews in the lead as an evangelizing force, and ushers in the
millennium (Isa. 66:7_24; Zech. 14:16_21; Rev. 20:1_6).
4. Paul’s man of sin, the last device of Satan after the mil_
lennium (2 Thess. 2:3_12; Rev. 20:7_10). His destruction is
brought about by our Lord’s final advent, to wind up the
affairs of time (2 Thess. 2:8; Matt. 24:29_31; 25:31_46; Rev.
20:11_15).
Something of the details of the argument is this:
1. All the subsequent visions of Daniel are based on Nebu_
chadnezzar’s dream of the great, luminous image whose head

was gold, whose chest and arms were silver, whose body and
thighs were brass, and whose lower limbs were iron, which
was destroyed by the little stone cut out of the mountain
without hands (Dan. 2:31_35), and which was interpreted to
mean five great world empires in succession, namely: the
Babylonian, the Medo_Persian, the Greek, the Roman, and
the kingdom of God.
2. The vision of the great tree in Daniel 4 gives a develop_
ment of the head of gold under a new imagery.
3. The vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7 present under
a different imagery the same four secular world empires with
elaborations concerning the fourth not before given, and passes
on to present the ascension and exaltation of one like a Son
of man, who is the King of the fifth world empire, and re_
ceives an everlasting dominion. This elaborates the little
stone kingdom of Daniel 2.
4. The vision of chapter 8 presents under different images
the details of the Medo_Persian Empire, and the Greek Em_
pire after its division into four kingdoms.
5. The revelation in Daniel 9:24_27 dates the first advent
of the King of the fifth world empire, his life and vicarious
death, as Daniel 7 shows his exaltation and enthronement
after his resurrection.
6. The vision in Daniel 10 is the same King in the glory
of his royal priesthood as John saw him on Patmos (Rev.
1:13_18).
7. Daniel 11:1_33 describes the conflict between the Syrian
and Egyptian divisions of the Greek Empire, with a distinct
climax and pause at verse 33, while from verse 34 to the end
of the chapter is a transition to the third antichrist – a vile
person who worshiped only the god of forces. It is this per_
son who embodies the atheism of modern evolution, a spirit
already gaining strength in the world, and which is utterly
godless. His reign is characterized by an absence of all rev_
erence, and is dominated by a radical spirit of commercialism,
materialism, and of mechanical and natural forces. He it is
that seeks to blot out the Jewish people, and is destroyed by
mighty displays of that supernatural power the very idea of
whose existence he had scorned. It may not be a long time
before he materializes. The trend of modern events fore_
casts his speedy coming. The coming of the Lord which
destroys him is not a personal coming, but a coming in mar_
velous judgments, as at the destruction of Jerusalem. With
him atheism, materialism, and godless commercialism forever
die.
8. In Daniel 12:1_3 there is either a transition to the final
and personal advent of the Lord, with a literal resurrection, or
as is more probable, the paragraph is the climax of the pre_
ceding event with its figurative resurrections, as in Ezekiel
37 and in Revelation 20:1_6. In the latter and more proba_
ble sense, Daniel sees only the ultimate glory of the Jewish
people in millennial days, and has no vision of Paul’s man
of sin.
The similar characteristics of the four antichrists appear
by comparing what is said of each. Of Antiochus Epiphanes,
the little horn of the third, or Grecian Empire, it is said: „And
out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed ex_
ceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and
toward the glorious land. And it waxed great, even to the host
of heaven; and some of the host and of the stars it cast down
to the ground, and trampled upon them. Yea) it magnified
itself, even to the prince of the host; and it took away from
him the continual burnt offering, and the place of his sanctu_
ary was cast down. And the host was given over to it together
with the continual burnt offering through transgression; and
it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and
prospered” (Dan. 8:9_12). Of the papacy, or little horn of
the fourth, or Roman Empire, it is said, „And he shall speak
words against the most high, and shall wear out the saints of
the most high; and he shall think to change the times and
the law; and they shall be given unto his hand until a time
and times and half a time” (Dan. 7:25). „And there was
given to him authority to continue forty and two months. And
he opened his mouth for blasphemies against God, to blas_
pheme his name, and his tabernacle, even them that dwell
in heaven. And it was given him to make war with the saints,
and to overcome them; and there was given to him authority
over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. And all
that dwell on the earth shall worship him, every one whose
name hath not been written from the foundation of the world
in the book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain” (Rev.
13:5_8).
Of the atheistic, secular ruler who seeks to destroy the Jews,
it is said, „And the king shall do according to his will; and
he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god,
and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods;
and he shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for
that which is determined shall be done. Neither shall he re_
gard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor
regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all. But
in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god
whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and sil_
ver, and with precious stones and pleasant things. And he
shall deal with strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign
god; whosoever acknowledgeth him he will increase with
glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall
divide the land for a price” (Dan. 11:36_39). Of Paul’s man
of sin it is said, „He that opposeth and exalteth himself against
all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth
in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God” (2 Thess.
2:4). We see thus how in the perspective of prophecy, before
any one of them became historical, all may so blend into one
view as to appear to be one, each so strikingly forecasting his
more towering successor. The similarity of characteristics
arises from a common origin. They have one father, the
devil, who, while possessing a few original ‘ideas, is a past
master in variety of labels and costumes.
Passing now from the consideration of all preceding anti_
christs, let us analyze what is taught concerning Paul’s man
of sin:
1. He is a person, and not a principle, nor an institution.
2. He will be alive at the final coming of the Lord. This
one crucial fact differentiates him from all other antichrists,
and makes it impossible to find him in history.
3. And since he is Satan’s last agent, making the last play
of evil for the destruction of God’s kingdom, as is evident
from his being alive and at work when the Lord comes, he
cannot be located in any period before the millennium.
4. This is further evident from the restraint put upon Satan,
in trying to bring him to the front, until God’s appointed
season. It is idle to talk of the heathen Rome resurrection,
since that power passed away more than a thousand years
ago, and the man of sin has not yet appeared. God himself,
directly or indirectly, is restrainer. And we recognize the
restraint as we see Satan bound for a thousand years in order
to introduce the millennium. He has successfully deceived the
nations in bringing out and giving power to the first and
second antichrists, and will again deceive them, and that soon,
in bringing out and empowering the third and atheistic anti_
christ. But the prophecy says, „And I saw an angel coming
down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great
chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, the old
serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a
thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and
sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more,
until the thousand years should be finished; after this he
must be loosed a little time” (Rev. 20:1_3).
In that long period the saints are on top, and the kingdoms
of the world have become the kingdom of our Lord. The
knowledge of the Lord will overspread the world as the waters
cover the deep. Satan bound cannot deceive the nation nor
palm off his impostures. And even when he is loosed from
that restraint, it is only for a little season. Here, and here
only, in this little season after the millennium, can appear the
man of sin, who will be alive when the Lord comes, and be
destroyed by the brightness of his appearing.
5. Paul says, „the coming of this son of perdition, this law_
less one, is according to the workings of Satan with all power
and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unright_
eousness for them that perish; because they received not the
love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this
cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should
believe a lie: that they all might be judged who believe not
the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Evidently
this is Satan’s masterpiece of imposture, and by far the most
highly accredited. Here we behold the depths of Satan.
6. But what most strikingly impresses the mind is not Sa_
tan’s originality of device, but his imitative power. This is
more evident in the original Greek text than in any transla_
tion. But it is evident even in the translation:
(1) As Christ’s kingdom has a mystery of godliness, so
Satan’s kingdom has a mystery of lawlessness.
(2) As Christ’s kingdom has an energy of the Holy Spirit,
so Satan’s has an energy of his malignant spirit.
(3) As Christ’s kingdom was accredited by signs, wonders,
powers and works, so Satan’s’ is accredited by all these.
(4) As Christ’s kingdom is received by faith, so Satan’s
requires belief: the first, however, is the belief of the truth,
while the second is the belief of a lie.
(5) As Christ’s kingdom has a pleasure in holiness (Greek
– eudokia), so Satan’s subjects find a pleasure ‘in unrighteous_
ness.
(6) As the King of the divine kingdom is a human person,
so here in the prophecy Satan’s kingdom enthrones a human
viceregent.
7) As the Messiah of God’s kingdom had a first coming
(elthe) and will have a manifestation (parousia) or second
coming, so both terms are applied to the person of Satan’s
man of sin. These terms lead up to the most startling charac_
teristic of Paul’s man of sin.
(8) As Christ’s first coming (elthe) was an incarnation in
human nature by the Holy Spirit, so this man of sin will be
an incarnation by Satan. He will be the devil incarnate.
(9) And as Christ will appear in glory at his final advent
{parousia), so this devil incarnate will seek to anticipate
Christ’s parousia by a counterfeit manifestation. In other
words, he will claim to be the long_expected Messiah. No other
wile or depth of Satan equals this. The millennium world will
have reached the final advent, and will have prayed, „Come,
Lord Jesus,” and will be expecting the advent of the Judge.
Recognizing this expectation as good ground for the sow_
ing of evil seed, and himself dreading that final advent, Satan
introduces his man of sin as the long_expected Messiah, and
accredits him with all manner of signs, wonders, and works.
It will be as if he said, „Hear, you expectant world! Your
Messiah has come! 0 Church or temple of God, receive your
Lord! 0 bride, long waiting, behold the bridegroom!” Through
his miracles he will deceive all but the elect, and he will lead
his dupes to a final assault on the true churches which refuse
to accept him. It is then that the sign of the real Christ
appears in the heavens, namely, the great white throne of
judgment. It is then that our Lord himself appears in glory,
and all the holy angels with him. Then is fulfilled: „And
when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed
out of his prison, and shall come forth to deceive the nations
which are in the four corners of the earth, God and Magog,
to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is
as the sand of the sea. And they went up over the breadth of
the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and
the beloved city: and fire came down out of heaven, and de_
voured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into
the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and
the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night
for ever and ever” (Rev. 20:7_10).
There are just two more thoughts in connection with the
man of sin which I will discuss briefly. In the account of the
man of sin we have these two expressions in chapter 2: „And
now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may
be revealed in his own season,” and, „Only there is one that
restraineth now, until he [the restrainer] be taken out of the
way.” In other words, the man of sin cannot come until the
one who has been restraining him is taken away. Now, what
or who ‘is it that restrains him?
I frankly confess that I do not know satisfactorily to my_
self. But I can tell you what commentators, wiser than my_
self, have said from the days of Paul to the present time.
They say that the restraining power which kept down the
mystery of lawlessness, and the consequent development of
the man of lawlessness, or sin was the Roman power. The
imperial government of Rome stood for order, and it ruled
the world with an iron hand, and anywhere in the word that
anything like disintegration or sedition or tumult or lawless_
ness in any form appeared, there is where the Roman thunder_
bolt struck. That is the general opinion of commentators. We
do know that after this Roman power was removed, the Ro_
man Empire collapsed. You will find a history of it in Gib_
bon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and as that
great central power went down, everywhere in the world men
sprang up, prompted by a spirit of lawlessness, and there
was no such reign of disorder in the history of the world aa
came after the downfall of the Roman Empire.
That is what the most intelligent commentators say, but
it is not satisfactory to me, because that restraint has been
taken away for many hundred years and the man of sin has
not yet appeared. It seems more reasonable that God him_
self, either directly or through intermediary agents, is the re_
straining power, and will keep on restraining until the
appointed time. While that does not thoroughly satisfy me,
it does satisfy me so much better than the one that the com_
mentators give that I cannot accept theirs. The impression
is that the one inspired of lawlessness would appear in a mo_
ment but for a pressure – a restraining power – and when that
is taken away, then the man of sin will appear.
While I am on my opinion (and I give it as an opinion,
but as a reasonable one), it is evident that in the millennial
period the restraining power will be put on the devil. He will
be bound for a thousand years, and there will be a great tide
of revivalism, such as the world never heard of, for a thousand
years. So long as that chain is on Satan he cannot develop
his man of sin; but the account in Revelation says that after
the thousand years is ended, Satan will be loosed, so there
the restraining power is taken off) and then appears the last
master stroke of the devil. I am standing on that interpre_
tation.
The other thought is this: „For this cause God sendeth them
a working of error, that they should believe a lie.” The men
who turn away from God are sure to believe something worse
than that from which they turn away, and they have not the
liberty of choosing the delusion of error into which they fall,
and the devil cannot choose it for them. God chooses it. He
permits the devil to work it off on them, but the devil himself
cannot arbitrarily select the kind of foolishness with which
to fool the people that are to be lost.

QUESTIONS
1. According to this letter, is the second coming of Christ imminent?
2. Prove this from the analogy of his first coming.
3. What did Jesus Bay would come before his second coming?
4. What two great events, according to 2 Thessalonians, must pre_
cede the second advent of our Lord?
5. What the great apostasy?
6.What crucial fact differentiates the man of sin from all other antichrists?
7. What is characteristic of prophecy relative to a great future event? Illus.
8. Following this line of thought, who the four antichrists, and what
the time of the appearance of each?
9. What in outline are the details of the argument?
10. Cite the Daniel passage referring to the first antichrist, and show
in order of time how he is distinguished from the other antichrists.
11. Quote the passage from Daniel which gives him the typical
characteristics of Paul’s man of sin.
12. Cite the passage from Daniel that foreshadows the second anti_christ.
13. How, in order of time, is he distinguished from the first?
14. Quote the passage from Daniel giving him also the typical char_
acteristics of Paul’s man of sin.
15. Identify in Revelation Daniel’s second antichrist.
16. What the passage from Daniel for the third antichrist, and what
other scriptures touching him?
17. What his characteristic in the reference in Daniel?
18. What spirit of modern times does he embody, and what forever
dies with him?
19. On what mission is he engaged when destruction over_takes him?
20. What glorious events follow, and what scriptures refer to each them?
21. What the nature of the coming of the Lord which defeats him,
and just where is this great battle to be fought?
22, What six facts of revelation concerning Paul’s man of sin, or the
fourth antichrist?
23. Just where in the book of Revelation must Paul’s man of sin come in?
24. In what is the wonderful imitative power of Paul’s man of sin
evident, even in the translation?
25. What furnishes a good ground for Satan’s deception in this, his
last effort to defeat our Lord Jesus Christ?
26. What stupendous events immediately follow, and what scripture
will then be fulfilled?
27. How do commentators interpret the „restraining power” (2 Thess.
2:6_7) that keeps back the revelation of the man of sin?
28. Why is this explanation inadequate?
29. Supply a better interpretation, and give scriptural proof.
30. What the interpretation of „God sendeth them a working of
error,” etc.?

XII
THE PLAN OF SALVATION – SOME LESSONS ON
DISCIPLINE
2 Thessalonians 2:13 to 3:18.

We shall close this second letter to the Thessalonians by
presenting four thoughts that follow a consideration of the
man of sin.
1. Paul’s plan of salvation. It is expressed in these words
(2:13_14): „But we are bound to give thanks to God always
for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you
from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the
Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you through
our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus
Christ.”
Once I was talking to a distinguished theologian who has
had much to do with the teaching of the Word of God to col_
legiates, and I asked him how he developed the analytical
power in his students, and then I read this well_ordered plan
of salvation. Let us reduce it to its constituent elements.
Confining ourselves to what is here, let us see_what God’s plan
is:
(1) „God chose you.” What then is the first element of the
plan? Election.
(2) „From the beginning.” When did he choose you? In
eternity.
(3) Unto what did he choose you? Salvation.
(4) What the means? „Through sanctification of the Spirit
and belief of the ‘.ruth,” i.e., that through which we get to
salvation is faith in the gospel and the renovating power of
the Holy Spirit.

(5) „Whereunto,” that is, unto these things that have just
been said, „He calls you.” There is the calling of God.
(6) How did he call you? „Through the gospel.” Away
back yonder in eternity, God chose a man, and we do not
know anything about it. Down here in time God calls the
man that he chose. How does he do it? Someday that man
hears a gospel sermon preached, and the Holy Spirit reaches
his heart just as if a voice said to him, „Come to me! Come
to me now!” That ‘is his call.
(7) What is the object of the calling? „To the obtaining
of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Christ was glorified
when he was raised from the dead and exalted to his place at
the right hand of God in heaven. When he calls us, he calls
us unto that glory; that where Jesus is, we may be; that what
Jesus is we shall be; that the power that Jesus exercises we
shall exercise; that what Jesus inherits, we shall inherit.
That is the plan of salvation in these two verses – election
from eternity, unto salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit
and belief of the truth, called in him through the gospel and
the work of the Spirit unto the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The prayer that Paul asked those people to offer for
him. We get so accustomed to saying, „pray for me,” that we
do not mean it, and the people who say, „yes, I will,” do not
mean it. Paul never asked that unmeaningly, and he always
knew exactly what he wanted them to pray for in his behalf.
He put great stress upon the prayers of God’s people for the
preachers. Now, we in our greatness may not need such things,
but the little apostle was bound to have it. He felt that he
could not get along unless God’s people lovingly and earnestly
prayed for him.
The preacher goes out in his self_sufficiency, thinking that
he has the world in a sling, and that he can do like Brother
J. B. Jeter and Jesse Witt, who were employed by Virginia aa
missionaries. Riding along two and two, they came to an old
log church and saw a great many horses hitched. Concluding
that there was a religious service, they went in and heard the
sermon. The first thing people say on leaving a church is,
„What do you think of that sermon?” So as these two preach_
ers stepped out, Jeter says to Witt, „What do you think of
that sermon?” Witt modestly said, „Well, Brother Jeter, I
am not much, but I do believe, that by the help of the Lord,
I could beat that sermon myself.” Jeter responded, „I could
beat it, Lord or no Lord.” When the young preacher or Chris_
tian goes out into his work with perfect confidence that he
can do a thing, „Lord or no Lord,” whether the brethren
sympathize with him and pray for him or not, he makes a
mistake.
In the days of my pastorate there were two or three people,
particularly two old ladies, that when I felt very much de_
pressed and my mind was dark, and I could not determine
just what to preach about nor how to say it, and Saturday
night had come, I would step over to see one or the other of
these old ladies and state my case, and I would say, „Now,
you pray for me.” The solemnity with which either one of
them would listen to what I said, the tenderness with which
they would talk to me, and the suggestions they would make
would be such that when I would leave that house I would
have a sermon, and I would know how to preach.
Here is what Paul asked for, „Finally, brethren, pray for
us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified, even
as also it is with you.” That preaching at Thessalonica was
the most successful preaching Paul ever did, and he always
wanted to do as well somewhere else; that the word might
have free course. Compare that prayer with one like this:
„Lord, I have to preach next Sunday before a crowd of critical
people; I need a new spotted cravat; I would like to have a
mince pie for dinner, and I would like to know where I am
to get my winter suit.” Notice what he asked for. This is the
thing on Paul’s mind – not eating, clothing, worldly honor, or
money, but that the word of the Lord that he preached might
have free course and be glorified. In other words, „Just let
me do as well as I did at Thessalonica.” Sometimes a failure
does more good than a success.
I knew an old Baptist preacher – one of our early mission_
aries here in Texas. Sometimes he would get upon a moun_
taintop, and at other times he_ would be „snowed.” I have
sympathized with him in the midst of a great revival meeting
when he realized what a miserable failure he had made. Once
he said, „Brethren, my mind is dark tonight; I am not using
this great occasion for the Lord; pray for me.” There was a
wave of sympathy produced by the modesty and humility of
the man that would so tenderly and so pathetically confess his
failure. There were more conversions that night than any
other night in the meeting.
The next thing that Paul prayed is that he might be de_
livered from unreasonable men. The greatest thorn that a
preacher can confront is an unreasonable man, or woman. Just
one obstinate, fussy man in a community can block the way
of angels. He ‘is the toughest proposition that ever the aspir_
ing mind of man attempted to dispose of. Paul knew all about
it, and he wanted to be delivered from that class of men.
Then from unreasonableness there was wickedness. One sin_
ner can do much evil. One man can go around the outskirts
of a meeting and whisper and slander and sneer and suggest,
and almost break up the meeting. He says, „For all have not
faith.”
J. M. Pendleton made that his favorite text, and what a
sermon he could preach from it! When he got to be an old
man he visited his daughter, Mrs. Waggoner, wife of the presi_
dent of the State University. I had read different sermons
of his on that text. But I paid his expenses and gave him $20
to come to Waco and preach a new sermon on the same text.
It was a great sermon – one that I shall never forget.
I have seen brethren get down in a meeting and pray that
the meeting would not close until every man, woman, and
child in the community had been converted. That does not
happen, „for all people have not faith,” and if we stopped at
a place until we led everybody in that place to Christ before
we go anywhere else, we would never move.
3. A case of discipline: 2 Thessalonians 3:6: „Now we com_
mand you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh
disorderly, and not after the tradition which they received of
us.” That is just as positive and binding as if Jesus Christ
in person had commanded it. „If a member of any church
will not walk in the gospel which has been preached by the
Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, and has a fixed standard
of his own, and won’t make the gospel the rule of his life,
and stubbornly goes against it, then we command you brethren
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from that
man.”
One of the greatest evils in the world today is the lack of
scriptural discipline in the churches.
A great many country churches have a great deal of disci_
pline; much of it is very injudicious and unscriptural. A great
many city churches have no discipline at all; they just let
things wag along. They would not take up a case of drunken_
ness, of audacious murder, of awful fraud, though the whole
cause of Jesus Christ be suffering from the lack of scriptural
discipline, and if I had to mention today wherein the minis_
try is most deficient, I would instantly put my finger upon
discipline. First, they do not know what it is. Second, they do
not know how to manage it. Third, when they find out they
are afraid of it.
Let us look into this case of discipline: Paul appeals first
to his teaching, next to his example: „You know my example;
I never walked disorderly. I was guilty of no deceit, covet_
ousness, or uncleanness. Boldly, justly, unblamably I lived
among you when I was preaching to you. There you have my
teaching and my example. Now, you have my commands.”
Let us see at what particular point this disorder came in.
We want to know exactly the nature of the offense. First,
some of them would not work; they were lazy deadbeats,
hanging around, living off the brethren. That is an awful
sin. Paul saw that unless he could impress upon these people,
the dignity of honest labor – no matter what kind of labor,
whether honest work with a wheelbarrow, cutting wood, plow_
ing, spinning, weaving, cooking, washing, it is honorable, and
that there is a dignity and majesty about labor – then religion
would lose the respect of the honest and industrious. Second,
they were busybodies. Of course, an idle man is bound to
have some business; a man that has no work to do is bound
to be working at something, and if he is idle, then he will
move around and do a great deal of talking. He will be busy
about somebody else’s business.
Paul knew some women of that kind, as we find in a sub_
sequent letter. He tells Timothy that they were tattlers and
gadabouts. When once the tongues get to wagging and buzz_
ing and humming in a community, then the archangel and a
legion of his angels could not pick up the evil impressions
as fast as they can sow them. They had idle people at Thes_
salonica. Most of these people were poor, hardworking people,
and here was a lot of fellows that would put their hands in
their vest pockets (if they had any vest) and talk about the
glories of the coming of Christ, and they were filling their
souls with the anticipation of Christ coming down, and they
did not want such a thing as working for a day’s victuals to
come between them and their joyful reflections.
John Wesley was once asked: „Mr. Wesley, if you knew
that Jesus Christ was coming tomorrow night, what would
you do?” He said, „I would go right along filling my ap_
pointments for tomorrow up to the time. When he comes I
would like for him to find me working just that way.”
These men thought it a mark of superior Christianity that
they should so retire from all occupation as to contemplate
in pious, sweet meditation the second coming of Christ. It is
a glorious theme to meditate about, but never quit doing a
duty to meditate about anything.
Let us look further into this case. He says, „Brethren, you
remember when we were with you, this we commanded you,
if any will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear of some
that walk among you disorderly, that work not at all, but are
busy bodies.” Here is his command to the disorderly: „We
command and exhort in Jesus Christ that with quietness they
work, and eat their own bread.” But if they wouldn’t, here
is the injunction to the church: „If any man obeyeth not our
word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no com_
pany with him, to the end that he may be ashamed.”
I have never yet seen that kind of corrective discipline.
He says if there is a man who is walking disorderly (and he
mentions what he calls disorderly walking), don’t let him
partake of the Lord’s Supper. As he says elsewhere, „with
such a one, no, not to eat.” That is not turning him out of
the church. Let a man of that kind see good men not wishing
for his company; not rudely, but quietly turning away from
him; it makes an impression on him. He sees that he is
shunned by those who discountenance his disorderly methods.
Look again at the discipline: Why should they not keep
company with them? It is to bring him to be ashamed of
himself. But we are not through with it yet: „Count him not
as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” The idea in
most of the country churches is, „I move that we turn him
out.” That leaves out a wide scope of corrective discipline,
of laboring discipline, of faithful dealing with brethren.
4. Paul’s authorship. In the last verse it is written: „The
salutation of me, Paul, with mine own hand, which is the
token in every epistle, so I write.” That proves, first, what
is elsewhere so frequently asserted, that Paul was not accus_
tomed to writing his letters. He dictated them. He suffered
from acute ophthalmia, or to put it in plainer English, sore
eyes. And when he wrote he made great sprawling letters. He
wrote only one of his letters with his own hand, and that was
the letter to the Galatians, and he called their attention to
it: „You see with what sprawling letters I have written to
you.” Inasmuch as his custom was to dictate his letters, when.
he heard that the Thessalonians were reporting that they had
seen a letter from Paul that said that Christ was coming right
away, Paul says, „I wrote no such letter.” And to guard
against imposition upon the minds of his churches, coming
from forged letters, as soon as he found out that a letter had
been forged in his name, he adopted the expedient here of
attesting his letters. „Now, hereafter you will know whether
a letter is from me thus: ‘The salutation of me, Paul, with
mine own hand; so I write.’ ” In other words, „When a man
says he has a letter from me, you look to see if it has my
signature. If I dictate a letter my signature will be there to
show that it is really a letter from me.” That is the token of
the Pauline epistles. And it is only in the letter to the He_
brews that he did not do it, and I will tell you why he did
not follow his custom and append his name to that letter when
we come to it.

QUESTIONS
1. On 2 Thessalonians 2:13_14, answer: (1) What the first constituent
element of salvation? (2) When did God choose them? (3) Unto what
did he choose them? (4) Through what? (5) How made effectual?
(6) Through what did he call? (7) What the object of his calling?
2. What the meaning of „the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”?
3. In 3:1_2 what two things does Paul ask the brethren in his behalf?
4. What may we infer as to our need of the prayers of our brethren,
and the suitable objects of prayer?
5. What illustration of self_sufficiency given?
6. What the meaning of „all have not faith”?
7. What the case of discipline in 3:6, and what the greatest deficiency
of the ministry today?
8. What three reasons assigned for this deficiency?
9. To what two things does Paul appeal in this case of discipline?
10. What the nature of the offense?
11. What was the general topic of discussion among _these people,
and how does Wesley’s program illustrate the contrary idea?
12. What remedy did Paul propose for the case?
13. What should be the attitude of the church toward one who if
subject to corrective discipline?
14. What bearing has 3:14 on the extent of apostolic authority and
the inspiration of the letter?
15. What the proof rom this letter that Paul found it necessary to
attest his letters with his own signature; why did he usually dictate
his letters to an amanuensis, and which one of his letters was written
altogether in his own handwriting?

XIII
INTRODUCTION TO I CORINTHIANS

The first group of Paul’s letters is I and 2 Thessalonians,
and the great theme of those letters is eschatology, or the doc_
trine of the last things, particularly the second coming of
Christ. The next group is I and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and
Romans – these great letters that brought immortality for their
author from any standpoint, whether in literature, logic, or
pathos. In argument and in power of persuasion they have no
equal ‘in the world’s literature. This discussion will be a gen_
eral introduction to the Corinthian literature.
Let us locate Corinth on the map of the Roman Empire,
and state the advantages of its position. The reader will notice
the little neck of land connecting the Peloponnesus, or lower
Greece, with Macedonia and Thrace, or upper Greece, an
isthmus between the two seas. The port on the east side was
Cenchrea, where Phoebe was converted, and where a church
was established. The city is on a rock over 200 feet above
the sea level, and on a hill over 1,600 feet higher is the citadel,
or Akro_Korinthos. In the study of history we find that straits
and isthmuses are the world’s strategic points. More exploring
of them is done, more fighting for them, and attempts to hold
mastery of them than for any other parts of the world. As the
Isthmus of Suez, or Panama in modern times, so in the ancient
world was the famous isthmus commanded by the city of
Corinth.
The advantages of the position are evident. First, it com_
mands the passage_way from Macedonia, Achaia, and Thrace
into the Peloponneus, or lower Greece. It was dangerous navi_
gation around the lower points of the Peloponnesus, hence,
merchants would take their shins to this isthmus, where there
was a way to drag the ships across to the other sea – a crude
ship railroad. On a very crude scale great conquerors have
imitated this transportation of ships by land. Cortes, when
he conquered the City of Mexico, had his ships taken to pieces
and transported over the high mountain ranges and launched
in Lake Tezcuco, which was on the east side of the city. So,
the position of Corinth made it a place of international im_
portance.
Old classic Greek tells about Sparta and Athens – Athens
the intellectual and political head, and Sparta the military
head of the Greek world. Corinth contended neither in intel_
lect with Athens nor in martial spirit with Sparta. It de_
voted ‘itself to commerce, so that the Lacedaemonians rebuked
them for worshiping the almighty dollar. When the Spartan
power fell before Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander
the Great, these great cities – Athens and Sparta – decayed.
Corinth came to the front, and was the chief city of Greece
under Philip and Alexander, his son. It was a city of great
importance until the Roman general captured and destroyed
it. It lay desolate for over a hundred years. Julius Caesar,
the first Roman emperor, then rebuilt it.
Rome conferred great privileges on it, by making it a free
city. At the time of Christ it was one of the most important
cities in the world. Here the Isthmian games constituted the
glory of all the world, so that Corinth was „Vanity Fair.”
Corinth was Paris; Corinth was London. There was the tem_
ple of Aphrodite, or Venus, who was the chief goddess wor_
shiped, and one thousand maidens were selected to be the
debauched servants of that infamous temple. As a great writer
has said, „With all of its intellectual culture, wealth, and luxu_
ry, Corinth rotted morally.” No place on earth was more de_
bauched. They worshiped their gods with the most shameful
orgies of obscenity and vice. It was while Paul was there,
knowing the degradation of the heathen countries, and par_
ticularly of their worship, that he wrote that terrible indict_

ment contained in Romans I, where he describes the corrup_
tion of the heathen nations who had no knowledge of God.
The Jews, of course, came on account of its commercial
advantages. About the time that Paul got there, there was
an unusual number of Jews in Corinth, because the Roman
emperor had just banished them from Rome. Aquila and
Priscilla, that noted Christian man and wife, had just come
from Rome under that decree, and were living in Corinth.
The Greeks, of course, were there, and there were vast multi_
tudes of Romans. There were more slaves than in any other
place in proportion to the population. Many slaves were
among Paul’s converts.
The city was seemingly covered with gold. They had an
artificial finish that they gave their buildings which in the
light of the sun would make the whole building seem to be
of gold. The Corinthian brass was of great commercial value.
The style of architecture, called the Corinthian, is the most
ornate of all the styles of architecture now in the world. So,
for intellectual development, architectural skill, athletic skill,
athletic culture, skill of navigation, great wealth and great
luxury, this city was renowned. It is not very much of a place
now.
The greatest celebrity of this city was the Akro_Korinthos –
the citadel. One could stand on that citadel and see Athens
across the sea. Another was the Isthmian games, then the
worship of Aphrodite and her temple. Cicero called Corinth
„the eye of Greece.” Another Roman author called it the
capital and the grace of Greece. A Roman proverb was, „It
becomes every man to go to Corinth,” just aa we say in mod_
ern times, „See Naples and die.”
We gather the history of the establishment of the church
in this city from Acts 18:1_18, the letters to the Corinthians,
and then the letter to the Philippians. There are some ex_
pressions of value also in the letter to the Romans.

Let us now give a summary of the history of the establish_
ment of that church. With the Acts before us, and Goodwin’s
Harmony of the Life of Paul, we will have no trouble. Briefly,
Paul had visited Athens after he left Berea. That is the only
time he tried to preach an eloquent sermon, and quote from
heathen poets, and scatter a little star_dust over the crowd.
It is the only place where he ever failed, and he never tried
that any more. He was very sore over the result of his work
in Athens, and so in about six hours’ sail he passed from
Athens to Corinth. He took a boat to Cenchrea, and walked
the other ten miles. When he got there he moved among the
Jews until he found Aquila and Priscilla, that remarkable
Christian family that had a great deal to do with his sub_
sequent history. He had no money. He was by himself, sick
all the time, nearly blind, and worked day and night with
them to make a living while he did his preaching.
He preached first in the synagogue there. His object, as in
all other synagogues, was to show that the Jewish Messiah
was to be a suffering Messiah, and that Jesus of Nazareth was
that Messiah. As usual there were some converts among
them, and particularly among the Jewish proselytes. Crispus,
the leader of the synagogue, with all his house, was converted.
The rest of the Jews blasphemed horribly, and opposed him,
so that he drew a line of demarcation, as he did at Ephesus
a little later. Hard by the synagogue was a man named Jus_
tus, a proselyte, who had been converted. Paul held his meet_
ings at his house. Then he began to preach to the Gentiles.
On. every side of him were slaves with human masters and
slaves of long_continued drunkenness. A vast number of
Paul’s converts were drunkards) thieves, liars, and murderers.
He tells them that when he writes to them. He determines
not to try the Athenian method of preaching. He determined
to go before them in fear and trembling, to rely only on and
to glory in nothing but the cross of Christ, and to pray as he
preached that their faith should stand in the power of God,
and God most wonderfully accompanied with power the
preaching of this man.
There were not only vast numbers converted, but great
multitudes were baptized in the Spirit, receiving that Pente_
costal baptism, the power to speak with tongues, to heal the
sick, to raise the dead, to discern spirits. That house of Justus
became very famous. There were marvelous displays of di_
vine power there. Here was a man who had been an abject
slave, speaking in unknown tongues. Here a cripple made
whole in a moment, and himself having the power to heal
others. Here was every display of spiritual Charismata. As
he says in I Corinthians: „What is it then, brethren? When
ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching,
hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation.”
There never was any church that received the miraculous gift
of the Spirit more than this first church at Corinth.
The difficulties were very great. Timothy and Silas joined
him, and even then one night Paul – the great Paul – got
scared. He seemed to be so lonely, and there was that awful
unconsecrated wealth, the fearful debauchery of their religious
worship, the „Vanity Fair” of their Isthmian games – and Paul
got scared. But that night his Lord came to him in a vision
and said, „Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace,
for I am with thee and no man shall set on thee to harm thee,
for I have much people in this city.” All the fear left his
heart and under the realization of the sense of the presence
of the Lord Jesus Christ, he forgot everything human and
earthly. His faith took hold of every divine promise. His
hope soared up to heaven. His love radiated its light and
heat like the sun. There seemed to him nothing impossible,
and great multitudes were converted.
Oh, when we go out to preach in a corrupt city, a worldly_
minded city, given over to the acquisition of the almighty
dollar, where the boys and girls are living lives of debauchery
and shame, and we are there by ourselves, and begin to get
scared, then we need only to have a meeting with the Lord
Jesus Christ. That is the secret of power.
And whatever we do, when we go to a place like that, let
us not try the oratorical method. But let us get low before
God and hold up the cross. Then we ourselves won’t be able
to take in the fulness of the blessing God will send upon us.
If we take hold of a great enterprise, if we have a spark of
reason left in us, let us remember that if the work is of God,
and it is right to do it – if it ought to be done, and we feel
impressed that we are the ones to do it, and we want to win,
we can win only by the realization that the Lord Jesus Christ
is with us.
About this time the new Roman proconsul arrived. All
provinces under the Roman senate were governed by a pro_
consul. This new man is known among the preachers as Gallic.
One of the first things I ever heard in a public service was
a Baptist man praying, and he said, „Lord let us not be like
Gallic, caring for none of these things.” I heard that until I
got the idea that Gallic was indifferent to religion. But he
was one of the sweetest characters in Roman history, a brother
of Seneca, and devoted to justice. When the Jews arrested
Paul and preferred charges against him, and Paul got up to
speak, Gallic stopped him: „You need not make a speech,
Paul; I will quash this indictment. This does not come before
a Roman court.” He told his lictors to scatter the Jews out
of the house. I wonder if Gallic ever thought that he missed
hearing a message of eternal life when he dismissed the case
without hearing Paul’s defense. I wonder if he ever supposed
that he and his brother, Seneca, and all men like him, great
and mighty in the Roman world, would live in history simply
because at one point their lives touched Paul’s. After the Jews
were driven away, the street rabble decided that they would
lynch a few Jews, since the governor held them in such con_
tempt. They beat Sosthenes, and it was this treatment of the
Jews about which Gallic cared nothing.
Paul stayed there a year and a half, preaching in all the
regions round about. He established churches, not only at
Corinth but in other places. When he made a visit, on his
third tour, to Ephesus, he came back to Corinth for a little
while, but we have no history of it except a vague allusion
in one of his letters. Then, he wrote a letter to the Corinthi_
ans that is lost, for he himself says, „I wrote unto you not to
keep company with fornicators.” Not everything that Moses,
Paul or any other Bible writer wrote did the Holy Spirit think
necessary to preserve.
Paul began to hear some strange reports about Corinth. He
had been at Ephesus for a year or two. At last a delegation of
the people that he had baptized came to bring him a letter
from the church at Corinth, inviting him to come over, pay_
ing a good deal of adulation to themselves, and asking certain
questions which he answers in his first letter. There had come
some Jews from Palestine and raised the old issue against
Paul that he was not an apostle, that he had never seen the
Lord, that he did not even claim the support of an apostle,
but worked for a living, but that Peter was the man to follow.
After Paul left Corinth, Apollos, a great Alexandrian rheto_
rician, a greater orator than Paul, came there, and they were
much taken with him. They began to say, „I am for Peter,
or for Apollos, or for Christ, or for Paul.” They began to mis_
use those gifts in a way to bring confusion. Their meetings
were disorderly; their women became unseemly. When they
celebrated the Lord’s Supper they made a regular meal of it,
and became drunk. A certain man in the Corinthian church
had taken his father’s wife, and the church stood up for him.
Paul’s heart was almost broken. He sent Titus with this let_
ter.
Here is a bibliography of Paul for this period:
1. Conybeare and Howson’s Life and Epistles of Paul.
2. Farrar’s Life of Paul.

3. Stalker’s Life of Paul, particularly his chapter on the
New Testament church.
4. McGregor’s Divine Authority of Paul’s Writings.
5. Monod’s Five Lectures on Paul.
6. Wilkinson’s Epic of Paul.

Here follows a complete analysis of the letter:
I. The Historical Introduction, which gives the place, its
history, the establishment of the church, succeeding events,
the occasion of the letter, when, where, and by whom written.
II. Salutation and Thanksgiving (1:1_9).
III. The third, and perhaps the most important division of
the analysis, is the Ecclesiastical Disorders; there are seven
of these, as follows:
1. Factions (1:10 to 4:7), and this is a matter of very great
importance, especially to preachers.
2. Revolt against the apostolic authority (4:8_21; 9:1_27).
3. Consequent relaxation of morals and discipline (5).
4. Going to law against brethren (6:1_10).
5. Perversion of the Lord’s Supper (10:1_22; 11:18_34).
6. Abuse and misuse of spiritual gifts (12_14).
7. The perversion of woman’s position, conduct, and dress
(11:1_7; 14:34_37).

IV. The fourth general division is Social Questions, includ_
ing the following items:
1. Meat offered to idols.
2. Marriage and divorce.
3. Circumcision and slavery.
V. The fifth general division is False Doctrine concerning
the resurrection (15). The subdivisions of the false doctrine
are:
1. Resurrection is a spiritual affair, and is past already.
2. Philosophical objections to bodily resurrection and the
reply to these objections. In the reply he shows, (1) that the
resurrection is a fundamental doctrine: (2) the fact of Christ’s
resurrection establishes our resurrection. Our resurrection de_
pends on him.
VI. The sixth division of the analysis: General Directions
and explanation about collections, Timothy and Apollos,
Stephanas and Achaicus (16:1_12; 15_18).
VII. The seventh division of the analysis: Exhortation (16:
13_14).
VIII. Closing salutations (16:19_21).
IX. The Anathema (16:22).
X. Benediction (16:23_24).
Paul left there and went to Ephesus in a roundabout w.. T,
and while he was at Ephesus holding a great meeting, he re_
ceived notification from certain persons from the church at
Corinth bringing him the most doleful intelligence. The house_
hold of Chloe brought him the word; they were urging him
to come back. He wouldn’t quit the meeting to come back,
but he writes: „I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost; for
a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are
many adversaries.” He felt that two duties could not con_
flict, and instead of returning to Corinth he wrote this letter.
He had previously written a letter that was not preserved.
He now writes this letter through Sosthenes, an amanuensis,
and sends Timothy as his delegate over to Corinth. He is_
intensely anxious to hear before he visits Corinth. That was
the occasion of the letter. The letter was written at Ephesus,
and written on account of the reports that came to him con_
cerning the demorilization in that great new church that he
had established at Corinth.

QUESTIONS
1. What the first and second groups of Paul’s letters, and what the
theme of each group?
2. How do the letters of the second group compare with other
literature?
3, What the location of Corinth on a map of the Roman Empire,
and what the advantages of its position?
4. Give briefly the ancient Greek history of Corinth.
5. Give briefly its history under Roman domination.
6. What of its moral status during this time, what of their religion,
and where may we find a description of the moral degradation of these
people?
7. What constituted the population of Corinth at this time, why
so many Jews there, and what noted couple among them did Paul
find there?
8. What of the architecture and renown of the city?
9. What were some of the celebrities of this city?
10. From what New Testament books do we gather the history of the
establishment of the church in this city?
11. Give a summary of the history of the establishment of this
church, answering the following questions: (1) Whence came Paul to
Corinth, and what was his method of preaching in his last effort before
coming to Corinth? (2) How was he conveyed to Corinth? (3) What
his physical condition when he arrived at Corinth? (4) With whom
did he do his first missionary work here, what his method, and what
the results? (5) From what class of people were most of Paul’s con_
verts at Corinth, and what marvelous displays of divine power among
them? (6) What the difficulties, how was Paul nerved to meet them,
and what the lesson for us? (7) Give an account of Gallic in his re_
lation to this work at Corinth. (8) How long did Paul stay at Corinth?
(9) Where did he go when he left Corinth, and what of the work at
Corinth after he left there?
12. Give a bibliography of Paul for this period.
13. What the main points of the analysis?
14. When and where was this letter written, and what the occasion of it?

XIV
THE SALUTATION – ELOQUENCE AND FACTIONAL
DIVISIONS
I Corinthians 1:1_31.

In this discussion we commence with the salutation and
thanksgiving as the second item of the analysis. The saluta_
tion is verses 1_3. The thanksgiving, verses 4_9. Let us look
at that salutation: „Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus
Christ through the will of God.” If we turn back to the salu_
tation of I Thessalonians, we find that it says: „Paul, and
Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians.”
But this one says, „Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ
through the will of God.” The change arises from the objec_
tion that had been raised against him in the city of Corinth.
Therefore from now on, he never commences a letter without
affirming his call to the apostleship and his qualification for it.
One of the occasions for the letter was that a man from
Judea, bearing letters of recommendation, had sought to un_
dermine Paul’s influence by denouncing his apostleship, and
now Paul puts into his letters a statement of his full apostolic
claim: „Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through
the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, unto the church of
God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in
Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and
ours.”
The salutation, then, is from Paul and Sosthenes, who is the
amanuensis. When we come to the end of the letter we will
see that Paul grabs the pen and writes that anathema with
his own hand. The only letter that he did write with his own
hand throughout, was the letter to the Galatians. His eyes
were very bad, and he wrote in great sprawling letters, about
which he says, „See with how large letters I write unto you
with mine own hand.” Because of this defect in his eyesight
he employed a clerk.
Great fundamental principles are discussed in this letter,
and it is addressed to them directly, but it was not intended
to be merely a local letter. The expression, „With all that
call, . . . ,” lifts it above local restrictions. We notice in the
salutation his use of the words, „sanctified,” and „saints,”
one indicating past time, and the other present time: „Them
that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints.” The
two words come from a common root. Sanctification has three
Bible significations: Primarily it means to set apart. God
sanctified the seventh day and set it apart. Jesus said, „I
sanctify myself,” that is, „I set myself apart to do the work
I am to do.” In one instance at least, the word „sanctifica_
tion” is used as an equivalent of regeneration, because sancti_
fication commences in regeneration, and the passage is this:
„The elect . . . according to the foreknowledge of God the
Father, in sanctification of the Spirit.” There, sanctification
includes both sanctification and regeneration. The third sense
is where it is limited to what is called the doctrine of sancti_
fication as distinguished from justification and regeneration.
Regeneration is an instantaneous act of the Spirit of God,
giving a holy disposition to the mind, renewing the man, ap_
plying to him the cleansing blood of Christ. But sanctification,
in its doctrinal aspect, is the progressive work of making com_
pletely holy that new life which is commenced in regeneration.
And then it goes on until the man’s soul is made completely
holy – as holy as God is holy. In justification Christ’s right_
eousness is imputed to us through faith; in sanctification,
before the work is completed, or when it is completed, we
personally are made righteous altogether. Sanctification of
the spirit culminates in death. When the soul is separated
from the body it is sanctified – made perfect. Paul says) „The

spirits of just men made perfect.” Death is the last lesson in
sanctification. He continues the salutation: „Grace to you
and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul’s salutations always consist, first, of „grace,” and then
„peace,” because peace depends on grace.
In every letter that he writes, just after the salutation is a
thanksgiving statement. He had hard work in finding ground
for thanksgiving here, but he always finds it if it is there. He
always gives his thanks to God for the good that there is,
before he begins to point out evil. I take great blame to my_
self that I do not follow Paul with regard to thankfulness
concerning the brethren. I am afraid many of us are addicted
to censoriousness; because of the spirit of criticism we see
but little reason for thankfulness in many of our brethren.
An old deacon of the church to which I first preached told
me of one man who never condemned, who in every case found
some good in whomsoever was mentioned. Finally they made a
bet that even the deacon could not find a good thing to say
about a certain man that was a notoriously bad character
and who had just died. They told the old deacon about it and
he stood a while and then said, „Brethren, we ought to be
thankful that he was a good whistler.” He just wouldn’t say
a condemnatory thing about anybody.
This letter of Paul to the church at Corinth was a sharp
letter, and particularly when he criticizes the abuse and mis_
use of the miraculous spiritual gifts. I once heard a preacher
say, „Don’t burn the ship in order to get rid of the rats.”
So Paul does not discount the great spiritual gifts because by
some people they were so abused and misused. These gifts
were more widely diffused among the Corinthians than at any
other place of which we have any account in the Bible. It
was a great necessity at that place for these spiritual gifts in
order to get a hearing. Referring to these gifts Paul says, „In
everything ye were enriched in him, in all utterance and all
knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in
you: so that ye come behind in no gift.” That is a new ground
of thanksgiving that we have not found before.
With this brief prelude Paul launches at once into the dis_
cussion of the great questions that occasioned the letter. First
of all were the eight ecclesiastical disorders. This ‘is what he
says: „Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that
there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfected
together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it
hath been signified unto me concerning you, my brethren, by
them that are of the household of Chloe, that there are con_
tentions among you.” Let us see what kind of contentions,
and how factions started in that church, and let us see if, so
far as our knowledge of factions goes, that they arise from
the same cause. I don’t suppose that there ever was a preacher
who didn’t at some time or other see a divided church. There
are men today with a great burden on their hearts because of
divisions in the church where they preach. We want to know
how these factions started. He said, „Each one of you saith,
I am of Paul; and I am of Apollos; and I am of Cephas; and
I am of Christ.” What then is the contention about? The
members of the church are partial toward spiritual leaders.
After Paul left there, Apollos, of Alexandria, an eloquent
rhetorician, came there, and he was a mighty orator, and the
people were led away by his eloquence, and later there came
these brethren from Judea who thought that Peter was a great
man. Apollos himself was not to blame; he had nothing to do
with it. But a faction rallied around Apollos, another around
Peter, another rallied around Christ. Some held to Peter and
some held to themselves, and said, „I am a ‘Christ_i_an,’ ”
others, „I am Apollosite,” „I am a Peterite,” or „I am a Christ_
ite.” While Paul was away Apollos came there and preached,
and being a very eloquent man and a rhetorician, with all of
the arts of polished speech, with well_rounded periods) his
speech so very fine that admiration for the rhetoric of it led
some to disregard the matter of it, so that to them the speech
was lost in its oratory.
At various conventions I have heard men remarking on cer_
tain speakers. One said concerning a certain address, „That
was the most logical, best rounded, and of the most homiletic
art,” showing that they were studying the manner and casting
of the speech more than the preaching itself, just like discuss_
ing a woman’s dress instead of the woman.
The gravest factions that ever agitated the churches of
Jesus Christ have come up around persons more than doc_
trines, politics, or measures. In ninety_nine cases out of one
hundred, rows in the church come up around preachers. Lay_
men as a rule don’t like a fuss in a church, but the preacher
oftentimes makes a great deal of harm, intending really to do
good instead of evil, and yet because he doesn’t know how to
do certain things, and particularly how to handle delicate
cases of discipline, there will be a scene, and directly the cause
of a splitting of the church wide open. Generally we can get
men to compromise, and by reasoning and prayer, we may
bring them into doctrinal agreement, but the hardest men to
harmonize in the world are those who are contentious about
men. That is why we should never seek after a „stack_pole”
unification, i. e., stack around a man. He may die, and then
what becomes of our unit?
It was a grief to Paul because people had made his name
a cause of faction. Let us carefully and prayerfully make the
application to our own hearts, and note the great arguments
Paul gives against these factions. He says, „Is Christ di_
vided?” i. e., is our Lord Jesus Christ to be cut up and parceled
and measured out, one piece to one man, another to another
man? So long as Christ is the center of our unification, king_
ship, priesthood, there should be no division about men.
When I was a schoolboy I was an enthusiastic supporter
of the Union, though when my state seceded, I entered the
Southern army and remained in it four years. In my last days
at school I stood on a goods box in the streets of Independence
under the last Star_Spangled Banner ever lifted to the sun of
Texas before the war, and with a great mob gathered round
to pull down the flag, I commenced my oration by repeating
the poem:
Think ye that I could brook to see
That banner I have loved so long,
Borne piecemeal o’er the distant sea,
Divided, measured, parceled out,
Tamely surrendered up forever,
To satisfy the soulless rabble? Never, never!
I have to confess that I changed my conviction about the
right policy of secession, after I saw that they had to secede.
There was not anything else to be done, but I am just showing
how here in measuring, parceling out, the thought is just the
same.
Notice Paul’s next argument: „Was Paul crucified for you?
You say you are for Paul, Cephas, or for Apollos: is any one
of these your Saviour? Was Peter judged before Pilate? Was
it Peter that entered the three hours of darkness and cried out,
‘My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Was it by the shed
blood of Paul that your sins were forgiven? If none of these
men was crucified for you, then in the name of consistency,
why name them as rallying points? When you came up and
testified for Christ’s sake that God had forgiven yours sins,
and when you were led into the water, and the preacher lifted
up his hand over your head, did he say, „Upon your public
profession, I baptize you in the name of Peter”? He makes
his argument still stronger, saying, „I thank God that I bap_
tized none of you save Crispus and Gaius – and the household
of Stephanus.”
Never shall I forget one of my earliest controversies. A
man came to my town and was affirming that baptism was es_
sential to salvation, like repentance and faith. I stood up be_
fore him and said,
„Will you tell me then, why Paul said, 1 thank God I bap_
tized none of you save Crispus and Gains’? You say baptism
is essential to salvation; Paul said, ‘God sent me not to baptize
but to preach the gospel.’ ” Notice how he puts baptism in op_
position to the gospel.
Then further, if there were no other words in the Bible than
the words we have here, they are forever fatal to the doctrine
of baptismal salvation.
Those who were converted were usually baptized by other
ministers. Perhaps he baptized these when he first reached
Corinth and was by himself. But soon after Timothy, Titus,
and Silas joined him and performed the rest of the baptizing.
Christ never baptized at all, but Christ saved men, there_
fore his baptism was not essential to salvation.
It was Peter who opened the door to the Gentiles, and they
through faith received remission of sins. He commanded them
to be baptized; he did not do it himself. Baptism is a com_
mandment of great importance, but it is not a condition of
salvation. Paul says, „I thank God I baptized none of you
lest somebody, in saying, 1 am of Paul,’ should give as a
reason 1 am better than you are because Paul baptized me.’ ”
I can understand that one who is to be baptized would prefer
that a dear friend should perform that ordinance, just as
people marry and want some dear friend to perform that rite;
but it is not necessary that a particular person should do it.
If it is a fact that a certain person should not do the baptizing,
then that should be made no ground for division, or from the
fact that there are three denominations at least who recognize
us as proper subjects of baptism, but who refuse to recognize
it because we were not baptized by the bishop or some person
high in church position.
Notice the continuation of Paul’s argument: „For the word
of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us
who are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will
destroy the wisdom of the wise. And the discernment of the

discerning will I bring to nought. Where is the wise? where
is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God
made foolish the wisdom of the world? For seeing that in the
wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it
was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preach_
ing to save them that believe.”
The application is this: One of the factions of that Corinth_
ian church arose out of the great dialectic skill of Apollos in
his preaching and in his argument. That, says Paul, can be no
ground for a faction in the church of Jesus Christ, because
true preaching holds up the cross only as a means of salvation,
and not the oratorical manner in which one talks about the
cross. He goes on to show why it was in his preaching that he
refused that oratorical method. He says, „I came, not relying
upon the wisdom of the world and argumentation. I came in
weakness, fear and trembling, praying that your faith should
not stand in man, but in the demonstration of the Spirit, and
I held up nothing before you but the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ. If a church is to be divided on a question of rhetoric
or philosophic training, then I propound Paul’s questions,
„Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer
of this world?” God had poured his contempt upon the whole
of it. The world by wisdom knew not God. All the wise men
of the world were never able to find him nor to devise a single
plank of the bridge of salvation that spans the chasm between
hell and heaven.
He continues to argue: „Not only is this true, but I appeal
to your experience, For behold your calling, brethren, that not
many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble,
are called: but God chose the foolish things of the world,
that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose
the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame
the things that were strong; and the base things of the world,
and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea,
and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the
things that are; that no flesh should glory before God.” If
salvation is dependent upon the eloquence of preachers, the
logic of Aristotle and wisdom of Socrates; if the number of
converts are to be measured by the preacher’s acquaintance
with flights of fancy, and with great epic poems that he has
either written or read, then, indeed, might one make that a
ground of contention, but the very highest estimate that one
can put upon any of that is that it is merely a scaffolding.
I have oftentimes seen a great sermon fail to convict be_
cause it was too ornate, too delicate, too polished. It did not
deal directly with the naked souls of men.
That was a shrewd thing in Paul to appeal to their experi_
ence: „Look at yourselves! You were a ragamuffin crowd –
thieves, murderers, adulterers. Did rhetoric come to you in the
mud, and wash you clean? Was it the power of the orator that
could charm you from the degradation of sin, and could lift
you up and put your feet upon the rock? 0 brethren, it was
the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! The cross of Christ is
the only true thing in preaching that saves men, and here you
are splitting up the church because one preacher is more elo_
quent than another.”
I feel pressed in spirit to enforce upon the minds of preach_
ers the subject of contention. Let them beware that there
should come death unto the church of Jesus Christ on their
account. Though a Christian cannot be lost, the church can
be destroyed. Because that church organization is the temple
of the Holy Spirit, God says, and Paul brings out the state_
ment of God in this letter, „Him that destroyeth the temple
of God will God destroy, and his temple are ye.” That does
not mean that the preacher loses his soul, but that on account
of his church he may be stricken and temporarily destroyed
so that he will never get over it; his usefulness gone and his
name on record as the man who divided the church, and the
light was put out, and all because „him that destroyeth the
temple of God will God destroy.”
What graver lesson does Texas need than she has had? Some
years ago all our work was paralyzed on account of hyper_
criticism, until at last the brethren saw that there could never
be a forward move, the people of God could never advance
with banner unfurled, and from the very day that they drew
the line of demarcation until now, there has been one colossal
stride after another toward greater things. Let us go back in
our mind over the list of ministers who have lost their hold
on congregations, not as Christians, but as preachers, and have
made shipwreck of their lives. There was a man that destroyed
a certain church of Jesus; he came in as a ground of faction;
he worked up a party of division around himself, and the
power of the church was lost. When he did that he signed his
death warrant as a useful preacher.

QUESTIONS
1. What constitutes the second item of the analysis, and what the
scripture for each division?
2. What particularly distinguishes the salutation of this letter from
the preceding salutations in I and 2 Thessalonians, and why?
3. What expression lifts the letter above local restrictions, and why
should this letter not be so restricted?
4, On the phrase, „sanctified, called to be saints,” what the several
New Testament meanings of the word „sanctify,” who could the sanc_
tification of the Corinthians be past, present, and future, what the
particular meaning of the word expressing what Baptists call the doctrine of sanctification, and how distinguish it from regeneration and justification?
5. What the relation of „grace” and „peace,” and how is this relation indicated?
6. What was Paul’s habit in writing his letters, and what the lesson
on censoriousness? Illustrate.
7. What the new ground of hi? thanksgiving here?
8. Were the gifts mentioned in this thanksgiving the ordinary graces
of the Spirit or those miraculous endowments of the Spirit constituting
the „baptism in the Holy Spirit”?

9. What passages in the letter show the extent and variety of
the miraculous endowments bestowed upon the Corinthians?
10. In view of their misuse and abuse of these gifts, what the expla_
nation of Paul’s thankfulness for their reception of them? Illustrate.
11. What the first ecclesiastical disorder, and what part of the letter
discusses it?
12. What the occasion of this disorder – persons, doctrines, or dis_
cipline, etc.?
13. If persons, were they laymen or preachers, and who were they?
14. What proportion of church divisions now are caused or occa_
sioned by preachers, and when thus occasioned are the preachers always to blame?
15. What is Paul’s first argument against factions, and what the pres_
ent_day application?
16. What his second argument and its application?
17. What his third argument, how does he reinforce this argument,
and what is its bearing on baptismal salvation?
18. What the fourth argument, and what the application to the
Corinthians?
19. What the fifth argument, and what the special application to the
Corinthians?
20. What the sixth argument, appealing to their personal experience,
and what illustration from modern Baptist history?
21. What the meaning of „if any man destroyeth the temple of God,
him shall God destroy”?

XV
THE PREACHER AND FACTIONS
I Corinthians 2:1 to 4:7.

We shall proceed to repeat part of the ground of the last
chapter. We were discussing the third division of the outline,
ecclesiastical disorders. The first is factions. There were divi_
sions. Paul, in replying to the evil of divisions in churches
about persons, made an argument that the world has never
equaled, and which will be important for all time upon the
subject of factions.
His first argument against factions is that Christ Is not di_
vided. Second, the preacher was not crucified for them. They
were making divisions about preachers, yet nobody was cruci_
fied but Christ. Third, nobody was baptized in the name of a
preacher. Fourth, one of the grounds of division was that
some preachers were more oratorical than others in their speak_
ing, and used eloquence and philosophies of the schools. In
replying to that he stated the wise or oratorical preacher does
not save men. They are saved by the cross. Therefore, it is
perfectly foolish to have a division about persons on the
ground that one is more oratorical than another. Fifth, that
worldly wisdom never did discover God, and never could have
devised a plan of salvation. God gave the wisdom of the world
all the opportunity that it wanted from the beginning of time
to the coming of Christ. There had been many wise men,
particularly among the Greeks and Romans, but what did
their wisdom amount to? It had never discovered the nature
of God, devised a system of morals or a plan of salvation.
History presents the awful anomaly that the wisest cities in
the world, such as Athens, Ephesus, and Corinth, were morally

rotten, spiritually putrid. Their wisdom did not save them
from obscenity or debauchery. The sixth argument is that as
a matter of fact few of the wise and the great men were
saved. Somehow their wisdom and their greatness prevented
their stooping down and becoming little children in receiving
the gospel of Jesus Christ. He proves this by appealing to
their own case. „You know, brethren, from your own ex_
perience that not many wise, great, or noble are called.” The
seventh argument against division, where it was predicated on
superior worldly wisdom on the part of any of the persona
about whom the division was centered, is that Christ himself
is the wisdom of the Christian, the righteousness, sanctifica_
tion, and redemption of the Christian. How beautifully he
works in the thought of the Trinity, „Who was made unto us
wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and
redemption.” While Christ is the wisdom, righteousness, sanc_
tification, and redemption of his people, the application is
different. He is not our sanctification in the sense that he is
our righteousness. Our righteousness is imputed to us, and we
receive it by a single act of faith. Our sanctification is ap_
plied to us differently by the Holy Spirit, and becomes at last
a personal righteousness.
His eighth argument is that the gospel which saves men is
not discerned according to carnal wisdom, but is spiritually
discerned. Whether a man be wise or ignorant does not enter
into the question. We might take a Negro that could not read
a letter in a book, and put seven wise men of Greece against
him, and the Negro might spiritually discern the gospel of
eternal life preached to him as a poor, ignorant, lost soul quick_
er than the seven wise men of Greece.
I have often used as an illustration of that, the case of Gen.
Speight, whose children live in Waco now. He was a great man
in many respects. He was the best organizer and trainer of a
regiment I ever knew, and his intellect was quick as lightning,
and yet he could not see how to be converted until his old
Negro servant took him off in the gin house and showed him
how to come to Christ.
That applies in Paul’s argument. One of the grounds of
division, was that they were instituting comparisons between
Paul and Apollos. Apollos was a wise man, expert in Alexan_
drian philosophy. Paul wants to know what that counts in a
case of this kind. The natural man receives not the things of
God. They are foolishness to him.
His ninth argument is that factions hinder spiritual prog_
ress. They were yet babes in Christ when they ought to have
been teachers. I don’t know anything that can more quickly
destroy the spiritual progress of the church than divisions. Let
a church be divided into two parties, one following Deacon A
and the other Deacon B; one clamoring for this preacher and
the other for that; let the line be drawn sharply, then all
spirituality dies. There cannot be power ‘in the church while
that continues.
The tenth argument consists of some questions: „What then
is Apollos? and what is Paul?” At a last analysis they are only
the instruments or ministers by whom they believed; God him_
self gave the increase.
He advances in the eleventh argument: „You are divided
about preachers. You are not the preacher’s field or his build_
ing. You are God’s field; you are God’s building. Then if you
are God’s building you don’t belong to this preacher or to that
preacher.”
The twelfth argument is that the only foundation in this
building is Jesus Christ: „Other foundation can no man lay
than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” The thirteenth
argument is that all the incongruous material the preacher
puts on that foundation will be destroyed in the great judg_
ment day – tried by fire. He refers to the material received
for church membership. Paul laid a divine foundation for the
church at Corinth. Other men proposed to build on that
foundation. Suppose a man puts into the temple of God
„wood, hay, stubble.” Some people thatch the roof of the
house with hay or stubble. Every addition to that church,
when the Master comes to examine his building, that has not
been made of living stone, lasting spiritual material, will be
cut out and will go up in fire and smoke. So we will say that
one reason for the division was that a preacher held a meet_
ing and received a thousand members and 975 came in without
conviction or repentance – a dry_eyed, easy, little faith, little
sinner, little savior – and it did not amount to anything. The
preacher, if a Christian, will be saved, but every bit of the
unworthy material he put in the church will be lost, and be_
cause the work is lost he will suffer loss of reward for his
labors.
His fourteenth argument is that factions destroy the church,
which is the temple of God, which temple they were: „Him
that destroyeth the temple of God will God destroy.” I never
knew it to fail where a man through his fault destroyed a
church of Christ that that man was destroyed world without
end. Even if he was a Christian he was destroyed. Not as
to eternal life, but certainly as to his usefulness in this world.
His fifteenth argument is – what a text! I heard Dr. Hatcher,
of Richmond, preach a sermon on it. The church does not
belong to the preachers; the preachers belong to the church:
„All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas,
or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to
come, all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”
The sixteenth argument is that these preachers about which
they were dividing this church must be counted simply as
stewards of the grace of God, the deposit of the gospel which
has been given to them. They were not to be looked on as
the builders, the authors, and the savior of the church. What
they were to do in their case was to ask the one question,
„Has this steward been faithful?” The seventeenth argument
is that they were dividing this church on their human judg_
ment of men, and their human judgment didn’t count at all.
The King James version of 4:3 is, „But with me it is a very
small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judg_
ment; yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by
myself.” How many sermons I have heard on that when the
thought is not that at all! This is the meaning of the true
text of the Greek: ‘Tor though I know nothing against my_
self, yet I am not hereby justified,” i.e., human judgment
doesn’t count. In other words, I may seem to myself perfect,
but I may have a thousand faults. The judge is God, and
when God lets the light shine, he brings out some spot I don’t
see in the dim light of my wisdom. You remember David’s
prayer, „Cleanse thou me from secret faults,” i.e., not faults
that I am keeping hid from my wife and my friends, but
faults secret to me. „The heart is deceitful above all things
and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
The eighteenth and last argument is this: Preachers deserve
no credit for difference in gifts, and yet they were making
their different gifts the ground of their division: „For who
maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou didst
not receive?” One of the greatest blessings in this world today
is the difference of gifts that God gives to the church and his
preachers. Two of the most important chapters in the Bible
are devoted to a discussion of that question (Rom. 12; I Cor.
12). God has never yet called a man to preach who cannot do
some things better than anybody else in the world. He never
gives two men exactly the same gifts. I am conscious that I
can do some things better than other people. I am sure that
God has given me the gift of interpretation of his Word. But
others can do some things better than I can. I would hate it
very much if I were the best sample in the kingdom all along
the line. It would be a very sad thing for the world if some
of God’s preachers could not beat me in some things. They
had made this difference in gifts the ground of their factions.
Now, call each man up and say, „Paul, where did you get your
gifts?” He answers, „God gave them to me.” „Did you earn
them?” „No, they are free grace.” „Apollos, where did you
get your gifts?” „God gave them to me.” „You did not pur_
chase them from God?” „No, they came through free grace.”
One of the greatest preachers I ever heard stood up in the
pulpit and pointed to a homely old Baptist preacher in the
crowd and said, „Brethren, I would give all I am worth in the
world to be able to preach like that man.” The most of the
crowd would have said, „You beat him.” He could beat him,
but not in all things. That man could preach a sermon by the
way he got up in the pulpit and opened the Bible. The hu_
mility and tenderness of soul with which he looked into the
faces of the sinners was marvelous. That fact alone ought
to keep down the jealousy of one preacher against another
preacher. There is such s, thing as improving one’s gifts, and
for that a man does deserve credit. A man may have a gift,
and by disuse of that gift it will go into bankruptcy; one may
be lazy and won’t study, and for that he is to be blamed. I
care not how dull a man is naturally, if God has called that
man, he had a reason for calling him. He has some work for
him to do that Michael and Gabriel could not do. That man
is responsible for just what gifts he has, and he ought to try
to improve those gifts, and not try to imitate somebody whose
gifts are different from his.
I am glad our Lord did not, in this matter, imitate a can_
diemaker who brings a great tub full of tallow and pours it
into one mould. All candles come out of candle_moulds exactly
alike. I am glad the Lord’s preacher_material is not like a tub
of tallow, and that it is not all run into one mould. We want
diversity of gifts and division of labor. Some have the gift
of exhortation; others, exposition, pastoral power, tactfulness
in visiting the sick and the strangers. Some have the evan_
gelistic gift, and some one thing and some another. Thus we
have the eighteen arguments which Paul gives against the first
of these ecclesiastical disorders – factions.

The second ecclesiastical disorder was a revolt against apos_
tolic authority (1:8_21; 9:1_27). In order to unify this dis_
cussion, I have taken everything in the letter that bears upon
the revolt against apostolic authority. But who questioned
Paul’s apostolic authority? Visiting Jewish professors of re_
ligion, coming from Jerusalem and having that Judaizing
spirit, which would make the Christian religion nothing but
a sect of Judaism, came up to Corinth. In the second letter
we have this same topic for discussion. These visiting breth_
ren brought letters of recommendation from people in Judea,
as we learn in the second letter, and they questioned Paul’s
apostolic authority. On what grounds did they question his
apostolic authority?
1. Because he was not one of the original twelve apostles,
and had not seen the Lord in his lifetime.
2. He did not exercise the apostolic powers when his author_
ity was questioned. Ananias and Sapphira tried to fool Peter
and they were struck dead by exertion of apostolic power.
But Paul did not use the power of an apostle to strike men
dead in Corinth that differed with him.
3. He had not claimed apostolic support for himself, there_
fore it was evident that he did not count himself as deserving
it. The twelve apostles, particularly Cephas and the brothers
of our Lord, being married men, as apostles, for devoting
themselves to the apostolic office, demanded support for them_
selves and their families.
4. His suffering proclaimed that he was not an apostle. If
he were God’s apostle, he would not get into so much trouble,
for the Lord would take care of him.
5. His was not the true gospel. The true gospel was given
to those who accompanied the Lord Jesus Christ, beginning
with the baptism of John down to the time he was taken to
heaven. Paul was not even a Christian when that took place.
6. His folly. He did a great many foolish things in the
way of expediency.
7. His bodily infirmities and weaknesses. He was a little
sore_eyed Jew, bald_headed, with no grace of oratory and no
rhetorical form of speech.
8. He was against Moses and the Mosaic law.
9. He was a preacher to the Gentiles.
These are the nine distinct grounds upon which these living,
visiting brethren, who had done nothing for that church, came
over there to work up a case. Whenever I read about it I al_
ways feel indignant against that scaly crowd. This is a part
of Paul’s great controversy to which Stalker devotes a chapter
in his Life of Paul. The letters which are alive with the items
of this controversy are I and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and
Romans. Later it comes up in another form in Philippians,
Colossians, and Ephesians, and the same matter in yet a dif_
ferent form later in Hebrews. We will see how Paul replies
to this question of his apostleship in the next chapter.
QUESTIONS
1. Restate the first six arguments against factions.
2. What the seventh argument against division predicated on superior worldly wisdom, and how does Paul here bring in the thought of the Trinity?
3. How is Christ our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption?
4. What the eighth argument, relating to the gospel, and what illustrations given?
5. What the ninth argument, relating to spiritual progress?
6. What the tenth argument, relating to the instruments of their faith?
7. What the eleventh argument, relating to God’s field, or building?
8. What the twelfth argument, relating to the foundation?
9. What the thirteenth argument, relating to incongruous material?
10. What the fourteenth argument, relating to the temple of God?
11. What the fifteenth argument, relating to church ownership, and what sermon noted on this as a text?
12. What the sixteenth argument, referring to the deposit of the gospel?
13. What the seventeenth argument, referring to human, judgment, and how is this text often misapplied?
14. What the eighteenth argument, referring to gifts, and what special blessing in the diversity of gifts?
15. What the second ecclesiastical disorder at Corinth, and who caused it?
16. On what grounds did they question Paul’s apostolic authority?
17. In what letters of Paul do we have this great controversy?

XVI
THE REVOLT AGAINST PAUL’S APOSTOLIC
AUTHORITY
I Corinthians 4:8_21; 9:1_27.

In the last chapter this question was asked, „Who ques_
tioned Paul’s authority?” And our answer was, „Visiting
brethren from Jerusalem,” and we discussed the various
grounds upon which they based their questionings. Paul’s re_
ply is found in 4:8_21; 9:1_27; and three or four verses in
chapter 15. We take two sections somewhat distant apart
and put them together in order to put everything together that
bears upon the discussion.
The first charge was that he was not one of the original
twelve. He admits the allegation, but denies the deduction.
Jesus Christ had as much right to appoint an apostle after
his resurrection as he had while in the flesh. It will be re_
membered that in Acts I, through the Spirit, Matthias, not
one of the original twelve, was numbered with the twelve,
received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and became in every
way a qualified apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul was as truly
appointed an apostle by the will of God as Peter was. There
never was any more definite or important a transaction than
his meeting the Lord on the way to Damascus at which time
he was not only converted, but was specially called into the
apostolic office. Over and over again in his letters and in his
life are evidences that the Lord not only originally called him,
but appeared to him many times in confirmation of that call.
So he well says in commencing this letter, „Paul, called to be
an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God.”
Then they charged that he had not seen Jesus in the flesh.
He admits the fact, but he says it is altogether unimportant

whether he had seen Jesus in the flesh or not. He had seen
him after he rose from. the dead, and that was the point upon
which the apostleship rested. That he had seen the risen Lord
constituted his qualification to be a witness as an apostle.
They charged that he had not exercised his apostolic authori_
ty in vindicating himself by punitive judgments on those that
questioned him. Peter had Ananias and Sapphira struck dead
for telling a lie. It is said that Paul talked big enough, but
did not act. To that Paul replies that on account of mercy
he had refrained from vindicating, by punitive right, his
power, but that he had a right and could exercise it, and when
he got among them he would do it unless they repented of the
wrongs that they had done.
They charged that he had not exacted apostolic support for
himself and wife. They argued that he, in his own conscience,
did not feel entitled to it. His reply to that is superb, and is
completely unanswerable. He commences with chapter 9,
which is the chapter of the Bible on the scriptural grounds
for ministerial support, by saying, „Am I not free?” This mat_
ter of support is a right, not a duty. „May I not waive the
right ‘if I choose?” There are some things we can waive if we
choose to do so.
A certain man whom I knew, an exceedingly eccentric man,
was, as a widower, paying his addresses to a widow. The lady
said when he asked her to marry him, „I have some objections
to marrying you.” He said, „I have a great many objections
to marrying you, but I waive them.”
Next, Paul gives the reasons why he waived the right. They
were missionary reasons. If he had come there and made his
first speech on their paying him a salary, nobody would have
listened to him. It was not after the plan of God’s gospel that
a missionary, reaching territory that had never been occupied,
should lay great stress on the people’s paying him to preach
to them. The next is, that his desires were for them, not for
their money: „I coveted you for Christ, and not anything that
you had.” Third, as a matter of fact it was not true, since
in part he bad been supported while among them, through a
contribution of the church.
N ext, that he labored with his own hands, not because an
apostle had to do that, but because it was a necessity for
an important lesson to them in that community. Tens of
thousands of Corinthians were loafers. Paul wanted to be
able to say, „You remember – you people who won’t work –
that when I was among you I worked by night and preached
tp you by day. These hands ministered unto my support in
order that you might understand that he who won’t work
should not eat.” There is no sentimentality about Paul on the
beggar question. They charged that he had exacted no pay
for his preaching. He replied that that did not make him in_
ferior, but made them inferior: „For what is there wherein
ye were made inferior to the rest of the churches, except it be
that ye were brought to Christ and established and built up
by my ministry, and ye did not pay me a cent?” Then he
said, „Forgive me this wrong. It was wrong for me to waive
my right to a support that you should not be instructed to
minister to those who minister to you.” Then he goes on to
prove his right.
To the end of time, I Corinthians 9, will be the chapter in
the New Testament on the subject of ministerial support. I
once took as a text this scripture: „My defense to them that
examine me is this.” They put him upon examination. He
bases his answer, first, upon analogy from human conduct in
other things, and cites three things: First, the soldier: „Who
goeth forth to warfare at his own charges?” They objected
to a preacher being supported for his ministry. On all sides
these people could see soldiers. „Do they pay for their rations,
their uniforms, their weapons, their hospital in which they
atay, and the medicine which they take?” It would be im_
possible to have an army permanently without setting aside
from some source adequate support for them. So applying
that analogy to the preacher, why may he not have a right to
a support? Paul might have gone further: Officers in the army
are not merely provided for the field, but are educated at
national expense, like Army cadets at West Point, or Naval
cadets at Annapolis.
My wife’s brother, Willie Harrison, is in the Navy. I re_
member well when he was just a boy he entered Annapolis as
a cadet. He knew no more about a ship than he did about a
balloon. He is now lieutenant on one of the great battleships,
and has charge of a most responsible position in its naviga_
tion. I went to see him a few years ago and went all over
the yards at Annapolis, Washington, and Baltimore. It be_
came perfectly evident to me that no untrained man could be
a naval officer. His training must commence very early. As
protected those enormous guns, I realized that one slight mis_
1 looked at every process of making defensive armor that
take and the whole ship would blow up, and that the keenest,
highest education was necessary in order to know how to
handle those ships in time of war.
Then he cites the case of the vine_dresser: „Who planteth
a vineyard and eateth not the fruit thereof?” One cannot drag
a man to a piece of ground, make him clear it, cultivate and
gather the grapes, and not pay him anything. He asks: „Who
feedeth the flock and eateth not of the milk of the flock.” Will
a Texas cowboy take charge of a herd of cattle, watch by
day and night, nearly kill himself avoiding a stampede, be
burned in the sun, and do all for nothing? Hasn’t he a right
to a piece of beef, to milk and butter? Or if it be sheep, to a
piece of mutton, or to woolen clothes? That argument is per_
fectly unanswerable.
Second, he appeals to the law of Moses. The Jews were
questioning his right. He refers to their law, „Say I these
things as a man? It is written in the law of Moses. Does the
Mosaic law forbid a man to muzzle his ox that is threshing
the grain?” In those days they threshed the grain by oxen
treading on it continuously. That was their primitive way of
threshing. „Now would you begrudge an ox his food if he
stooped to get a bite of grain? The Mosaic law forbids you
to muzzle the ox that treads out the grain. If it be a sin to
muzzle an ox, is it not a greater sin to muzzle a man that
brings the message of eternal life to the people? He brings
not the bread of earth, but the bread of heaven. Certainly
it applies more to men than to oxen.” He says, „If we have
sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall
reap your carnal things? The preacher finds you in darkness
under the power of Satan, lost; and in tears and love he pleads
with you and you are led to Christ and find eternal life. The
spiritual things to which he leads you are worth more than all
the world. Is it then unreasonable that he should reap your
carnal things?” In other words, a man who by the grace of
God and through the ministry of a faithful preacher has been
led to eternal life and made a partaker of the inheritance of
the saints, who would grudge help in a carnal way to the
one who had been the means of his salvation, would certainly
throw a question over his salvation.
Notice his next argument, viz.: their own conduct: „If
there be those who are partakers of this power over you, are
not we rather?” In other words, „The preachers you have had,
you have paid for their services. You concede the right to
Peter and others, and if this support is for them, why not
Paul? Ask yourselves which one of these led you to salvation.
Paul is the one that found you and led you out of darkness
into light.” Then he passes to his next argument, still on the
law of Moses, the Levites, and the priests: „Do you know that
they who minister about the holy things of life, of the things
in the Temple, and they which wait at the altar are partakers
of the altar? The tribe of Levi, which had no territory given
to them, had become the Lord’s servants to do the Lord’s
work and minister to the Lord’s sanctuary, and the Lord pro_
vides for their support.”
He thus makes the application of these five distinct argu_
ments: „Even so did the Lord ordain that they that preach
the gospel should live of the gospel.” It certainly is an im_
portant declaration. As a government maintains its soldiers,
and when they get old and feeble, it provides hospitals and
infirmaries, and when officers are retired they receive half pay,
so „God hath ordained that they that preach the gospel should
live of the gospel.”
When Christ sent out his apostles he commanded them to
take no means of support, saying, „The laborer is worthy of
his meat and his hire.” In other words, „I would be a very
poor employer if I sent you out to confine your attention
strictly to my work, and make you hustle to get your living
from other things.” Wherever there is no adequate provision
for ministerial support, and the preacher must do things for
his living, run a farm or practice medicine, we may rest as_
sured that he cannot give his undivided attention to the minis_
try, and that churches that receive that kind of ministry do
not receive the. full work of the ministry. The calamity in
that case is on the church. Oftentimes it is downright covet_
ousness that is the cause of it. Churches think we can get
Brother So_and_so for fifty dollars a year, and we can just
have preaching once a month. Can a church prosper on once
a month’s preaching?
I have always taken this position: If any preacher, truly
called of God to preach, will implicitly trust, not the churches,
but the Lord Jesus Christ to take care of him, and will con_
secrate his entire time to the work of the ministry, verily he
shall be clothed and fed, or else the heavens will fall, and
God’s word will not be so.
I made that statement once and some of the brethren ques_
tioned it. I still stand on it.
If I were a young man again, I would do just as I did then,
burn all the bridges behind and push out on the promises of
God, that perhaps not in my way, not in the church’s way,
but in some way the Lord Jesus Christ would take care of
my wife and children.
I would say in my heart, „I am God’s man; I am to go out
as his minister, to do his work, to do no other business; and
sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I will trust the
Lord and stick to my work.” I have tried trusting Jesus and
he has never failed; I have had men to lie to me straight_out;
I have had 1,000 promises to fail, coming from men, but never
has any promise of God failed that he has ever made.
An illustration on this point occurred at an early day in
Waco. We had a very skeptical man there, Mr. Berry, whom
Dr. Burleson invited to attend an association. He had no
buggy, and so Dr. Burleson said, „You may ride with me.”
When he saw Dr. Burleson’s shabby old buggy and rattletrap
harness and lean, raw_boned horse, he said, „Dr. Burleson,
you have faith that you will get there in that buggy, but I
have not; I am going to get a buggy from the livery stable.”
But Dr. Burleson beat him there just the same. I have known
preachers to get there in ramshackle buggies and pieced_out
harness, tied with shoe_strings. Once I saw a collar on a
horse tied with a necktie, and the preacher had to preach
without one, but „he got there just the same.”
When Jesus gave the commission he said, „These things
shall follow: If a serpent bite you, or you drink deadly poison,
it will not hurt you.” They applied that to Paul and said, „We
infer from your extraordinary afflictions – the Roman lictors,
the stripes and scourges of the Jews, and the thorn in your
flesh, and that bad eyesight, that if you were an apostle of
the Lord he would take care of you.” His reply to that is
certainly great. It is in chapter 4: „I think God hath set us,
the apostles, last of all, as men doomed to death; for we are
made a spectacle unto the world (kosmos), both to angels and
men. . . . Even unto this present hour we both hunger and
thirst and are naked.” In other words, „You bring up that
charge against me and I accent the facts, but it is worse
than you know. You are rich from our labors; you are kings
through our labors. We are weak and poor and suffering.”
Just as Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, was made perfect
through suffering, these apostolic leaders were to share his
suffering and fill up what remained, and to bear all things.
A demonstration was needed upon this subject, and there_
fore he says, „I glory in it.” The word „spectacle” was taken
from the custom of the amphitheater where from 50,000 to
200,000 people were gathered – as many as could be gathered
in the great Roman amphitheater – and down below a gladia_
tor was to fight a Numidian lion or a Bengal tiger. High upon
the platform was the emperor and his suite, and all around in
this semicircle thousands of the people were gathered, and
that man was the spectacle. He fights the wild beast, and as
his blood gushes out of his wounds he salutes the emperor
and says, „Caesar, I salute thee,” and so Paul, about to make
his exodus, ready to have his blood poured out as a libation,
salutes the Emperor and says, „I have fought the good fight –
I have kept the faith; henceforth there ‘is laid up for me the
crown of righteousness.”
Again he says, not to some Roman, Corinthian, or Athenian
amphitheater, but to the kosmos – to the universe of angels
and men, that all the galleries of heaven are filled with the
onlooking angels, and all the population of the earth have
their eyes fixed upon these apostles, and they are in the arena
appointed unto death. This is proof of their apostleship, as
Jesus told him when he called him.
If a man is going to turn his back on the ministry on ac_
count of the suffering, the sooner the ministry is rid of him
the better. If he is only going to be a sunshine, fair_weather,
daylight man, who, because the darkness comes, the march is
long, or the battle is terrible, or the cold severe, or the watch_
ing is trying, or the wounds are painful – if he is going to turn
away from the ministry of Jesus Christ on that account – let
him go.
His reply to their charges that he could not be an apostle
because he was not exempt from suffering is one of the finest
arguments in literature. Jesus Christ could not be Saviour
according to that argument, for it was by his suffering he be_
came Saviour.
NOTE. – The other charges given in chapter 3 are answered in
chapter 31 of this volume.

QUESTIONS
1. What the second ecclesiastical disorder, who raised the question,
and what the scriptures containing his masterful reply?
2 What Paul’s reply to the charge that he was not one of the original twelve, and had not seen Jesus in the flesh?
3. What his reply to the charge that he bad not exercised his apostolic authority in punitive judgments?
4. What his reply to the charge that he did not exact support for
himself and wife?
5. What the condition at Corinth that made it necessary for him
to waive this right?
6. What reflection on them does Paul show in his second letter that
they had allowed him to waive his right in the matter of support?
7. What good text on ministerial support cited?
8. What three instances of human conduct does he cite in defense
of ministerial support?
9. What his argument from the law of Moses relating to the ox?
10, What his argument from the benefit they received?
11. What his argument from their own conduct?
12. What his argument based on the support of the priests and Levites?
13. What the general application of the five preceding distinctive
arguments?
14. What the teaching of Christ on this same line?
15. What the result generally of a poorly paid ministry?
16. What the author’s position with regard to the preacher and his support?
17. What Paul’s reply to the charge that he had extraordinary afflictions?
18. What the origin and application of the word „spectacle” as used here?
19 What Paul’s reply to the charge that his was not the true gospel?
20. What Paul’s reply to the charge that he did a great many foolish things?

21. What Paul’s reply to the charge that he had bodily infirmities
and weaknesses?
22. What his reply to the charge that he was against the law of Moses?
2S. What his reply to the charge that he was a preacher to the Gentiles?
NOTE: For answer to questions 1&_23, study carefully the scriptures
cited, and for continuation of the discussion of this subject see last
chapter in this book.

XVII
THE RELAXATION OF MORALS
I Corinthians 5:1 to 6:20.

In the last chapter we considered the revolt against apostolic
authority, and now we are to take up another disorder that is a con-sequence of that one – the relaxation of morals. It is a settled principle that one sin begets another. In hunting I have sometimes thought that I saw just one quail, but when I flushed him there were two, and sometimes a covey. Longfellow in Hiawatha uses this language:
Never stoops the soaring vulture
On his quarry in the desert,
On the sick or wounded bison,
But another vulture, watching
From his high aerial lockout,
Sees the downward plunge and follows;
And a third pursues a second,
Coming from invisible ether,
First a speck and then a vulture,
Till the air is dark with pinions.
That illustrates how sins are gregarious – going in troops. I do not believe it is possible for any man or any church to commit a single sin. There are sure to be more than one, if we ever com-mence at all. It seemed a little thing that they should sin in the way of factions, or that they should sin in the way of revolt against apostolic authority, but these two sins begat this third sin that we are discussing – the relaxation of morals.
The case in point is thus referred to in chapter 5:
It is actually reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even among the Gentiles, that one of you hath his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and did not rather mourn, that he that had done this deed might be taken away from ‘among you. For I verily, being absent in the body but present in spirit, have already as though I were present judged him that hath so wrought this thing, in the name of our Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one unto ‘Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our Passover also hath been s
acrificed, even Christ: wherefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote unto you in my epistle to have no company with fornicators; not at all meaning with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world; but as it is, I wrote unto you not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fomicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no, not to eat. For what have I to do with judging them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.

That is the whole of chapter 5. It is a fine thing for preach_
ers of this day when they have a case of discipline that they
have express apostolic authority as to how to treat the case.
This man’s father had doubtless married the second time, and
the son by the first wife took his wife away from the father,
i.e., took his stepmother. Paul says, „Ye are puffed up . . .
your glorifying is not good.” They had written to him saying
very complimentary things about themselves – that they were
doing fine. He didn’t agree with them, not with such disorder
as this on hand, and the other disorders that have been dis_
cussed.
He tells what to do. He says, „This man must be taken
away from among yourselves.” The church must do that as
a proof that it is a church action. He says, „When you are
gathered together,” and in the second letter we find that what
was done in obedience to this letter was done by a majority
vote. So that here is a case that unmistakably calls for church
action. Offenses of this kind must not be committed in the

church of Jesus Christ, and the injunction is peremptory that
the church must withdraw fellowship in such cases.
The next thing besides this church action was apostolic ac_
tion. Paul could do what the church could not do – what no
other preacher except an apostle could do – that is, he could
deliver such a one over to Satan. They had accused him of
not exercising his apostolic power, and he proposes if they do
not heed that, he will use his power. He had the power from
Jesus Christ to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction
of the flesh, but the spirit would be saved in the day of Jesus
Christ.
We want to understand what that means. It shows that this
ein in the church may be by a Christian, and that delivering
him to Satan is not his ultimate destruction, but the destruc_
tion of his flesh, that his soul may be saved in the day of Jesus
Christ. It is necessary that we understand what this means.
We find in the book of Job that God turns Job over to Satan
for the destruction of his flesh, and grievous sores came on
him, but it was not that Job might be destroyed by the devil.
God says to the devil, „Touch not his life.” We see the case
of the apostles when Jesus says, „Simon, Satan hath obtained
you apostles by asking that he may sift you as wheat. But I
have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” Satan came up
to Christ and asked that he might deal with them as wheat,
and if they were wheat the sifting would help them, and so
even this remarkable case of sifting was not done to destroy
the offending brother, but to gain him; and there are some
cases that cannot be gained except by stern, prompt discipline.
All over the country we have churches that are suffering
for the lack of just that thing, and they are injuring these
church sinners. I will illustrate: Suppose in the jungles of
Africa a company of people and animals were camped for
the night, and they built a stockade to keep off wild beasts,
and some of the animals, a cow perhaps, gets unmanageable
and bellows and butts around and tries to get out. They turn
her out, and let her hear the lion roar, and she wants to get
back. The thought is that the one that won’t be quiet in good
company should be showed that there is worse company on the
outside. I heard an old Baptist preacher say, „If you put a
wild hog in a pen and he goes to squealing, let him out, and
he will strike for the woods and never come back, because he
is a hog. But if a sheep is turned out it will bleat around
the gate until you open the pen and let the sheep come back
on good behavior.” If a man is not a converted man he ought
not to be in there; let the hog out and let him strike for the
woods; if he is a sheep and hears the lion roar he will bleat
around to get back, and he will behave himself next time.
The primary object, if a converted man, is to save him;
and the second is to purify the church, and this Paul pro_
ceeds to argue. He says, „Know ye not that a little leaven
leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven
that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even
Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us.” Here he uses an
Old Testament illustration – the preparation for the Passover.
Before the Passover was observed there was the preparation
for the Passover. The houses were inspected, the walls were
scraped lest there was something left, and leprosy would leave
particles sticking to the wall. They were going to keep the
feast, and Paul says, „Christ, our Passover Lamb, is sacrificed
for us.” In other words, „We have a feast to keep – the Lord’s
Supper – and in order that we may keep that feast let us
examine ourselves and see if we be in the faith. Let us in_
spect our hearts and our lives, because the law is, with the
man that is living disorderly, ye must not eat.” It does not
refer to a common meal. It refers to the Lord’s Supper, and
the one in disorder may not rightfully partake of the Lord’s
Supper. Henry Ward Beecher boasted that in his church there
never had been a case of discipline since it was organized.
Not that it was a pure church, for it was very impure; never
having discipline in it, they had no standard of doctrine and
no standard of life. And the first case that ever came up was
Beecher himself, and they will bring us up if we, as pastors
of churches, are forever silent on the subject of discipline.
Paul now explains. He says, „I wrote you a letter.” It was
not preserved. It was not necessary to preserve every one of
his letters. John says if everything that Jesus said and did
had been preserved the world would not hold the books. But
enough is preserved to form a guide for God’s people. He
continues: „And in that letter I wrote you not to keep com_
pany with fornicators, and ye misunderstood me.” He says,
„I did not mean that with respect to the world, for that would
mean for you to go out of the world; when I said to keep no
company and not eat, I meant with a man who is called a
brother; if such a one be a fornicator or an adulterer you are
to judge those that are within. What have ye to do with those
that are within? What have ye to do with those that are with_
out?” He is showing over whom the church has authority to
exercise discipline – not outsiders, but insiders.
The next disorder is in chapter 6: „Dare any of you, having
a matter against his neighbor, go to law before the unright_
eous, and not before the saints? Or know ye not that the saints
shall judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are
ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that
ye shall judge angels? how much more, things that pertain
to this life? If then ye have to judge things pertaining
to this life, do ye set them to judge who are of no account in
the church? I say this to move you to shame. What? Can_
not there be found among you a wise man who shall be able
to decide between his brethren, but brother goeth to law with
brother, and that before unbelievers? Nay, already it is al_
together a defect in you, that ye have lawsuits one with
another. Why not rather take wrong? Why not rather be de_
frauded? Nay, but ye yourselves do wrong, and defraud, and
that your brethren.”

This is a remarkable declaration. I will discuss it a little
in order to make an impression on the minds of young preach_
ers, for we have almost gone astray on it in our religious life.
There isn’t a country or a community in the state that some
members in the church do not violate that law, and they say
they are not heathen. That is not Paul’s point at all. His
point is that the saints have the highest Judicatory power vest_
ed in them – that they will judge the world and the angels.
It is simply a question of two courts – the church_court or the
world_court. Which will we take? To which court are we
going to appeal the case? That is what he is discussing. This
is illustrated in my book, Baptists and Their Doctrines, which
gives a view of the world_court and the church_court.
He brings up the following points on this discussion: First,
that God had placed the judicatory power in the church, as
our Lord says, „If any man sin, go right along and convict
him of his sin. You have gained the brother.” He does not
say, „If any member of the church sin against you, whether
it is a personal or a public offense, and you know it, you go
right along and convict him. of that sin. If you fail, take two
of the brethren with you; if he will not hear them, tell it to
the human court.” No, tell it to the church. There is the
judicatory court that Christ established. Here comes up a
difference between two brethren on a matter of business. A
says that B owes him $100. B denies it. Shall A go to law
with B? A starts to go to law and a third man, G, comes to
him and says, „A, you are committing an offense; you are
doing wrong,” and A refuses to hear C, and C goes off and
gets D and E, and A won’t yield. Then. if C, D and E come
before the church and say, „We are not judging as to the
merits in the case; we do not say A is doing wrong in going
to law, but we do say A is doing wrong in the kind of court he
goes to.” Who shall be the arbitrator? A says that he won’t
listen to the church; B may owe A that $100, we don’t deny
that. Here A denies the jurisdiction of Jesus Christ. Suppose
A says, „I will hear the church,” and the case is put on its
merits. Paul says (and the revised version puts an entirely
new sense on it), „If then ye have to judge things pertaining
to this life, do you set them to judge who are of no account in
the church?” In other words, „Is that the way you are going
to do? When the case comes up between A and B) are you
going to select people that are no account? Haven’t you got
some disinterested party? Are you going to select a committee
of B_partisans, or of A_partisans?” The common version does
not give that sense at all. It says, „Is it so, that there is not
a wise man among you?”
We come now to the case that will prevent final church ac_
tion: Suppose you say to A, „Are you willing to leave this
matter to a disinterested committee of brethren as to what are
the merits of your question? They do not want to say B
robbed you, and they do not want to say you harmed B; are
you willing for a third disinterested party to take it up and
bring it up on the merits of the case before you get to final
church action?”
There is a passage upon which I preached one sermon, „Je_
Sus the Arbiter of the Nations.” I preached it on the occasion
of the meeting of The Hague Conference. It shows even in
matters of diplomacy that it is better to settle the matter
by arbitration than to go to war. In the millennium there
will be no war because Jesus is the arbiter between the nations.
If that is to take place on a scale in which nations are in_
valved, why cannot we find in the church a small committee
of wise and disinterested brethren that will look into the case
and settle it without ever going to final church action? But
suppose this committee does not settle the case. They say,
„Brethren, we have tried to settle it, and here it is before
the church. The question is, does B owe A this $100? If he
does he ought to pay it; if he does not, A ought not to worry
about it.” If a man won’t let his brethren settle these mat_
ters for him. what is he going to do at the judgment? He
presents a case; he says that rather than go to an outsider
why not say, „I will just bear this wrong.” Well, but suppose
they defrauded him?
I have been defrauded many a time, more than once since
I moved to Fort Worth. Why should I parade before outsiders
my case?
The saddest case in the Texas affairs of our denomination il_
lustrates that. Here we had a brother, very prominent, who
kept bringing cases before the General Convention of Texas,
and every time he would bring it they decided against him.
He would not let it stay undecided. Finally, he took the case
into court, and if any man was ever present one day when
that case was on trial and heard the infidel lawyers and the
lawyers of other denominations gloat over the Baptist trouble,
he would never forget it. Suppose that man had had the
sounds preserved in a graphophone, and had that in his fami_
ly, and when any one would come to see him he would have
that instrument to reproduce those vile sentences against our
very best men? Oh, it was infamous! Of course it ruined that
man. It didn’t ultimately hurt the other men, but it surely
killed the man that resorted to it.
Paul then announces a fundamental principle. He is dis_
cussing the point whether a fornicator or adulterer should be
retained in the church, and he says, „Know ye not that a forni_
cator, an adulterer, a covetous man shall not inherit the king_
dom of heaven?” He will be excluded there certainly; he will
never get in; the gates will be barred. In other words, Chris_
tianity is designed to be a maker of character. If it does not
make a man better than he was before, it is not worth any_
thing; ‘if it does not make a father a better father, a mother a
better mother, a sister a better sister, a brother a better broth_
er, a child a better child – if there is no improvement in the
character of the man, then we may be sure that he has never
been born again, because the Spirit does not produce that
kind of fruit. And Paul says that the fruits of the flesh are
manifest. Then he tells what they are and says that the fruits
of the Spirit are manifest. „By their fruits ye shall know
them,” says Jesus.
And then again they were liable to misunderstand. He says,
„I don’t mean that the murderer never gets to heaven; I don’t
mean that men who were fornicators never get to heaven, for
such were some of you. You belonged to that very crowd,
but ye were washed; the Holy Spirit took you in charge; you
desired to obey God, not to disobey him.”
In other words, the Holy Spirit is greater than total de_
pravity. It can overcome total depravity, because total de_
pravity is of the first birth; but this being born again by the
power of the Holy Spirit makes one of another seed, of the
word of God, that liveth and abideth forever.
And the murderer can be saved, as thousands of them have
been saved. It was the greatest triumph of Christianity to
look upon that Corinthian crowd. All the depths of infamy
through which some of them had passed could not be named
in a mixed audience, but by the power of God they were
washed, and they lived, and one of the most remarkable cases
as bearing upon it, is the case of the celebrated Augustine.
His mother was a saint, and she loved her wild, wayward boy.
It seemed that the bridle had been taken off, and the devil
was riding him „bareback” down to hell. He, after his con_
version, often referred to the shameless infamies he committed.
This is a case worthy of consideration. Everyone ought to
read Augustine’s confessions. He did not keep on living that
life after he was converted; he was one of the greatest preach_
ers that ever lived. What we call Calvinism is the doctrine
of Augustine. He saved the church for 300 years from going
astray. So Paul says, „Such were some of you; but ye were
washed, but ye were sanctified.”
He comes now to something more difficult. He is discussing
this debasing sin of fornication, and says, „Every sin that a
man doeth is without the body (except this one).” Now in_
stead of sin’s residing in the body and corrupting the spirit,
it is the spirit that sins and corrupts the body. Envy, that
is not a bodily sin; hate, that is not a bodily sin; malice, that
is not a bodily sin; pride, presumption, every sin that a man
commits is apart from his body except fornication. There the
body is made the instrument of the sin. And Paul brings up
this argument, „Know ye not that your body is the temple of
the Holy Spirit which is in you?” Generally when he refers
to the temple, he refers to a church, as he says to this church,
„Ye are God’s building, ye are the temple of God,” and where
he says, „Every separate congregation groweth up into the
holy temple of God, a habitation of the Spirit,” but in this
particular case he makes the body of the Christian a temple
of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit enters into him and
dwells in him, and if he dwells in him, then the body is the
temple in which he dwells.

QUESTIONS
1. What the relation between the revolt against apostolic authority
and the relaxation of morals?
2. Illustrate how sins are gregarious.
3. What the case of discipline discussed in chapter 5?
4. What relation did this man sustain to the woman whom he took?
5. What church action did Paul prescribe?
6. What apostolic action in this case, what illustration from the
Old Testament, and what one also from the New Testament?
7. What the object of correction discipline in the church member,
and what illustration given?
8. What is the object relative to the church, what Paul’s argument,
what Old Testament illustration, and what the New Testament appli_
cation?
9. What the meaning and application of I Corinthians 5:11?
10. What the meaning and application of I Corinthians 5:12_13?
11. What the fourth ecclesiastical disorder, and where discussed?
12. What of the prevalence of this sin?
13. What Paul’s argument against this disorder?
14. What Christ’s direction in such cases?
15. Describe a typical case of „going to law” scripturally.
16. In case a proper adjustment cannot be made, what does Paul
recommend?
18. What fundamental principle does Paul enunciate in this con_
nection?
19. What the design of Christianity?
20. What Paul’s teaching elsewhere on this point, and what does
Christ say also?
21. What the character of the Corinthians before hearing the gospel,
and what their character afterwards?
22. What remarkable case of this transformation cited, and what is
Calvinism.?
23. What is the meaning of „Every sin that a man. doeth is without
the body . . .” and what the application?

XVIII
THE PERVERSION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
I Corinthians 10:1_22; 11:17_34.

The next great ecclesiastical disorder, resulting from these
other two, is the Perversion of the Lord’s Supper, and all that
there is about it is in 10:1_22; 11:17_34. The first perversion
was open communion. They had been living among the hea_
then, and had been keeping the heathen festivals as a religious
act. When one member of the family was converted and
joined the church, perchance his wife, who was a heathen, says,
„Let us be liberal. You come and commune with me at my
festival, and I will commune with you at your festival.” But
Paul says, „You cannot eat at the table of the Lord and the
table of the devil; you cannot drink from the cup of the Lord
and from the cup of the devil.”
I had a woman once to say, „Yes, but that is a different
sort of communion.” I will admit that it is the greater ex_
treme, but the principle is precisely the same, that is, that it
perverts the foundation principle of the Christian religion;
that the form of religious act should be the result of individual
conviction; that one should not do a thing on account of his
wife. It is his own case; it isn’t her case.
I was sitting in the Old Methodist Church in Waco one
time and a very handsome, cultured lady at the very top of
the social world, leaned over and whispered to me,
„I am going to join your church next Sunday.”
I said, „What for?” and she said,
„Well, my husband is a Baptist, and will never be anything
else.”
I said, „What are you?”
„I am a Presbyterian.”
„Well,” I said, „if you come to my church Sunday to join
I will vote against you. You should not take a step of that
kind for that reason. Suppose your husband were a Presby_
terian, would you come to the Baptist Church?”
„Never!”
„Then stay where you are forever,” I said.
Notice the fact that it is the Lord’s table, the Lord’s cup.
A man comes and says,
„May I come to your table? I am perfectly willing for you
to come to mine.”
I say, „Yes, come on in.”
He says, „Not that table; I am referring to the Lord’s
table.”
„It was not to the Lord’s table that I invited you.”
We cannot put the Lord’s table out in the woods. He tells
who shall come.
„Well, won’t you take a sup with me?”
„Certainly! Come over to my well and I will let you have
cool, delicious, clear water.”
„I mean drink with me out of the same communion cup.”
„Ah, that is Christ’s cup; I have no jurisdiction over that.”
There is not a more convincing argument against open com_
munion of any kind. No open communion argument can stand
before the declaration, „It is the Lord’s table.” That was the
first perversion.
No matter what anybody says, we should stick to the doc_
trine that Christ placed that table in his church, not for them
to say who shall come, but for God to say who shall come.
One has to be inside the church before he ‘is entitled to sit at
the Lord’s table.
This first perversion was open communion, not with another
Christian denomination, but with the heathen. The paragraph.
of that matter is I Corinthians 10:1_23: „For I would not,
Brethren, have you ignorant that our father were all under

the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all bap_
tized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat
the same spiritual food; and did all drink the same spiritual
drink; for they drank of a spiritual Rock that followed them:
and the Rock was Christ. Howbeit, with most of them God
was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilder_
ness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we
should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither
be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The
people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play [the
word „play” means to participate in the licentious orgies of
their feasts].. .. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth
[especially in that way] take heed lest he fall. . . . All things
are lawful; but not all things are expedient. All things are
lawful; but not all things edify.”
Upon that paragraph I make several important comments.
First of all, as that particular paragraph has been made much
use of in the baptismal controversy, I wish to expound its sig_
nification as bearing upon that subject, and then show its rele_
vancy to the Lord’s Supper.
When I was a young preacher there came to Waco an old
gray_bearded brother Methodist, Dr. Fisher, who took the
position that immersion was not only not baptism, but that it
was a sin. He said so many things about it that our church
courteously challenged him to debate with their pastor, and
two debates followed – one in Waco and one in Davalla, in
Milan County. He, in both Waco and Davalla, took the Possi_
tion that „our fathers,” men, women and children, were bap_
tized, and inasmuch as they were baptized in the cloud it was
not immersion, and quoted the passage in Psalm referring to
this event, where it is said that the clouds poured out water.
He said this baptism was a baptism of pouring.
When I came to reply I stated that these people were bap_
tized in the cloud, not clouds; and that it meant that pillar
of cloud was a pillar of fire, and symbolic of the presence of
the Lord, and not a rankled at all; second, that the record
stated that they passed through dry shod – neither men, wom_
en nor children had a drop of water on them – but the record
did state that after they passed through, the clouds did burst
into a terrific storm upon Pharoah and his hosts, and he was
welcome to that pouring for any use he could make of it. In
the next place the baptism was strictly a burial in light. The
water, according to the song of Miriam, not only opened, but
stood up as walls and congealed. That means they froze. They
stood there like walls of ice. When they went down into that
ice gorge, the pillar of cloud that always led in front, came
back and got in the rear, and toward Pharaoh it was as black
as the night of Egypt, and toward the children of Israel it was
light. Now, they were down there in that ice coffin. All that
the coffin needed was a lid, and since it was under the cloud,
the cloud formed the lid of light, and as that light shone on
those walls they acted as mirrors and flashed it back so that
it was a glorious burial in light, with the sea on two sides and
the cloud on top. They were thus „baptized under the cloud
and in the sea.” The book of Revelation refers to it when it
talks about the redeemed after their redemption: „I saw them
stand by the sea of glass mingled with fire,” referring back to
this incident where the pillar of cloud – the cloud of light –
shining on the congealed walls of water made it look like a
sea of glass mingled with fire. I said that it was one of the
strongest arguments for immersion, and there was nothing in
it that could in any way substantiate his position. With that
explanation we will see how Paul brings this in.
He takes the Old Testament analogy, and says that the chil_
dren of Israel were baptized unto Moses, as we are baptized
unto Christ; that they were baptized in the cloud and in the
sea; they were baptized under the cloud of light in the sea con_
gealed, and not only did they have that symbolic baptism, but
they had the spiritual meat and drink. They did all eat of the
spiritual meat – the manna, the bread from heaven which typi-
fied Christ. „I am the true bread, which came down from
heaven,” said Christ, commenting on the giving of the manna
and they had a spiritual drink, that is, it came by no natural
means, but by the power of God when Moses smote the rock
near Sinai, and it sent out that water that saved them from
perishing with thirst. The rock at Kadesh_Barnea presented
a different thought. It was not to be smitten, but invoked.
It is sin for Christ to be crucified twice. They had that drink,
obtained by supernatural means, so that in a sense they had
ordinances. But his point is that ordinances do not save men.
Though they had that spiritual manna, and that spiritual drink
– the water from the rock – yet their idolatrous, licentious
lives showed that at heart they were not right in the sight of
God, and that God overthrew them and they perished, and the
record of that transaction was made for our admonition, as
well as everything else in the Old Testament. All those rec_
ords were made for us in our time. Abraham’s faith was reck_
oned unto him for righteousness, which was not written for his
sake alone, but ours also.
When we look back at these examples we are to be admon_
ished. Though I have been baptized, though I have partaken
of the Lord’s Supper, to me, if life does not bear the fruits of
regeneration, these ordinances are empty, and „therefore let
him that thinketh he standeth [and on such a basis as that]
take heed lest he fall.”
Whoever relies on the bread and wine or water, is sure to
lose in the great day.
He says that these people, though they had the divine ordi_
nances, exercising open communion with the idolatrous nations
around them, would sit down and eat and then rise up and
play. Following that comes the immoral debaucheries. That
is Paul’s use of it.
There is one other word that calls for explanation. He says,
„They drank of a spiritual Rock that followed them: and the
Rock was Christ.” My old family physician took the position
that when Moses smote the rock at Sinai, the stream of water
issuing from that rock followed them always, whether they
went up hill or down hill. I told him that he was zealous for a
good cause, but incorrect in the position that he took. Paul
means to say that what followed them – what was behind them
– was symbolical only, and that what took place, took place
entirely by the power of the symbol, so if any man had looked
through the symbol at the thing signified he would have taken
hold of the thing as Abraham did, and many others of the old
saints, particularly Moses. That symbol of his presence was
with them all the time, sometimes leading, sometimes follow_
ing, depending upon where the danger was.
His first point is that symbolical ordinances do not save peo_
ple. His second point is set forth in chapter II. The subject
is resumed in 11:19. From this we get at the next perversion
of the Lord’s Supper. I have grouped them so that we might
get one topic together. In that chapter he discusses the true
relation of the Lord’s Supper, and its true lesson, so that the
next perversion of the Lord’s Supper is that they partook of it
individually, or in groups. One little selfish crowd would come
in, and they would partake, and another group would come
in, and here some poor people would come in, and no provision
had been made for them, and they could not partake. What
does this mean?
It means that there cannot be a real celebration of this or_
dinance unless the church be gathered together. It is a church
act.
He closed his discussion by saying this: „Wherefore, my
brethren, when ye come together to eat, wait one for another.”
In other words, assembling is essential to the partaking of the
Lord’s Supper. They would come in groups; would not wait
and let the whole church partake together to indicate its unity.
„You being many are one loaf, one body.”
The next perversion was that they would partake of what
they called the Lord’s Supper in order to satisfy their hunger
and thirst, and would even drink until they were drunk. He
says, „What? Have you not houses to eat and to drink In; or
despise ye the church of God, and put them to shame that
have not?” This fact was intended to symbolize spiritual
truth, and was not intended that this unleavened bread and
this small quantity of wine should satisfy hunger and thirst.
I saw some Negroes celebrate the Lord’s Supper. They had
pies for bread and cheap whiskey for wine, and they all ca_
roused and got drunk. Such a thing as this took place in this
Corinthian church. He says, „That isn’t proper.” This is the
third idea. He said, „Here is a crowd full, and yonder is a
group of poor people who haven’t anything. That violates fel_
lowship.”
Then touching again on the subject of open communion, he
gives us a clear meaning of the word „communion.” Rev.
Tiberias Grachus Jones, pastor of First Baptist Church, Nash_
ville, Tennessee, says the word is a great misnomer. He calls
it the Lord’s Supper. Some think it means communion of A, B,
C, D, and E, but the word indicates a communion of each one
of us with Christ. „The cup, is it not the communion, or par_
ticipation of Christ?” And „is not the eating of the bread a
communion of the body of Christ?” It is not a communion
with your wife, neighbor, brother, or sister, but the communion
is with Christ, and on that account Dr. Jones rightfully took
the position that it was a great misnomer. On that subject of
the communion with Christ we may bring out the thought that
whoever communes not with Christ, but with his wife, who_
ever partakes of the Lord’s Supper in order to show his
fellowship with his wife, or his mother, or his sister, or his
aunt, or with any denomination, or any human being, perverts
the Lord’s Supper. The participation should be a vision, but
the vision should be of Jesus Christ.
Before I pass that point I will recite two incidents of Texas
Baptist history. Both of them attracted a great deal of atten_
tion. Many years ago the Baptist pastor of the church of
Houston was not very sound in doctrine, but was zealous about
works, and would be overpersuaded to do things that he ought
not to do. A woman came to him crying and told him that
her husband was dying and wanted to partake of the Lord’s
Supper. He took the emblems, the bread and the wine, and
administered the Supper to that dying brother. The Baptists
of the state criticized him severely, and harassed him until he
made a public apology. The other case is this: When I was
pastor of my first church, we had in our membership a very
brilliant lawyer who before my day had joined the church at
old Baylor University at Independence. He afterwards went
to a dance, and some of the brethren thought that it was im_
proper, and he got mad and stayed away and finally the church
withdrew fellowship from him. This man was dying, and he
sent for me and said, „Brother Carroll, I want you to tell all
young people that no spiritual good can come to them by par_
ticipating in worldly amusements that are far from grace, and
that they alienate them from God. My life has been unfruit_
ful, yet I am a true child of God, and now I am conscious that
I am dying. I know Jesus said do one thing that I never did,
that is, he commanded that all partake of the Lord’s Supper.
I never did, and before I pass away I would like to obey him
one time if it can be done scripturally. Now can you tell me
how it can be done scripturally?” I said, „What importance
do you attach to this? Do you think that this will save you.”
He said, „0 no, I am not so foolish as that. I just want to obey
him this one time.” I said, „I can manage that for you, and
do it scripturally.” And on Sunday as the church met in con_
ference I said, „Brethren, I suggest that we adjourn to the
house of this dying lawyer.” The church can adjourn to meet
at any place it may desire and as a church can there set forth
the Lord’s table; and so we went there horseback and in bug_
gies, and the minutes of the conference were read showing that
we were there by adjournment, and we heard this man’s con_
fession of his sins and he asked the church to take him back,
Then they set the Lord’s Supper, and his face was illumined
when he was able to obey the Lord’s command.
Those two incidents attracted a great deal of attention in
Texas. I knew that in my case I had managed it just right, and
had conformed to the scripture and made the lesson 100 times
more important. Those two cases illustrate the point I am
on now.
The apostle Paul, in order to correct the perversion, sets
forth the doctrine of the Supper, and this is what he says: „I
received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that
the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took
bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said,
This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of
me. In like manner also the cup, after supper [that is, the
Passover supper], saying, This cup is the new covenant in my
blood: this do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye pro_
claim the Lord’s death till he come.” Paul shows that he did
not get this revelation of Christ’s institution from the original
apostles. It was a special revelation made to him. Christ him_
self told Paul what he had done, why he had done it, and what
it suggested.
I am now going to give a five_minute sermon on the Lord’s
Supper: First, let all the church assemble together for the ob_
servance of this Supper. Then exercise three faculties – mem_
ory, faith, hope. This do in remembrance. What does memory
do? Memory looks back. Whom remember? Not father, not
mother, not sister, not wife, not any human being. Simply
Jesus. „This do in remembrance of me.” Remember Jesus, not
in the manger, not raising the dead, no; remember Jesus on the
cross, dying. Remember his dying for what? Dying for the
remission of our sins. This is memory. „This do in remem_
brance of me,” on the cross dying for remission of sins. Next
we take up faith. What does faith do? It discerns the Lord’s
body, and the Lord’s blood represented by the eating or the
drinking. They are external symbols that represent the acts
of faith. Faith sees through that ordinance as a symbol –
Christ dying for the remission of our sins. That is faith’s part.
Now there is hope. Hope does not look backward, like mem_
ory; it looks forward. „As oft as ye drink this ye do show
forth the Lord’s death till he come.” There is a stretch into
the future in the Lord’s Supper. Faith present discerns Christ
dying for the remission of sins; memory looks back to Christ
dying on the cross for the remission of sins; hope looks forward
to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, his final advent. That
isn’t a hard sermon to remember.
Now another five_minute sermon, for it is exceedingly im_
portant to remember these things. Suppose then, as in the
Lord’s Supper, we „show forth his death till he come.” That
makes a drama. What do the actors do on the stage? They,
in their costumes and in their position, show forth something.
Look at the Lord’s Supper as a drama, and you will see it is a
twofold drama. What is the first thing presented? Unleavened
bread. What does that unleavened bread represent? The sin_
less Christ. No leaven in him. That shows forth Christ alive.
What the second act in that drama? The eulogy. He blessed
it. „Eulogy” means he blessed the bread, or gave thanks, and
the signification of that is that the sinless Christ is set apart
for a certain object. That is the second scene. What is the
third scene? The bread broken. There Christ dies. What the
fourth? The participation with Christ, the eating of the bread
by every one of them. Faith is always present in the eating
of the bread. Let us take the other side of it, and we will see
from another viewpoint another drama. Take a vessel of wine.
There the vessel, and wine ‘in it as Christ’s blood, show that he
is alive; then comes the eulogy, or setting apart; then comes
the pouring out, that is, Christ dying; then comes the drinking
or participating. Now the drama is doubled – both sides pre_
sented, just as Pharaoh had a dream and saw seven full ears
and seven poor ears, and seven fat cows and seven lean cows,
and the poor cars ate up the seven full ears and the lean
cows ate up’ the fat cows. In interpreting it the dream is
doubled to show that it was from God. Then he goes on to
show the significance of the dream. Seven full ears and seven
fat kine are (there the verb „to be” is used as „represent,”
i.e., they represented) seven years of plenty. It is double, and
the seven wilted ears of corn and the seven lean cows are (in
a sense of representation) seven years of famine. Now pre_
cisely in the same way he says, „this represents my body; this
cup represents the new covenant in my blood.” That use of
the verb „to be” is a common one in all languages. In that
sense the verb „to be” is used, and it annihilates the Roman
Catholic idea of transubstantiation, i.e., that it actually be_
comes Christ’s body and actually becomes his blood.
Having presented the true doctrine of the Lord’s Supper,
there remains to be considered these other statements: „He
that eateth and drinketh unworthily [mark that „unworthily”
is an adverb], eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself.”
That passage has scared a great many people. I have heard
them say, „I am not worthy! I am not worthy!” I would say,
„No, nor am 1.” „Well,” they say, „what about that scrip_
ture ‘Whoever eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and
drinketh damnation to himself „? The sense is not unworthy,
but unworthily, referring to the manner, being an adverb of
manner. An illustration has just been given. These Corin_
thians did not assemble; they did not eat as spiritual food or
drink, but to satisfy their hunger and thirst; they violated
fellowship; they wouldn’t wait for one another.
The next scriptural sentence is, „Let a man examine himself
and so let him eat.” That has been quoted to me as meaning
that the individual should be the judge. I said, „Now why
don’t you get the connection where Paul says, ‘If any of you
that is named a brother be an adulterer, or an idolater, or
covetous, with such a one, no, not to eat.’ ” That part of it,
i.e., this examination, does not apply to the whole world, as
if to say, „Let every man in the world examine himself,” but
when church members come to church to celebrate the Lord’s
Supper, then let them put the examination to themselves. Not,
„Am I good enough?” but „Can I, a sinner saved by grace,
discern Christ – not my wife? can I see him dying for me? do
I discern his body?”
I never participated in this ordinance in my life that I did
not have that self_examination: „0 Lord, am I thinking of
anyone else but thee? Am I thinking of thee in any other
place than on the cross? Am I thinking of any other purpose
than that thou hast died for the remission of my sins?”
Here he shows its importance when he says, „On this ac_
count some are sick, and many of you are asleep.” That does
not mean that there is any magical power attached to the
elements of the Lord’s Supper, so that if a man take it un_
worthily it will make him sick, or that it will kill him. They
used to think that. They used to play on the superstitious
fears of the people and say, „If while making a covenant you
are true to the covenant, this poison will not hurt you, but if
you are planning to be treacherous, then you have swallowed
something that will give you the smallpox.” What then does
it mean? It refers to those marvelous displays of power that
the apostles had a right to exercise. A man would be at the
Lord’s Supper; maybe he was a blasphemer, and judgment
would come upon him, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira;
he would go to sleep right there.

QUESTIONS
1. What the fifth ecclesiastical disorder, what its relation to the
two preceding ones, and where do we find an account of it?
2. What the first perversion, and what does Paul say about it?
3. What the principle underlying this discussion of Paul, and what
the author’s illustration, of it?
4. What important fact relative to the Lord’s Supper bearing on the
so_called communion question, and how?
5. What special use has been made of I Corinthians 10:1_22, what
the author’s controversy over it, and what his interpretation of the
baptismal idea in it?
6. What reference to this in Revelation?
7. What else did the children of Israel have besides that symbolic
baptism and what is the meaning of „spiritual food” and „spiritual
drink” in I Corinthians 10:3_4?
8. What the difference in the thought of the rock at Rephidim, and
the rock at Kadesh_Barnea?
9. What Paul’s point here, and what its relation to the Corinthians and us?
10. What is the meaning of, „The people sat down to eat and drink,
and rose up to play,” and what its bearing on the question under
consideration?
11. What is the meaning of, „They drank of a spiritual Rock that
followed them, and the Rock _was Christ?”
12. What the second perversion of the Lord’s Supper, and what its
bearing as an essential to the partaking of the Lord’s Supper?
13. What the third perversion, and how does it violate the principles
of fellowship?
14. What is the meaning of „communion” as it is used in I Corin_
thians 10:16, is it really communion at all, and, if 80, in what sense,
and with whom?
15. What two incidents in Texas Baptist history, one illustrative of the perversion of the Lord’s Supper, and the other, of its correct observance?
16. How did Paul correct the perversion of the Supper, and how did
Paul get his information as to the institution of the Supper?
17. What three faculties are exercised in a proper observance of the
Lord’s Supper, and what function does each perform?
18. Show forth in a double drama the death of Christ as it is por_
trayed in the Supper.
19. Why was the drama doubled, and what illustration from the
Old Testament?
20. What the meaning of the verb „to be” in such expressions as,
„This is my body, . . .?”
21. What meaning expression, „He that eateth and drinketh unworthily?”
22. What the meaning and application of the expression, „Let a man
examine himself and so let him eat?”
23. What the meaning of I Corinthians 11:30?

XIX
THE MISUSE AND ABUSE OF MIRACULOUS GIFTS
I Corinthians 12:1_31.

The scope of this chapter, with two others, is I Corinthians
12_14, being the sixth Ecclesiastical Disorder at Corinth, to
wit: The Misuse and Abuse of Miraculous Gifts, bestowed
upon the members of the church, in the baptism of the Holy
Spirit. In other words, it is partly a discussion of the baptism
in the Holy Spirit, and I take for the text I Corinthians 12:13,
following the revised version: „For in one Spirit [that Is the
element of the baptism, showing it was not a water baptism]
were we all baptized into one body. I prefer to say „unto”; it
makes better sense. Almost entirely throughout the New
Testament the preposition eis, with the verb baptizo, is read
„unto,” not altogether, but in almost all cases.
Let us read the text again: „For in one Spirit were we all
[past tense, referring to Paul’s baptism in the Spirit and the
Corinthians’ baptism in the Spirit] baptized unto one body,”
that is, baptism in the Spirit did not refer to any man in_
dividually, though the baptism in his case was individual and
in power. The baptism had reference to the church, the one
body. That is the text.
There are certain preliminary scriptures that should be
studied before we can fully comprehend I Corinthians 12_14.
Indeed, I do not know a subject about which there Is so much
incorrect thinking and confusion of mind as about the baptism
in the Spirit. Not one preacher in a thousand, whether he be
ignorant or learned, has any clear conception of the signifi_
cation of the Baptism in the Spirit. There are two typical, or
symbolical, Old Testament references that need first to be
considered. One is Exodus 40. There, all of the material of
the tabernacle was brought together into one place; brought

together ready finished and put up; each piece, no matter
whether stone, gold, silver, brass, wood, or cloth, each piece
was so fully prepared that when they went to put it up they
didn’t have to use tools; it just fitted exactly. As soon as this
symbolical or typical house of God was set up and completed,
then the cloud came down and filled that house.
The other Old Testament symbol is in I Kings. Just as soon
as all the material for the Temple was prepared according to
the divine pattern, and was put up without the sound of ham_
mer, the cloud that had filled the tabernacle, a house now use_
less, came and filled the Temple, which succeeded the portable
tent of the wilderness.
On the day of Pentecost, the church, which is the antitype
of both tabernacle and Temple, and which is the new house of
God that had been built by our Lord Jesus Christ in his life_
time, but up to that hour tenantless, was filled by the Holy
Spirit, and every man and woman of the 120 who that day
were baptized in the Holy Spirit, were baptized eis ten eccle_
sian – „unto the church.” They were all baptized in one Spirit,
but the purpose of that baptism was unto the church. What_
ever may be said about that baptism in the way of power, it
was for the purpose of attesting, or accrediting the church of
the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us carefully study, whether I discuss them or not, the
following passages of scripture: Matthew 3:11_12; Mark 1:7_
8; Luke 3:16_17; all of which refer to the prophecy of John
the Baptist. He says, „I indeed baptize you in water unto
repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,
. . he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit.” That is the bap_
tism of the Spirit in promise. John is contrasted with Jesus:
John is the administrator in the water baptism, and is con_
trasted with Jesus, the administrator of the baptism in the
Holy Spirit. The water is the element in one, the Spirit is the
element of the other. John’s was a baptism which any man
with ordinary power could carry out, but the baptism in the
Spirit needed One mightier than John, because this baptism in
the Spirit was a baptism in power.
The next case that we need to study by way of promise is
John 7:37_39: „Now on the last day, the great day of the
feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let
him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the
scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living
water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that be_
lieved on him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given.
In this passage there is a sharp contrast between the previous
statement of Jesus to the woman of Samaria when he said that
whoever would drink of the water he should give him would
never thirst, but it should be a well of water springing up unto
everlasting life. That referred to conversion, and was for the
benefit of him that received it. It was to be something in him
that would forever supply his spiritual thirst. But in this case,
in chapter 7, he refers to the gift of the Spirit that had not yet
been bestowed. The result was not to put a well in the man,
but from him should outflow streams of water. In other words,
the object of the giving of the Spirit, as stated in this chapter
of John, was not to make the recipient a better man, but to
give the power to bestow benefits upon others. In this pas_
sage it is distinctly stated that in the sense meant by Jesus the
Spirit was not yet. When John spoke, it was of something in
the future: „He shall baptize you,” and when John the apostle
wrote, „The Spirit was not yet,” he referred to the time when
the Spirit had not been given, and before which there had been
no baptism in the Spirit. There was no incident of it having
occurred in the history of the world to this time. It was some_
thing that, up to the day of Pentecost, was merely prophecy or
promise. So, therefore, it is not to be confounded in any way
with any display that took place in the history of the world up
to that time. therefore we cannot call it conversion. In con_
version the Spirit is the agent, the sinner is the subject, and
the object of regeneration is to make the man better; in the
baptism of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is the administrator, the
Spirit is the element, and the object is to confer power for
the good of others, and to accredit.
I say there never had been a baptism in the Holy Spirit in
the world up to that time; it had been foreshadowed in the
cloud filling the tabernacle when the tabernacle was ready;
foreshadowed in the cloud filling the Temple when the Temple
was ready. That cloud over the tabernacle gave it the authori_
ty, the prestige of God. And so the cloud gave prestige to
the Temple. The Temple was the dwelling place of the cloud,
and so the baptism of the Holy Spirit filled the house that
Jesus built in his lifetime, crying out on the cross, „It is fin_
ished.” The veil of the Temple, or the old house, was rent in
twain from top to bottom, and according to the prophecy in
Daniel, after the Messiah came, and was cut off, there was to
be an anointing of the holy place, for the holy place was the
new Temple, or church.
Let us look next at John 14_17. Those four chapters consti_
tute the New Testament book of comfort, as Isaiah from chap_
ter 40 to the end of the book constitutes the Old Testament
book of comfort. The Old Testament book of comfort speaks
exclusively of the coming Lord; the New Testament book of
comfort speaks exclusively of the coming Holy Spirit. Not
everything in those four chapters of John is limited in meaning
to the baptism in the Spirit, but very many of the references
are strictly so limited.
The next antecedent scripture is Luke 24:49, in which Jesus,
after rebuking them for not understanding what the law, the
prophets, and the psalm said concerning himself, said, „Tarry
ye in the city, until ye be clothed with power from on high,”
and „Ye shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come
upon you,” as Luke gives it in Acts 1:8. Thus he says, „You
are a church; you are organized; you have a commission to

go out to preach to the whole world, but tarry until you are
endued with power; wait ye at Jerusalem until ye receive
power from on high.” In Mark 16:17_18 those signs there give
the meaning of the baptism in the Holy Spirit: „These signs
shall accompany them that believe: if they drink any deadly
thing, it shall in no wise hurt them.” These are the passages
that need to be studied.
We now take up the fulfilment of those prophecies. The first
is in Acts 2. On that day of Pentecost they were waiting and
praying. The Spirit had been promised, but had not come.
They had their commission. There was the house, but it was
empty. On the day of Pentecost this baptism in the Spirit
was manifested by the following phenomena: First, the sound;
there comes the sound, the ear caught that; that sound was
as a rushing, mighty wind. I stood once about 100 yards from
the path of a cyclone, and watched it, and for the first time
in my life I realized the awful sound of a rushing, mighty wind.
The next phenomenon appealed, not to the ear, but to the sight.
A luminous sheet like as of fire, but not fire, appeared, and
that sheet of flame distributed itself as fire distributes itself,
into tongues. When a fire is kindled it isn’t even around the
edges, but it parts, or divides itself, into tongues of flame;
and now this luminous appearance, as a vibrating, moving
fire tongue, rested on the head of every one of the 120. That
appealed to the sight. Now they all began to speak with
tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. The whole city
heard that cyclonic roar; it filled all the city, and they came
rushing forward to the place where it seemed to be. And the
people were gathered together, and they saw the whole 120
in ecstasy, speaking in foreign tongues, speaking to the gath_
ered crowds that were there from every nation under heaven,
and each man heard the praise of God spoken in the tongue
in which that man was born. That was the first manifesta_
tion. A particular form of power is represented by tongues,
that is. the capacity to speak in a language in which one has
never been educated. There can be no mistake about that
from Acts 2.
They do not receive this baptism in the Holy Spirit as
individuals, but each man baptized in the Spirit that day was
baptized eis ten ecclesian, „unto the church,” that is, he re_
ceived that power, not for his gratification, but in order to
attest and accredit that church; it was to be a sign. Accredit_
ing comes through the marvelous power given.
We take up the next example of fulfilment in Acts 8:14_24.
Philip had preached to the Samaritans, not the Jews, but a
mixed population. They had believed Philip and were bap_
tized, both men and women, but no miraculous power of the
Holy Spirit had come on them. The apostles in Jerusalem
heard of it; they sent John and Peter down, and when they
laid their hands on them they received the baptism of the
Holy Spirit.
The next case is presented in Acts 10:44_47, with a ref_
erence to it in 11:15_17. Here is the one step for which Peter,
preaching to the Gentiles, was called to account by the Jews.
„And as Peter spake to Cornelius and his house, the Holy
Spirit fell on them, and they spake with tongues and glori_
fied God.” Peter says, „I remember the prophecy of John the
Baptist; that he baptized people in water, but One should
come after him mightier than he, who would baptize in the
Holy Spirit. Who was I that I should withstand God, when
these Gentiles had received the gospel just the same as we
Jews had.”
The next case is given in Acts 19:6. Paul found at Ephesus
twelve men who had known nothing but the baptism of John.
They had been baptized, but they knew nothing of the Holy
Spirit. The one that baptized them was certainly not John,
for he had been dead twenty years. Somebody, without being
sent to baptize, was trying to perpetuate John’s baptism – to
administer it unauthorized. Paul says, „Did ye receive the
Holy Spirit when ye believed?” They said, „No; we never
so much as even heard that the Holy Spirit was given.”
Paul then expounded to them what John had preached and
laid his hands on them, and they received the baptism of the
Spirit and began to speak with tongues and prophesied.
The last particular case is in I Corinthians 12_14. It dis_
cusses the baptism that the members of the church at Corinth
had received – a case ‘in its typical foreshadowing, in its prom_
ise and prophecy, and in its effect, or its fulfilment.
With these things before us we are prepared to take up these
three chapters, and the baptism in the Holy Spirit we will
consider more particularly. These Corinthians had misunder_
stood, misused, and abused it, and had so misused it and
abused it that it was not eis ten ecclesian, „unto the church,”
but it was bringing confusion and discord in the church and
causing factions. In order to understand the phrase, eis ten
ecclesian, let us consider two paragraphs of chapter 12:
„Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have
you ignorant,” i.e., „you ought not to misunderstand such
a matter as the baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Then comes the
text: „In one Spirit were we all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free.” Jews and
Gentiles, bond and free, could not be together on the Jewish
ecclesia, nor could they be together in the Greek ecclesia. In
the ecclesia of Jesus Christ there were Gentiles, Jews, bond,
free, Parthian, Scythian, male, or female, without any dis_
tinction of race, or previous condition of servitude. They all
received this baptism of the Spirit, but received it with ref_
erence to its purpose, viz.: to accredit the church.
Speaking of the church as a body, he continues the discus_
sion this way: „For the body is not one member, but many.
All the members being one body, so also is Christ, whether
we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free.” „If the
foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the
body; it is not therefore not of the body. And the ear shall
say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; it is not
therefore not of the body.” But now in this baptism of the
Holy Spirit, they were baptized eis, „unto,” one body. „But
now hath God set the members each one of them in the body,
even as it pleased him. . . . But now they are many members,
but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no
need of thee: or again the head to the feet, I have no need of
you.”
He goes on to say that when one member suffers, all suf_
fer; if one is honored, all rejoice. „Now we are the body of
Christ, and severally members thereof.” Notice their offices
in the church, and the order in which he puts them: „First,
apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers; then miracles,
then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diverse kinds of
tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers?
are all workers of miracles? have all the gifts of healings? do
all speak with tongues? do all interpret?” That shows the
need of a church; that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was to
accredit the church; that not the individual members received
the baptism.
If that baptism in the Holy Spirit was conversion, it was
not the same in all of them. One received the gift to heal;
one the gift to speak in foreign tongues; one received the gift
to interpret tongues; another received faith, not faith in Jesus,
but mountain_moving faith, so that if he should say to the
mountain, „Be thou cast into the sea,” it would be done. And
another would receive some other form of gifts. There was
diversity of gifts, but they all came from one Spirit, and
every one of them had reference to one body, the church.
Very abundantly did this Corinthian church receive mirac_
ulous power. In chapter 14 it is brought out much more
clearly. Every one of these miraculous gifts being to accredit
the church, were circumstantially, temporarily in the church,
as in the next chapter Paul says, „Whether there be prophe_
cies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall
cease.” Whenever the church was sufficiently accredited, then
these miracles passed away, i.e., as soon as they had fulfilled
their mission.
A man once asked me if I had received the baptism in the
Holy Spirit. I told him, „No; that I didn’t need it, for it was
never given except to accredit the church, and that I would
be ashamed to say that 1,900 years had elapsed and Christ’s
church was not attested.”
If any man of the present day says that he has the gift of
the Holy Spirit, let him allow me to pick out the rattlesnake,
let it bite him and see if it will hurt him; let me buy the
poison and see if it hurts him; and let me go with him to the
grave and see him raise a dead body. These are the signs:
„These signs will follow them that believe.” The commission
was just given and they were not attested, but „whether there
be prophecies they shall fail,” or as David puts it in the
Psalms, when he says, „the vision and the oblation shall
cease.” As soon as there is a sufficient revelation, as soon as
the church and its faith are sufficiently accredited, then the
vision ceases, and there is no more need of this sign now than
there is for wings to fly now while we are earthly bodies. On
the contrary, to ask for the sign now is to say, „Lord, the
old attestation is played out; we want the thing attested
again.” Just like another argument where Paul says that if
one who has once been enlightened and has tasted the power
of the world to come, should fall away, it is impossible to
renew him again unto repentance, etc. If he does fall away
shall we preach Christ to him? He had Christ. Shall we
preach regeneration to him? He had regeneration. Precisely,
this is the character of the argument, about this baptism in the
Holy Spirit. There is now no necessity for it.
Paul now makes his last point, that in their misuse and
abuse of this miraculous power, they magnified miraculous
power over grace; they put their miraculous displays higher
than they put faith, hope, love. Love is the greatest thing
in the world. Faith is the greatest power in the world. Hope
is the most exalted beacon from the walls of the eternal city
that ever waved its hand and said, „Come forward!” These
three – faith, hope, and love, are going to stay with us.
I will have utterly failed in this chapter if I have not suf_
ficiently impressed upon the reader’s mind the baptism of the
Holy Spirit in its Old Testament symbolism, the baptism of
the Holy Spirit in its prophecies and promises, the baptism in
fact, the baptism in its purpose, and then the temporary na_
ture of the baptism because it was intended to be a sign.

QUESTIONS
1. What the sixth ecclesiastical disorder, and where do we find
Paul’s great discussion of it?
2. What text does the author use to express the central truth of
this discussion, what is his preferred translation of it, and why?
3. What Old Testament symbols foreshadow the baptism in the
Holy Spirit, and what the correspondence between these symbols and
the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost?
4. What the purpose of the baptism in the Spirit of Pentecost?
5. Where in the Old Testament do we find the baptism of the Holy
Spirit in. prophecy?
6, What passages in the New Testament show the baptism in the
Holy Spirit in promise?
7. What the contrasts of Matthew 3:11_12, and what the distinction
between baptism in water and baptism in Spirit (1) as to administrator,
(2) as to element, and (3) as to purpose?
8. What the contrast between the statement of Jesus in John 7:37_39,
and his previous statement to the Samaritan woman at the well, and
what the object of the giving of the Spirit as referred to in this chapter?
9. What the distinction between baptism in the Holy Spirit and
conversion (regeneration), (1) as to the agent, (2) as to the subject,
(3) as to the object?
10. What the New Testament book of comfort, what the Old Testa_
ment book of comfort, and why was each so called, respectively?
11. What the import of Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Mark 16:17_18?
12. What passages in the New Testament show the baptism of the
Holy Spirit in fulfilment?
13. By what phenomena was the baptism of the Holy Spirit mani_
fested on the day of Pentecost, and to what human sense did each
appeal severally?
14. Show how they were baptized on the day of Pentecost eis ten
ecclesian.
15. What the reason, especially for the baptism of the Holy Spirit ill
the case of the Samaritans?
16, Why the baptism of the Spirit at the house of Cornelius?
17. Why were the twelve baptized in the Holy Spirit at Ephesus?
18. Where do we find the moat extended and elaborate discussion of
the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
19. What called forth this discussion by Paul?
20. What the object of the baptism in the Holy Spirit as shown
clearly in this discussion?
21. How did the baptism in the Holy Spirit accredit the church!
22. Were these displays of power the same in every person?
23. What were the diversities of gifts resulting from the baptism in
the Holy Spirit?
24. Prove the temporary nature of the baptism in the Holy Spirit,
and what do we really pray for if we pray for the baptism in the Holy
Spirit?
25. What were the Corinthians really doing in their misuse and abuse
of those gifts?

XX
LOVE, THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD
I Corinthians 13:1_13.

In the judgment of the critical world I Corinthians 13 is the
most exquisite gem in all literature. Upon it the great scien_
tist, Henry Drummond, has written his masterpiece, The
Greatest Thing in the World Let us note very particularly
that verse 31 of the preceding chapter is both introductory to
chapter 13 and explanatory: „But desire earnestly the greater
gifts. And moreover, a most excellent way show I unto you.”
There is a distinction in the gifts conferred in the baptism of
the Holy Spirit. Some were greater than others, and one of
the smallest of them in merit was the power to speak in other
tongues, and that is the one they are making themselves fools
over. He goes on to show, before he gets through with the
discussion, that tongues do not edify, but prophecy does. So
he says, „While these gifts are various, desire earnestly the
greater gifts.” Having shown that distinction between the
gifts of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, some greater than
others, and that they should desire the greater ones rather
than the inferior ones, he then adds, „A most excellent way
show I unto you,” that is, something ahead of all the gifts
received in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, something far
superior to any conference of mere power upon man; so what
he discusses now in chapter 13 is a more excellent way than
the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
He gets at his thought this way: „If I speak with the
tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become
sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.” Look at that thought.
He is going to draw an eclectic man – a man who possesses the
high excellence of all great men and leaves out their faults –
for instance, the patience of Job, the patriotism of Washing_
ton, the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Samson, the meek_
ness of Moses, etc. He is going to picture a man that has all
the excellence of an earthly kind that any man ever had. „If
I speak with the tongues of men” – that means all the tongues
of men. If in the university or college one is proficient in
Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Spanish, French, and German, they
call him a linguist and be becomes famous; but now add to
those every other language ever spoken by man from the few
gutturals of the lowest barbarian in Africa to the most cul_
tured scholar in London or Paris; then add to that that he
can speak in the language of angels; that he can think his
thoughts into heaven and stop Gabriel and make him think his
thoughts back to him, or Michael, or any other of the shining
lights that stand in the presence of God – suppose he could
do that, and he doesn’t have what Paul is here presenting –
love – he would, with all of those vociferous tongues, be as
sounding brass or clanging cymbal. He is proving the superi_
ority of the Christian graces – faith, hope, and love – over any_
thing that is involved in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is
the „most excellent way.” He goes on, „And if I have the
gift of prophecy.” That is another one of the gifts of the Holy
Spirit.
Suppose God had gathered back the curtains from all the
future to the great judgment day in my sight, so as to enable
me to see it all, as a whole and every minute detail, the yet
unrecorded things of the future; what if my heart as a prophet
was as hot as Jeremiah’s; what if a live coal from the altar
was put upon my lips as upon Isaiah’s; what if I, like John
on Patmos, could see high above the world the great court of
God, then have it pass in review before me in grand panorama
till Jesus comes; suppose I had that, as well as all those lan_
guages „and knew all mysteries,” so that nature has no secrets
from me: so that there is nothing in astronomy, in geology, in

biology, in sociology, nothing in any of the „ologies” that I
do not know; suppose that like Solomon, I could sing a song
concerning the birds that fly through the air, the vine that
grows on the wall, and the fish that swim in the sea; suppose
I could be able to locate a gold mine, a coal mine, a deposit
of oil, and every mine of precious jewels; suppose I could look
to the bottom of the sea, and behold all the jewels and the
money and the fine apparel that had ever been sunk into its
depths; what if I understood eclipses, cyclones, earthquakes,
all mysteries (That is the sort of man we are coming to, an
ecletic man.): „If I had all knowledge,” not in one depart_
ment, but in all departments, so that I myself was the biggest
encyclopedia in the world; so that I myself was a walking
library of all the records of history and achievements of sci_
ence in any of its departments; so that whatever man has
ever known since the world was, down to the present time, I
knew; „and if I have all faith {not saving faith, but that faith
that enables one to work miracles], so as to remove moun_
tains”; if I could make Himalaya and the Ural change places;
if I could pile the Alps upon the Apennines, and the Apen_
nines upon the Pyrenees, as the old giants are said to. have
done Pelion on Ossa; if I could look at Aetna, Vesuvius, Hecla,
Stromboli, and Popocatepetl and say, „Put out your fires,” and
they would become extinct in a moment, and I have not love,
I would just be nothing.
He wants to make clear the thought of the great difference
between gifts and graces. Then he goes on, „And if I bestow
all my goods to feed the poor.” 0 what comments in the daily
papers of the world that are excited by the huge gifts of the
rich! Look at Carnegie trying to dispossess himself of all his
wealth by building libraries over the world; look at Rockefel_
ler giving $35,000,000.00 to one institution and $100,000,000._
00 to the aggregate institutions. Now, what if I were to do
that, and then, in addition to that, I were to give my body to
be burned as an act of patriotism; unselfishly to be willing,
not merely to die, but to be burned to death, in order to save
other people from pain, and I had not love, I would be nothing.
If the love that is set forth here did not prompt these things,
then it is not as great a thing in the sight of God as one throb
of real faith and real love in a converted Negro’s heart.
In Shakespeare we have Mark Antony delivering the fune_
ral oration over Caesar. He had Caesar’s body brought before
him, took the mantle off and showed the holes in it, and says,
„I remember when he put this mantle on. It was the day that
he conquered the Nervii.” He holds in his hands Caesar’s
will in which he gives all his goods to the Roman poor, (just
what Paul is talking about) and the people are weeping while
looking at the torn mantle, and the orator goes on, „Do you
weep at merely seeing his garments rent? 0, here is himself;
here is Caesar; look there; see where the envious Casca struck,
and how his heart broke when Brutus smote him here.” Cae_
sar, for motives governing his mind, did will all his goods to
the Roman people. These people are accustomed to establish
circuses, which they held in the amphitheatre and let every_
body come free to the big show in the circus, and the poli_
ticians that didn’t give bread in the circuses didn’t get a
vote. A man might have the things that have made men
famous in the past, every thing that I have enumerated,
and when he dies gaping posterity would want the heavens
to be hung with black, and the orators of the world to be
praising him; the monuments would be erected higher than
all earth’s monuments up on top of each other, and all over
each, and in large letters, would be inscribed the great attain_
ments and achievements of this eclectic man, but if he were
not God’s child, if he didn’t have faith in the Lord Jesus
Christ, if he didn’t have the love that is described in this
chapter, then we might let the monuments crumble into dust.
I never shall forget the enthusiasm of my heart when I
read George W. Cutter’s wonderful poetical paraphrase on

Henry Clay’s great oration at the foot of Bunker Hill monu_
ment. In that poem these words occur:
There let it stand until the river that flows beneath shall cease to flow;
Until that hill itself shall quiver with nature’s last convulsive throe,
And instead of a few inscriptions on it he would cover it all,
Until it should fail to furnish room to write even the initials of a man.

This is earthly fame.
Having shown that the excellencies of this world are noth_
ing in comparison with the three things he is going to talk
about, with a few strokes negative, and a few strokes positive,
he describes love. Let us see what they are. We will take it
negatively: „Love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself
[doesn’t brag], is not puffed up [doesn’t swell up and become
vain] doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is
not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in
unrighteousness.” These are the negatives.
Let us see the positive side. This is what it does: „Love
suffereth long and is kind; rejoiceth with the truth; beareth
all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all
things. Love never faileth.” That is love. He contrasts again.
Let us see about these others – those given by the baptism in
the Holy Spirit: „Whether there be tongues, they shall cease.”
They were given for a temporary purpose, for a sign, for at_
testing the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when that
attestation is complete, tongues shall cease, and „whether there
be knowledge, it shall be done away.” Here he refers to the
supernatural knowledge that comes with the baptism of the
Holy Spirit. „For we know in part” in that baptism of the
Holy Spirit that gives us such marvelous knowledge without
study, and in order to get it we make no effort; it comes not
by laborious, persistent reasoning and investigation, and yet he
says, „When you have gotten it you know only in part. and
when you have that marvelous gift of prophecy conferred

upon you, you only prophesy in part; but when that which is
perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I
thought as a child; now that I am become a man, I have
put away childish things.” In other words, „As a mere child,
a novice, I might have been lifted up with the baptism of the
Holy Spirit, as a. little child rejoices to ride a cornstalk
horse.” But when one becomes a man, he doesn’t ride corn_
stalk horses. Far, far removed, ‘is any such thought. The per_
fection here is maturity. „I put away childish things,” that
is, the past is just as dust in the balance in comparison with
other things, particularly, things he is going to discuss. „For
now we see ‘in a mirror, darkly.” The mirrors were not pol_
ished glass with a good background behind them, but just
polished metal. Even the most finical belles of Rome when
arraying themselves had to content themselves by standing
before the mirror of polished metal, that would dimly reflect.
I am sure it nearly killed them. „But then face to face.”
Love is going to put us where it will not be a reflection that
we look at. We will stand face to face with the real thing.
„Then shall I know fully, even as also I was fully known.”
Paul says, „Brethren, I count myself not to have apprehended.
laid hold on, all the things for which Christ laid hold on
me, but forgetting the things that are behind and reaching
out for the things that are before, I press forward toward the
goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Love will bring us there. Then he could see different things from what he could see by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He says, „Here in Corinth, because my knowledge is so limited, I know only in part, but then I shall know even as I have been known.”
0, would some pow’r the giftie gie us,
To see ourselves as ithera see us!
But better
0 would some power the gift to give us,
To see ourselves as Jesus sees us!
Not as Jesus sees us here, but as he sees us in the complete
likeness; when our souls are as complete as his soul; when
our bodies are as complete as his body; when our knowledge
is as his knowledge. As a bolt of lightning lightens the land_
scape so that in one flash we may see every house, tree, and
building, so the knowledge in heaven will be by intuition that
is swifter than any lightning on earth. The baptism in the
Holy Spirit doesn’t take us to that, but love will.
Then he goes on, „But now abideth faith, hope, love, these
three; and the greatest of these is love.” These are the abid_
ing graces.
If just one spark of the divine love has ever shone in our
souls – not if we have great faith in Jesus Christ, but if we
have faith, great or little – if the love of God has ever been
shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which was given
unto us, it will abide always within us, the Arminians to the
contrary notwithstanding. It will abide, and adversity may
come on us in its cruel image of death, and prosperity may
attempt to beguile us, hell may send out demons like locusts
from the pit to pluck us out of the hand of God, but faith,
hope, and love abide.
Then in view of this, methinks I hear him say, „Why then,
0 Corinthians, do you magnify the baptism of the Holy
Spirit? Why have you discarded these, the most lasting,
world_renewing and astounding graces of the Spirit, in order
to fall down and worship mere power, whether it be power to
move mountains or power to heal the sick, or whatever else?”
In closing this discussion, I will give a word picture of three
pyramids. We need to know what kind of love it ‘is, for if
we make a mistake on that, we have indeed made a great mis_
take. It is not a gushing thing, a sentimental thing, that peo_
ple often talk about, who don’t know anything about it.
Imagine three blocks. On the first one put, „Faith.” Then
let us put a block on that a little shorter at each end and
write, „Hope,” then another on that block and write, „Love”;
then on the top of that put a flagstaff and write on a banner,
„I Corinthians 13.” Now what will that pyramid show? It
will show that love, the greatest thing in the world, is the top_
most block; that it is bottomed on faith. So we have faith,
hope, love. If a man says that he has the love that is spoken
of in I Corinthians 13 and has not faith, then his pyramid is
an aircastle.
I will give another pyramid. This one commences at the
top and starts with the banner. On it is written, „I Timothy
1:5.” Then on the first block under the bannerstaff is written,
„Love”; on the next, which is a little longer, „out of a pure
heart”; on the next block, „and a good conscience”; and the
next block, „and faith unfeigned.” There we have the base,
that is, „faith unfeigned” leads to a „good conscience,” then
a „pure heart,” and then to „love.” A man’s conscience is made
good when it is purified by the blood of Jesus Christ: „How
much more shall the blood of Christ, . . . cleanse your con_
science, …”
Now we come to the last pyramid, and we will let Peter
build this one, either from the King James Version or from
the Revised Version. Peter says, „To a like precious faith
add: . . .” Now put block one, and write, „Faith.” Then on
block two write, „virtue” (or courage; that is what it means)
and to virtue add knowledge; to knowledge, temperance; to
temperance, patience; to patience, godliness; to godliness,
brotherly kindness; to brotherly kindness, love. There love
is on top and faith on the bottom again. Now draw on the
pyramid the banner with 2 Peter 1:5_7. When Paul discusses
love he does not discuss the sentimental gush that anybody
can talk about; he cannot conceive of this love that does not
grow out of faith.
Does verse 12 prove heavenly recognition? It certainly
does; as a good old sister said once, „I am not smart, never
went to college, but I have always had sense enough to recog_
nize my friend here on earth, and I don’t suppose I will be
a bigger fool in heaven.” Then we shall know even as we are
known; we are recognized here, and it certainly teaches that
we will be recognized there.

QUESTIONS
1. What the judgment of the critical world relative to I Corinthians
13, and what the title of Henry Drummond’s masterpiece written on it?
2. What the connection between 12:31 and chapter 13?
3. What the distinction in the gifts conferred in the baptism of the
Holy Spirit, which the smallest perhaps, what exhortation concerning
gifts, and what the „most excellent way,” of 12:31?
4. With what does Paul contrast love, and what the author’s eclectic man?
5. What the meaning of speaking with tongues, the gift of prophecy,
the knowing of all mysteries, all knowledge, all faith, the bestowing of
goods, and the giving of the body to be burned, as contrasted here by
Paul?
6. What the description of love negatively?
7. What the description of love positively?
8. What contrasts does Paul now make as to the duration of these gifts?
9. What are three abiding graces, which is the greatest, and why?
10. Describe a pyramid based on I Corinthians 13.
11. Describe one based on I Timothy 1:5.
12. Describe one based on 2 Peter 1:5_7.
13. Does the Bible teach heavenly recognition, and if so. what the proof?

XXI
THE GIFT OF TONGUES
I Corinthians 14:1_33.

This discussion is devoted to I Corinthians 14, and is the
conclusion of the discussion of the miraculous spiritual gifts
conferred in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I will take all
of the chapter down to verse 33. The rest of the chapter I
reserve for a separate discussion. It is with reference to wom_
an’s place in the church, and I will combine that closing
paragraph, touching the woman, with another paragraph in the
same letter, and with a corresponding paragraph in the letter
of Timothy; and so we will just go to verse 33:
„Follow after love.” The word „follow” has a strong mean_
ing. It means to pursue, to chase, not just to saunter along
after it, but to pursue it, to chase it; „yet desire earnestly
spiritual gifts,” that is to say, notwithstanding the compari_
son that he has instituted between faith, love, and hope on
the one hand, and the spiritual gifts on the other hand, he
doesn’t discount the spiritual gifts. „Earnestly desire them,
but rather that ye may prophesy,” that is, select that one as
the one that is most profitable. Desire that one. To prophesy,
in the Bible, does not necessarily mean to foretell future
events. That may be included, but it means to speak for God
under the inspiration of the Spirit, so that what one says is as
if God said it. Whether you are stating a fact or foretelling a
future event, is immaterial. The meaning of the word „proph_
esy” is to speak for God under the impulse of God’s Spirit.
He goes on to explain why the gift of prophesying is superior
to the gift of speaking in unknown tongues: „For he that
speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God;
for no man understandeth; but in the Spirit he speaketh mys_

teries.” Mark that clause, „He that speaketh in a tongue
gpeaketh not unto men but unto God; for no man under_
standeth.” Notice verse 4: „He that speaketh in a tongue
edifieth himself.” Then verse 14: „For if I pray in a tongue,
my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
We have to combine those three passages: „He that speak_
eth in a tongue speaketh unto God; he that speaketh in a
tongue edifieth himself; he that prayeth in a tongue his under_
standing is unfruitful.” Those three expressions have given
rise to a controversy that I suppose will not be settled until
the judgment day. Upon them many distinguished scholars
take the position that to speak in a tongue is to speak ecstati_
cally ; that the man himself is, in a measure, unconscious, as
if some mighty power had seized upon him causing him to
mutter and say things, and that when he comes from under
the influence of that power he cannot recall what he said.
Conybeare and Howson strongly present that argument. They
say that to speak in unknown tongues is simply to speak
ecstatically, as if in a trance. A person going under the influ_
ence of chloroform talks, but he doesn’t remember what he
says. Though that position is taken in the Pulpit Commentary
and in Conybeare and Howson’s book, the author utterly
dissents from it. I do not like to put myself in antagonism
with distinguished men, but there are more distinguished men
on my side than on the other side of the question.
Let me show that this speaking in tongues meant to speak
in a language that a man had not acquired, and had not stud_
ied. Turn to Acts 2, where this gift is first manifested and
commence at verse 6: „When this sound was heard, the multi_
tude came together, and were confounded, because that every
man heard them speaking in his own language. And they were
all amazed and marveled, saying, Behold, are not all these
that speak Galileans? And how hear we, every man in our
own tongue wherein we were born? Parthiana and Medes and
Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea
and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pam_
phylia, in Egypt and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and
sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and
Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty
works of God.” A man must have more brass on his face than
was ever in the brazen gates of Babylon to assume that that
doesn’t refer to speaking in different languages.
Here came a man from Cyrene over in Africa; there came
a Roman; here a Cretan; there an Arabian; and they heard
these men under the influence of the Holy Spirit speaking in
the tongues in which they were born.
My second argument is based on I Corinthians 14:14: „If
I pray in a tongue . . . my understanding is unfruitful.” I
don’t know what the words mean, but if it was an ecstasy
that language would not be so applicable. I have no doubt
that when God gave power to Balaam’s beast to speak audi_
bly, his language was not understood by him. He spoke in a
language that he himself didn’t understand.
Let us make a third argument. In olden times at the Tower
of Babel, where it is expressly said that the people were all of
one lip, one speech, spoke the same language (and speaking
the same tongue enabled them to hold together better, but
they were holding together for evil) God came down and con_
fused their speech, and a man up there putting down the
sundried brick could not understand what the fellow with the
hod said to him. It was in an unknown language. By the
confounding of speech, nations arose.
The different languages didn’t arise from the different na_
tions, but different nations arose from different languages. The
philological miracle around the Tower of Babel produced the
different nations. Those that could understand one another
would go together and they would become a nation, speaking
one language of their own.
It was the intent that, as the human race was dispersed
through the confusion of language, at Pentecost that should
be reversed, and they should be brought together and united
by giving the power to speak in the language of all the nations.
Take these three arguments and notice the objection that is
made. The first objection is that he speaks to God, and no
man understands him. Let us see how that applies. We will
assume that we are present in that church at Corinth and one
man, having the power to speak in different languages, speaks
the Parthian tongue. Nobody understands him, for nobody
speaks that tongue, and he can’t understand himself, and he
is, as it were, speaking unto God.
We can harmonize it with the theory that they were speak_
ing different languages, but we cannot harmonize the effect
by saying it was an ecstatic utterance like that given when
under the influence of chloroform. However, I am not dog_
matic as to this interpretation.
Let us advance again in the argument in this issue. Paul
says, „If I speak in an unknown tongue which the people
cannot understand, what good will it do unless I translate?”
That shows that it was an unknown language. If we send a
missionary to a foreign country and he does not know their
speech and they don’t know his speech, and a particular man
knows both theirs and his, that man is asked to be an inter_
preter. The missionary says a few words, and then the in_
terpreter speaks these words in the language of the people
addressed. He understands. „Now,” says Paul, „what good
does it do to speak in unknown tongues unless you interpret?”
He shows again that this is the thought. He says, „If you
give thanks in an unknown tongue, how shall he that is un_
learned say, ‘Amen,’ to your giving thanks, since he does not
understand what you say?” And how powerfully the reformers
quoted that against the Roman Catholics whose public services
were conducted in Latin whether anybody understood Latin
or not. The reformers quote this passage and say, „How is
that going to help the people? Speak it if you want to, but
tell them what the Latin means.”
I was making a reply once to a man who was going outside
of the line in which he had knowledge, to criticise something
that he knew nothing about. I pointed my finger at him and
said, „Ne sutor ultra crepidam.” I thought everybody would
understand, but some fellow said, „Interpret.” „Let not the
shoemaker go beyond his last.” „The shoemaker is a judge of
the shape of the foot, but let him not criticise a painter’s
landscape,” which became a parable. So you might say, „A
mole is a good judge of earthworms, but he is not expert on
landscapes.” Notice again that he says here, and the language
is very remarkable in its bearing, „Even things without life,
giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a dis_
tinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped
or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who
shall prepare himself for war?”
I used to be a soldier, and every morning there was a cer_
tain bugle_sound called „reveille,” which means „get up
quick”; then a certain other sound of the trumpet meant,
„saddle up,” and a certain other sound meant, „mount,” an_
other very lively one meant, „Forward march.” „Now,” said
Paul, „if a man just gets up and blows a noise out of a trum_
pet that doesn’t signify anything, how can anybody prepare
himself for battle?” Therefore he says, „I would rather speak
five words to the church with my understanding than ten
thousand words in an unknown tongue.”
Some people like it because they think it sounds big. A
politician said to General Jackson, „When you get up to make
a speech throw in a little Latin.” And so Jackson, at the close
of the speech said, „E Plunbus unum, ultima thule – ne plus
ultraùpotestatem deditùne sutor ultra crepidam, potens Cy_
pri, Sic fratres Helenae, Sidera Ludda, Quandem Catalina
nostra patientia abutere?” And the people just went wild in
their cheering. Where it is just thrown in for the sound it
has an exciting effect, but suppose we wanted to know what

General Jackson was saying, what good would all that Latin
do us if we did not know the Latin?
I leave it to the reader as to whether I have made out my
case, that the speaking with tongues means the speaking in
languages that a man had not known, or that was unknown
to him. If I spoke in Parthian and there was a Parthian pres_
ent the Parthian could understand, but the Cretans and Ara_
bians could not; if I were saying good sense, in whatever
language, God would understand. I would be speaking to
God, and even if I couldn’t understand, I could tell the mighty
impulse of the Spirit. That would make me feel good, but it
wouldn’t edify other people.
This is a great chapter. We find in it something that ought
to benefit us as long as we live. „Even things without life,
giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinc_
tion in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or
harped? For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound who
shall prepare himself for war? So also ye, unless ye utter by
the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be
known what is spoken? for ye will speak into the air.” There
are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and no
kind is without signification. No word is without some mean_
ing, but if I don’t know the meaning of the word I shall be
”to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall
be a barbarian to me.”
A critic who criticised everybody at a Baptist Convention,
criticised my sermon by saying it had too many big words in
it. I saw him when he made the note, and here are the words
I used, staling the different places the people came from:
„Oriental, occidental, austral, septentrional.” I supposed that
crowd of picked preachers would know the meaning of those
words. I started out with „Oriental,” which means eastern;
the „occidental,” that means the opposite from the eastern,
or western; „austral” means southern, and „septentrional”
means northern. I wrote him that generally I tried to use
words that anybody could understand, but occasionally I
wanted to increase the vocabulary of the people that I spoke
to.
If every man hears in his own tongue, he hears them speak
in the tongue that he was born in, not that they spoke He_
brew and the hearer heard it in Parthian. That would make
the hearer the subject of the baptism; that would be putting
the discriminating power to his ear. There were a great many
speaking, one in Parthian, and another in Persian; one in
Latin and another in Greek. Now all the Greek people would
understand their own language because they were familiar
with it. The hearers comprehended, though it was spoken in
the language that the speaker knew nothing about.
Let us go on, taking up verse 15: „What is it then? I will
pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding
also. I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the under_
standing also.” In other words, a great deal of emphasis in re_
ligious matters must be put upon the understanding, and if the
good pray, they want not only to be prompted spiritually to
pray, but want to understand what they are praying about,
and if I am praying in a language I don’t know and know that
somebody is listening, he may catch the spirit of the prayer,
but it won’t touch the spirit of his understanding. I want
to hear the words.
One night at church the singing was just about as the seven
stars above me. I was told by an expert that it was fine,
but the screech in it didn’t use any distinction in words. I
couldn’t tell what it was. If I had bad a book before me I
might have made out something of what they were trying
to say.
When a man sings I want to hear the words. I don’t want
him just to sound his voice out in ascending and descending
scales. They may be harmonious, but it isn’t intelligible to
me. I will put it plainer. When one goes to feed the cattle,
he doesn’t out the fodder so high that they can’t reach it. It
may be good fodder to look at, but a cow would rather have
it lower where she can reach it. That was the power of Christ’s
speech. He spoke words easily understood. He illustrated with
a hen and chickens, a sparrow, the lilies of the field, the sheep,
and the goat. The people could not find fault, because his
words were simple and had meaning to them.
I remember when I was very small my father, who was a
preacher, was sitting on the gallery and one of our smartest
Negroes, Aunt Sarah, came up and was telling about her new
preacher. Father asked how she liked him. „0, he is fine.”
„What do you mean by fine?” „Well, he does speak such
big sounding words.” „What words did he use?” „Well, I
remember the word ‘fecundity.’ ” „Well,” father asked, „do
you know what that means?” „0 no, and I don’t care whether
I does or not; it’s a mighty big word and it just thrilled me.”
Her understanding was not profited at all. That cow couldn’t
reach the fodder.
I am going to give another proof of the correctness of the
position that I took on these languages: „In the law it is
written, By men of strange tongues and by the lips of stran_
gers will I speak unto this people.” Where do we find that in
the law? It is in Deuteronomy 28, and we find one very much
like it in Isaiah 28, and that is this: „You get drunk, you
men that represent God, and you say words that convey no
meaning. Now because you have dishonored your power, I
will speak to you in the language of a foreign nation, and
you won’t understand this language, and thus bring against
you the Assyrian and the Babylonian.” I have said that these
baptismal gifts were for attesting, accrediting, and this proves
it: „Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that be_
lieve, but to the unbelieving.” A sign is a miracle ‘intended to
accredit the one speaking as having power and authority.
That day at Jerusalem when that big crowd of many nations
came together, these men that could speak only one language,
were heard – these ignorant and unlearned men that had never
been to school – speaking in the different languages of_ the
world. „Some great power is here,” they said. „It is a sign
to you unbelievers, but prophesying is for a sign, not to the
unbeliever, but unto them that believe.” Suppose I am a be_
liever and we stand upon the same plane, and all at once some
mighty power descends on me, and I get up with a new spirit
and speak with all the authority of God. That carries con_
viction to the soul of the believer. It is a sign to him that
God’s Spirit is on me.
We come now to the strongest part of the chapter, and one
that I have preached many sermons on. I preached a sermon
on it in Kansas City and S. J. Porter, now at San Antonio,
was pastor of the church. When I got through with that ser_
mon there was a stir in the congregation equal to Pentecost.
I never saw such a sight in my life. My theme was, „How
the Church Shall Convict Sinners of Sin.” It reads as follows:
„If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all
speak with tongues [every one speaking in a different lan_
guage], and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will
they not say ye are mad [i. e., you are crazy?]. But if all
prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he
is reproved by all, he is judged by all; the secrets of his heart
are made manifest [that is, to him] and so he will fall down
on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you
indeed.”
I started out on this line: Where the congregation of God’s
people assemble there will likely step in some ignorant man or
some skeptic, and one of two things is going to happen –
either they will convict that man of sin or he will convict them
of sin. If the character of the services is such that they seem
to be mere fanaticism or a sanctified row, one man praying
while another is singing, and another is talking, and every_
thing is confusion, all jumbled up, will he not say that they
are crazy? And when he goes away he will carry the report
about them, and his report is, „those so_called Christian peo_
ple are simply mad; it is a delusion.” Suppose, on the other
hand, that when that ignorant man takes his seat and all of
the services are so simple that notwithstanding his ignorance
he can understand; the words are easy to be understood; he
gets hold of the preaching or singing or praying, he is convicted
by all. Convicting power rests upon the whole congregation,
and that man sees the sins of his heart.
The secrets of his heart are manifest, and so falling down
on his face he will worship God, and go away and report that
God is with that crowd of people. Then how careful we ought
to be at church to ask the question, „Is there any ignorant
soul here today that I can so put the truth before that even
his simple mind can see it? Is there not some skeptic here
today who, by the order, instructiveness, the fervor, and the
pathos of the service may see himself to be a sinner in the
sight of God?”
I have seen all of this. I have seen my old church in Waco
when convicting power rested on every member of the con_
gregation. There was something in each song, in each prayer,
in each exposition of the Word of God, and in each word based
on the exposition that went right home to a man’s heart like
a feathered arrow from the bow, and it got to be the talk of
the town that no infidel could attend three of these services
and not be converted. One of them accepted the challenge,
and I saw him when he came in the church. I was about a
third of the way through my sermon. Conviction seized him,
and before he got halfway down the aisle he was converted.
He came right up to the front, whirled around, and related
his Christian experience, and I just let him do the talking.
That was such fine preaching I just stopped.
I am now going to give out a secret. When Moses came
down from the mountain where he had been communing with
God, „Moses wist not that his face was shining,” i.e., Moses
didn’t know it was shining.

When one becomes conscious that he is shining, he quite
shining. The most effective conviction of sinners ever wrought
has been wrought by people that didn’t know they were doing
it.
The first time I was ever convicted of sin, the one that con_
victed me of sin had no idea of it. I had run away from home
to go to a big barbecue and political speaking, and I was only
thirteen years old, and I started home through a big pine
forest, and when those pine trees began to moan at night and
it got dark, it was not very comforting to a runaway boy.
In the heart of the pine forest I saw a light. It was the light
of a camp meeting, in a big shed, with platforms erected, dirt
piled up on the platforms and pine knots laid on the dirt; that
illuminated the shed and all around it, and illuminated it
well, too; not like electric lights perhaps, but very well. When
I got within about 100 yards of the meeting I heard somebody
singing; evidently it was a woman, a sad woman, but yet a
Christian woman, and as she kept up that song, so full of
tears, I was convicted of sin from the crown of my head to
the soles of my feet. The secrets of my heart were made
manifest to me. When I got up closer, there she sat on the
outside of that congregation holding her dead baby in her lap.
It had just died, and her heart was broken, but her Christian
soul surrendered the baby to the Lord and submitted to his
will, and she had commenced singing, „0 love divine, all love
excelling,” and that song convicted me of sin. She didn’t know
that she was convicting me of sin. If she had been an actress,
and had tried to sing like a woman whose baby was dead,
there would have been no power in it to convict.
I will name three books that I studied on the conviction of
sinners of sin. They have never ceased to benefit me. The
first book is the Bible. I commenced at Genesis and read
straight through until I found a case of conviction of sin, and
so I wrote that case down i.e., who was convicted of sin here,
and how this conviction was brought about. For instance, the
case of Joseph’s brothers. When the cup was found in Ben_
jamin’s sack their guilty consciences said to them that their
sin had found them out: „We are every one guilty concerning
our brother’s blood.” Then I came to David. He had mur_
dered Uriah, having debauched his wife, and had no com_
punctions of conscience, going to the Temple and singing
praises to Jehovah with them, and occupying the chief seats
among the saints. After & while he was convicted of sin.
Nathan comes to him and tells him a story about a man that
had one ewe lamb, and it was all that he had, and a rich man
had a large flock, and a traveler came to stay with the rich
man, and he spared his flock, but took by violence the one
ewe lamb of the poor man. David listened to the story and
just got madder and madder, and finally cried out, „Whoever
has done this shall die!” Nathan said, „Thou art the man!”
David says, „I have sinned.” He was convicted. And what
took place on the day of Pentecost when they were preaching
to them was conviction. Then at another time the jailer says,
„What must I do to be saved?” Thus I went through the
Bible and made a study of it.
Then the next book that I took was my own experience. I
went back over my life just as far as I could remember, and
just as honestly as I could; I recalled every time in my life
that I became sensible that I was a sinner and I asked myself,
„What brought it about?”
And the third book that I read was the book of observation.
One day a Mr. Sherwook preached a sermon in a big meeting
in Georgia, and 4,000 grown men and women were converted.
I never studied anything as I studied these three books – the
Bible cases on conviction of sin, the cases of my own experi_
ence of conviction of sin, and the great historic cases of con_
viction of sin. That is the subject I discussed in Kansas City.
The message was that God had appointed the church to con_
vict sinners and lead them to salvation.

Paul now says, „How is it that every one hath a psalm,
everyone a hymn?” In other words, „When you get together
each man is so anxious to parade what he knows that one
talks Greek, another talks Parthian; this one preaches, that
one prays; another is singing, and the services are a confu_
sion. God is not here. You will make a wrong impression by
a service of that kind.” Some may call that a „sanctified
row,” if they want to. It is in reality a row without the „sanc_
tified.” The most powerful conviction comes in a still meet_
ing, where one can hear a pin drop. The sinner’s conviction
is signal, as if in a great electric storm the lightning had
struck and riven hundreds of trees and they are falling right
and left, and yet no voice is lifted – not a whisper. It is the
stillness of profound attention and emotion.
The point is that God intended the gifts in the baptism of
the Spirit for a certain purpose, and these Corinthians were
using them for other purposes, and they were doing harm
rather than good. They had lost sight of their mission to
convict sinners and lead them to Christ. Ignorant people
came, and went away uninstructed; skeptics came, and went
away confirmed in their skepticism; they went away and re_
ported that there was nothing in that crowd; that if that was
religion they didn’t want to see any more of it. Maybe the
preacher was conceited as to his part and would use the
biggest words that he could, until they would think he was
some great one, and when the choir would sing they would
screech and get as far away from singing a song that one
could understand as possible; everything perfunctory, but
God was not in the songs, nor in the prayers, nor in the sermon,
and the day was lost, and souls were lost.

QUESTIONS
1. Why did the author omit the latter part of chapter 14 for the
time being?

2. What does „Follow after love” (14:1) mean, and what Paul’s
application here?
3. What the most profitable gift of the Spirit, and what is meant by
prophesying?
4. Why is the gift of prophesying superior to the gift of tongues?
5. What three passages furnish the basis of the teaching by some
that to speak in a tongue means to speak ecstatically, and where may
the argument be found?
6. What the author’s first argument to show that to speak in &
tongue meant to speak a language one had never learned?
7. What his second argument?
8. What his third argument?
9. What the first objection to this argument, and the reply?
10. How does Paul show further that the author’s interpretation is correct?
11. What text used especially by the reformers and how?
12. What illustration from the author’s experience?
13. How does Paul illustrate the thought, and what the author’s
parallel illustration from his war experience?
14. What illustration of the effect of big sounding words on a popu_
lar audience given by the author?
15. Was the speaker or the hearer the subject of the baptism is Holy
Spirit? Illustrate.
16. What statement here shows Paul’s emphasis on the „understand_
ing” in religious matters, and what the application to modern singing?
Illustrate.
17. What the author’s proof of the correctness of his position from the
references to the law and to prophecy?
18. What the direct proof that tongues were to attest? Illustrate.
19. What text here shows .how a church may convict a sinner?
20. What illustration of this from the author’s life?
21. What the author’s secret respecting Moses, and the present_day
application of it? Illustrate.
22. What three books given by the author on the conviction of em,
and how did he study them?
23. What the condition where there is the greatest convicting power?
24. What the main point of all this discussion by Paul, and the ap_
plication by the author?

XXII
MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND THE POSITION OF
WOMEN IN PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES
I Corinthians 7:1_40; 11:2_16; 14:33_40.

It will be recalled that we have been treating I Corinthians
topically, and hence when we take hold of a subject we take
in everything bearing on that subject and pass over some
things. Heretofore we have left untouched 7:1_40; 11:2_16;
14:34_40. So that the scope of the present discussion is the
three passages – all of chapter 7; 11:2_16, and 14:33_40. The
general topics embraced in these parts of the first letter are
Marriage, Divorce, and the Position of Women in the Public
Assemblies, all exceedingly delicate questions, and therefore
my reserve in treating the matter. I don’t suppose there is
much help in studying this letter in the commentaries. I my_
self had never reached a very satisfactory conclusion on some
points involved until recently.
Before we take up the serious matter of marriage, divorce,
and the whole question of sexual relation, there are certain
antecedent matters to consider, and the first is, that whatever
is here said by the apostle Paul is an answer to a letter that
the Corinthian church wrote him. He commences chapter 7
with a reference to that letter. He says, „Now concerning the
things whereof ye wrote.” So we see that he answers questions
propounded to him. The next antecedent thing is that we
must never forget the mixed, ethnic composition of this church.
„Ethnic” means of many nationalities. The mixed, ethnic
composition of this church and the particular distressed con_
ditions existing at the time that he wrote, are matters of great
importance. This church was composed of Greeks, Romans,
and other Orientals, besides Jews.

Upon the subject of marriage, divorce, and the position of
women, the Jews, Romans, and Greeks widely differed. Each
nation had its own fixed custom or customs upon all of these
points, and they were all converted in this big meeting, some
from all these peoples. And they naturally wanted to know
what was the bearing of the new religion upon this subject of
marriage, divorce, and the position of women, slavery, and
things of that kind.
Among the Jews divorce was granted for a very slight cause.
Moses did permit divorce in this form, viz.: that no man could
put away his wife without giving her a bill of divorcement;
he could not put her away and leave her as goods and chattels
that he was not responsible for. He must give her a bill show_
ing that he claimed nothing from her in the future. Christ
explained, that on account of the hardness of their hearts,
divorce was allowed by Moses, who did ameliorate it, but
didn’t give the highest law on divorce, because they were not
in condition to hear it. Following that custom, Josephus tells
us frankly that he put away his wife because she didn’t please
him, and he assigned no other reason, and went before no
court. It would be very hard to please some men, even some
of the time, and very hard to please them all the time; and
it wouldn’t be best to please them all the time, for much of
the time they would be wrong. Among the Greeks and Romans
divorce could be had for almost any reason. Moreover, the
Orientals believed in the seclusion of women. They kept them
in harems guarded by a eunuch; but the Romans had much
broader views than the Greeks, and the Greeks were much in
advance of the Orientals. A lady at Rome had great liberty
without being subjected to invidious criticisms. This is the
mixed ethnic condition of this church.
But another thing must be considered which is expressed in
chapter 7. Paul says, „I think therefore that this is good by
reason of the distress that is upon us.” There was a particular
distress bearing upon the people at that time that modified
the answers that he gave to some of their questions, and we
can’t understand this chapter 7 and the other paragraphs in
chapters II and 14 without keeping in mind that broad state_
ment – „the distress that is upon us.” That refers to the con_
dition of the church at that time when all Christians were
persecuted. No Christian knew one day what would be his
financial status the next, for everything of his might be con_
fiscated. He could not know one day whether he would be out
of prison the next; he couldn’t know one day whether he
would be banished the next. Day by day they were practically
taking their lives in their own hands. If a man is living in a
prosperous time ‘it wouldn’t be proper to answer him on the
question of marriage as if he were living in unsettled condi_
tions. In other words, what would be expedient in prosperous
times, would be inexpedient in unprosperous times.
The third important antecedent thought in the understand_
ing of those passages is the people’s misconception of the re_
sults of regeneration. Paul had said to them, „If any man be
in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed
away; behold they are become new.” They did not know how
far to carry this thought. For instance, if a married man was
not converted yesterday, but became a convert today, did his
marriage pass away? I will show how that this is a very
practical question before we get through with this discussion.
A man was a slave yesterday and unconverted; he hears the
gospel of freedom preached to him, that is, that if the Son
makes him free he is free indeed. He hears that in Christ
Jesus there is neither bond nor free, therefore today he, being
a new creature, what conclusion shall he draw from this new
relation as to his slavery?
Again, the gospel was preached to them as individuals,
without regard to age, sex or previous condition of servitude,
and it was distinctly stated that in Christ Jesus there is neither
male nor female, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, free, Jew, nor
Gentiles. If that be true, has not every Christian precisely the
same privileges in the public assembly, whether man or wom_
an? If there be neither male nor female in Christ Jesus, may
not a woman preach as well as a man? If they stand on the
same footing when they join the church, what effect does it
have on the old commandment that a child should obey his
parents, or that the wife is subject to her husband? It may
seem that this is all a little overstrained, but the history of
the world shows that these are intensely important questions.
Take the case of the „mad men of Munster,” who argued
from the fact that Jesus had come to establish a kingdom
upon the earth, and that that kingdom was to overcome all
other kingdoms of the earth. They said, „Therefore, if I be
a member of the kingdom of Jesus, that absolves me from my
allegiance to any kingdom of this earth.” There were no sub_
ordinates in the land where they lived, as they were free from
the law of the nation. They reasoned that if they had the
liberty of a Christian, might they not take two or three wives?
Hence the leader of the Munsterites did not stop until he got
fourteen, but that was not quite so far as Brigham Young
went. They went on, „Do we, being the children of Jesus
Christ, have to pay tribute or taxes? If I be a member of
the kingdom of Jesus Christ that absolves me from any king_
dom of this earth, why not set up a purely religious king_
dom?” One of these men was made king, and the whole
power of the German Empire had to be invoked to put down
this movement. Yet a great many people were converted peo_
ple – enthusiasts misconstruing the teaching of God upon the
results that would follow our becoming new creatures.
Yet again, this gospel taught that the citizenship of a Chris_
tian is up yonder, not down here, and that up younder neither
marrying nor giving in marriage takes place. Upon this they
reasoned thus: „Does not that obligate me to lay down the
work of this world? Why talk about farming, merchandising,
and the dull, heavy round of earthly occupations?” Just so
the Thessalonians went wild, because they expected Christ to
come „day_after_tomorrow,” and therefore there could be
nothing for them to do except prepare their ascension robes.
In other words, „Up there they don’t marry, and what effect
does that have on me, since I am married? I have become a
citizen of heaven, where they do not marry. Ought I not to
abjure this marriage? Ought I not to go and live in a monas_
tery and leave my wife and children on the care of the world?
If I have never married, should I not become a sister, and
enter into the nunnery?” Such were their reasonings.
The last great things that we are to consider in chapter 7
is the point that we have just presented: „If I contracted mar_
riage before I was converted, was it dissolved when I became
a new creature, and old things passed away? If I have not
contracted a marriage, shall I avoid it?” The apostle answers
it, first, from the viewpoint of the present distress that he
refers to, i.e., in view of the present condition, when their
property might be swept away in a day, when they must be
silent or be in banishment. He takes the position that in this
particular stress and under these conditions it was well not to
marry. But we must not forget the old_time law that God
instituted marriage as the only way to carry out the com_
mandment of God to multiply and replenish the earth. There_
fore, Paul says, „My advice to you is to let every man have
his own wife, and every woman her own husband.” It was
impossible for him to take a position against the necessity of
marriage, but he said that in view of that distress it might be
best not to marry, but if they did marry notwithstanding the
distress, they committed no sin, and if governed by the dis_
tress not to marry this was no sin, but as long as we are in
this world and the sexual distinction exists, we cannot get
away from that primeval law of God that marriage is honora_
ble in all.
We know that another question was presented because of
the answer given. Suppose one is already married when con_
verted? In the middle ages this question became one of the
biggest that ever occupied man’s mind. It was a common
thing for a man at his conversion to say, „In view of the fact
that I am now under a higher law of God, I will give up my
wife and children, go from home and shut myself up in a
monastery.” Hundreds and thousands of men and women took
the vow never to marry. There are many cases where the men
took the vows of celibacy, trying to live a life like the angels.
That is the most seductive form of temptation that ever came
to men, and it led to the building of monasteries and nunneries
all over Europe and a greater part of Asia and North Africa,
where women would seclude themselves and vow not to mar_
ry, and even married men would abandon wives and children
and shut themselves up in monasteries. Paul says, „If a man
is married let him not put away his wife, and let not the
woman put away her husband. Your being converted does
not change the law of God in regard to marriage.” So the
question comes in another and different form. Under the old
law of the Jews, a Jew could not marry a heathen, unless a
proselyte, without the penalty of excommunication, and the
ground was, that to marry a heathen puts him in danger of
becoming an idolater. In Nehemiah we learn that when some
of the Jews had violated that law, he put before them the
alternative of either keeping the Jewish law or being excluded
from the Jewish communion. Knowing what the law was on
that subject, they put the question, „Here is a man who is
converted and his wife is a heathen; shall the Christian put
away his heathen wife?” That is very different from the
original question, „Ought a Christian to marry a heathen?”
which law holds now that it is best for believers to marry be_
lievers, but Paul answers that question emphatically, „No;
the marriage relation is a divine institution and there is noth_
ing in such a case to justify that man to put away his wife.”
Then the question comes in another form: „Suppose when
a woman joins the church that the heathen husband makes
it a ground of disfellowship and refuses to live with her, what
then?” Paul said, „In such a case, if the unbeliever depart,
let him depart. You have done nothing wrong and are willing
to stand by your marriage contract.” But what does he mean
by saying, „The husband or wife is not in bondage in such a
case?” Does it mean that a voluntary separation totally
abrogates the marriage tie so that the one left is at liberty to
marry somebody else? That question comes up in our own
civil law. Blackstone comments on it, saying, „You may
grant divorce ‘Amensa et toro,’ ” which means, „Divorce from
bed and board.” In other words, people can separate; the man
doesn’t have to live with that woman, and the woman doesn’t
have to live with that man. But the law is emphatic that
such separation is not breaking the marriage bond. It permits
a possible separation. That is intensely practicable.
When I was a young preacher I was called into a council.
A preacher’s wife had left him. She refused to live with him,
left him, and went back to her father, and he afterwards mar_
ried again, and his plea was that abandonment justified re_
marriage. He quoted that passage, „A husband and wife are
not in bondage in such cases.” The question for that council
to decide was, „Would it be a wise thing to put a man into
the ministry who lived under a cloud of that kind?” One of
the oldest and most distinguished Baptists that ever lived
took the position that such a one was free to marry again,
but I, a young preacher, dissented from him, and do still. It
does not break the marriage tie so as to permit one to marry
again. I quoted the declaration of Paul where he says, „The
wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives,” and
he certainly couldn’t contradict himself in the same chapter.
Then he says, „If her husband be dead, she shall be permitted
to marry again.” That settles that question.
Paul does not discuss the only cause that does thoroughly
break the marriage bond, if one is disposed to plead it, which
is the case of infidelity to the marriage vow discussed by our
Lord. Hence my contention is that what is here said does
not discuss all of the law on the subject of marriage and di_
vorce.
Let us take up the question, „Ought widowers and widows
to remarry?” There he states that a widower under the law
of Christ may marry again, though it is not mandatory.
There was at one time the question raised of putting a special
tax on bachelors. The Greeks and Romans had a law to that
effect. It is nothing to smile at; it comes from the idea that
the state is more important than the individual. They carried
that law further, and forbade a bachelor to Inherit; if he re_
mained unmarried he must turn over his property to the state.
When I was a little boy we had a kangaroo court, and a
candidate for the legislature was telling what he would do if
he were elected. He said, „I would change the pronoun ‘them’
for the word ‘um,’ so all the common people could say gram_
matically, ‘I love um,’ and I would have a law passed that
would draw a tooth from an old bachelor’s head for every year
he remained unmarried.”
But how does Paul answer that question? He says, „If you
take this present distress into consideration, it is not favorable
for contracting marriage. If you want to marry, do so, but
you will have trouble in view of this distress.” But he says
that it is lawful for a widow to marry again, and in the case
of young widows, as in the letter to Timothy, he makes it a
very urgent recommendation.
Let us take the next question: Does regeneration change the
natural subordination of woman to the man, and the sphere
in which each moves? The gospel preached was that in Christ
Jesus there was neither male nor female. So in chapter II he
answers, „I would have you know, that the head of every man
is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man. . . . Every
man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dis_
honoreth his head. But every woman praying or prophesying
with her head unveiled, dishonoreth her head; it is one and the
same thing as if she were shaven [that was a sign of an in_
famous life]. . .. But if it is a shame for a woman to be shorn
or shaven, let her be veiled. For a man indeed ought not to
have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the image and glory
of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For the man is
not of the woman; but the woman of the man: for neither was
the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
The angels of God were hovering round watching over the
assemblies of God’s people, and it grieved them to see the law
of God violated. Paul goes on; he ‘is not only arguing from
that old law, but he is arguing from nature: „Is it seemly
that a woman pray unto God unveiled? Doth not even nature
itself teach you that if a man have long hair, it is a dishonor
to him?” I once knew a young fellow who was really pretty.
He had great long curls that he spent a long time each day in
combing and twisting and anointing with oil, and brushing.
And I took the New Testament, marked this passage, and sent
it to him. It made him very indignant.
Paul’s answer is that becoming a new creature, so that „old
things are passed away and all things become new,” does not
mean that all old things, viz.: that God’s law of order has
passed away. When we get to heaven we will live as the
angels live, but while we live on earth the laws of order in_
stituted in paradise must stand.
That question comes up in a little different form in chapter
14: „God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all
the churches of the saints, let the women keep silence in the
churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let
them be in subjection, as also sayeth the law. And if they
would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at
home; for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church.”
Now they are meeting that by saying that the word of God
had come to women. And it is unquestionable that the spirit
of prophecy did come to women. But Paul teaches that that
spirit of prophecy was subject to the person that had it; that
it was not given him to violate order; and that if the spirit
of prophecy did come to them, let them remember that it
came to other people also.
North of the Mason and Dixon’s line we occasionally come
upon a church with a woman for a pastor – a Baptist church
at that. I was both cheered and hissed for a statement I made
when I preached in Chicago. I don’t know which was the loud_
er, the cheering or the hissing. I started out expounding this
passage of Scripture,. I Timothy 2: „I desire therefore that the
men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath
and disputing. In like manner that the women adorn them_
selves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety;
not with braided hair, and gold or pearls or costly raiment; but
(which becometh women professing godliness) through good
works. Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection.
But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over
man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then
Eve.” Adam saw Eve and said, „Issha,” woman; it means
that woman is derived from man; that she got her soul and
her body from Adam. She is as much a descendant of Adam
as we are. I read the scripture, and took the position that
there are two distinct spheres, the man’s sphere and the wom_
an’s sphere; that the man’s is more public; that the woman
shall live in her children. When a worldly woman came to
visit Cornelia and paraded her fine jewels that blazed on her
head and arms and her ankles before her, Cornelia, drawing
forward her two sons, Gains and Tiberius Gracchus (the Grac_
chi), said, „These are my jewels, and I am going to live in
these. My sphere is my home and my boys.”
There is one other question – that of the slave. They said,
„If I am a freedman of Christ, shall I be a slave to man?”
But Paul answers that Christianity does not propose to un_
settle the established order of things. Its object is to develop
the inner life: „Let each one of you abide in the law you were
in when God called you.” In other words, if he was circum_
cised, let him not try to efface his circumcision. If he was a
slave when God called him, let him be satisfied with being
Christ’s freedman, and with knowing that his master if
Christ’s servant, and let him in his position of slavery illus_
trate that the truth and the power of the Christian religion is
in serving, not with eye service, but showing that Christianity
can come to any form of life and glorify ‘it. In yet other
words, being converted and becoming a new creature, we
should not disregard the established order of things which
God has appointed for this world. When we get up into the
other world we can adapt ourselves to conditions there.

QUESTIONS
1. What the scope of this chapter, and what the several topics?
2. What is the first important antecedent matter in chapter 7?
3. What the second antecedent matter, and of whom was the church
at Corinth composed?
4. What the position of Jews, Romans, and Greeks, respectively,
on marriage and divorce, and the woman question in general?
5. What the difference between the Orientals, on the one hand, and
the Greeks and Romans, on the other hand, with respect to this ques_
tion?
6. What condition at the time Paul wrote this letter greatly modi_
fied his answers to some of their questions?
7. What the third antecedent thought essential to an understanding
of these scriptures?
8. How did their application of this thought affect their earthly
relations? Illustrate fully.
9. What was Paul’s answer to their inquiry as to whether one who
was not married should marry, and what its bearing on the primal
law of marriage?
10. What question arose about those who were converted after mar_
riage, what Paul’s answer to it, and what the results of this miscon_
ception of the Corinthians as practiced in the Middle Ages?
11. Ought a Christian to marry an unbeliever?
12. What is the Christian wife or husband to do in case the unregen_
erated husband or wife makes it a ground of disfellowship, and refuses
to live ill the marriage relation?
13. What does Paul mean by saying, „The husband or wife is not is
bondage in such a case”?
14. What illustration of the author’s interpretation from his own ex_
perience?
15. What the only cause which breaks the marriage bond, and where
do we find the statement of it?
16. What the law of marriage in the case of widowers and widows,
and what legislation against bachelors?
17. What the bearing of this subject on the relation between man and
woman in the sphere in which each moves, what Paul’s teaching on
this, and what his arguments for it?
18. What the form of this question as treated in chapter 14, how do
some people meet Paul’s argument here, and what does Paul teach
that settles the question beyond all dispute?
19. What the author’s experience on this line in Chicago, and what is
his interpretation of I Timothy 2:8_15? Illustrate.
20, How did this subject affect the relation, of the slave and his mas_
ter, and what Paul’s answer to their reasoning on the subject?

XXIII
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

The fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians is a great chapter on
the resurrection of the dead. Luther said that the doctrine of
justification by faith was the doctrine of the standing or fall_
ing church, but inasmuch as Christ was raised for our justifi_
cation, we would be nearer the truth to say that the doctrine
oi the standing or falling church is the doctrine of the resur_
rection of the dead. I understand by the resurrection of the
dead the making alive of a dead body, raising it from the
grave, and glorifying it – that is, what was sown in weakness
is raised in strength; what was sown in dishonor is raised in
honor; what was sown in corruption is raised in incorruption;
what was sown a mortal body is raised an immortal body;
what was sown a natural body is raised a spiritual body, and
then a reunion of the body with the soul which once inhabited
it. That is my understanding of the doctrine of the resurrec_
tion of the dead, and it certainly includes the idea of the
identity of the body.
Before leading on to Paul’s argument I will show the im_
portance of the subject under consideration, and the first point
that I make is that our Lord Jesus Christ in his lifetime made
this the crucial proof or demonstration of his divinity and of
his mission. He made this issue with his enemies. I cite there_
fore the following passages upon that point. I will prove that
intelligently and openly this was made the keynote position
with his enemies and understood by them. In John 2:19
(Harmony, p. 20) the Jews who were indignant at his first
purgation of the Temple, demanded of him: „What signs
showest thou unto us, seeing thou doest these things? Jesus
answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in
three days I will raise it up. The Jews therefore said, forty
and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou raise

it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.
When therefore be was raised from the dead, his disciples
remembered that he spake this; and they believed the scrip_
ture, and the word which Jesus had said.”
Again, Matthew 12:38 (Harmony, p. 59): „Then certain
of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Master,
we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said
unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after
a sign; and there shall be no sign given to it but the sign of
Jonah the prophet: for as Jonah was three days and three
nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be
three days and nights in the heart of the earth. The men of
Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation,
and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of
Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. The queen
of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation
[showing that the resurrection is to be general] and condemn
it: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom
of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”
Those were there who repented and those who were impeni_
tent.
But the point I am now on is that the issue was joined.
Let us see that they distinctly understood the issue. Matthew
27:39_40, while he was hanging upon the cross „they that
passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying,
‘Thou that destroyeth the temple, and buildest it in three
days, save thyself; if thou art the Son of God, come down from
the cross.” Then in the same chapter again, after he was
buried (Harmony, p. 217, „The chief priests and the Phari_
sees were gathered together unto Pilate, saying, „Sir we re_
member that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after
three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepul_
chre be made sure until the third day, lest haply his disciples
come and steal him away, and say unto the people, he is risen
from the dead: and the last error will be worse than the first.
Pilate said unto them, Ye have a guard; go your way, make
it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre
sure, sealing the stone, the guard being with them.”
Now look at the report of that guard: „Now while they
were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city, and
told unto the chief priests all the things that had come to pass.
And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken
counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say
ye, his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we
slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will per_
suade him, and rid you of care. So they took the money, and
did as they were taught; and this saying was spread abroad
among the Jews, and continueth until this day” (Matt. 28:11_
15; Harmony, p. 222).
As final proof on that issue, the issue being his resurrection
from the dead, I cite Acts 4, on the occasion of Peter and John
healing the impotent man: „And it came to pass on the mor_
row, that their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered
together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there,
and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were
of the kindred of the high priest. And when they set them in
the midst, they inquired, By what power, or in what name,
have you done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit,
said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders, if we this
day are examined concerning a good deed done to an impotent
man, by what means this man is made whole; be it known
unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name
of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God
raised from the dead, even in him doth this man stand here
before you whole. He is the stone which is set at nought of
you the builders, which was made the head of the corner. And
in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other
name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we
must be saved.” This shows that it was still the issue after

his resurrection from the dead. There was a challenge given,
and a challenge accepted, and the matter was put to proof.
Just as clearly, on this very doctrine, is his teaching to his
disciples. On the occasion of the great confession of Peter, this
is what occurred (Harmony, p. 91): „From that time began
Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto
Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief
priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised
up” (Matt. 16:21). Peter rebuked him. He had not under_
stood the. death of Christ, nor the resurrection of Christ. The
disciples were very slow to believe, but he began the teaching
of that doctrine at Caesarea Philippi, where that disciple said,
„Thou art the Son of the living God.” Notice again in Galilee,
the last six months of his ministry, this language is used
(Matt. 17:22_23; Harmony, p. 97): „Jesus said unto them,
The Son of man shall be delivered up into the hands of men;
and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised
up. And they were exceeding sorry.” Or as Mark says, „They
understood not the saying.” Or as Luke puts it, „Let these
words sink in to your ears,” and then he adds, „They under_
stood not the saying, and it was concealed from them, that
they should not perceive it,” and Mark says, „And were afraid
to ask him.” This is the chronological order of the teaching.
In John 10, after this incident that I have just cited, Jesus
says, „I lay down my life, that I may take it up again. No
one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I
have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up
again. This commandment received I from my Father.” Yet
they do not seem to realize.
I cite a still later incident. This is when he was on his way
to Jerusalem for the last time. It is recorded in Matthew 20;
Mark 10; Luke 18: „Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the
Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and
scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall de_

liver him unto the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to
crucify; and on the third day he shall be raised up.”
I cite a still later instance that is recorded after his resur_
rection. On one of his appearances to them he brings this
matter up and impresses it with great emphasis upon their
hearts. He appeared unto them and „they were terrified and
affrighted, and supposed that they beheld a spirit. And he
upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart,
because they believed not them which had seen him after he
was risen. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and
wherefore do reasonings arise in your heart? See my hands
and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a
spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold me having. And
when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he
said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? And they gave
him a piece of broiled fish. And he took it, and did eat before
them” (Harmony, p. 225). And later he invited Thomas to
put his finger in the prints of the nails and in his side. There_
fore the apostle John in his letter uses this language: „That
which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes,
that which we beheld, and our hands handled – declare we unto
you.”
In 1907 there was a minister of the South of exceeding loose
views on the inspiration of the Scriptures, and, it seemed to
me, in order to give him the opportunity to exploit his par_
ticular views, they put him up to preach a sermon at the
Southern Baptist Convention, and in that sermon he used
these words (I shall never forget them): „Christ’s resurrec_
tion_body was assumed temporarily, merely for the purpose of
identification, and afterwards eliminated. What became of it
we don’t know, and it is not important that we should know.”
Those are his very words. The sermon was published.
In a textbook of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
at Louisville, Kentucky, Epochs in the Life of Jesus, by Dr.
Robertson (an exceedingly valuable book with this one blur
on it), there is this statement: „All at once Jesus stood in the
midst of them; he had risen from the dead. This appearance
opposes the idea that it was only the spirit of Jesus. He
showed his hands and his side, and expressly alleged that he
was not a mere spirit, but even had flesh and bones. [Now we
come to the trouble.] This passage adds to the difficulty. One
must admit it, for flesh and bones will not enter into heaven.
In the resurrection the body is a spiritual body; but one must
remember that the case of Jesus is entirely exceptional. He
spent forty days where his body was in sight. He could go
through closed doors and yet eat broiled fish.” That is where
the man got his idea in the sermon.
I was appointed to preach the next year, and I preached on
the Nature and Person of Our Lord. In that sermon I used
these words:
He is the firstborn from the dead. That means he was the first in history whose body was raised to die no more. Other resurrections of both Testaments were but resuscitations to mortal life.
It means that the same body that died on the cross was the body raised from the tomb, and was so identified, unmistakably. It means far more: That thia very body which wag dead, quickened, raised, recognized, was the body in which he ascended into heaven, and which is now in heaven, and in
which he will return to his people. To say that Christ’s risen body was assumed merely for the purpose of identification is the rankest heresy. To break any link in the chain of its identity is to destroy all of the doctrine of the resurrection and blot out all hope for the revival of our own dead. He
was declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. It is the keystone of the arch of redemption. It is just as important for us to know what became of the body of Jesus as it is to know that he was raised from the dead. God’s history of the divine man, Christ Jesus, is not a mutilated fragment, Christ’s body ascended into the clouds with the angelic assurance – the assurance that „This same Jesus (identity again) shall come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.” And this ascending Jesus was the very one who had just for forty days „showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs.” So John says, „That which was in the beginning, that we beheld, which our hands have handled,” etc. Who, because of metaphysical difficulties interpreted into Christ’s words and deeds, from these difficulties
evolyed from his own puzzled questionings, shall dare to break the identity of the body of the resurrection of the ascending Jesus?
I call attention again to this fact that Jesus said that when
he got to the place to which he was going, the Holy Spirit
would come, and he came down on the day of Pentecost as
the demonstration that Jesus of Nazareth that was crucified
and buried, that was raised, and, as Paul says, that was exalt_
ed, is yet alive, and so John, in Revelation, says, „He is risen ”
and he hears him say, showing it is the same person, „I am
he that was dead, that am alive to die no more,” and being
alive he can now give proof of his life, and does give it every
day that we live. Then he gave the ordinance of baptism as a
monumental evidence, and he pledged that the day upon which
he arose would become to the Christian the sabbath of the
New Covenant. As long as waters form into lakes or are
gathered into baptistries; as long as men celebrate the Lord’s
Supper that points to his second advent; as long as congre_
gations assemble upon the first day of the week to worship,
these things will stand as pledges to the fact of the resurrec_
tion of the dead.
Let us take up Paul. Attention has already been called to
the mixed character of the constituency of the church at Cor_
inth. There were Jews, and other Orientals, and Romans and
Greeks, and all these people had different philosophies con_
cerning the future life and the disposition of the body. Three
of these philosophies are worth mentioning here. First, the
Greek Epicurean, whose views were shared by the Sadducees,
who were materialistic and atheistic, denying that there is any
such thing as spirit, or that there is any resurrection of the
body. Second, the Stoic philosophy. Their philosophy was
that the soul exists, but ultimately it will be absorbed and
left in the divinity which created it. They did not believe in
the resurrection of the body in any sense. The third view was
that of Plato. He believed in the immortality of the soul; he
did not believe that the soul would ever be merged into the
divine being so as to lose its identity, but he did not believe
in the future life of the body. Plato’s philosophy was that in
dying one gets rid of sin; that sin resides in the body, and to
die is to be saved, if he gets rid of the body.
I present these views in order that we may understand the
.significance of the address of Paul to the people who may have
held one or another of these philosophies, or the subsequent
ones developed soon after, and in order to show that as these
views are held now, chapter 15 is just as important to us as
it was to them to whom it was addressed.

QUESTIONS
1. What chapter is perhaps the greatest chapter in the Bible on the
resurrection of the dead?
2. What said Luther of the doctrine of justification, and what doctrine, according to the author, more nearly expresses the truth?
3. What is meant by the resurrection of the dead, and what does it
especially include?
4. How does the author show the importance of the resurrection,
and what the first point?
5. Cite three scriptures showing that Christ made his resurrection the
test of his divinity with his enemies, and three others showing that
he made the same test with his disciples.
6. Cite proof that his enemies understood and accepted the chal_
lenge, and also proof that the disciples did not understand his test until
after his resurrection.
7. What the proof that this was still the issue after his resurrection?
8. On. what historic occasion did a preacher exploit his views on
this subject, what were his views, and how were they met by the author?
9. What the position of the author on this question, and what im_
portance does he attach to it?
10. How was the exaltation of the risen Lord demonstrated, and
what the testimony of Paul and John to the fact that he is alive?
11. What the monumental evidence of his resurrection?
12. What the Epicurean philosophy concerning the future life and
the disposition of the body?
13. What the Stoic philosophy on the same points?
14. What the Platonian philosophy concerning the same points?
15. Why is it necessary to understand these views before studying I Cor.16?

XXIV
DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
I Corinthians 15:1_58.

This chapter commences with the statement of the facts
which constitute the gospel. The first fact, „Christ died for
our sins, according to the Scriptures.” Three ideas are involved
in that fact:
1. Christ actually died. It was not a mere trance; it was
actual death.
2. It was a vicarious, substitutionary, expiatory death. „He
died for our sins.”
3. He died for our sins „according to the Scriptures” – that
the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament up
to the time of his crucifixion clearly foretold his actual, sub_
stitutionary, and expiatory death.
The second fact in the gospel is that he was buried – he was
dead and buried – and that was according to the Scriptures.
The Scriptures testified that he would be buried. The third
fact is that on the third day, according to the Scriptures, he
rose from the dead; and the fourth fact of the gospel is, that
risen, he was visible to men, recognized by men, and identified
by men.
Paul goes on to tell of the numerous appearances, including
an appearance to him. He was buried, he rose again, he was
visible after death with spiritual evidence, and his body was
identified. In other words, John says, as if to anticipate many
foolish statements, „We don’t know what we shall be, but we
do know that when he comes we shall be like him, for we shall
see him as he is.”

The next thing that Paul presents is that this was not merely
a preaching of his, but all the apostles preached it, as verse
II of that chapter shows. And the next thought is that they
did not originate it. He says, „I have delivered unto you that
which I also received, and you received it from me.” That was
according to the sign which Christ submitted: „He died, he
was buried, and was raised.” The next argument that he
makes is that every Christian in the days of the apostles be_
lieved what he said, „As I delivered it, so you received it, and
that so believing it, you are saved by it,” making it a doctrine
of salvation.
He then passes to this position – that the doctrine of the
resurrection of the dead is the foundation of all Christianity.
He presents it under the following heads:
1. „If there be no such thing as a resurrection of the dead,
why, then, Christ is not risen.
2. Then all preaching is vain.
3. All faith in the preaching is vain.
4. All of the apostles were false witnesses, for every one of
them testified that Christ rose from the dead, and that they
saw him.
5. He then says again, „If there be no resurrection of the
dead, you are yet in your sins,” i.e., when they said that God
for Christ’s sake forgave their sins, they either wilfully lied or
were deluded. It was not a fact. He adds next, „Those with_
out hope of the resurrection are of all men the most misera_
ble.” That is a tremendous thing. If this hope be taken away
the Christian is the most miserable of all men.
He then shows the place of this resurrection of Jesus Christ
in the scheme of redemption, and in their order are these:
Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are
asleep. No man had been raised from the dead in the same
sense, that is, to die no more. Two men had been translated,
Enoch and Elijah, and after his own resurrection many of the

saints came out of their tombs and appeared unto many peo_
ple who were able to recognize them. It was true that Lazarus
was raised, but he was raised to die again.
Next he shows that this position results from Christ’s
position as a Second Adam, and hence ours. As by the first
Adam death came, so by the Second Adam the resurrection
comes, and that means not only the resurrection of the right_
eous, but the wicked. In two places in the Scriptures, and
very emphatically in one of them, the words indicating uni_
versality are used. But all in their body are quickened, fur_
ther indicating his position in the scheme of redemption. He
says that the resurrection of Christ must not only precede all
others, but draw the others after it as a result. Then he pro_
ceeds to show that the resurrection is necessary to the raising
of Christ and the exercise of his high priestly functions in
heaven, as is further developed in the letter to the Philippians.
He emptied himself, laid aside all his glory, and became obe_
dient unto death, therefore God hath also highly exalted him,
in his exaltation to be King of kings and Lord of lords, and
to exercise the functions of his high priesthood. They were
based upon the fact that he had died and was raised.
He goes on further to show this by stating that Christ’s
reign on the mediatorial throne in heaven is to last until every
enemy that shall be destroyed is dead. Then Christ delivers
up his kingdom to his Father; so if we deny the resurrection
from the dead, we deny that Christ is Priest and King. Not
only that, we deny this: „The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit
thou at my right hand [that is, in the kingly position], until
I make thine enemies thy footstool.” We not only deny that,
but we deny all assurance that there will be a judgment day.
Paul testified that God hath appointed a day in which he will
judge the world, and hath given assurance to all men in that
he hath raised him from the dead. So the resurrection of the
dead underlies the doctrine of the judgment.

He then takes up the life of a Christian. The first argu_
ment that he presents is this: „Else what shall they do that
are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all,
why then are they baptized for them?” Doubtless the reader
is asking in his mind, „What does that mean?” I will give
some theories that I don’t believe, and then I will give what
I think it means.
The first theory is that Christians had already commenced
proxy baptism; that if a man unfortunately died before he
was baptized, some friend would be baptized for him. I have
two reasons for regarding that as false. First, there is not any
reason to believe that any had done this before the writing of
the Scriptures; second, that if it had been much practiced by
the apostle Paul never could have quoted it with any degree
of approval. So I am quite sure it doesn’t mean that.
The second explanation is that the baptism for the dead re_
fers to the baptism of suffering. Christ says, „I have a bap_
tism to be baptized with,” and he tells his disciples that they
must be baptized with the same baptism, but there is no ref_
erence to those who undergo this baptism of suffering here.
Here is what I think it does mean: „As many of you as
were baptized into Christ were baptized unto his death,” i. e.,
„You made the profession of faith that you were dead to sin,
and being dead to sin you are symbolically buried and raised
to walk in the newness of life.” In other words, to put it in
plain English, it means this, Why retain the ordinance of bap_
tism if there be no resurrection from the dead? That is what
it means. What signification has it? It is a baptism unto
Christ’s death. What should they do who are baptized for the
dead if the dead rise not at all? What is the use of the ordi_
nance?
The next argument that Paul presents is based on the life
of Christians and their endurance of suffering. He says, „Why
should I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, and placed
my life in jeopardy every hour, if there be no resurrection
from the dead?” He had been sentenced to death – was de_
livered up to death) and the sentence of death was wrought.
In other words, I believe that what is there stated is not even
mentioned in the Acts. The wild beasts of Ephesus were not
the crowd that was raised by the silversmith, for they didn’t
get to Paul &t all. He was not even present, but it means that
he was condemned to death – that he was thrown into the
amphitheatre and, as he says, God raised him up. Now, what
is the pertinency to the matter in hand? Why was a Christian
thrown to the wild beasts, and why, being thrown to those
beasts, did he not rather deny his Saviour and purchase his
life? It is said in the letter to the Hebrews that the Old
Testament saints who believed in Jehovah, e. g., women re_
fused to receive their children, looking for a better resurrec_
tion, not the escape from death in a figure, as Isaac escaped
in the case of Abraham, but they willingly saw their loved
ones die, because they believed in a better resurrection than a
mere pardon after the sentence of death had been pronounced.
I have a copy of a great painting which I always keep in
my study to show my children. Every one of them has stood
before that picture and heard its explanation. It presents a
Christian girl betrothed to a heathen lover. Her father and
mother are heathen. This girl, becoming a Christian, was
brought before the image of Diana and commanded to take
just a little incense and sprinkle it on the image, and that
would save her. There is her lover begging her not to lose
him forever. There are the old father and mother weeping
and saying, „0 daughter, don’t break our hearts!” There she
stands with her face lifted up to heaven, pledging not to ab_
jure the name of her Lord. That shows what a tremendous
power that doctrine was in the life and death of the saints of
God.
I shall never forget this incident. One day after great solem_
nity of feeling I went down to the Brazos River with an
omnibus full of ladies clothed in white, and buried them in
baptism. I came out and said to the driver, „Take me to the
cemetery while my dripping clothes are on me; I want to
stand over the little enclosure that holds three of my children
buried there where we put them,” and standing there with
tears rolling down my face, I said, „Little ones, you shall not
sleep forever; your father this day has erected a monument
that pledges your resurrection from the dead. I will see you
again; we will meet each other, and we will never part again.”
I have passed through many precious experiences of the Chris_
tian religion, but none more calm or sweet than that one.
His third argument from the life of the Christian is based
on the quotation from the heathen poet, „Evil companionships
corrupt good morals,” not manners, but morals. His thought
is, to deny the resurrection from the dead corrupts morals –
that morality is all dependent upon antecedent doctrines from
which it is developed. Therefore Paul’s letters all commence
with doctrines, and when he has gotten through with them he
takes up morals as developed from them. Then he quotes the
doctrine of the Epicureans: „If the dead are not raised, let us
eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Or as a Latin proverb
of the Epicureans puts it, Carpe dies, „Seize the day,” that is,
the joys of the present. A notable French infidel was dying,
and a friend said, „Do you want to see a priest?” „0, no!”
„Do you regret anything?” He said, „Why should I? I have
never denied myself anything that I wanted.” He was per_
fectly satisfied. That was his theory of life, but that theory_
would destroy the significance of all holy relation between
father and daughter, husband and wife, and the soul and God
– would destroy all altruistic doctrines. Miss Rose Cleveland
took the position that George Eliot could not write poetry;
that she could write the form of poetry, but it was simply
prose arranged in that way. Big ideas in it, but no poetic
soul in it, and she said that no agnostic could write poetry”.
I thought it was .the best criticism I ever saw on the empti_
ness of infidelity. It knows nothing of the great position from
which the imagination flies up to its God and catches inspira_
tion from the heavenly Muses.
We now come, in his discussion, to the process of the resur_
rection, and the kind of body with which it is raised. This
13 another argument where Paul is replying to an objection:
Some one will say, „How are the dead raised?” He first starts
out with an analogy. It creates presumptive proof. He says,
„When you go out into a field to sow, you sow wheat or bar_
ley or grain, and it produces grain of its kind.” A grain of
wheat was found when they discovered and brought over to
this country a mummy of that old Pharaoh that persecuted
the Jews, and they got the grain of wheat. It had been pre_
served alive in the hand of that mummy for ages, and did no
good until discovery brought it to light and it was planted.
It died – then it produced abundant wheat. Paul says, „Think
on that analogy of nature.” Then he proceeds to explain the
different kinds of flesh. He says that the flesh of a beast is
not the flesh of a bird or a fish. The beast has a body that
is adapted to the surroundings, as the bird to the atmosphere.
When we pass to the heavenly environment, why should not
our bodies be changed to suit new conditions, as there are
bodies terrestrial and bodies celestial? He then takes up the
heavenly bodies and calls attention to the fact that the splen_
dor and the glory of the sun and the moon and the stars are
different, as everything has a form to suit its condition. That
is his analogical argument. As Oliver Wendell Holmes says,
„Who has not gone out whistling and musing, busy with his
thoughts, and as it were by chance, turned over a piece of
bark and beheld the mysterious things under there, and seen
how they ran to cover themselves? One of them may be an
ugly thing that cannot get away, but when it passes through
death, from the chrysalis emerges the golden winged butterfly
that in the air finds its home.” Paul does not attempt to ex_
plain, therefore he presents these illustrations, and no man
ever can explain life of any kind. We can not, to save our
lives, explain how in an acorn there is a giant oak. He then
tells what there is in every resurrection of the dead. First,
there is a quickening of the body that was put in the grave;
second, the raising of that body; third, the glorifying of that
body. Every one of those things is involved in the resurrec_
tion of a righteous man. As every man is born in the image
of the first Adam, they shall be in the image of the Second
Adam.
As he proceeds to illustrate still further, he takes the case
where there never has been and never will be any death at all.
Enoch never died, Elijah never died, and nobody ever ques_
tioned the identity of their bodies. There was a transforma_
tion that glorified those bodies without dying, and then, as if
leaning over and whispering a great secret, he says, „Behold,
I tell you a mystery: Not all people shall die; some shall be
alive when Jesus comes, and when he comes the living shall
be like Enoch and Elijah,” referring to the living Christians.
He then adds what so many preachers misinterpret. It is this:
„0 death, where is thy victory?” In other words, „You never
got to me.” That is at the second coming of Christ. „0 spirit
world, where is thy victory?” They never were disembodied.
Now comes a great part, and in a few words. The second
result of the resurrection is that the Christian’s labor is not
in vain: „Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast,
unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” If
there be no resurrection from the dead, every preacher’s labor
is vain; if there be a resurrection of the dead there shall be
fulfilled the declaration of Psalm 126: „They that sow in
tears shall reap in joy, and he that goeth forth weeping, bear_
ing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing
bringing his sheaves with him.” Or as is expressed in Gala_
tians: „Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season
we shall reap, if we faint not.” See the bearing of the passage
in I Corinthians, where he makes this astounding statement:
„God giveth us the victory in every place,” then he tells how
their preaching was the savor of life unto life or of death unto
death, and in either event God is glorified, and that it was
his duty to present God’s gospel, even if he knew it would be
rejected.
I close by quoting that great author and man, Fairbairn:
„If Christ be not risen then that tomb of Joseph is not only
a tomb of a man, but of a religion.” Christ made the issue
of death and the resurrection. To his enemies Christ gave the
sign, ‘”As Jonah was three days and three nights in the great
fish,” etc. They said, „Sir, we remember that he said that the
third day he would rise, and then the last error is worse than
the first one, i.e., we are in a worse fix than if we had never
killed him.” In revivals of religion, the afflatus comes upon
men in the Spirit of God. All utterances and liberty in speech,
in speaking, explain that Jesus who was dead, is alive again.

QUESTIONS
1. How does Paul introduce the subject of the resurrection in
I Corinthians 15?
2. What does he claim as to the origin of his gospel, and how did
they treat it when he preached it to them?
3. What is the first fact of the gospel, and what three ideas involved
in this fact?
4. What the second fact of the gospel?
5. What the third fact of the gospel, and what its relation to the
Old Testament Scriptures?
6. What the fourth fact of the gospel, and what is involved in this fact?
7. How does John seem to anticipate many foolish speculations?
8. Was this merely a preaching of Paul’s, or was it the preaching
of the twelve apostles, and what the proof?
9. How does Paul, under seven heads, show that the resurrection
is the foundation of Christianity?
10. What the place of Christ’s resurrection in the scheme of redemp_
tion, and what is the meaning of „the first_fruits of them that are
asleep”? Illustrate.
11. What the argument from the two Adams as to Christ’s position,
and how does he here prove the universality of the resurrection?
12. How does he show the necessity of Christ’s resurrection in order
to the exercise of his high priestly functions, and what parallel passage
in another letter?
13. What is involved in a denial of the resurrection from the dead?
14. What the meaning of „baptized for the dead,” what the several
theories relative to it, and what the arguments against these theories?
15. What argument does Paul make for the resurrection based upon
the life of Christians and their endurance of suffering and what the
author’s interpretation of „fought with wild beasts at Ephesus”?
16. Describe the scene in the picture referred to, and give the author’s
experience illustrating the tremendous power which the doctrine of the
resurrection has over the lives of God’s saints.
17. What his argument for the redirection based on a quotation from
a heathen poet, who the poet, what the doctrine of the Epicureans
what the Latin proverb equivalent, and what illustrations cited?
18. What the process of the resurrection, and how does he show the
kind of body with which a person is raised?
19. What mystery does Paul here give, what its interpretation, and
when will this be fulfilled?
20. What the inference and practical application of verse 58?
21. In conclusion, what quotation given, what its meaning and what
the perpetual evidence of Christ’s resurrection?

XXV
THE GREAT COLLECTION; MANY ADVERSARIES;
INFERIOR, BUT WORTHY BRETHREN; HOUSE_
HOLD CHURCHES; AND ANATHEMA
MARAN-ATHA
I Corinthians 16:1_24.

This chapter closes our discussion on I Corinthians. There
are at least five important lessons to be learned in this last
chapter.
The great collection (16:1_4). Every Bible student ought
to know the history of the series of collections, of which this
one is a part. Participating in it are all the churches in Gala_
tia, the churches in Macedonia, and the churches of Achaia,
of which Corinth was the capital. It is quite probable that
more sections of territory participated in it than these, but
these three are specified. It is a collection, taken, not by one
church only, nor by the churches of one province only, nor
even the churches of one continent only, but Asia united with
Europe in one big collection. It is every way a big lesson.
The extent of territory covered, the long period of time in
which the campaign was prosecuted, the number of churches
participating, the great principles underlying their co_opera_
tion in one great financial and benevolent enterprise, the num_
ber and character of the leaders who engineered its details,
the wisdom of the methods employed, not only in the taking
of each collection, but in its transportation and final disburse_
ments, the lessons incidentally suggested, the laying down of
great fundamental principles susceptible of fair application to
other kingdom enterprises, the motives to which appeals were
made, the great direct object to be attained, and the mightier
reflex influences put in motion – all these, and others not now

cited, call upon us to give the lesson deep and sustained at_
tention.
It is not purposed now, however, to do more than prepare
for the thorough study requisite, which will come up more
appropriately in 2 Corinthians, where we will find, not just
four verses, as here) but two whole chapters devoted to the
subject. Now the reader is directed to study carefully and in
their order the following heads:
1. The poor saints in Jerusalem for whom these collections
on two continents were taken.
2. The occasion and necessity for so many and so great
collections in their behalf. On this necessity will be found
these scriptures having an indirect bearing, to wit: Acts 2:44_
45; 4:32_37; 5:1_11; 6:1_4. Then it will be found that Acts
11:27_30 has a more direct bearing. And still more direct,
Galatians 2:1_10, especially verse 10, coinciding in time and
place with Acts 15:1_6.
3. The absolutely direct scriptures on the history of these
collections are: I Corinthians 16:1_4; 2 Corinthians 8_9; 12:
17_18; Romans 15:25_28; Acts 24:17.
The reader must make his own independent study of all
these scriptures; and I would suggest that he read chapter
32 of Farrar’s Life of Paul, and the corresponding part of
Conybeare and Howson’s Life and Epistles of Paul. Having
carefully made this preliminary study, then he is prepared to
answer particularly the following questions and others that
may follow:
(1) What was the ground of obligation resting on the Gen_
tile churches to make this contribution?
(2) Who were Paul’s coadjutors ‘in engineering it?
(3) What were the rules governing this collection, or what
the great motives to which appeals were made?
(4) What the steps taken to guard against misapprehen_
sion concerning the handling of money?

(5) What the application of principles involved to other
kingdom enterprises?
(6) Finally, what the varied results of the entire campaign?
That is the first great lesson on chapter 16.
The second lesson is based upon verses 7_9: „For I do
not wish to see you now by the way; for I hope to tarry a
while with you, if the Lord permit. But I will tarry at Ephe_
sus until Pentecost; for a great door and effectual is opened
unto me, and there are many adversaries.”
The Corinthians were urging him to visit them, and he as_
signed reasons why he could not visit them just at that time.
He was engaged in a great meeting at Ephesus which had
been prolonged for years, and in which all proconsular Asia
received the gospel, hence he says, „I will tarry at Ephesus
until Pentecost; for a great door and effectual is opened unto
me, and there are many adversaries.” This is one of the
greatest preaching themes in the Bible. The imagination must
see the great effectual door wide open) the adversaries trying
to shut the door, the Corinthian people trying to call the
apostle away from the door, and his purpose to stand there
and preach as long as God holds that door open.
Upon that theme one may note: First, what the door is;
and second, who it is that opens it. In this connection con_
sider the following passages: Revelation 3:7_8. This tells us
who it is that opens the door; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Collosians
4:3, which shows what is the door to be opened on the preach_
er’s part; Acts 14:27; 16:14, which shows the door to be
opened on the people’s part. Considering the adversaries who
were trying to shut the door, we have recourse to the history
of his work at Ephesus as set forth in Acts 19. By reference
to that chapter we may find the following to be .the list of the
obstacles, or adversaries, in Paul’s way at Ephesus:
1. Disciples baptized without authority, that is, by an un_
lawful administrator (w. 1_7)

2. The opposition of the synagogue (v. 9)
3. The opposition of the evil spirits (w. 11_12)
4. The opposition of exorcists, that is, impostors who
claimed to have the power to cast out evil spirits
5. The opposition of evil deeds (v. 19)
6. The opposition of evil literature, or magical books (v. 19)
7. The opposition of evil business (v. 24)
8. The opposition of the craftsman’s ring (vv. 25_26)
9. The opposition of the pride and the commercial spirit of
the city (v. 27)
10. The opposition of a howling mob (w. 28_29)
Many times in Texas have I preached upon this great theme,
showing the doors that are locked and the great door opener,
the adversaries who try to shut the door, and the power of the
gospel over the adversaries. This is the second great lesson
in chapter 16.
The third lesson is the deference to be paid to inferior,
but worthy brethren (16:10_11, 15_18). It is characteristic
of the churches that they want the greatest men to preach to
them, and a great man can not be at every place. The apostle
is telling them how they must treat Timothy, who is young,
timid, and shy. Oftentimes I receive letters from churches
saying, „Come yourself; don’t send some of your young the_
ologs to practice on us.” Paul is showing that no matter how
young one is, how inferior in experience and attainments to
others, if, like Stephanas, he is devoting himself to ministering
to the saints, and, like Timothy, he is trying to do good, the
churches ought to honor such men and feel proud to do it.
The world needs a lesson right on that point.
The fourth lesson (16:19), shows household_churches,
or churches accustomed to meet in the house of a certain
wealthy brother. The three other passages are Romans 16:5;
Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2. A study of these four scriptures
shows that in addition to the principal church in a place, as

at Rome, Corinth, Colosse, there were smaller churches meet_
ing in private houses. As yet they had no public buildings as
we have. Indeed, we have to come down to the second century
before we find meeting houses built especially for the purpose,
but a small church did meet in the house of Aquila and Pris_
cilla, another in the house of Philemon, and another in the
house of Nymphas.
My object in calling attention to these four scriptures ‘is to
show that they destroy the very prevalent modern contention,
which I am sorry to see advocated by some people of the
South, that in the days of the apostles every Christian in the
city, no matter how large the city and numerous the Chris_
tians, was included in the church, and the head preacher was a
bishop over the other preachers, who preached to different
parts of this one church. Some very distinguished Baptists
are now advocating that view in the South. From this error
arose later the idea of a metropolitan bishop, and later a dio_
cesan bishop.
The fifth and last lesson of this chapter is found in verses
21_22, as follows: „‘The salutation of me Paul with mine own
hand. If any man loveth not the Lord, let him be anathema.
Maranatha.” As has already been explained, Paul was ac_
customed to dictate his letters) and with only one exception,
the letter to the Galatians, after dictating the letter he would
sign it himself. But this touches the words, Anathema, Maran_
atha. What do they mean?
When I was a schoolboy at Independence, at a session of
the Baptist Convention, the pastor of the First Baptist Church
at Waco, a fine, portly man, preached a sermon before the
State Convention on this text: „If any man loveth not the
Lord, let him be Anathema, Maran_atha.” He had a rich,
sonorous voice like that of Spurgeon or Richard Fuller, and
as he rolled out the words of this text it seemed like a mighty
big text. Assuming a dramatic attitude, he commenced his
sermon in exactly these words: „When the flaming sword of
divine justice was flashing in the sunbeam of heaven and whis_
tling in, its rapid path to sever the soul of man, Jesus stepped
out and bared his own bosom and let the fiery sword be
sheathed in his heart; therefore, ‘if any man love not the Lord
Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maran_atha.’ ” With some
preachers the sound of the text is its chief attraction. Anathe_
ma is a Greek word meaning „let him be accursed.” Maran_
atha is the kind of Hebrew that the Jews spoke at the time of
Christ, that is, the Aramaic, or Syriac. While the first word
expressed the curse, the second word tells when the curse will
come. Maran_atha means „the coming.” In plain English,
„If any man loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be ac_
cursed when Christ shall come.” The same idea is found in
Matthew 25, where the curse is pronounced upon those that
did not love Christ: „Depart ye accursed into everlasting fire
prepared for the devil and his angels, and these go away unto
eternal punishment.” Or the words of 2 Thessalonians 1:7_
10: „At the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the
angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to
them that know not God, and to them that obey not the
gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even
eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the
glory of his might, when he shall come to be glorified in his
saints.”

QUESTIONS
1. What the first lesson. of chapter 16, and what the scripture?
2. What makes this lesson so very important?
3. Where do we find this subject elaborated?
4. Under what three heads is the reader directed to study this collection?
5. What scriptures cited on each of the last two heads, and what
books commended on these scriptures?
6. What six questions constitute a kind of outline for the study of
this collection?
7. What the second lesson, and what the scripture?
8. What were the conditions which occasioned this language of Paul?
9. What points may be noted concerning the door referred to and
what the scriptures cited?
10. What were the ten adversaries in Paul’s way at Ephesus?
11. What the third lesson of this chapter, and what the scripture?
12. How does the author show the need of this great lesson in modem
times?
13. What the fourth lesson and the scripture?
14. What three other passages bearing on the subject, and what modern
teaching to the contrary?
15. What the fifth lesson and the scripture?
16. What the meaning of Anathema Maran_atha? Illustrate.
17. What other scriptures teach the same thought?

XXVI
HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION AND EXPOSITION
TO 2 CORINTHIANS
2 Corinthians 1:1_20.

The second letter to the Corinthians grows out of the first
and its development. Paul wrote it. We know that the first
letter was written at Ephesus just before Pentecost, In the
spring. This letter was written soon afterwards, probably in
the summer, A.D. 57.
Acts 19:21_22 tells us how he left Ephesus, where he wrote
the first letter; also, Acts 20:1. In this letter, 7:5_13, after
leaving Ephesus he came to Troas, the site of ancient Troy,
whence he set out to establish the gospel in Europe on a pre_
vious expedition. At Troas he had appointed a rendezvous
with Titus, who took the first letter to Corinth. He told Titus
to meet him at Troas and report about the reception of that
letter. When he got to Troas our letter tells us that he was
distressed in mind about not meeting Titus and hearing the
effect of his first letter – so distressed that he could not work,
though a great door was opened to him. So he left Troas
and crossed over into Macedonia. This letter tells us that in
Macedonia, not specifying where, Titus came to him with the
report of the reception of the first letter. On the reception
of that report he wrote this second letter and sent it back by
Titus. So his letter grows out of the report of Titus. In study_
ing its parts we can easily find out what the report was, and
thereby get the key to the occasion of the letter.
Titus reports first, that when he got to Corinth, the other
letter was well received, but that they received him in fear
and trembling. We find that statement in 7:15. He states,
in the second place, that the majority of the church were
deeply penitent over the wrongs that had provoked the first
letter, particularly with reference to this case of fornication
in the church. When we study the character of that repentance
we find one of the best lessons on repentance to be found in
the Word of God. He then states that under this penitence
the church excluded the erring man, and that the erring man
himself was made penitent by the action of the church and
Paul’s letter. He then tells Paul that he had commenced to
take the collection for which he had been sent, and that it was
progressing very well, though not completed yet. All that
was very satisfactory and lifted a great burden off Paul’s
heart.
But Titus brought a mixed report. Some of it was bad.
He reported that some members of the church were unequally
yoked with unbelievers, who by their association with heathen
in the festivals and games disqualified themselves for the true
Christian life.
A very distinguished Alabama lady wrote me once about
dancing and said, „I found that, while it seemed to be innocent
per se, its spirit was such that it became a foe to grace in my
heart.” She was a rich woman belonging to the better class
of the old_time Southern people. Some of her kinsfolk were
members of my church, which brought about the correspond_
ence. The letter showed how very difficult it is for one in social
life to keep from doing many things hurtful to Christian
character and influence. So this report from Titus showed
that many Corinthians had crippled their influence by social
entanglements.
His report further showed that while the minority of the
church accepted and acted upon Paul’s letter, yet the spirit of
debate, strife, envy, and jealousy was rife. Thirty_five years
after Paul is dead, when Clement writes his first letter to this
same church, we find that while they have followed Paul’s
commandments in nearly everything, still there remained that
spirit of debate. While not inspired, Clement’s letter is one

of the very best in church history. That was not pleasing
news, but Titus had some much more unpleasant news, to wit:
There was an incorrigible minority in the church who de_
nounced Paul for writing instead of coming to them, saying
that he kept promising, but did not keep his word; instead of
coming he sends a letter, which was very weighty indeed, but
he knew that in bodily presence he was weak and his speech
was contemptible, and so he got out of his promise by writing
a letter. They still questioned his apostolic authority, saying
that he had never seen the Lord in the flesh, and was not one
of the original twelve; that the fact that he worked for his
living instead of demanding apostolic support showed that
he was conscious of the weakness of his apostolic claim’ that
he did not demand a support for himself and wife as Peter
and others did; that he did not have the true gospel which
was taught by James and Peter. On ‘account of this mixed
news we have a mixed letter, just about as mixed a letter as
was ever written.
In general terms this letter is divided into three parts. Chap_
ters 1_7, roughly speaking, are devoted to a discussion of
Paul’s ministry and its methods. Chapters 8_9 are devoted
to the great collection which he is still urging to be completed.
Chapters 10_13 are devoted to meeting the criticisms of the
incorrigible minority. There is a vast number of subdivisions.
In these last chapters he is fighting a battle, not for his own
life, but for the very life of the gospel itself. Those last
chapters are very stern. They disclose a mortal combat.
By whom did Paul send this letter? By Titus, instructing
him to finish that collection, and sends with Titus the messen_
ger of the churches who had been chosen to take charge of the
collections elsewhere. There is a reference to two of these mes_
sengers that has put the world to guessing who they were.
These three men go back to Corinth with this letter;
In the character of the letter it is utterly unlike any other
in the New Testament. If a window had been opened so that
we could look right into Paul’s heart, it would illustrate this
letter. It brings out his personality more than any other or
all the rest of his writings and speeches. It brings to light the
secrets of his history that never would have been known but
for this opposition. The picture of the man contained in this
letter cannot be filled out in its outlines by any other man
that ever lived on the face of the earth. One man, being asked
the key word of this letter, said, „affliction.” Paul tells of
his sufferings and their purpose. Another man said that the
key word was „boasting”; he used the word „boasting” about
twenty_two times in all the rest of his letters and twenty_nine
times in this letter. In other words, he is forced to refer to
himself and discuss himself in order to furnish those who be_
friend him the means to reply to his adversaries. He has to
put the weapons into their hands, since they don’t know these
things as he knew them.
We are now ready to take up the letter itself. Before I
get through with it I will give a more extensive outline. All
that I have discussed so far has been under the head of his_
topical introduction.
The first item of the outline is, the salutation (w. 1_2):
„Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and
Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at
Corinth, with all the saints that are in the whole of Achaia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord
Jesus Christ.” We have already learned how Paul opens a
letter with a salutation, so we pass at once to the thanksgiving
(w. 3_7). It was Paul’s habit, after saluting properly, to ex_
press whatever grounds for thanksgiving he had, and just look
at this:
„Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comforts; who com_
forteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort
them that are in any affliction, through the comfort wherewith
we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of
Christ abound unto us, even so our comfort also aboundeth
through Christ. But whether we are afflicted, it is for your
comfort and salvation; or whether we are comforted, it is for
your comfort, which worketh in the patient enduring of the
same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is
steadfast; knowing that, as ye are partakers of the sufferings,
so also are ye of the comfort.”
He thus prepares the way to discuss the most unparalleled
sufferings and afflictions, and then gets his thanksgiving out
of them. His thanksgiving is that God so comforts in those
afflictions that it enables him to comfort other people in their
afflictions. If one were about to write a letter to a far_off
friend, and after the salutation he should commence: „I have
great reason to be thankful. Yesterday I broke my leg. Day
before yesterday my house was burned, and the week before
that my horse died, and today I was robbed, and I learned
this evening that I am to be sent to jail,” it would startle
the friend. So a man who can get a thanksgiving out of Paul’s
bill of fare has a power of gratitude in him that cannot be
exceeded.
I once heard of an old brother from whom one could not
get a single doleful statement, no matter what the circum_
stances were. He would not whine, nor mouth, nor complain.
Once, when there did not seem a thing left to him on earth,
he got up and said, „Brethren, I am thankful because the only
two teeth in my head meet.”
Commencing with verse 8, Paul begins to refer to some of
those sufferings (an account of the same sufferings is given
in Acts 19): „For we would not have you ignorant, brethren,
concerning our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were
weighted down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that
we despaired even of life; yea, we ourselves have had the sen_
tence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in
ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead.” Couple this with,
„If after the manner of men I fought with beasts at Ephe_
sus.” This language here, coupled with the language about
fighting with beasts, makes me believe that at one time Paul
was thrown into the arena, and, as he had once been stoned
and accounted for dead, and the brethren came and worked
until they brought him back to life, so here he says of God,
„Who delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver;
on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver
us.” That is one of the afflictions, and one of his sufferings.
He had been sentenced to death. The sentence had been exe_
cuted. God had delivered him from death, and he believed
that God would continue to deliver him.
He continues: „Ye also helping together on our behalf by
your supplication; that, for the gift bestowed upon us by
means of many, many thanks may be given by many persons
on our behalf.” See how he gets his thanksgiving again: „God
delivered me, but it came partly through your supplication.
You and a great many other people were praying for Paul.”
So when Peter was put in jail, the church met and prayed for
him, and God delivered Peter. Paul thus shows how other peo_
ple could get comfort out of his sufferings if they would take
it. How many people are pessimists! Mr. Ready_to_Halt,
Mr. Despondency, Mr. Man_with_the_Blues, the man against
whom everything is working, now, if your spiritual liver gets
out of order in that direction, I prescribe for you a generous
dose of the thankful spirit of Paul.
The next item in the outline is his defense against some ac_
cusations that had been made and reported to him by Titus.
That is found in verse 13. Some of them had accused Paul of
„wire_pulling” by a secret letter. I heard of a preacher once,
who, having to go away from his church for about a month,
wrote to a leading sister and suggested how she might, un_
known to him, get up a big reception on the’ occasion of his
return. They accused Paul of working up things by writing
a letter of that kind. Here is the way he replied: „For we
write no other things unto you than what you read or even
acknowledge, and I hope ye will acknowledge unto the end.”
The letters are all public, and the charge is that they be read
to all the church.
In verse 15, and on through chapter I and part of chapter
2, he defends himself from the charge of lightmindedness and
fickleness. Notice what he says in verse 17: „When I therefore
was thus minded, did I show fickleness?” The charge of fickle_
ness is based upon this, that he had sent word to them from
Ephesus that when he went to Macedonia he would come by
Corinth first; that he would speedily come; but he had not
come; that instead of coming he wrote another letter, and
they had charged that the reason that he did not come was on
account of his personal presence. He defends himself from
that charge of not fulfilling his promise. Let’s see how he
does it. The preceding verse states his confidence that he
would be their glory, and they would be his glory, in the day
of the Lord. Now he says, „In this confidence I was minded
to come first unto you [not to go to Macedonia and then come
to Corinth, but to come by you on my way to Macedonia],
that ye might have a second benefit; and by you to pass into
Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come unto you, and
of you to be set forward on my journey unto Judea. When I
therefore was thus minded [and had promised accordingly],
did I show fickleness? or the things that I purpose, do I pur_
pose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the
yea yea, and the nay nay?”
On that expression a great novel of modern times is written,
Richard Yea and Nay. The author of that book takes the
most heroic character in England and presents him to us first
one way and then another, to show that he did not follow out
any steadfast line that looked to the good of his country, but
merely the present moment of passion or impulse. If the im_
pulse came be would go to Scotland today and declare war on
France tomorrow. Paul says, „My purpose was not a flesh_
purpose, nor following my desires, but it was based upon my
then conception of your condition and conditions elsewhere.
When conditions changed so that God would be glorified by
changing the plan, I changed it. Does that make me fickle?
If that change resulted from some fleshly impulse, I would be
‘Paul Yea and Nay,’ but the change was brought about solely
for the glory of God and the good of those to whom the prom_
ises were made.”
He now begins to make a bigger defense than that: „But
as God is faithful, our word toward you is not yea and nay.”
In other words, „You say my word is yea and nay. I want
to tell you something that is not yea and nay. The gospel I
preached to you was not yea and nay gospel.”
Dr. E. C. Dargan, then of the Louisville Seminary, preached
at the Baptist Convention in Belton in 1892, and he took this
theme: „The gospel is not yea and nay, but yea and amen.”
„For how many soever be the promises of God, in him is the
yea; wherefore also through him is the amen, unto the glory
of God through us.” He treated that subject this way: The
gospel of Jesus Christ is not yea and nay; it is one thing.
We can rely on it; it is yea and amen, the „yea” in God and
the „amen” in us. God tells us that he will say „Amen, amen,
amen!” We may get this whole sermon from that one line of
thought, and so we may preach a sermon on the subject, „The
Gospel is not yea and nay.”

QUESTIONS
1. Out of what does the second letter to the Corinthians grow, and
who wrote it?
2. When did he write it, and where?
3. What the occasion of this letter?
4. What the three favorable items of Titus’ report to Paul concerning the Corinthians?
5. What the first unfavorable item of Titus’ report, and what illustration from the author’s experience cited?

6. What spirit prevailed in the church at Corinth at this time, ac_
cording to the report of Titus, ‘and what later light of history touching
this spirit of the Corinthians?
7. What the third unfavorable item of Titus’ report, and what the
points of authority questioned?
8. What, in general terms, a brief analysis of the book, and what
the nature of the latter part of the book?
9. By whom did Paul send this letter, and with what instruction?
10. What the character of this letter, what two key_words suggested,
and what do you think is the key_word?
11. Quote, from memory, the salutation.
12. What is Paul’s ground of thanksgiving in this letter, and are such
thanksgivings common among even Christians? Illustrate.
13. What unparalleled sufferings does Paul describe, and where else
do we find an account of the same sufferings?
14. What the author’s interpretation of 2 Corinthians 1:9_10, and why?
15. What credit does Paul give the Corinthians for his delivery and
what parallel in the history of Peter? ‘
16. What a good prescription for Mr. Ready_to_Halt, Mr. Despondency, and Mr. Man_with_the_Blues?
17. What charge, inferable from 1:13, did they bring against Paul
and what his defense?
18. What charge, inferable from 1:15_17, did they bring against him
and how does he answer it?
19. What great novel was written on 1:17, and what the purpose of
the author of the book?
20. What great sermon cited on 1:18_20, and what the import of
the sermon?

XXVII
THE TWO COVENANTS
2 Corinthians 1:21 to 3:18.

In the last of chapter I there is one passage that we need
to discuss: „Now he that established us with you in Christ,
and anointed us, is God; who also sealed us, and gave us the
earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” Some words used here
a Christian ought to understand. For instance, „anointed,”
„sealed,” „earnest.” In the Old Testament, prophets, priests,
and kings were anointed with the „holy anointing oil” whose
recipe Moses gave in Exodus 30:22_33. As a ceremony it sig_
nified their consecration, or setting apart, to office. As a sym_
bol it signified the influence of the Holy Spirit which qualified
them to perform their official duties. In the New Testament it
means that the Holy Spirit, received by faith, qualifies every
Christian to be a priest of God, to offer spiritual sacrifices.
The word „anointed,” I say, refers to the influence that comes
upon the Christian in the sense of setting him apart for the
work of Christ and qualifying him to do it. As the Old Testa_
ment priest, prophet, and king were anointed for an office,
so is every Christian. We are all kings and priests unto God.
Without the Holy Spirit we cannot acceptably serve God.
The word „seal” has a different signification.
It is quite common in Pedo_baptist literature to refer to
baptism as a seal, but in the Word of God baptism is nowhere
called a seal. On the contrary, we are expressly said to be
sealed by the Holy Spirit.
The object of a seal is to accredit or designate ownership.
For instance, a man writes a letter and puts the mark of his
seal on it; that authenticates the letter. If a seminary confers

a degree or sells a piece of property, neither degree nor deed
is valid unless it bears the corporate seal of the seminary.
We are said to be sealed by the Holy Spirit. That
simply means this – that the gift of the Holy Spirit to
a Christian authenticates that Christian as God’s property.
Suppose I address a communication and put my seal on it;
that seal is designed to keep the communication intact until
it gets to its address. So we are sealed unto the day of re_
demption.
That is a very strong argument in favor of the final pres_
ervation of the saints. The imprint of the Holy Spirit on us
is a mark that we belong to God and will be delivered to God
on the day of redemption. If the seal of God does hold (and
there is no power that can break it) that is demonstrative that
the Christian will reach his destination.
There is still another word – „given the earnest of the Spirit
in our hearts.” An „earnest” is something of this kind: The
holy land was promised to the Israelites. Spies were sent to
look out the country and sample it. They brought back a
bunch of grapes, and the people were enabled to eat those
grapes before they got to the country where the grapes grew.
They were the same in kind, but not the same in quantity.
God intends that our promised land shall be heaven; but be_
fore we get to heaven he gives us foretastes in kind of what
we are to get when we reach heaven; the joy, peace, and glory
that often comes to the Christian heart here on earth is an
earnest of what heaven will be. It is a little piece of heaven,
sent down to us beforehand. How often in a great revival we
hear brethren say, „This is heaven on earth! We are getting
foretastes of the glory of God.” The sense of forgiveness, the
sweet peace that comes in the heart on reconciliation with
God, the joy of the converted soul – anything of that kind is
an earnest of heaven.
The first part of chapter 2 is devoted to a case of discipline.
In the first letter he had written very sharply in a way to
bring grief to their hearts because they had allowed an awful
sin, committed by one of their members, to go unrebuked. He
is now explaining to them why he made them sorry: „If I
make you sorry, who then is he that maketh me glad but he
that is made sorry by me? And I wrote this very thing, lest,
when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I
ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is
the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of
heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should
be made sorry, but that ye might know the love which I have
more abundantly unto you.” That sharp letter he wrote was
prompted by love. He saw that they were getting themselves
into trouble. He adds, „But if any hath caused sorrow, he
hath caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I press not
too heavily) to you all. Sufficient to such a one is this punish_
ment which was inflicted by the many.” When they came to
expel that man they could not get a unanimous vote, for some
stood for him.
That conveys this lesson to us, that in expelling a man it is
not necessary that the vote should be unanimous; a majority
vote is sufficient for expulsion or any discipline whatever.
It is different in the reception of a member. Pastors and
churches sometimes have to show why it is that a majority
vote is sufficient to expel a man, and here is the text. The
word „many” means majority. This case also contains another
important lesson on discipline: „Sufficient to such a one is the
punishment inflicted by the majority; so that contrariwise ye
should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means
such a one should be swallowed up with his overmuch sorrow.
Wherefore I beseech you to confirm your love toward him.
For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof
of you, whether ye are obedient in all things. But to whom ye
forgive anything, I forgive also; for what I also have forgiven,
if I have forgiven anything, for your sakes have I forgiven it.”
That raises the question: What is the object of discipline?
To gain the offending brother. Even when we exclude him, if
he be a Christian, and his exclusion is conducted properly, it
will likely have that effect on him. It had that effect in this
case. When this man saw that this church by a majority vote
decided that he was living in a, sin of such heinousness that it
disqualified him for membership in a church of Jesus Christ,
it broke his heart and he repented of his sin. Paul says, „Let
that punishment of expulsion be sufficient, and on his repent_
ance forgive him and take him back again.” That is the point
in discipline.
All the rest of the letter until we come to chapter 8 is on
Paul’s ministry: „Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of
Christ, and when a door was opened unto me in the Lord, I
had no relief for my spirit, because I found not Titus, my
brother; but taking my leave of them, I went forth into
Macedonia.” The thought is that a man who loves to preach
the gospel and is holding a meeting where the door of success
is open, may yet have such a burden on his heart about other
matters that he cannot fulfil his duty as a preacher. Paul is
distressed to death about that case at Corinth for fear that
the church should go astray and be lost from the churches of
Jesus Christ, as he says elsewhere that the case of all the
churches was resting on his apostolic heart. Many a time
when the preacher preaches he carries a burden that nobody
else knows anything about. Sometimes he has a burden on him
right in the midst of a meeting that does not touch the meet_
ing, coming from circumstances elsewhere that divert his mind
and press on his heart.
Then he says, „But thanks be unto God, who always lead_
eth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us
the savor of his knowledge in every place.”
Notice that always and in every place the true preacher
triumphs.
Paul explains how that is: „For we are a sweet savor of
Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them that
perish; to the one a savor from death unto death; to the other
a savor from life unto life.” Some preachers think if they
preach, and people are not saved, they have failed. If the
preacher preaches God’s gospel where he wants him to preach,
he wins a victory over the lost if not over the saved.
In other words, God intends that the terms of mercy con_
tained in his gospel should be submitted to people whether
they receive it or reject it, and that there is no responsibility
attaching to the preacher in the issue.
If they reject it, the gospel is to them a savor of death unto
death, and of life unto life, if they accept it. I do not know
any other part of the Scriptures so little understood as that
statement.
One night, when I was a young pastor, a brother pastor
came to see me, very much distressed. He said, „My ministry
is a failure.” I said, „I am disposed to question that.” He
said, „I cannot disguise it from myself; it is a dead failure.
I have preached for a solid year in tears and in earnestness
and nobody in my community has been convicted of sin.” I
said, „That does not prove that you have failed. If you had
preached without praying or studying or asking God to give
you the right message, I would agree with you that your minis_
try is a failure. But if you have preached in faith, in tears,
in prayer, faithfully holding up the gospel, you have won the
victory,” and I read this passage. He was so impressed that
he got right down on the floor at my house, and such a thanks_
giving I never heard. He said, „Do you know that you have
saved my life? I felt like quitting the ministry because I was
in such despair.” Generally, we should look for success in the
salvation of men, and that should be our principal desire in
preaching, and generally that will be the result, but some_
times it will not. „But always in every place God causeth us
to triumph.”
Chapter 3 commences with a reference to letters of recom_
mendation: “Are we beginning again to commend ourselves,
or need we, as do some, epistles of commendation to you or
from you? Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known
and read of all men; being made manifest that ye are an epis_
tle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with
the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in ta_
bles that are hearts of flesh.” He uses two figures about the
letters: First, in his heart it is written; second, Christ, using
him as a penman, wrote a letter on their hearts, and that letter
that Christ wrote could be known and read of all men – not
written with ink and pen, but with the Spirit. It was not
written like the commandments of Moses, on tables of stone,
but on the fleshly tables of the heart. He says, „I don’t need
a letter of recommendation, as some other people do. The
Jewish brethren came bringing letters from the Jerusalem
church, and they had stirred up all this trouble. They needed
letters of recommendation. You heard the gospel through me.
I built on no other man’s foundation, but led you to Christ.
If you want to know where my letter of recommendation is,
look on yourselves. Christ dictated; I wrote the letter, and it
is a long ways better than a letter written in ink.” An ink
letter oftentimes means very little.
Once a man came into my office and asked me for a letter
of recommendation. I said, „I do not even know you.” He
said, „That is all right; you can tell them about me.” I said,
„Why do you not tell them about yourself? Your word would
mean as much as my letter. You have come to the wrong
place; I never write a letter of recommendation unless I know
what I am writing about.” Again, a certain man wanted me
to commend a book. I said, „I have never read that book.”
„Well, I will show you its prospectus,” said he. „But the
prospectus is not the book. Do you think I would commend
a book that I have not read, and do you think I would trade
my name for a single book?” „Well,” he said, „other people
do that way.” „Yes,” I said, „and that is the reason that their
letters of recommendation are not worth anything.”
It is a suspicious thing for a man to carry his valise full
of recommendations. I once knew a preacher who carried
around a scrapbook in which he had preserved every foolish
thing that had ever been said in his favor by the newspapers.
My father used to say, „Whenever you see a chimney with a
big log up against it, you may know that it is a weak chim_
ney, and needs to be propped.” The object of a letter of rec_
ommendation is simply to give a person an introduction, and
then let him stand for himself.
The poorest preacher and the poorest pastor I ever saw had
twenty_three letters of recommendation and several degrees
from colleges.
The most important thought in connection with these letters
of recommendation is that, after all, everything must be
judged by its fruits, and every man must be known by his
works. What is Christianity? Christ wrote a letter. Where
is that letter? That Corinthian church. Is there anything
different between what they are now and what they were
before their conversion? Yes, a great deal of difference, and
all that difference is in favor of the Christian religion that
worked the change. We may tell a man about the effects of
Christianity, and he will take all we say with a grain of salt,
but if we show him actual cases of changed people, they be_
come letters of recommendation for the Christian religion.
If the one who joins the church remains as he was before,
it proves nothing; but if Christianity makes better husbands,
wives, brothers, sisters, and citizens, the whole wide world
can read that letter.
An infidel once said to me that there was one woman in my
church who had really been converted, or changed, and that
the change was for the better, and that was one argument for
Christianity that he could not answer.
The next thought is in verses 5_6: „But our sufficiency is
from God; who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new
covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter
killeth.” The lesson from that word „sufficient” should sink
down into every preacher’s heart. It is not because a man is
six feet tall; Paul was a low man. It is not because a man is
pretty; Paul was ugly. It is not because a man is clear_eyed;
Paul was dim_eyed. It is not because a man is sound in health ;
Paul was in ill health. It is not because a man is a rhetori_
cian; Paul did not use his rhetoric. „Our sufficiency is of
God.” We cannot put too much emphasis on that thought.
I was stopping once in Louisville. The brethren, hearing I
was there, sent for me to make a talk to the Seminary boys,
and I combined two passages which say, „Good and able min_
isters of Jesus Christ.” I took that as my theme. What is a
good preacher? This refers to character. What is an able
preacher? This refers to efficiency. I do not think I ever
made a better talk to preachers than I made that night.
Now comes in the ministry of Paul, commencing at verse 7,
showing a distinction between the two covenants. We have
already had one distinction, – that the old covenant was writ_
ten on tables of stone and the new covenant on tables of the
heart. Here we have another: „But if the ministration of
death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory.” The
old covenant was the ministration of death. The law gendered
to bondage. The soul that sinneth shall die. The new cove_
nant is the ministration of life. We cannot save men by the
law. We can kill them, but we save men by the gospel. That
distinction should be kept sharp in mind. It was a very sol_
emn thing when God came down on Mount Sinai, crested with
fire, and shaken with thunder, illumined with lightning, and
the beat of the angel pinions filled the air – it was a glorious
thing. But what is that to the ministration of life through
the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? The law came by Moses,
but grace and truth by Jesus Christ our Saviour, who abolished
death, and brought life and immortality to light through the
gospel. The law – the ministration of death – is written on cold
rock, outside of man. The gospel – the ministration of life –
is written on the warm heart, inside of man. Paul, in Hebrews
8:7_12, says in speaking of the two covenants, „For if that
first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have
been sought for a second. For finding fault with them, ha
saith,
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord,
That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah;
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers
In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them
forth out of the land of Egypt;
For they continued not in my covenant,
And I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, saith the Lord;
I will put my laws into their mind,
And on their heart also will I write them:
And I will be to them a God,
And they shall be to me a people:
And they shall not teach every man his fellow_citizen,
And every man his brother, saying, know the Lord:
For all shall know me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And their sins will I remember no more.
Then Paul adds, „In that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old. But that which is becoming old and waxeth aged is nigh unto vanishing away.” The new covenant is internal, and nothing has been done until the writing touches on the inside.
The glory of the old covenant was reflected in the face of
Moses. When he came down from the mount his face was
shining so that it dazzled the eyes of the people. But that
was nothing like the shining of the transfiguration of Christ.
The shining of Moses’ face was transitory. Moses put a veil
over his face. He knew that the shining would pass away and
his face would be as it was before. He veiled his face lest
the Jews should see the end of the shining, and would not fol_
low him. But the Jews believed that he veiled his face because
it was too bright to look at, and that if the veil were lifted
off, the face of Moses would outshine any face in the world.
Mightily does Tom Moore bring out the thought in The
Veiled Prophet of Khorasan, in Lalla Rookh. An impostor,
wearing a veil, played upon the superstition of the people,
saying that no mortal could endure the brightness of the
splendor of his face, and in mercy to them he kept his face
veiled. But he promised some day to uncover his face that
they might see his glory. His object was to precommit them,
and so bring them to absolute despair and ruin at the unveil_
ing. One of the most pathetic things in poetry is where the
prophet lifted his veil that the ruined Zelica might see his
face; that she might see the horrible face of the demon who
had deceived her. What must be the unveiling of the Law_
covenant to the lost dupes who have trusted it?
The next point is, that the Old Testament is a ministration
of condemnation: „For if the ministration of condemnation
hath glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteous_
ness exceed in glory.” The word „righteousness” here should
be rendered „justification.” The thought is that the old cove_
nant condemns men; the new covenant justifies men. The
preacher ought to be able to distinguish between those two
points, condemnation and justification.
The next point is that the old covenant was written in types,
veiling the truth signified. He says, „Having therefore such
a hope, we use great boldness of speech, and are not as Moses,
who put a veil upon his face.” Moses set forth things in al_
legories and types. Boldness, or plainness of speech here, re_
fers to absence of figures of speech. That is the difference
between telling a thing in straight_out language, and in using
parables. The gospel makes the way of life very plain, so
that a fool cannot misunderstand. In much of the Old Testa_
ment we have to study so as to find the signification of the
type or of the prophetic visions. They were but shadows.
Notice again the old covenant dazzled the eye – verse 18:
„But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the
glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from
glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.” The verse
preceding says, „The Lord is the spirit: and where the Spirit
of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Mirrors in those days were
made of hammered and polished metal) and made a dim re_
flection. The sun may be out of sight, but the moon is a
mirror catching the light of the sun and reflecting it to the
eye of the beholder.
I am going to give you what I call a very impressive illus_
tration. In Prescott’s Conquest of Peru, there is a description
of the Temple of the Incas as Cuzco. This temple consists
of three walls, north, south, west. The eastern side of the
structure was open. The walls were smoothly cemented, and
on the cement was put thinly hammered gold. The way they
worshiped was this: They would come to the temple just be_
fore dawn and stand in that opening to the east, and facing
the western wall – a golden wall; on the left a golden wall;
and on the right a golden wall. The sun would rise behind
them, and long before they could see it directly they could see
its reflection in the western wall, and be covered with the
golden light. Their faces were illumined in the reflection. Now
we all look into the mirror upon the glory of the Lord, and
that mirror reflects it on us, and we catch the reflected image
and are changed in it from glory to glory; as the sun behind
those people rising higher, blazing brighter, bathed them more
and more in its reflected light, so the Lord of righteousness, as
he rises, brings healing in his wings. We look at Christ as in
a mirror. He is not here, but we see him mirrored in the face
of his saints. It is a law that we become like that which we
steadfastly contemplate. If we steadily study about good,
pure, and holy things, we become like them. If we study about
evil things, vile and loathsome and slimy, we become like
them. We steadfastly behold the glorious things of the gospel
as in a mirror and become transformed ourselves, more and
more like Jesus, and at last become altogether like him in
image.

QUESTIONS
1. What three important words in 1:21_22 which need to be understood?
2. What the meaning and application of the word „anointed”?
3. Discuss the word „seal,” showing its application by illustrations.
4. What the meaning of „earnest,” what the illustration given, and
what the spiritual significance of it?
5. To what is the first part of chapter 2 devoted, and what connection has this with the first letter?
6. What the history of this case, and what important lesson for us in. it?
7. What lesson here as to the object of discipline, and how is it
clearly shown in this case?
8. To what is the next section, 2:12 to 7:16, devoted, and what the
lessons of 2:12_13?
9. What the ground of Paul’s thanksgiving here, and how could
Paul say, „God always leadeth us in triumph”? Illustrate.
10. What lesson for us here on the question of letters of recommendation, and what the explanation of Paul’s two figures of speech relative
to this matter? Illustrate.
11. What the most important thought in connection with these letters
of recommendation, and how does the author illustrate it?
12. What lesson here as to our sufficiency, and how does this idea
relate to „Good and able ministers of Jesus Christ”?
13. What 2 distinctions here noted between the new covenant and the old?
14. What prophet does Paul quote to show the difference between the
old covenant and the new, where do we find this quotation, and how
does this prophet show the difference?
15. Give an account of the shining face of Moses, and illustrate with
the incident of The Veiled Prophet of Khorasan.
16. How is the Old Testament a ministration of condemnation, in what does the ministration of righteousness exceed the ministration of the Old Testament, and what the meaning of word „righteousness” here?
17. What difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament expressed in 3:12, and how is this illustrated in the case of Moses veiling his face?
18. What Paul’s mirror_illustration, and how is this illustrated by author?

XXVIII
THE GOSPEL MINISTRY AND THE GLORY
THAT IS TO COME
2 Corinthians 4:1 to 5:15.

This discussion commences with 2 Corinthians 4, and I will
call attention only to points of special interest as we pass
along in the exposition. We made a point in the preceding
chapter that when the Jew read the Old Testament he read
it with a veil over his eyes. In this chapter Paul anticipates
this objection. „Is not the gospel itself veiled to some, as well
as the law?” Here is his reply, verse 3: „And even if our
gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish; in whom the
god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving,
that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the
image of God, should not dawn upon them. For we preach not
ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your
servants for Jesus’ sake. Seeing it is God, that said, Light
shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give
the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of
Jesus Christ.” His reply is that the gospel is veiled only for
a certain class of people – them that perish.
The reason it is veiled in that case is that the devil has
blinded their eyes that they cannot see. The veil is on the
eye, and not on the gospel. That is a very important matter.
If at night we should point to a lamp in a room and ask a
bystander, „Do you see that light?” and he were to say, „No”;
if we take him out of doors and show him the Milky Way,
and the stars, and ask, „Do you see those lights up yonder?”
„No”; or if we should show him the moon and say, „Do you
see that light?” „No”; or wait until morning and point out
the sun rising in the east, and say, „Do you see the light of

that sun?” „No”; what would that prove to us? That the
man was blind! If he were not a blind man he could see the
light. In that case those lights were not hid, but were shining
in all their brightness. The trouble was with the beholder,
who had no eyes to see. Preachers oftentimes wonder that the
unconverted cannot see how very plain the gospel of Jesus
Christ is. They look at the people and talk contrition: „Do
you see that light?” „No.” They talk about repentance and
explain it: „Do you see that?” „No,” They talk about faith
in Jesus Christ and ask, „Do you see that?” „No, I don’t
understand it.” Whenever a case of that kind occurs the fault
is in the vision of the one addressed. The truth is that the
devil has blinded his inner spiritual eyes that he may not see
and be converted.
Paul says that his commission was to the Gentiles, to turn
them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan
unto God. There is a spiritual blindness. Our Saviour referred
repeatedly in his preaching to people having eyes to see and
seeing not, and having ears to hear and hearing not. That is
one thing we must always take into account – the power of
Satan to blind people so that they cannot see. Suppose I shut
my left eye, and hold a dollar over my right eye and look
up – can I see anything? The light is shining, but there is an
object between me and the light, and it does not take a very
big piece of money to hide the spiritual light from some peo_
ple; a quarter of a dollar will sometimes do it. As a quarter
laid on a dead man’s eye keeps his eye closed, so the love of
money shuts out everything else in the world from the vision.
That is his reply to the objections about the gospel being
veiled.
Look now at his comparison between conversion and the
creation of light in Genesis 1. It is there said that the earth
was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face
of the deep, and God said, Let there be light. And there was
light. Paul says, „Seeing it is God that said, Light shall shine
out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of
the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
As the brooding of the Holy Spirit over the chaos of original
matter brought out light, so’ in the spiritual world the uncon_
verted man is in a chaotic state, everything mixed, darkness
on the deep of his mind, and the first sign of regeneration to
him is light. „Whatsoever maketh manifest is light.”
I may be standing by a man perfectly satisfied with him_
self. „Not a wave of trouble rolls across his peaceful breast.”
He has committed a great many sins, but has no spiritual
realization of his state. I may keep preaching to that man,
and presenting one truth after another, and whatsoever that
will make manifest to him that he is a sinner, that is light.
After a while I may present a thought, and as if a lamp had
been lighted and carried down into his heart, the secret things
of his inmost soul are revealed to him. As that light shines
down there, he sees himself a sinner against God. Paul in the
first letter gives a description of it, I Corinthians 14: „If all
prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he
is reproved by all, he is judged by all; the secrets of his heart
are made manifest; and so he will fall down on his face and
worship God.” When a man is in a cellar he may think that
he is as clean as an angel, but bring him up out of that dark
pit into daylight and he will see the smut, coal dust, and dirty
hands. The light does not create those spots but simply mani_
fests them. Paul says, „I was alive without the law once, that
is, I felt myself all right. But when the commandment came,
sin revived, and I died. As soon as the light shone into my
heart, and I saw myself a lost sinner in the sight of God,
dead in trespasses and sins, I died.” That is a very impressive
biblical illustration.
Take verse 7: He is talking about his ministry – indeed all
this is about Paul’s ministry – the chapter commencing:
„Therefore seeing we have this ministry.” Here he says that
they had this gospel treasure in earthen vessels, that the power might be shown to be of God, not of the man vessel, or earth_
en vessel. What a theme for a sermon I Paul and Barnabas
quarreled – both great preachers and good men – earthen ves_
sels. We see a preacher who seems to be a great power in
leading souls to Christ. When we get close to him and he is
off his guard, we detect frailties and infirmities. We are dis_
illusioned. A preacher sometimes wonders why a gospel so
pure, intended to bring about purity, to fit one for heaven,
should have been placed in the hands of such frail beings for
administration. Why not have placed it in the hands of spot_
less beings? Why not have made the angels preachers? Paul
says one reason is that when a man is converted God wants it
to be known that the greatness of the power of conversion did
not lie in the messenger that brought the message. The mes_
senger was an earthen vessel, but the message was divine.
lie goes on to illustrate this earthen vessel, and answers
another question: How is it, then, if the vessel be earthy – if
the preacher be a man of such infirmity and frailty – that
he can go on and be a successful preacher? He responds to
that this way: „We are pressed on every side, yet not straight_
ened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; pursued, yet not for_
saken ; smitten down, yet not destroyed; always bearing about
in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may
be manifested in our body. . . . So then death worketh in us,
but life in you.” His explanation is that the omnipotent power
of God sustains this messenger of light, though he be frail,
perplexed, pursued, cast down. „The bruised reed he will not
break and the smoking wick he will not quench until he hath
brought forth judgment unto victory.” This is a great con_
solation.
In verse 16 we reach our next thought. If the preacher that
preaches this glorious gospel of God is himself earthly and
frail, why does not the thought of this mortality utterly crush
him? Here is his explanation: „Wherefore we faint not; but
though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is
renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the
moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal
weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are
seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which
are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are
eternal.”
The part of the preacher that is earthy, breaking down all
the time, is the outward man. The inward man does not break
down; he is renewed day by day, and lives the life of Christ
who lives in him, and while he is conscious that the human
side of him is mortal, and constantly crumbling, that does not
discourage him.
Nothing of that kind can discourage him, because he is not
looking at the temporal things, but he is looking at the in_
visible and eternal things.
He then comes to the climax of death. A preacher, though
he be as great as Paul, may die at any time. What about
that? He commences the next chapter with his answer: „For
we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dis_
solved, we have a building from God, a house not made with
hands,” but God will give a heavenly home for the soul.
Finally, Jesus will come and raise and glorify the body in the
grave, and this glorified body will never die. He carries that
thought about with him all the time. It is one of the sweetest
thoughts to me in all the Bible.
When this outward man perishes, and the soul tenant has
been evicted by death, or when the approach of death has
chilled his feet and hands and crept up to his body, chilled
his vitals, stopped his breath and the pulsations of his heart,
and he is dead) there is no stop to the inward man. And this
outward man that perished will be raised from the dead and
glorified.
But we come to a more important thought than that – the
resurrection is a long way off. Now, if the enemies of the gos_
pel kill Paul, as they did kill him nearly 1900 years ago, what
about him from then till now? Here is his answer to that
(v. 6): „Being therefore always of good courage, and know_
ing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent
from the Lord (for we walk by faith, not by sight); we are
of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent
from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.”
When the body perishes, when the man’s work is ended,
without a break in the continuity of his being, instantly upon
his death, his soul is where Jesus is.
Right here I have a controversy with the „middle_life”
brethren. They say that the soul of a Christian does not go
directly to heaven, but lodges somewhere in a halfway house;
that here it is under guard and safe keeping, and must wait
until the judgment day. I frankly confess that that would not
comfort me much, but if I know that at the very moment I
am absent from the body I am present with the Lord, that is
comfort. The question is, Where is the Lord? We know that
he ascended into heaven, and we know that he ascended soul
and body, and we know that he is sitting at the right hand of
the Majesty on high. Certainly, after the resurrection of his
body the Lord Jesus Christ did not lodge anywhere: „The
Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I
make thine enemies thy footstool.” Stephen says, „I see the
heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right
hand of the Majesty on high.”
Is Jesus lodged halfway between here and heaven? Paul
says, „The very minute I die I am present with the Lord and
that is the reason I am not discouraged.” It is not only a
beautiful thought but an intensely practical thought. I wish
that all of my religion was as strong as my faith in the resur_
rection of the body. There is not a shadow of a doubt in my
mind about either of those two points.
When I was a teacher and had just commenced preaching,
a beautiful girl I used to know when we were in school to_
gether, a very gifted girl, and a particular friend of mine
whom I thought to be the genius of the school, married a
worthless man (as it proved), the son of a very wealthy man,
very handsome, though he proved to be a great rascal, who
broke her heart and abandoned her. I did not know what had
become of her, and one evening there came a note from her
saying, „Dear friend: It has been a long time since I saw
you. I want to see you once more before I die. Come to see
me tonight if you want to see me one time before the judg_
ment.” I went to the house and she was propped up in bed,
dying. She said, „I did not send for you to lead me to Christ,
or to teach me how to die. I know that. I have been a great
sufferer, much of it in body, but the most of it has been
spiritual suffering. You have some idea, but you cannot have
a full idea of the darkness that has clouded my life. You re_
member how bright my prospects were when we were at school.
This is my last night on earth. I go out forever tonight. I
want you to get somebody who believes as we do about the
future life to come and sing to me of heaven.” So I gathered
a few members of the church and we sang,
0, sing to me of heaven,
When I am called to die,
Sing songs of holy ecstasy,
To waft my soul on high.
As we sang you could see the play of light on her face, and
when we got through she took up the last verse, and in a very
faint, sweet voice, sang that verse, and it ended in a whisper,
and that whisper was her last breath. She understood just
what Paul means in our text, „When I am absent from the
body I am present with the Lord.”
Whoever does not believe that, cannot be a happy Christian.
If the preacher believes it with all his heart and soul, he can
comfort people, even though the treasure they have is in an
earthen vessel – a poor frail old vessel – full of aches and pains
subject to sickness and death.
The next thought is in verse 9: „Wherefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well pleasing unto him.” In other words, „Whether in the body or out of the body, I want him to see that I am trying to do what he told me to do, trying to’ live as he told me to live, and if he looks at me out of the body, I want him to see that I am coming right up to him.”
His track I see and I’ll pursue
The narrow way till Him I view
He tells us the reason why that is an ever present thought
with him. „For we must all be made manifest before the
judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things
done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it
be good or bad.” Then if we ask Paul, „Why do you all the
time seek to be well pleasing to God?” he answers, „Because
I know that at the judgment seat of Christ there will be a
perfect revelation of my whole life.” The same thought is
presented in I Corinthians 3:12_15, where he tells about the
work that a man does: „If any man buildeth on the founda_
tion gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; each man’s
work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it,
because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself shall prove
each man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work shall
abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. If
any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he
himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire.” If a man is a
Christian, on the foundation of Jesus Christ, he will be saved.
But salvation is not everything.
We see two ships coming into a harbor from distant ports.
As one comes in sight we see that every mast is broken and
every shroud torn, its cargo lost, it has sprung a leak, and a
harbor tug must tow it in. It just barely gets into port. The
other ship comes in with every mast standing, with every sail
filled, cargoed to the water’s edge, meeting the shout of men
and boom of artillery from the shore. That is the difference
in dying Christians. Some have no reward. Others have great
reward on account of their fidelity. When they believed in
Christ, they were justified. That does not have to be done
over. But a Christian’s fidelity will be judged by what a man
does.
Verse 11 contains another thought: „Knowing therefore the
fear of the Lord, we persuade men.” That accounts for his.
earnestness in addressing either Christian or sinners. It is a
dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, and,
as Peter says, „The time is come for judgment to begin at the
house of God: … And if the righteous is scarcely saved, where
shall the ungodly and sinner appear?”
He now explains another thing (v. 13): „For whether we
are beside ourselves, it is unto God; or whether we are of
sober mind, it is unto you. For the love of Christ constraineth
us.” Some of his enemies had accused him of being a crazy
man, saying that a man who would talk about hell_fire and
judgment and all that stuff, must be seeing visions. Now he
replies: „If I am beside myself, it is unto God.” As he said
on another occasion. „I am not mad, most excellent Festus,
but speak forth words of truth and soberness.” Here it is:
„The love of Christ constrains me and impels me into this zeal
which you object to.”
The brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ objected to his zeal,
and went one day to arrest him as one would arrest a lunatic,
because he worked without stopping to eat. Whenever you
see an earnest Christian who does not count his life dear unto
him, who puts the salvation of men above all bodily ease,
lets it triumph over all thought of time, and bestirs himself in
the might and power of the commission of God given unto him,
a great many worldly_minded people will say, „He is a crank.
We want a preacher who doesn’t get excited and who is too
polite to say ‘hell.’ Let him say ‘hades,’ and not talk about
eternal punishment.”
Verse 15 leads us to another thought: „He died for all, that
they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto
him who, for their sakes, died and rose again.” I have heard
at least twenty_five sermons preached on that, in which it was
expounded in this way: „No man liveth unto himself, other
people are interested in him and he must live with reference
to other people.” That is not the thought, but that we must
live unto Christ, not for earthly pleasure or glory, but for
Christ who purchased us, must we live. Some may say, „I
will not go to my appointment today because it is raining and
I might get wet.” But another will say, „I am not living for
myself, but for Christ. I am going to that place today if I
have to swim a creek.”
It is the creek_swimming men that shake the world – the
brier_cutting men who will not allow obstacles to keep them
from doing what God wants them to do.
Let a congregation get the idea of their pastor that he is a
pink of perfection, can beat anybody in town tying a cravat,
and wears the nicest little shoes, knows how to fasten a nose_
gay in his vest, and how to enter a room and entertain com_
pany; carries an umbrella so as not to burn his delicate skin,
then what will be his power to awaken and save the lost?
An umbrella is all right in its place, but what I want to im_
press is this – that a stalwart man, a real man, will accomplish
more of the great things in the work than all of these little
fellows. He will not stop to consider a thousand things that
absorb the mind of the trivial man, but will go right straight_
forward to the accomplishment of his great purpose. I have
heard these dainty essayists preach. I have gone to their
churches hungry and tried to get something – and failed.
It reminds me of the story of a preacher who tells this of
himself: During the war he went to a house to get some sup_
per. Army rations were poor, and he was very hungry. They
had just a little butter and they all wanted to make it go as
far as possible, so each one tried to hurry through in order
to get another chance at the butter before it disappeared. He
said that he could not get rid of the butter in his plate. He
even tried to sop it up with his bread, but it did not have any
taste to it. At last he looked up and saw through a knot_hole
in the roof over his head that the moon was shining down
through into his plate, and that all the time he had been sop_
ping moonshine.

QUESTIONS
1. Is the gospel, as well as the law, veiled to some people, and what
is the reply of Paul to this objection?
2. What reason for their blindness does Paul give, and how does
the author illustrate it?
3. How does Paul show from his commission, the spiritual blindness
of the lost man, and what the teaching of Jesus on the same point?
4. Give clearly Paul’s comparison between conversion and the crea_
tion of light.
5. How is a man. led to see himself a sinner, and how may a church
convict a sinner, as described in I Corinthians 14? Illustrate.
6. How does Paul here show the weakness and imperfection of
preachers, and what reason does he assign for the Lord’s commissioning men instead of angels to preach?
7. What Paul’s reply to the question, „If the preacher is so frail,
how can he be successful”?
8. Why does not this thought of mortality utterly crush the preacher?
9. How does Paul answer the objection that the preacher may die at
any time?
10. What about Paul from his death until now, what the „middle_
life” theory, and how does the author refute the claim?
11. How does the author illustrate from his own experience his faith
in the realities of heaven and the resurrection?
12. In view of this doctrine, what was Paul’s great aim in life, what
reason does he assign for it, and where do we find the parallel thought
expressed by Paul? State and illustrate.
13. How do we account for Paul’s earnestness from 5:11, and what
parallel thought expressed by Peter?
14. How does Paul answer the charge that he was crazy, what other
similar accusation against him cited, and what his reply? What the
meaning of the first clause of 5:14, and what the practical application
of all this to present day preaching?
15. What the meaning and application of 5:15? Illustrate.

XXIX
THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
2 Corinthians 6:17 to 7:16.

This discussion commences at 2 Corinthians 5:17, and ex_
tends to the end of chapter 7. Before going forward with this
discussion, I want to call attention to some critical questions
involved in the preceding chapter. In 5:11, what is the mean_
ing of the „fear of the Lord” – „Knowing therefore the fear
of the Lord, we persuade men”? Does it mean that the dread_
fulness of God, or the fear that men may have of God? My
answer is that it means God’s fearfulness or dreadfulness, his
awful character in holding each sinner to strict account for all
of his sins – „Knowing the fear of the Lord.”
In 5:14, „The love of Christ constraineth us” – does the
love of Christ here mean Christ’s love for us, or our love for
Christ that does the constraining? My answer is, it means
our love for Christ, that is superinduced by our conception of
Christ’s love for us. When we relied upon Christ’s love for
us, that awakened our love for Christ, and that constrains us
to do what we do for Christ. What is the meaning of „con_
strain”? That is, does it simply mean to impel, or does it
manifest its etymological meaning of narrowing down or shut_
ting up to, so that we cannot do anything but that? Virtually it
means the latter – that my love for Christ shuts me up to
doing what I do. In other words, Luther said when they de_
manded that he recant, „Here I stand; I can do no other.”
That is, his love of Christ put it out of his power to abjure
his conception of justification by faith.
Verse 17 says, „Wherefore ‘if any man is in Christ, he is a
new creature.” „Therefore” always refers back, and there are
two things to which it refers back: (1) Verse 15, that Christ
died for us, and so we are under obligation not to live unto
ourselves, but unto Christ. (2) Verse 16, „As Christ died for
us, we henceforth know no man, after the flesh, but according
to the Spirit.” These are the two reasons why a man is a new_
creature. The old things have passed away, meaning that old
things are covered by new things. After conversion, a man is
a new creature. Before conversion a man is his own guide,
and the knowledge he has is after worldly understanding.
I once heard a sermon preached on this text, and one of
the members said, „I have found out by that text that I am
not a Christian.” I said, „Why?” He said, „Old things have
not passed away, and all things have not become new. My
wife is not new. The sun shines as it did before, and I get
hungry as I did before. According to that sermon I am not
converted.” That preacher did not understand the force of the
„therefore.” He did not see in what respects a man was new
– that he is new in that he no longer lives unto himself but
unto Christ, and no longer forms his judgment by worldly
knowledge, but by spiritual knowledge. All of the old things
that touch these points have passed away.
I heard a very prominent Baptist preacher, without knowl_
edge of Greek, or a critical study of the text, preach on that
text to set forth the evidences of conversion. He enumerated
a dozen evidences by which one might know he was a Chris_
tian, without noticing either one of the two that the text
expresses. When he got through I said, „Whenever you take
a text there is always a better sermon in it, according to its
true meaning, than any sermon you can preach away from it.
Everything you said was true, but you ought to have gotten it
from other scriptures.”
In preaching on the evidences of conversion from this text
one must confine himself to this line of thought – that an un_
converted man lives unto himself and decides all questions
according to the way it pleases him, but the converted man is

a new creature in that respect, and decides things as Christ
would have him decide, though contrary to his inclinations.
When the Baptist General Convention met at Belton I
preached a sermon on „The Ministerial Office,” and com_
menced the sermon with stating that every preacher was under
obligation when he selected a text to give its primary meaning
and then its contextual meaning. Then he may deduce from
the principles involved a new line of thought. But his new
theme must be a logical development from the primary and
contextual meaning. He should never take a text and preach
a sermon without telling what it means primarily, and in its
context. The most suitable description of a sermon that vio_
lates this rule is credited to a Negro: First, he took his text;
second, he left it; third, he never got back to it.
The new creation may mean a great deal more than Paul
says here, but all the meaning here is that a man who is in
Christ no longer lives unto himself, but unto Christ, and no
longer judges according to the spirit of the flesh, but after the
Spirit of God.
We now come to the most important part of this second
letter. We may make mistakes about some things in this let_
ter, and the mistakes will not be fatal, but if we make a
mistake on the reconciliation part of this letter we have made
a radical mistake. Verses 18_21 contain a brief discussion of
reconciliation. If one understands these verses, he is a pretty
sound theologian. The word „reconciliation,” first of all, im_
plies that there has been a previous enmity. Second, the
ground of the enmity is that man is a sinner. Third, it implies
that, being a sinner, he is lost. All of that can be brought out
in this passage clearly.
What does reconciliation mean? That the two at enmity
have been brought to perfect peace. Who is the author of this
reconciliation? „All things are of God, who reconciled us to
himself.” There never was a case where a man at enmity with
God was himself the cause or the occasion of the reconcilia_
tion. Then what is the meritorious ground of the reconcilia_
tion? „Who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ.”
The ground of the reconciliation is what Jesus has done. What
the method of the reconciliation? „God was in Christ recon”
oiling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their
trespasses.” They must be reckoned somewhere. Look at the
last verse: „He hath made him to be sin for us.”
The method of reconciliation is to impute the man’s sins to
Christ, and not to the man, and impute Christ’s righteousness
to the man. Christ is to be accounted a sinner in the place
of the man, and the man righteous in the place of Christ.
God made the just one to take the place of the unjust one.
The strongest passage in the word of God on the doctrine of
substitution and imputation is 2 Corinthians 5:21. No man
who denies what is called the doctrine of imputation has ever
been able properly to interpret this passage.
This method is perfectly in harmony with what the prophet
declared in Isaiah 53: „Our iniquities were laid on him. By
his stripes we are healed. The chastisement of our peace was
on him, and because it was on him it pleased the Lord to
bruise him.” God bruised him. He poured out his soul unto
death and made an offering of himself for the sinner.
What is the blessing that hereby comes to the sinner? The
forgiveness of sin. If the sinner’s sins are charged to somebody
else, and that sinner is acquitted, then he is free. If a brother
owes $100 and the surety pays it, the creditor cannot collect
that $100 from the original debtor, for the debt has been paid
by the surety. So far we have considered reconciliation God_
ward. God cannot, by his nature and attributes, be reconciled
to the sinner until satisfaction be made to his infracted law.
He must be propitiated before he can become propitious. His
justice claims must be met and satisfied.
But what is the ministry of the reconciliation? The text
says, „And hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
The ministry of reconciliation is God’s appointing men to go
and preach the terms of reconciliation. What authority then is
conferred upon the preacher that goes to preach this? „We
are ambassadors of Christ.” What is an ambassador? The
United States sends an ambassador to England, and gives him
credentials. At the court of St. James in England he is the
representative of the United States. Whatever he does under
that authority binds the United States. But an ambassador
is not allowed to go beyond his instructions, and any ambassa_
dor that goes beyond them must be held responsible to the
government that sent him.
A preacher then goes with divine instructions not to say,
„peace, peace when there is no peace,” but to set plainly be_
fore the unconverted the only terms of reconciliation – that
the sinner shall repent of his sins and accept the Lord, and
the evidence that he has accepted Christ is that he no longer
lives unto himself but unto Christ, no longer as the world
judges, but according to the Spirit of God. That is the whole
subject of the gospel in a nutshell. It is of the highest im_
portance that a preacher should understand it. „We are am_
bassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were
entreating by us: We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be
ye reconciled to God.” I consider that the most important
thought in the second letter. The work of Christ reconciles
God to man. The work of the Holy Spirit reconciles man to
God.
Taking up chapter 6, let us advance in the thought. What
is the time to be reconciled?
At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee,
And in a day of salvation did I succor thee;
Behold, now is the acceptable time;
Behold, now is the day of salvation.
That is, no minister has a right to treat with a sinner on the
morrow, next week, or next year. He has to hold the sinner
down in every sermon to immediate reconciliation with Christ.

Mr. Spurgeon, in talking to his preacher_students, tells of
an. incident that he witnessed. He was visiting an Episcopa_
lian preacher, and a man under conviction of sin came to see
his pastor. He told Mr. Spurgeon to stay and hear what the
man had to say. The sinner stated his case. The preacher
said, „You go home and read a certain book on the ‘Evi_
dences of Christianity’ and read certain passages, and pray
to the Lord, and in a week come back to see me.” Mr. Spur_
geon leaped to his feet and said, „My dear sir, don’t dismiss
that man that way. You have no right to do it. He comes
to you as an anxious sinner, for you to tell him what to do,
and you have marked out a line of conduct that may take him
beyond his life time. If you will permit me, I will tell him
what to do. Let him now accept Christ; let us pray now that
he may at once accept Christ.” The Episcopalian said, „If
you want to do it, do so.” Mr. Spurgeon said to the man,
„Will you right now look to the Lord Jesus Christ while we
pray,” and he knelt down to pray and the man arose happily
converted.
We should never postpone a convicted sinner’s case. If
the man is not under conviction we may work to convict. But
when a contrite and penitent man comes, who feels that he is
a sinner, and wants to know what to do to be saved, we
should deal with him just as Paul did with that jailer at mid_
night, who said, „Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul
answered, „Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt
be saved.” He was saved that very night. There is the great
failure in most meetings.
One Sunday in Oklahoma City I preached three times. I
suppose there were fully 2,500 that heard the sermons. The
audience room was very large, and it was crowded. In the
afternoon I was preaching to men, and I came to the point of
immediate reconciliation to God. Since God is the author of
this reconciliation, and since the blessing of reconciliation is
remission of sins. and since that comes by imputation of our
guilt to Christ, and the ‘imputation of his righteousness to us,
what use is there for us to take time? If salvation be a gift,
how long does it take to receive a gift? A wonderful impres_
sion was made. Three men came to see me after the sermon
on the subject of immediate acceptance of Christ. One of
them offered me an extravagant sum of money if I would stay
and hold a meeting.
I heard a very distinguished preacher take this text: „We
beseech you in Christ’s stead be ye reconciled to God.” The
main thing he preached about was this: That there were two
parties to the original enmity, God and man; that the man
did not have to do anything to reconcile God; that the man
was the only fellow out of it; that God is already reconciled,
and the man must bring himself to bear upon reconciling him_
self. When he got through I said, „Do you know that you have
made a dreadful mistake? God’s reconciliation is in Christ,
and so long as man rejects Christ, God is not reconciled to that
man; the wrath of God is on him,” It was Christ that ap_
peased the wrath of God by dying for the sinner, but it does
not follow that because Christ died nearly 1900 years ago
the law has nothing against us. It has nothing against us only
when we accept Christ.
The reconciliation of God to us is not out of Christ, but in
Christ, but we get in touch with that reconciliation when we
accept Christ.
What then should be the conduct of a preacher who has
this ministry of reconciliation? Verses 3_10 constitute a lesson
to a preacher: „Giving no occasion of stumbling in anything,
that our ministration be not blamed; but in everything com_
mending ourselves, as ministers of God, in much patience, in
afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprison_
ments, .in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, in pure_
ness, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in kindness, in the Holy
Spirit, in love unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of
God; by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on
the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good re_
port; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well
known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not
killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making
many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
Now comes another point in the argument – since a man
who is a new creature ‘is to live not unto himself but unto
Jesus Christ, how does it affect his past relations with men
and things? Verses 14_17 answer: „Be not unequally yoked
with unbelievers; for what fellowship have righteousness and
iniquity, or what communion hath light with darkness? And
what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what portion hath
a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement hath a
temple of God with idols, for we are a temple of the living
God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in
them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore,
Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord,
And touch no unclean thing.
What follows from being a new creature? A man must draw a
line of demarcation between himself and every evil tiling and
evil association. The argument is tremendous.
We now come to the second and most important part of the
whole letter – his discussion of repentance. What precedes re_
pentance? Godly sorrow, or contrition. „Godly sorrow work_
eth repentance.” What does repentance mean? A change of
mind toward God on account of sin. How is repentance dis_
tinguished from worldly sorrow? Worldly sorrow has a dif_
ferent origin; it is remorse. How is repentance evidenced?
Look at verse 11: ‘Tor behold, this selfsame thing, that ye
were made sorry after a Godly sort, what earnest care it
wrought in you, yea what clearing of yourselves, yea what
indignation, yea what fear, yea what longing, yea what zeal,
yea what avenging.” They had partaken of the sin of that
fornicator, and were not disturbed until Paul wrote this letter
which brought about Godly sorrow in their hearts, and led
them to repent. Their repentance was evidenced by its fruits.
They cleared themselves of the offense by excluding that man,
and what is true of Godly sorrow and repentance there is true
of repentance on the part of the sinner. There is no other mill
that grinds out that kind of grist. John the Baptist said,
„Bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Don’t oppress the
poor, but be content with your wage.” If a man is a Christian
let him prove it by a Christian life.

QUESTIONS
1. What is the meaning of „fear of the Lord” in 2 Corinthians 5:11?
2. What the meaning of „constrain” in 5:14?
3. What is the force of „therefore” in 5:17, and what the two reasons
given in this passage why a man. is a new creature?
4. What the meaning and application of „old things . . . they are
become new” in 5:17? Illustrate.
5. What bearing has 5:17 on the evidence of salvation?
6. What the preacher’s duty relative to his text when he goes to
preach, and what illustration of a violation of this rule given by the
author?
7. What, according to the author’s estimate, is the most important
part of this letter, and why?
8. What does the word „reconciliation” imply?
9. What does it mean?
10. Who is the author of our reconciliation in salvation?
11. What is the meritorious ground of reconciliation?
12. What the method of this reconciliation?
13. What the strongest passage in the Word of God on imputation,
and the prophetic teaching on this subject?
14. What the blessing of reconciliation? Illustrate
15. What is the ministry of the reconciliation?
16. What the authority conferred upon the preacher? Illustrate,
17. What, then, the preacher’s evident duty?
18. What reconciles God to man, and what reconciles men to God?
19. What the time of reconciliation, and why? Illustrate.
20. What illustration of a misconception, of reconciliation, and how
did the author correct this misconception?
21. What should be the conduct of a preacher who has this reconciliation?
22. How does the „new creation” affect a man’s past relations with
men and things?
23. What the second most important part of this letter?
24. What precedes repentance?
25. What does repentance mean?
26. How is repentance distinguished from worldly sorrow?
27. How is repentance evidenced, and particularly in this case?

XXX
THE GREAT COLLECTION FOR THE POOR SAINTS
AT JERUSALEM
2 Corinthians 8:1 to 9:15.

The Great Collection discussed in 2 Corinthians 8_9 was
for the benefit of the poor saints in Jerusalem. We learn
from Acts 2:44_45; 4:32_37; 5:1_11; 6:1_4, the following
facts:
1. That in the great revival following Pentecost, and last_
ing three years and a half, up to the dispersion brought about
by Saul’s persecution, vast multitudes of the Jews of the dis_
persion being gathered to attend the annual feasts remained
over in Jerusalem on account of the revival, that every year
at the feasts this multitude was increased, and that as the
majority of the converted were from the poor, very great
poverty existed in the church. This constitutes the occasion
of these collections.
2. That to relieve this destitution, extraordinary but vol_
untary donations were contributed by the wealthier class of
Christians in order to form a relief fund to be distributed by
the apostles.
3. That in connection with donations to this fund occurred
the dramatic tragedy of Ananias and Sapphira.
4. That complaints arising among the Christian Jews of
the dispersion as to an equitable division of this fund, brought
about the creation of the office of deacon.
We learn from Acts 11:27_30 that a great dearth through_
out the world so greatly enhanced the destitution in Jerusa_
lem that the Antioch church took a relief collection and sent

it for distribution to the elders of the Jerusalem church, by
Barnabas and Paul. This is the first outside collection on
record for the poor saints in Jerusalem. We learn also from
Galatians 2:10 that James, Peter, and John urged Barnabas
and Paul, missionaries to the Gentiles, to remember the Chris_
tian poor at Jerusalem, which was in the private conference
preceding the public conference, both of which are described
in Acts 15:1_21. The distress of poverty among the Jerusalem
saints must have been very great and persistent to justify this
appeal. It was in reference to this necessity and appeal that
Paul, in accordance with his promise, is responding in this
section.
The scriptures bearing directly on these collections are:
I Corinthians 16:1_4; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 15:25_28;
Acts 20:4; 24:17. From these passages we learn the extent
and range of the collections; that all the churches of Galatia
in Asia Minor, all the churches in Macedonia, all the churches
in Achaia took part. There may have been others, but these
are specifically named. It was a series of collections in which
two continents participated. From the presence of Trophimus,
the Ephesian, and Tychicus in Jerusalem with him when he
tendered the collection (Acts 20:4; 24:17; 21:18), we may
infer that proconsular Asia participated in the collection.
The ground of obligation cited by Paul to justify the col_
lections by his Gentile converts is one of debt, thus expressed:
„For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spirit_
ual things, they owe it to them also to minister unto them
in carnal things” (Rom. 15:27). Paul’s coadjutors in engi_
neering these collections were Titus, Timothy, and others
whose names are not given.
The seven rules governing these collections were as follows:
1. As to time, they should, every Sunday, or on the first
day of the week, lay by in store until the accumulated fund
was ready to be forwarded (I Cor. 16:2).

2. Let the contribution of each be „according as God has
prospered him” (I Cor. 16:2). „According as a man hath –
not according as he hath not” (2 Cor. 8:12).
3. It must be voluntary – „of a willing mind” (2 Cor 8:12).
4. It must be deliberate, i. e., according to a previous pur_
pose (2 Cor. 9:7;8:17).
5. It must be cheerfully done, not grudgingly or of compul_
sion (2 Cor. 9:7).
6. The donor must have first given himself to the Lord
(2 Cor. 8:5).
7. They pray for them and long after them (2 Cor. 9:14).
The motives to which appeals were made are both higher
and lower. The higher motives were:
1. The example of their Lord (2 Cor. 8:9).
2. As we sow, so shall we reap (2 Cor. 9:6).
3. God’s grace will care for us (2 Cor. 9:8).
4. It is a deed of righteousness (2 Cor. 9:9_10).
5. This service not only supplied the need of the poor saints
but awakened many thanksgivings to God (2 Cor. 9:11_12).
6. The recipients of the bounty glorify God on account of
the donor’s subjection to God (2 Cor. 9:13).
7. They pray for them and long after them (2 Cor. 9:14).
8. They should abound in the grace of giving as ‘in other
graces (2 Cor. 8:7).
The lower motives were:
1. The example of the Macedonian churches (2 Cor. 8:1_5).
2. To prove the sincerity of their love (2 Cor. 8:8).
3. It is expedient to carry on what has been begun (2 Cor.
8:10).
4. They had pledged to help, and should redeem their
pledges (2 Cor. 8:11. Cf. Eccles. 5:4-6).

5. The zeal of their pledges had stimulated others (2 Cor.
9:2), and shame would follow if their pledges were unre_
deemed (2 Cor. 9:3_4).
6. On account of their zeal in pledging the apostles had
boasted of their readiness, and he would be put to shame if
the pledges were unredeemed (2 Cor. 9:2_4).
Wise steps were taken to guard against suspicion and mis_
apprehension in regard to taking collections, and the handling
and transporting agents, the brother, „whose praise in the gos_
creet and trustworthy men were appointed as collecting agents
(2 Cor. 8:16_18; 12:18_19). and the churches themselves ap_
pointed the messengers who should have charge of the funds
collected (2 Cor. 8:19_23; Acts 20:4). Among these collecting
and transporting agents, the brother, „whose praise in the gos_
pel is spread through all the churches” (2 Cor. 8:18), was
most likely Luke, as we know from the pronoun „us” in Acts
21:18 that he was of the number who went with Paul to
Jerusalem when he carried the collection there.
The applications of the principle involved to other king_
dom enterprises are as follows:
1. As all the particular churches are related to the same
King and kingdom, their co_operation in kingdom enterprises
on some equitable method is mandatory.
2. That the method most approved by experience, and which
conserves the independence of the churches and expresses their
independence, is by voluntary associations and conventions
through messengers of the churches.
3. That whatever the plan of association for eliciting, com_
bining and directing the funds of the churches, there must be
no projecting of a church into an association or convention so
as to merge its sovereignty into a denominational body having
4. That on the voluntary principle and by messengers, such
appellate jurisdiction over the private affairs of the churches.

a co_operation may be attained as will serve for all kingdom
purposes.
5. That such care must be taken in collecting, handling, and
distributing such common fund as will remove all just grounds
for suspicion.

QUESTIONS
1. For whose benefit was the collection which is discussed in 2 Corin_
thians 8_97
2. What scriptures furnish the background of so many and so great
collections?
3. What the occasion of these collections?
4. How was this extraordinary destitution relieved?
5. What dramatic tragedy in this connection?
6. What office was created in the church at this time, and what the
occasion of it?
7. What the first outside collection for these poor saints, and what its
occasion?
8. What indicates the great and persistent distress of poverty among
the Jerusalem saints?
9. What, then, brought forth this discussion in 2 Corinthians 8_9?
10. What the scriptures bearing directly on these collections?
11. From these and other scriptures, what do we learn as to the extent
and range of these collections?
12. What is the ground of obligation, cited by Paul to justify the
collection by his Gentile converts?
13. Who were Paul’s coadjustors in engineering these collections?
14. What the seven rules governing these collections?
15. What the higher motives?
16. What the lower motives?
17. What wise steps were taken to guard against suspicion and mis_
apprehension in regard to taking collections and the handling and dis_
bursement of the funds collected?
18. Among these collecting and transporting agents, who most likely
was the brother „whose praise in the gospel is spread through all the
churches,” and why?
19. What the application of the principle involved to other kingdom_

XXXI
EXPOSITION
PAUL’S REPLY TO HIS ENEMIES
2 Corinthians 10:1 to 12:21.

This discussion, commencing at chapter 10, closes up the
second letter to the Corinthians. This closing section of the
book is so utterly unlike the preceding part, that a great many
people try to make it a part of a different letter, but they
are very much mistaken. The difference arises from the fact
that the first nine chapters were addressed to the working
majority of the church, and these last chapters refer to the
incorrigible minority. The object of the last section is to
defend the apostleship and gospel of Paul from the charges
made by certain Jewish emissaries who came from Jerusalem
to that place, as at other places where he had been, and en_
deavored to wreck his Work. We have considered this matter
somewhat in our exposition of the former letter. We will con_
sider it much more in the next two letters – Galatians and
Romans. In these four letters the great controversy is dis_
cussed.
The charges of these Jewish brethren with their letters of
recommendation were about these: First, he was not coming
to them; he kept saying he would come, and even if he should
come, he would be very humble when present, though bold
in his absence. Second, that he boasted too much of his apos_
tolic authority, trying to overawe the people with his letters,
though when present his person was insignificant and his
speech contemptible. Third, that he was not in his proper
sphere – not a true apostle, not even a true Jew; that he
virtually confessed he was not an apostle by not asserting
his apostolic authority, as Peter in killing Ananias and
Sapphira; that he confessed it in not exacting support from
the people to’ whom he preached, but that while he did not
exact any money while he was there, he was arranging for a
very large collection. Why should those poor people at Corinth
be taking up a collection for some interest away off yonder, un_
less Paul wanted to scoop the money into his own hands? Of
course, his not taking money when he was there was that be
might send Titus, his henchman, and take a big collection for
himself. In other words, being crafty, he caught them with
guile to make gain of them.
Of course, these charges are inferred from his defense. We
see into his very heart, so sensitive and so deeply wounded,
that he is forced to the seeming folly of boasting. We, in
our day, rejoice that their assault led to so many rich dis_
closures of his life and heart that otherwise his modesty would
have concealed. It is never a pleasant thing to expose ras_
cality. But we have this pleasure – if these men had not pre_
ferred these charges, we never would have had the statement
in these chapters which are of imperishable value to the world.
He commences by making his reply to the charges that be
was a very humble, modest man when he is present, but when
he is absent he is bold: „Now I, Paul, myself entreat you by
the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I who in your presence
am lowly among you, but being absent am of good courage
toward you; yea, I beseech you, that I may not when present
show courage with the confidence wherewith I could be bold
against some, who count of us as if we walked according to
the flesh.” In other words, he did not want to assume this
boldness, because God did not give him this power except
for the purpose of building up. Only with great reluctance
did Paul ever use his apostolic power to vindicate himself,
and never unless the gospel was jeopardized and needed vindi_
cation. He had this power, which was not carnal, but. was of
God. In the exercise of this power he could reach any wicked
imagination of their hearts; he would pull down any strong-
hold of opposition. He had but to speak the word and God
would attest the truth of the word. But for himself, in his
love for them, he deprecated such use of the power. They had
judged according to the external appearance when they con_
cluded that because he was a modest and humble man, there_
fore he did not have the apostolic power. Some people parade
their authority and want to show it off. Paul preferred to
reach men by persuasion, to govern by gentleness, always to
win and not to drive.
With reference to his personal appearance and his speech,
he uses this language: „That I may not seem as if I would
terrify you by my letters. ‘For, his letters,’ they say, ‘are
weighty and strong; but his bodily presence is weak, and his
speech is of no account.’ Let such a one reckon this, that,
what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such are
we also in deed when we are present.” They made the mistake
of using the wrong standard of measurement, and this gives
us a fine text to preach from. In the King James Version it
reads: „They, measuring themselves by themselves, and com_
paring themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Whenever
any fallible test is made a standard of measurement we are
certain to bring about a wrong result.
When I was a young preacher I preached on that text. I
stated that I decided to put up a picket fence around my place,
and as I needed exercise, I thought I would saw the pickets
for myself. I sawed off one just long enough to measure by,
then the next one by that, and the third by the second, and
so on. When I put up my pickets I found there was an inch
and a half difference in the height. Every variation that you
make repeats and magnifies itself. We must have one fixed
standard of measurement and use that standard every time
we saw a picket. God has given one standard.
We don’t say that everybody must come up to the measure
of Sam Houston or Daniel Webster. When we hear religious
experiences we do not say that they must all be alike. We
may not have had the same length of despondency as someone
else. All we have to do is to tell our experience and let it be
measured by God’s Word. No human standard can be good.
Some people imitate others. Some preachers select an ideal
preacher, and try to imitate him. There used to be a Negro
preacher that tried to imitate Dr. Burleson. He would enter
the house carrying his big silk hat, bow, and sit down like
Dr. Burleson, and strange to say, measuring by human stand_
ards, people more often imitate the follies than the excel_
lencies. Paul says, „These men have come here on the field
of my labor and set up an arbitrary standard of measurement,
and they want to make me fit it. I will only be measured by
God’s standard, not man’s.”
Continuing his argument, he says with reference to the
sphere, „But we will not glory beyond our measure, but ac_
cording to the measure of the province which God apportioned
to us as a measure, to reach even unto you. For we stretch
not ourselves overmuch, as though we reached not unto you;
for we came even as far as unto you in the gospel of Christ.”
I think the greatest missionary sermon I ever preached was
from that text: „We came even as far as you in the gospel of
Christ, having hope that, as your faith groweth, we shall
preach the gospel in the regions beyond you.” I drew an his_
topical picture of the progress of the gospel, commencing at
Jerusalem, until at this time it had reached Corinth in Europe.
It represented many long journeys and varied experiences of
Paul. Paul’s rule was when he reached a place not to conduct
all of his campaign from the original base, but to make the
new church a new base: „I have this hope, that I shall estab_
lish a missionary church at Corinth, and that through that
missionary church, I shall reach out to the region beyond,
and establish other missionary churches beyond you, and use
them as a base to reach others yet beyond.” That discloses
Paul’s method of work. That province had been assigned to
him by the Lord Jeans Christ. They claimed that he was out
of his sphere. Peter and James recognized that God had sent
Paul to the Gentiles. They gave him the right hand of fellow_
ship on that. God’s providence had met him there. God’s
Spirit had blessed him there, and he was not building on any
other man’s foundation.
The next chapter commences this way: „Would that ye
could bear with me in a little foolishness.” They claimed that
he was foolish. „Well, hear a little foolishness. You bear
with people who are more foolish.” Notice what he says about
what they had borne. If one should even slap them in the
face they would bear it. „Now bear with me. I am indeed
jealous over you, but it is a godly jealousy. I haven’t that
envy and jealousy that one preacher has for another preacher
lest the one beat me preaching. My jealousy is one that God
approves. There come preachers to you who do not preach the
true gospel, who come in another spirit and preach another
Jesus, and as the serpent beguiled Eve with subtlety, so will
they seduce you. For if he that cometh preacheth another
Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different
spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which
ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him. For I reckon
that I am not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.” Their
next objection was that Paul was not a trained orator: „But
though I be rude in speech, yet I am not in knowledge.”
As to that question of support, he says, „Did I commit a
sin . . . because I preached to you the gospel of God for
nought? I did receive wages from other churches. Part of the
time I supported myself and part of the time the Macedonian
churches supplied my necessities while I preached to you.
Instead of being led to refrain from claiming support because
I distrusted my apostolic right to do that, my object was an
entirely different one. I had a number of lessons I wanted
to teach you. One reason was that I might take away
from anybody who sought occasion to object to my min_
istry on that account. I wanted to teach you lessons as I
taught th.: Thessalonians, that men ought to work; that in_
dustry is a good thing.” He says, „It was wrong I did you
and I ask you to forgive the wrong.”
It is a sin for the gospel to be preached contrary to the
declaration of Christ that „they that preach the gospel should
live of the gospel.”
Every enterprise should pay its own expenses and yield its
fruits to the laborer. „I made you inferior in this, that I took
away from you the dignity of paying for the gospel preached
to you.”
I discussed that question before the Southern Baptist Con_
vention once when there was such a hue and cry against
agents. I told this anecdote: An Irishman had only one load
of powder and shot, and he had to have something to eat. He
saw a coon up a tree and fired at it. The coon fell out and
hit the ground so hard that it burst open. The Irishman said,
„Faith, and what a fool I was to waste that load of ammuni_
tion; the fall would have killed him.” There are people who
talk about a waste of ammunition, but coons don’t fall out of
the tops of trees unless someone wastes a load of shot on them.
Let us look at 11:20: „For ye bear with a man, if he bring_
eth you into bondage, if he devoureth you, if he taketh you
captive, if he exalteth himself, if he smiteth you on the face.”
Those fellows with those letters of recommendation were very
exalted beings, and demanded high recognition; there was no
humility about them. They claimed money, and they got
money, and they brought the people from gospel freedom into
bondage, and they would even insult them by slapping them
in the face. There are some people who are never influenced
by gentle means. The old Webster spelling book tells us that
a man may talk softly to a boy up an apple tree and he won’t
come down. He may throw turf at him and he won’t come
down. He has to rock him to get him down. There are some
people who want a leader that will knock them down and
drag them out, and they have no respect for a leader that can-
not fight and call somebody a liar. The one who shot down the
most men in western towns used to be a hero. Paul says that
these people were like those who cringe before their masters
like dogs. That reminds me of Aesop’s fable of King Log.
As to the charge that he was not a Jew, here is his reply:
„Are they Hebrews? So am 1. Are they Israelites? So am 1.
Are they seed of Abraham? So am 1. Are they ministers of
Christ? I am more.” Now follows a passage of Scripture that
ought to be written in letters of gold and carried with every
preacher. It shows what Paul had suffered for the gospel up
to this time: „In labors more abundantly, in prisons more
abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft. Of the
Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was
I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered ship_
wreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journey_
ings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils
from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in
the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in
perils among false brethren; in labor and travail, in watchings
often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and naked_
ness. Besides those things that are without, there is that
which presseth upon me daily – anxiety for all the churches.”
I suppose if we put together the labors and sufferings of all
the other apostles, they would not equal the sufferings of this
one man. When we read the book of Acts, we do not read
about any of these shipwrecks, and only one on the scourgings
ùthe one at Philippi by the Roman lictors. Scarcely any of
the other perils are mentioned.
No wonder John Mark got scared when they left the Isle
of Cyprus and went on to the mainland. Up those mountains,
and swimming those river torrents, and meeting those robbers,
Paul’s every step was into the jaws of death, always the Spirit
of God bearing witness with his spirit that bonds and im_
prisonments awaited him. He counted it the same as breath_
ing, and more certain than food, for often he did not know he
would get any food. How many times do we preachers suffer
real hunger in doing our duty as preachers? Do we ever swim
creeks? How many times have we been in jail and whipped
by the magistrates?
They used to whip Baptist preachers in Virginia, and in
ungodly New England it was a devout exercise to banish
Quakers and whip Baptists. I have the history of the old
Philadelphia Association. Within four years of the time that
the battle of Lexington was fought, and almost within sight
of the battleground, a large community of Baptists were taxed
to build a meeting house for the Congregationalists in a com_
munity where there were no Congregationalists. Whenever
they did not pay the tax readily, law officers came and at_
tached the center acre of their farms or gardens, and then
under forced auction sales, their enemies would bid in their
property for a song.
We are living in a good, easy time. But our fathers have
been tested. It is certainly true that throughout the dark ages
whoever was true to the gospel of Jesus Christ walked at least
somewhat in the steps of Paul. There are historians who are
unable to see any connection between the Baptists of the fif_
teenth and sixteenth centuries and the preceding sufferings for
Christ, but they are very dim_eyed. The gospel is always
transmitted by men. Paul says, „What I commit to you, do
you commit to faithful men who shall come after you.” Some_
body carries the gospel, and it always broke out in the places
where these faithful preachers went. They could not publish
books and preach in houses. They had to preach in the caverns
of the earth, and even in pious Switzerland where John Calvin
laid the foundation of Presbyterianism, the men who insisted
on immersion as baptism were condemned to be drowned: I
you will dip, we will dip you.”
In chapter 12 he comes to another proof of his authority –
the revelations made to him. We have read nothing of this in

the preceding history. It occurred during his Cilician ministry,
to which there are only two New Testament references: „I
know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the
body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not;
God knoweth) ; such a one caught up even to the third heaven.
And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from
the body, I know not; God knoweth) how that he was caught
up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is
not lawful for man to utter.” In other words, „You say I am
not an apostle. This is only one of the many experiences that
I have had with my Lord.” This man was selected as a special
medium of divine revelation, and God honored him by catch_
ing him up to the third heaven – the paradise of God. The
word „paradise” occurs here, and where the Saviour spoke it
on the cross: „This day shalt thou be with me m paradise,”
and in the third chapter of Revelation: „To him that over_
cometh to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is
in the paradise of God.” These are the only three places where
the word occurs in the New Testament, and from these pas_
sages it is easy to see where Paul was carried. The tree of life
was in the midst of the paradise of God, and the last of Reve_
lation locates that tree of life: „And he shewed me a pure
river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the
throne of God and of the Lamb.” That is paradise regained
– the paradise that the original paradise typified. The first
Adam lost the type, and the Second Adam gained the anti_
type. Paul says, „I do not know whether it was just my spirit
taken out of my body and carried up thereù1 cannot answer
that psychological question – but I know that God caught me
up into the paradise of heaven. I heard things not proper to
tell now.” Notice that Lazarus told nothing as to his experi_
ences the other side of the grave. Our revelation must come
from God.
Now Paul says, „By reason of the exceeding greatness of
the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there
was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan
to buffet me.” Of course, everybody wants to know what that
thorn in the flesh was, but we can only conjecture. I infer
from some statements in the letter to the Galatians that it
was his weak eyes. He had to be led around, and have his let_
ters written. He wrote the letter to the Galatians with his
own hand, and calls attention to the „sprawling letters.” He
says the Galatians were so much in love with the gospel he
preached that they would have plucked out their own eyes
and given him. So I infer that the devil was permitted to
afflict him. He prayed three times that the affliction might be
taken away. There are two other cases where three prayers
were made to God like this case, and where those praying did
not get the request in the form they asked for it. God did not
take away the thorn in the flesh, but he answered Paul’s
prayer by giving him grace to bear it.
In regard to that money business he says, „I did not myself
burden you, but, being crafty, I caught you with guile.” We
must understand these words as quoted by him. It was the
charge of his enemies to which he replies: „Did I take ad_
vantage of you by any one of them whom I have sent unto
you? I exhorted Titus, and I sent the other brother with him.
Did Titus take any advantage of you? Walked we not in the
came spirit? Walked we not in the same steps?” I don’t sup_
pose any man ever acted more prudently than Paul did in
the management of money.

QUESTIONS
1. What can you say of the closing section (chap. 10_13) of
2 Corinthians and from what does the difference arise?
2. What the object of this last section, and where may we find the
discussion extended?
3. What the charges of the Judaizers, and how did they say that
he acknowledged that he was not an apostle?

4. What Paul’s reply to the charge that he was humble and modest
when present, but bold when. absent?
5. What his reply to the charge that his letters were weighty and
strong, but his bodily presence was weak, etc.?
6. What the mistake of the accusers on this point, what illustration
from the experience of the author, and what the application to the
Christian experience?
7. What Paul’s reply to the accusation that he was out of his sphere,
what great missionary text in this connection, what was Paul’s method.
of work as revealed in this reply, and what recognition was given Paul
in this sphere?
8. What his reply to the charge that he was foolish?
9. What his answer to the objection that he was not a trained orator?
10. What his reply to the charge that he did not demand a support?
11. What the teaching here on ministerial support? Illustrate.
12. What the character and methods of Paul’s Judaizing accusers, and
how does this method seem to fit some people? Illustrate.
13. What his reply to the charge that he was not a. Jew, and, briefly,
what were Paul’s sufferings for the gospel up to this time?
14. How does this paragraph from the life of Paul fit our case, and
what, briefly, some of the sufferings of our forefathers?
15. What proof of his authority does Paul present in chapter 12, and
how does it prove it?
16. What three passages in the Bible contain the word „paradise,”
and where is paradise?
17. What was Paul’s „thorn in the flesh,” and why was it given him?
18. What God’s answer to his prayer respecting it, and what other
similar cases in the Bible?
19. How did Paul reply to their charge respecting the money matter?
NOTE: For the first part of the discussion of the revolt against apos_
tolic authority, see chapter 16.

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