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    Jesus was addressing His own called out people, His church, when He said: "Ye are the salt of the earth". To fully understand what he meant by this it is important to examine the usage of the word "salt" throughout the scriptures.
    Lot's wife, who gazed back longingly toward Sodom, is said to have become a "pillar of salt" -- a perpetual reminder that we are not to lust after that from which God has mercifully delivered us, (Gen. 19:26). Various offerings, under the Mosaic covenant, were to be "seasoned with salt" -- without which they would be unacceptable, (Ezra 6:8-10).
    Darius wrote to Tatnai, the governor, commanding that he and his companions provide various products that were necessary for the re-establishment of Jewish worship in Jerusalem following the Babylonian captivity; among them was salt, (Ezra 6:8-10). Limits were placed on the other products that were to be provided for the Jews; but they were to be given an unlimited supply of salt -- whatever their needs required, (Ezra 7:22).
    Often used in the ratification
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    The church of Jesus Christ has been designated "the light of the world" -- designed to shine "as lights" in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation and a sin- darkened world, (Phil. 2:15).
    There are times when the word of God is referred to as "light" -- bringing: enlightenment, guidance, understanding and spiritual life, (Psa. 19:8; 119:105, 130; Prov. 6:23; 2 Pet. 1:9).
    Those who "walk in the light" are called "children of light"; but, those who reject or depart from the path of God's appointment are said to walk in "darkness", (Jn. 12:36; Eph. 5:8; I Thes. 5:5; Jn. 8:12; 12:35). To claim fellowship with God while walking in darkness is to LIE -- the very opposite of walking in truth, (I Jn. 1:6; 2:3-5, 8-11).
    Jesus Christ (the Living Word, (Jn. 1:1, 14) designated Himself "the LIGHT OF THE WORLD"; this was to be the case so long as He was in the world, (Jn. 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36, 46-48). He was "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world", (Jn. 1:7-9). The "life" that was in Him was "the light of men" -- a light that

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

disarms the power of darkness, (Jn. 1:4-5). The prophets foretold His coming as "a light to lighten the Gentiles", (Isa. 9:2; 42:6; cf. Matt. 4:16; Lk.l:79). And the light of the knowledge of the glory of God has been manifested in Him, (2 Cor. 4:6).
    Since He has returned to heaven the world is lighted through His people -- His church, as it reflects His glory, (2 Cor. 3:18; Acts 13:47; Phil. 2:15). It is "in the light" that the followers of Jesus are: to walk, worship, witness, watch and war, (Eph. 5:8; 2 Chron. 5:13-14; Phil. 2:15; I The. 5:5-6; Rom. 13:12).
    To walk "in the light" is to tread the path of God's appointment -- submitting one's self to His order for the particular age in which one lives. New Testament Christians have been called "to the fellowship of God's dear Son", (I Cor. 1:9). This involves "communion" of His blood and body,

(I Cor. 10:16) -- something that is limited to the members of a local New Testament church. It is in this sphere of "light" that one has constant access to "all spiritual blessings" (Eph. 1:3; Col. 1:8-12); though this must NEVER be twisted to mean that saved men outside this relationship have access to nothing!
    As, by faith, we actively "abide" in this sphere of "light", we are: 1) Constantly cleansed through the application of Jesus' blood, (I Jn. 1:7), and 2) Enabled to share with David the joy of those to whom God will not impute sin, (Rom. 4:5-8).
    While this blessedness may be experienced by every person who genuinely commits his soul to Jesus its MAINTENANCE is assured ONLY as he continues to "walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham" -- a faith that he BEGAN to practice before he was ever circumcised, (Rom. 4:9-12; Col. 1:20-22; Heb. 3:12-14; etc.).
    The faith to which men are called in the New Testament will inevitably involve submission to scriptural baptism and active participation in the life of a local New Testament church; this was clearly our Lord's intention for those who would truly love and serve Him, (Matt. 3:13-17; 28:18-20; Lk. 7:29-30; Acts 2:38; Jn. 14:21-24). Our Lord laid great stress on the proper use of light, (Matt. 5:14-15). A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid; nor can one who has truly been transformed by the "light of life", (Jn. 8:12). Men
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Studies in I Corinthians


Scripture Lesson: I Corinthians 1:18-25.

    INTRODUCTION:In verse 17 Paul has already shown his manner of preaching the cross: "Not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect".
    When Paul speaks of "the cross of Christ" he speaks of something that is an historical reality - an accomplished fact. It is not a matter of religious philosophy, or human speculation.
    It is important that we understand the historical significance of this great fact. But, to do this, we must consider who it was that was lifted up on the cross at Calvary.
  1. He was the very Son of God, whose incarnation and revelation to men were accomplished through a series of marvelous circumstances.
  2. The life that He lived among men was unlike that of any other - a life of perfect trust in, dependence upon and loyalty to His heavenly Father.
  3. Nor must one fail to see how this unique person was received by the world - even by the people whom He had exalted to a position of covenant fellowship with Himself (Jn. 1:11-12); they rejected and crucified him!
  4. His death was strange, undeserved (and yet, voluntary) - for a crime He did not commit.
  5. But, nature itself cried out in protest against this outrage - bringing darkness at noon-time, and a tremendous earthquake.
  6. The "word of the cross" involves the spirit-directed proclamation of this historical event (with all its far-reaching implications); and it soon came to involve "the offence of the cross".
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
  1. The perishing (2 Cor. 2:15; 4:3-4; 2 Thes. 2:9-10; Jn. 3:18) regard the cross as "foolishness" - silly, ridiculous, nonsense, (Acts 17:18; I Cor. 2:14; 3:19-20).
  2. To those who "are being saved" (in whom God has begun His good work) the cross is regarded as "the power of God" through which divine energy is released to His trusting servants, (Jer. 23:29; Rom. 1:16;

    I Cor. 2:4; 15:2; 2 Cor. 4:5-6; Col. 1:5-6; I Thes. 1:5; 2 Thes. 2:13; Hebrews 4:12).
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and
will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (vs. 19).
  1. Taken from Isaiah 29:14, this verse reveals the conflict between the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God as of ancient origin.

  2. It was originally set in a context where Judah was confronted by an invading army from Assyria.
    1. The "great men" of Judah were scurrying around, searching for some means of escape.
    2. Human ingenuity, and political intrigue, were expected to forge a treaty of mutual defense with Egypt; failing that, they must devise a scheme for placating the Assyrian's wrath - so as to escape imminent invasion.

  3. God promised, through the prophet Isaiah, to deliver His people without their scheming machinations - and ultimately did!
    1. So futile were the policies adopted by the worldly-wise that the Assyrian army was soon rattling the gates of Jerusalem - threatening, mocking, taunting and intimidating the whole city, (comp. Job 5:12-13; Psa. 33:10; Isa. 19:3; 29:14; Jer. 8:8-9; 49:7- 13; Matt. 11:25; Lk. 7:30).
    2. Sennacherib, leader of the Assyrian army, sent a letter to King Hezekiah - demanding the surrender of Jerusalem - which the helpless king spread out before the Lord (as a last resort!).
    3. In response, God sent an angelic messenger who, in a single night, slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers - delivering Judah (as promised); and He did it ALONE!

  4. In like manner, God has made every provision necessary for man's redemption from the guilt, penalty and bondage of sin.
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is
the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish
the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom
of God the world by wisdom knew not God, (vs. 20- 21a).

        "Where is the wise man" - the one to whom a person may look for clear answers to the varied perplexities of life? Such as presumptuously display their own wisdom will be brought to shame. Human wisdom stands condemned as "foolishness" before the cross.

    1. "The Scribe" symbolizes the Jewish approach to wisdom. His entire life was devoted to the study, analysis and transcribing of the Jewish writings. He tried to assimilate all the writings of Israel's wise men - making practical application thereof to his own time. But the scribal law became an unbearable yoke around the neck of the Jewish nation! A problem brought to the scribe was not solved, but immeasurably increased. Thus, the worldly-wisdom of the Jews is inadequate for man's need.

    2. "The disputer (debtor) of this age" symbolizes the Greek approach to wisdom, (2:6-7; 3:18; Matt.12:32; Lk. 16:8; 20:34; Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 1:21; 2:2; comp. Matt. 13:22, 39; Gal. 1:4; I Tim. 6:17). He proudly displayed his pseudo-knowledge - which he considered sufficient evidence of a superior intellect - but, in practical reality, it was an exercise in futility - WORTHLESS!!

    3. True Wisdom is radically different from what the world calls wisdom: it involves a proper application of the truth. But there is something invariably, even inherently, defective about human wisdom. It twists, distorts, perverts and misuses what little truth the human mind has been able to absorb.

    4. God has unveiled the utter bankruptcy of human wisdom, (Job 12:17, 20-24; Isa. 19:11; 44:25; Rom. 1:22; Jer. 10:14; Matt. 5:13). Man is not capable of directing his own steps!

    It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling- block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men, (vs. 21b-25).
        According to Paul, the life-transforming power of divine wisdom has been set forth in a simple story concerning a universe-moving historical event - the story of the cross.

      1. God does not yield to the proud religious skeptic who demands a sign, (Matt. 12:38; 16:1; Mk. 8:11-12; Jn. 2:18; 4:48; 6:30).

    1. Nor will He surrender to the demands of the ego-bating intellectual who insists on a "rational explanation" before God can expect HIM to believe! (Prov. 2:4; 14:6; Eccl. 7:25).

    2. In His unfathomable wisdom, God sets forth the simple story of the rejected and crucified Messiah - apart from whom there is NO SALVATION, for condemned mankind, (2:2; Matt. 28:5; Gal. 3:1; 5:11; I Pet. 2:8).
      1. To the Jews the crucified One was a stumbling-block, Isa. 8:14; Matt. 11:6; 13:57; Lk. 2:34; Jn. 6:60, 66; Rom. 9:32; I Pet. 2:8; Gal. 5:11; Phil. 3:18).
      2. To the Greeks the talk of salvation through the crucified One was foolishness - sheer NONSENSE!
      3. But, to the divinely-called ones (those effectively motivated to entrust their all to God, in faith), that single story reveals the wisdom and power of God.

    3. In essence, then, God's "nonsense" far excels man's wisdom, and His "weakness" exceeds man's strength; He NEVER FAILS to meet the need of the trusting heart!

"THE LIGHT" ... Continued

do not light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick. So, those lives that have been lighted by divine grace are to be placed on the candlestick (lamp stand) which Jesus identified as symbolizing a New Testament church, (Rev. 1:12-13, 20).
    When the lives of Christ's disciples are properly displayed (through the Spirit's appointing their function in the body), they give light for all that are "in the house", (Lk. 8:16; 11:23; I Tim. 3:15); thus, the church is strengthened for the work the Master has given it, (Eph. 4:15-16).
    Finally, the Master commands: "Let your light SO SHINE before men"! It must not be hidden. It should be observable in righteous deeds, (I Pet. 2:12; Rom. 13:11-

14). And, it will lead to the glorification of the Father, (John 15:8; I Cor. 14:25).


    What a study is this! To attain a dim reflection of it is the ambition of angels - higher they can not soar. "To be conformed to the image of His Son! This is the purpose of God in the predestination of His elect people from all eternity. "We shall be like Him!" - the biblical portrayal of life in the Kingdom of God!
    During the next several months we will be running a series of articles (edited and revised) from a book published almost 130 years ago, by an anonymous author on "The Mind of Jesus". These articles will deal with the holy character which constituted the living exposition and embodiment of our Lord's

    But, how lofty is such a standard! How all creature-perfection shrinks abashed and confounded before a Divine portrait such as this! He is the true "Angel standing in the sun", who alone projects no shadow; so bathed in the glories of Deity that likeness to Him becomes like the light in which He is shrouded - "no man can approach unto it". May we not, however, seek at least to approximate, though we may never adequately resemble?
    It is impossible to associate with a fellow-being on earth without being affected by him and, to some degree, assimilated to him. So, the more we study "the Mind of Christ", the more we are in His company - holding converse with Him as our best and dearest friend - catching up his holy looks and deeds - the more shall we be "transformed into the same image".
    "Consider", says the Great Apostle (literally 'gaze on'). "Christ Jesus" (Heb. 3:1). Study feature by feature, lineament by lineament, of that Peerless Exemplar. "Gaze" on the Son of Righteousness, till, like gazing at the sun, you take away dazzling images of His brightness and glory. Though He be the Archetype of all goodness, remember that He is no shadowy model - though the Infinite Jehovah, He was "the MAN Christ Jesus".
    We must never forget that it is not the MIND but the WORK of Immanuel, which lies at the foundation of the sinner's hope. He must be known as a SAVIOUR, before He is studied as an EXAMPLE. His doing and dying is the center jewel of

which all the virtues of His holy life are merely the setting. But neither must we overlook the Scripture obligation to walk in His footsteps and imbibe His Spirit, for "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is NONE OF HIS!"
    Oh, that each individual Christian were more Christ-like! that, in the manifestation of a holy character and heavenly demeanor, it might be said in some feeble measure of the faint and imperfect reflection - "SUCH WAS JESUS!"
    How far short we are of such a criterion, mournful experience can testify. But it is at least comforting to know that a day is coming wherein, in the full vision and fruition of the Glorious Original, the exhortation of our motto-verse will be needed no more; when we shall be able to say, in the words of an inspired apostle, "We HAVE the Mind of Christ!"

      "Thank You"
The politician says it with a job. The boss says it with a raise. A friend says it with a handshake. A baby says it with a coo. A teenager says it with a quiet, "Thanks, Dad." A child says it with a winsome smile. A wife says it with a tear. A husband says it with tenderness. A flower says it with beauty. The sky says it with a rainbow. And God says it with BLESSINGS. How do you say it?
The Seven Springs Baptist

"THE SALT" ... Continued

of covenants among oriental people, salt came to symbolize FIDELITY and CONSTANCY; it was, thus, used to describe the "covenant of salt" existing between God and His people Israel, (Num. 18:19; 2 Chron. 13:5).
    As a symbol of perpetual purification, Elisha used salt from a new cruse in healing the waters of the spring at Jericho, (2 Kings 2:19-22). It was also used to make an unsavory dish palatable, (Job 6:6). And it was the custom of many
ancient conquerors to scatter salt over the land of their enemies as a token of perpetual desolation, (Deut. 29:23; Jer. 17:6; Judg. 9:45; Ezek. 16:4).
    There are various ways wherein the Lord's church may be considered the "salt of the earth". To her has been committed the powerful purifying message of free and full salvation, (Matt. 28:18-20; Lk. 24:46-48; Acts 1:8). She is the "Pillar and ground" of the truth. In the sphere of church fellowship and service we may SAVE (preserve) OUR LIVES (life-deeds) for the coming age, (Matt. 16:24-26; Mk. 8:34-38; Lk. 9:23-26; 2 Tim. 2:4-5).
    The consistent life and witness of a faithful people is the greatest possible deterrent against sin. There is nothing comparable to the influence, for good, of a faithful, properly-functioning, New Testament church on the life of a community in which its LIGHT is observable.
    As God would accept no sacrifice that was not offered with salt; as He regarded the sacrifices of the Gentiles to be offered "unto devils"; so there is NO BIBLICAL BASIS for expecting His acceptance of so-called "spiritual service" apart from the order that He has established -- the sphere of the Holy Spirit's indwelling habitation -- which is a Scriptural church, (Eph. 3:21; 2:19-22; cf. I Cor. 10:20).
    It is a real tragedy when one of the Lord's churches (or individual members thereof) so departs from God's order as to lose its influence for good -- becoming useless as savorless salt!