by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXIX

May, 1950

Number 10

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

I do not believe that the powers of the future eons are here. I do not believe that the special healing that is for that day is now in force.

As I see it, we have the power and the blessings that have been available to the saints all the while under Paul's ministry.

We are encouraged to pray with assurance.  Nowhere are we told to pray, believing that what we request will not be granted. This is true in the matter of healing, as well as in all other matters. And healing includes vastly more than the curing of physical diseases. There are many other disturbances to be healed. Christ is Head over all, and, as such, He is given to the church which is His body, and the church is the complement by which all in all are being completed. This can be understood only if we think of this passage, Eph. 1:23, as teaching that the church is the complement by which all are being completed in all respects. This seems to be the mission of the church, in part, and Christ is given to the church for this purpose, among others.

The scripture recommends wine as a healing agent. Another passage speaks of oil. Thus God has placed healing properties in medicines---not merely in the two mentioned above, but also in many others that were unknown in the days of Paul and James. And the fact that the oil is mentioned in the Circumcision scriptures, does not make it any less valuable to us. Neither may we conclude that a sip of wine would not have been as helpful to Matthew, for instance, as to Timothy, if the former had been afflicted with stomach trouble.

God had shown Himself particularly interested in the health of the people. He enables every school of healing to achieve favorable results.

But He has also been, in every administration interested in healing without any agent except faith. He has placed healing power in affirmative attitudes of mind. He told us about it when He said, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine".

Paul tells us of Faith's law.  He illustrates its working. The law of faith is the principle by which faith operates. In his illustration Paul mentions the fact that back in what we call Old Testament times the blood of Christ was a propitiatory shelter through faith. Faith made the blood available to the people. The salvation of which the blood speaks will be realized by all, in the glory, but in the earth life, it was real to only those who believed. The illustration is in Rom. 3:25,26. Just before this, he tells us that the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ's faith is FOR all, but it is ON only those who believe.

Faith does not cause anything to exist. It makes available to us in this life, what God has for ALL mankind in the glory. ALL have the righteousness of God that is through JESUS CHRIST'S FAITH. ALL shall enjoy it in the glory. In this life it is to be enjoyed by US, through OUR FAITH.

All mankind are saved in grace, since God is the Savior of all mankind. But only those who believe are saved in grace THROUGH FAITH. Salvation belongs to all; faith makes it available for our enjoyment now.

Justification is in the blood of Christ, and all have it, from God's viewpoint. But man does not have it from his own viewpoint until he believes. This is called justification by faith, and those who have it may be having peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

While Paul mentions faith's law, Christ tells how it works, without mentioning it by name. "According to your faith, so be it to you". Since faith is not confined to the era of Paul's writing, faith's law works in all administrations alike, Habakkuk said "The just one shall be living by faith", and Paul repeated it, and so did the writer of the Hebrew epistle. The pathway of faith may be traced all the way through the history of the human family.

What we have to use in the glory, we may use here, to a certain extent, through faith. Salvation in all its fullness includes health, joy, possessions, friends, home, etc. These we have, to use in the glory. Faith brings them to us here, in a limited sense.

At that period when Paul had "outside fightings; inside fears", II Cor. 7:5, he was sick a great deal. Later, when he learned the truths of Phil. 4:4-19, we hear no more of his sickness. His writings during this later period are full of good cheer and encouragement. According to the instructions he gives now, we are to rejoice in the Lord, and be lenient with others. We are to know that the Lord is at hand---this is practicing the presence of God. We are told to let nothing be worrying us. In everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, we are to let our requests be known to God. While in this glad frame of mind we find the peace of God. All this is based on faith. Without faith we are neither lenient with others nor patient with God. And we are to remember that a very important thing is THANKSGIVING. This cannot be done if we have outside fightings and inside fears. And faith is the only attitude that can take away these unhappy emotions.

Faith leads to such a pleasant disposition that we cease to "harp" on the failings of others. Instead, we take into account that in their life which is grave, just, pure, agreeable, renowned, etc. We not only CAN see good in them, but we prefer to THINK of this good, rather than of their faults.

Faith leads us to not only rejoice in what the Lord does for us directly, but also in what He leads others to do for us. I thank every person for every deed of kindness shown to me, even if it some job for which I am paying. All who serve me, either for pay or without remuneration, are my friends. This is especially true of all who donate money or other valuables to my support.

Faith initiates us into the practice of being content and humble. And this gives us strength for all in Christ.

Faith gives us a desire that all saints shall lay up treasures that will increase to their account. It leads us to admonish them to give freely, believing that, in so doing, they are laying up money in a bank that does not fail.

Faith gives us the assurance that God has made every provision to take care of our needs, in accord with his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. We do not doubt that it shall be well with us here, and in the future life.

The law of faith responds favorably to our expectation, and we are not disappointed. It causes our body cells and our possessions to make a favorable response to our words of well-meant praise. Yes, even the circumstances of our life will be more congenial to us when we greet them daily in faith.

I do not make a division between what is usually called our spiritual interests, and those of every-day life. There is only one department to my life. God, through Christ, gives me food for my spirit, and food for my body. There is no essential difference between a dinner of bread and meat and vegetables, and a "dinner" of gospel teaching that builds me up in spirit. As I greet my friends on the street daily, it is no different from greeting them in the place set aside for worship. When I go from a store with a bag filled with groceries, it does not differ from going from the meeting house with my spirit filled with teaching that cheers me.

Sitting at my typewriter spelling our words of cheer to someone, is the same as standing before a congregation handing out the "word of life" in a sermon. When I write to someone, saying, "In my loving thought I bless you and your loved ones and your possessions", there is the same importance attached to it, that is attached to the writing of a "sermon" for someone who has asked for "light" on some scripture subject.

Our attention is sometimes called to Paul's "thorn in the flesh". "It is physical affliction", says one. "It was a messenger of Satan", says Paul. A messenger is usually a person. No one would say it was an actual thorn. No more may we conclude that is was actually in the flesh. Rather, he was at Paul's side. The apostle prayed that he might withdraw. God would not cause him to do so, for the mental torment he caused was necessary to keep Paul humble. There is no hint of physical affliction.

God is interested in health and spirituality. Why should He not be, when we represent Him, and are supposed to express Him in our life? Man as spirit is the one who has dominion over the other creatures, but man as body must have health, in order that spirit may do its work. Man as spirit functions through mind, and it is in mind that faith and love are found.

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