Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 20, 1961


R. C. Smart, Sr., Dexter, Maine

The Bible is composed of a number of books dictated by Jehovah to men of different periods of time. Therefore we would expect to find it in complete harmony.

Man in his imperfect wisdom is often inconsistent. God is never so. Therefore if complete harmony does not prevail, this would be a strong evidence of human origin.

We wish to notice four writers of the New Testament and note the fact that although they put emphasis on different aspects of God's plan of justification for fallen man they are in complete harmony.

Paul puts emphasis on the fact that it is through faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved or justified from the consequences of our sins. However nowhere does he use the expression, "by faith only." What kind of faith is it that he advocates as making us pleasing in God's sight? (Gal. 5:6) "Faith that works through love." This is the substance of his teaching. We are not saved by works of law but through a faith that works through love.

Our next writer is John the beloved apostle, who writes so much of the love that causes our faith to be active. This is what causes some believers to have an active faith while others do nothing. (Jn. 14:21-24) "He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loveth me. He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me."

Peter, our next writer emphasizes the hope that we have of spending eternity in the abode of the faithful. Upon what is it he bases this hope? (1 Peter 1:13-25) ...."be sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, as children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your ignorance: but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living."

"Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently...." (verse 22)

Our last writer is James, who emphasizes the results of an active faith. After writing of Christian love in the first part of chapter two he writes (James 2:14) "what does it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? Can that faith save him?" In verse 22 we read that faith is made perfect through works.

To sum up the teachings of these four we find complete harmony. Paul wrote, faith working through love justifies us in God's sight. John wrote that obedience to the commands of Christ is the proof that we love him. Peter wrote that our hope of eternal life is based on being children of obedience. James wrote that works prove that we have faith. Reader, do you have a hope of Heaven based on your love for your Lord manifested by a faith made perfect by obedience to his commands?