The Faith of Jesus
Alonzo T. Jones
Reprinted for the author by
Revelation Messengers Publishing
Alonzo Trevier Jones
Alonzo T. Jones was a deep Bible student and loved the Lord Jesus Christ. He was born in Rock Hill, Ohio in 1850, and at the age of 20 joined the U.S. Army, where he served until 1873. Following his baptism in 1874, Jones acquired his knowledge of the Bible through personal study. He became assistant minister to Isaac Van Horn shortly after, and the two ministers moved to northwestern Oregon where they held evangelistic meetings and organized churches. Jones later moved northward to Washington where he continued this same work and, in 1884, moved to California where he became editor of a Christian periodical. In 1889, Jones spoke before the U.S. Congress in opposition to a bill that would require national Sunday observance. The arguments used and set forth by Jones in the hearing he later published in book form, titled The National Sunday Law. Thus he became known as a prominent speaker on religious freedom. Among his studies, Jones familiarized himself with world history, as well as Biblical, and the prophecies contained in the Bible, and this lead to the authorship of many written works on the subject of Bible prophecy and their fulfillment as demonstrated in history. Jones believed that the Bible should be “preeminent” among those books studied by Christians, stating: “Nothing that is not Christian can ever properly be brought into the education of a Christian, any more than can anything that is not Christian be properly brought into any other phase of the life of the Christian. Therefore, the Book of Christianity, the Bible, must be the standard of Christian education.”
Christ kept the commandments of God: “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” John 15:10. By His obedience it is that many must be made righteous. “For as by one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Christ] shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19. But these are made righteous only by faith in Him, thus having “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:22, 23.
All have sinned; and “sin is the transgression of the law.” As all have thus transgressed the law, none can attain to righteousness by the law. There is righteousness in the law of God; in fact, the Word says, “All thy commandments are righteousness;” but there is no righteousness there for the transgressor. If righteousness ever comes to one who has transgressed the law, it must come from some source besides the law. And as all, in all the world, have transgressed the law, to whomsoever, in all the world, righteousness shall come, it must be from another source than from the law, and that source is Christ Jesus the Lord.
This is the great argument of Rom. 3:19-31: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God….Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Then the question comes in, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Notice, he has already said that although this righteousness of God is “without the law,” and by faith of Christ, yet it is “witnessed by the law and the prophets.” It is a righteousness that accords with the law; it is a righteousness to which the law can bear witness; it is a righteousness with which the law in its perfect righteousness can find no fault: it is indeed the very righteousness of the law itself; for it is the righteousness of God, and the law is only the law of God. It is the righteousness of God, which in Christ is wrought out for us by His perfect obedience to the commandments of God, and of which we become partakers by faith in Him; for “by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Thus we become the children of God by faith in Christ. By faith in Him the righteousness of the law is met in us. And we do not make void, but we establish, the law of God, by faith in Christ. In other words, in Christ is found the keeping of the law of God.
This is shown again in Gal. 2:17: “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.” To be found sinners, is to be found transgressors of the law; for “sin is the transgression of the law.” Then since the Lord has set His everlasting “God forbid” against any suggestion that Christ is the minister of the transgression of the law, it follows as certainly that Christ ministers the keeping of the law. The believer in Jesus finds in Christ the keeping of the commandments of God—the law of God. Whosoever therefore professes to be justified by faith in Christ, and yet claims the “liberty” to disregard the law of God in a single point, is deceived. He is only claiming that Christ is the minister of sin, against which the Lord has set His everlasting “God forbid.” Thus faith, justification by faith, establishes the law of God; because faith, the faith of Jesus Christ, is the only means there is by which the keeping of the commandments of God can ever be manifested in the life of anybody in the world.
This is yet further shown in Rom. 8:3-10: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
What was it that the law could not do?
Therefore, because of man’s failure, because of his wrong doings, the law could not minister to him life, it could not justify him, it could not accept him as righteous. So far as man was concerned, the purpose of the law was entirely frustrated.
But mark, “What the law could not do, in that it was weak” through the sinful flesh, God sent His Son to do, in the likeness of sinful flesh. What the law could not do, Christ does. The law could not minister life, because by transgression all had incurred its penalty of death; the law could not give justification, because by failure to do it, all had brought themselves under its condemnation; the law could not give righteousness, because all had sinned. But instead of this death, Christ gives life; instead of this condemnation, Christ gives justification; instead of this sin, Christ gives righteousness.
And for what?—That henceforth the law might be despised by us?—Nay, verily! But “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill,” said the holy Son of God. And so, “Christ is the end [the object, the aim, the purpose] of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Rom. 10:4. For of God, Christ Jesus “is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 1:30, 31.
“The law is spiritual.” But “the carnal mind [the natural mind, the minding of the flesh] is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh can not please God.” Rom. 7:14; 8:7, 8.
How then shall we please God? How shall we become subject to the law of God? The Saviour says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” and we have just read in Romans that “they that are in the flesh can not please God.”
But the Saviour says, further, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Therefore it is certain that except we are born of the Spirit, we can not please God; we can not be subject to the law of God, which is spiritual, and demands spiritual service. This, too, is precisely what the Saviour says: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.”
We know that some will say that the kingdom of God here referred to is the kingdom of glory, and that the new birth, the birth of the Spirit, is not until the resurrection, and that then we enter the kingdom of God. But such a view is altogether wrong. Except a man be born of the Spirit, he must still remain in the flesh. But the Scripture says, “They that are in the flesh can not please God.” And the man who does not please God will never see the kingdom of God, whether it be the kingdom of grace or of glory.
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God, whether of grace or of glory, is “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Rom. 14:17. Except a man be born again, he can not see, nor enter into, the righteousness of God; he can not see, nor enter into, the peace of God, which passes all understanding; and except he be born of the Spirit of God, how can he see, or enter into, that “joy in the Holy Ghost”?
Except a man be born again—born of the Spirit—before he dies, he will never see the resurrection unto life. This is shown in Rom. 8:11: “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
It is certain, therefore, that except the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, we can not be raised from the dead to life. But except His Spirit dwells in us, we are yet in the flesh. And if we are in the flesh, we can not please God. And if we do not please God, we can never see the kingdom of God, either here or hereafter.
Again: it is by birth that we are children of the first Adam; and if we shall ever be children of the last Adam, it must be by a new birth. The first Adam was natural, and we are his children by natural birth; the last Adam is spiritual, and if we become His children, it must be by spiritual birth. The first Adam was of the earth, earthy, and we are his children by an earthly birth; the last Adam is the Lord from heaven, from above; and if we are to be His children, it must be by a heavenly birth, a birth from above.
“As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy.” The earthy is “natural”—of the flesh. And “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God;” “because they are spiritually discerned,” and “they that are in the flesh can not please God.” Such is the birthright, and all the birthright, that we receive from the first Adam.
But, thank the Lord, “as is the heavenly such are they also that are heavenly.” The heavenly is spiritual; He is “a life-giving Spirit;” and the spiritual man receives the things of the Spirit of God, because they are spiritually discerned. He can please God because he is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; for the Spirit of God dwells in him. He is, and can be, subject to the law of God, because the carnal mind is destroyed, and he has the mind of Christ, the heavenly.
Such is the birthright of the last Adam, the one from above. And all the privileges, the blessings, and the joys of this birthright are ours when we are born from above. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born from above.” “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he can not see the kingdom of God.” With the argument of this paragraph, please study 1 Cor. 15:45-48; John 3:3-8; 1 Cor. 3:11-16; Rom. 8:5-10.
“ If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” 2 Cor. 5:17. As a new creature he lives a new life, and life of faith. “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” But it is a faith that works; for without works faith is dead.
In Christ nothing avails but a new creation; he lives by faith; it is a faith that works, and the work is the keeping of the commandments of God. Thus saith the Scripture:—
Again: it is “faith which worketh by love,” that avails; and “this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” 1 John 5:3. And “love is the fulfilling of the law.” Rom. 13:10. Therefore, in Christ Jesus the faith that avails is the faith that keeps the commandments of God, the faith that fulfills the law of God.
Once more: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10. “Created in Christ Jesus,” is to be made a “new creature” in Christ Jesus. But we are created in Him “unto good works,” and these good works are those which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
That is to say, God before ordained good works in which we should walk. But we have not walked in them. Now He creates us anew in Christ, so that we may walk in these good works in which before we failed to walk. These good works are the commandments, the law, of God. These commandments express the whole duty of man, but man has failed to do his duty; “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” But now Christ is manifested to take away our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21.
We are made new creatures in Him, that in Him and by Him we may perform acceptable service, and do the duty (keep the commandments of God), which before we failed to do, and which, out of Christ, all must ever fail to do. For He Himself said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” This is according to that which we have before shown: “What the law could not do,” “God sending His own Son” did, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Rom. 8:3, 4.
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