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Volume 6 - Page 144 of 151 Index | Zoom | |
Heb. 2: 14.--"Since therefore the children partake of blood and flesh, He also, in like
manner, took part of them, in order that through the death He might render inoperative him
who has the power of death, that is the devil; and might set free those, as many as by fear of
death, through all their life were held in slavery."
Heb. 9: 15-17.--"And for this reason He is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that death
having taken place for redemption of the transgressions against the first covenant, those
having been called might receive eonian inheritance. For where there is a covenant, the death
of the appointed (victim) it is necessary to bring in, for a covenant is firm over dead ones,
since it is never of force when the appointed victim is living."
Upon analyzing these passages, it will be found in several instances that the death of
Christ is a basis, and is universal in its scope, but that a narrower class is spoken of in
relation to a subsequent revelation of God's purpose. The three passages quoted from
Hebrews show this double aspect. Heb. 2: 9 tells us that the Lord tasted death for all,
the next verse goes on to speak of "many sons" and "they who are sanctified . . . . .
The power of death in the hands of Satan is universal, and that strong one has been
rendered inoperative by the death of Christ (Heb. 2: 14). The teaching, however, is
linked with the "children," "the seed of Abraham," and leaves the wide domain of
universal death to the setting free of "as many as, through all their life by fear of death
were held in slavery."
Heb. 9: 15-17 first speaks of the death of Christ as making a redemption with regard
to the transgressions against the first covenant, but it does not go on to say, Therefore all
who were under the first covenant, and whose transgressions have been dealt with in the
death of Christ, have salvation and glory. On the contrary, it speaks of a smaller class,
"those having been called," who receive the eonian inheritance. Heb. 9: 15-17 like
Rom. 11: 29 makes it clear that all Israel as an elect nation shall be blessed, but some out
of Israel are elected unto greater glory than others. Rom. 5: 10 likewise moves from the
universal base to the particular structure. The death of the Son of God accomplished
worldwide reconciliation, His resurrection life is needed to bring about salvation. The
context speaks of those who "receive the reconciliation," and who "receive the
abundance of grace"; of such, higher and greater blessings are spoken than of those who
without exercise of faith receive "a justification of life." The death of Christ operates
irrespective of faith, and in that aspect it is parallel to the death which passed through to
all men from Adam. In neither case is man consulted or addressed. We do read of "faith
in His blood," of "fellowship of His sufferings," of "conformity to His death," but
these are all elective circles within the larger circle of the death of Christ.
We can do no more in these initial papers than collect passages, and point out one or
two features. The series is specially intended for those who have sufficient knowledge of
the Word to be able to contemplate new or strange aspects of teaching, without being
persuaded by feelings or little knowledge to jump to hasty conclusions.