Page:Studies in the Scriptures - Series I - The Plan of the Ages (1909).djvu/107

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Our Lord*s Return* *oi

(A&s 4: 12); and " Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Rom. 10 : 13.

But Paul reasons that a man must hear the gospel before he can believe, saying, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they be- lieve in him of whom they have not heard ?" Rom. 10:14.

Some claim that Paul teaches that ignorance will save men, when he says that "The Gentiles, which have not the law, are a law unto themselves.*' (Roin. 2:14.) They gather from this that the law which their conscience fur- nishes is sufficient to justify them. But such persons mis- understand Paul. His argument is that the whole world is guilty before God (Rom. 3 1 19); that the Gentiles, who had not the writjten law, were condemned^ not justified, by the light of conscience, which, whether it excused them or accused them, proved that they were short of perfection and unworthy of life, even as the Jews who had the written lw were condemned by it ; " For by the law is the knowledge of sin.** (Rom. 3 : 20.) The law given to the Jew revealed his weakness, and was intended to show him that he was unable to justify himself before God j for "By the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in his [God's] sight." The written law condemned the Jew$^ and the Gentiles had light enough of conscience to condemn them; and thus every mouth is stopped from claiming the right of life, and all the world stands guilty before God.

Remembering the statement of James (2 ; io) y that who- soever shall keep the whole law, except to offend in one point, is guilty, and cannot claim any blessing promised by the Law Covenant, we realize that indeed "there is none righteous; no, not one." (Rom, 3: 10.) And thus the Scriptures close every dooi of hope save one, showing that not one of the condemned is able to secure eternal life by meritorious works, and that it is equally useless to plead

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