POLICY OF THIS PAPER
1. To judge no man’s loyalty to his God by his loyalty to the paper.
2. To “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3). And thus, complete the restoration started by the Campbells and others a century ago.
3. To oppose every departure from the word of God in faith and practice; avoiding at the same time undue stress on any one sin, to the exclusion of others. We expect to wage a war of uncompromising hostility against every sin both in and out of the church.
4. To make the paper an open forum, insofar as the issues being discussed are considered vital to the welfare of the church and the salvation of the soul.
5. To give the readers a balanced periodical, thus making it beneficial to both saint and sinner.
6. To manifest the spirit of Christ in dealing with all issues and controversies, thus avoiding personal thrusts and abusive language. We ask all our writers to say nothing in the columns of the paper that they would be ashamed or afraid to say in the day of Judgment.
7. To make field reports a special feature. Therefore, we insist that all preachers and leaders of the loyal congregations send in reports and announcements regularly; thereby encouraging others in the work.
8. Finally, to be true to the charge that God has given us; to glorify Him in all that we do or say; to urge upon all a closer walk with God; realizing that we have never dying souls to save, and to fit them for Mansions in the sky.
J. D. Phillips H. C. Harper
Homer L. King Homer A. Gay
Since we have added so many new names to our mailing list since we published the first issue a year ago, containing the above “policy” of the paper, I think it proper to give a reprint as we begin a new volume of the paper, so that all may not lose sight of the object of the paper. I wish to call special attention to numbers 2, 3, and 6. I can see no reason for changing the policy as stated above for 1933, and I hope that the writers will strive to abide by it.
H. L. K.
G. C. Brewer’s Review of “The Cup of The Lord”
Answered by J. D. Phillips - Number 1
Brother G. C. Brewer, an editor of the Gospel Advocate, Nashville, Tennessee, has offered his readers three lengthy editorials in the issues of September 1st, 8th, and the 15th, 1932. I shall, the Lord willing, review his articles in a series of articles in the Old Paths Advocate. The following is his preface:
“The Cup of The Lord”
“A good brother in Texas as has sent me a thirty-seven-page booklet bearing the title that is used as a heading for this article, with the earnest request that I review it in the Gospel Advocate. The author of the booklet is J. D. Phillips, of Montebello, California, and he argues, or thinks he does, that only one cup (vessel) should be used on the Lord’s table and each member of the congregation should drink from this one cup. Of course, the tract contains nothing but quibbling, and it is distasteful to me to analyze and expose such attempts at argumentation, but the brother assures me that some of his own people are deceived by this seeming show of learning and logic and he wants help. In the hope that I may give him the needed help, I here give brief notice to the tract.”
I learned to admire Bro. Brewer several years ago when I read his tract in answer to O. E. Payne’s book entitled “Instrumental Music is Scriptural.” Before I read Brewer’s tract I was of the opinion that Paul’s use of “psallo” and “psalmos,” two Greek words rendered “sing” and “psalm,” carried with them the idea of a mechanical instrument to accompany the singing. Brewer’s tract completely upset Payne's book. Since reading it, I have been thoroughly settled on the music question.
In his review of Payne’s book, Brewer was fair: he gave his readers precisely what Payne offered as proof. But in his review of “The Cup of the Lord” he gave his readers hardly a line of what I actually said. This is not fair; and I hope the honest-hearted readers of the Gospel Advocate will send for my tract and read it carefully. It is free. Please send postage. My reviewer’s unfairness is further evident from the fact that he resorts to the sectarian dodge, namely: If it is the truth, distort it a little and meet the distortion; if you cannot do that ridicule it in some way; if you cannot do that, throw trash over it and keep the readers from seeing it.
I cannot think of being dishonest with my brother's review. I am giving his articles verbatim et literatim. For the sake of clearness, I will give one paragraph at a time; then let my reply follow. But I know that you cannot get the force of what is in my pamphlet unless you read it for yourself. If you want the truth, you owe it to yourself to read the pamphlet reviewed. I believe that if you will do this, you will decide that my reviewer is only a Goliath trying to cope with a David. I beg you to read the pamphlet.
He starts out by saying that my tract “contains nothing but quibbling,” and that “it is very distasteful” to expose my “attempts at argumentation.” And yet he takes up more than his usual editorial page in three successive issues of the Advocate. This is an unintentional compliment, considering how great a man he is. The truth is all we want. In my reply, I hope to set forth the truth in such a way that “the wayfaring man, yea, fools, shall not err therein.” “Great is the truth, and mighty above all things, and will, at last, prevail."
“1. Contention. In the years gone by all congregations used from two to six or eight cups or glasses on the Lord’s table. No thought or importance whatever was given to the number of vessels used. The size of the congregation determined the number. Then, when we began to use the individual cups, some people, with no reason except a sentimental reason - a prejudice against anything new or different - began to object. Then, in seeking Scripture proof to sustain their objection, they discovered that the record says our Lord took “a cup’' (singular), and they insisted that we should use only one drinking vessel. It was pointed out that we had been using two, four, six, etc.; but the objectors, to be consistent, now declared that we had been wrong all the time, and we must henceforth use only one cup. They never would have thought of this if it had not been for the introduction of the individual cup. But now there is a distinct "one-cup” faction, with its paper, literature, preachers' list, and other paraphernalia, to our disgrace and shame.”
It is not true that “all congregations used from two to six or eight cups” in the communion. Hundreds of congregations have never used more than one cup. F. L. Rowe fought the use of cups, in 1910, as the files of the Leader will show. J. W. McGarvey, one of the greatest scholars we ever had in our ranks, did the same. The files of the Christian Standard will show this. Winifree, author of one of the best books on the prophecies, fought the use of more than one cup in the communion, as the files of the Firm Foundation will show.
Neither is it true that “No thought or importance whatever was given to the number of vessels used.” In a book entitled “The Gospel According to St. Luke, With Notes Critical and Practical, By M. F. Sadler, Rector of Honiton and Prebendary of Wells,” we read (p. 563) of “The Cup After Supper”; “‘This cup is the New Testament in My blood’ (Luke 22:20). This is virtually the same as the words recorded in the two first synoptics (Matthew and Mark), ‘This is My blood of the New Testament.’ Only we gather from it the exceeding importance of the chalice. It contains the Lord's blood.”
Bishop Lightfoot, the peerless scholar and exegete, universally recognized as one of the best, if not the best, authorities on Hebrew and Greek, says: “As it is here said of the cup, This cup is the New Testament in My blood; so it might be said of the cup of blood (Exodus chapter 24), That cup was the Old Testament in the blood of Christ” (Lightfoot’s Works, vol. 2, p. 260).
“St.” Ambrose (died A. D. 307) says, “We receiving of one loaf and of one cup, are receivers and partakers of the body of the Lord” (L. IV. chapter 4).
Ignatius (died A. D. 107, just one year after the Apostle John’s death) says, “There is… one cup to (show forth) the unity of His (Christ’s) blood” (Epistle to Philadelphia).
Kurtz says, in Lange, “A fellowship among guests at a table united as brethren in Christ, whose union is symbolized by the wine contained in one cup.”
It is not true that the brethren who believe in the use of one cup in the communion have out a “preacher’s list.” However, if we did, it would not be “to our disgrace and shame” any more than the list published by Bro. Brewer’s paper, which excludes the names of the preachers that favor mechanical music in the worship. I do not recognize Bro. Brewer’s divisions. Yet I oppose every innovation, whether it be practiced by the “digressive” brethren, or by the “loyal” brethren.
He admits that the introduction of the “individual cups” had something to do with starting a contention. Why, then, did they introduce them? Do they rejoice in division? He further admits that the “individual cups” practice is “something new,” and since Webster shows an innovation to be “something new,” it follows, as a logical conclusion, that his individual cups practice, with the law that binds it, is an innovation!
But what he says amounts to nothing unless he can prove that - What the congregations used “in years gone by” is Scriptural. He is no better off than the brother that advocates mechanical music in the worship and goes to the Old Testament, or to what the “congregations used in the years gone by.” Neither is he any better off than the Romanist who advocates “auricular confession” and goes to what the “congregations have used in the years (several centuries) gone by,” as proof.
And the Romanist, by the same “hook,” can prove each congregation should have a priest over it. This, too, was practiced by most “congregations in the years gone by.”
The Romanist cannot take his Bible and read in it of the Catholic priesthood, nor of auricular confession. Neither can a “digressive” take his Bible and read in it of mechanical music in the worship. Neither can Bro. Brewer take his Bible and read in it of a plurality of cups in the communion. In every reference, it is the singular word “cup,” a translation of the Greek, poterion, which means “a cup, a drinking vessel” (Thayer).
Yes, your practice (and the contention it calls forth) is a “new thing,” as you admit. A “new thing” in religion is something that is not in the New Testament, and James A. Allen, once editor of the Gospel Advocate, says, “Anything that is not in the New Testament ought not to be anywhere else.” Alexander Campbell, Thomas Campbell, and Moses E. Lard say the same. A greater has said: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God” (2 John 1:9). And Paul says, not to become “wise above that which is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6).
Digressives have always sought out new things with no thought whatever as to whether they are Scriptural. They get their music, their sprinkling, and their infant baptism first (and because they want them) and before they get their arguments by which they seek to justify them. And when questioned about them, they appeal to the Bible, not because they expect to find them there, but because the people generally expect to find in the Bible what they do; and because they can make no head-way as Protestants without pretending to have Scriptural authority for what they do.
And so it has been with the cups brethren. And it is astonishing what excuses and subterfuges they have resorted to. Their arguments are as fallacious and puerile, as contradictory and vague, as sophistry can conjure up.
And by these digressions, we now have the “individual cups” faction, the “two or more cups” faction, and those who still stand for “that which is written” (1 Corinthian 4:6) - “the cup” or “a cup,” of the Bible. And all this in the very face of our Lord’s prayer for His followers “that they be one, that the world may believe” and the apostle’s injunction that we all “speak the same thing” and that “there be no division” among us, and knowing, or at least, should know, that no Christian walks worthily of his vocation unless he endeavors to “keep the unity (henotees, from heis, henos, one) of the spirit in the bond of peace” (John chapter 17, 1 Corinthians chapter 1, Ephesians chapter 4).
Who can thus betray his Lord? We need to examine ourselves. “Lord, is it I?” And will they stop at “individual cups”? No, for already “unleavened bread” is only an “incidental,” they say. See Gospel Advocate, September 15, 1932, p. 1021. Extremes meet. Perhaps “many cups” will finally lead to “no cup.” The Catholics tell us that “the blood is in the body” (loaf), so they have the priest to drink all the wine! The pope has the priest to drink all the wine because it “saves time” and because “some feel a disgust at all drinking from one chalice,” as can be seen by consulting their Catechism. Our brethren use “two or more cups” and “individual cups” for the same reasons. And there they go - on to “Mystery, Babylon the Great” (Revelation chapter 17). The Catholics had been on the job with their innovations for centuries before they had as many innovations as our brethren now have. And old Bro. Tant, one of our cups brethren, continually warns us, saying, “Brethren, we are drifting, drifting, DRIFTING; and will soon be like the churches about us.”
J. D. Phillips
Bro. J. D. Phillips requests that we discontinue his name with the “Editorial” on page 4, giving as his reason that he does not think he deserves to have his name appear in such conspicuous manner. We are granting the request by discontinuing the “Editorial.”
H. L. K.
Harptree, Saskatchewan, Canada
Walking in Newness of Life - Number 1
We have been shown by the New Testament “If any man is in Christ he is a new creature.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. By virtue of being “a new creature in Christ” it necessarily follows that those who are in Christ; should “walk in, newness of life,” just as a married person is expected to live the married life.
It may be well to notice where to walk the “new life” (or live it). In Colossians 2:6 it may be seen where to walk, “as therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” We are informed by the above teaching all who have “received Christ (the anointed) Jesus (Savior) the Lord” (law giver) should “walk in Him” (not out of Him). Those who are “In Christ are new creatures” hence, have died to sin or the world. Romans 6:7, Romans 6:10-11. Thus they are to “follow his (Christ’s) steps.” 1 Peter 2:21. “Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith;” etc., Hebrews 12:2; “wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus, who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also was Moses in all His house.” Hebrews 3:1-2. By “looking unto Jesus and considering Him as our Apostle and High Priest” we will be “walking in Him.”
Moreover, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. To “walk in the light” is to walk in Christ because He is “The light of the world.” John 8:12. Not only “The Light,” but “the true Light, even the light which lighteth every man (Jew and Gentile) coming into the world.” John 1:9.
If the disciples of our Lord should “walk in Christ” as directed the reflection of the light (Christ) will be so vivid and radiant its expansion may be seen throughout the whole world. It could then be truly said of the children of God, “Ye are the light of the world,” Matthew 5:14, and are “walking as children of light,” Ephesians 5:8, that ye (we) may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:15.
Furthermore, God’s people are to “walk in truth.” 2 John 1:4. Christ is “The Truth,” John 14:6, therefore, God’s people are to walk in Christ.
We are to walk in “The narrow way.” Matthew 7:14, Luke 13:24. Christ is “The Way,” John 14:6, therefore, we are to walk in Christ.
The disciples of Christ are to “walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4. Christ is “The Life,” John 14:6, therefore, the disciples of Christ are to walk in Christ (not in and after the world).
“Broad is the road that leads to death and thousands walk together there;
But wisdom shows a narrow path, with here and there a traveler.
Deny thyself, and take the cross, is the Redeemer’s great command;
Nature must count her gold but dross if she would gain this heavenly land.
The fearful soul that tires and faints, and walks the way of God no more.
Is but esteemed almost a saint, and makes his own destruction sure.
Lord, let my hope be not in vain, create my heart entirely new;
This, hypocrites could never attain, This, false apostates never knew.”
Under the heading “Sound Speech” Daniel Sommer has this to say in the Review of March 15, 1932:
The word baptized, even when used in quotation marks, is erroneously used when reference is made to sprinkling, even as the word rantized would be erroneous if used with reference to baptism, even if used in quotation marks. Immersion and sprinkling are so distinct that they should not be used interchangeably, even if used in an accommodative sense. Therefore, when referring to those who think they have been baptized because they have been sprinkled on, we should say so, but not say of them - “who have been ‘baptized’ otherwise.” To this I add that the accuracy of “sound speech” requires we should not forget to mention also that acceptable baptism requires it shall be done by the authority of Christ and into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” But the writer under review seems not to have considered any of this. Nor did he consider that the expression “for the remission of sins” (in Acts 2:38) should be modified by the words “unto” and “into,” as later translations of that scripture require, and as “sound speech that cannot be condemned” demands.
But this is not all that should be stated in this connection. When I began to study this question of baptism critically I read “Campbell on Baptism” and found he followed a Baptist theologian named. Carson (as I now recollect) and declared the Greek “baptidzo” was and is a specific word with a specific meaning, and that meaning was and is to “dip, plunge, immerse.” But when I later read the “Campbell and Rice debate,” and still later read the “Braden and Hughey Debate,” I learned “baptidzo” was used in a considerate variety of connections in Greek literature, and I began to doubt on that subject. Finally, a clear-thinking brother said, “The word baptism means a state or condition, however that may be accomplished.” Then I examined the definitions and uses of that word and concluded it meant an overwhelmed condition, and that means that its general or generic meaning is overwhelmed, whether that condition is accomplished by a pouring, an inundation or overflowing, or by strong drink. Therefore, I was compelled to conclude that Carson and Campbell, and all others who followed them or adopted the doctrine that the word “baptidzo is a word of specific meaning,” except incidentally, were and are wrong. It is a word of generic meaning, and that meaning is an overwhelmed condition, which may be accomplished by a variety of specific actions or conditions; for the apostles were baptized by the Holy Spirit when they were overwhelmed by it, and Jesus was baptized by his sufferings when he was overwhelmed by them.
And it should be “considered” that “into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is in the command (Matthew 28:19) to the one who does the baptizing; and since Sommer claims that this was to the Apostles of Christ exclusively and not to us, he might tell us by what authority he baptizes.
And it should be “considered” that “in (epi or en) the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38) is in the command to the one being baptized and signifies “reposing one’s hope on Him, Acts 2:38” - Thayer, p. 94. And it should be “considered” that the phrase translated “for the remission of sins” signifies “to obtain the forgiveness of sins, Acts 2:38” - Thayer, p. 94. Hence McGarvey (New Commentary on Acts of Apostles) well says, “Peter's purpose in the expression (eis aphesin amartioon) was not to indicate the mere fact that baptism brings one to remission, but to state the blessing in order to the attainment of which his hearers were to be baptized. In other words, he states a motive for the act.” (p. 261) And the scholarship of the world stands back of Thayer, that the phrase is telic, that is, a phrase expressing purpose - they were commanded to have this purpose. “Unto” is antiquated (See any good dictionary). And while the phrase is telic, and “eis” is best expressed in English for such a phrase by for, in order to, with a view to, or the infinitive with to, as in “to obtain, “yet” “into” is clearly implied, for as Dill says, “The entrance ‘into’ a state or condition may be presented to the mind as the purpose or end of our actions.” (See Handbook on Baptism, p. 344). And this figurative force depends, of course, on the literal definition of the word.
And it should be “considered,” even if it takes another “critical” examination, that the Greek verb baptizo is a specific word, meaning to immerse; and immerse is a correct English rendering in the New Testament. Dare Sommer deny this? Because Sommer does not know the difference between the metaphorical use of a word and the meaning of a word, is no reason why we should let his blunders go unnoticed. The metaphorical force of a word is always backed by the literal definition. This you find in the baptism of suffering; baptism in the Holy Spirit, etc. And the definition of a word can always with propriety be substituted in syntax for the word. And baptisma means an immersion, submersion.
Let Sommer produce the scholarship that will back up his assertions here. He wants us to take his ipse dixit, but he is just a smatterer when it comes to scholarship.
Let Sommer produce the real scholars that will say Campbell and Carson were wrong if he wants us to believe it.
Those who wish to investigate this matter can find in “Handbook on Baptism” (Gospel Advocate, Nashville, Tennessee), “The Form of Baptism” (Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio), or send ten cents to the office of the Old Paths Advocate, Lebanon, Missouri, for a review of Sommer on Baptism.
H. C. H.
Cup or Cups
Should one cup or more than one be used in the communion? Brother H. C. Harper and Brother L. J. Killion have been considering this question, and I wish now to say a few things on the subject.
I will assume that the readers of the Firm Foundation have noticed the discussion, hence I shall simply call your attention to Brother Killion’s last article, of the date June 10, 1913, and then go to the word of God, as more profitable to quote, and to abide in. The word says: “And He took the cup.” Mark 14:23. “And He took the cup and gave thanks.” Luke 22:17. “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying This cup is the New Testament in my blood.” Luke 22:20. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16. “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils.” 1 Corinthians 10:21. “In like manner also he took the cup when he had supped, saying this cup is the New Testament in my blood.” 1 Corinthians 11:25. “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye show the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26. “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 11:27. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28.
Here any one can see that we have multiplied instances where the Lord Himself and the Apostle Paul spoke of “the cup,” “this cup,” and “that cup.” But there is not a single precept or line for the cups, these cups, or those cups. And we cannot in good, commonsense, say that the cup, this cup, or that cup means that more than one cup was sanctioned in the communion by the Lord or by the Apostles afterward. Paul says on this matter: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you.” 1 Corinthians 11:23.
Hence, we have every “Thus saith the Lord” restricting the number of cups to be used in any one congregation at one service to be but ONE.
Z. T. Winfree
(from Firm Foundation, 1913)
“The Doctrine of The Nicolaitans”
What is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans? Twice has Jesus said in His letter to the churches, “I hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.” They taught, according to the best information we have, that Christians might conform to the world somewhat; that it would be better for the cause of Christ for them to do so; that, for the heathen’s sake, they should not be too particular; that they might go to the temple of the idols and bow and worship (or seem to worship) with the idolaters; that they might partake of the offerings to the idols, and be on good terms with the idolaters, to get them to meet with them and hear the gospel preached. And then, hearing the gospel, they would be converted and become Christians. And, of course, the persons converted to the Lord among the heathen would still go, as taught by the Christians, in the way of the idolaters around them, and it was a compromise between Christianity and idolatry. Jesus said He hated it then, and I am satisfied that He hates it now. Sometime since, while I was assisting in a meeting during the Christmas Holidays, a brother said to me, “I think you would have more influence in the community, and do more good in the meeting if you would go out to their Christmas tree.” We must keep up with the times, you see, in order to get a hearing from the world. It has been argued by some that it is no harm to go to the little amusements of the neighbors around us, to these little plays or parties and such like. When a Christian is led off into these things, he will find, when he comes to himself, that they are only stepping stones to greater evils. Better heed Paul’s admonition when he said, “shun the very appearance of evil.” But it has been said, “In Rome we must do as Rome does.” It has been said that Paul taught this, but he never hinted it. I know he said he became all things to all men. “To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak, became I as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the Gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” Paul did not say that he conformed to their practice: he only became as a Jew to the Jews, by using the Jewish scriptures in showing them that they were wrong and Jesus was the Christ. He only became as under the law by using the law in all its types, and showing them that they' pointed to Christ; and, in this way, fought them on their own battle-ground.
To those that were without law, that acknowledged no law as given by Moses, did not believe the Jewish scriptures, Paul never quoted the Jewish scriptures; he did not use the Jewish scriptures among the Gentiles to convert them; he did not make his appeal to those scriptures at all, but said, “your own poets condemn you,” while he was at Athens. To the weak he became as weak; that is, he used great plainness of speech that all might understand him. In reading after Paul, do you feel that he conformed to the world around him? Was it for being as the Jews were, in his preaching, that he received forty stripes, save one, at five different times? Was it for conforming to the customs of the Gentiles that they threw him among the wild beasts? Was it for saying that those that were under the law were right, that they abused him and beat him with rods? No; it was for saying they were wrong, by meeting them on their own ground and using their own arguments against them. Then, let us never be guilty of practicing the thing that Jesus declared he hated; but “ask for the old paths, wherein is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”
H. C. Welch
Should Christians Pray for The Salvation of Sinners?
If a member of a sectarian or denominational church be asked this question, his answer will invariably be in the affirmative. Confronted with the question, “Do members of the Church of Christ believe that Christians should pray for sinners?” he would as invariably say, “No! Emphatically no!” And perhaps, “They do not even believe in prayer!”
Why do they feel this way about us, the Church of Christ? The only logical answer that I can think of is that it is because we do not ask God to set aside His law and save the sinner independent of obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I believe that all Christians should pray for the salvation of the sinner; but, in accordance with the will of God, as it has been revealed in His last will and testament. The beloved Apostle Paul, in writing to young Timothy says: “I exhort, therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men.” - 1 Timothy 2:1. Since we must pray for all men, it is evident that we are to pray for the sinner. I will even say that I do not believe that a man can be a real Christian and not pray earnestly for the salvation of the sinner. Prayer is the sincere desire of the heart. - Romans 10:1. Also, “from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” So, if the Christian has the sinner’s salvation at heart he will express his desire in humble prayer to God. The apostle Paul, in speaking of Israel, his brethren in the flesh, says: “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved.” - Romans 10:1.
The Bible does not only teach that we are to pray for the lost, but it teaches how we are to pray. Surely, Paul’s prayer for Israel was that they might accept Christ as the Messiah and obey His gospel and be saved.
In the prayer of Christ as he hung on the cross, dying for the sins of the whole world, we have an example of the saved praying for the sinner. His prayer was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” - Luke 23:34.
Such a prayer was offered up for the very people that were putting Him to death. Was His prayer answered? Yes. On the first Pentecost after the ascension of Christ, the Apostle Peter who held the keys of the Kingdom stood before some of the very same people that Christ had prayed for here. After being told how that they had crucified their own Lord and Savior, they cried out, “Men and Brethren, what shall we do?” The inspired answer was, “Repent, and be baptized for the remission of sins.” - Acts 2:38. About three thousand accepted the Gospel and were saved. Hence Christ’s prayer was answered, but it was answered in accordance with God’s law, or by their accepting the Gospel that was able to save. - James 1:18.
Another inspired example of the efficacy of the Prayer of a Christian for a sinner is that of Stephens. While he was being stoned to death, he prayed, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” - Acts 7:60. Was this prayer answered? Yes. There was a young man of Tarsus, named Saul, who consented to his death, and was a vile persecutor of the Church, making havoc of it. We learn in Acts chapter 9, that while on his way to Damascus, a great light shone around about Saul and he heard a heavenly voice, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” In answer to his terrified inquiry as to who the Speaker was, he was told, “It is Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.” Then he was told to send for Ananias, a preacher of the Gospel who would tell him what he must do. When Ananias arrived, he told Saul to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins calling on the name of the Lord. - Acts 22:16.
So, again, we find that the prayer of a righteous man in regard to the salvation of sinners was answered, but in accord with God’s will. Thus, the prayer of the Christian for the sinner, to be effective, must be in accord with what is revealed as the will of God. To ask God to set aside His law, and save the sinner without obedience or without effort upon his part is an abomination in His sight.
O. B. Perkins
God’s Election of Grace
Doubtless God chose Abraham because he was a man of Faith and Obedience. Having chosen him, He chose his seed after him. His seed was not chosen for their faithfulness, until we come to Christ. But God made oath to Abraham, to bless his seed.
Not that God is any respecter of persons. But God had to use somebody, and nobody was worthy. The Jews were as good as anybody, and somebody had to start the work which God wanted done. So, unto them First, God gave his lively oracles, and to the Jew first, he showed all long-suffering, and to the Jew first he gave the Messiah.
But God’s intention was that thru Abraham and his seed should all the families of the world be blessed. They were to be a Missionary people. They were not to be a selfishly separate people. Even the Temple was built for “a house of prayer for all nations.” Solomon’s prayer included the Gentiles in its scope.
When the family of Israel became a narrow, and self-centered people, God scattered them among the nations, so that “Moses had everywhere them that preached Him, being read in the Synagogue every Sabbath day.” So, even the Synagogues were intended for centers of Missionary work among the Gentiles.
So, God made the Jews his own people, by grace, and for grace, worldwide in its intention. But when Jesus came unto “his own,” and his own received him not, he turned to the Gentiles, not because the Gentiles were a better people, but because he had to turn to somebody, and use somebody for missionary effort.
It is to be supposed that the first Gentile converts were such as God saw would be faithful and obedient. But the Gentiles have proved just as recreant to duty, and to the purpose of God, as the Jews. They, in turn, have become narrow and self-centered, and have persecuted and despised the Jew.
God is about to turn back to the Jew again. Not because they are better than the Gentiles, but because God has to use somebody, and the Gentiles have proved to be unfaithful. Besides, God made an oath to the “fathers” of Israel, which he has not forgotten. It is God’s election.
Were the Jews better than the Gentiles, and are they now? “No, in no wise, for we have before proved, that both Jew and Gentile are all under sin.” “So then, It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who showeth mercy.”
Let the Gentiles understand that God did not choose them because of any superiority in them. The first chapter of Romans pictures the horror of their iniquity, and unworthiness. Let the Jews realize that God did not choose them for any superiority in them. The second and third chapters of Romans shows them to be guilty of “the same things.”
“But, I would not have you ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” “For there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” “And so all Israel shall be saved.” “They are beloved for their Fathers sakes.”
“Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!” “I do not this for your sakes, but for mine holy name’s sake.” “As touching the Election, they are beloved for their fathers’ sakes.” “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”
But “many are called, but few are chosen.” Salvation is not by grace Alone. You may have all manner of “gifts” and be “nothing.” The general calling is wide, and is of Grace. But only a willing-hearted, surrendered life, faithful unto death, is “chosen” of God, in the end.