Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: Could you explain what is meant by "joints and marrow’ in Hebrews 4:12? If this is figurative, of what is it a figure?

Answer: It is our understanding that "joints and marrow" is a metaphorical expression. The idea being just as a keen sword will sever joints and reach the marrow within a human body, so the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, can penetrate and lay open the innermost depths of human consciousness, dissecting spiritual conditions and passing unerring judgment on our thoughts and purposes. The Word of God is living and powerful, testing every purpose, aim and motive of the heart. This reveals that the word is instinct with all the attributes of the Lord Himself and reveals, when unresisted, what we really are in His sight. "For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appear­ance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).

Question: Who is typified by the servant who was com­manded to go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in? How does he compel? (Luke 14:23).

Answer: The Lord uses His servants to gather sinners by the preaching of the gospel to the summer. vet none but the Holy Spirit could fill the place of the servant in this parable. In another parable, the servants are sent to gather as many as they found, both bad and good, to furnish the wedding with guests (Matt. 22:1-14). In contrast, only one servant is sent in Luke 14:23.

It is also to be considered that whereas the servants bring some who have not a wedding garment, all that the servant compels are genuine guests. We judge therefore that the servant is a true picture of the ministry of the Holy Spirit whose work is perfect. He compels by causing those invited, who are poor, maimed, halt and blind to feel their need and in so doing, causes them in their distress to come for relief to the feast. No earthly servant can induce a soul to accept the invitation, only the Spirit of God can produce a condition of desire in a human heart leading to repen­tance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

One beautiful hymn expresses this truth well:

Why was I made to hear His voice
And enter while there’s room,
While millions make the wretched choice
And would rather starve than come?
It was the grace that spread the feast,
That sweetly drew me in
Else I would still remain without,
To perish in my sin.

Question: Some speak of the righteousness of Christ being imputed to the believer. Is this scriptural?

Answer: It is our understanding that the term "righteousness of Christ" is never applied to imputation in the scriptures of truth. The Lord Jesus Christ was the Righteous One in all His pathway here. He ever went about doing the will of the Father as the faithful and true Witness.

It should be underlined however, that His perfect obedience is at no time imputed to His people. It is alone on the basis of His sacrificial death upon the cross that the believer obtains righteous­ness through faith in Christ spoken of by the apostle Paul as the righteousness which is of God. "Found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God upon faith" (Phil. 3:9 RV).