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 XXXIV

May, 1955

Number 10

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

"If anyone is in Christ, a new creation, the primitive passed by. Lo! there has come to be new,"
II Cor. 5:16.
Becoming a new creation is not something one does for himself. God is the Creator. The many failures in so-called Christian living are due to the fact that too many people are trying to live a reformed life, and think it is a new creation. There is a great pressure exerted by preachers to get people to say they have accepted Christ when the facts later prove that they have not done so. Accepting Him is more than a sudden enthusiasm that dies out Paul tells us in the passage following our text, that all is of God. What "all". What he has just mentioned. Becoming a new creation. Man does not do this Himself. God does it. What are the recognizable effects? He conciliates us to Himself through Christ. In other words, He causes us to love Him. We are not merely reformed. We are made new. The primitive is the old creation, which is characterized by blindness to the real value of God. This passes by. Our emotions and our desires become new, because we have a new life. This becoming new is shown by the fact that we have new desires, new emotions, new abilities, new devotions, a new outlook, a new uplook, a new mission. It is not an experience that is brought about by fear; it is brought about by new life.

God has given to the heralds of His message, a new "preachment". It is the word of the conciliation. It is not a message of fear and cowardice. It is the glad news that God is conciliating the entire world. When He does this for anyone, He does not reckon their offensives to them. He can do this because He is working through Christ, the Sin-Bearer. Then when He conciliates another, He does the same thing for him --- ceases to reckon that person's offenses to him. This is to be kept up until the entire world of mankind is conciliated to God. God is not pressed for time. He can do it. He WILL.

How are we to deliver our message? Not by threatening sinners with hell. We are to say to them, "All is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ Jesus, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation how that God was in Christ, conciliating world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation. For Christ, then we are ambassadors as of God entreating through us. We are beseeching: 'For Christ's sake be conciliated to God'. For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes, that we may be becoming God's righteousness in Him", II Cor. 5:18-21.

I am reminded of a day when an old man came to me on the street and said, "Preacher, I love God. I was reared to think that He had it in for me, and, to tell you the truth, I had it in for Him. But since I have learned that He loves me, and made His Son a sin offering for my sake, I love Him, and I don't want to ever sin again". What had taken place? I had faithfully preached the love of God for him, and had begged him to be conciliated to God. The message was sent into his heart by the God who loves him, and he had been made a new creation. A few days before that, he would not have accosted me on the street and said he loves God. But now the primitive had passed by, and he had new desires, a new outlook, and a new ambition. He was God's friend. This is the sign of the new creation.

It should be noticed that in that entire passage nothing was said about hell. The love of God is what was stressed. If that does not "get" you, hell-scare will not.

It is as unreasonable for a person who belongs to the new creation to go on in degradation, as it is for a sheep to wallow in a mud hole like a hog. If the hog should be made into a sheep, he wouldn't do it. He would be a new creation. He would be a creature that hates mud holes. Preachers would not have so much trouble with degradation in the church if they had not taken in so many who are merely a reformation, instead of a new creation.

The safety of the person who is in Christ, a new creation, is shown by the following passage: "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor messengers, nor sovereignties, nor the present, nor the future, nor powers, nor height, nor depth nor any other creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord", Romans 8:38, 39.

In the passage II Corinthians Paul continues: Now working together, we are also entreating you not to receive the favor of God for naught". That is, don't receive the favor as if it were nothing. Don't despise it. What favor? The kindness manifested in making Christ a sin offering for the world. Spend a long while meditating on what it embraces. Think of the patience, the suffering, the death of God's own Son. We spend much time celebrating the exploits of warriors. We have special days on which to honor them. As I write this people all over the South are honoring and remembering the sacrifices of soldiers of the Confederacy. This is well. But how many minutes have we spent honoring Christ for His sacrifices for us? We can hardly take a minute to even think of Him.

Remember, Paul is still entreating. He was asking us to be conciliated to God. Now he is begging us to not disdain the favor of God---as manifested in the sufferings of Christ, and also in the kindness of God in making us a new creation, and in conciliating us to Himself, and in not reckoning our offenses to us. What a FAVOR all this is! Yet we go our way as if it were nothing. The way we regard it, some times makes it nothing, in our thoughts. The literal rendering of the passage is: "not to receive the favor of God INTO nothing". In other words, "don't turn it into no value in your thoughts".

Paul speaking for God, and is saying, or God is saying through him, "In a season acceptable I hear you. In a day of salvation I help you!"

I think it will be beneficial if you will take time out from your busy life, to say, 'When my condition as a sinner was crying to God, even before I was born, He heard me. He had said, 'Before they call I will answer them'. He had me in mind when I had no existence except in His thought. In answer to my unconscious cry, long before I was born --- a cry that He, alone, heard, He sent One to be a sin offering for me. It was then a day of salvation with Him, even long before I existed to need it. He extended His help, to be here when I should need it. Let me now not disdain His favor. I am unworthy, but the Sin Bearer has made provision for my salvation, I cannot afford to require such love with unconcern. I want to be His friend now. Lord, make me Your friend! Conciliate me. I can't do it myself, but You stand ready! No longer will I disregard your favor".

There has grown up a vicious theory that we need not be concerned about anyone, since God has made the provision. Paul taught election. This is all we need to know!

But wait! Not so hasty with your conclusions! The same Paul who taught election, also said. "I am enduring all because of those who are elected, that they may be having the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with glory for the ages", II Timothy 2:10. Remember when he said what he did about conciliation in II Corinthians, he did not say, as the King James Version has rendered it, "We pray YOU in Christ's stead, be YOU reconciled to God", as if he might have been beseeching only a certain class. He had already mentioned THE WORLD. So he says, "We are beseeching, 'For Christ's sake be conciliated to God'. Since he had already included the world in the conciliation, it is reasonable to think that now he includes the same world in his beseeching. To be conciliated is to be friendly. Is it wrong for me to entreat ANYONE in all the human family to be God's friend. This I do, depending on God to make the message effective.


When Paul, in II Cor. 3:6, mentions A new covenant, think not that he is discussing THE new covenant of which the prophets speak. THAT is for Israel. The one of which Paul wrote is one of which the Hebrew prophets had no inkling. It is A (not THE), new covenant. It is for us. It is one not of the latter, but of the spirit. One trouble with the old one given to Israel it was a covenant of the letter, and had no life-giving or life-sustaining qualities. This is one NOT of the letter, but of the spirit. For the letter is killing. The spirit is making alive.

He is not speaking so much of a personal spirit, as of spirit as an intelligent principle of action. It is a covenant of intelligence. We may kill people by insisting on certain forms and ceremonies being letter-perfect. But if we insist on this covenant as being a principle of devotion to God, and dependence on Him, through Christ, without any hard and fast traditions, we render it possible for saints to be both joined together in spirit, and free to render their devotions in a way that is best adapted to their individual needs and capacities.

What is the spirit of this covenant? "The Lord is that spirit", verse 17. This being true, there is freedom in exercising its privileges, for "where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom".

When you are viewing the reflection of yourself in a mirror, you are not seeing anything that you take hold of---nothing tangible. In creeds you view what you think is the glory of the Lord in the different forms and ceremonies of the church. But in this covenant, you see the glory as something intangible.  It is not in things that distinguish one church from one of another denomination. Seeing it is mentioned as looking in a mirror. It is something you cannot describe. Can you tell how the Lord looks? You only know that He is glorious in a way that appeals to your spirit, not to your natural eyes. This is a most wholesome viewing, for it is in spirit that you view His glory. You forget creeds, forms, ceremonies, denominational names. The view you have in spirit transcends all these. It makes you happy.

And, best of all, it transforms you into the spiritual image that you see. This is the way to become like the Lord!


I think we'd smile instead of weep---
If we could see her there,
So safe for all eternity---
So free from every care.
I think we'd bear our lonliness,
Without a mournful thought,
If we could realize the joy
That her "home-coming" brought.
Sleep on, Dear Mamma, sleep and
   take thy rest;
Lay down thy head upon thy Savior's breast.
We love you so much, but Jesus
   loves you best.
    Nona Belle, Sallie Lee, Alton, Lucile, Carl,
    Bertha, Georgia, Ethlyn, and Tina.

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