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JOHN XV. 22, 24

MUCH ESTEEMED BROTHER BEEBE: – I propose to ask you a question, which I would be glad to have you explain through the SIGNS. If the whole human family fell in Adam, and are under the law of sin and death, why did Christ say, In John xv. 22, 24, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.” “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both mean me and my Father”?

You brother in Christ, as I hope,
Jasper County, Texas, Jan. 6, 1880.

REPLY.– We are informed in the scriptures that, “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” “For by one man’s offense death reigned by one,” &c. “Therefore as by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” – Romans v. 12, 17, 18. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” – 1 Cor. xv. 55. “For the wages of sin is death.” – Rom. vi. 23. From these scriptures we learn that all the posterity of the earthy Adam are involved in the sin and guilt of Adam’s one offense, and that the mortality in which we are involved is the wages of his one offense, for it is in Adam we all die. Our subjection to death is therefore conclusive evidence that we are involved in the sin of his transgression, and the seeds of depravity are fully developed in our natural propensity to sin continually.

We are not therefore at liberty to construe the words of our Lord so as to mean that those of whom he spake were exempt from the guilt of Adam’s transgression, nor that his coming, and the works which he performed, were the cause of their depravity; but rather that his coming and work had exposed the sinful state they were in by taking away their cloak in which they were disguised, and thus proving that with all their professions of piety and godliness they hated both him and his Father. Whatsoever maketh manifest is light; and in the concealment of darkness, and the disguise of their cloak, their hypocrisy in pretending to love God and holiness could not be detected and demonstrated until brought to the test of both seeing in the marvelous works of Jesus, and hating both him and his Father. This was an exposure of sin which they were already involved in, by proving that they hated both him and the Father. In the same form of speaking, Paul said, “I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet,” &c. The law did not make him sin, but it proved that he was a sinner.

Elder Gilbert Beebe – Editorial
Middletown, N. Y., February 1, 1880

Signs of the Times
Volume 48, No. 3
February 1, 1880