Scripture Notes.

p. 110.


Hebrews 9:26, 28.

It is of moment to see the difference between these two verses. Sin had to be put away abstractedly out of God's sight, and hence He had to be perfectly glorified in respect of it, in that place where sin was before Him. Christ was made sin, appeared to abolish it out of God's sight, "to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Besides this, our sins (guilt) were in question, and Christ bore them in His own body on the tree. The sins are borne, and Christ has them no more. They are gone as guilt before God for ever. The work for the abolition of sin in God's sight is done, and God owns it as done, having glorified Jesus who has glorified Him as to it when made sin. So that for God the thing is settled, and faith recognizes this; but the result is not produced. The work is before God in all its value; but sin still exists in the believer and in the world. Faith owns both, knows that in God's sight it (the work) is done, and rests as God does in it; but the believer knows that sin is still in fact there and in him, only he has a title to reckon himself dead to it, (knowing) that sin in the flesh is condemned, but in the sacrifice for sin, so that there is none for him. The "putting away" of sin is not accomplished, but what does it is; so that God recognizes it, and so does faith, and stands perfectly clear before God as to sin and sins. He that is dead (and we are, as having died with Christ) is justified from sin. Our sins have all been borne. The difficulty partly arises from "sin" being used for a particular act, and also abstractedly. In the word "sins." there is no such ambiguity. A sacrifice for sin may apply to a particular fault; sin entered into the world is another idea. This ambiguity has produced the confusion. J. N. Darby.


1 John 1:8-10.

When speaking of sin, the apostle speaks in the present tense, "we have;" when speaking of sinning, he speaks in the past. He does not take for granted that we are going on doing it. It has been a question whether the apostle speaks of first coming to the Lord, or subsequent failures. I answer, he speaks in an abstract and absolute way: confession brings through grace forgiveness. If it is our first coming to God, it is forgiveness; it is the full and absolute sense - I am forgiven with God; He remembers my sin no more. If it is subsequent failure, honesty of heart always confesses; then it is forgiveness as regards the government of God, and the present condition and relationship of my soul with Him. But the apostle, as everywhere, speaks absolutely, and of the principle. J. N. Darby.


2 Corinthians 12.

As to the thorn in the flesh - the Lord was dealing with Paul in grace, and had apprehended him for glory. Paul was now to walk with the Lord on this new ground; but he did not know his own weakness, nor the power of the flesh in him, that would boast itself of the revelations made in grace. The Lord therefore gives him the thorn in the flesh - an aid from Himself to keep the flesh in its right place. Paul did not at first apprehend this, and three times prayed for its removal; then the Lord tells him, "My grace is sufficient for thee: my strength is made perfect in weakness." Then Paul says, "I [will boast] take pleasure in my infirmities." Through grace he ranges himself on the side of the Lord's grace and strength, and takes pleasure in the thorn - that which shows his infirmity - instead of struggling against it, and praying for its removal. P. A. H.

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The thought that good is to have its rights in this world is to forget the cross and Christ. We cannot have our rights till He has, for we have none but His!