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An independent SDA Ministry
Proclaiming the 3 angels Messages and

   Abiding in the Father and His Son

 
 

Let The Dead Speak

September 2011 Issue

By ITH Ministries

God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it?--He has said that the dead are to speak. How?--Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. They moved forward step by step under the influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passing away. The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced. Review and Herald - May 25, 1905

 

 E.J. Waggoner - Christ and His Righteousness - Pt 3 

 A.G. Daniells - Christ Our Righteousness - Pt 3 

 

E.J. Waggoner

Christ and His Righteousness

Part 3 of 3

Acceptance With God

Many people hesitate to make a start to serve the Lord, because they fear that God will not accept them, and thousands who have been professed followers of Christ for years are still doubting their acceptance with God. For the benefit of such I write, and I would not bewilder their minds with speculations, but will endeavor to give them the simple assurances of God's word.

Will the Lord receive me? I reply by another question: Will a man receive that which he has bought? If you go to the store and make a purchase, will you receive the goods when they are delivered? Of course you will; there is no room for any question about it. The fact that you bought the goods and paid your money for them is sufficient proof, not only that you are willing, but that you are anxious, to receive them. If you did not want them, you would not have bought them. Moreover, the more you paid for them the more anxious you are to receive them. If the price that you paid was great and you had almost given your life to earn it, then there can be no question but that you will accept the purchase when it is delivered. Your great anxiety is lest there should be some failure to deliver it.

Now let us apply this simple, natural illustration to the case of the sinner coming to Christ. In the first place, He has bought us. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price. 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.

The price that was paid for us was His own blood--His life. Paul said to the elders of Ephesus: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28. For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation [manner of life] received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:18, 19. He gave himself for us. Titus 2:14. He gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. Gal. 1:4.

He bought not a certain class, but the whole world of sinners. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son. John 3:16. Jesus said, The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5:6, 8.

The price paid was infinite, therefore, we know that He very much desired that which He bought. He had His heart set on obtaining it. He could not be satisfied without it. See Phil. 2:6-8; Heb 12:2; Isa. 53:11.

But I am not worthy. That means that you are not worth the price paid and therefore you fear to come lest Christ will repudiate the purchase. Now you might have some fear on that score if the bargain were not sealed and the price were not already paid. If He should refuse to accept you on the ground that you are not worth the price, He would not only lose you but also the amount paid. Even though the goods for which you have paid are not worth what you gave for them, you yourself would not be so foolish as to throw them away. You would rather get some return for your money than get nothing.

But, further, you have nothing to do with the question of worth. When Christ was on earth in the interest of the purchase, He needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man. John 2:25. He made the purchase with his eyes open, and He knew the exact value of that which He bought. He is not at all disappointed when you come to Him and He finds that you are worthless. You have not to worry over the question of worth. If He, with His perfect knowledge of the case, was satisfied to make the bargain, you should be the last one to complain.

For, most wonderful truth of all, He bought you for the very reason that you were not worthy. His practiced eye saw in you great possibilities, and He bought you, not for what you were then or are now worth, but for what He could make of you. He says, I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake. Isa. 43:25. We have no righteousness, therefore He bought us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Says Paul, For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. Col. 2:9, 10. Here is the whole process:

We all...were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show us the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We are to be to the praise of the glory of his grace. This we could not be if we were originally worth all He paid for us. There would in that case be no glory to Him in the transaction. He could not, in the ages to come, show in us the riches of His grace. But when He takes us, worth nothing, and at the last presents us faultless before the throne, it will be to His everlasting glory. And then there will not be any to ascribe worthiness to themselves. Throughout eternity, the sanctified hosts will unite in saying to Christ, Thou art worthy...for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. Rev. 5:9, 10, 12.

Surely all doubt as to acceptance with God ought to be set at rest. But it is not. The evil heart of unbelief still suggests doubts. I believe all this, but--.' There, stop right there. If you believed you wouldn't say but. When people add but to the statement that they believe, they really mean, I believe, but I don't believe. But you continue, Perhaps you are right, but hear me out. What I was going to say is, I believe the Scripture statements that you have quoted, but the Bible says that if we are children of God we shall have the witness of the Spirit and will have the witness in ourselves, and I don't feel any such witness. Therefore, I can't believe that I am Christ's. I believe His word, but I haven't the witness. I understand your difficulty. Let me see if it cannot be removed.

As to your being Christ's, you yourself can settle that. You have seen what He gave for you. Now the question is, have you delivered yourself to Him? If you have, you may be sure that He has accepted you. If you are not His, it is solely because you have refused to deliver to Him that which He has bought. You are defrauding Him. He says, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. Rom. 10:21. He begs you to give Him that which He has bought and paid for, yet you refuse and charge Him with not being willing to receive you. But if from the heart you have yielded yourself to Him to be His child, you may be assured that He has received you. Now as to your believing His words, yet doubting if He accepts you, because you don't feel the witness in your heart, I still insist that you don't believe. If you did, you would have the witness. Listen to His word, He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 1 John 5:10. To believe in the Son is simply to believe His word and the record concerning Him.

And he that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. You can't have the witness until you believe, and as soon as you do believe, you have the witness. How is that? Because your belief in God's word is the witness. God says so.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1.

If you should hear God say with an audible voice that you are His child, you would consider that sufficient witness. Well, when God speaks in His word, it is the same as though He spoke with an audible voice, and your faith is the evidence that you hear and believe.

This is so important a matter that it is worth careful consideration. Let us read a little more of the record. First, we read that we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:26. This is a positive confirmation of what I said concerning our unbelief in the witness. Our faith makes us children of God. But how do we obtain this faith? Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom. 10:17. But how can we obtain faith in God's word? Just believe that God cannot lie. You would hardly call God a liar to His face, but that is just what you do if you don't believe His word. All you have to do to believe is to believe. The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. Rom. 10:8-11.

All this is in harmony with the record given through Paul. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Rom. 8:16, 17. This Spirit which witnesses with our spirit is the Comforter that Jesus promised. John 14:16. And we know that Its witness is true, for It is the Spirit of truth. Now how does It bear witness? By bringing to our remembrance the Word which has been recorded. It inspired those words (1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21), and, therefore, when It brings them to our remembrance, it is the same as though It were speaking them directly to us. It presents to our mind the record, a part of which we have quoted. We know that the record is true, for God cannot lie. We bid Satan be gone with his false witness against God, and we believe that record, but if we believe the record, we know that we are children of God, and we cry, Abba, Father. And then the glorious truth breaks more fully upon the soul. The repetition of the words makes it a reality to us. He is our Father; we are His children. What joy the thought gives! So we see that the witness which we have in ourselves is not a simple impression or an emotion. God does not ask us to trust so unreliable a witness as our feeling. He who trusts his own heart is a fool, the Scripture says. But the witness that we are to trust is the unchangeable word of God, and this witness we may have through the Spirit, in our own hearts. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.

This assurance does not warrant us in relaxing our diligence and settling down contentedly, as though we had gained perfection. We must remember that Christ accepts us not for our sake but for His own sake, not because we are perfect but that in Him we may go on unto perfection. He blesses us not because we have been so good that we have deserved a blessing but in order that in the strength of the blessing we may turn away from our iniquities. Acts 3:26. To everyone that believes in Christ, the power--right or privilege--is given to become the sons of God. John 1:12, margin. It is by the exceeding great and precious promises of God through Christ that we are made partakers of the Divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4.

Let us consider briefly the practical application of some of these scriptures.

The Victory of Faith

The Bible says that the just shall live by faith. The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. Rom. 1:17. Nothing can better illustrate the working of faith than some of the examples that are recorded for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Rom. 15:4. We will take, first, a notable event recorded in the twentieth chapter of 2 Chronicles. Let the reader follow the running comment with his Bible.

It came to pass after this, also, that the children of Moab and the children of Ammon and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. Verses 1, 2.

This great host caused the king and the people to fear, but they took the wise course of gathering together, to ask help of the Lord; even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. Verses 3, 4. Then follows the prayer of Jehoshaphat, as leader of the congregation, and it is worth special study, since it was a prayer of faith and contained within itself the beginning of victory:

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest thou not over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Verses 5, 6.

That was an excellent beginning of a prayer. It starts with a recognition of God in heaven. So the model prayer begins, Our Father who art in heaven. What does this signify? That God, as God in heaven, is Creator. It carries with it the recognition of His power over all the kingdoms of the world and of the powers of darkness; the fact that He is in heaven, the Creator, show that in His hand there is power and might, so that none is able to withstand Him. Why, the man who can begin his prayer in the hour of need with such a recognition of God's power, has victory already on his side. For, notice, Jehoshaphat not only declared his faith in God's wondrous power, but he claimed God's strength as his own, saying, Art not thou our God? He fulfilled the Scripture requirement, He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Jehoshaphat then proceeded to recount how the Lord had established them in that land, and how, although He had not suffered them to invade Moab and Ammon, those nations had come to cast them out of their God- given inheritance. Verses 7-11. And then he concluded, O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee. Verse 12. It is nothing with the Lord to help, whether with many or with them that have no power (2 Chron. 14:11), and since the eyes of the Lord run to and from throughout the earth to show Himself strong in the behalf of those whose heart is entire towards Him (2 Chron. 16:9), it well becomes those who are in need to trust Him alone. This position of Jehoshaphat and his people was in keeping with the apostolic injunction, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. Heb 12:2. He is the beginning and the end, and all power in heaven and earth is in His hands.

Now what was the result? the prophet of the Lord came in the power of the Holy Spirit, and he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou King Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. Verse 15.

And then came the command to go forth in the morning to meet the enemy, and they should see the salvation of the Lord, for He would be with them. Now comes the most important part:

And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever. Verses 20, 21.

Surely, this was a strange way to go out to battle. Few armies have ever gone to battle with such a vanguard. But what was the result?

And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them; and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch-tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. Verses 22- 24.

If there have been few armies that have gone to battle with such a vanguard as did the army of Jehoshaphat, it is equally certain that few armies have been rewarded by such a signal victory. And it may not be amiss to study a little into the philosophy of the victory of faith, as illustrated in this instance. When the enemy, who had been confident in their superior numbers, heard the Israelites coming out that morning, singing and shouting, what must they have concluded? Nothing else but that the Israelites had received reinforcements and were so strengthened that it would be useless to try to oppose them. Also a panic seized them, and each one looked upon his neighbor as an enemy.

And were they not correct in their conclusion, that Israel had received reinforcements? Indeed they were, for the record says, When they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir. The host of the Lord, in whom Jehoshaphat and his people trusted, fought for them. They had reinforcements and doubtless if their eyes could have been opened to see them, they would have seen, as did the servant ot Elisha on one occasion, that they that were with them were more in number than the enemy.

But the point which should be specially noticed is that it was when Israel began to sing and to praise that the Lord set ambushments against the enemy. What does that signify? It signifies that their faith was real. The promise of God was considered as good as the actual accomplishment. So they believed in the Lord, or, more literally, they built upon the Lord, and thus they were established, or built up. Thus they proved the truth of the words, This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4.

Let us now apply this illustration in a case of conflict against sin. Here comes a strong temptation to do a thing known to be wrong. We have often proved to our sorrow the strength of the temptation, because it has vanquished us, so that we know that we have no might against it. But now our eyes are upon the Lord, who has told us to come with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. So we begin to pray to God for help. And we pray to the God that is revealed to us in the Bible as the Creator of heaven and earth. We begin, not with a mournful statement of our weakness, but with a joyful acknowledgment of God's mighty power. That being settled, we can venture to state our difficulty and our weakness. If we state our weakness first and our discouraging situation, we are placing ourselves before God. In that case Satan will magnify the difficulty and throw his darkness around us so that we can see nothing else but our weakness, and so, although our cries and pleading may be fervent and agonizing, they will be in vain, because they will lack the essential element of believing that God is and that He is all that He has revealed Himself to be. But when we start with a recognition of God's power, then we can safely state our weakness, for then we are simply placing our weakness by the side of His power, and the contrast tends to beget courage.

Then, as we pray, the promise of God comes to our mind, brought there by the Holy Spirit. It may be that we can think of no special promise that exactly fits the case, but we can remember that this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), and that He gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present world, according to the will of God and our Father (Gal. 1:4), and we may know that this carried with it every promise, for He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Rom. 8:32.

Then we remember that God can speak of those things that are not as though they were. That is, if God gives a promise, it is as good as fulfilled already. And so, knowing that our deliverance from evil is according to the will of God (Gal. 1:4), we count the victory as already ours and begin to thank God for His exceeding great and precious promises. As our faith grasps these promises and makes them real, we cannot help praising God for His wonderful love, and while we are doing this, our minds are wholly taken from evil and the victory is ours. The Lord Jesus sets ambushments against the enemy. Our ascription of praise shows to Satan that we have obtained reinforcements, and as he has tested the power of the help that is granted to us, he knows that he can do nothing on that occasion, and so he leaves us. This illustrates the force of the apostle's injunction: Be careful for nothing [that is, do not worry about anything]; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Phil. 4:6.

Bond Servants and Freemen

The power of faith in bringing victory may be shown by another line of Scripture texts, which are exceedingly practical. In the first place, let it be understood that the sinner is a slave. Christ said, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. John 8:34. Paul also says, putting himself in the place of an unrenewed man, For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. Rom. 7:14. A man who is sold is a slave; therefore, the man who is sold under sin is the slave of sin. Peter brings to view the same fact, when, speaking of corrupt, false teachers, he says, While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2 Peter 2:19.

The prominent characteristic of the slave is that he cannot do as he pleases, but is bound to perform the will of another, no matter how irksome it may be. Paul thus proves the truth of his saying that he, as a carnal man, was the slave of sin. For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Rom. 7:15, 17-19.

The fact that sin controls proves that a man is a slave, and although everyone that committeth sin is the bond-servant of sin, the slavery becomes unendurable when the sinner has had a glimpse of freedom and longs for it, yet cannot break the chains which bind him to sin. The impossibility for the unrenewed man to do even the good that he would like to do has been shown already from Rom. 8:7, 8 and Gal. 5:17.

How many people have in their own experience proved the truth of these scriptures. How many have resolved and resolved again and yet their sincerest resolutions have proved in the face of temptation as weak as water. They had no might, and they did not know what to do, and, unfortunately, their eyes were not upon God so much as upon themselves and the enemy. Their experience was one of constant struggle against sin, it is true, but of constant defeat as well.

Call you this a true Christian experience? There are some who imagine that it is. Why, then, did the apostle, in the anguish of his soul, cry out, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Rom. 7:24. Is a true Christian experiencing a body of death so terrible that the soul is constrained to cry for deliverance? Nay, verily.

Again, who is it that, in answer to this earnest appeal, reveals himself as a deliverer? Says the apostle, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. In another place he says of Christ:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life-time subject to bondage. Heb. 2:14, 15.

Again,Christthus proclaims His own mission: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. Isa. 61:1.

What this bondage and captivity are has already been shown. It is the bondage of sin--the slavery of being compelled to sin, even against the will, by the power of inherited and acquired evil propensities and habits. Does Christ deliver from a true Christian experience? No, indeed. Then the bondage of sin, of which the apostle complains in the seventh of Romans, is not the experience of a child of God, but of the servant of sin. It is to deliver men from this captivity that Christ came, not to deliver us, during this life, from warfare and struggles, but from defeat; to enable us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, so that we could give thanks unto the Father who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, through whose blood we have redemption.

How is this deliverance effected? By the Son of God. Says Christ, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:31, 32, 36. This freedom comes to everyone that believeth, for to them that believe on His name, He gives the power to become the sons of God. The freedom from condemnation comes to them who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1), and we put on Christ by faith (Gal. 3:26, 27). It is by faith that Christ dwells in our hearts.

Practical Illustrations of Deliverance From Bondage

Now let us take some illustrations of the power of faith to deliver from bondage. We will quote Luke 13:10-17:

And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in nowise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath-day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work; in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath-day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? and ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed; and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

We may pass by the carping of the hypocritical ruler, to consider the miracle. The woman was bound; we, through fear of death, have been all our life-time subject to bondage. Satan had bound the woman; Satan has also set snares for our feet and has brought us into captivity. She could in nowise lift up herself; our iniquities have taken hold of us, so that we are not able to look up. Ps. 40:12. With a word and a touch Jesus set the woman free from her infirmities; we have the same merciful High Priest now in the heavens, who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and the same word will deliver us from evil.

For what purpose were the miracles of healing recorded, which were performed by Jesus? John tells us. It was not simply to show that He can heal disease but to show His power over sin. See Matt. 9:2-8. But John says:

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:30, 31.

So we see that they are recorded simply as object lessons of Christ's love, of His willingness to relieve, and of His power over the works of Satan, no matter whether in the body or in the soul. One more miracle must suffice in this connection. It is the one recorded in the third chapter of Acts. I shall not quote the entire account but ask the reader to follow it carefully with his Bible.

Peter and John saw at the gate of the temple a man over forty years old, who had been lame from his birth. He had never walked. He was begging, and Peter felt prompted by the Spirit to give him something better than silver or gold. Said he, In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. Verses 6-8.

This notable miracle on one whom all had seen caused a wonderful excitement among the people, and when Peter saw their astonishment, he proceeded to tell how the wonder had been performed, saying:

Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his son Jesus; whom ye delivered up,...and killed the Prince of Life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Verses 12-16.

Now make the application. The man was lame from his mother's womb, unable to help himself. He would gladly have walked, but he could not. We likewise can all say, with David, Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin dido him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. we cannot do the things that we would. As each year of the man's life increased his inability to walk by increasing the weight of his body, while his limbs grew no stronger, so the repeated practice of sin, as we grow older, strengthens its power over us. It was an utter impossibility for that man to walk; yet the name of Christ, through faith in it, gave him perfect soundness and freedom from his infirmity. So we, through the faith which is by Him, may be made whole and enabled to do the thing which hitherto has been impossible. For the things which are impossible with man are possible with God. He is the Creator. To them that have no might he increaseth strength. One of the wonders of faith, as shown in the cases of the ancient worthies, is that they out of weakness were made strong.

By these instances we have seen how God delivers from bondage those who trust in Him. Now let us consider the knowledge of how freedom is maintained.

We have seen that we by nature are all servants of sin and Satan, and that as soon as we submit to Christ, we become loosed from Satan's power. Says Paul, Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Rom. 6:16. So then, as soon as we become free from the bondage of sin, we become the servants of Christ. Indeed, the very act of loosing us from the power of sin, in answer to our faith, proves God's acceptance of us as His servants. We become, indeed, the bond- servants of Christ; but he who is the Lord's servant is a free man, for we are called unto liberty (Gal. 5:13), and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor. 3:17).

And now comes the conflict again. Satan is not disposed to give up his slave so readily. He comes, armed with the lash of fierce temptation, to drive us again to his service. We know by sad experience that he is more powerful than we are, and that unaided we cannot resist him. But we dread his power and cry for help. Then we call to mind that we are not Satan's servants any longer. We have submitted ourselves to God, and therefore He accepted us as His servants. So we can say with the Psalmist, O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid; thou hast loosed my bonds. Ps. 116:16. But the fact that God has loosed the bonds that Satan had thrown around us--and He has done this if we believe that He has--is evidence that God will protect us, for He cares for His own, and we have the assurance that He that has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6. And in this confidence we are strong to resist.

Again, if we have yielded ourselves to be servants of God, we are His servants, or, in other words, are instruments of righteousness in His hands. Read Rom. 6:13-16. We are not inert, lifeless, senseless instruments, such as the agriculturist uses, which have no voice as to how they shall be used, but living, intelligent instruments, who are permitted to choose their occupation. Nevertheless, the term instrument signifies a tool-- something that is entirely under the control of the artisan. The difference between us and the tools of the mechanic is that we can choose who shall use us and at what kind of service we shall be employed, but having made the choice and yielded ourselves into the hands of the workman, we are to be as completely in his hands as is the tool that has no voice as to how it shall be used. When we yield to God, we are to be in His hands as clay in the hands of the potter, that He may do with us as He pleases. Our volition lies in choosing whether or not we will let Him work in us that which is good.

This idea of being instruments in the hands of God is a wonderful aid to the victory of faith when it is once fully grasped. For, notice, what an instrument will do depends entirely upon the person in whose hands it is. Here, for instance, is a die. It is innocent enough in itself, yet it may be used for the basest purposes, as well as for that which is useful. If it be in the hands of a bad character, it may be used in making counterfeit coin. It certainly will not be used for any good purpose. But if it be in the hands of an upright, virtuous man, it cannot possibly do any harm. Likewise, when we were the servants of Satan, we did no good (Rom. 6:20), but now that we have yielded ourselves into the hands of God, we know that there is no unrighteousness in Him, and so an instrument in His hands cannot be used for an evil purpose. The yielding to God must be as complete as it was formerly to Satan, for the apostle says:

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh; for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. Rom. 6:19.

The whole secret of overcoming, then, lies in first wholly yielding to God with a sincere desire to do His will; next, in knowing that in our yielding He accepts us as His servants; and then, in retaining that submission to Him and leaving ourselves in His hands. Often victory can be gained only by repeating again and again, O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid; thou hast loosed my bonds. This is simply an emphatic way of saying, O Lord, I have yielded myself into Thy hands as an instrument of righteousness; let Thy will be done, and not the dictates of the flesh. But when we can realize the force of that scripture and feel indeed that we are servants of God, immediately will come the thought, Well, if I am indeed an instrument in the hands of God, He cannot use me to do evil with, nor can he permit me to do evil as long as I remain in His hands. He must keep me if I am kept from evil, because I cannot keep myself. But He wants to keep me from evil, for He has shown His desire, and also His power to fulfill His desire in giving Himself for me. Therefore I shall be kept from this evil. All these thoughts may pass through the mind instantly, and then with them must necessarily come a feeling of gladness that we shall be kept from the dreaded evil. That gladness naturally finds expression in thanksgiving to God, and while we are thanking God the enemy retires with his temptation, and the peace of God fills the heart. Then we find that the joy in believing far outweighs all the joy that comes from indulgence in sin.

All this is a demonstration of Paul's words, Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law. Rom. 3:31. To make void the law is not to abolish it, for no man can abolish the law of God, yet the Psalmist says that it has been made void. Ps. 119:126. To make void the law of God is something more than to claim that it is of no consequence; it is to show by the life that it is considered of no consequence. A man makes the law of God void when he allows it to have no power in his life. In short, to make void the law of God is to break it; but the law itself remains the same whether it is kept or not. Making it void affects only the individual.

Therefore, when the apostle says that we do not make void the law of God by faith, but that, on the contrary, we establish it, he means that faith does not lead to violation of the law but to obedience. No, we should not say that faith leads to obedience, but that faith itself obeys. Faith establishes the law in the heart. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. If the thing hoped for be righteousness, faith establishes it. Instead of faith leading to antinomianism, it is the only thing that is contrary to antinomianism. It matters not how much a person boasts in the law of God; if he rejects or ignores implicit faith in Christ, he is in no better state than the man who directly assails the law. The man of faith is the only one who truly honors the law of God. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6); with it, all things are possible (Mark 9:23).

Yes, faith does the impossible, and it is just that which God requires us to do. When Joshua said to Israel, Ye cannot serve the Lord, he told the truth, yet it was a fact that God required them to serve Him. It is not within any man's power to do righteousness, even though he wants to (Gal. 5:17); therefore, it is a mistake to say that all God wants is for us to do the best we can. He who does no better than that will not do the works of God. No. He must do better than he can do. He must do that which only the power of God working through him can do. It is impossible for a man to walk on water, yet Peter did it when he exercised faith in Jesus.

Since all power in heaven and in earth is in the hands of Christ and this power is at our disposal, even Christ Himself coming to dwell in the heart by faith, there is no room for finding fault with God for requiring us to do the impossible; for the things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:27. Therefore we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Heb. 13:6.

Then who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Rom. 8:35, 37. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

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A.G. Daniells

Christ Our Righteousness

Part 3 of 3

CHAPTER NINE

The Great Truth Lost Sight Of

That such a fundamental, all-embracing truth as imputed righteousness-justification by faith should be lost sight of by many professing godliness and entrusted with Heaven's final message to a dying world, seems incredible; but such, we are plainly told, is a fact.

"The doctrine of justification by faith has been lost sight of by many who have professed to believe the third angel's message. " – Review and Herald, Aug. 13, 1889.

"There is not one in one hundred who understands for himself the Bible truth on this subject [justification by faith] that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare. – "Review and Herald, Sept. 3, 1889.

"For the last twenty years a subtle, unconsecrated influence has been leading men to look to men, to bind up with men, to neglect their heavenly Companion. Many have turned away from Christ. They have failed to appreciate the One who declares, 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' Let us do all in our power to redeem the past." – Review and Herald, Feb. 18, 1904.

Twenty years back from 1904 would just take in the sweep of the message of Righteousness by Faith in 1888, with the preparatory messages which immediately preceded it. What do you say, fellow workers? Shall we not do all in our power to redeem the past? It may be that in returning from the feast we have left Jesus behind, and it becomes necessary for us to seek Him sorrowing, as did Joseph and Mary on their journey homeward from Jerusalem. We are told that –

"The reason why our preachers accomplish so little is that they do not walk with God. He is a day's journey from most of them." – Testimonies," Vol. I, p. 434.

It is an individual matter. Let us pause and consider: Is the Saviour a living, abiding presence in my life? or is He a day's journey distant, and are my life and work the result of the memory of His presence?

The searching warning sent through the Spirit of prophecy regarding the large number of Seventh-day Adventists who had lost sight of the "doctrine of justification by faith," was written in 1889. What change time has made in the proportion of our people who did not at that time hold to or understand this precious truth, none will attempt to say; but we do know that every believer in the third angel's message at this time should have a clear conception of the doctrine of justification by faith and a well-grounded experience in the great transaction.

What It Means to Lose Sight of Such a Truth

To lose sight of this precious truth of justification by faith is to miss the supreme purpose of the gospel, which must prove disastrous to the individual, no matter how well meaning and earnest he may be regarding doctrines, ceremonies, activities, and anything and everything else relating to religion. The warning is clearly given by the servant of the Lord:

"Unless divine power is brought into the experience of the people of God, false theories and

erroneous ideas will take minds captive, Christ and His righteousness will be dropped out of the experience of many, and their faith will be without power or life. Such will not have a daily living experience of the love of God in the heart; and if they do not zealously repent, they will be among those who are represented by the Laodiceans, who will be spewed out of the mouth of God." – Review and Herald, Sept. 3, 1889.

To a lamentable degree, God's people failed to bring the divine power into their experience, and the result predicted has been seen:

1. False theories and erroneous ideas have taken minds captive.

2. Christ and His righteousness have been dropped out of the experience of many.

3. The faith of many is without power or life.

4. There is not a living daily experience of the love of God in the heart.

Still further, we are told that much has been lost to the cause of God by the failure to gain that living experience of divine power – Righteousness by Faith:

"The people of God have lost much by not maintaining the simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus. This simplicity has been crowded out, and forms and ceremonies and a round of busy activities in mechanical work have taken its place. Pride and lukewarmness have made the professed people of God an offense in His sight. Boastful self-sufficiency and complacent self-righteousness have masked and concealed the beggary and nakedness of the soul; but with God all things are naked and manifest. " – Review and Herald, Aug. 7, 1894.

Thus has been brought about widespread and fatal deception:

"What is it that constitutes the wretchedness, the nakedness, of those who feel rich and increased with goods? It is the want of the righteousness of Christ. In their own righteousness they are represented as clothed with filthy rags, and yet in this condition they flatter themselves that they are clothed upon with Christ's righteousness. Could deception be greater?" – Review and Herald, Aug. 7,1894.

Martin Luther Feared This Great Truth Would Become Defaced

The fear that the doctrine of justification by faith - so dear to his heart and through which the great Reformation was brought about - would be lost sight of, seems to have been dominant in the mind of Luther as he caught a vision of future events to occur in the world. We read:

"If the article of justification be once lost, then is all true Christian doctrine lost. . . . He then that strayeth from this 'Christian righteousness,' must needs fall into the 'righteousness of the law;' that is to say, when he hath lost Christ, he must fall into the confidence of his own works." For if we neglect the article of justification, we lose it altogether. Therefore most necessary it is, chiefly, and above all things, that we teach and repeat this article continually." "Yea, though we learn it and understand it well, yet is there none that taketh hold of it perfectly, or believeth it

with his heart." "Therefore I fear lest this doctrine will be defaced and darkened again, when we are dead. For the world must be replenished with horrible darkness and errors, before the latter day come." – "Luther on Galatians," pp. 136, 148, 149, 402.

As God called Luther from the midnight darkness of the sixteenth century, and placed in his hands this torch of truth – "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH," so will God ever have His standard-bearers to uphold this fundamental basis of salvation in connection with "present truth" in the various stages of the proclamation of the last gospel message in all the world. It is therefore timely that we, today, give this vital truth most earnest, thorough study. It should be just as clearly understood as to how a sinner may be transformed into a saint, as we have been taught to understand how Adam, a sinless man, became a sinner. Justification by faith should be as clear to our minds as the teaching regarding the law, the Sabbath, the coming of the Lord, and every other doctrine revealed in the Scriptures. But it is not so understood by many; and because it is neither appreciated nor experienced as it should be, there is failure on the part of such to present it in their teaching.

This failure was recognized and clearly pointed out back in 1889, for we read:

"The ministers have not presented Christ in His fullness to the people, either in the churches or in new fields, and the people have not an intelligent faith. They have not been instructed as they should have been, that Christ is unto them both salvation and righteousness." – Review and Herald, Sept. 3, 1889.

Duty of Ministers to Present the Message of Righteousness by Faith

The following paragraphs furnish most excellent and appropriate counsel to ministers and other gospel workers, clearly pointing out the sad fact that the center of attraction, Jesus, has been made secondary by many, while theories and arguments have been given first place. What a fatal mistake!

"Laborers in the cause of truth should present the righteousness of Christ, not as new light, but as precious light that has for a time been lost sight of by the people. We are to accept Christ as our personal Saviour, and He imputes unto us the righteousness of God in Christ." – Review and Herald, March 20,1894.

"Do not allow your minds to be diverted from the all-important theme of the righteousness of Christ by the study of theories. Do not imagine that the performance of ceremonies, the observance of outward forms, will make you an heir of heaven. We want to keep the mind steadfastly to the point for which we are working; for it is now the day of the Lord's preparation, and we should yield our hearts to God, that they may be softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit." – Review and Herald, April 5, 1892.

"The great center of attraction, Jesus Christ, must not be left out of the third angel's message. By many who have been engaged in the work for this time, Christ has been made secondary, and theories and arguments have had the first place. – "Review and Herald, March 20,1894.

"The mystery of the incarnation of Christ, the account of His sufferings, His crucifixion, His resurrection, and His ascension, open to all humanity the marvelous love of God. This imparts a power to the truth." – Review and Herald, June 18,1895.

"The small churches have been presented to me as so destitute of spiritual food that they are ready to die, and God says to you, 'Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God." – Review and Herald, March 4, 1890.

"This I do know, that our churches are dying for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and on kindred truths." – "Gospel Workers," p. 301.

"The theme that attracts the heart of the sinner is Christ and Him crucified. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus stands revealed to the world in unparalleled love. Present Him thus to the hungering multitudes, and the light of His love will win men from darkness to light, from transgression to obedience and true holiness. Beholding Jesus upon the cross of Calvary arouses the conscience to the heinous character of sin as nothing else can do." – Review and Herald, Nov. 22,1892.

"Christ crucified – talk it, pray it, sing it, and it will break and win hearts. Set, formal phrases, the presentation of merely argumentative subjects, is productive of little good. The melting love of God in the hearts of the workers will be recognized by those for whom they labor. Souls are thirsting for the water of life. Do not allow them to go from you empty. Reveal the love of Christ to them. Lead them to Jesus, and He will give them the bread of life and the water of salvation." – Review and Herald, June 2,1903.

This chapter may be fittingly closed by the following peerless statement, which sums up the burden of the message of the Spirit of prophecy and gives us the clue to the line of our investigation:

"If through the grace of Christ His people will become new bottles, He will fill them with the new wine. God will give additional light, and old truths will be recovered, and replaced in the framework of truth; and wherever the laborers go, they will triumph. As Christ's ambassadors, they are to search the Scriptures, to seek for the truths that have been hidden beneath the rubbish of error. And every ray of light received is to be communicated to others. One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other, - CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. " – Review and Herald, Extra, Dec. 23, 1890.

CHAPTER TEN

Restoration Full and Complete Provided

When the sinner enters through the door of faith into the new life in Christ Jesus, he finds that not only has he been pardoned for transgression of the law, but restoration full and complete is provided. Furthermore, provision is made in Christ for the maintenance of that which has been restored. He enters upon a new and higher plane of life, in harmony with the following direction and assurance:

"We must unite with Christ. There is a reservoir of power at our command, and we are not to remain in the dark, cold, sunless cave of unbelief, or we shall not catch the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. " – Review and Herald, Jan. 24, 1893.

"We must rise above the frosty atmosphere in which we have hitherto lived, and with which Satan would surround our souls, and breathe in the hallowed atmosphere of heaven." – Review and Herald, May 6,1890.

The whole story of redemption and restoration is clearly set forth in the following beautiful statement by the pen of inspiration:

"Through Christ, restoration as well as reconciliation is provided for man. The gulf that was made by sin has been spanned by the cross of Calvary. A full, complete ransom has been paid by Jesus, by virtue of which the sinner is pardoned, and the justice of the law is maintained. All who believe that Christ is the atoning sacrifice may come and receive pardon for their sins; for through the merit of Christ communication has been opened between God and man. God can accept me as His child, and I can claim Him and rejoice in Him as my loving Father. We must center our hopes of heaven upon Christ alone, because He is our substitute and surety. We have transgressed the law of God, and by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified. The best efforts that man in his own strength can make, are valueless to meet the holy and just law that he has transgressed; but through faith in Christ he may claim the righteousness of the Son of God as all-sufficient. Christ satisfied the demands of the law in His human nature. He bore the curse of the law for the sinner, made an atonement for him, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine nature, and thus divinity and humanity are combined. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure." – Review and Herald, July 1, 1890.

Let us carefully review this message which unfolds to the human mind the sublimest facts of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:

1. Restoration full and complete is provided for sinners. The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross not only made our reconciliation with God possible, but it also made possible, for every sinner who may choose to accept the offer, restoration to Adam's glorious standing before he sinned.

 

2. The great gulf made by sin, that separates us so far from God and heaven, has been spanned by the cross of Calvary. What cause for praise and adoration!

3. The great problem of pardoning the sinner and at the same time maintaining the justice of God's holy law has been solved. Christ became our substitute. He took our place, and thus ransomed us from condemnation and death.

4. By His atoning sacrifice, Christ opened communication between God and poor, sinful lost man, so that we can now come to Him and receive pardon, cleansing, and salvation from all sin.

5. Because Christ alone became our substitute and surety, all our hopes center in Him. There is no other name, no other way.

6. Because of man's transgression of the law, no flesh can ever be justified by the deeds of the law. But through faith in Christ, man may claim the righteousness of Christ as all-sufficient.

7. By appropriating the righteousness of Christ by faith, we are made overcomers with Christ, and thus become partakers of the divine nature.

8. In trying to reach heaven by the works of the law, we are attempting an utter impossibility.

9. While we cannot be saved without obedience, that obedience cannot be of ourselves. It must be Christ's obedience working in and through us, causing us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

 

Imputed, Then Imparted Righteousness

Righteousness by Faith, in all its meaning, is comprehended in the following definition:

"The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed. The righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven; the second is our fitness for heaven." – Review and Herald, June 4,1895.

Imputed righteousness, by which man is justified from guilt, is the foundation upon which imparted righteousness is bestowed, which sanctifies the life conduct, and provides "our fitness for heaven." As to the operation of these living principles, we quote as follows:

"Christ has become our sacrifice and surety. He has become sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Through faith in His name, He imputes unto us His righteousness, and it becomes a living principle in our life." – Review and Herald, July 12,1892.

"No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven." – The Desire of Ages," p. 555.

"Christ imputes to us His sinless character, and presents us to the Father in His own purity. There are many who think that it is impossible to escape from the power of sin, but the promise is that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. We aim too low. The mark is much higher." – Review and Herald, July 12, 1892.

"Jesus is our great High Priest in heaven. And what is He doing? He is making intercession and atonement for His people who believe in Him. Through His imputed righteousness, they are accepted of God as those who are manifesting to the world that they acknowledge allegiance to God, keeping all His commandments." – Review and Herald, Aug. 22,1893.

"In the religion of Christ there is a regenerating influence that transforms the entire being, lifting man above every debasing, groveling vice, and raising the thoughts and desires toward God and heaven. Linked to the Infinite One, man is made partaker of the divine nature. Upon him the shafts of evil have no effect; for he is clothed with the panoply of Christ's righteousness." – Counsels to Teachers, pp. 51, 52.

"When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ, becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies, is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world.

"It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end." – The Desire of Ages, pp. 323,324.

The Outward Evidence of the Indwelling Righteousness

"Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hardhearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory." – Review and Herald, June 4, 1895.

"When we accept Christ, good words will appear as fruitful evidence that we are in the way of life, that Christ is our way, and that we are treading the true path that leads to heaven." – Review and Herald, Nov. 4,1890.

"When we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we shall have no relish for sin; for Christ will be working with us. We may make mistakes, but we will hate the sin that caused the sufferings of the Son of God." – Review and Herald, March 18,1890.

"When Christ is in the heart, it will be so softened and subdued by love for God and man that fretting, faultfinding, and contention will not exist there. The religion of Christ in the heart will gain for its possessor a complete victory over those passions that are seeking for the mastery."

– Testimonies, Vol. IV, p. 610.

"When a man is converted to God, a new moral taste is created; and he loves the things that God loves; for his life is bound up by the golden chain of the immutable promises, to the life of Jesus. His heart is drawn out after God. His prayer is, 'Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.' In the immutable standard he sees the character of the Redeemer, and knows that though he has sinned, he is not to be saved in his sins, but from his sins; for Jesus is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." – Review and Herald, June 12, 1892.

Thus it is clear that "man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure." Christ becomes not only the "author," but the "finisher" of our faith.

"As we near the close of time, the current of evil will set more and more decidedly toward perdition. We can be safe only as we hold firmly to the hand of Jesus, constantly looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is our mighty helper." – Review and Herald, Oct. 7, 1890.

Wearing the Spotless Robe of Righteousness

Although the righteousness of Christ is freely offered, and provides restoration full and complete for the sinner; yet we are told that some "do not appropriate the righteousness of Christ; it is a robe unworn by them, a fullness unknown, a fountain untouched." How can there be such failure to accept and appropriate this greatest of all gifts, when –

"Only those who are clothed in the garments of His righteousness will be able to endure the glory of His presence when He shall appear with 'power and great glory' "? – Review and Herald, July 9, 1908.

"On Christ's coronation day, He will not acknowledge as His any who wear spot or wrinkle or any such thing. But to His faithful ones He will give crowns of immortal glory. Those who would not that He should reign over them will see Him surrounded by the army of the redeemed, each of whom bears the sign, 'THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.' – Review and Herald, Nov. 24,1904.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Entering Into the Experience

In considering the phase of entering into the experience of being justified by faith, it is helpful to note the direct question and the positive answer which are on record concerning the experience.

"What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. "

Series A, No. 9, p. 62.

This experience of being justified, or accounted righteous, is an individual matter between the soul and God. It cannot be received by proxy. There is only one door of entrance into this experience –

The Door of Faith

"Faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners; not that there is any virtue in faith whereby salvation is merited but because faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin."-Review and Herald, Nov. 4, 1890.

"When we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we shall have no relish for sin; for Christ will be working with us. . . . A door has been opened, and no man can close it, neither the highest powers nor the lowest; you alone can close the door of your heart, so that the Lord cannot reach you."-Review and Herald, March 18,1890.

Close beside this door of faith the enemy of all righteousness has placed another door, a broader and more conspicuous entrance –

The Door of Works

Through this door many pilgrims bound for the heavenly Canaan unconsciously enter upon the path which ends in destruction, and sooner or later find that the beautiful garments of self-righteousness have become "filthy rags," entirely unfit to appear in the presence of the King. Of this class it is said:

"Many are losing the right way, in consequence of thinking that they must climb to heaven, that they must do something to merit the favor of God. They seek to make themselves better by their own unaided efforts. This they can never accomplish. Christ has made the way by dying our sacrifice, by living our example, by becoming our great high priest. He declares, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.' If by any efforts of our own we could advance one step toward the ladder, the words of Christ would not be true." – Review and Herald, Nov. 4, 1890.

"There are many who seem to feel that they have a great work to do themselves before they can come to Christ for His salvation. They seem to think that Jesus will come in at the very last of their struggle, and give them help by putting the finishing touch to their lifework. It seems difficult for them to understand that Christ is a complete Saviour, and able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. They lose sight of the fact that Christ Himself is 'the way, the truth, and the life.' "-Review and Herald, March 5, 1889.

May the Lord help us all to enter through the right door and be filled with the righteousness of Christ! For each soul there must be performed "the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself."

Realization of Hopeless Condition

But first of all, in entering into this experience, man must be brought to a realization of his hopeless condition; and this is accomplished "through the impartation of the grace of Christ."

"Without the grace of Christ, the sinner is in a hopeless condition; nothing can be done for him; but through divine grace, supernatural power is imparted to the man, and works in mind and heart and character. It is through the impartation of the grace of Christ that sin is discerned in its hateful nature, and finally driven from the soul temple. It is through grace that we are brought into fellowship with Christ, to be associated with Him in the work of salvation."-Review and Herald, Nov. 4, 1890.

"Without the grace of Christ, the sinner is in a hopeless condition; nothing can be done for him." That is, the sinner cannot clear himself. Nor can any other sinner help him. The law which he has transgressed cannot pardon nor pass over his sin; nor can anything in this world be found which will furnish deliverance. But "through divine grace, supernatural power is imparted to the man, and works in mind and heart and character." How illuminating and assuring is this word to the sinner! Through divine grace, through the great mercy and compassion of God, provision has been made for imparting "supernatural power" to the hopeless sinner.

But what is "supernatural power"? It is a power far above and beyond anything that resides in man. It is beyond anything that man can lay hold of in this world. It is that "all power ... in heaven and in earth" that Christ declared was given unto Him – that supernatural power by which all His miracles were wrought during His ministry on earth.

Concerning that "supernatural power," the following statement by Dr. Philip Schaff is worthy of consideration:

"All His [Christ's] miracles are but the natural manifestations of His person, and hence they were performed with the same ease with which we perform our ordinary daily works. . . . The supernatural and miraculous element in Christ, let it be borne in mind, was not a borrowed gift or an occasional manifestation. . . . An inward virtue dwelt in His person, and went forth from Him, so that even the fringe of His garment was healing to the touch through the medium of faith, which is the bond of union between Him and the soul."

"The Person of Christ," pp. 76, 77.

It is this same supernatural power which Christ imparts to man, that works in the mind, the heart, and the character.

Now mark the wonderful results, as stated in the further quotation from the Spirit of prophecy: "It is through the impartation of the grace of Christ that sin is discerned in its hateful nature, and finally driven from the soul temple. It is through grace that we are brought into fellowship with Christ, to be

associated with Him in the work of salvation." Thus we see that the "supernatural power" imparted to man through the grace of Christ, works in his mind and his heart, revealing to him the hateful nature of sin, and leading him to permit that corrupting thing to be driven from the soul temple.

The Consent and Choice of the Sinner

But this marvelous work wrought in the heart by the supernatural power of Christ is not done without the consent and choice of the sinner. Note the following:

"Faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners; not that there is any virtue in faith whereby salvation is merited, but because faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin. Faith can present Christ's perfect obedience instead of the sinner's transgression and defection. When the sinner believes that Christ is his personal Saviour, then, according to His unfailing promises, God pardons His sin, and justifies him freely. The repentant soul realizes that his justification comes because Christ, as his substitute and surety, has died for him, is his atonement and righteousness."

Review and Herald, Nov. 4,1890.

The exercise of faith is our part in the great transaction by which sinners are changed to saints. But we must remember there is no virtue in the faith we exercise "whereby salvation is merited." That is to say, there is no virtue in faith itself, nor in the act of exercising it. The virtue is all in Christ. He is the remedy provided for sin. Faith is the act by which the ruined, helpless, doomed sinner lays hold of the remedy. "Faith can present Christ's perfect obedience instead of the sinner's transgression and defection." This is truly a sublime thought! It is that marvelous science of redemption in which the saints will rejoice through eternity, yet it is so simple in its operation that the weakest and most unworthy can enter into it in all its meaning and fullness.

Living Faith Accompanied by Action

Entering through the door of faith into the fullness of imputed and imparted righteousness, involves more than a mere mental assent to the provisions laid down. It is the archway of "living faith, that works by love and purifies the soul." In order to pass this portal, there must be compliance with certain requirements:

1. There must cease to be practice of all known sin, and no longer neglect of known duty.

"But while God can be just, and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ's righteousness while practicing known sins or neglecting known duties. God requires the entire surrender of the heart, before justification can take place; and in order for man to retain justification, there must be continual obedience, through active, living faith that works by love and purifies the soul."

Review and Herald, Nov. 4, 1890.

2. Willingness to pay the price – give up all.

"The righteousness of Christ, as a pure white pearl, has no defect, no stain, no guilt. This righteousness may be ours. Salvation, with its blood-bought, inestimable treasures, is the pearl of great price. It may be searched for and found.... In the parable the merchantman is represented as selling all that he had to gain possession of one pearl of great price. This is a

beautiful representation of those who appreciate the truth so highly that they give up all they have to come into possession of it." – Review and Herald, Aug. 8, 1899.

3. Entire surrender of wrong habits.

"There are some who are seeking, always seeking, for the goodly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl." – Review and Herald, Aug. 8,1899.

4. The will power placed in co-operation with God.

"The Lord does not design that human power should be paralyzed; but by co-operating with God, the power of man may be efficient for good. God does not design that our will should be destroyed; for it is through this very attribute that we are to accomplish the work He would have us to do both at home and abroad. " – Review and Herald, Nov. 1,1892.

How sincerely and earnestly we should follow this clear distinction, and enter fully into the experience of being accounted and made righteous, justified, and sanctified through faith in Christ! How deeply and keenly we should realize our hopeless condition, so far as we can do anything of ourselves! It is only through the grace of God that we can be delivered. How we should cherish the great truth that through divine grace, supernatural power may be imparted to us! We should accept at full value the assurance that sin in all its hatefulness can be driven from the soul temple. We should realize that our part in this great transaction is to choose and accept it by faith, when we have fully complied with the conditions. And every day that comes and goes we should humbly plead before the throne of grace the merits, the perfect obedience, of Christ in the place of our transgressions and sins. And in doing this, we should believe and realize that our justification comes through Christ as our substitute and surety, that He has died for us, and that He is our atonement and righteousness.

If, on our part, this instruction is followed sincerely and wholeheartedly, God will make the results real in our lives; and "therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God." Rom. 5:1. We shall experience the joy of salvation, and day by day we shall know the reality of victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.

Let us not rest until we have fully entered through the door of faith into that blessed experience of pardon, justification, righteousness, and peace in Christ.

APPENDIX

Gems of Thought

(Miscellaneous Items Not Included in Foregoing Chapters)

Christ the Source of Every Right Impulse

Christ Revealed by God the Father

"God reveals Christ to the sinner, and when he sees the purity of the Son of God, he is not ignorant of the character of sin. By faith in the work and power of Christ, enmity against sin and Satan is created in his heart. Those whom God pardons are first made penitent." – Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.

Christ Draws the Sinner to Himself

"Christ draws the sinner by the exhibition of His love upon the cross, and this softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition and repentance in the soul." -Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.

"Christ is constantly drawing men to Himself, while Satan is as diligently seeking by every imaginable device, to draw men away from their Redeemer."-Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.

"As Christ draws them to look upon His cross, to behold Him whom their sins have pierced, the commandment comes home to the conscience. The wickedness of their life, the deep-seated sin of the soul, is revealed to them. They begin to comprehend something of the righteousness of Christ, and exclaim, 'What is sin, that it should require such a sacrifice for the redemption of its victim? Was all this love, all this suffering, all this humiliation, demanded, that we might not perish, but have everlasting life?' " – "Steps to Christ," p. 31.

Christ Gives Repentance

"Repentance is as much the gift of Christ as is forgiveness, and it cannot be found in the heart where Jesus has not been at work. We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience, than we can be pardoned without Christ." – Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.

Christ the Source of Power

"Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one who can arouse in the natural heart enmity against sin. He is the source of our power if we would be saved. No soul can repent without the grace of Christ." – Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.

Christ the Embodiment of Righteousness

"The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving Him."

– "Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing," p. 34.

Christ the Heavenly Merchantman

"Jesus is going from door to door, standing in front of every soul-temple, proclaiming, 'I stand at the

door, and knock.' As a heavenly Merchantman, He opens His treasures, and cries, 'Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.' The gold that He offers is without alloy, more precious than that of Ophir; for it is faith and love. The white raiment He invites the soul to wear is His own robe of righteousness; and the oil for anointing is the oil of His grace, which will give spiritual eyesight to the soul in blindness and darkness, that he may distinguish between the workings of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy. Open your doors, says the great Merchantman, the possessor of spiritual riches, and transact your business with Me. It is I, your Redeemer, who counsels you to buy of Me."

– Review and Herald, Aug. 7, 1894.

The Root of Righteousness

"Righteousness has its root in godliness. No man can steadily maintain before his fellow men a pure, forceful life, unless his life is hid with Christ in God. The greater the activity among men, the closer must be the communion of the heart with heaven." – Ministry of Healing," p. 136.

"Righteousness has its root in godliness. No human being is righteous any longer than he has faith in God and maintains a vital connection with Him. As a flower of the field has its root in the soil; as it must receive air, dew, showers, and sunshine, so must we receive from God that which ministers to the life of the soul. It is only through becoming partakers of His nature that we receive power to obey His commandments. No man, high or low, experienced or inexperienced, can steadily maintain before his fellow men a pure, forceful life, unless his life is hid with Christ in God. The greater the activity among men, the closer must be the communion of the heart with God." – "Testimonies,"Vol. VII, p. 194.

Working Out What Divine Grace Works In

"Because he [man] needs divine aid, it does not make human activity unessential. Faith on the part of man is required; for faith works by love and purifies the soul… He has given to every man his work; and every true worker sheds forth light to the world, because he is united with God and Christ and heavenly angels in the grand work of saving the lost. From divine association he becomes more and more intelligent in working the works of God. In working out what divine grace works in, the believer becomes spiritually great." – Review and Herald, Nov. 1, 1892.

The Antidote For Formalism

"The righteousness which Christ taught is conformity of the heart and life to the revealed will of God. Sinful men can only become righteous only as they have faith in God, and maintain a vital connection with Him. Then the true godliness will elevate the thoughts and ennoble the life. Then the external forms of religion accord with the Christian’s internal purity. Then the ceremonies required in the service of God are not meaningless rites, like those of the hypocritical Pharisees." – "The Desire of Ages," p.310.

A Power Outside of Man

"In order to gain the victory over every besetment of the enemy, we must lay hold on a power that is out of and beyond ourselves. We must maintain a constant, living connection with Christ, who has

power to give victory to every soul that will maintain an attitude of faith and humility." – Review and Herald, July 9, 1908.

That Power Is Christ

"Faith lays hold upon the virtue of Christ." – Review and Herald, Nov. 1, 1892

Encouragement for the Fainthearted

"All who have a sense of their deep soul poverty, who feel that they have nothing good in themselves, may find righteousness and strength by looking unto Jesus. . . . He bids you exchange your poverty for the riches of His grace.... Whatever may have been your past experience, however discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love and His robe of righteousness." – "Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing," p. 21.

Worldly Interests Subordinate

"In order to accept the invitation to the gospel feast, they must make their worldly interests subordinate to the one purpose of receiving Christ and His righteousness. God gave all for man, and He asks him to place His service above every earthly and selfish consideration. He cannot accept a divided heart. The heart that is absorbed in earthly affections cannot be given up to God!'

– "Christ's Object Lessons," p. 223.

Timely Themes for Study

The Mediatorial Work of Christ

"The mediatorial work of Christ, the grand and holy mysteries of redemption, are not studied or comprehended by the people who claim to have light in advance of every other people on the face of the earth. Were Jesus personally upon earth, He would address a large number who claim to believe present truth, with the words He addressed to the Pharisees: 'Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.' " – Review and Herald, Feb. 4, 1890.

The Plan of Salvation

"As we near the close of time.... we should devote ourselves to the study of the plan of salvation, that we may have an appreciation of how highly Jehovah has valued the salvation of man." – Review and Herald, Oct. 7, 1890.

Faith

"There are old, yet new truths still to be added to the treasures of our knowledge. We do not understand or exercise faith as we should. Christ has made rich promises in regard to bestowing the Holy Spirit upon His church, and yet how little these promises are appreciated! We are not called to worship and serve God by the use of the means employed in former years. God requires higher service now than ever before. He requires the improvement of the heavenly gifts. He has brought us into a position where we need higher and better things than have ever been needed before."

Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1890.

The Law of God in Relation to Righteousness by Faith

The Law the Mirror

"As he [the sinner] beholds the righteousness of Christ in the divine precepts, he exclaims, 'The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.' As the sinner is pardoned is pardoned for his transgression through the merits of Christ, as he is clothed with the righteousness of Christ through faith in Him, he declares with the psalmist, 'How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.' 'More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.' This is conversion." – Review and Herald, June 21, 1892.

The Law Demands Righteousness

"The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it." – Review and Herald, Nov. 4, 1890.

"Notwithstanding all the profession of lip and voice, if the character is not in harmony with the law of God those making profession of godliness bear evil fruit." – Review and Herald, May 7, 1901.

The Only Provision for Meeting the Demands of the Law

"Man cannot possibly meet the demands of the law of God in human strength alone. His offerings, his works, will all be tainted with sin. A remedy has been provided in the Saviour, who can give to man the virtue of His merit, and make him colaborer in the great work of salvation. Christ is righteousness, sanctification, and redemption to those who believe in Him, and who follow in His steps."

Review and Herald, Feb. 4, 1890.

"By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God's commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garments of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us, He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah."

– "Christ's Object Lessons," p. 312.

"The only way in which he [the sinner] can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner's account. Christ's righteousness is accepted in place of man's failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to greater light. He can say with rejoicing, ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ "

Review and Herald, Nov. 4, 1890.

"Christ gave His life as a sacrifice, not to destroy God's law, not to create a lower standard, but to maintain justice, and to give man a second probation. No one can keep God's commandments except in Christ's power. He bore in His body the sins of all mankind, and He imputes His righteousness to every

believing child." – Review and Herald, May 7,1901.

"The law has no power to pardon the transgressor, but it points him to Christ Jesus, who says to him, I will take your sin and bear it Myself, if you will accept Me as our substitute and surety. Return to your allegiance, and I will impute to you My righteousness." – Review and Herald, May 7, 1901.

"The death of Christ was an argument in man's behalf that could not be overthrown. The penalty of the law fell upon Him who was equal with God, and man was free to accept the righteousness of Christ, and by a life of penitence and humiliation to triumph, as the Son of God had triumphed, over the power of Satan. Thus God is just, and yet the justifier of all who believe in Jesus."

– "The Great Controversy," pp. 502, 503.

The Divine Plan In Presenting the Claims of the Law

"If we would have the spirit and power of the third angel's message, we must present the law and the gospel together, for they go hand in hand." – Review and Herald, Sept. 3, 1889.

"Many sermons preached upon the claims of the law have been without Christ, and this lack has made the truth inefficient in converting souls." – Review and Herald, Feb. 3, 1891.

"In presenting the binding claims of the law, many have failed to portray the infinite love of Christ. Those who have so great truths, so weighty reforms, to present to the people, have not had a realization of the value of the atoning Sacrifice as an expression of God's great love to man. Love for Jesus, and Jesus' love for sinners, have been dropped out of the religious experience of those who have been commissioned to preach the gospel, and self has been exalted instead of the Redeemer of mankind."

Review and Herald, Feb. 3, 1891.

THE REMNANT CHURCH IN GRAVE DANGER

Conditions Pointed Out

Spiritual Paralysis

"All through our churches there are those who are spiritually paralyzed. They do not manifest spiritual life." – Review and Herald, May 24,1892.

Spiritual Lethargy

"The slumbering church must be aroused, awakened out of its spiritual lethargy, to a realization of the important duties which have been left undone. The people have not entered into the holy place, where Jesus has gone to make an atonement for His children." – Review and Herald, Feb. 25,1890.

Spiritual Blindness

"There are many, many professed Christians who are waiting unconcernedly for the coming of the Lord. They have not on the garment of His righteousness. They may profess to be children of God, but they are not cleansed from sin. They are selfish and self-sufficient. Their experience is Christless. They neither love God supremely nor their neighbor as themselves. They have no true idea of what constitutes holiness. They do not see the defects in themselves. So blinded are they, that they are not

able to detect the subtle working of pride and iniquity. They are clad in the rags of self-righteousness, and stricken with spiritual blindness. Satan has cast his shadow between them and Christ, and they have no wish to study the pure, holy character of the Saviour." – Review and Herald, Feb. 26, 1901.

Spiritual Drouth

"We need the Holy Spirit in order to understand the truths for this time; but there is spiritual drouth in the churches, and we have accustomed ourselves to be easily satisfied with our standing before God."

Review and Herald, Feb. 25,1890.

Churches Dying

"Our churches are dying for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and on kindred truths." – "Gospel Workers," p. 301.

Danger of Making a Terrible Mistake

"If we are self-sufficient, and think that we may go on just as we please, and yet hope to come out on the right side finally, we shall find that we have made a terrible mistake."

Review and Herald, July 9, 1908.

Partial Work Not Sufficient

"We must be emptied of self. But this is not all that is required; for when we have renounced our idols, the vacuum must be supplied. If the heart is left desolate, and the vacuum not supplied, it will be in the condition of him whose house was 'empty, swept, and garnished,' but without a guest to occupy it. The evil spirit took unto himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they entered in and dwelt there; and the last state of that man was worse than the first. As you empty the heart of self, you must accept the righteousness of Christ. Lay hold of it by faith; for you must have the mind and spirit of Christ, that you may work the works of Christ. If you open the door of the heart, Jesus will supply the vacuum by the gift of His Spirit, and then you can be a living preacher in your home, in the church, and in the world." – Review and Herald, Feb. 23, 1892.

THE CALL FOR A SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AND REFORMATION

" ‘Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.’

"I am instructed to say that these words are applicable to Seventh-day Adventist churches in their present condition. The love of God has been lost, and this means the absence of love for one another. Self, self, self is cherished, and is striving for the supremacy. How long is this to continue? Unless there is a reconversion, there will soon be such a lack of godliness, that the church will be represented by the barren fig tree. Great light has been given to her. She has had abundant opportunity for bearing much fruit. But selfishness has come in, and God says, 'I ... will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.'

"Jesus looked upon the pretentious, fruitless fig tree, and with mournful reluctance pronounced the words of doom. And under the curse of an offended God, the fig tree withered away. God help His people to make an application of this lesson while there is still time.

"Just before His ascension, Christ said to His disciples, 'All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' God's people today are not fulfilling this commission as they should. Selfishness prevents them from receiving these words in their solemn significance.

"In many hearts there seems to be scarcely a breath of spiritual life. This makes me very sad. I fear that aggressive warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil has not been maintained. Shall we cheer on, by a half-dead Christianity, the selfish, covetous spirit of the world, sharing its ungodliness and smiling on its falsehood? Nay! By the grace of God let us be steadfast to the principles of truth, holding firm to the end the beginning of our confidence. We are to be 'not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.' One is our Master, even Christ. To Him we are to look. From Him we are to receive our wisdom. By His grace we are to preserve our integrity, standing before God in meekness and contrition, and representing Him to the world.

"Sermons have been in great demand in our churches. The members have depended upon pulpit declamations instead of on the Holy Spirit. Uncalled for and unused, the spiritual gifts bestowed on them have dwindled into feebleness. If the ministers would go forth into new fields, the members would be obliged to bear responsibilities, and by use their capabilities would increase.

"God brings against ministers and people the heavy charge of spiritual feebleness, saying, 'I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.'

"God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more Abhorrent to the Lord. until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children.

"A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from ritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.

" ‘Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, an in your spirit, which are God's.’ 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' Christ gave His life for a fallen race, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps. To him who does this will be spoken the words of approval, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.'

"The word of the Lord never represses activity. It increases man's usefulness by guiding his activities in the right direction. The Lord does not leave man without an object of pursuit. He places before him an immortal inheritance, and gives him ennobling truth, that he may advance in a safe and sure path, in pursuit of that which is worth the consecration of his highest capabilities, – a crown of everlasting life.

"Man will increase in power as he follows on to know the Lord. As he endeavors to reach the highest standard, the Bible is as a light to guide his footsteps homeward. In that word he finds that he is a joint heir with Christ to an eternal treasure. The Guidebook points him to the unsearchable riches of heaven. By following on to know the Lord, he is securing never-ending happiness. Day by day the peace of God is His reward, and by faith he sees a home of everlasting sunshine, free from all sorrow and disappointment. God directs his footsteps, and keeps him from falling.

"God loves His church. There are tares mingled with the wheat, but the Lord knows His own. 'Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He that bath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.'

"Shall not the counsel of Christ have an effect on the churches? Why halt, ye who know the truth, between two opinions? 'If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.' Christ's followers have no right to stand on the ground of neutrality. There is more hope of an open enemy than of one who is neutral.

"Let the church respond to the words of the prophet, 'Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.'

"God's people have lost their first love. They must now repent and make steady advancement in the path of holiness. God's purposes reach to every phase of life. They are immutable, eternal; and at the time appointed they will be executed. For a time it may seem that Satan has all the power in his hands; but our trust is in God. When we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us, and will work with mighty power to accomplish His gracious purposes.

"God rebukes His people for their sins, that He may humble them, and lead them to seek His face. As they reform, and His love revives in their hearts, His loving answers will come to their requests. He will strengthen them in reformatory action, lifting up for them a standard against the enemy. His rich blessing will rest upon them and in bright rays they will reflect the light of heaven. Then a multitude not of their faith, seeing that God is with His people, will unite with them in serving the Redeemer."

Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902.

THE PERILS AND PRIVILEGES OF THE LAST DAYS

"To the early church the hope of Christ's coming was a blessed hope, and they were represented by the apostle as waiting for His Son from heaven, as loving His appearing. As long as this hope was cherished by the professed followers of Christ, they were a light to the world. But it was not the design of Satan that they should be a light to the world.... Satan was at work to cause apostasy in the early church; and in accomplishing his purpose, doctrines were introduced through which the church was

leavened with unbelief in Christ and His coming. The adversary of God and man cast his hellish shadow athwart the path of the believers, and dimmed their star of hope, even their faith in the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

"The hope which had been so precious to them lost its attractions; for the specious delusions of Satan almost wholly extinguished the light of salvation through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, and men were led to seek to make an atonement through works of their own, – by fasts and penances, and through the payment of money to the church. It was more agreeable to the natural heart thus to seek justification than to seek it through repentance and faith, through belief in, and obedience to, the truth.

"During the ages of apostasy, darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people; but the Reformation aroused the inhabitants of earth from their deathlike slumber, and many turned away from their vanities and Superstitions, from priests and penances, to serve the living God, to search in His holy word for truth as for hidden treasure. They began diligently to work the mine of truth, to clear away the rubbish of human opinion that had buried up the precious jewels of light. But as soon as the work of reformation began, Satan with determined purpose sought the more zealously to bind the minds of men in superstition and error....

"That which Satan has led men to do in the past, he will if possible lead them to do again. The early church was deceived by the enemy of God and man, and apostasy was brought into the ranks of those who professed to love God; and today, unless the people of God awake out of sleep, they will be taken unawares by the devices of Satan. Among those who claim to believe in the near coming of the Saviour, how many are backslidden, how many have lost their first love, and come under the description written of the Laodicean church, denominating them as neither cold nor hot. Satan will do his utmost to keep them in a state of indifference and stupor. May the Lord reveal to the people the perils that are before them, that they may arouse from their spiritual slumber, and trim their lamps, and be found watching for the Bridegroom when He shall return from the wedding.

"The days in which we live are eventful and full of peril. The signs of the coming of the end are thickening around us, and events are to come to pass that will be of a more terrible character than any the world has yet witnessed....

"Let everyone who claims to believe that the Lord is soon coming, search the Scriptures as never before; for Satan is determined to try every device possible to keep souls in darkness, and blind the mind to the perils of the times in which we are living. Let every believer take up his Bible with earnest prayer, that he may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit as to what is truth, that he may know more of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Search for the truth as for hidden treasures, and disappoint the enemy.

"The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth.

"It is the work of everyone to whom the message of warning has come, to lift up Jesus, to present Him to the world as revealed in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelations of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples and in the wonderful miracles wrought for

the sons of men. Search the Scriptures; for they are they that testify of Him.

"If you would stand through the time of trouble, you must know Christ, and appropriate the gift of His righteousness, which He imputes to the repentant sinner. Human wisdom will not avail to devise a plan of salvation. Human philosophy is vain, the fruits of the loftiest powers of man are worthless, aside from the great plan of the divine Teacher. No glory is to redound to man; all human help and glory lie in the dust; for the truth as it is in Jesus is the only available agent by which man may be saved. Man is privileged to connect with Christ, and then the divine and the human combine; and in this union the hope of man must rest alone; for it is as the Spirit of God touches the soul that the powers of the soul are quickened, and man becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus....

"The theme that attracts the heart of the sinner is Christ and Him crucified. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus stands revealed to the world in unparalleled love. Present Him thus to the hungering multitudes, and the light of His love will win men from darkness to light, from transgression to obedience and true holiness. Beholding Jesus upon the cross of Calvary arouses the conscience to the heinous character of sin as nothing else can do. It was sin that caused the death of God's dear Son, and sin is the transgression of the law. On Him was laid the iniquity of us all. The sinner then consents unto the law that it is good; for he realizes that it condemns his evil deeds, while he magnifies the matchless love of God in providing for him salvation through the imputed righteousness of Him who knew no sin, in whose mouth there was found no guile.

"The truth is efficient, and through obedience its power changes the mind into the image of Jesus. It is the truth as it is in Jesus that quickens the conscience and transforms the mind; for it is accompanied to the heart by the Holy Spirit. There are many who, lacking spiritual discernment, take the bare letter of the word, and find that unaccompanied by the Spirit of God, it quickens not the soul, it sanctifies not the heart. One may be able to quote from the Old and the New Testament, may be familiar with the commands and promises of the word of God; but unless the Holy Spirit sends the truth home to the heart, enlightening the mind with divine light, no soul falls upon the Rock and is broken; for it is the divine agency that connects the soul with God. Without the enlightenment of the Spirit of God, we shall not be able to discern truth from error, and shall fall under the masterful temptations and deceptions that Satan will bring upon the world.

"We are near the close of the controversy between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness, and soon the delusions of the enemy will try our faith, of what sort it is. Satan will work miracles in the sight of the beast, and deceive 'them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.' But though the prince of darkness will work to cover the earth with darkness, and with gross darkness the people, the Lord will manifest His coverting power....

"The work of the Holy Spirit is immeasurably great. It is from this source that power and efficiency come to the worker for God; and the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, as the personal presence of Christ to the soul. He who looks to Christ in simple, childlike faith, is made a partaker of the divine nature through the agency of the Holy Spirit. When led by the Spirit of God, the Christian may know that he is made complete in Him who is the head of all things. As Christ was glorified on the day of Pentecost, so will He again be glorified in the closing work of the gospel, when He shall prepare a people to stand the final test in the closing conflict of the great controversy. . . .

"When the earth is lightened with the glory of God, we shall see a work similar to that which was

wrought when the disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the power of a risen Saviour. The light of heaven penetrated the darkened minds of those who had been deceived by the enemies of Christ, and the false representation of Him was rejected; for through the efficiency of the Holy Spirit they now saw Him exalted to be a Prince and Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins. They saw Him encircled with the glory of heaven, with infinite treasures in His hands to bestow upon those who turn from their rebellion. As the apostles set forth the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, three thousand souls were pricked to the heart, and they were made to see themselves as they were, sinful and polluted, and Christ as their Saviour and Redeemer. Christ was lifted up, Christ was glorified, through the power of the Holy Spirit resting upon men. By the eye of faith these believers saw Him as the one who had borne humiliation, suffering, and death, that they might not perish, but have everlasting life. As they looked upon His spotless righteousness, they saw their own deformity and pollution, and were filled with godly fear, with love and adoration for Him who gave His life a sacrifice for them. They humbled their souls to the very dust, and repented of their wicked works, and glorified God for His salvation....

"The revelation of Christ by the Holy Spirit brought to them a realizing sense of His power and majesty, and they stretched forth their hands unto Him by faith, saying, ‘I believe.’ Thus it was in the time of the early rain; but the latter rain will be more abundant. The Saviour of men will be glorified, and the earth will be lightened with the bright shining of the beams of His righteousness. He is the fountain of light, and light from the gates ajar has been shining upon the people of God, that they may lift Him up in His glorious character before those who sit in darkness.

"Christ has not been presented in connection with the law as a faithful and merciful High Priest, who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He has not been lifted up before the sinner as the divine sacrifice. His work as sacrifice, substitute, and surety, has been only coldly and casually dwelt upon; but this is what the sinner needs to know. It is Christ in His fullness as a sin-pardoning Saviour, that the sinner must see; for the unparalleled love of Christ, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, will bring conviction and conversion to the hardened heart.

"It is the divine influence that is the savor of the salt in the Christian. Many present the doctrines and theories of our faith; but their presentation is as salt without savor; for the Holy Spirit is not working through their faithless ministry. They have not opened the heart to receive the grace of Christ; they know not the operation of the Spirit; they are as meal without leaven; for there is no working principle in all their labor, and they fail to win souls to Christ. They do not appropriate the righteousness of Christ; it is a robe unworn by them, a fullness unknown, a fountain untouched.

"O that the atoning work of Christ might be carefully studied! Othat all would carefully and prayerfully study the word of God, not to qualify themselves for debating controverted points of doctrine, but that as hungry souls they might be filled, as those that thirst, be refreshed at the fountain of life. It is when we search the Scriptures with humble hearts, feeling our weakness and unworthiness, that Jesus is revealed to our souls in all His preciousness.

"When we become partakers of the divine nature, we shall look with abhorrence upon all our exaltation of self, and that which we have cherished as wisdom will seem as dross and rubbish. Those who have educated themselves as debaters, who have looked upon themselves as sharp, keen men, will view their work with sorrow and shame, and know that their offering has been as valueless as was Cain's; for it has been destitute of the righteousness of Christ.

"O that we as a people might humble our hearts before God, and plead with Him for the endowment of the Holy Spirit! If we came to the Lord in humility and contrition of soul, He would answer our petitions; for He says that He is more willing to give us the Holy Spirit than are parents to give good gifts to their children. Then would Christ be glorified, and in Him we should discern the fullness of the Godhead bodily. For Christ has said of the Comforter, 'He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.' This is the thing most essential to us. For ‘this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.’ " – Review and Herald, Nov. 22 and 29, 1892.