The fact of flesh (that is, of the flesh being in us) does not make a bad conscience. It requires flesh in action, so as to produce outwardly what is bad, to do so.
"Holding faith and a good conscience" - in this we have the doctrine of the epistle. I may see what is beautiful in creation, and delight in it; but the moment I rest in it, I make it an object, and then sink down into it.
"We know" is a technical expression for Christian knowledge. It is not merely knowing objectively, but rather such and such is made a subject of revelation, and we have got it and know it.
"Using the law lawfully" is convicting sinners by it. The legalist takes the ground that the law proves he cannot take. The law never goes beyond the brazen altar, that is, man's responsibility as man. The law condemns all that flesh produces, but not flesh itself.
The sabbath - rest - is an integral part of man's relationship with God; God did rest in creation, but not now since man has fallen. The sabbath is annexed to everything (or order) that is set up (with responsible man as man); but in the New Testament, it is always set aside as is man, the child of Adam fallen.
Paul calls himself the chief of sinners; that is, he was a rejecter of the Lord after He was crucified and glorified; the Jew (properly speaking, is characterised as being) a rejecter before He was crucified. Stephen's martyrdom was the closing scene of the dispensation for the Jew. The chief of sinners is an end of self, and we are in the same boat with Paul when we take that place.
The gospel of the glory (of Christ) is the highest point of grace as it reveals the glory to the person who is trying to destroy it: in preaching, however, you must go back to where the want is in the soul.
"Make shipwreck of faith" is running into heresy, backsliding, giving up a good conscience.
Not only man has fallen - there are fallen angels, and the heavens are defiled; all things had and are to be reconciled. Those that are reconciled do need a mediator for intercession-a mediator came in with a broken relationship, an advocate with a retained one.
In Ephesians we are called on to be imitators of God; in Colossians, like Christ; in Philippians, to walk as a saint, as personified in Paul.
312 An unmarried man might be a ruler, but he could not be an elder. A ruler is a gift, an elder an office; gifts are for the body; office is local. We have an example in Timothy of a young man who ruled elders. A ruler is a person who gets an ascendency over others morally, and keeps their wills from working by the power of the word in the Spirit.
Christianity takes up creation as God made it and sanctions it, and brings in another power, namely, spiritual power.
The snare of the devil which is a bad conscience, brings in the same condemnation; the person is charged with the same thing Satan is charged with, namely, pride. (See Ezekiel 28.)
The precious stones are on the king of Tyre in creation (worldly glory); on Aaron in grace (the high priest); in the new Jerusalem, in glory.
The Holy Ghost dwells in the individual believer, and in the whole church, only.
"Justified in the Spirit" - that is, the power of the Spirit characterises the justification. "Seen of angels"; it is only by Christ angels have seen God. "Believed on in the world," that is, announced and received there by faith.
The Reformation reformed the existing body as it then was: we go back to the beginning.
The everlasting covenant has a different character from the new covenant. There are many covenants in Scripture, but the old and new are distinct, and with Israel only.
Every prophetic word comes from relationship broken for us now, as Christians and in Christ, everything is restored; 1 Tim. 4:5. Hence the creature is sanctified by the word to me, prayer goes up from me in response.
There are two characters of forgiveness of sins - the one as in Romans, justification, in which man has no power, the other, the sins or failure of a justified person. The church can forgive these. It is administrative forgiveness.
Dependence is kept up in Scripture without ever questioning acceptance.
Salvation is by grace: reward is for labour.
God is the only one that has immortality in Himself. When we speak of mortality, it only applies to the body. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die," means that each one shall die for his own sin; in other words, it is individual responsibility.
313 2 Timothy.
When the power of evil comes in, then it is just the time to expect courage. These are truths for the times. There are truths for eternity, which are more blessed. Through grace we now have Paul's testimony, which had been lost, brought out again.
In the early church they used to pray for the saints, not to them. In the fourth century Christ was the only one they did not pray for.
"Purge from." It is not exactly discipline here, but to separate myself from. There is the Lord's certainty, and man's responsibility, acting on which I then get ecclesiastical apprehension.
A thing may not be wrong for a person ecclesiastically, if he has no conscience about it; at the same time the church cannot be ruled by an individual person's conscience.
The word "receiving" (into communion) should not be admitted at all. Properly speaking, we are all in. One has now to ascertain whether people are real - who calls on the Lord out of a pure heart.
"The last days" are more definite and distinct than the "latter times" - "perilous," because of the form of godliness.
It is said, You must believe in the church because it is holy, and you must believe it is holy by faith!
We are always deficient in strength in service if we do not recognise that we have to do with Satanic power, as in Jannes and Jambres.
If I do not believe the word till it be sanctioned by someone else, I do not believe it at all; it is the sanction I believe.
No one speaks of the church but Paul, nor of Christ's coming for the church but he.
When we meet together, we recognise the presence of Christ, not the habitation of God.
External testimony proves the folly of other men, but does nothing for faith. All arguments only remove the rubbish, they do not give faith. By removing rubbish from a plant, you do not make it grow, but you give it liberty to do so.
A gospel rejecter is under the responsibility of rejecting love. There is rather a want of will to come than a want of power: "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life."
We find that angels are the power of providence, Israel the power of government, and the apostles the power of grace in the Spirit.