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BE NOT QUICKLY MOVED
„Continue in the faith, grounded and settled and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel.”—Col. 1:23
This shows that the Apostle thought it necessary to guard the Church against the adversary’s beguilements, by which he would have them „move away” their faith-building from the TRUE FOUNDATION. That there was a tendency in that direction, and that some did leave the true Gospel foundation, is evidenced by Paul’s words to the Galatians (1:6-12). He here shows also that those teachers who were attempting their removal to „ANOTHER GOSPEL” were making him (Paul) the centre of their attack upon the true glad tidings. It is here that he uses that very positive language, „If any man preach any other gospel [present any other foundation for faith] unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
It is evident that the Apostle did not refer to the Galatian Church as having received all truth on all subjects, nor all knowledge of God’s revelation, for he always exhorts to study of the Scripture in order to growth in grace and knowledge. While all truth is related, and, therefore, all truth is „glad tidings,” or Gospel, yet in the sense in which the Apostle uses the word, it has not so extended a meaning; but he refers it, evidently, to the FOUNDATION upon which all faith and hope must rest and build. Is it not evident, then, that he refers to the Redemption which is in Christ Jesus? the same which he elsewhere states as the sum of all his preaching: „I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received [first], how that Christ died for OUR SINS according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3.)
This is the kernel of all the glad tidings; for had it not been for the redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, nothing else could ever be glad tidings. Hence we should take heed not to be removed from the Gospel—this foundation of all hope and true faith.
We live in a time when the foundation is being attacked by some in the church. It is becoming popular to say I believe that Christ died, but not that he died for our sins. Then the attempt is made to ignore and turn aside those statements of Prophets and Apostles which tell how the Lord laid upon him the iniquity of us all, and that he died the just for the unjust to bring us to God. Meanwhile they will ask you to examine the beauty of another theory—built upon another foundation. They say, instead of the foundation that „Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, let us substitute another—Christ died only as an example, according to our theory. Then they will proceed to show you how beautiful a theory they can build on this other foundation.
But every saint should answer, Stop! go no further; Before we can examine the theory built upon your foundation; we must be convinced that the Gospel foundation which Paul preached, and which we have received is WRONG. Then we must „prove” your foundation, and after that, if all things prove that the foundation which we have received, and upon which the saints of all ages have built, is faulty, and yours right, then we will be prepared to look at and prove the theory built upon it, but not before. But meantime we will „continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel” which we „have received”—even redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, UNTIL you shall, piece by piece, examine every one of the many statements of which our foundation is composed, and shall have shown us that these statements are all unreliable or mean the reverse of what they say. We proved these testimonials once, and have been blessed of God in the development of a faith-structure thereupon, and we shall not even need to go back and unsettle faith to prove them again. If you CAN DISPROVE them, let us have that evidence, but none other until then.
Some of the foundation stones upon which the faith of the saints of all ages has been built, and from which we refuse to be „moved away” until these are crushed to powder—which we think will never be—are as follows:
Isaiah says—”All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all. … He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he let his grave be made with the wicked, and with the (Godless) rich at his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. But the Lord was pleased to crush him through disease: when (now) his soul hath brought the trespass-offering, then shall he see his seed, live many days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. … Through his knowledge shall my righteous servant bring the many to righteousness, while he will bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him (a portion) with the many, and with the strong will he divide the spoil; because he poured out his soul unto death, and with transgressors was he numbered, while he bore the sin of many, and for the transgressors he let (evil) befall him.” Isa. 53:6-12, K.J. and Leeser’s Translations.
Jesus said: „I lay down my life for the sheep.” … No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.” John 10:15,18.
Paul said: „I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received [first of all], how that Christ died for OUR SINS according to the Scriptures. 1 Cor. 15:3. „Being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Rom. 5:9. „We have redemption through his blood.” Eph. 1:7. „Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” Gal. 3:13. „Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” 1 Cor. 15:21. „There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Tim. 2:5,6. „When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. … For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one, much more, they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. For, as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous.” Rom. 5:6,18,19.
„Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men; for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his blood,” Acts 20:26-28.
John said: „He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2. „The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” 1:7.
Peter said: „Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Pet. 1:18,19. „Christ suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the spirit. (3:18).
And the glorified overcoming church exclaims: „Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” „And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation.” Rev. 1:5,6 and 5:9.
— August, 1884 —