But thanks be to God - What the law could not do, because it is law, (and law cannot provide pardon), is done by the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: he has died to slay death; he has risen again to bring mankind from under the empire of hades. All this he has done through his mere unmerited mercy; and eternal thanks are due to God for this unspeakable gift. He has given us the victory over sin, Satan, death, the grave, and hell.
But thanks be to God; - See the notes at Romans 7:25.
Which giveth us the victory - Us who are Christians; all Christians. The victory over sin, death, and the grave. God alone is the author of this victory. He formed the plan; he executed it in the gift of his Son; and he gives it to us personally when we come to die.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ - By his death, thus destroying the power of death; by his resurrection and triumph over the grave; and by his grace imparted to us to enable us to sustain the pains of death, and giving to us the hope of a glorious resurrection; compare the note at Romans 7:25; Romans 8:37.
Glorious is the triumph awaiting the faithful. The apostle, realizing the possibilities before the Corinthian believers, sought to set before them that which uplifts from the selfish and the sensual, and glorifies life with the hope of immortality. Earnestly he exhorted them to be true to their high calling in Christ. “My beloved brethren,” he pleaded, “be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” AA 321.1
Thus the apostle, in the most decided and impressive manner, endeavored to correct the false and dangerous ideas and practices that were prevailing in the Corinthian church. He spoke plainly, yet in love for their souls. In his warnings and reproofs, light from the throne of God was shining upon them, to reveal the hidden sins that were defiling their lives. How would it be received? AA 321.2
After the letter had been dispatched, Paul feared lest that which he had written might wound too deeply those whom he desired to benefit. He keenly dreaded a further alienation and sometimes longed to recall his words. Those who, like the apostle, have felt a responsibility for beloved churches or institutions, can best appreciate his depression of spirit and self-accusing. The servants of God who bear the burden of His work for this time know something of the same experience of labor, conflict, and anxious care that fell to the lot of the great apostle. Burdened by divisions in the church, meeting with ingratitude and betrayal from some to whom he looked for sympathy and support, realizing the peril of the churches that harbored iniquity, compelled to bear a close, searching testimony in reproof of sin, he was at the same time weighed down with fear that he might have dealt with too great severity. With trembling anxiety he waited to receive some tidings as to the reception of his message. AA 321.3Read in context »
He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God's word. Ed 126.1
The science of redemption is the science of all sciences; the science that is the study of the angels and of all the intelligences of the unfallen worlds; the science that engages the attention of our Lord and Saviour; the science that enters into the purpose brooded in the mind of the Infinite—“kept in silence through times eternal” (Romans 16:25, R.V.); the science that will be the study of God's redeemed throughout endless ages. This is the highest study in which it is possible for man to engage. As no other study can, it will quicken the mind and uplift the soul. Ed 126.2
“The excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” “The words that I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are spirit, and they are life.” “This is life eternal, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him whom Thou didst send.” Ecclesiastes 7:12; John 6:63; 17:3, R.V. Ed 126.3Read in context »
The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the blood of the atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he is to “go on unto perfection;” to grow up “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Says the apostle Paul: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14. And Peter sets before us the steps by which Bible sanctification is to be attained: “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.... If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:5-10. GC 470.1
Those who experience the sanctification of the Bible will manifest a spirit of humility. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own unworthiness in contrast with the purity and exalted perfection of the Infinite One. GC 470.2
The prophet Daniel was an example of true sanctification. His long life was filled up with noble service for his Master. He was a man “greatly beloved” (Daniel 10:11) of Heaven. Yet instead of claiming to be pure and holy, this honored prophet identified himself with the really sinful of Israel as he pleaded before God in behalf of his people: “We do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for Thy great mercies.” “We have sinned, we have done wickedly.” He declares: “I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people.” And when at a later time the Son of God appeared, to give him instruction, Daniel says: “My comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.” Daniel 9:18, 15, 20; 10:8. GC 470.3Read in context »
But if we would enter the city of God, and look upon Jesus in His glory, we must become accustomed to beholding Him with the eye of faith here. The words and the character of Christ should be often the subject of our thoughts and of our conversation; and each day some time should be especially devoted to prayerful meditation upon these sacred themes. MYP 114.1
Sanctification is a daily work. Let none deceive themselves with the belief that God will pardon and bless them while they are trampling upon one of His requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law. God will honor those only who honor Him. MYP 114.2Read in context »
Jesus holds His hand beneath you. Jesus will not suffer the enemy to overcome you. Jesus will give you the victory. He has the virtue; He has the righteousness. You may look to yourself to find it and may well despair in doing this because it is not there. Jesus has it. It is yours by faith because you love God and keep His commandments. 2MCP 807.4Read in context »
If we would develop a character which God can accept, we must form correct habits in our religious life. Daily prayer is as essential to growth in grace, and even to spiritual life itself, as is temporal food to physical well-being. We should accustom ourselves to lift the thoughts often to God in prayer. If the mind wanders, we must bring it back; by persevering effort, habit will finally make it easy. We cannot for one moment separate ourselves from Christ with safety. We may have His presence to attend us at every step, but only by observing the conditions which He Himself has laid down. SL 93.1
Religion must be made the great business of life. Everything else should be held subordinate to this. All our powers, of soul, body, and spirit, must be engaged in the Christian warfare. We must look to Christ for strength and grace, and we shall gain the victory as surely as Jesus died for us. SL 93.2Read in context »
I was shown that some of the people of God imitate the fashions of the world, and are fast losing their peculiar, holy character, which should distinguish them as God's people. I was pointed back to God's ancient people, and then was led to compare their apparel with the mode of dress in these last days. What a difference! What a change! Then the women were not so bold as now. When they went in public they covered their face with a vail. In these last days fashions are shameful and immodest. They are noticed in prophecy. They were first brought in by a class over whom Satan has entire control, who “being past feeling (without any conviction of the Spirit of God), have given themselves over unto lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness.” If God's professed people had not departed greatly from him, there would now be a marked difference between their dress and that of the world. The small bonnets, exposing the face and head, show a lack of modesty. The hoops are a shame. The inhabitants of earth are growing more and more corrupt, and the line of distinction must be more plain between them and the Israel of God, or the curse which falls upon worldlings will fall upon God's professed people. 2SG 227.1
I was directed to the following scriptures. Said the angel, They are to instruct God's people. 1 Timothy 2:9, 10. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” 1 Peter 3:3-5. “Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time, the holy women also who trusted in God, adorned themselves.” 2SG 228.1
Young and old, God is now testing you. You are deciding your own eternal destiny. Your pride, your love to follow the fashions of the world, your vain and empty conversation, your selfishness, are all put in the scale, and the weight of evil is fearfully against you. You are poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. While evil is increasing and taking deep root, it is choking the good seed which has been sown in the heart, and soon the word will be spoken to the angels of God concerning you, as was given concerning Eli's house, that your sins shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. Many, I saw, were flattering themselves that they were good Christians, who have not a single ray of light from Jesus. They know not what it is to be renewed by the grace of God. They have no living experience for themselves in the things of God. And I saw that the Lord was whetting his sword in heaven to cut them down. O that every cold, lukewarm professor could realize the clean work that God is about to make among his professed people. Dear friends, do not deceive yourselves concerning your condition. You cannot deceive God. Says the True Witness, “I know thy works.” The third angel is leading up a people, step by step, higher and higher. At every step they will be tested. 2SG 229.1Read in context »
God proves His people in this world. This is the fitting-up place to appear in His presence. Here, in this world, in these last days, persons will show what power affects their hearts and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead to good works. It will elevate the receiver, and make him noblehearted and generous, like his divine Lord. But if evil angels control the heart, it will be seen in various ways. The fruit will be selfishness, covetousness, pride, and evil passions. 1T 188.1
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Professors of religion are not willing to closely examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith; and it is a fearful fact that many are leaning on a false hope. Some lean upon an old experience which they had years ago; but when brought down to this heart-searching time, when all should have a daily experience, they have nothing to relate. They seem to think that a profession of the truth will save them. When they subdue those sins which God hates, Jesus will come in and sup with them and they with Him. They will then draw divine strength from Jesus, and will grow up in Him, and be able with holy triumph to say: “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It would be more pleasing to the Lord if lukewarm professors of religion had never named His name. They are a continual weight to those who would be faithful followers of Jesus. They are a stumbling block to unbelievers, and evil angels exult over them, and taunt the angels of God with their crooked course. Such are a curse to the cause at home or abroad. They draw nigh to God with their lips, while their heart is far from Him. 1T 188.2
I was shown that the people of God should not imitate the fashions of the world. Some have done this, and are fast losing the peculiar, holy character which should distinguish them as God's people. I was pointed back to God's ancient people, and was led to compare their apparel with the mode of dress in these last days. What a difference! what a change! Then the women were not so bold as now. When they went in public, they covered their faces with a veil. In these last days, fashions are shameful and immodest. They are noticed in prophecy. They were first brought in by a class over whom Satan has entire control, who, “being past feeling [without any conviction of the Spirit of God] have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” If God's professed people had not greatly departed from Him, there would now be a marked difference between their dress and that of the world. The small bonnets, exposing the face and head, show a lack of modesty. The hoops are a shame. The inhabitants of earth are growing more and more corrupt, and the line of distinction between them and the Israel of God must be more plain, or the curse which falls upon worldlings will fall on God's professed people. 1T 188.3Read in context »
God has claims upon all three of you which you cannot lightly throw aside. Jesus has bought you with the price of His own blood. “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Have you no sacrifice to make for God? Great responsibilities stand before you each in everyday life. Your record is daily passing up to God. Great dangers lie hidden in your pathway. If I could, I would take you in my arms and bear you safely over them; but this I am not permitted to do. You are in the most critical period of your life history. If you arouse the energies of the soul and direct them to securing things of eternal interest, and if you make everything subordinate to this, you will make a success of perfecting Christian character. You may all engage in the spiritual warfare against besetting sins, and you may, through Christ, come off victors. But it will be no child's play. It will be a stern warfare, involving self-denial and cross bearing. The danger is that you will not fully realize your backslidings and your perilous condition. Unless you view life as it is, cast aside the brilliant fancies of imagination, and come down to the sober lessons of experience, you will awake when it is too late. You will then realize the terrible mistake you have made. 3T 43.1
Your education has not been of that kind to form solid, substantial characters, therefore you have to obtain now the education which you should have had years ago. Your mother was too fond of you. A mother cannot love her children too well, but she may love unwisely and allow her affection to blind her to their best interests. You have had an indulgent, tender mother. She has shielded her children too much. Her life has been nearly crushed out by the burdens which her children should have taken, and which they could have borne better than she. 3T 43.2
The lack of firmness and self-denial in your characters is a serious drawback in obtaining a genuine religious experience that will not be sliding sand. Firmness and integrity of purpose should be cultivated. These qualities are positively necessary to a successful Christian life. If you have integrity of soul you will not be swayed from the right. No motive will be sufficient to move you from the straight line of duty; you will be loyal and true to God. The pleadings of affection and love, the yearnings of friendship, will not move you to turn aside from truth and duty; you will not sacrifice duty to inclination. 3T 44.1Read in context »
A great many are likely to be deceived in regard to their spiritual condition. In Christ we shall have the victory. In Him we have a perfect Model. While He hated sin with a perfect hatred, He could weep over the sinner. He possessed the divine nature, while He had the humility of a little child. He had in His character that which we must have in our characters, undeviating perseverance in the path of duty, from which no obstacles or dangers could divert Him, while His heart was so full of compassion that the woes of humanity touched His heart with tenderest compassion. He could not pass them by, for He was the Great Physician to heal the maladies of the human race. TDG 279.3Read in context »