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The Repairing of Sam Brown


Chapter 3 - part 1

ABOUT the middle of the morning next day, all that could be seen of Frank Richards were his feet sticking out from under a car in Sam Brown’s repair shop. And Sam, like a brown, greasy streak, was busying himself with the intricate parts of a motor, when up drove the preacher to the curb and honked his horn. Could Sam give his car the once over and check up on the lighting system? Yes, Sam could; would he come right in with the car, and maybe it wouldn’t take more than a few minutes. It didn’t, but the preacher didn’t drive out again right away. Instead, he and Sam engaged in a whispered conversation, and in answer to an inquiry, Sam pointed to the feet protruding from under the car on the other side of the garage.
          Then, followed by his minister, he went over and gave the feet a Christian kick. "Hey, Frank," he said, "snap out of that and meet a friend of mine."
          The feet wiggled, the heels dug in, and the body inched along out and up. Frank rubbed his eyes to get some dirt out of them and made worse an already grease-daubed face. But he grinned at the preacher, as the latter eyed him narrowly.
          "You have me at a disadvantage, sir," laughed Sam Brown’s hireling, after his boss had introduced them. "I can’t even shake hands with you, and he showed his grimy hands.
          "We will take the will for the deed," answered the minister cordially, and winked as he shook his own immaculate hand as a substitute. "Mr. Brown has been telling me about your conversations with him on religion; and I wanted to ask you a question."
          "I’ll answer if I can," invited Richards humbly.
          "Don’t you know, young man," declared the preacher with an air of imparting valuable information to the ignorant, "that Christians now are not under the law but under grace, and therefore they are not required to keep the old law?"
          "I know we are under grace, and not under the law; but I did not know that we are thereby released from keeping the law. My understanding of the situation is that to be under the law is to be under its condemnation, under sentence of death because we have broken it; but by virtue of the grace, or unmerited favor, of God through Christ, we are pardoned from meeting the fate we deserve, but go on keeping the law just the same. If a convict is pardoned by the grace of a ruler, he is more then ever expected to keep the law of the state, isn’t he? And he will want to keep it because of his thankfulness for being pardoned."
          "But ‘by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified’; we are ‘justified by faith,"’ quoted the preacher with an air of confidence.
          "‘Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law,"’ quoted Richards in return. "You can read all about that in the third chapter of Romans. No, we are not freed from keeping the law by grace, or faith. Just the opposite is true. God’s law is everlasting; it is the very foundation of His government. You say we are not required to keep the law; then may Christians worship other gods, steal, kill, covet? How do you read Paul? ‘By the law is the knowledge of sin.’ ‘Where no law is, there is no transgression.’ (Romans 3:20; 4:15.) ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.’" (Romans 6:1, 2.)

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