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SELF-MADE THANSGRESSORS

    "For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I MAKE MYSELF a transgressor", (Gal. 2:18).
    Under the brilliant light of Divine holiness, manifested in Jesus Christ, Paul, Peter and all their Jewish brethren had found themselves as truly "sinners" as were the Gentiles. They recognized the inadequacy of "the law" as an instrument for effecting their "justification". Thus, they repudiated the law-principle in exchange for the "faith" whereby they could both be justified and know the "peace of God".
    When one, having repudiated the law, as a means of justification, again submits himself to its service, and encourages others to do so, he constitutes and condemns himself as a TRANSGRESSOR. This is what Peter had done at Antioch; he had so effectively played the hypocrite that Barnabas and others were deceived by his hypocrisy. Paul could not conscientiously sit in silence while such duplicity of life and conduct undermined the very foundation of Christian liberty. He rebuked the chief of apostles to his face and made it stick.
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THE REAL DANGER!!

    Considerable spiritual havoc is being wrought in our day by a ministerial over - simplification of "faith", which is nothing short of outright PERVERSION. "Faith", as set forth in the Gospel records and New Testament epistles, is characterized by a unifying, life-transforming POWER. It is manifested as an ACTIVE, operative life - principle.
    When Paul wrote concerning the "faith" of his Thessalonian brethren, he, obviously, meant more than that they had accepted the truthfulness of a certain series of factual statements. Nor is it sufficient to understand that they had, from the heart, entrusted the saving of their "spirits" into the hands of a faithful Creator.
    No, theirs was a faith that manifested itself in such OUTWARD WAYS as convinced total strangers of the fact they had "turned to God from idols to SERVE the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven". Theirs, according to apostolic testimony, was such a faith as made them "FOLLOWERS of us, and of the Lord ... So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you SOUNDED OUT the Word of the Lord...



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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

also in every place your FAITH to God-ward is SPREAD ABROAD; so that we need not to speak any thing", (I Thes. 1:4-).
    Some today seem deeply concerned to separate FAITH from its operations; but such faith would be impossible to identify. Who could distinguish it from presumption? In fact, he acts presumptuously who thinks to ISOLATE faith from its operations. His is an impossible task! Well may he hear the unaccepted challenge of the beloved James -- the practical half-brother of our Lord: "Show me thy faith WITHOUT thy works, and I will shew thee my faith BY my works", (Jas. 2:18).
    Doubtless, one may over-emphasize faith's OPERATIONS; the greater danger lies in so MINIMIZING its operative functions to reduce it to a mere PASSIVE PRINCIPLE -- a barren, fruitless, presumptuous "confidence" that brings no good to man; no glory to God. THIS is the REAL DANGER!

A FAITHFUL PERSON

    "Faith" is not, basically, an Old Testament word. Though the King James translators have used it two times, it appears that in both places it would have been better rendered as "faithful". In Deuteronomy 32:20 the Israelites are described as "children in whom is no faithfulness"; they were not stedfast, settled or dependable in their relationship to God. Again, in Habakkuk 2:4 is a contrast -- the latter part of which declares that "the just shall live by his faithfulness". Faithfulness characterizes the lives of such as walk with God, in the light of His Word.
    According to the Scriptures, it is the responsibility of the man of faith to BE FAITHFUL -- IN something and TO someone. A faithful person is one in whom FAITH IS OPERATIVE in the EXERCISE of a right attitude and acts toward someone.
    The Scriptures illustrate faithfulness as relating to one's: living, service and witness --- all proceeding from loyal, loving and trusting hearts, (Neh. 9:8; Lk. 16:10; Prov. 14:5; Matt. 25:21).
    Are YOU a faithful witness? Or is it easy for you to compromise the purity and consistency of God's Word for some momentary advantage?

BUSINESS MEETING POSTPONED!

    Our regular Quarterly Business Meeting has been postponed 1 week. Make plans to be present for this meeting on Saturday night of next week -- October 20, at 7:00 P.M.
    LET'S HAVE A GOOD ATTENDANCE!



ATTITUDES & ACTIONS TOWARD FAITH

    Even a hurried glance at a Bible Concordance will reveal some interesting things concerning the attitude one may hold, or the action one may take with regard to FAITH.
    The "faith" of the New Testament may be: obtained (2 Pet. 1:1); proportioned,' measured or increased (Rom. 12:3, 6; Lk. 17:5; 2 Cor. 10:15); kept (2 Tim. 4:7); continued in (Acts 14:22; Col. 1:23; I Tim. 2:15); walked in (Rom. 4:12); known (I Thes. 3:5); added to (2 Pet. 1:5); counted for righteousness (Rom. 4:5); communicated (Philemon 6); followed (Heb. 13:7); and tested (Jas. 1:3; I Pet. 1:7).
    On the other hand, this faith may be: denied (I Tim. 5:8; Rev. 2:13); departed or erred from (I Tim. 4:1; 6:10); cast off (I Tim. 5:12); and overthrown (2 Tim. 2:18).
    Whatever these references MAY infer, they certainly do NOT teach an inevitable PERSEVERANCE of all the saved in a walk that is acceptable to God. They do NOT teach the principle of "once in the faith , always in the faith". They do NOT hold forth the promise of a glorious INHERITANCE in the kingdom of God for any who fail to: continue, abide, or walk in the divinely appointed paths of faith obedience.
    It is dangerous to be presumptuous; it is wise, even for saved men, to heed the warnings of the Scriptures, (I Cor. 10:12). Such as are truly wise will give earnest, diligent heed to the things they have heard -- lest the stream of eternal blessings pass them by.
    WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE?

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THE MANY FACETS OF FAITH

    Too often sincere men become so absorbed in an attempt to "define" faith, or to claim for themselves such blessings as are promised to faith, that they never pause to consider what faith REALLY IS -- in essence and operation. It is far more profitable for one to observe the attitude and actions of faith as set forth in the Word of God.
    According to biblical usage:
    FAITH IS mental assent to the truthfulness of what God has spoken (John 3:33; I Jn. 5:10).
    FAITH IS trust in the Lord in His integrity, ability and willingness to supply our needs -- and in the adequacy of the loving and saving provision He has made for our salvation in the gift of His own dear Son as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.
    FAITH IS an abandoning of the old "self", with its lusts and desires, and a commitment of one's all into the hands of a loving saviour and faithful creator -- to do His will, (Phil. 2:17; 2 Thes. 1:11).
    FAITH IS a necessary ingredient in rendering such obedience to God's COMMAND AS IS ACCEPTABLE IN His sight,(Rom. 16:26; Heb. 11:8; etc.)
    FAITH IS a triumphant, availing life principle, (Rom. 4:12; Gal. 5:6; I Jn. 5:4; Heb. 11; etc.).
    The blessing which comes from a definite trusting in Jesus, as Savior from sin guiltiness, is marvelous beyond our comprehension. But to assume that such a one point in time exercise of faith GUARANTEES



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the experience of "every spiritual blessing" IN PERPETUITY is to go beyond the promise of the Scriptures and to deceive one's self. The experience of "all spiritual blessings" is contingent upon one's CONTINUANCE IN FAITH --- whatever trusted, preacher, prophet, angel, missionary or grandmother may teach to the contrary, (I Tim. 2:15; Col. 1:23; comp. Heb. 3:12-14).
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Are YOU praying earnestly for: your pastor? lost souls? the prosperity of the church where you are a member? and the common fellowship of the brotherhood? WHY NOT?
TRANSGRESSORS .... Continued
    Peter was not the last self made transgressor. Others, since his day, have forsaken (for a time) the comfortable traditions that, thru the centuries, have been joined to the truth. But far too often their liberation has been short lived. It proved too costly or inconvenient. Not only did they sneak back into the easy garb of traditional clichÚs, platitudes and presumptions; they pretended never to have left, and find it much easier to brand others as "heretics" than admit themselves TRANSGRESSORS.
    It should be pointed out that Paul was enunciating new principles that the original apostles had not fully understood. But, they did NOT brand HIM a "heretic"; they gave to him the right hand of fellowship, acknowledged him as God's messenger to the Gentiles, and gave him their blessing. Peter, whose pride suffered his rebuke, even wrote of him as "our beloved brother Paul". AMEN!
    While "divide and conquer" may be an effective policy in the hands of military leaders, it is a poor substitute for spirituality. How terribly inferior it is as a substitute for fidelity and such love of the brotherhood as ought to fill the heart of every child of God! The price of division, through an attempted imposition of one's scruples on the brotherhood, is TOO HIGH! Only the carnal would attempt it; the spiritual know they cannot afford it.
    Surely it is appropriate that we pray with the Psalmist: "Unite our hearts to fear Thy name". But let us avoid that fear of man which inevitably "bringeth a snare".