Some of the ‘no mores’
and ‘much mores’ of scripture
I wonder if you in your own personal reading of the Bible, have noticed that there is a recurrence of short phrases. They are not confined to one book or one writer. Two such are the subject of this brief article. This article is not meant to be an exegesis of the various passages mentioned, but a reminder of some of the truths written for our learning, encouragement and edification.
1) In Deuteronomy 5:22, Moses was reminding the people, before they entered the Promised Land, that God had given them the Ten Commandments. His law within these was comprehensive and complete. God had written them on tablets of stone, given them to Moses and Moses reminded the Children of Israel that He God had added NO MORE.
2) The Apostle Paul writing his letter entitled Romans in chapter 6 verse 9, states that because the Lord Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead, He dies No More. What an encouragement to all who believe, in Him. For those who have passed through death into His presence, they are absolutely unable to enter into death again.
3) The writer of the Book of Hebrews seeks to encourage those to whom he is writing of the wonder of knowing the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour. In Hebrews 10:2 we are reminded that through the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, if they had been truly affective in clearing the guilt of sin, there ‘would have been NO MORE consciousness of sins in their lives’. Yet the writer also in chapter 8:12 and 10:17 reminds his readers that there was a promise given in Jeremiah 31:34 to the Jewish nation that the time would come when their sins and iniquities would be remembered NO MORE. How wonderful that we who are Gentiles are able to enjoy, by faith, this promise of God’s grace and mercy.
There are three ‘NO MORES’ in the book of the Revelation. In chapter 20:3 we are told that there is a period to come when satan will be sealed in the bottomless pit so that he should deceive the nations NO MORE till the thousand years is ended. This will be a time of rejoicing for at present countless millions are deceived into trusting in false religions and false gods. We are told in chapter 20:1 that in the new heaven and new earth there will be NO MORE death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be NO MORE pain. If we truly love our Saviour, we should be rejoicing in these promises of God. Let us echo the words of David the psalmist ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever’, Psalm 23:6.
We now look at some of the ‘MUCH MORES’ which are found in the promises of God under the New Covenant, the Lord Jesus emphasised this phrase when speaking to His disciples. In Matthew’s record of the Sermon on the Mount he twice brings to our notice sayings made by our Lord comparing every day life with the generosity of God our Heavenly Father;
1) ‘If God so clothes the grass of the field… will He not MUCH MORE clothe you. O you of little faith’ (Matthew 6:30)
2) ‘If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how MUCH MORE will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him’ (Matthew 7:11)
Luke when writing his record refers to the ‘giving of good gifts to your children and the how MUCH MORE will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him’ (Luke 11:13). Also Luke mentions the words of the Lord Jesus when He said ‘Consider the raven, for they neither sow nor reap… God feeds them. Of how MUCH MORE value are you than the birds’ (Luke 12:24). In verse 28 Luke again writes ‘If God so clothes the grass… how MUCH MORE will He clothe you, O you of little faith.’
The Apostle Paul in writing his letter to the Roman church uses the phrase four times in chapter 5 verses 9, 10, 15, 17. It follows from verse 1: ‘Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ’.
Verse 9: ‘MUCH MORE then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him’
Verse 10: ‘For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, MUCH MORE having been reconciled we shall be saved by His life’
Verse 15: ‘For if by the one man’s offence many died, MUCH MORE the grace of God and the gift of grace by one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many’.
Verse 17: ‘For if by the one man’s offence death reigned through the one, MUCH MORE those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one Jesus Christ’.
The Apostle Paul in chapter 11 continues his thoughts in contrasts. He writes ‘Now if their fall (i.e. Israel as a nation) is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how MUCH MORE their fullness!’ (verse 12). ‘For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how MUCH MORE will these, who are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree’ (verse 24). The thoughts expressed in these two verses are linked to verse 25: ‘… that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.’
The writer of the Book of Hebrews in chapter 9 contrasts the earthly sanctuary with the heavenly sanctuary. In verse 14 he says ‘How MUCH MORE shall the blood of Christ… purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God’. In Hebrews 12:25 we are given a serious warning: ‘See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, MUCH MORE shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven’.
These two phrases are able to enrich our life as we consider the implications they teach. The statements which surround them are there to instruct us more fully in the wonder of all that our Saviour accomplished for us at the cross of Calvary. Let us be glad and rejoice in our Glorious God and Saviour and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Scripture quotations from the NKJ version)
R. John Wheeler