Answers to Correspondents


A correspondent in the other hemisphere, writing in appreciation of an article which appeared in the July number, suggests the possibility of a mistake in the interpretation of a scripture. He says, "May I put a query to you on a little point in the article in question? You say:

'The Child so born should be called the Son of God, the Son of God as born into this world, according to the second Psalm.'

"I quite see that the Lord is called Son of God in respect of His humanity, according to Luke 2:35, as well as with regard to the Godhead, as in John 3 and other places. But my difficulty is in regard to your reference to the second Psalm. The Holy Ghost, in Acts 13:33, instructs us that this relates to resurrection, while by your article it relates to His birth into the world as Son of the Virgin … Possibly you may see fit to make some little reply in your magazine."

Answer. Our correspondent's difficulty springs from a misconception of the translators of our Bible. Acts 13:33 should read, "In. that He raised up Jesus," not, "In that He raised up Jesus again." Omitting the word "again," "raised up" refers to the birth of Jesus into this world and His entry upon His mission, just as, for example, we read in verse 22 that God "raised up" unto His people "David to be their king." (See also verse 23.) This interpretation is rendered more certain by verse 34, where the apostle proceeds to speak of the resurrection of Christ. We are therefore compelled to adhere to the view expressed in the article; but there is another scripture which speaks of the resurrection of Christ in its bearing upon His being the Sun of God. In Romans 1:4 it is said that God's "Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, 'was' declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." We trust that our correspondent's difficulty will be removed by this reply, and we heartily thank him for his letter.


Another correspondent enquires as to the force of the last clause of Hebrews 10:9, "He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second." The context, in connection with chapters 8 and 9, makes it very plain that by the "first" the Spirit of God refers to the whole Jewish system which was established together with the first covenant (see chapter 8:13), and which has been displaced by the system of grace established according to God's purposes in and through the death and resurrection of Christ. Thus in chapter 8 the new covenant displaces the old; in chapter 9, on "Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle," etc., we have another, "the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man," which sets aside the first; and "better sacrifices," displacing those of bulls and goats - the blood of Christ in all its excellency instead of that of Jewish sacrifices, the one sacrifice of Christ with its eternal efficacy instead of the yearly recurring sacrifices which could never take away sins. Generally speaking, therefore, the "first" signifies Judaism, and the "second" Christianity, understanding by this term the whole system of grace, revealed and established in Christ, which goes on to the consummation of all God's purposes in new creation. Every feature of this system is "new," and will remain "new" for ever. It could not grow old. The "first" is old, and has disappeared; the "second" abides eternally.