1916 Delaware Association

Written by Elder J.G. Eubanks

CIRCULAR LETTER

The Delaware Association, in session with the Welsh Tract Church, New Castle County, Delaware, May 24th, 25th and 26th, 916, to the churches which form this Association, sendeth greeting.

DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD: - According to our annual custom, we send you what we call our Circular Letter, the object of which is brotherly salutation. This is not a reply to the letters sent us from the several churches, but a simple statement of the doctrine of God our Savior as adhered to by this Association, lo these many years. We have no new thing to tell you. We are not in affiliation with those who are not satisfied with the “old paths.” The rule of faith and practice with us in accordance with that which was given us when the church was set up and made manifest on the earth; this rule was of heavenly origin. Jesus therefore said unto Peter, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” From this foundation the church of Jesus Christ has not wavered. All that is reared as the superstructure of God's building of mercy and love is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” In giving to Peter and the other apostles the keys of the kingdom of heaven the door of the kingdom was unlocked by the Holy Ghost, revealing Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith. The Holy Ghost alone could reveal the things of Jesus, and open the windows of our faith to behold his wondrous glory, and to walk by faith in gospel order. The things which are bound on earth and also in heaven (the church), and also loosed, can only be viewed by the faith of God's elect. When confusion and dissensions arise in the church, it is because we are walking after the flesh, and the house cannot be cleansed and garnished until the Spirit takes of the things of Jesus and reveals them unto us. Every branch of Zion is entirely dependent upon the Spirit of God that guides and directs each individual member of the body. Peace and prosperity reign when the set time to favor Zion has come and the Spirit is in active exercise. The kingdom and the keys thereof imply a door, or entrance. Jesus declared to certain ones, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” We love Jesus because he first loved us. We never went to him until he first came to us. Jesus being the door of the sheep, by his perfect obedience he unbarred the gates of the law and set the prisoners free. He called his own sheep by name, and they followed him, now they enter in through Jesus (the door), they sup with him, and he with them, they go in and out and find pasture, his love fills their heart, and now they walk in the light of his countenance. The door of the kingdom of heaven is unlocked, the mystery of godliness is shown to the astonished and delighted eyes of the saints, for they “see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowed with glory and honor: that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” The several points of the doctrine of our God which we advocate and love embrace all that God is to his dear people, his predestinating power, his electing love, his foreknowledge and foreordination concerning all events that have taken place in all time, or ever can take place, his preservation of his saints in glory, and the resurrection of the dead through Jesus Christ the Lord. What an astounding and realistic picture is presented to our faith's view as the keys of the kingdom turn the lock, and we find ourselves in the rich pasture of God's wondrous love as we behold the unlimited riches of his grace. We have not drawn the sword, but the Captain of our salvation has proven victorious over death, hell and the grave, by which we have attained unto a finished salvation. Having that faith (Jesus) which was once delivered unto the saints, the apostle sweetly exhorts us, saying, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, ye shall never fail: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

J.G. Eubanks, Moderator
P.M. Sherwood, Clerk

Signs of the Times
Volume 84, No. 13
July 1, 1916