Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: It was stated recently that the word for "grave" in 1 Corinthians 15:55 is death, according to the revised version. Thus the reading "O death, where is thy sting? O death where is thy victory?" Is this a correct interpretation?

Answer: It is our view that this is indeed the correct language of the text. We understand the two questions to be a double challenge to death. Mr. J. N. Darbyís translation also supports this sense.

The saint has no fear of death because the sting which is sin, has been removed by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. When our blessed Lord returns to raise His sleeping saints, death will no longer be able to hold their bodies. So then death has no longer victory. Mr. W. E. Vine states that we have here "a challenging shout of triumph, glorying in the complete absence of the evil." He also points to the fact that the best texts have "death" in both parts of 1 Corinthians 15:55.

Question: It has been mentioned in ministry that the expression "sins that are past" (Romans 3:25), do not refer to the sins of believers in their unsaved days. Could you explain the phrase?

Answer: The expression has no reference to sins before conversion, but has to do with sins of those in a past age from Adam to the death of the Lord Jesus upon the cross.

The sins of saints prior to Calvary were not remitted but passed by through Godís forbearing grace in view of the shedding of the precious blood of Christ. His absolute righteousness in Titus dealing with Old Testament believers was made known when the Saviour died and rose again the third day.

In the present age, God forgives the sins of all who believe on His Son on the grounds of the once for all offering of Christ, thereby justifying all who receive the saving value of the sacrifice. A careful reading of the context of Romans 3:21-26 will explain more fully the expression "sins done aforetime." (RV)

Question: Hebrews 9:22 states "almost all things are by the law purged with blood." As great stress is placed upon the value of the blood in this chapter, could an explanation be given for the "almost" in this verse?

Answer: The answer is to be found in Leviticus 5:11-13. In the rich provisions of Godís grace, even the poorest was not overlooked. Turtle doves or pigeons were the cheapest creatures with blood that an offerer could bring. Almost everyone could procure such a small sacrifice. However, there are always those who are so poor that even this may not be available, so gracious provision was made by the Lord. For such, the sin offering of fine flour was permitted. Herein we see the absolute accuracy of the inspired Word of God, that the writer to the Hebrews should say "almost all things are by the law purged with blood." Here we have one exception. However, with the antitype, the blood of Christ is always necessary, for without shedding of blood is no remission, as the end of the verse plainly states. As far as a covering for sin was concerned in Old Testament times, blood was the usual means, but with one exception. As far as the final remission fo sin today, there is no exception.

The "almost" is in the past age, but "all" sin can only be forgiven in the present by the shedding of the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7, 1 John 1:7). Also, it should be remembered that the meal offering was placed upon the altar with the burnt offereing.