Paul's Pre-Prison Epistles
What are Paul's Pre-Prison Epistles
Man Doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord (Jehovah) doth man live. Deu 8:3.
The context tells us that the manna was given in the wilderness in order that Israel might learn the lesson above. The lesson is that man by himself is nothing, that all his religion and his works, that all his wisdom and inventions, can go no farther than the grave. So the man who eats bread and never takes thought of his Creator does not continue to live. Length of days cannot be his hope. He returns to the dust from which he came.
So they were to learn that length of days in resurrection could only come by knowing the Word of Jehovah and giving to it faith-obedience. It is by every word that they live. They could not choose to take a few words here and a few more there and profess to believe them. It was the whole counsel of God they must obey.
They already had the record that death came into the world by the disobedience of Adam in the garden. And men of that time could see as well as men today can that death is something very final. And even as early as Job it was well understood that the only way out of the grave was resurrection.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1Cor 15:22.
Here is the same thing expressed in different words. Not only all people, but everything that comes from Adam ends in death. The wisdom of this world, the inventions of this world, the desires of this world, the pride of this world, and anything you can name that comes from Adam must find its end in death. This is final, this is the end. Natural religion cannot help it one bit. There is no philosophy that can get around it. And man's natural condition is such that there is no argument whatsoever in its favor. In the flesh dwells no good thing. The best righteousness that man can produce is filthy rags in the sight of God. And no man who knows God will for a moment try to reason otherwise. He knows himself.
And we can add that it is impossible for a man to know himself till he knows God. And when he knows God, then with Job he will abhor himself, realize that he is vile, and begin looking around him for sackcloth and ashes in which to repent.
Only those in Christ, the incarnate Word of God, can have resurrection and length of days. And how do they get into Christ? By believing the record concerning Him, which is the Word of God, every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God. There is life in no other person or thing.
From the beginning of the Bible to the end we find these things emphasized, the whole plan of redemption set forth, and the way of life plainly stated. But there are many who try to find another way, who believe the lie that man does not really die, that he is like God and has life in himself.
To all such our Lord still says, And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life. John 5:40.
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