by Oscar M. Baker
Many are confused by ignorance. In fact confusion always stems from ignorance. The knowledge of the truth brings light, and light dispels ignorance and confusion. The epistle to the Romans is very careful in distinguishing between sin and sins. Few seem to get the point.
Reconciliation has to do with sins, but can not touch sin. When sins have been forgiven and no longer imputed, then reconciliation has taken place. This touches the whole human race. Reconciliation is universal. 2 Cor. 5:19
But salvation is not universal by any means. It is limited to the few who believe, for salvation depends on faith and belief. A man may stand before God without a blemish, with every sin forgiven and blotted out, but if he is yet in Adam then death rules over him. There is no hope of resurrection.
Recently we read a track which the writer tried to make reconciliation and resurrection one and the same. He did not stop to think reconciliation was something accomplished by the shedding of the blood, something that was owned by our Lord before the shameful events of Calvary. However He did not make use of that power until He could justly use it, another problem dealt with in Romans.
Examine Rom. 5:10. There you will find that while we were enemies we were reconciled unto God through the death of His Son. But read right on and find that there is MUCH MORE. The MUCH MORE is that having been reconciled we shall be saved by His life, (not death). Salvation is much more than reconciliation, and therefore they are poles apart.
Sin is a disease which has come down from Adam through all the human race and transmitted from parent to child. There is no escape. Death by sin has come upon all. It takes more than reconciliation to cure this dread disease. There must be a new nature created and implanted within, something which cannot sin and not subject to death, by which the believer has the earnest or pledge of resurrection. One who does not have this new nature totally and completely dies with no hope of ever living again, for he is all of Adam and can hope for nothing but death.
If restoration of all is the divine plan, then giving access to sin to His creatures was a horrible mistake on God's part. If they have no choice in the matter then why do they suffer as they do?
This we know; no creature can be morally upright unless tested under conditions of probation in which he may exercise choice. That at once makes evil possible, but not necessary. The sad part of it is that the wrong choice was made both in heaven and in earth.
In His mercy God has provided a way of escape for man. But it again involves the will. Whosoever is limited by their word BELIEVETH in John 3:16. Those who have eternal have it because they chose it.
by Oscar M. Baker