Scripture Notes

I.

1 Corinthians 10:6; Hebrews 9:24.

The word rendered "examples" in the first of these scriptures is really "types," and that given in the second as "figures" is more exactly "antitypes." Attention to the teaching of each will readily enable us to understand the difference. The journey of the children of Israel through the wilderness, divinely sustained as they were by the manna from heaven and by the water which flowed out of the smitten rock, was typical of, and shadowed out, the Christian's passage through this world, which has become morally a wilderness to him, because his home is in the Father's house, where Christ has gone to prepare a place for him. A type therefore is a thing, an event, which is taken up by the Spirit of God to adumbrate something in the future. And there are typical personages, such as Isaac, Joseph, Benjamin, Moses, Aaron, David, and Solomon, who are selected to prefigure Christ in some special character or office. An "antitype," as in the second scripture, is a correspondence with something already existing. Thus the tabernacle, a figure (image) for the time then present, made after the pattern shown to. Moses in the mount, was a revelation of heavenly things. It was not intended so much to point to the future, although it be true that it is only in Christianity that the things revealed by the tabernacle can be understood and inherited, as to display what belonged to heaven. Hence the apostle says: "Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands" (that is, into the holy places of the tabernacle, where only the priests could enter), which are the figures (the antitypes) of the true, "but into heaven itself," etc.; for indeed it was "heaven itself," of which the "holy places" were the antitypes. A symbol again is different. For example, the sun, moon and stars, in Matt. 24, as also in Revelation, are used in a symbolic sense, as symbolizing governing authorities - the sun as supreme, the moon as derived (she receives her light from the sun), and the stars as subordinate, authority. So the new moon was, to borrow language, "the symbol of the reappearance of Israel in the sun's light, hailed with joy by the people, and connected with redemption in the thought of faith." Then also there are figures and illustrations. When, for instance, our blessed Lord says, "I am the door," He uses a figure to teach that it is through Him we enter into the possession and enjoyment of heavenly things. The spiritual mind, guided by the Holy Spirit, will have but little difficulty in comprehending these distinctions, and in seizing their significance, when studying the Scriptures.

II.

2 Corinthians 1:21, 22.

If it be remembered that it is the same Holy Spirit who is the anointing, the seal, and the earnest, it will be seen that all three operations are simultaneous; that, in other words, when the believer is sealed with the Holy Ghost he is also anointed, and receives the earnest of the Spirit in his heart. It is God's work in giving the indwelling Spirit; and the condition of bestowing it, as may be readily discovered from the Scriptures, is the knowledge and possession of the forgiveness of sins. (See Acts 2:38; 43, 44, etc.) The three terms used in the above scripture do but express various aspects of the Spirit as received by the believer. As the seal two things are mainly signified - ownership and security. The Christian is thus marked out as belonging to Christ (Romans 8:9), and is eternally secured until the day of redemption. (Eph. 4:30.) As the anointing the Spirit is the source of knowledge (1 John 2:20, 27) and of power (see Acts 10:38); and as the earnest, He is the guarantee, or the assurance, of our being brought into the enjoyment of all that has been secured for us in Christ. Thus in 2 Cor. 5:5 He is the earnest of our resurrection and glorified bodies; while in Ephesians 1:14 He is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. The same Spirit, moreover, is the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father; and it is also by Him that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. The possession therefore of the Holy Ghost is, in God's infinite grace as revealed in Christ, and in the redemption which He has wrought out through His death and resurrection, the distinguishing characteristic of Christianity, and that which marks off the believer of this period from the saints of all other dispensations.

III.

Titus 2:11-15.

This passage really contains a summary of Christianity, and, as may be readily seen, it is introduced here to enforce the previous exhortations - "the things which become sound doctrine." These concern the conduct of the aged men, the aged women, the young women, the young men, and the servants, the object being, though only given in connection with the last class, "that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." This forms the transition to our scripture, as shown by the language used: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation for all men" (we give the more approved rendering) "hath appeared," etc. In verse 13 a change in the translation is also necessary; it should read, "Looking for the blessed hope, and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ." There are then two appearings: grace has appeared, and the glory of our blessed Lord will appear, and it is between these two appearings that the exhibition of true and practical Christianity is to be made by those who have been brought into the possession of grace. No doubt the appearing of grace began with the incarnation of our Lord; it was seen in the whole of His life, for God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself; it was declared in the cross, for God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; and it has been continued ever since in the publication of the glad tidings of the gospel. It brings salvation for those whose hearts are open to receive it, and then it begins to teach them (v. 12). It should be said that the word "teach" here is not the same as "doctrine" (teaching) in verses 1 - 10. The word in verse 12 is often rendered "disciplining," and the reason for the change is that the character of the life enjoined is seldom displayed, excepting through discipline. Those then who are the subjects of grace are taught to deny ungodliness or impiety, everything that savours of indifference or opposition to God, and also worldly lusts, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. (1 John 2) They should, moreover, live "soberly," with self-restraint and chastened, subdued spirits; "righteously," having regard to what is due to one's neighbour, indeed to all men; and "godly," walking before God in humble dependence, confidence, and subjection to His will. Then, while so living, the attitude to be maintained is that of constantly looking for the blessed hope, and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Believers are caught up to meet Christ before the appearing; only, when in responsibility, the appearing of Christ is always the goal, because that is the time of the vindication of His own rights and claims, and of the displayed recompense of His people. (See 1 Thess. 4 and 2 Thess. 1) Next, the apostle leads us back to the death of Christ, and to His object in His death as furnishing an all-powerful motive to a holy life. The One who will soon appear in glory is the One who gave Himself for us, thus claiming our devotedness by the revelation in His death on our behalf of all His love, and in that death His object was to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. What an appeal to our hearts! May we all have the opened ear to hear it, that, constrained by His mighty love, we may seek grace to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.