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
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
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."
if I can," invited Richards humbly.
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.)