Keith Hunt - Church History #19 - Page Eighteen   Restitution of All Things

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History of the Church #19

Theology of the Apostolic Church #1


FROM 30 AD TO 100 AD

From the multi-volume work of Schaff (late 1800s)

Most of his "notes" have been left out, those interested can
probably find his whole work on the Internet, or like myself buy
his multi-volume work - Keith Hunt.

UNITY of Apostolic Teaching.

Christianity is primarily not merely doctrine, but life, a new
moral creation, a saving fact, first personally embodied in Jesus
Christ, the incarnate Word, the God-man, to spread from him and
embrace gradually the whole body of the race, and bring it into
saving fellowship with God. The same is true of Christianity as
it exists subjectively in single individuals. It begins not with
religious views and notions simply; though it includes these, at
least in germ. It comes as a new life; as regeneration,
conversion, and sanctification; as a creative fact in experience,
taking up the whole man with all his faculties and capacities,
releasing him from the guilt and the power of sin, and
reconciling him with God, restoring harmony and peace to the
soul, and at last glorifying the body itself. Thus, the life of
Christ is mirrored in his people, rising gradually, through the
use of the means of grace and the continued exercise of faith and
love, to its maturity in the resurrection.

But the new life necessarily contains the element of doctrine, or
knowledge of the truth. Christ calls himself "the way, the truth,
and the life." He is himself the personal revelation of saving
truth, and of the normal relation of man to God. Yet this element
of doctrine itself appears in the New Testament, not in the form
of an abstract theory, the product of speculation, a scientific
system of ideas subject to logical and mathematical
demonstration; but as the fresh, immediate utterance of the
supernatural, divine life, a life-giving power, equally practical
and theoretical, coming with divine authority to the heart, the
will, and the conscience, as well as to the mind, and
irresistibly drawing them to itself. The knowledge of God in
Christ, as it meets us here, is at the same time eternal life. We
must not confound truth with dogma. Truth is the divine
substance, doctrine or dogma is the human apprehension and
statement of it; truth is a living and life-giving power, dogma a
logical formula; truth is infinite, unchanging, and eternal;
dogma is finite, changeable, and perfectible.

The Bible, therefore, is not only, nor principally, a book for
the learned, but a book of life for every one, an epistle written
by the Holy Spirit to mankind. In the words of Christ and his
apostles there breathes the highest and holiest spiritual power,
the vivifying breath of God, piercing bone and marrow, thrilling
through the heart and conscience, and quickening the dead. The
life, the eternal life, which was from the beginning with the
Father, and is manifested to us, there comes upon us, as it were,
sensibly, now as the mighty tornado, now as the gentle zephyr;
now overwhelming and casting us down in the dust of humility and
penitence, now reviving and raising us to the joy of faith and
peace; but always bringing forth a new creature, like the word of
power, which said at the first creation, "Let there be light!"   
Here verily is holy ground. Here is the door of eternity, the
true ladder to heaven, on which the angels of God are - John
17:3, ascending and descending in unbroken line. No number of
systems of Christian faith and morals, therefore, indispensable
as they are to the scientific purposes of the church and of
theology, can ever fill the place of the Bible, whose words are
spirit and life.

When we say the New Testament is no logically arranged system of
doctrines and precepts, we are far from meaning that it has no
internal order and consistency. On the contrary, it exhibits the
most beautiful harmony, like the external creation, and like a
true work of art. It is the very task of the historian, and
especially of the theologian, to bring this hidden living order
to view, and present it in logical and scientific forms. For this
work Paul, the only one of the apostles who received a learned
education, himself furnishes the first fruitful suggestions,
especially in his epistle to the Romans. This epistle follows a
logical arrangement even in form, and approaches as nearly to a
scientific treatise as it could consistently with the fervent,
direct, practical, popular spirit and style essential to the Holy
Scriptures and inseparable from their great mission for all

The substance of all the apostolic teaching is the witness of
Christ, the gospel, and the free message of that divine love and
salvation, which appeared in the person of Christ, was secured to
mankind by his work, is gradually realized in the kingdom of God
on earth, and will be completed with the second coming of Christ
in glory. This salvation also comes in close connection with
Judaism, as the fulfilment of the law and the prophets, the
substance of all the Old Testament types and shadows. The several
doctrines entering essentially into this apostolic preaching are
most beautifully and simply arranged and presented in what is
called the Apostles' Creed, which, though not in its precise
form, yet, as regards its matter, certainly dates from the
primitive age of Christianity. On all the leading points, the
person of Jesus as the promised Messiah, his holy life, his
atoning death, his triumphant resurrection and exaltation at the
right hand of God, and his second coming to judge the world,
the establishment of the church as a divine institution, the com-
munion of believers, the word of God, and the sacraments of
baptism and the Lord's supper, the work of the Holy Spirit, the
necessity of repentance and conversion, of regeneration and
sanctification, the final completion of salvation in the day of
Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the body, and the life
everlasting--on all these points the apostles are perfectly
unanimous, so far as their writings have come down to us.

The apostles all drew their doctrine in common from personal
contact with the divine-human history of the crucified and risen
Saviour, and from the inward illumination of the Holy Spirit,
revealing the person and the work of Christ in them, and opening
to them the understanding of his words and acts. This divine
enlightenment is inspiration, governing not only the composition
of the sacred writings, but also the oral instructions of their
authors; not merely an act, but a permanent state. The apostles
lived and moved continually in the element of truth. They spoke,
wrote, and acted from the spirit of truth; and this, not as
passive instruments, but as conscious and free organs. For the
Holy Spirit does not supersede the gifts and peculiarities of
nature, which are ordained by God; it sanctifies them to the
service of his kingdom. Inspiration, however, is concerned only
with moral and religious truths, and the communication of what is
necessary to salvation. Incidental matters of geography, history,
archaeology, and of mere personal interest, can be regarded as
directed by inspiration only so far as they really affect
religious truth.

The revelation of the body of Christian truth essential to
salvation coincides in extent with the received canon of the New
Testament. There is indeed constant growth and development in the
Christian church, which progresses outwardly and inwardly in
proportion to the degree of its vitality and zeal, but it is a
progress of apprehension and appropriation by man, not of
communication or revelation by God. We may speak of a secondary
inspiration of extraordinary men whom God raises from time to
time, but their writings must be measured by the only infallible
standard, the teaching of Christ and his apostles. Every true
advance in Christian knowledge and life is conditioned by a
deeper descent into the mind and spirit of Christ, who declared
the whole counsel of God and the way of salvation, first in
person, and then through his apostles.

The New Testament is thus but one book, the teaching of one mind,
the mind of Christ. He gave to his disciples the words of life
which the Father gave him, and inspired them with the spirit of
truth to reveal his glory to them. Herein consists the unity and
harmony of the twenty-seven writings which constitute the New
Testament, for all emergencies and for perpetual use, until the
written and printed word shall be superseded by the reappearance
of the personal Word, and the beatific vision of saints in light.

Different Types of Apostolic Teaching

With all this harmony, the Christian doctrine appears in the New
Testament in different forms according to the peculiar character,
education, and sphere of the several sacred writers. The truth of
the gospel, in itself infinite, can adapt itself to every class,
to every temperament, every order of talent, and every habit of
thought. Like the light of the sun, it breaks into various colors
according to the nature of the bodies on which it falls; like the
jewel, it emits a new radiance at every turn.
Irenaeus speaks of a fourfold "Gospel." In like manner we may
distinguish a fourfold "Apostle," or four corresponding types of
apostolic doctrine. The Epistle of James corresponds to the
Gospel of Matthew; the Epistles of Peter and his addresses in the
Acts to that of Mark; the Epistles of Paul to the Gospel of Luke
and his Acts; and the Epistles of John to the Gospel of the same
This division, however, both as regards the Gospels and the
Epistles, is subordinate to a broader difference between Jewish
and Gentile Christianity, which runs through the entire history
of the apostolic period and affects even the doctrine, the
polity, the worship, and the practical life of the church. The
difference rests on the great religious division of the world,
before and at the time of Christ, and continued until a native
Christian race took the place of the first generation of
converts. The Jews naturally took the Christian faith into
intimate association with the divinely revealed religion of the
old covenant, and adhered as far as possible to their sacred
institutions and rites; while the heathen converts, not having
known the law of Moses, passed at once from the state of nature
to the state of grace. The former represented the historical,
traditional, conservative principle; the latter, the principle of
freedom, independence, and progress.

(This to a large extent is where Schaff and other Protestants
start to move away from truth into the false teachings and
customs of popular Christianity, and hence depart from the faith
once delivered to the saints as Jude cried out that Christians of
his generation should strive to once more attain - Keith Hunt)

Accordingly we have two classes of teachers: apostles of the Jews
or of the circumcision; and apostles of the Gentiles or of the
uncircumcision. That this distinction extends farther than the
mere missionary field, and enters into all the doctrinal views
and practical life of the parties, we see from the accounts of
the apostolic council which was held for the express purpose of
adjusting the difference respecting the authority of the Mosaic

(This is all true [Acts 15] as long as one does not leap over the
water from one wrong embankment to another wrong embankment,
which Catholics and Protestants have done and been doing for
nearly 2,000 years. Rome started correctly under the leadership
of the apostles but towards the end of the first century began to
depart from the faith once delivered to the saints and by the end
of the second century and certainly the end of the fourth
century, Romes' Christianity was hardly recognizable as the true
Christianity of the apostles of the first century - Keith Hunt)

But the opposition was only relative, though it caused collisions
at times, and even temporary alienation, as between Paul and
Peter at Antioch. As the two forms of Christianity had a common
root in the full life of Christ, the Saviour of both Gentiles and
Jews, so they gradually grew together into the unity of the
catholic church. And as Peter represents the Jewish church, and
Paul the Gentile, so John, at the close of the apostolic age,
embodies the higher union of the two.

(Ah did you notice Schaff bring in the word "catholic" [means -
universal] but in his mind it is the popular Christianity that
exists in the world today as practiced by the Catholic and
Protestant churches - Keith Hunt)

With this difference of standpoint are connected subordinate
differences, as of temperament, style, method. James has been
distinguished as the apostle of the law or of works; Peter, as
the apostle of hope; Paul, as the apostle of faith; and John, as
the apostle of love. To the first has been assigned the
phlegmatic (?) temperament, in its sanctified Christian state, to
the second the sanguine, to the third the choleric, and to the
fourth the melancholic; a distribution, however, only admissible
in a very limited sense. The four gospels also present similar
differences; the first having close affinity to the position of
James, the second to that of Peter, the third to that of Paul,
and the fourth representing in its doctrinal element the spirit
of John.

If we make the difference between Jewish and Gentile Christianity
the basis of classification, we may reduce the books of the New
Testament to three types of doctrine: the Jewish Christian, the
Gentile Christian, and the ideal or unionistic Christian. The
first is chiefly represented by Peter, the second by Paul, the
third by John. As to James, he must be ranked under the first
type as the local head of the Jerusalem wing of the conservative
school, while Peter was the ecumenical head of the whole church
of the circumcision.

(Nope...Schaff is speaking as men speak - there was no head of
anything - Jewish or Gentile. All apostles were part of a team,
an equal team, standing on the same platform, functioning in
different ways, but all equal team players, one was not above the
other in any "church" type "pecking order" - see my full and in-
depth studies on Church Government for all that truth - Keith

The Jewish Christian Theology--I. James and the Gospel of Law

The Jewish Christian type embraces the Epistles of James, Peter,
and Jude, the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, and to some extent the
Revelation of John; for John is placed by Paul among the
"pillars" of the church of the circumcision, though in his later
writings he took an independent position above the distinction of
Jew and Gentile. In these books, originally designed mainly,
though not exclusively, for Jewish Christian readers,
Christianity is exhibited in its unity with the Old Testament, as
the fulfilment of the same. They unfold the fundamental idea of
the Sermon on the Mount (Matt.5:17), that Christ did not come to
destroy the law or the prophets, but to "fulfil." The Gospels,
especially that of Matthew, show historically that Jesus is the
Messiah, the lawgiver, the prophet, priest, and king of Israel.
On this historical basis James and Peter build their practical
exhortations, with this difference, that the former shows chiefly
the agreement of the gospel with the law, the latter with the

(True, as long as we do not try to draw too deep a distinction
between "Jewish" and "Gentile" theology, as far too many Catholic
and Protestant teachers have done over the last number of
centuries - Keith Hunt)

JAMES, the brother of the Lord, in keeping with his life-long
labors in Jerusalem, his speech at the Council, and the letter of
the Council - which he probably wrote himself - holds most
closely to the Mosaic religion, and represents the gospel itself
as law, yet as the "perfeet law of liberty." Herein lies the
difference as well as the unity of the two dispensations. The
"law" points to the harmony, the qualifying "perfect" and 
"liberty" to the superiority of Christianity, and intimates that
Judaism was imperfect and a law of bondage, from which Christ has
set us free. Paul, on the contrary, distinguishes the gospel as
freedom from the law, as a system of slavery; but he re-
establishes the law on the basis of freedom, and sums up the
whole Christian life in the fulfilment of the law of love to God
and to our neighbor; therein meeting James from the opposite

(True also as long as we do not take the truths of God and the
Bible and insert our false theology and customs, as believing
this is "freedom" from law, or Old Testament, and believe we have
the right to change laws and times [warned about in the prophet
Daniel] which the New Testament did not change or "do away with"
as some would like to teach and preach - Keith Hunt)

James, the Christian legalist, lays great stress on good works
which the law requires, but he demands works which are the fruit
of faith in Him, whom he, as his servant, reverently calls "the
Lord of glory," and whose words as reported by Matthew are the
basis of his exhortations. Such faith, moreover, is the result of
a new birth, which he traces to "the will of God" through the
agency of "the word of truth," that is, the gospel. As to the
relation between faith and works and their connection with
justification at the tribunal of God, he seems to teach the
doctrine of justification by faith and works; while Paul teaches
the doctrine of justification by faith alone, to be followed by
good works, as the necessary evidence of faith. The two views as
thus stated are embodied in the Roman Catholic and the
evangelical Protestant confessions, and form one of the chief
topics of controversy. But the contradiction between James and
Paul is verbal rather than logical and doctrinal, and admits of a
reconciliation which lies in the inseparable connection of a
living faith and good works, or of justification and
sanctification, so that they supplement and confirm each other,
the one laying the true foundation in character, the other
insisting on the practical manifestation. James wrote probably
long before he had seen any of Paul's Epistles, certainly with no
view to refute his doctrine or even to guard it against
antinomian abuse; for this was quite unnecessary, as Paul did it
clearly enough himself, and it would have been quite useless for
Jewish Christian readers who were exposed to the danger of a
barren legalism, but not of a pseudo-Pauline liberalism and
antinomianism. They cannot, indeed, be made to say precisely the
same thing, only using one or more of the three terms, "to
justify," " aith," "works " in different senses; but they wrote
from different standpoints and opposed different errors, and thus
presented two distinct aspects of the same truth. James says
Faith is dead without works. Paul says: Works are dead without
faith. The one insists on a working faith, the other on faithful
works. Both are right: James in opposition to the dead Jewish
orthodoxy, Paul in opposition to self-righteous legalism. James
does not demand works without faith, but works prompted by faith;
while Paul, on the other hand, likewise declares a faith
worthless which is without love, though it remove mountains, and
would never have attributed a justifying power to the mere belief
in the existence of God, which James calls the trembling faith of
demons. But James mainly looks at the fruit, Paul at the root;
the one is concerned for the evidence, the other for the
principle; the one takes the practical and experimental view, and
reasons from the effect to the cause, the other goes deeper to
the inmost springs of action, but comes to the same result: a
holy life of love and obedience as the necessary evidence of true
faith. And this, after all, is the ultimate standard of judgment
according to Paul as well as James. Paul puts the solution of the
difficulty in one sentence "faith working through love." This is
the Irenicon of contending apostles and contending churches.

(True - Paul and James do NOT conflict! They are in harmony. They
come from different sides of the same coin. For those who think
or teach James and Paul were on different pages, need to read the
Bible Commentary by Albert Barnes, and get this error of theology
straightened out in their minds. They need to realize the New
Testament is INSPIRED with no contradictions at all. Everything
written in the NT locks together as a good jig-saw puzzle does.
It is putting it correctly together that makes the true and only
correct one picture. Putting it together correctly the NT interlocks
to make one wholesome truth of salvation and the Kingdom of God -
Keith Hunt)

The Epistle of James stands at the head of the Catholic Epistles,
so called, and represents the first and lowest stage of Christian
knowledge. It is doctrinally very meagre, but eminently practical
and popular. It enjoins a simple, earnest, and devout style of
piety that visits the orphans and widows, and keeps itself
unspotted from the world.
The close connection between the Epistle of James and the Gospel
of Matthew arises naturally from their common Jewish Christian
and Palestinian origin.


I. JAMES and PAUL.  The apparent contradiction in the doctrine of
justification appears in James 2:14-26, as compared with Rom.
3:20 sqq.; 4:1 sqq.; Gal.2:16 sqq. Paul says (Rom. 3:28): "Man is
justified by faith apart from works of law" (Greek ), comp. Gal.
2:16 (Greek), and appeals to the example of Abraham, who was
justified by faith before he was circumcised (Gen.17:10). James
says (2:24): "By works a man is justified, and not only by faith"
(Greek), and appeals to the example of the same Abraham who
showed his true faith in God by offering up his son Isaac upon
the altar (Gen.22:9,12). Luther makes the contradiction worse by
unnecessarily inserting the word "allein" (sola fide) in Rom.3:
28, though not without precedent (see my note on the passage in
the Am. ed. of Lange on Romans, p.136). The great Reformer could
not reconcile the two apostles, and rashly called the Epistle of
James an "epistle of straw" (eine recht stroherne Epistel, Pref.
to the New Test., 1524).
Baur, from a purely critical point of view, comes to the same
conclusion; he regards the Epistle of James as a direct attack
upon the very heart of the doctrine of Paul, and treats all
attempts at reconciliation as vain. (Vorles. uber neutestam.
Theol., p.277). So also Renan and Weiffenbach. Renan (St. Paul,
ch. 10) asserts without proof that James organized a Jewish
counter-mission to undermine Paul. But in this case, James, as a
sensible and practical man, ought to have written to Gentile
Christians, not to "the twelve tribes," who needed no warning
against Paul and his doctrine. His Epistle represents simply an
earlier and lower form of Christianity ignorant of the higher,
yet preparatory to it, as the preaching of John the Baptist
prepared the way for that of Christ. It was written without any
reference to Paul, probably before the Council of Jerusalem and
before the circumcision controversy, in the earliest stage of the
apostolic church as it is described in the first chapters of the
Acts, when the Christians were not yet clearly distinguished and
finally separated from the Jews. This view of the early origin of
the Epistle is maintained by some of the ablest historians and
commentators, as Neander, Schneckenburger, Theile, Thiersch,
Beyschlag, Alford, Bassett, Plumptre, Stanley. Weiss also says
very confidently (Bibl. Theol., 3d ed., p.120): "Der Brief gehort
der vorpaulinischen Zeit an and steht jedenfalls zeillich wie
inhaltlich dem ersten Brief Petri am nachsten." He therefore
treats both James and Peter on their own merits, without regard
to Paul's teaching. Comp. his Einleitung in d. N. (1886), p.400.

(Such so-called "scholars" as mentioned by Schaff were obviously
dismissing some parts of the canon and inspired NT as not
inspired or as some sort of "progressive" NT theology, which then
would in reality "do away" with certain parts simply because you
in your mind could not reconcile them together; a clever
deceptive mind trick, that obviously the Satanic forces used on
many people, even those looked upon as "scholars" and have gone
down in church history as great leaders of the "reformation"
while in reality they were mixed up theology teachers from planet
Pluto [which though voted by scientists as no longer a planet, I
give my vote that it is] - Albert Barnes and others correctly put
Paul and James together, making each a side of the same coin -
Keith Hunt)

2. JAMES and MATTHEW. The correspondence has often been fully
pointed out by Theile and other commentators. James contains more
reminiscences of the words of Christ than any other Epistle,
especially from the Sermon on the Mount. Comp. James 1:2 with
Matt.5:10-12; James 1:4 with Matt.5:48; James 1:17 with Matt.7:
11; James 1:20 with Matt.5:22; James 1:22 sqq. with Matt.7:21 
sq.; James 1:23 with Matt.7:26; James 2:13 with Matt.6:14 sq.;
James 2:14 with Matt.7:21-23; James 3:2 with Matt.12:36,37; James
3:17,18 with Matt.5:9; James 4:3 with Matt.7:7; James 4:4 with
Matt.6:24; James 5:12 with Matt.5:34. According to a notice in
the pseudo-thanasian Synopsis, James the "Bishop of Jerusalem"
translated the Gospel of Matthew from the Aramaic into the Greek.
But there are also parallelisms between James and the first
Epistle of Peter, and even between James and the apocryphal books
of Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon. See Plumptre, Com.
on James, pp.32 sq.

Peter and the Gospel of Hope.

PETER stands between James and Paul, and forms the transition
from the extreme conservatism of the one to the progressive
liberalism of the other. The germ of his doctrinal system is
contained in his great confession that Jesus is the Messiah, the
Son of the living God. A short creed indeed, with only one
article, but a fundamental and all-comprehensive article, the
corner-stone of the Christian church. His system, therefore, is
christological, and supplements the anthropological type of
James. His addresses in the Acts and his Epistles are full of the
fresh impressions which the personal intercourse with Christ made
upon his noble, enthusiastic, and impulsive nature.    
Christianity is the fulfilment of all the Messianic prophecies;
but it is at the same time itself a prophecy of the glorious
return of the Lord. This future glorious manifestation is so
certain that it is Matt.16:16; comp. John 6:68,69, already
anticipated here in blessed joy by a lively hope which stimulates
to a holy life of preparation for the end. Hence, Peter eminently
deserves to be called "the Apostle of hope."

I. Peter began his testimony with the announcement of the
historical facts of the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring
of the Holy Spirit, and represents these facts as the divine seal
of his Messiahship, according to the prophets of old, who bear
witness to him that through his name every one that believes
shall receive remission of sins. The same Jesus whom God raised
from the dead and exalted to his right hand as Lord and Saviour,
will come again to judge his people and to bring in seasons of
refreshing from his presence and the "apokatastasis" or
restitution of all things to their normal and perfect state, thus
completely fulfilling the Messianic prophecies. There is no
salvation out of the Lord Jesus Christ. The condition of this
salvation is the acknowledgment of his Messiahship and the change
of mind and conduct from the service of sin to holiness.

These views are so simple, primitive, and appropriate that we
cannot conceive how Peter could have preached differently and
more effectively in that early stage of Christianity. We need not
wonder at the conversion of three thousand souls in consequence
of his pentecostal sermon. His knowledge gradually widened and
deepened with the expansion of Christianity and the conversion of
Cornelius. A special revelation enlightened him on the question
of circumcision and brought him to the conviction that "in every
nation he that fears God and works righteousness, is acceptable
to him," and that Jews and Gentiles are saved alike by the grace
of Christ through faith, without the unbearable yoke of the
ceremonial law.
H. The Epistles of Peter represent this riper stage of knowl-
edge. They agree substantially with the teaching of Paul. The
leading idea is the same as that presented in his addresses in
the Acts: Christ the fulfiller of the Messianic prophecies, and
the hope of the Christian. Peter's christology is free of all
speculative elements, and simply derived from the impression of
the historical and risen Jesus. He emphasizes in the first
Epistle, as in his earlier addresses, the resurrection whereby
God "begat us again unto a lively hope, unto an inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved
in heaven," when "the chief shepherd shall be manifested," and we
"shall receive the crown of glory." And in the second Epistle he
points forward to "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth
righteousness." He thus connects the resurrection of Christ with
the final consummation of which it is the sure pledge. But,
besides the resurrection, he brings out also the atoning efficacy
of the death of Christ almost as strongly and clearly as Paul.   
Christ "suffered for sins once, the righteous for the
unrighteous, that he might bring us to God;" he himself "bare our
sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins,
might live unto righteousness;" he redeemed us "with precious
blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." Christ is
to him the only Saviour, the Lord, the Prince of life, the Judge
of the world. He assigns him a majestic position far above all
other men, and brings him into the closest contact with the
eternal Jehovah, though in subordination to him. The doctrine of
the pre-existence seems to be intimated and implied, if not
expressly stated, when Christ is spoken of as being "foreknown
before the foundation of the world" and "manifested at the end of
the time," and his Spirit as dwelling in the prophets of old and
pointing them to his future sufferings and glory.

Peter extends the preaching, judging, and saving activity of
Christ to the realm of the departed spirits in Hades during the
mysterious triduum between the crucifixion and the resurrection.
The descent into Hades is also taught by Paul (Eph.4:9,10).

(Utter GARBAGE is this idea that Christ was living while dead and
went and preached to the spirits in the underworld. It is a
doctrine from Romae which many Protestants could not abandone as
they also adopted the false Roman teaching of the "immortality of
the soul" - see the in-depth studies called "Death - Then What?"
on this website, for the truth about the mortality of mankind -
Keith Hunt)

With this theory correspond the practical exhortations.
Subjective Christianity is represented as faith in the historical
Christ and as a lively hope in his glorious reappearance, which
should make the Christians rejoice even amidst trials and perse-
cution, after the example of their Lord and Saviour.

Paul and the Gospel of Faith.

The Gentile Christian type of the gospel is embodied in the
writings of Paul and Luke, and in the anonymous Epistle to the
Hebrews (Hebrews in not anonymous - see my introduction to
Hebrews under "The New Testament Bible Story" on this website.
The book was written by Paul - Keith Hunt)

The sources of Paul's theology are his discourses in the Acts
(especially the speech on the Areopagus) and his thirteen
Epistles, namely, the Epistles to the Thessalonians - the
earliest, but chiefly practical; the four great Epistles to the
Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans, which are the mature result
of his conflict with the Judaizing tendency; the four Epistles of
the captivity; and the Pastoral Epistles. These groups present as
many phases of development of his system and discuss different
questions with appropriate variations of style, but they are
animated by the same spirit, and bear the marks of the same
profound and comprehensive genius. (And so does the book of
Hebrews - it was the inspired genius of Paul that wrote that book
also, making 14 books or epistles that Paul wrote - the number 14
used by God for salvation - Keith Hunt)

Paul is the pioneer of Christian theology. He alone among the
apostles had received a learned rabbinical education and was
skilled in logical and dialectical argument. But his logic is
vitalized and set on fire. His theology springs from his heart as
well as from his brain; it is the result of his conversion, and
all aglow with the love of Christ; his scholasticism is warmed
and deepened by mysticism, and his mysticism is regulated and
sobered by scholasticism; the religious and moral elements,
dogmatics, and ethics, are blended into a harmonious whole. Out
of the depths of his personal experience, and in conflict with
the Judaizing contraction and the Gnostic evaporation of the
gospel he elaborated the fullest scheme of Christian doctrine
which we possess from apostolic pens. It is essentially
soteriological, or a system of the way of salvation. It goes far
beyond the teaching of James and Peter, and yet is only a
consistent development of the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels.


Paul's personal experience embraced intense fanaticism for
Judaism, and a more intense enthusiasm for Christianity. It was
first an unavailing struggle of legalism towards human
righteousness by works of the law, and then the apprehension
of divine righteousness by faith in Christ. This dualism is re-
flected in his theology. The idea of righteousness or conformity
to God's holy will is the connecting link between the Jewish Saul
and the Christian Paul. Law and works, was the motto of the
self-righteous pupil of Moses; gospel and faith, the motto of the
humble disciple of Jesus. He is the emancipator of the Christian
consciousness from the oppressive bondage of legalism and
bigotry, and the champion of freedom and catholicity. Paul's
gospel is emphatically the gospel of saving faith, the gospel of
evangelical freedom, the gospel of universalism, centring in the
person and work of Christ and conditioned by union with Christ.

(True as long as we do not move Paul into saying he taught
adoptions of pagan times, days, customs, teachings, that many if
not all Roman and Protestant teachers often do in their theology
- Keith Hunt)

He determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified; but
this included all - it is the soul of his theology. 

(Yes it had to include all as we see from the last verses of
Acts. Paul preached according to what was needed to be preached
to any particular people for any length of time. He preached to
the Corinthian people what they needed to hear as their situation
called for at the time, and that was "Christ and him curcified" -
Keith Hunt)

The Christ who died is the Christ who was raised again and ever
lives as Lord and Saviour, and was made unto us wisdom from God,
and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. A dead
Christ would be the grave of all our hopes, and the gospel of a
dead Saviour a wretched delusion. "If Christ has not been raised
then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain." His death
becomes available only through his resurrection. Paul puts the
two facts together in the comprehensive statement: "Christ
delivered up for our trespasses, and raised for our
justification." He is a conditional universalist; he teaches the
universal need of salvation, and the divine intention and
provision for a universal salvation, but the actual salvation of
each man depends upon his faith or personal acceptance and
appropriation of Christ. His doctrinal system, then, turns on the
great antithesis of sin and grace. Before Christ and out of
Christ is the reign of sin and death; after Christ and in Christ
is the reign of righteousness and life.

We now proceed to an outline of the leading features of his
theology as set forth in the order of the Epistle to the Romans,
the most methodical and complete of his writings. Its central
thought is: The Gospel of Christ, a power of God for the
salvation of all men, Jew and Gentile.


It arises from the fall of Adam and the whole human race, which
was included in him as the tree is included in the seed, so that
his one act of disobedience brought sin and death upon the whole
posterity. Paul proves the depravity of Gentiles and Jews without
exception to the extent that they are absolutely unable to attain
to righteousness and to save themselves. "There is none
righteons, no, not one." They are all under the dominion of sin
and under the sentence of condemnation. He recognizes indeed,
even among the heathen, the remaining good elements of reason and
conscience, which are the connecting links for the regenerating
work of divine grace; but for this very reason they are
inexcusable, as they sin against better knowledge. There is a
conflict between the higher and the lower nature in man (the
vows, which tends to God who gave it, and the (Greek), which
tends to sin, and this conflict is stimulated and brought to a
crisis by the law of God; but this conflict, owing to the
weakness of our carnal, fallen, depraved nature, ends in defeat
and despair till the renewing grace of Christ emancipates us from
the curse and bondage of sin and gives us liberty and victory. In
the seventh chapter of the Romans, Paul gives from his personal
experience a most remarkable and truthful description of the
religious history of man from the natural or heathen state of
carnal security (without the law, ver.7-9) to the Jewish state
under the law which calls out sin from its hidden recess, reveals
its true character, and awakens the sense of the wretchedness of
slavery under sin (ver.10-25), but in this very way prepares the
way for the Christian state of freedom (ver. 24 and ch. 8).


God sincerely wills (Greek) that all men, even the greatest of
sinners, should be saved, and come to the knowledge of truth
through Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all. The extent of
Christ's righteousness and life is as universal as the extent of
Adam's sin and death, and its intensive power is even greater.   
The first and the second Adam are perfectly parallel by contrast
in their representative character, but Christ is much stronger
and remains victor of the field, having slain sin and death, and
living for ever as the prince of life. Where sin abounds there
grace superabounds. As through the first Adam sin (as a pervading
force) entered into the world, and death through sin, and thus
death passed unto all men, inasmuch as they all sinned (in Adam
generically and potentially, and by actual transgression
individually; so much more through Christ, the second Adam,
righteousness entered into the world and life through
righteousness, and thus righteousness passed unto all men on
condition of faith by which we partake of his righteousness.

God shut up all men in disobedience, that he might have mercy
upon all that believe.

(1.) The PREPARATION for this salvation was the promise and the
law of the Old dispensation. The promise given to Abraham and the
patriarchs is prior to the law, and not set aside by the law; it
contained the germ and the pledge of salvation, and Abraham
stands out as the father of the faithful, who was justified by
faith even before he received circumcision as a sign and seal.   
The law came in besides, or between the promise and the gospel in
order to develop the disease of sin, to reveal its true character
as a transgression of the divine will, and thus to excite the
sense of the need of salvation. The law is in itself holy and
good, but cannot give life; it commands and threatens, but gives
no power to fulfil; it cannot renew the flesh, that is, the
depraved, sinful nature of man; it can neither justify nor
sanctify, but it brings the knowledge of sin, and by its
discipline it prepares men for the freedom of Christ, as a
Schoolmaster prepares children for independent manhood.

(2.) The SALVATION itself is comprehended in the person and work
of CHRIST. It was accomplished in the fulness of the time by the
sinless life, the atoning death, and the glorious resurrection
and exaltation of Christ, the eternal Son of God, who appeared in
the likeness of the flesh of sin and as an offering for sin, and
thus procured for us pardon, peace, and reconciliation. "God
spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." This is
the greatest gift of the eternal love of the Father for his
creatures. The Son of God, prompted by the same infinite love,
laid aside his divine glory and mode of existence, emptied
himself, exchanged the form of God for the form of a servant,
humbled himself and became obedient, even unto the death of the
cross. Though he was rich, being equal with God, yet for our
sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might become
rich. In reward for his active and passive obedience God exalted
him and gave him a name above every name, that in the name of
Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that he is

Formerly the cross of Christ had been to the carnal Messianic
expectations and self-righteousness of Paul, as well as of other
Jews, the greatest stumbling-block, as it was the height of folly
to the worldly wisdom of the heathen mind. But the heavenly
vision of the glory of Jesus at Damascus unlocked the key for the
understanding of this mystery, and it was confirmed by the
primitive apostolic tradition, and by his personal experience of
the failure of the law and the power of the gospel to give peace
to his troubled conscience. The death of Christ appeared to him
now as the divinely appointed means for procuring righteousness. 
It is the device of infinite wisdom and love to reconcile the
conflicting claims of justice and mercy whereby God could justify
the sinner and yet remain just himself. Christ, who knew no sin,
became sin for us that we might become righteousness of God in
him. He died in the place and for the benefit (Greek) of sinners
and enemies, so that his death has a universal significance.     
If one died for all, they all died. He offered his spotless and
holy life as a ransom (Greek) or price (Greek) for our sins, and
thus effected our redemption (Greek), as prisoners of war are
redeemed by the payment of an equivalent. His death, therefore,
is a vicarious sacrifice, an atonement, an expiation or
propitiation (Greek) - sacrificium expiatorium - for the sins of
the whole world, and secured full and final remission (Greek) and
reconciliation between God and man (Greek). This the Mosaic law
and sacrifices could not accomplish. They could only keep alive
and deepen the sense of the necessity of an atonement. If
righteousness came by the law, Christ's death would be needless
and fruitless. His death removes not only the guilt of sin, but
it destroyed also its power and dominion. Hence the great stress
Paul laid on the preaching of the cross (Greek), in which alone
he would glory.

This rich doctrine of the atonement which pervades the Pauline
Epistles is only a legitimate expansion of the word of Christ
that he would give his life as a ransom for sinners and shed his
blood for the remission of sins.

(All very true - Schaff is right on here - Keith Hunt)

(3.) While Christ accomplished the salvation, the HOLY SPIRIT
appropriates it to the believer. The Spirit is the religious and
moral principle of the new life. Emanating from God, he dwells in
the Christian as a renewing, sanctifying, comforting energy, as
the higher conscience, as a divine guide and monitor. 
He mediates between Christ and the church as Christ mediates
between God and the world;

(NOT SO! Schaff is very wrong here. The Holy Spirit is not a
"person" apart from and with a body separate from the Father and
the Son - all explained in detail on this website in various
studies. Hence the Spirit does not mediate between Christ and the
church. There is NOT A VERSE in the NT that even remotely says
such a thing. This is the ideas of men which are not based upon
any verse of the Bible. Schaff can be so correct on some things
and then in the same breath, be so WRONG on other matters of
theology - truly an example of being very careful when reading
so-called "scholars" of theology - Keith Hunt)

he is the divine revealer of Christ to the individual
consciousness and the source of all graces through which the new
life manifests itself.

"Christ in us" is equivalent to having the "Spirit of Christ." It
is only by the inward revelation of the Spirit that we can call
Christ our Lord and Saviour, and God our Father; by the Spirit
the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts; the Spirit works in
us faith and all virtues; it is the Spirit who transforms even
the body of the believer into a holy temple; those who are led by
the Spirit are the sons of God and heirs of salvation; it is by
the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that we are made
free from the law of sin and death and are able to walk in
newness of life. Where the Spirit of God is there is true

(4.) There is, then, a threefold cause of our salvation: the
Father who sends his Son, the Son who procures salvation, and the
Holy Spirit who applies it to the believer. This threefold agency
is set forth in the benediction, which comprehends all divine
blessings: "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of
God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit."  This is Paul's
practical view of the Holy Trinity as revealed in the gospel. 

(The Holy Trinity in Schaff's mind is like that of all Catholic
and Protestant teachers - three separate individuals, yet they do
not all agree as to how this is. Some say ONE being that can
manifest himself as any one of the three at any time; an idea
that blows me away. Others teach a being that cannot and does not
have form and shape, which is to me a still crazier idea - a
being of NOTHINGNESS! And then as still others teach - three
individual beings in heaven, the Godhead of three separate bodily
beings. All are INCORRECT and are the twisted ideas of the human
mind that cannot read the Bible correctly. I have covered the
truth of God and the Godhead in many studies on this website -
Keith Hunt)

The grace of Christ is mentioned first because in it is exhibited
to us the love of the Father in its highest aspect as a saving
power; to the Holy Spirit is ascribed the communion because he is
the bond of union between the Father and the Son, between Christ
and the believer, and between the believers as members of one
brotherhood of the redeemed.
To this divine trinity corresponds, we may say, the human trinity
of Christian graces: faith, hope, love.


(1.) Salvation has its roots in the eternal counsel of God, his
FOREKNOWLEDGE (Greek), and his FOREORDINATION (Greek); the former
an act of his omniscient intellect, the latter of his omnipotent
will. Logically, foreknowledge precedes foreordination, but in
reality both coincide and are simultaneous in the divine mind, in
which there is no before nor after.
Paul undoubtedly teaches an eternal election by the sovereign
grace of God, that is an unconditioned and unchangeable
predestination of his children to holiness and salvation in and
through his Son Jesus Christ. 

(Notice correctly that the predestination is to holiness and
salvation. The full truth of the subject of "predestination" is
covered on this website by a study of mine - Keith Hunt)

He thus cuts off all human merit, and plants the salvation upon
an immovable rock. But he does not thereby exclude human freedom
and responsibility; on the contrary, he includes them as elements
in the divine plan, and boldly puts them together. Hence he
exhorts and warns men as if salvation might be gained or lost by
their effort. Those who are lost, are lost by their own
unbelief. Perdition is the righteous judgment for sin unrepented
of and persisted in. It is a strange misunderstanding to make
Paul either a fatalist or a particularist; he is the strongest
opponent of blind necessity and of Jewish particularism, even in
the ninth chapter of Romans. But he aims at no philosophical
solution of a problem which the finite understanding of man
cannot settle; he contents himself with asserting its divine and
human aspects, the religions and ethical view, the absolute
sovereignty of God and the relative freedom of man, the free gift
of salvation and the just punishment for neglecting it. Christian
experience includes both truths, and we find no contradiction in
praying as if all depended on God, and in working as if all
depended on man. This is Pauline theology and practice.

Foreknowledge and foreordination are the eternal background of
salvation: call, justification, sanctification, and glorification
mark the progressive steps in the time of execution, and of the
personal application of salvation.

(2.) The CALL (Greek) proceeds from God the Father through the
preaching of the gospel salvation which is sincerely offered to
all. Faith comes from preaching, preaching from preachers, and
the preachers from God who sends them.
The human act which corresponds to the divine call is the
conversion (Greek) of the sinner; and this includes repentance or
turning away from sin, and faith or turning to Christ, under the
influence of the Holy Spirit who acts through the word. The Holy
Spirit is the objective principle of the new life of the
Christian. Faith is the free gift of God, and at the same time
the highest act of man. It is unbounded trust in Christ, and the
organ by which we apprehend him, his very life and benefits, and
become as it were identified with him, or mystically incorporated
with him.
JUSTIFICATION (Greek) is the next step. 

This is a vital doctrine in Paul's system and forms the
connecting link as well as the division line between the Jewish
and the Christian period of his life. It was with him always a
burning life-question. As a Jew he sought righteousness by works
of the law, honestly and earnestly, but in vain; as a Christian
he found it, as a free gift of grace, by faith in Christ.   
Righteousness (Greek), as applied to man, is the normal relation
of man to the holy will of God as expressed in his revealed law,
which requires supreme love to God and love to our neighbor; it
is the moral and religious ideal, and carries in itself the
divine favor and the highest happiness. It is the very end for
which man was made; he is to be conformed to God who is
absolutely holy and righteous. To be god-like is the highest
conception of human perfection and bliss.

But there are two kinds of righteousness, or rather two ways of
seeking it: one of the law, and sought by works of the law; but
this is imaginary, at best very defective, and cannot stand
before God; and the righteousness of Christ, or the righteousness
of faith, which is freely communicated to the believer and
accepted by God. Justification is the act of God by which he puts
the repenting sinner in possession of the righteousness of
Christ. It is the reverse of condemnation; it implies the
remission of sins and the imputation of Christ's righteousness.  
It is based upon the atoning sacrifice of Christ and conditioned
by faith, as the subjective organ of apprehending and
appropriating Christ with all his benefits. We are therefore
justified by grace alone through faith alone; yet faith remains
not alone, but is ever fruitful of good works.

(If this still sounds a little confusing and contradictory to you
then you need to study my study called "Saved by Grace" which
will make the subject of salvation easy to understand, even a
child can understand it - Keith Hunt)

The result of justification is peace (Greek) with God, and the
state or adoption (Greek), and this implies also the heirship
(Greek) of eternal life. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with
our spirit that we are children of God: and if children, then
heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that
we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him." 

(Many, if not most Christians do not understand this verse quoted
by Schaff. Though it is simple to read and says what it means and
means what it says, still most do not meditate on its truth and
all it implies. You need to study my study called "A Christian's
Destiny" - Keith Hunt)

The root of Paul's theory of justification is found in the
teaching of Christ: he requires from his disciples a far better
righteousness than the legal righteousness of the Scribes and
Pharisees, as a condition of entering the kingdom of heaven,
namely, the righteousness of God; he holds up this righteousness
of God as the first object to be sought; and teaches that it can
only be obtained by faith, which he everywhere presents as the
one and only condition of salvation on the part of man.


The divine act of justification is inseparable from the
conversion and renewal of the sinner. It affects the will and
conduct as well as the feeling. Although gratuitous, it is not
unconditional. It is of necessity the beginning of sancti-
fication, the birth into a new life which is to grow unto full
manhood. We are not justified outside of Christ, but only in
Christ by a living faith, which unites us with him in his death
unto sin and resurrection unto holiness. Faith is operative in
love and must produce good works as the inevitable proof of its
existence. Without love, the greatest of Christian graces, even
the strongest faith would be but "sounding brass or clanging

Sanctification is not a single act, like justification, but a
process. It is a continuous growth of the whole inner man in
holiness from the moment of conversion and justification to the
reappearance of Jesus Christ in glory. On the part of God it is
insured, for he is faithful and will perfect the good work which
he began; on the part of man it involves constant watchfulness,
lest he stumble and fall. In one view it depends all on the grace
of God, in another view it depends all on the exertion of man.   
There is a mysterious co-operation between the two agencies,
which is expressed in the profound paradox: "Work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who worketh in
you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure." The
believer is mystically identified with Christ from the moment of
his conversion (sealed by baptism). He died with Christ unto sin
so as to sin no more; and he rose with him to a new life unto God
so as to live for God; he is crucified to the world and the world
to him; he is a new creature in Christ; the old man of sin is
dead and buried, the new man lives in holiness and
righteousness. "It is no longer I (my own sinful self) that
lives, but it is Christ that lives in me: and that life which I
now live in the flesh, I live in faith in the Son of God, who
loved me and gave himself up for me" (Gal.2:20). Here is the
whole doctrine of Christian life: it is Christ in us, and we in
Christ. It consists in a vital union with Christ, the crucified  
and risen Redeemer, who is the indwelling, all-pervading, and
controlling life of the believer; but the union is no pantheistic
confusion or absorption; the believer continues to live as a self
conscious and distinct personality. For the believer "to live is
Christ, and to die is gain." "Whether we live, we live unto the
Lord; whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live
therefore, or die, we are the Lord's."

In the twelfth chapter of Romans, Paul sums up his ethics in the
idea of gratitude which manifests itself in a cheerful sacrifice
of our persons and services to the God of our salvation.


This is the final completion of the work of grace in the believer
and will appear at the "parousia" of our Lord. It cannot be
hindered by any power present or future, visible or invisible,
for God and Christ are stronger than all our enemies and will
enable us to come out more than conquerors from the conflict of
This lofty conviction of final victory finds most eloquent
expression in the triumphal ode which closes the eighth chapter
of Romans.

HISTORICAL PROGRESS Of the gospel of salvation from Jews to
Gentiles and back again to the Jews.

Salvation was first intended for and offered to the Jews, who
were for centuries prepared for it by the law and the promise,
and among whom the Saviour was born, lived, died, and rose again.
But the Jews as a nation rejected Christ and his apostles, and
hardened their hearts in unbelief. This fact filled the apostle
with unutterable sadness, and made him willing to sacrifice even
his own salvation (if it were possible) for the salvation of his
But he sees light in this dark mystery. First of all, God has a
sovereign right over all his creatures and manifests both his
mercy and his righteousness in the successive stages of the his
torical execution of his wise designs. His promise has not
failed, for it was not given to all the carnal descendants of
Abraham and Isaac, but only to the spiritual descendants, the
true Israelites who have the faith of Abraham, and they have been
saved, as individual Jews are saved to this day. And even in his
relation to the vessels of wrath who by unbelief and ingratitude
have fitted themselves for destruction, he shows his

In the next place, the real cause of the rejection of the body of
the Jews is their own rejection of Christ. They sought their own
righteousness by works of the law instead of accepting the
righteousness of God by faith.

Finally, the rejection of the Jews is only temporary and
incidental in the great drama of history. It is overruled for the
speedier conversion of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the
full number or the organic totality of the Gentiles (not all
individual Gentiles) will lead ultimately to the conversion of
Israel. "A hardening in part has befallen Israel, until the
fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be
With this hopeful prophecy, which seems yet far off, but which is
steadily approaching fulfilment, and will be realized in God's
own time and way, the apostle closes the doctrinal part of the
Epistle to the Romans. "God has shut up all men (Greek) unto
disobedience that he might have mercy upon all men. O the depth
of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how
unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!  
For of Him (Greek) and through Him (Greek), and unto Him (Greek)
are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

Before this glorious consummation, however, there will be a
terrible conflict with Antichrist or "the man of sin," and the
full revelation of the mystery of lawlessness now held in check.
Then the Lord will appear as the conqueror in the field, raise
the dead, judge the world, destroy the last enemy, and restore
the kingdom to the Father that God may be all in all. 

To be continued

THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt 

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