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1 John 3:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Behold, what manner of love - Whole volumes might be written upon this and the two following verses, without exhausting the extraordinary subject contained in them, viz., the love of God to man. The apostle himself, though evidently filled with God, and walking in the fullness of his light, does not attempt to describe it; he calls on the world and the Church to behold it, to look upon it, to contemplate it, and wonder at it.

What manner of love. - Ποταπην αγαπην· What great love, both as to quantity and quality; for these ideas are included in the original term. The length, the breadth, the depth, the height, he does not attempt to describe.

The Father hath bestowed - For we had neither claim nor merit that we should be called, that is, constituted or made, the sons of God, who were before children of the wicked one, animal, earthly, devilish; therefore, the love which brought us from such a depth of misery and degradation must appear the more extraordinary and impressive. After κληθωμεν, that we might be called, και εσμεν, and we are, is added by ABC, seventeen others, both the Syriac, Erpen's Arabic, Coptic, Sahidic, Ethiopic, Slavonic, and Vulgate.

Therefore the world - The Jews, and all who know not God, and are seeking their portion in this life; knoweth us not - do not acknowledge, respect, love, or approve of us. In this sense the word γινωσκειν is here to be understood. The world Knew well enough that there were such persons; but they did not approve of them. We have often seen that this is a frequent use of the term know, both in Hebrew and Greek, in the Old Testament and also in the New.

Because it knew him not - The Jews did not acknowledge Jesus; they neither approved of him, his doctrine, nor his manner of life.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, what manner of love - What love, in “kind” and in “degree.” In kind the most tender and the most ennobling, in adopting us into His family, and in permitting us to address Him as our Father; in “degree” the most exalted, since there is no higher love that can be shown than in adopting a poor and friendless orphan, and giving him a parent and a home. Even God could bestow upon us no more valuable token of affection than that we should be adopted into His family, and permitted to regard Him as our Father. When we remember how insignificant we are as creatures, and how ungrateful, rebellious, and vile we have been as sinners, we may well be amazed at the love which would adopt us into the holy family of God, so that we may be regarded and treated as the children of the Most High. A prince could manifest no higher love for a wandering, ragged, vicious orphan boy, found in the streets, than by adopting him into his own family, and admitting him to the same privileges and honors as his own sons; and yet this would be a trifle compared with the honor which God has bestowed on us.

The Father hath bestowed upon us - God, regarded as a Father, or as at the head of the universe considered as one family.

That we should be called the sons of God - That is, that we should “be” the sons of God - the word “called” being often used in the sense of “to be.” On the nature and privileges of adoption, see the Romans 8:15-17 notes; 2 Corinthians 6:18 note, and practical remarks on that chapter.

Therefore the world knoweth us not - Does not understand our principles; the reasons of our conduct; the sources of our comforts and joys. The people of the world regard us as fanatics or enthusiasts; as foolish in abandoning the pleasures and pursuits which they engage in; as renouncing certain happiness for that which is uncertain; as cherishing false and delusive hopes in regard to the future, and as practicing needless austerities, with nothing to compensate for the pleasures which are abandoned. There is nothing which the frivolous, the ambitious, and the selfish “less” understand than they do the elements which go into the Christian‘s character, and the nature and source of the Christian‘s joys.

Because it knew him not - It did not know the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, the world had no right views of the real character of the Lord Jesus when he was on the earth. They mistook him for an enthusiast or an impostor; and it is no wonder that, having wholly mistaken his character, they should mistake ours. On the fact that the world did not know him, see the 1 Corinthians 2:8 note; Acts 3:17 note. Compare John 17:25. On the fact that Christians may be expected to be regarded and treated as their Saviour was, see the notes at John 15:18-20. Compare Matthew 10:24-25.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Little does the world know of the happiness of the real followers of Christ. Little does the world think that these poor, humble, despised ones, are favourites of God, and will dwell in heaven. Let the followers of Christ be content with hard fare here, since they are in a land of strangers, where their Lord was so badly treated before them. The sons of God must walk by faith, and live by hope. They may well wait in faith, hope, and earnest desire, for the revelation of the Lord Jesus. The sons of God will be known, and be made manifest by likeness to their Head. They shall be transformed into the same image, by their view of him.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 334

In every true disciple this love, like sacred fire, burns on the altar of the heart. It was on the earth that the love of God was revealed through Christ. It is on the earth that His children are to reflect this love through blameless lives. Thus sinners will be led to the cross to behold the Lamb of God. AA 334.1

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 191

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1. And Christ says, “As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18)—to “fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, ... for His body's sake, which is the church.” Colossians 1:24. Every soul whom Christ has rescued is called to work in His name for the saving of the lost. This work had been neglected in Israel. Is it not neglected today by those who profess to be Christ's followers? COL 191.1

How many of the wandering ones have you, reader, sought for and brought back to the fold? When you turn from those who seem unpromising and unattractive, do you realize that you are neglecting the souls for whom Christ is seeking? At the very time when you turn from them, they may be in the greatest need of your compassion. In every assembly for worship, there are souls longing for rest and peace. They may appear to be living careless lives, but they are not insensible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Many among them might be won for Christ. COL 191.2

If the lost sheep is not brought back to the fold, it wanders until it perishes. And many souls go down to ruin for want of a hand stretched out to save. These erring ones may appear hard and reckless; but if they had received the same advantages that others have had, they might have revealed far more nobility of soul, and greater talent for usefulness. Angels pity these wandering ones. Angels weep, while human eyes are dry and hearts are closed to pity. COL 191.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 338

If there is anything in our world that should inspire enthusiasm, it is the cross of Calvary. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” 1 John 3:1. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Christ is to be accepted, believed on, and exalted. This is to be the theme of conversation—the preciousness of Christ.... CT 338.1

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 503

Calling for Decisions in Song—In my dreams last night I was speaking to a company of young men. I asked them to sing “Almost Persuaded.” Some present were deeply moved. I knew that they were almost persuaded, but that if they did not make decided efforts to return to Christ, the conviction of their sinfulness would leave them. You made some confessions, and I asked you, “Will you not from this time stand on the Lord's side?” If you will receive Jesus, He will receive you.—Letter 137, 1904. Ev 503.1

Experience With Song Service on the Cars—On Sabbath we had a song service. Brother Lawrence, who is a musician, led the singing. All the passengers in the car seemed to enjoy the service greatly, many of them joining in the singing. Ev 503.2

On Sunday we had another song service, after which Elder Corliss gave a short talk, taking as his text the words, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” The passengers listened attentively and seemed to enjoy what was said. Ev 503.3

On Monday we had more singing, and we all seemed to be drawing closer together.—Letter 135, 1905. Ev 503.4

Music in the New Earth—Those who, regardless of all else, place themselves in God's hands, to be and do all that He would have them, will see the King in His beauty. They will behold His matchless charms, and, touching their golden harps, they will fill all heaven with rich music and with songs to the Lamb. Ev 503.5

I am glad to hear the musical instruments that you have here. God wants us to have them. He wants us to praise Him with heart and soul and voice, magnifying His name before the world.—The Review and Herald, June 15, 1905. Ev 503.6

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Ellen G. White
The Faith I Live By, 43.1

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1. FLB 43.1

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 179

Look, O look to Jesus and live! You cannot but be charmed with the matchless attractions of the Son of God. Christ was God manifest in the flesh, the mystery hidden for ages, and in our acceptance or rejection of the Saviour of the world are involved eternal interests. FE 179.1

To save the transgressor of God's law, Christ, the one equal with the Father, came to live heaven before men, that they might learn to know what it is to have heaven in the heart. He illustrated what man must be to be worthy of the precious boon of the life that measures with the life of God. FE 179.2

The life of Christ was a life charged with a divine message of the love of God, and He longed intensely to impart this love to others in rich measure. Compassion beamed from His countenance, and His conduct was characterized by grace, humility, truth, and love. Every member of His church militant must manifest the same qualities, if He would join the church triumphant. The love of Christ is so broad, so full of glory, that in comparison to it, everything that men esteem as great, dwindles into insignificance. When we obtain a view of it, we exclaim, O the depth of the riches of the love that God bestowed upon men in the gift of His only-begotten Son! FE 179.3

When we seek for appropriate language in which to describe the love of God, we find words too tame, too weak, too far beneath the theme, and we lay down our pen and say, “No, it cannot be described.” We can only do as did the beloved disciple, and say, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” In attempting any description of this love, we feel that we are as infants lisping their first words. Silently we may adore; for silence in this matter is the only eloquence. This love is past all language to describe. It is the mystery of God in the flesh, God in Christ, and divinity in humanity. Christ bowed down in unparalleled humility, that in His exaltation to the throne of God, He might also exalt those who believe in Him, to a seat with Him upon His throne. All who look upon Jesus in faith that the wounds and bruises that sin has made will be healed in Him, shall be made whole. FE 179.4

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 198

The love of our heavenly Father in the gift of His only-begotten Son to the world, is enough to inspire every soul, to melt every hard, loveless heart into contrition and tenderness; and yet shall heavenly intelligences see in those for whom Christ died, insensibility to His love, hardness of heart, and no response of gratitude and affection to the Giver of all good things? Shall affairs of minor importance absorb the whole power of the being, and the love of God meet no return? Shall the Sun of Righteousness shine in vain? In view of what God has done, could His claims be less upon you? Have we hearts that can be touched, that can be impressed with divine love? Are we willing to be chosen vessels? Has not God His eye upon us, and has He not bidden us to send forth His message of light? We need an increase of faith. We must wait, we must watch, we must pray, we must work, pleading that the Holy Ghost may be poured out upon us abundantly, that we may be lights in the world. FE 198.1

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 481

The condition of being received into the Lord's family is coming out from the world, separating from all its contaminating influences. The people of God are to have no connection with idolatry in any of its forms. They are to reach a higher standard. We are to be distinguished from the world, and then God says, “I will receive you as members of My royal family, children of the heavenly King.” As believers in the truth we are to be distinct in practice from sin and sinners. Our citizenship is in heaven. FE 481.1

We should realize more clearly the value of the promises God has made to us, and appreciate more deeply the honor He has given us. God can bestow no higher honor upon mortals than to adopt them into His family, giving them the privilege of calling Him Father. There is no degradation in becoming children of God. “My people shall know My name,” the Lord declares; “therefore they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak: behold, it is I.” The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” FE 481.2

Why is so much attention given to human agencies, while there is so little reaching up of the mind to the eternal God? Why are those who claim to be children of the heavenly King so absorbed in the things of this world? Let the Lord be exalted. Let the word of the Lord be magnified. Let human beings be placed low, and let the Lord be exalted. Remember that earthly kingdoms, nations, monarchs, statesmen, counselors, great armies, and all worldly magnificence and glory are as the dust of the balance. God has a reckoning to make with all nations. Every kingdom is to be brought low. Human authority is to be made as naught. Christ is the King of the world, and His Kingdom is to be exalted. FE 481.3

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Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 188.1

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1. AG 188.1

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 14.6

In the gracious blessings which our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us we may discern innumerable evidences of a love that is infinite, and a tender pity surpassing a mother's yearning sympathy for her wayward child. When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. In the language of John we exclaim: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). HP 14.6

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 37.4

What love, what wonderful love, was displayed by the Son of God! The death we deserved was suffered to come upon Him that immortality might be given to us, who could never merit such a reward. Is not salvation great in its simplicity and wonderful in its comprehensiveness? ... Contemplating the fullness of the provision that God has made whereby every son and daughter of Adam may be saved, we are led to exclaim with John, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1).... The plan of redemption provides for every emergency and for every want of the soul. HP 37.4

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 249.4

In the gracious blessings which our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us, we may discern innumerable evidences of a love that is infinite, and a tender pity surpassing a mother's yearning sympathy for her wayward child. When we study the divine character in the light of the cross, we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. In the language of John we exclaim, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands, and feet, and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God, and God to man. Matchless mercy reveals to us a Father, infinite, dwelling in light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son. The cloud of vengeance which threatened only misery and despair in the reflected light from the cross reveals the writing of God: “Live, sinner, live! ye penitent and believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom.” LHU 249.4

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 251.1

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1. LHU 251.1

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 77.1

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1. Mar 77.1

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 21.3

We must not give up at the defilement that is in the human race, and ever keep that before the mind's eye. We must not look at that.... What then are we to do? What is our work? To “behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us” (1 John 3:1).—Manuscript 7, 1888. 1MCP 21.3

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 68.1

Committing Ourselves to Christ Brings Peace—All our future rests with our individual action in opening our heart to receive the Prince of peace. Our minds can find quiet and rest in and through committing ourselves to Christ, in whom is efficiency of power. Having secured that peace, that comfort, that hope, which He offers to your soul, your heart will be rejoicing in God our Saviour for the great and wondrous hope presented to you as an individual who recognizes the Great Gift. Then you will be so thankful that you will praise God for the great love and grace bestowed upon you. 1MCP 68.1

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 425

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1. MH 425.1

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 289

What love, what matchless love, that, sinners and aliens as we are, we may be brought back to God and adopted into His family! We may address Him by the endearing name, “Our Father,” which is a sign of our affection for Him and a pledge of His tender regard and relationship to us. And the Son of God, beholding the heirs of grace, “is not ashamed to call them brethren.” They have even a more sacred relationship to God than have the angels who have never fallen. ML 289.2

All the paternal love which has come down from generation to generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but as a tiny rill to the boundless ocean, when compared with the infinite, exhaustless love of God. Tongue cannot utter it; pen cannot portray it. You may meditate upon it every day of your life; you may search the Scriptures diligently in order to understand it; you may summon every power and capability that God has given you, in the endeavor to comprehend the love and compassion of the heavenly Father; and yet there is an infinity beyond. ML 289.3

In all His children God beholds the image of His only-begotten Son. He looks upon them with a love greater than any language can express. He enfolds them in the arms of His love. The Lord rejoices over His people. ML 289.4

He has redeemed us out of the careless world and has chosen us to become members of the royal family, sons and daughters of the heavenly King. He invites us to trust in Him with a trust deeper and stronger than that of a child in his earthly father. ML 289.5

God is to us a tender, compassionate, heavenly Father. ML 289.6

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 17

Let no one feel that he is stepping down in becoming a child of God. It was the only begotten Son of God who stepped down.... Leaving His splendor, His majesty, His high command, and clothing His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and divinity lay hold upon divinity, He came to this earth, and in our behalf suffered the death of the cross.... OHC 17.2

Christ has made an infinite sacrifice. He gave His own life for us. He took upon His divine soul the result of the transgression of God's law. Laying aside His royal crown, He condescended to step down, step by step, to the level of fallen humanity. He hung upon Calvary's cross, dying in our behalf, that we might have eternal life.... Does it seem a small thing that He should endure all this, that we might be called the sons of God? Does it seem a small thing to you to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King, partakers of an immortal inheritance? OHC 17.3

Such is the infinite goodness of God that through Jesus Christ's merits He not only spares but pardons and justifies us, and through the righteousness of Christ imputes righteousness to us, and exalts and ennobles us by making us children of His adoption. We become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. He lifts men and women from their degradation and exalts them in righteousness.... He calls them His jewels, and a peculiar treasure unto Him. They are trophies of His grace and power, and of His greatness and riches in glory. They therefore are not their own, but are bought with a price, and through the extraordinary office of the atonement of Christ have been brought into nearness and the most sacred relationship to Jesus Christ. They are called His heritage, His children, the members of Christ's body, of His flesh and of His bones; yea, they are joined to the Lord by intimate relationship with Him. OHC 17.4

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 706-7

The covenant of “life and peace” God had made with the sons of Levi—the covenant which, if kept, would have brought untold blessing—the Lord now offered to renew with those who once had been spiritual leaders, but who through transgression had become “contemptible and base before all the people.” Malachi 2:5, 9. PK 706.1

Solemnly evildoers were warned of the day of judgment to come and of Jehovah's purpose to visit with swift destruction every transgressor. Yet none were left without hope; Malachi's prophecies of judgment were accompanied by invitations to the impenitent to make their peace with God. “Return unto Me,” the Lord urged; “and I will return unto you.” Malachi 3:7. PK 706.2

It seems as if every heart must respond to such an invitation. The God of heaven is pleading with His erring children to return to Him, that they may again co-operate with Him in carrying forward His work in the earth. The Lord holds out His hand to take the hand of Israel and to help them to the narrow path of self-denial and self-sacrifice, to share with Him the heirship as sons of God. Will they be entreated? Will they discern their only hope? PK 706.3

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 178.6

In our work we are not to strive to make an appearance. We are to look upon Christ, beholding what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. And what a joy, what a power, will be with us as we do this! It will not be merely the excitement of feeling, but a deep abiding joy. We are to present the solid truths of the Word of God, that these truths may be impressed on the hearts of the people, and that men and women may be led to walk in the footsteps of the Redeemer.... RC 178.6

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 284.5

In the gracious blessings which our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us, we may discern innumerable evidences of a love that is infinite, and a tender pity surpassing a mother's yearning sympathy for her wayward child. When we study the divine character in the light of the cross, we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. In the language of John we exclaim, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” RC 284.5

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 290.5

The infinite treasures of truth have been accumulating from age to age. No representation could adequately impress us with the extent, the richness, of these vast resources. They are awaiting the demand of those who appreciate them. These gems of truth are to be gathered up by God's remnant people, to be given by them to the world; but self-confidence and obduracy of soul refuse the blessed treasure. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Such love cannot be measured, neither can it be expressed. John calls upon the world to behold “what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” It is a love that passeth knowledge. RC 290.5

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Ellen G. White
The Sanctified Life, 16-7

When a man professes to be sanctified, and yet in words and works may be represented by the impure fountain sending forth its bitter waters, we may safely say, That man is deceived. He needs to learn the very alphabet of what constitutes the life of a Christian. Some who profess to be servants of Christ have so long cherished the demon of unkindness that they seem to love the unhallowed element and to take pleasure in speaking words that displease and irritate. These men must be converted before Christ will acknowledge them as His children. SL 16.1

Meekness is the inward adorning, which God estimates as of great price. The apostle speaks of this as more excellent and valuable than gold or pearls or costly array. While the outward adorning beautifies only the mortal body, the ornament of meekness adorns the soul and connects finite man with the infinite God. This is the ornament of God's own choice. He who garnished the heavens with the orbs of light has by the same Spirit promised that “he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4). Angels of heaven will register as best adorned those who put on the Lord Jesus Christ and walk with Him in meekness and lowliness of mind. SL 16.2

There are high attainments for the Christian. He may ever be rising to higher attainments. John had an elevated idea of the privilege of a Christian. He says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). It is not possible for humanity to rise to a higher dignity than is here implied. To man is granted the privilege of becoming an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. To those who have been thus exalted, are unfolded the unsearchable riches of Christ, which are of a thousandfold more value than the wealth of the world. Thus, through the merits of Jesus Christ, finite man is elevated to fellowship with God and with His dear Son. SL 16.3

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Ellen G. White
The Sanctified Life, 75

While John was contemplating the scenes of Horeb, the Spirit of Him who sanctified the seventh day came upon him. He contemplated the sin of Adam in transgressing the divine law, and the fearful result of that transgression. The infinite love of God, in giving His Son to redeem a lost race, seemed too great for language to express. As he presents it in his epistle he calls upon the church and the world to behold it. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1). It was a mystery to John that God could give His Son to die for rebellious man. And he was lost in amazement that the plan of salvation, devised at such a cost to Heaven, should be refused by those for whom the infinite sacrifice had been made. SL 75.1

John was shut in with God. As he learned more of the divine character through the works of creation, his reverence for God increased. He often asked himself, Why do not men, who are wholly dependent upon God, seek to be at peace with Him by willing obedience? He is infinite in wisdom, and there is no limit to His power. He controls the heavens with their numberless worlds. He preserves in perfect harmony the grandeur and beauty of the things which He has created. Sin is the transgression of God's law, and the penalty of sin is death. There would have been no discord in heaven or in the earth if sin had never entered. Disobedience to God's law has brought all the misery that has existed among His creatures. Why will not men be reconciled to God? SL 75.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 156

It is true that the law of God reveals the love of God when it is preached as the truth in Jesus, for the gift of Christ to this guilty world must be largely dwelt upon in every discourse. It is no wonder that hearts have not been melted by the truth, when it has been presented in a cold and lifeless manner. No wonder faith has staggered at the promises of God, when ministers and workers have failed to present Jesus in His relation to the law of God. How often should they have assured the people that “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?” (Romans 8:32). 1SM 156.1

Satan is determined that men shall not see the love of God which led Him to give His only-begotten Son to save a lost race; for it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. O how shall we succeed in setting forth before the world the deep, precious love of God? In no other way we can compass it except by exclaiming, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). Let us say to sinners, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). By presenting Jesus as the representative of the Father, we shall be able to dispel the shadow that Satan has cast upon our pathway, in order that we shall not see the mercy and inexpressible love of God as manifested in Jesus Christ. Look at the cross of Calvary. It is a standing pledge of the boundless love, the measureless mercy of the heavenly Father.—Manuscript 154, 1897. 1SM 156.2

Christ, the Great Teacher, had an infinite variety of subjects from which to choose, but the one upon which He dwelt most largely was the endowment of the Holy Spirit. What great things He predicted for the church because of this endowment. Yet what subject is less dwelt upon now? What promise is less fulfilled? An occasional discourse is given upon the Holy Spirit, and then the subject is left for after consideration.—Manuscript 20, 1891. 1SM 156.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 183-4

If you differ with your brethren as to your understanding of the grace of Christ and the operations of His Spirit, you should not make these differences prominent. You view the matter from one point; another, just as devoted to God, views the same question from another point, and speaks of the things that make the deepest impression on his mind; another viewing it from a still different point, presents another phase; and how foolish it is to get into contention over these things, when there is really nothing to contend about. Let God work on the mind and impress the heart. 1SM 183.1

The Lord is constantly at work to open the understanding, to quicken the perceptions, that man may have a right sense of sin and of the far-reaching claims of God's law. The unconverted man thinks of God as unloving, as severe, and even revengeful; His presence is thought to be a constant restraint, His character an expression of “Thou shalt not.” His service is regarded as full of gloom and hard requirements. But when Jesus is seen upon the cross, as the gift of God because He loved man, the eyes are opened to see things in a new light. God as revealed in Christ is not a severe judge, an avenging tyrant, but a merciful and loving Father. 1SM 183.2

As we see Jesus dying upon the cross to save lost man, the heart echoes the words of John, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1). There is nothing that more decidedly distinguishes the Christian from the worldly man than the estimate he has of God. 1SM 183.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 234

In the contemplation of this great theme of salvation we see Christ's work. Not only the promised gift of the Spirit, but also the nature and character of this sacrifice and intervention are subjects which should create in our hearts elevated, sacred, high ideas of the law of God, which holds its claims upon every human agency. The violation of that law in the small act of eating of the forbidden fruit, brought upon man and upon the earth the consequence of disobedience to the holy law of God. The nature of the intervention should ever make man afraid to do the smallest action in disobedience to God's requirement. 1SM 234.1

There should be a clear understanding of that which constitutes sin, and we should avoid the least approach to step over the boundaries from obedience to disobedience. 1SM 234.2

God would have every member of His creation understand the great work of the infinite Son of God in giving His life for the salvation of the world. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1). 1SM 234.3

When he sees in Christ the embodiment of infinite and disinterested love and benevolence, there is awakened in the heart of the sinner a thankful disposition to follow where Christ is drawing.—Manuscript 87, 1900. 1SM 234.4

“The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). In this scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 1SM 234.5

An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord's message through Brethren [E.J.] Waggoner and [A.T.] Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world. 1SM 234.6

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 243-4

The apostle Paul says: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man [as the representative of the human race], he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:5-10). 1SM 243.1

The humiliation of the man Christ Jesus is incomprehensible to the human mind; but His divinity and His existence before the world was formed can never be doubted by those who believe the Word of God. The apostle Paul speaks of our Mediator, the only-begotten Son of God, who in a state of glory was in the form of God, the Commander of all the heavenly hosts, and who, when He clothed His divinity with humanity, took upon Him the form of a servant. Isaiah declares: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Isaiah 9:6, 7). 1SM 243.2

In consenting to become man, Christ manifested a humility that is the marvel of the heavenly intelligences. The act of consenting to be a man would be no humiliation were it not for the fact of Christ's exalted pre-existence. We must open our understanding to realize that Christ laid aside His royal robe, His kingly crown, His high command, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might meet man where he was, and bring to the human family moral power to become the sons and daughters of God. To redeem man, Christ became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 1SM 243.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 258

The world's Redeemer possessed the power to draw men to Himself, to quiet their fears, to dispel their gloom, to inspire them with hope and courage, to enable them to believe in the willingness of God to receive them through the merits of the divine Substitute. As subjects of the love of God we ever should be grateful that we have a mediator, an advocate, an intercessor in the heavenly courts, who pleads in our behalf before the Father. 1SM 258.1

We have everything we could ask to inspire us with faith and trust in God. In earthly courts, when a king would make his greatest pledge to assure men of his truth, he gives his child as a hostage, to be redeemed on the fulfillment of his promise; and behold what a pledge of the Father's faithfulness; for when He would assure men of the immutability of His council, He gave His only-begotten Son to come to earth, to take the nature of man, not only for the brief years of life, but to retain his nature in the heavenly courts, an everlasting pledge of the faithfulness of God. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and love of God! “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). 1SM 258.2

Through faith in Christ we become members of the royal family, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. In Christ we are one. As we come in sight of Calvary, and view the royal Sufferer who in man's nature bore the curse of the law in his behalf, all national distinctions, all sectarian differences are obliterated; all honor of rank, all pride of caste is lost. 1SM 258.3

The light shining from the throne of God upon the cross of Calvary forever puts an end to man-made separations between class and race. Men of every class become members of one family, children of the heavenly King, not through earthly power, but through the love of God who gave Jesus to a life of poverty, affliction, and humiliation, to a death of shame and agony, that He might bring many sons and daughters unto glory. 1SM 258.4

It is not the position, not the finite wisdom, not the qualifications, not the endowments of any person that makes him rank high in the esteem of God. The intellect, the reason, the talents of men, are the gifts of God to be employed to His glory, for the upbuilding of His eternal kingdom. It is the spiritual and moral character that is of value in the sight of Heaven, and that will survive the grave and be made glorious with immortality for the endless ages of eternity. Worldly royalty so highly honored by men will never come forth from the sepulcher into which it enters. Riches, honor, the wisdom of men that have served the purposes of the enemy, can bring to their possessors no inheritance, no honor, no position of trust in the world which is to come. Only those who have appreciated the grace of Christ, which has made them heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, will rise from the grave bearing the image of their Redeemer. 1SM 258.5

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 385

Look at the cross of Calvary. It is a standing pledge of the boundless love, the measureless mercy, of the heavenly Father. O that all might repent and do their first works. When the churches do this, they will love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves. Ephraim will not envy Judah, and Judah will not vex Ephraim. Divisions will then be healed, the harsh sounds of strife will no more be heard in the borders of Israel. Through the grace freely given them of God, all will seek to answer the prayer of Christ, that His disciples should be one, even as He and the Father are one. Peace, love, mercy, and benevolence will be the abiding principles of the soul. The love of Christ will be the theme of every tongue, and it will no more be said by the True Witness, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4). The people of God will be abiding in Christ, the love of Jesus will be revealed, and one Spirit will animate all hearts, regenerating and renewing all in the image of Christ, fashioning all hearts alike. As living branches of the True Vine, all will be united to Christ, the living head. Christ will abide in every heart, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, and presenting to the world the unity of the followers of Jesus, thus bearing testimony that the heavenly credentials are supplied to the remnant church. In the oneness of Christ's church it will be proved that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world. 1SM 385.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 367

Brethren and sisters, I appeal to you as Seventh-day Adventists to be all that this name signifies. There is danger of departing from the spirit of the message.… 2SM 367.1

The people of God are not to be guided by the opinions or practices of the world. Hear what the Saviour said to His disciples, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17). “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1). 2SM 367.2

The Word of God plainly declares that His law is to be scorned, trampled upon, by the world; there will be an extraordinary prevalence of iniquity. The professed Protestant world will form a confederacy with the man of sin, and the church and the world will be in corrupt harmony. 2SM 367.3

Here the great crisis is coming upon the world. The Scriptures teach that popery is to regain its lost supremacy, and that the fires of persecution will be rekindled through the time-serving concessions of the so-called Protestant world. In this time of peril we can stand only as we have the truth and the power of God. Men can know the truth only by being themselves partakers of the divine nature. We have need now for more than human wisdom in reading and searching the Scriptures; and if we come to God's Word with humble hearts, He will raise up a standard for us against the lawless element. 2SM 367.4

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 110.3

Reformation History Presented in Vision—The banner of the ruler of the synagogue of Satan was lifted high, and error apparently marched in triumph, and the reformers, through the grace given them of God, waged a successful warfare against the hosts of darkness. Events in the history of the reformers have been presented before me. I know that the Lord Jesus and His angels have with intense interest watched the battle against the power of Satan, who combined his hosts with evil men, for the purpose of extinguishing the divine light, the fire of God's kingdom. They suffered for Christ's sake scorn, derision, and the hatred of men who knew not God. They were maligned and persecuted even unto death, because they would not renounce their faith.—Letter 48, 1894. 3SM 110.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 428.3

There stood revealed the throne of God. Around it were ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands upon thousands, and close about the throne were the martyrs. Among this number I saw the very ones who were so recently in such abject misery, whom the world knew not, whom the world hated and despised. 3SM 428.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1110

God would have every member of His creation understand the great work of the infinite Son of God in giving His life for the salvation of the world. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” 6BC 1110.1

When he sees in Christ the embodiment of infinite and disinterested love and benevolence, there is awakened in the heart of the sinner a thankful disposition to follow where Christ is drawing (Manuscript 87, 1900). 6BC 1110.2

Especially the Moral Law—“The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” In this scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ, and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.... 6BC 1110.3

The law of ten commandments is not to be looked upon as much from the prohibitory side as from the mercy side. Its prohibitions are the sure guarantee of happiness in obedience. As received in Christ, it works in us the purity of character that will bring joy to us through eternal ages. To the obedient it is a wall of protection. We behold in it the goodness of God, who by revealing to men the immutable principles of righteousness seeks to shield them from the evils that result from transgression. 6BC 1110.4

We are not to regard God as waiting to punish the sinner for his sin. The sinner brings the punishment upon himself. His own actions start a train of circumstances that bring the sure result. Every act of transgression reacts upon the sinner, works in him a change of character, and makes it more easy for him to transgress again. By choosing to sin, men separate themselves from God, cut themselves off from the channel of blessing, and the sure result is ruin and death. 6BC 1110.5

The law is an expression of God's idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin (Manuscript 23a, 1896). 6BC 1110.6

The Relation of the Two Laws—It is not so essential to understand the precise particulars in regard to the relation of the two laws. It is of far greater consequence that we know whether we are transgressing the law of God, whether we stand in obedience or disobedience before the holy precepts (Letter 165, 1901). 6BC 1110.7

24-26 (ch. 6:14; 1 John 3:4). Christ the Only Remedy—When the mind is drawn to the cross of Calvary, Christ by imperfect sight is discerned on the shameful cross. Why did He die? In consequence of sin. What is sin? The transgression of the law. Then the eyes are open to see the character of sin. The law is broken but cannot pardon the transgressor. It is our schoolmaster, condemning to punishment. Where is the remedy? The law drives us to Christ, who was hanged upon the cross that He might be able to impart His righteousness to fallen, sinful man and thus present men to His Father in His righteous character (Manuscript 50, 1900). 6BC 1110.8

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 950

The greater man's influence for good, under the control of the Spirit of God, the more determined will be the enemy to indulge his envy and jealousy toward him by religious persecution. But all heaven is on the side of Christ, not of Antichrist. Those who love God and are willing to be partakers with Christ in His sufferings, God will honor. Antichrist, meaning all who exalt themselves against the will and work of God, will at the appointed time feel the wrath of Him who gave Himself that they might not perish but have eternal life. All who persevere in obedience, all who will not sell their souls for money or for the favor of men, God will register in the book of life (Manuscript 9, 1900). 7BC 950.1

(Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:20.) Human Reason vs. God's Wisdom—Many exalt human reason, idolize human wisdom, and set the opinions of men above the revealed wisdom of God. This affords opportunity for the working of Satan, and the spirit of Antichrist is far more widespread than any of us imagine.... 7BC 950.2

The maxims of the world, that know not God, have been worked into the theories of the church. In the eyes of men, vain philosophy and science, falsely so-called, are of more value than the Word of God. The sentiment prevails to a large extent that the divine Mediator is not essential to the salvation of man. A variety of theories advanced by the so-called worldly-wise men for man's elevation, are believed and trusted in more than is the truth of God, as taught by Christ and His apostles. 7BC 950.3

The lying spirit that enticed Eve in Eden, finds acceptance with the majority of earth's inhabitants today. Even the Christian world refuses to be converted by the Spirit of God, but listens to the prince of darkness, as he comes to them in the garb of an angel of light. The spirit of Antichrist is prevailing in the world to a far greater extent than it has ever prevailed before. 7BC 950.4

The day of test and purification is just upon us. Signs of a most startling character appear, in floods, in hurricanes, in tornadoes, in cloudbursts, in casualties by land and by sea, that proclaim the approach of the end of all things. The judgments of God are falling on the world, that men may be awakened to the fact that Christ will come speedily (The Review and Herald, November 8, 1892). 7BC 950.5

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Ellen G. White
Steps to Christ, 15

The price paid for our redemption, the infinite sacrifice of our heavenly Father in giving His Son to die for us, should give us exalted conceptions of what we may become through Christ. As the inspired apostle John beheld the height, the depth, the breadth of the Father's love toward the perishing race, he was filled with adoration and reverence; and, failing to find suitable language in which to express the greatness and tenderness of this love, he called upon the world to behold it. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1. What a value this places upon man! Through transgression the sons of man become subjects of Satan. Through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ the sons of Adam may become the sons of God. By assuming human nature, Christ elevates humanity. Fallen men are placed where, through connection with Christ, they may indeed become worthy of the name “sons of God.” SC 15.1

Such love is without a parallel. Children of the heavenly King! Precious promise! Theme for the most profound meditation! The matchless love of God for a world that did not love Him! The thought has a subduing power upon the soul and brings the mind into captivity to the will of God. The more we study the divine character in the light of the cross, the more we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice, and the more clearly we discern innumerable evidences of a love that is infinite and a tender pity surpassing a mother's yearning sympathy for her wayward child. SC 15.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 284

“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.... Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.” 1T 284.1

1 John 3:1: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” 1T 284.2

1 John 2:15-17: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” 1T 284.3

2 Peter 2:20: “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” 1T 284.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 124

Watch, brethren, the first dimming of your light, the first neglect of prayer, the first symptom of spiritual slumber. “He that endureth to the end shall be saved.” It is by the constant exercise of faith and love that believers are made to shine as lights in the world. You are making but poor preparation for the Master's coming if you are serving mammon while professedly serving God. When He appears, you must then present to Him the talents that you have buried in the earth, talents neglected, abused, misused—a divided love. 4T 124.1

Both of you have professed to be servants of Christ. How necessary that you should obey your Master's directions and be faithful to your duties. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” This love is without a parallel, giving to men the relationship of sons to God. Therefore the Father expects obedience from His children; therefore He requires a right disposition of the property He has placed in their hands. It is not their own to use for their personal gratification; but it is the capital of the Lord, for which they are responsible to Him. 4T 124.2

Children of the Lord, how precious is the promise! How full the atonement of the Saviour for our guilt! The Redeemer, with a heart of unalterable love, still pleads His sacred blood in the sinner's behalf. The wounded hands, the pierced side, the marred feet, plead eloquently for fallen man, whose redemption is purchased at such an infinite cost. Oh, matchless condescension! Neither time nor events can lessen the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice. As the fragrant cloud of incense rose acceptably to heaven, and Aaron sprinkled the blood upon the mercy seat of ancient Israel and cleansed the people from guilt, so the merits of the slain Lamb are accepted by God today as a purifier from the defilement of sin. 4T 124.3

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” There are stern battles for you to fight. You should put on the whole armor of righteousness and prove yourselves strong and true in your Redeemer's service. God wants no idlers in His field, but colaborers with Christ, vigilant sentinels at their posts, valiant soldiers of the cross, ready to do and dare all things for the cause in which they are enlisted. 4T 124.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 296

I was very anxious to attend the camp meeting in California, but there were urgent calls for me to attend the Eastern camp meetings. As the condition of things in the East had been presented before me, I knew that I had a testimony to bear especially to our brethren in the New England Conference, and I could not feel at liberty to remain longer in California. 4T 296.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 461-2

Religious privileges have been too much neglected by those employed in the offices. None should engage in the work of God who treat these privileges with indifference; for all such connect with evil angels and are a cloud of darkness, a hindrance to others. In order to make the work a success, every department in the offices must have the presence of heavenly angels. When the Spirit of God shall work upon the heart, cleansing the soul-temple of its defilement of worldliness and pleasure-loving, all will be seen in the prayer meeting, faithful to do their duty and earnest and anxious to reap all the benefit they can gain. The faithful worker for the Master will improve every opportunity to place himself directly under the rays of light from the throne of God, and this light will be reflected upon others. 4T 461.1

And not only should the prayer meeting be faithfully attended, but as often as once each week a praise meeting should be held. Here the goodness and manifold mercies of God should be dwelt upon. Were we as free to give expression to our thankfulness for mercies received as we are to speak of grievances, doubts, and unbelief, we might bring joy to the hearts of others, instead of casting discouragement and gloom upon them. The complainers and murmurers, who are ever seeing the discouragements in the way, and talking of trials and hardships, should contemplate the infinite sacrifice which Christ has made in their behalf. Then can they estimate all their blessings in the light of the cross. While looking upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, whom our sins have pierced and our sorrows have burdened, we shall see cause for gratitude and praise, and our thoughts and desires will be brought into submission to the will of Christ. 4T 461.2

In the gracious blessings which our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us we may discern innumerable evidences of a love that is infinite, and a tender pity surpassing a mother's yearning sympathy for her wayward child. When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. In the language of John we exclaim: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God and God to man. Matchless mercy reveals to us a Father, infinite, dwelling in light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son. The cloud of vengeance which threatened only misery and despair, in the reflected light from the cross reveals the writing of God: Live, sinner, live! ye penitent and believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom. 4T 461.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 563

Jesus, heaven's great Commander, left the royal courts to come to a world seared and marred by the curse. He took upon Himself our nature, that with His human arm He might encircle the race, while with His divine arm He grasps Omnipotence, and thus links finite man to the infinite God. Our Redeemer came to the world to show how man should live in order to secure immortal life. Our heavenly Father made an infinite sacrifice in giving His Son to die for fallen man. The price paid for our redemption should give us exalted views of what we may become through Christ. 4T 563.1

As John beholds the height, the depth, and the breadth of the Father's love toward our perishing race, he is filled with admiration and reverence. He cannot find suitable language to express this love, but he calls upon the world to behold it: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” What a value this places upon man! Through transgression the sons of men became subjects of Satan. Through the infinite sacrifice of Christ, and faith in His name, the sons of Adam become the sons of God. By assuming human nature, Christ elevates humanity. Fallen men are granted another trial and are placed where, through connection with Christ, they may educate, improve, and elevate themselves, that they may indeed become worthy of the name sons of God.” 4T 563.2

Such love is without a parallel. Jesus requires that those who have been bought by the price of His own life shall make the best use of the talents which He has given them. They are to increase in the knowledge of the divine will, and constantly improve in intellect and morals, until they shall attain to a perfection of character but little lower than that of the angels. 4T 563.3

If those who profess to believe present truth were indeed representatives of the truth, living up to all the light which shines upon their pathway, they would constantly exert upon others an influence for good, thus leaving a bright track heavenward for all who are brought in contact with them. But a lack of faithfulness and integrity among its professed friends is a serious hindrance to the prosperity of God's cause. Satan works through men who are under his control. The sanitarium, the church, and other institutions at Battle Creek have less to fear from the infidel and the open blasphemer than from inconsistent professors of Christ. These are the Achans in the camp, who bring shame and defeat. These are the ones who keep back the blessing of God and dishearten the zealous, self-denying workers in the cause of Christ. 4T 563.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 316

What a theme for meditation is the sacrifice that Jesus made for lost sinners! “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” How shall we estimate the blessings thus brought within our reach? Could Jesus have suffered more? Could He have purchased for us richer blessings? Should it not melt the hardest heart when we remember that for our sakes He left the happiness and glory of heaven and suffered poverty and shame, cruel affliction and a terrible death? Had He not by His death and resurrection opened for us the door of hope, we should have known nothing but the horrors of darkness and the miseries of despair. In our present state, favored and blessed as we are, we cannot realize from what depths we have been rescued. We cannot measure how much deeper our afflictions would have been, how much greater our woes, had not Jesus encircled us with His human arm of sympathy and love, and lifted us up. 5T 316.1

We may rejoice in hope. Our Advocate is in the heavenly sanctuary, pleading in our behalf. Through His merits we have pardon and peace. He died that He might wash away our sins, clothe us with His righteousness, and fit us for the society of heaven, where we may dwell in light forever. Dear brother, dear sister, when Satan would fill your mind with despondency, gloom, and doubt, resist his suggestions. Tell him of the blood of Jesus, that cleanses from all sin. You cannot save yourself from the tempter's power, but he trembles and flees when the merits of that precious blood are urged. Then will you not gratefully accept the blessings Jesus bestows? Will you not take the cup of salvation that He presents, and call on the name of the Lord? Do not show distrust of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Do not for a moment pain the heart of the pitying Saviour by your unbelief. He watches with the most intense interest your progress in the heavenly way; He sees your earnest efforts; He notes your declensions and your recoveries, your hopes and your fears, your conflicts and your victories. 5T 316.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 439

Blessed is he who heeds the words of eternal life. Guided by “the Spirit of truth,” he will be led into all truth. He will not be loved, honored, and praised by the world; but he will be precious in the sight of heaven. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” 5T 439.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 739

When Philip came to Jesus with the request, “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,” the Saviour answered him: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” Christ declares Himself to be sent into the world as a representative of the Father. In His nobility of character, in His mercy and tender pity, in His love and goodness, He stands before us as the embodiment of divine perfection, the image of the invisible God. 5T 739.1

Says the apostle: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” Only as we contemplate the great plan of redemption can we have a just appreciation of the character of God. The work of creation was a manifestation of His love; but the gift of God to save the guilty and ruined race, alone reveals the infinite depths of divine tenderness and compassion. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” While the law of God is maintained, and its justice vindicated, the sinner can be pardoned. The dearest gift that heaven itself had to bestow has been poured out that God “might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” By that gift men are uplifted from the ruin and degradation of sin to become children of God. Says Paul: “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” 5T 739.2

Brethren, with the beloved John I call upon you to “behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” What love, what matchless love, that, sinners and aliens as we are, we may be brought back to God and adopted into His family! We may address Him by the endearing name, “Our Father,” which is a sign of our affection for Him and a pledge of His tender regard and relationship to us. And the Son of God, beholding the heirs of grace, “is not ashamed to call them brethren.” They have even a more sacred relationship to God than have the angels who have never fallen. 5T 739.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 744

Through the merits of Christ, through His righteousness, which by faith is imputed unto us, we are to attain to the perfection of Christian character. Our daily and hourly work is set forth in the words of the apostle: “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.” While doing this our minds become clearer and our faith stronger, and our hope is confirmed; we are so engrossed with the view of His purity and loveliness, and the sacrifice He has made to bring us into agreement with God, that we have no disposition to speak of doubts and discouragements. 5T 744.1

The manifestation of God's love, His mercy and His goodness, and the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart to enlighten and renew it, place us, through faith, in so close connection with Christ that, having a clear conception of His character, we are able to discern the masterly deceptions of Satan. Looking unto Jesus and trusting in His merits we appropriate the blessings of light, of peace, of joy in the Holy Ghost. And in view of the great things which Christ has done for us, we are ready to exclaim: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 5T 744.2

Brethren and sisters, it is by beholding that we become changed. By dwelling upon the love of God and our Saviour, by contemplating the perfection of the divine character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by faith, we are to be transformed into the same image. Then let us not gather together all the unpleasant pictures—the iniquities and corruptions and disappointments, the evidences of Satan's power—to hang in the halls of our memory, to talk over and mourn over until our souls are filled with discouragement. A discouraged soul is a body of darkness, not only failing himself to receive the light of God, but shutting it away from others. Satan loves to see the effect of the pictures of his triumphs, making human beings faithless and disheartened. 5T 744.3

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