| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 285 of 297 INDEX | |
In Galatians 3:3 'perfected' is placed in antithesis with 'begin'.
Faith is 'perfected' by the works that accompany it; they bring faith to its
legitimate 'end'. So the love of God can be 'perfected' (1 John 2:5;
4:12,17,18). His strength can be 'perfected' (2 Cor. 12:9), and even
holiness can be 'perfected' or brought to its logical and practical
conclusion (2 Cor. 7:1; see 2 Cor. 6:14-18). So Paul desired that he might
'finish' (same word) his course (Acts 20:24). In chapter 1, James speaks
much of this 'perfecting',
'Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire,
wanting nothing' (Jas. 1:4).
In chapter 2:14 of his epistle, James asks, 'Can that faith save him?'
and follows by the illustration of verses 15 and 16. Three times James says
'faith without works is dead', and with this Paul would agree. The initial
act of justification is 'by faith, without works'. God justifies the
'ungodly' (Rom. 4:5) whose 'works' would but the more condemn him. But after
the ungodly has been 'declared righteous', continuance in sin, unfruitful
living, mere lip service, is no more tolerated by Paul than James. These
good works, however, are the 'fruits' of faith; they make it manifest that
faith is living. If we distinguish between 'the ground' of our justification
as taught by Paul, and the 'perfecting' of faith by our subsequent works as
taught by James, we have a balanced presentation of a blessed truth. (See
the article Justification by Faith6).
The first occurrence of the word 'worship' in the A.V. is in Genesis
22:5, the significance of which will be appreciated by all who realize how
near to the heart of all doctrine is the great offering therein set forth in
type. While the word 'worship' does not appear earlier, the student of
Scripture is very conscious as he reads Genesis 3 that the words of the
Serpent, 'Ye shall be as God', would have been no lure to our first parents
had true worship and its central significance been understood by them.
Moreover, had Cain entered into the meaning of worship, as did his brother
Abel, he might have enjoyed like acceptance with him, and have avoided the
Those who see in Ezekiel 28 something more than a reference to an
ordinary king of Tyre, may perceive that an attack upon true worship, and a
usurpation of Divine prerogative, lie behind the judgment that caused the
chaos of Genesis 1:2.
Coming to the end of the sacred Volume and viewing the crisis and
conflict there depicted, it can be truthfully asserted that it is mainly a
conflict between true and false worship. Worship lies in the forefront of
the ten commandments and is found in every section of the inspired
Scriptures. The heart of the redeemed responds to the call:
'O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our
Maker' (Psa. 95:6).
Redemption, the gospel,
prophecy, dispensational truth, are the outer
court of the temple of Truth,
but the inner shrine, the goal towards which
the whole purpose of the ages
leads, namely, 'that God may be all in all', is
the summing up in word and in
fact of all that acceptable worship means. A