the active and the passive obedience of Christ. Opposition to the Pauline theology is opposition to the gospel of Christ. Charles Cuthbert Hall, Universal Elements of the Christian Religion, 140 ? ?The effects of this are already appearing in the impoverished religious values of the sermons produced by the younger generation of preachers and the deplorable decline of spiritual life and knowledge in many churches. Results open to observation show that the movement to simplify the Christian essence by discarding the theology of St. Paul easily carries the teaching of the Christian pulpit to a position where, for those who submit to that teaching, the characteristic experiences of the Christian life became practically impossible. The Christian sense of sin, Christian penitence at the foot of the Cross, Christian faith in an atoning Savior, Christian peace with God through the mediation of Jesus Christ and other experiences, which were the very life of apostles and apostolic souls, fade from the view of the ministry. These have no meaning for the younger generation.?

(i) The doctrine is immoral in its practical tendencies, since Christ?s obedience takes the place of ours, and renders ours unnecessary. We answer that the objection ignores not only the method by which the benefits of the atonement are appropriated, namely, repentance and faith, but also the regenerating and sanctifying power bestowed upon all who believe. Faith in the atonement does not induce license, but ?works by love? ( <480506>Galatians 5:6) and ?cleanses the heart? ( <441509>Acts 15:9).

Water is of little use to a thirsty man, if he will not drink. The faith, which accepts Christ, ratifies all that Christ has done and takes Christ as a new principle of life. Paul bids Philemon receive Onesimus as himself, not the old Onesimus, but a new Onesimus into whom the spirit of Paul has entered (Philemon 17). So God receives us as new creatures in Christ. Though we cannot earn salvation, we must take it and this taking it involves a surrender of heart and life which ensures union with Christ and moral progress.

What shall be done to the convicted murderer who tears up the pardon, which his wife?s prayers and tears have scoured from the Governor? Nothing remains but to execute the sentence of the law. Hon. George F. Danforth, Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals, in a private letter says: ?Although it may be stated in a general way that a pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of the offender. In the eye of the law he is as innocent as if he had never committed the offense, the pardon making him as it were a new man with a new credit and capacity, yet a delivery of the pardon is essential to its

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment