1889 375 With the Apostle Paul there was a great question between faith and ordinances; but he never surrendered the right of the one to the pretensions of the other.

In the former dispensation ordinances abounded. The soul, so to express it, was only on the way to salvation then; but now we are called to enjoy accomplished and perfected salvation, to know it by faith. "For by grace are ye saved through faith."

Accordingly, all the ordinances of the house of God in this age are celebrations, and not helps. They are made to celebrate our redemption, and we triumph in them instead of being helped by them. Baptism celebrates our personal salvation, and the Supper in the midst of the assembled saints tells of their redemption by blood, the blood of the precious Lamb of God. But so in like manner other ordinances, the covered female and the uncovered male, and the presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the gathered saints, have voices likewise that are heard telling of salvation. And so, outside or abroad in the world, all our service (being the service of love and gratitude), and the prospect of our souls (being in expectation and desire, and not fear), with equal certainty and clearness tell the same mystery of full deliverance. We wait for the Son from heaven Who is our Deliverer from the wrath to come.

All, in a certain sense, though in a different way, celebrate salvation. The ordinances of God's present house may remind us of the lame man who took up his bed and walked as soon as Jesus had spoken the word of healing to him; for, in token of perfected health and strength, we hold up what once helped and strengthened and sustained us.