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Jun 1999 - Editorial

One of the first evidences of the fall was envy. Cain, the first man to be born a sinner, displayed this dangerous weakness. Envy lay behind his murder of his brother. In contrast to Cain, Christ was the first man to be born not a sinner. Yet He became the object of His people's envy, and they delivered Him up to death. He died at the hands of lawless men. Israel acted lawlessly in condemning the innocent One. Rome had a law, but not the law of God. The law of Moses did not provide relief for those who, in envy, premeditated the sin of murder as Cain did, and as the high priest did who sent Christ to be crucified by the Romans. Christ said that compared to Pilate, the Roman, the Jewish high priest had 'greater sin'; an awful statement from the lips of the Man to whom has been given all authority to judge. It no doubt also applied to Judas who, for envy o f a different sort perhaps and as a traitor, had delivered his Master to his masters. We see where envy may lead, and we do well to flee from every envious thought that enters our heads. Knowing these things we incur greater responsibility for error than those acting in ignorance.

Love not envy should motivate

Love, rather than envy should typify our actions in a world that has pursued the way of Cain and even redefines its own love in selfish terms. If we had doubts about the continuing hatred in men's hearts for one another, we should read this month's FOCUS feature. It reminds us of recent events that evidence deep racial bitterness, resulting in murders. Yugoslavia and Central Africa also come to mind. For the innocent victims there seems no justice. But we await the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will set matters right. The promise of His coming is indeed something that provides both comfort for the righteous and a warning to the wicked. Details surrounding the Lord's return are helpfully provided this month in the first of a series of articles, this month's being entitled The Parousia. Please also take note of the short study on the Church of God in Corinth in the series: New Testament Churches of God. It helps us to see how the mercy of God rises above all boundaries to bring former pagans to the place of highest privilege in the service of God. You should not miss the article The Glory of the House. It is a delightful, thought-provoking meditation on the magnificence of the Temple built by Solomon, leading us to consider also the power and majesty of the God of the house. As we examine such lofty subjects, we spurn every evil thought, and allow praise to be drawn from our redeemed hearts for the One who was delivered up through envy, but raised up to glory!