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 XXX

April, 1951

Number 9

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

"They of the nations that have no law, by nature may be doing that which the law demands"
Rom. 2:14
Almost everyone agrees with all others that human nature is low down and sinful. But Paul does not agree. He says that a man may do, by nature, that which the law demands. Again he says that sin is beside nature, Rom. 1:26. Human nature is in accord with God. When a man commits sin he is doing that which is contrary to nature.

What does it mean to commit sin? It means to miss the mark. The transgression of Adam in the garden was not some immoral act. He did nothing scandalous. He missed the mark in doing that which God forbade. Not all sin is immoral. Every act and thought that misses the mark is sinful, not every one is an act or a thought of immorality.

Paul says, "Through one man, missing the mark entered into the world, and death through missing the mark; and death passed through into all mankind, on which all missed the mark". If I am standing at the fork of the road, holding a child in my arms, and then take the wrong road, the child takes the wrong road also. I miss the mark, and so does the child in my arms. All mankind was in Adam when he missed the mark, or took the wrong road. All mankind missed the mark when he did, and each one is born on the wrong road. God is interested in putting mankind on the right road---not in endlessly punishing mankind. If a bookkeeper misses the mark and makes a wrong entry, his employer is interested in getting the entry right---not in killing the man who missed the mark.

Why do we commit individual sins? Isaiah tells us that it is because the hear is sick and the heart faint. The head represents the mind. People sin, not because human nature leads them to do so, but because of a sick mind, and a heart that is too weak in purpose, to keep them from going in the direction that the mind leads. this does not mean that people are crazy. But it does mean that the mind leads in the wrong direction, and, while they know they are doing wrong, they don't care. In fact they love it. When a person loves that which is wrong, it is evidence of a sick mind and a faint heart.

Sinning is a matter of mind. Avoiding sin is also a matter of mind. The power of Christ implants in us a power of mind that leads in the right direction; Christ dwells in our heart through faith; and the Father is in us. This provides an abundance of power to live as we ought. Paul exhorts us to live this way, and tells us it may be accomplished by the renewing of the mind. The mind is renewed in the same way the body is. We eat the correct food to renew the body; we thing on the right subjects, and in the right way, to renew the mind.

The renewing of the mind transforms us, so that we are not configured to this age. Then we are in position to be testing what the will of God for us is. The person whose mind is not renewed is frequently speaking of what the will of God is NOT. He seems to delight in teaching that God has it in for us, so that we need not expect much from Him. However, with the mind renewed, we learn that our God is a reality, and that we are not as orphans---crying and wailing when there is not hope, but that our Father is living, and that His will is beneficial for us, always.

Let us lay the blame for the daily commission of sin where it belongs---not on a sinful human nature, but on a sick mind and a faint heart. And let us remember that God has provided a remedy.


"God is our refuge and power; a help in afflictions", Psalm 46:1, (Septuagint Version).

We are much in need of a refuge, at all times. We are often very close to danger. In many cases we do not know it. Our life may be snuffed out by a careless driver of a car, or in other ways. We look ahead to the use of the atomic bomb---for many fully believe that an enemy nation will loose the bomb on us sooner or later---but we are not aware that we are in deadly danger practically all the time.

We have the privilege of repairing to our refuge every day, and it is a very wise thing to do. The day should be started with a prayer to God for His protection. He is able to protect us, and He is not averse to doing so. In fact, this is one the things He has assured us that He will do.

A story is told of a Union soldier in the American Civil War, who had lost his command and was wandering in the darkness. A Confederate sentinel started to shoot him, when the wanderer began singing, softly, "Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing". The Sentinel could not shoot; he lowered his gun and let the man wander on. God can protect our loved ones in battle; He can protect us wherever we are. He is our refuge.

When we speak of strength we are thinking of something that is hard to break. But when we speak of power, we are having reference to that which can operate. The Psalm does not say, as in the King James Version, that God is our strength. It says He is our power. We are accustomed to that word, in the daily operation of business, factories, and even the home. Electric power gives us light and causes our machinery to be operated. The writer is, no doubt, thinking of that which causes our lives to operate. God is ready to send the power into our mind and our body, so that we can be useful members of society, and efficient workers in every department of life. He has given to us the mechanism by which this power flows to us. That is faith. The proper use of faith assures us of sufficient power for our daily activities of mind and body.

Many of us fail to use this mechanism. We do not even know of its existence. But we have the privilege of using that power daily, in much greater abundance than many of us know about.

God is a help in affliction. We are not told that God has irrevocably doomed us to suffering. He has made our body to manifest man as spirit. It is in spirit that we are in His image and after His likeness. A sound body manifests the man within, much better than does one that is weakened by affliction. The situation is not hopeless. If you are afflicted, there is help. Do you believe it?


I don't understand why some love to teach that the matter of answer to prayer is very uncertain. When I was a boy I was never uncertain in my mind about my father granting my requests for that which I needed. And if I had been uncertain about it, I would not have boasted, for I would not have wanted my friends to know that I had that kind of father.

I hear people boast of the supposed fact that God refused to answer Paul's prayer when he was asking Him to remove the messenger of Satan, whom the apostle termed a thorn in the flesh. Let us examine it.

Paul prayed three times that the messenger might withdraw from him. After asking the third time God assured him that His grace was sufficient. Was this a refusal? Was it not, rather, a promise of doing what Paul had requested?

Let us read it: "I entreated the Lord three times, that He should withdraw from me. And He protested to me, "Sufficient for you is my grace, for my power in infirmity is being matured". The apostle wanted the messenger of Satan to withdraw from him, and he asked the Lord to grant this. Did the Lord answer him? People tell us that this prayer was not answered. Granting the request would be a favor. Grace is a favor. Well God promised grace---all the grace Paul needed.

God is our power. If there were no darkness, we would never know the power of the electric light. In darkness, the power is being matured. Perhaps we have heard that the current will produce light. But we would never know this to be true, if there were no darkness. In darkness, the power of electric light is matured in our thought. But not if the light is never turned on. It must shine and drive away the darkness, if it is to be matured to us. So Paul would know the power of grace, because there was need for it. But he would never know the power, if the power was not exercised.

Paul said that he would delight in infirmities---that is, in outrages, necessities, persecution, and distress, which come on him for Christ's sake. For the fact that these come emphasizes his weakness. And it was in weakness---his own weakness apart from God---that he was powerful.

We are not left to cry alone, like one whose father is dead. We are not orphans. Our loving Father is living. When we cry to Him, He hears, and does something about it. Yes, Paul's prayer was answered, and his request granted.


God is much closer to His creation than is sometimes thought. All is out of Him. He made the universe out of Himself. He gave to each a form suited to the purpose of its creation. To man He gave a mind that is able to think and reason. Man, first of all, is spirit, and is in the image of God. He is also body, with a physical form suited to the purpose that God has in mind. Man, the body, manifests man, the spirit.

We are God substance. Everything is God substance. The creation is not only out of God; it is also part of God.

We are dignified, because not only are we part of God, in common with all creation; we are in the image of God, as to spirit.

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