Through faith also Sara - Her history, as far as the event here is concerned, may be seen Genesis 17:19, and Genesis 21:2. Sarah at first treated the Divine message with ridicule, judging it to be absolutely impossible, not knowing then that it was from God; and this her age and circumstances justified, for, humanly speaking, such an event was impossible: but, when she knew that it was God who said this, it does not appear that she doubted any more, but implicitly believed that what God had promised he was able to perform.
Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed - The word “herself” here - αὐτὴ autē- implies that there was something remarkable in the fact that “she” should manifest this faith. Perhaps there may be reference here to the incredulity with which she at first received the announcement that she should have a child; Genesis 18:11, Genesis 18:13. Even “her” strong incredulity was overcome, and though everything seemed to render what was announced impossible, and though she was so much disposed to laugh at the very suggestion at first, yet her unbelief was overcome, and she ultimately credited the divine promise. The apostle does not state the authority for his assertion that the strength of Sarah was derived from her faith, nor when particularly it was exercised. The argument seems to be, that here was a case where all human probabilities were against what was predicted, and where, therefore, there must have been simple trust in God. Nothing else but “faith” could have led her to believe that in her old age she would have borne a son. Because she judged him faithful who had promised - She had no other ground of confidence or expectation. All human probability was against the supposition that at her time of life she would be a mother.
Because she judged him faithful who had promised - She had no other ground of confidence or expectation. All human probability was against the supposition that at her time of life she would be a mother.
Those who would overcome must put to the tax every power of their being. They must agonize on their knees before God for divine power. Christ came to be our example, and to make known to us that we may be partakers of the divine nature. How?—By having escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Satan did not gain the victory over Christ. He did not put his foot upon the soul of the Redeemer. He did not touch the head though he bruised the heel. Christ, by His own example, made it evident that man may stand in integrity. Men may have a power to resist evil—a power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master; a power that will place them where they may overcome as Christ overcame. Divinity and humanity may be combined in them. 1SM 409.1
It was the work of Christ to present the truth in the framework of the gospel, and to reveal the precepts and principles that He had given to fallen man. Every idea He presented was His own. He needed not to borrow thoughts from any, for He was the originator of all truth. He could present the ideas of prophets and philosophers, and preserve His originality; for all wisdom was His; He was the source, the fountain, of all truth. He was in advance of all, and by His teaching He became the spiritual leader for all ages. 1SM 409.2
It was Christ that spoke through Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God. Melchizedek was not Christ, but he was the voice of God in the world, the representative of the Father. And all through the generations of the past, Christ has spoken; Christ has led His people, and has been the light of the world. When God chose Abraham as a representative of His truth, He took him out of his country, and away from his kindred, and set him apart. He desired to mold him after His own model. He desired to teach him according to His own plan. The mold of the world's teachers was not to be upon him. He was to be taught how to command his children and his household after him, to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. This is the work that God would have us do. He would have us understand how to govern our families, how to control our children, how to command our households to keep the way of the Lord. 1SM 409.3Read in context »
The Lord Jesus demands that every soul make a reality of truth. Show that you believe that you are not half with Christ and half with the world. Of all such Christ says: “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.” He who appreciates the love of Christ will be an earnest worker with Christ to bring other souls as sheaves to the Master. Thorough work is always done by all who are connected with Christ. They bear fruit to His glory. But indolence and carelessness and frivolity separate the soul from Christ, and Satan comes in to work his will with the poor worldly subject. We have a great truth, but through careless indifference the truth has lost its force upon us. Satan has come in with his specious temptations, and has led the professed followers of Christ away from their Leader, classing them with the foolish virgins. TM 130.1
The Lord is coming, and we now need the oil of grace in our vessels with our lamps. I ask, Who will now be on the Lord's side? Before Jesus went away, He promised that He would return again, and receive us unto Himself, “that where I am,” He said, “ye may be also.” We are strangers and pilgrims in this world. We are to wait, watch, pray, and work. The whole mind, the whole soul, the whole heart, and the whole strength are purchased by the blood of the Son of God. We are not to feel it our duty to wear a pilgrim's dress of just such a color, just such a shape, but neat, modest apparel, that the word of inspiration teaches us we should wear. If our hearts are united with Christ's heart, we shall have a most intense desire to be clothed with His righteousness. Nothing will be put upon the person to attract attention or to create controversy. TM 130.2Read in context »
But he was greeted with the joyful assurance: “Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.... And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” DA 98.1
Zacharias well knew how to Abraham in his old age a child was given because he believed Him faithful who had promised. But for a moment the aged priest turns his thought to the weakness of humanity. He forgets that what God has promised, He is able to perform. What a contrast between this unbelief and the sweet, childlike faith of Mary, the maiden of Nazareth, whose answer to the angel's wonderful announcement was, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word”! Luke 1:38. DA 98.2
The birth of a son to Zacharias, like the birth of the child of Abraham, and that of Mary, was to teach a great spiritual truth, a truth that we are slow to learn and ready to forget. In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul. It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness. DA 98.3
To the question of Zacharias, the angel said, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings.” Five hundred years before, Gabriel had made known to Daniel the prophetic period which was to extend to the coming of Christ. The knowledge that the end of this period was near had moved Zacharias to pray for the Messiah's advent. Now the very messenger through whom the prophecy was given had come to announce its fulfillment. DA 98.4Read in context »
If you confess your sins, believe they are pardoned, because the promise is positive. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Why, then, dishonor God by doubting His pardoning love? Having confessed your sins, believe that the word of God will not fail, but that He is faithful that hath promised. It is just as much your duty to believe that God will fulfill His word and forgive your sins as it is your duty to confess your sins. Your faith must be exercised in God as one who will do just as He has said He would do—pardon all your transgressions.... HP 126.5Read in context »