The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 210 of 211
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witness and without signature of acceptance, into the local pillar-box, to be conveyed
perhaps to the ends of the earth? Is there no faith in banks, tradespeople, schoolmasters,
servants? If a man is to be saved by grace he must believe. Do not be mystified by the
higher teachings of faith. Realize, and, if you are a preacher to others, make your hearers
realize that he that cometh to God must believe that He is. This is the irreducible
minimum, and, apart from the evil heart of the natural man, is as unconscious as
breathing and as unquestioned as eating and drinking.
Simple gospel notes on John 3: 16.
(5:) The alternatives.
pp. 159, 160
"I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil" (Deut. 30: 15).
The gospel of God concerning His Son, whether presented by John or Paul, finds man
on the way that leads to death, and plants the believer's feet on the way of life. In
John 3: 16 the alternatives are expressed by the words: "Shall not perish, but have
everlasting (or age-abiding) life." In John 5: 24, the alternatives are "not coming into
condemnation", but "passing out of death into life".
If we keep closely to the working of John 3: 16 we shall believe and declare that
man by nature will perish unless saved by the work of Christ.
Perish.--There is, surely, no mystery about the meaning of this word. When we read
in John 6: 27 of "meat that perisheth", we need no further explanation. If a chemist or
physicist undertook to prove that the original elements that composed the meat were not
really destroyed, we should still know that the meat as such had perished, whatever we
might think of the survival of its constituent elements. When in the same chapter, the
Lord said, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing perish" (6: 12), the
meaning is perfectly clear. Fragments of bread and fish if left about on the grass would
"perish" so far as the question of "food" is concerned. Again, in the same chapter, the
Lord uses the word when He says, "Of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing,
but should raise it up again at the last day" (6: 39).
It is clear from the reference here that apart from resurrection, even those given to
Christ by the Father would be "lost" or would have "perished". So far as their bodies are
concerned they have turned to the dust, and God has gathered to Himself the spirit of life;
in the language of Scripture, they "are not". This is in entire conformity with the words
of I Cor. 15: 17, 18:--
"If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain: ye are yet in your sins. Then they also
which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."