A talk made at the
Tattnall Square Baptist Church, Macon, Georgia, Sunday, March 30, 1947.
By W. B. Screws
The Sunday School Lesson for today has to do with the
death of Christ. I shall not follow the outline given in the
quarterly, but will speak on the same subject, nevertheless. The
crucifixion, when viewed from the standpoint of man's intention, was
murder. But when looked at as God intended it, it becomes His great
Sacrifice. No other event in all the history of mankind is so
important. As we shall se, the result is glorious, beyond the
ability of any man to express or even comprehend.
God does not undertake to merely deal with the millions
of acts that are sinful. His purpose goes far deeper, and attacks
the DISEASE that has taken hold on all mankind, and causes sinful
acts. The disease is called sin. And sin is lawlessness.
Isaiah, looking forward to the crucifixion, says, "The Lord has laid
on Him the lawlessness of us all." What does He do with this
that is laid on Him? John, he who was the forerunner of the Christ,
says, "Lo! The Lamb of God, which is taking away the sin of the
world," John 1:29. Here sin, the disease, is under
consideration. God's method is different from man's. Men are
always trying to get folks to stop committing sin. If we could get them to
cease from sinning today, they would sin again tomorrow. But when
the disease is cured there will be more acts of sin. Thus God, like
a competent physician, is working on the cause - not the symptoms.
What does the Christ do with that which is laid on Him? He takes it
away. He is taking away the sin of the world.
Isaiah foresaw this. He declared that the
pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. This is in chapter
53. Yes, god made the sacrifice. He did it because a sinless
creation will be according to His pleasure. He shall not be
disappointed. What the Father designs, the Son shall do.
Everything that God purposes shall be accomplished by the sacrifice, WILL
Christ, Himself, gives us a pre-view of His
accomplishments: "For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His
only begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be
perishing, but may be having life eonian. for God does not dispatch
His Son into the world, but that the world may be saved through Him,"
John 3:16,17. The crucified Christ is the most powerful Magnet that
has ever been known. As He neared the cross, He promised that He
will be drawing all to Himself, John 12:32.
Paul had an insight into the accomplishments of the
Christ, as well as into the disease that affects us all. He said,
"Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind
for condemnation, thus, also, it is through one just award for all mankind
for life's justifying," Rom. 5:18. Let us notice this
minutely. The one offense of Adam was for all mankind. No
matter how many offenses Adam committed later, it was only the first one
that constituted him a sinner. And no matter how many offenses we
have committed. Not one of our offenses made us sinners. The ONE
offense of Adam was for all mankind for condemnation. Not that Adam
planned it that way. No; it was God's plan. It was He Who saw to it
that the one offense brought all into condemnation.
It was just that the Christ, upon Whom was laid our
lawlessness, should become rid of this burden of guilt when He died, and
that, as a proof of this, He should be saved out of death, Heb. 5:7.
This was a just award. But it was not an award for Christ, only, but
it was so for all mankind for life's justifying. Ponder it well,
brethren. It was just that Adam should be condemned because of his
offense. And as the offense was committed for all mankind, it was
just that all mankind should share in the condemnation. It was just
that Christ should be saved out of death, and that the sin that He bore
should not pursue Him in His resurrected life. And, as this award is
for all mankind, it is justice to Christ that all shall share in the
blessing, which means, life's justifying.
The apostle tells us that God wills that all mankind be
saved, and come into a realization of the truth, I Tim. 2:3,4. He
shows us, further, that this is accomplished because there is one God and
one mediator of God and mankind, a Man, Christ Jesus, Who is giving
Himself a correspondent Ransom for all. How easy this is to
understand! A ransom is demanded. Christ pays it by giving
Himself. How reasonable, then, that all shall be saved.
I am not discounting those passages that tell of
judging and chastening. They must be true, if salvation is to be a
fact. Judging is setting matters right. Chastening is
remedial. It is not said that sinners are
"punished." Chastening is the word. It is not final.
It is one of God's processes, to cause mankind to appreciate good.
That which is final is salvation. Nothing less than the salvation of
all, can be commensurate with the sacrifice.
The writer of the Hebrew letter tells us in 9:26 that,
through His sacrifice, the Christ repudiates sin. How
glorious! Sin was a necessary thing, for mankind must be brought
into the depths before being lifted into the heights. They must be
acquainted with evil, in order to fully know good. They must be
alienated, as a prelude to reconciliation. they must be lost, for
only the lost have a Saviour. But sin will nave served its purpose,
some time. Then it will be repudiated. It can never come
again, for there will be no further need of it.
May we appreciate the Christ and His great salvation,
so that, henceforth, our lives shall be dedicated to His service.
Let us serve, not with the idea of getting something from Him; let us
serve because we have hearts full of gratitude.
Salvation is not found in our works. It is in
grace. This means that God gives to us far better than we
deserve. He does it, not because of anything that we have done, but
because He designs that we shall have salvation. He does not wait
until we began to desire salvation before He does anything about it.
He in Whose hand is the king's heart, Prov. 21:1, also holds the hearts of
all mankind. He can turn the heart and cause the vilest sinner to
desire salvation. Yes, He can attune our hearts to His own. He
will not fail in a single case, for the sacrifice has been made, and sin
is not in the way. He really is GOD!
GRACE IN ADMINISTRATION
Administration means management. Paul's second administration is
called the administration of the grace of God, Eph. 3:2. It began after
Israel was completely set aside. Grace in SALVATION is as pronounced
in the epistles written for the former administrationI and II Thess.,
I and II Cor., Titus, I Tim., Gal., and Rom.as is is in the ones
written later. But grace in ADMINISTRATION is not.
The former administration of Paul had more or less law, and, therefore,
considerable harshness. Even God's acts were not altogether in
grace, as we see in the setting aside troublesome Circumcision members of
Christ, He reconciles them with Uncircumcision saints in one body.
And in our dealing with each other, we are to act in grace a hundred per
cent. We are to be no longer concerned about doing right; we are to
be careful to do far more than right. we are to not be treating
people as they deserve; we are to treat them far better than they
"Dealing graciously with one another," is the watchword for
our conduct in this administration.
For a long time God moved toward this ideal conditiona condition
of absolute absence of lawa condition of pure grace in administration
as well as in salvation. After the close of the Acts of the
Apostles He reached it. It is an administration and a condition
that must remain until the body of Christ is taken away from the
earth. Not until then will grace in administration give way to
In the Philippian letter Paul says he wants a
righteousness that is not of law. He could not be thinking of
justification, since he hat that, already. He had come to know
that not ACTS, but ATTITUDE, is what counts in this
administration. Not that service is to be discounted. The
idea is, we have learned to not count on our service for God's