Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6)

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The Second Adam. Dallas James. Mark: The Gospel of Passion. Such men did not perceive, to take only one example, that the precept, Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, cannot be altered by any diversity of national customs. And this precept, when it is referred to the love of God , destroys all vices when to the love of one's neighbor, puts an end to all crimes. For no one is willing to defile his own dwelling; he ought not, therefore, to defile the dwelling of God , that is, himself. And no one wishes an injury to be done him by another; he himself, therefore, ought not to do injury to another.

The tyranny of lust being thus overthrown, charity reigns through its supremely just laws of love to God for His own sake, and love to one's self and one's neighbor for God's sake. Accordingly, in regard to figurative expressions, a rule such as the following will be observed, to carefully turn over in our minds and meditate upon what we read till an interpretation be found that tends to establish the reign of love.


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Now, if when taken literally it at once gives a meaning of this kind, the expression is not to be considered figurative. If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice , or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice , or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative.

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man , says Christ, and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Scripture says: If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink; and this is beyond doubt a command to do a kindness.

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But in what follows, for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head, one would think a deed of malevolence was enjoined. Do not doubt , then, that the expression is figurative; and, while it is possible to interpret it in two ways, one pointing to the doing of an injury, the other to a display of superiority, let charity on the contrary call you back to benevolence, and interpret the coals of fire as the burning groans of penitence by which a man's pride is cured who bewails that he has been the enemy of one who came to his assistance in distress.

In the same way, when our Lord says, He who loves his life shall lose it, we are not to think that He forbids the prudence with which it is a man's duty to care for his life, but that He says in a figurative sense, Let him lose his life — that is, let him destroy and lose that perverted and unnatural use which he now makes of his life, and through which his desires are fixed on temporal things so that he gives no heed to eternal.

It is written: Give to the godly man, and help not a sinner. The latter clause of this sentence seems to forbid benevolence; for it says, help not a sinner. Understand, therefore, that sinner is put figuratively for sin , so that it is his sin you are not to help. Again, it often happens that a man who has attained, or thinks he has attained, to a higher grade of spiritual life, thinks that the commands given to those who are still in the lower grades are figurative; for example, if he has embraced a life of celibacy and made himself a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven's sake, he contends that the commands given in Scripture about loving and ruling a wife are not to be taken literally, but figuratively; and if he has determined to keep his virgin unmarried, he tries to put a figurative interpretation on the passage where it is said, Marry your daughter, and so shall you have performed a weighty matter.

For that which cannot be raised to a higher state must be cared for in its own state. We must also be on our guard against supposing that what in the Old Testament , making allowance for the condition of those times, is not a crime or a vice even if we take it literally and not figuratively, can be transferred to the present time as a habit of life. For no one will do this except lust has dominion over him, and endeavors to find support for itself in the very Scriptures which were intended to overthrow it. And the wretched man does not perceive that such matters are recorded with this useful design, that men of good hope may learn the salutary lesson, both that the custom they spurn can be turned to a good use, and that which they embrace can be used to condemnation, if the use of the former be accompanied with charity, and the use of the latter with lust.

For, if it was possible for one man to use many wives with chastity , it is possible for another to use one wife with lust. And I look with greater approval on the man who uses the fruitfulness of many wives for the sake of an ulterior object, than on the man who enjoys the body of one wife for its own sake. For in the former case the man aims at a useful object suited to the circumstances of the times; in the latter case he gratifies a lust which is engrossed in temporal enjoyments.

And those men to whom the apostle permitted as a matter of indulgence to have one wife because of their incontinence, were less near to God than those who, though they had each of them numerous wives, yet just as a wise man uses food and drink only for the sake of bodily health, used marriage only for the sake of offspring.

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For there is no difficulty in abstaining unless when there is lust in enjoying. And assuredly those men of whom I speak knew that wantonness even in regard to wives is abuse and intemperance, as is proved by Tobit's prayer when he was married to his wife. For he says: Blessed are You, O God of our fathers, and blessed is Your holy and glorious name for ever; let the heavens bless You, and all Your creatures. You made Adam, and gave him Eve his wife for an helper and stay. But those who, giving the rein to lust , either wander about steeping themselves in a multitude of debaucheries, or even in regard to one wife not only exceed the measure necessary for the procreation of children, but with the shameless licence of a sort of slavish freedom heap up the filth of a still more beastly excess, such men do not believe it possible that the men of ancient times used a number of wives with temperance , looking to nothing but the duty, necessary in the circumstances of the time, of propagating the race; and what they themselves, who are entangled in the meshes of lust , do not accomplish in the case of a single wife, they think utterly impossible in the case of a number of wives.

But these same men might say that it is not right even to honor and praise good and holy men, because they themselves when they are honored and praised, swell with pride , becoming the more eager for the emptiest sort of distinction the more frequently and the more widely they are blown about on the tongue of flattery, and so become so light that a breath of rumor, whether it appear prosperous or adverse, will carry them into the whirlpool of vice or dash them on the rocks of crime.

Let them, then, learn how trying and difficult it is for themselves to escape either being caught by the bait of praise, or pierced by the stings of insult; but let them not measure others by their own standard. Let them believe , on the contrary, that the apostles of our faith were neither puffed up when they were honored by men , nor cast down when they were despised. And certainly neither sort of temptation was wanting to those great men. For they were both cried up by the loud praises of believers , and cried down by the slanderous reports of their persecutors.

But the apostles used all these things, as occasion served, and were not corrupted; and in the same way the saints of old used their wives with reference to the necessities of their own times, and were not in bondage to lust as they are who refuse to believe these things. For if they had been under the influence of any such passion, they could never have restrained themselves from implacable hatred towards their sons, by whom they knew that their wives and concubines were solicited and debauched.

But when King David had suffered this injury at the hands of his impious and unnatural son, he not only bore with him in his mad passion, but mourned over him in his death. He certainly was not caught in the meshes of carnal jealousy, seeing that it was not his own injuries but the sins of his son that moved him. For it was on this account he had given orders that his son should not be slain if he were conquered in battle, that he might have a place of repentance after he was subdued; and when he was baffled in this design, he mourned over his son's death, not because of his own loss, but because he knew to what punishment so impious an adulterer and parricide had been hurried.

For prior to this, in the case of another son who had been guilty of no crime, though he was dreadfully afflicted for him while he was sick, yet he comforted himself after his death.

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And with what moderation and self-restraint those men used their wives appears chiefly in this, that when this same king, carried away by the heat of passion and by temporal prosperity, had taken unlawful possession of one woman , whose husband also he ordered to be put to death , he was accused of his crime by a prophet , who, when he had come to show him his sin , set before him the parable of the poor man who had but one ewe-lamb, and whose neighbor, though he had many, yet when a came to him spared to take of his own flock, but set his poor neighbor's one lamb before his to eat.

And David's anger being kindled against the man, he commanded that he should be put to death , and the lamb restored fourfold to the poor man; thus unwittingly condemning the sin he had wittingly committed.

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Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6) Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6)
Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6) Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6)
Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6) Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6)
Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6) Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6)
Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6) Our Great Savior God (Kernels of Wheat Bible Study Singles Series Book 6)

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