RELATIONSHIP OF GOD’S PEOPLE TO GOD IN CHRIST.

ELDER BEEBE – DEAR FRIEND: – Are not all whom God predestinated to himself {I mean to be saved} before the foundation of the world, just as much his children before their hearts are changed here, {or before they are born again} as after they are changed? Though they are steeped in sin, are they not his children just the same? Please answer me through the SIGNS, as I do not wish my name mentioned. By so doing you will confer a favor on one who wishes and tries to do right, but falls far short.

REPLY. The relationship of God’s people to God, is in Christ Jesus, as their Mediatorial head; and that, as we understand the scriptures, was complete and indissoluble from everlasting. But this is a relationship of life which is entirely spiritual. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” I John 5:11. In the Son of God, therefore, the relationship of life was complete before the world began.

God as our Creator also gave us a seminal existence in the earthly Adam, and in him called our name Adam in the day we were created. Gen. 5:2. “And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” Gen. 3:20. And this name for this cause was given her before any of her children were born.

But still it was necessary that we should be born of the flesh to develop this relation to our first parents. And it is also indispensable that as children of God we should in due time be born of the Spirit, to develop our spiritual relationship to God.

The peculiar statement of the question renders it difficult for one of only a very limited understanding of the scriptures to give a categorical answer. If we were as much, or as fully children, before we were born, as subsequently, then our birth could have contributed nothing to make us children.

Our understanding is that a child of the first Adam must be born of the flesh to establish the relationship. And if any man have not the Spirit of God, {which he cannot have until he is born of the Spirit} he is none of his. But, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

The great and all important question with us is, Have we the Spirit of Christ? Are we led by that Spirit? For if we are in possession of these, we can confidently leave all the rest in the hands of God.

Middletown, N.Y.
September 15, 1870.
Elder Gilbert Beebe