For God so loved the world - Such a love as that which induced God to give his only begotten son to die for the world could not be described: Jesus Christ does not attempt it. He has put an eternity of meaning in the particle οὑτω, so, and left a subject for everlasting contemplation, wonder, and praise, to angels and to men. The same evangelist uses a similar mode of expression, 1 John 3:1; : Behold, What Manner of love, ποταπην αγαπην, the Father hath bestowed upon us.
From the subject before him, let the reader attend to the following particulars.
Secondly, That God, through the impulse of his eternal love, provided for its rescue and salvation, by giving his Son to die for it.
Thirdly, That the sacrifice of Jesus was the only mean by which the redemption of man could be effected, and that it is absolutely sufficient to accomplish this gracious design: for it would have been inconsistent with the wisdom of God, to have appointed a sacrifice greater in itself, or less in its merit, than what the urgent necessities of the case required.
Fourthly, That sin must be an indescribable evil, when it required no less a sacrifice, to make atonement for it, than God manifested in the flesh.
Fifthly, That no man is saved through this sacrifice, but he that believes, i.e. who credits what God has spoken concerning Christ, his sacrifice, the end for which it was offered, and the way in which it is to be applied in order to become effectual.
Sixthly, That those who believe receive a double benefit:
2. They are brought to eternal glory - that they may have everlasting life. These two benefits point out tacitly the state of man: he is guilty, and therefore exposed to punishment: he is impure, and therefore unfit for glory.
They point out also the two grand operations of grace, by which the salvation of man is effected.
2. Sanctification, or the purification of his nature, by which he is properly fitted for the kingdom of glory.
For God so loved - This does not mean that God approved the conduct of men, but that he had benevolent feelings toward them, or was “earnestly desirous” of their happiness. God hates wickedness, but he still desires the Happiness of those who are sinful. “He hates the sin, but loves the sinner.” A parent may love his child and desire his welfare, and yet be strongly opposed to the conduct of that child. When we approve the conduct of another, this is the love of complacency; when we desire simply their happiness, this is the love of benevolence.
The world - All mankind. It does not mean any particular part of the world, but man as man - the race that had rebelled and that deserved to die. See John 6:33; John 17:21. His love for the world, or for all mankind, in giving his Son, was shown by these circumstances:
1.All the world was in ruin, and exposed to the wrath of God.
2.All people were in a hopeless condition.
3.God gave his Son. Man had no claim on him; it was a gift - an undeserved gift.
4.He gave him up to extreme sufferings, even the bitter pains of death on the cross.
That he gave - It was a free and unmerited gift. Man had no claim: and when there was no eye to pity or arm to save, it pleased God to give his Son into the hands of men to die in their stead, Galatians 1:4; Romans 8:32; Luke 22:19. It was the mere movement of love; the expression of eternal compassion, and of a desire, that sinners should not perish forever.
His only-begotten Son - See the notes at John 1:14. This is the highest expression of love of which we can conceive. A parent who should give up his only son to die for others who are guilty if this could or might be done - would show higher love than could be manifested in any other way. So it shows the depth of the love of God, that he was willing. to give his only Son into the hands of sinful men that he might be slain, and thus redeem them from eternal sorrow.
At this time of peril Nicodemus came forward in fearless avowal of his faith in the crucified Saviour. Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin and with others had been stirred by the teaching of Jesus. As he had witnessed Christ's wonderful works, the conviction had fastened itself upon his mind that this was the Sent of God. Too proud openly to acknowledge himself in sympathy with the Galilean Teacher, he had sought a secret interview. In this interview Jesus had unfolded to him the plan of salvation and His mission to the world, yet still Nicodemus had hesitated. He hid the truth in his heart, and for three years there was little apparent fruit. But while Nicodemus had not publicly acknowledged Christ, he had in the Sanhedrin council repeatedly thwarted the schemes of the priests to destroy Him. When at last Christ had been lifted up on the cross, Nicodemus remembered the words that He had spoken to him in the night interview on the Mount of Olives, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14); and he saw in Jesus the world's Redeemer. AA 104.1
With Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus had borne the expense of the burial of Jesus. The disciples had been afraid to show themselves openly as Christ's followers, but Nicodemus and Joseph had come boldly to their aid. The help of these rich and honored men was greatly needed in that hour of darkness. They had been able to do for their dead Master what it would have been impossible for the poor disciples to do; and their wealth and influence had protected them, in a great measure, from the malice of the priests and rulers. AA 104.2
Now, when the Jews were trying to destroy the infant church, Nicodemus came forward in its defense. No longer cautious and questioning, he encouraged the faith of the disciples and used his wealth in helping to sustain the church at Jerusalem and in advancing the work of the gospel. Those who in other days had paid him reverence, now scorned and persecuted him, and he became poor in this world's goods; yet he faltered not in the defense of his faith. AA 105.1Read in context »
This chapter is based on John 3:1-17.
Nicodemus held a high position of trust in the Jewish nation. He was highly educated, and possessed talents of no ordinary character, and he was an honored member of the national council. With others, he had been stirred by the teaching of Jesus. Though rich, learned, and honored, he had been strangely attracted by the humble Nazarene. The lessons that had fallen from the Saviour's lips had greatly impressed him, and he desired to learn more of these wonderful truths. DA 167.1Read in context »
The power to discriminate between right and wrong we can possess only through individual dependence upon God. Each for himself is to learn from Him through His word. Our reasoning powers were given us for use, and God desires them to be exercised. “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18), He invites us. In reliance upon Him we may have wisdom to “refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Isaiah 7:15; James 1:5. Ed 231.1
In all true teaching the personal element is essential. Christ in His teaching dealt with men individually. It was by personal contact and association that He trained the Twelve. It was in private, often to but one listener, that He gave His most precious instruction. To the honored rabbi at the night conference on the Mount of Olives, to the despised woman at the well of Sychar, He opened His richest treasures; for in these hearers He discerned the impressible heart, the open mind, the receptive spirit. Even the crowd that so often thronged His steps was not to Christ an indiscriminate mass of human beings. He spoke directly to every mind and appealed to every heart. He watched the faces of His hearers, marked the lighting up of the countenance, the quick, responsive glance, which told that truth had reached the soul; and there vibrated in His heart the answering chord of sympathetic joy. Ed 231.2Read in context »
16. Rescued From Error—“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” My words are in perfect harmony with the Old Testament Scriptures, and with the law spoken from Sinai. I am not preaching a new doctrine. I am presenting old truths rescued from the framework of error, and placed in a new setting (Manuscript 33, 1911). 5BC 1136.2
41, 50-52. Priests and Rulers Deceived—[John 7:51 quoted.] The lesson that Christ had given to Nicodemus had not been in vain. Conviction had fastened upon his mind, and in his heart he had accepted Jesus. Since his interview with the Saviour, he had earnestly searched the Old Testament Scriptures, and he had seen truth placed in the true setting of the gospel. 5BC 1136.3Read in context »
Nicodemus sought an interview with Jesus at night, saying, “Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him.” All this was true, as far as it went; but what said Jesus? He “answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Here was a man in a high position of trust, a man who was looked up to as one educated in Jewish customs, one whose mind was stored with wisdom. He was indeed in possession of talents of no ordinary character. He would not go to Jesus by day, for this would make him a subject of remark. It would be too humiliating for a ruler of the Jews to acknowledge himself in sympathy with the despised Nazarene. Nicodemus thinks, I will ascertain for myself the mission and claims of this Teacher, whether He is indeed the Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of Israel. TM 367.1
Jesus virtually says to Nicodemus: It is not controversy that will help your case: it is not arguments that will bring light to the soul. You must have a new heart, or you cannot discern the kingdom of heaven It is not greater evidence that will bring you into a right position, but new purposes, new springs of action. You must be born again. Until this change takes place, making all things new, the strongest evidences that could be presented would be useless. The want is in your own heart; everything must be changed, or you cannot see the kingdom of God. TM 368.1Read in context »
When men under conviction resist light, follow their own inclinations, and regard the favor of men above the favor of God, they do as did many in Christ's day.... 3SM 400.3Read in context »
Such a soul appropriates the Word of God to himself. He sees that the miracles, the self-denial, the self-sacrifice of Christ, His being lifted up on the cross, were for him. The language of the heart will be, “He died for me. He triumphed in death that I should not perish but believe in Him as my personal Saviour, and have that life which measures with the life of God. In the riches of His grace I am possessed of treasures that are as enduring as eternity.” TMK 216.3Read in context »
(2 Corinthians 5:19; Philippians 2:6.) Satan Uprooted From Affections of the Universe—In carrying out his enmity to Christ until He hung upon the cross of Calvary, with wounded, bruised body and broken heart, Satan completely uprooted himself from the affections of the universe. It was then seen that God had in His Son denied Himself, giving Himself for the sins of the world, because He loved mankind. The Creator was revealed in the Son of the infinite God. Here the question, “Can there be self-denial with God?” was forever answered. Christ was God, and condescending to be made flesh, He assumed humanity and became obedient unto death, that He might undergo infinite sacrifice (Manuscript 50, 1900). 7BC 974.1
(John 3:14-17; Galatians 6:14; Hebrews 9:22.) Accusing Power of Satan Broken—Christ on the cross, not only draws men to repentance toward God for the transgression of His law—for whom God pardons He first makes penitent—but Christ has satisfied justice; He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made. He suffered in the flesh that with His bruised and broken body He might cover the defenseless sinner. The victory gained at His death on Calvary broke forever the accusing power of Satan over the universe, and silenced his charges that self-denial was impossible with God and therefore not essential in the human family (Manuscript 50, 1900). 7BC 974.2
11 (Deuteronomy 33:25; see EGW on 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). Power to Conquer Day by Day—All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day (Manuscript 28, 1886). 7BC 974.3
The Secret of Overcoming Sin—We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept (Letter 236, 1908). 7BC 974.4
17 (ch. 14:9-12; see EGW on Isaiah 59:13-17). Satan's Masterpiece of Evil—Those who love and keep the commandments of God are most obnoxious to the synagogue of Satan, and the powers of evil will manifest their hatred toward them to the fullest extent possible. John foresaw the conflict between the remnant church and the power of evil, and said, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” 7BC 974.6
The forces of darkness will unite with human agents who have given themselves into the control of Satan, and the same scenes that were exhibited at the trial, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ will be revived. Through yielding to satanic influences, men will be transformed into fiends; and those who were created in the image of God, who were formed to honor and glorify their Creator, will become the habitation of dragons, and Satan will see in an apostate race his masterpiece of evil—men who reflect his own image (The Review and Herald, April 14, 1896). 7BC 974.7
Only Two Parties Upon Earth—There are only two parties upon this earth—those who stand under the bloodstained banner of Jesus Christ and those who stand under the black banner of rebellion. In the twelfth chapter of Revelation is represented the great conflict between the obedient and the disobedient [Revelation 12:17; 13:11-17 quoted] (Manuscript 16, 1900). 7BC 974.8
(Ephesians 6:10-12.) The Earth a Stage for Horrors—[Revelation 12:17 quoted.] Satanic agencies have made the earth a stage for horrors, which no language can describe. War and bloodshed are carried on by nations claiming to be Christian. A disregard for the law of God has brought its sure result. 7BC 974.9
The great conflict now being waged is not merely a strife of man against man. On one side stands the Prince of life, acting as man's substitute and surety; on the other, the prince of darkness, with the fallen angels under his command [Ephesians 6:12, 13, 10, 11 quoted] (The Review and Herald, February 6, 1900). 7BC 974.10Read in context »
Unless he makes it his life business to behold the uplifted Saviour, and by faith to accept the merits which it is his privilege to claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus. Now, it has been Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines. John's words are to be sounded by God's people, that all may discern the light and walk in the light: “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” TM 93.1Read in context »
When we have a promise that is so rich and so full as [John 3:14-19] ...I inquire, “What excuse have any of us for unbelief? What excuse have you to say, “I don't think the Lord hears my prayer; I wish I could believe I was a Christian, or I wish I could have the evidence that I was a child of God”? Feelings are very changeable, but here are the precious words of eternal life. TDG 223.2Read in context »
Tell the people in clear, hopeful language how they may escape the heritage of shame which is our deserved portion. But for Christ's sake do not present before them ideas that will discourage them, that will make the way to heaven seem very difficult. Keep all these overstrained ideas to yourself. 1SM 182.1
While we must often impress the mind with the fact that the Christian life is a life of warfare, that we must watch and pray and toil, that there is peril to the soul in relaxing the spiritual vigilance for one moment, the completeness of the salvation proffered us from Jesus who loves us and gave Himself that we should not perish but have everlasting life, is to be the theme. 1SM 182.2
Day by day we may walk with God, day by day following on to know the Lord, entering into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, laying hold on the hope set before us. If we reach heaven it must be by binding the soul to the Mediator, becoming partakers of the divine nature. Leaning on Christ, your life being hid with Christ in God and led by His Spirit, you have the genuine faith. 1SM 182.3Read in context »
Voluntarily our divine Substitute bared His soul to the sword of justice, that we might not perish but have everlasting life. Said Christ, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17, 18). No man of earth or angel of heaven could have paid the penalty for sin. Jesus was the only one who could save rebellious man. In Him divinity and humanity were combined, and this was what gave efficiency to the offering on Calvary's cross. At the cross mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other. 1SM 322.1
As the sinner looks upon the Saviour dying on Calvary, and realizes that the sufferer is divine, he asks why this great sacrifice was made, and the cross points to the holy law of God which has been transgressed. The death of Christ is an unanswerable argument as to the immutability and righteousness of the law. In prophesying of Christ, Isaiah says, “He will magnify the law, and make it honourable” (Isaiah 42:21). The law has no power to pardon the evildoer. Its office is to point out his defects, that he may realize his need of One who is mighty to save, his need of One who will become his substitute, his surety, his righteousness. Jesus meets the need of the sinner; for He has taken upon Him the sins of the transgressor. “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” (Isaiah 53:5). The Lord could have cut off the sinner, and utterly destroyed him; but the costlier plan was chosen. In His great love He provides hope for the hopeless, giving His only-begotten Son to bear the sins of the world. And since He has poured out all heaven in that one rich gift, He will withhold from man no needed aid that he may take the cup of salvation, and become an heir of God, joint heir with Christ. 1SM 323.1Read in context »
The consecrated messengers who in the early days of Christianity carried to a perishing world the glad tidings of salvation, allowed no thought of self-exaltation to mar their presentation of Christ and Him crucified. They coveted neither authority nor pre-eminence. Hiding self in the Saviour, they exalted the great plan of salvation, and the life of Christ, the Author and Finisher of this plan. Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever, was the burden of their teaching. AA 209.1
If those who today are teaching the word of God, would uplift the cross of Christ higher and still higher, their ministry would be far more successful. If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, they will realize the depth of God's compassion and the sinfulness of sin. AA 209.2
Christ's death proves God's great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father's love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved. AA 209.3Read in context »
“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But 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. AA 226.1
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken.” Isaiah 53:1-8. AA 226.2
Even the manner of His death had been shadowed forth. As the brazen serpent had been uplifted in the wilderness, so was the coming Redeemer to be lifted up, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. AA 226.3
“One shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends.” Zechariah 13:6. AA 226.4
“He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.” Isaiah 53:9, 10. AA 226.5Read in context »
It is the spirit of covetousness which leads men to keep for gratification of self means that rightfully belong to God, and this spirit is as abhorrent to Him now as when through His prophet He sternly rebuked His people, saying, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.” Malachi 3:8, 9. AA 339.1
The spirit of liberality is the spirit of heaven. This spirit finds its highest manifestation in Christ's sacrifice on the cross. In our behalf the Father gave His only-begotten Son; and Christ, having given up all that He had, then gave Himself, that man might be saved. The cross of Calvary should appeal to the benevolence of every follower of the Saviour. The principle there illustrated is to give, give. “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6. AA 339.2
On the other hand, the spirit of selfishness is the spirit of Satan. The principle illustrated in the lives of worldlings is to get, get. Thus they hope to secure happiness and ease, but the fruit of their sowing is misery and death. AA 339.3Read in context »
Christ had bidden the first disciples love one another as He had loved them. Thus they were to bear testimony to the world that Christ was formed within, the hope of glory. “A new commandment I give unto you,” He had said, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. At the time when these words were spoken, the disciples could not understand them; but after they had witnessed the sufferings of Christ, after His crucifixion and resurrection, and ascension to heaven, and after the Holy Spirit had rested on them at Pentecost, they had a clearer conception of the love of God and of the nature of that love which they must have for one another. Then John could say to his fellow disciples: AA 547.1
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” AA 547.2
After the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the disciples went forth to proclaim a living Saviour, their one desire was the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth's sake. In their daily association with one another, they revealed the love that Christ had enjoined upon them. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts. AA 547.3Read in context »
A Fitting Prayer for a Quick-tempered Husband—Do not allow the vexations of your business to bring darkness into your home life. If, when little things occur that are not exactly as you think they should be, you fail to reveal patience, long forbearance, kindness, and love, you show that you have not chosen as a companion Him who so loved you that He gave His life for you, that you might be one with Him. AH 214.1
In the daily life you will meet with sudden surprises, disappointments, and temptations. What saith the word? “Resist the devil,” by firm reliance upon God, “and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Look unto Jesus at all times and in all places, offering a silent prayer from a sincere heart that you may know how to do His will. Then when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. When you are almost ready to yield, to lose patience and self-control, to be hard and denunciatory, to find fault and accuse—this is the time for you to send to heaven the prayer, “Help me, O God, to resist temptation, to put all bitterness and wrath and evilspeaking out of my heart. Give me Thy meekness, Thy lowliness, Thy long-suffering, and Thy love. Leave me not to dishonor my Redeemer, to misinterpret the words and motives of my wife, my children, and my brethren and sisters in the faith. Help me that I may be kind, pitiful, tenderhearted, forgiving. Help me to be a real house-band in my home and to represent the character of Christ to others.”12 AH 214.2
Exercise Authority With Humility—It is no evidence of manliness in the husband for him to dwell constantly upon his position as head of the family. It does not increase respect for him to hear him quoting Scripture to sustain his claims to authority. It will not make him more manly to require his wife, the mother of his children, to act upon his plans as if they were infallible. The Lord has constituted the husband the head of the wife to be her protector; he is the house-band of the family, binding the members together, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Saviour of the mystical body. Let every husband who claims to love God carefully study the requirements of God in his position. Christ's authority is exercised in wisdom, in all kindness and gentleness; so let the husband exercise his power and imitate the great Head of the church.13 AH 215.1Read in context »
Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, the royal King of heaven, laid aside His royalty, left His throne of glory, His high command, and came into our world to bring to fallen man, weakened in moral power and corrupted by sin, aid divine.... AH 481.1
Parents should keep these things before their children and instruct them, line upon line, precept upon precept, in their obligation to God—not their obligation to each other, to honor and glorify one another by gifts and offerings.7 AH 481.2
Turn Thoughts of the Children Into a New Channel—There are many things which can be devised with taste and cost far less than the unnecessary presents that are so frequently bestowed upon our children and relatives, and thus courtesy can be shown and happiness brought into the home. AH 481.3Read in context »
Christ “came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1:11. The light of God shone into the darkness of the world, and “the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5. But not all were found indifferent to the gift of heaven. The merchantman in the parable represents a class who were sincerely desiring truth. In different nations there were earnest and thoughtful men who had sought in literature and science and the religions of the heathen world for that which they could receive as the soul's treasure. Among the Jews there were those who were seeking for that which they had not. Dissatisfied with a formal religion, they longed for that which was spiritual and uplifting. Christ's chosen disciples belonged to the latter class, Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch to the former. They had been longing and praying for light from heaven; and when Christ was revealed to them, they received Him with gladness. COL 116.1
In the parable the pearl is not represented as a gift. The merchantman bought it at the price of all that he had. Many question the meaning of this, since Christ is represented in the Scriptures as a gift. He is a gift, but only to those who give themselves, soul, body, and spirit, to Him without reserve. We are to give ourselves to Christ, to live a life of willing obedience to all His requirements. All that we are, all the talents and capabilities we possess, are the Lord's, to be consecrated to His service. When we thus give ourselves wholly to Him, Christ, with all the treasures of heaven, gives Himself to us. We obtain the pearl of great price. COL 116.2
Salvation is a free gift, and yet it is to be bought and sold. In the market of which divine mercy has the management, the precious pearl is represented as being bought without money and without price. In this market all may obtain the goods of heaven. The treasury of the jewels of truth is open to all. “Behold, I have set before thee an open door,” the Lord declares, “and no man can shut it.” No sword guards the way through this door. Voices from within and at the door say, Come. The Saviour's voice earnestly and lovingly invites us: “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” Revelation 3:8, 18. COL 116.3Read in context »
Then the glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the uttermost bounds of the inhabited world. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Believers were reconverted. Sinners united with Christians in seeking the pearl of great price. The prophecy was fulfilled, The weak shall be “as David,” and the house of David “as the angel of the Lord.” Zechariah 12:8. Every Christian saw in his brother the divine similitude of benevolence and love. One interest prevailed. One object swallowed up all others. All hearts beat in harmony. The only ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ's character, and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom. “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.... With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:32, 33. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:47. The Spirit of Christ animated the whole congregation; for they had found the pearl of great price. COL 120.1
These scenes are to be repeated, and with greater power. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the former rain, but the latter rain will be more abundant. The Spirit awaits our demand and reception. Christ is again to be revealed in His fulness by the Holy Spirit's power. Men will discern the value of the precious pearl, and with the apostle Paul they will say, “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Philippians 3:7, 8. COL 121.1Read in context »
In ancient times, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses with his meekness and wisdom, and Joshua with his varied capabilities, were all enlisted in God's service. The music of Miriam, the courage and piety of Deborah, the filial affection of Ruth, the obedience and faithfulness of Samuel, the stern fidelity of Elijah, the softening, subduing influence of Elisha—all were needed. So now all upon whom God's blessing has been bestowed are to respond by actual service; every gift is to be employed for the advancement of His kingdom and the glory of His name. COL 301.1
All who receive Christ as a personal Saviour are to demonstrate the truth of the gospel and its saving power upon the life. God makes no requirement without making provision for its fulfillment. Through the grace of Christ we may accomplish everything that God requires. All the riches of heaven are to be revealed through God's people. “Herein is My Father glorified,” Christ says, “that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.” John 15:8. COL 301.2
God claims the whole earth as His vineyard. Though now in the hands of the usurper, it belongs to God. By redemption no less than by creation it is His. For the world Christ's sacrifice was made. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16. It is through that one gift that every other is imparted to men. Daily the whole world receives blessing from God. Every drop of rain, every ray of light shed on our unthankful race, every leaf and flower and fruit, testifies to God's long forbearance and His great love. COL 301.3Read in context »
All these expect to be saved by Christ's death, while they refuse to live His self-sacrificing life. They extol the riches of free grace, and attempt to cover themselves with an appearance of righteousness, hoping to screen their defects of character; but their efforts will be of no avail in the day of God. COL 316.1
The righteousness of Christ will not cover one cherished sin. A man may be a law-breaker in heart; yet if he commits no outward act of transgression, he may be regarded by the world as possessing great integrity. But God's law looks into the secrets of the heart. Every act is judged by the motives that prompt it. Only that which is in accord with the principles of God's law will stand in the judgment. COL 316.2
God is love. He has shown that love in the gift of Christ. When “He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” He withheld nothing from His purchased possession. (John 3:16.) He gave all heaven, from which we may draw strength and efficiency, that we be not repulsed or overcome by our great adversary. But the love of God does not lead Him to excuse sin. He did not excuse it in Satan; He did not excuse it in Adam or in Cain; nor will He excuse it in any other of the children of men. He will not connive at our sins or overlook our defects of character. He expects us to overcome in His name. COL 316.3
Those who reject the gift of Christ's righteousness are rejecting the attributes of character which would constitute them the sons and daughters of God. They are rejecting that which alone could give them a fitness for a place at the marriage feast. COL 316.4Read in context »
But Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. A noble, all-round character is not inherited. It does not come to us by accident. A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against hereditary tendencies. We shall have to criticize ourselves closely, and allow not one unfavorable trait to remain uncorrected. COL 331.1
Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you can not overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of an unsanctified heart, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God. COL 331.2
Many whom God has qualified to do excellent work accomplish very little, because they attempt little. Thousands pass through life as if they had no definite object for which to live, no standard to reach. Such will obtain a reward proportionate to their works. COL 331.3Read in context »
When sinful man can discern the inexpressible love of God in giving His Son to die upon the cross, we shall better understand that it is infinite gain to overcome as Christ overcame. And we shall understand that it is eternal loss if we gain the whole world, with all its pleasure and glory, and yet lose the soul. Heaven is cheap enough at any cost. Con 78.1Read in context »
It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded upon the principle of restoring in the fallen race the divine image by a constant manifestation of benevolence. This work began in the heavenly courts. There God decided to give human beings unmistakable evidence of the love with which He regarded them. He “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. CH 222.1
The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man's uplifting. Here is love—the contemplation of which should fill the soul with inexpressible gratitude! Oh, what love, what matchless love! The contemplation of this love will cleanse the soul from all selfishness. It will lead the disciple to deny self, take up the cross, and follow the Redeemer. CH 222.2Read in context »
Workers are needed now. As a people, we are not doing one fiftieth of what we might do as active missionaries. If we were only vitalized by the Holy Spirit, there would be a hundred missionaries where there is now one. But where are the missionaries? Has not the truth for this time power to stir the souls of those who claim to believe it? When there is a call to labor, why should there be so many voices to say, “I pray thee, have me excused”? In this country the standard of truth is to be established and exalted. There is great need of workers, and there are many ways in which they can labor. There is work for those in the higher as well as in the more humble positions.... Individually all need a heart work. A good work cannot be done by the human agent alone. For the full development and efficiency of the intellectual as well as the spiritual powers, there is, there must be, a vital connection with God, a communion with the highest source of activity. Then with the soul all aglow with zeal for the Master, we can be a blessing to others. Jesus said, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14. Those who become partakers of the grace of Christ will guide others to the living stream. CH 507.1
Is it not a privilege to be thus copartners with Jesus? Is it not an honor to be connected with the grand work of saving souls, acting the part assigned us by our Saviour? And none can impart a blessing to others without receiving benefit himself. “He that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Proverbs 11:25. CH 508.1Read in context »
There is a great work of education to be carried on. The teachers should often pray for and with the children and youth, that they may “behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” They should teach the youth their accountability to God, and help them to understand what Jesus expects of them. Exert every influence you can possibly command to interest them in the Scriptures. Labor for their souls, that they themselves shall become zealous workers, using their talents to impart to others that which has been imparted to them.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 83. CSW 12.1
The Sabbath school should be a place where the jewels of truth are searched for and rescued from their environment of error, and placed in their true setting in the framework of the gospel. Precious gems of truth, long lost sight of, are now to be restored to the children of God. The themes of justification by faith, the righteousness of Christ, should be presented in our schools, that the youth and children may understand these important subjects, and teachers and scholars may know the way of salvation. Sacred and eternal principles connected with the plan of salvation have long been lost from sight, but they must be restored to their proper place in the plan of salvation, and made to appear in their heavenly light, and penetrate the moral darkness in which the world is enshrouded. CSW 12.2Read in context »
Parents and teachers should seek to impress the minds of the children from their earliest years with the importance of salvation. They should teach the children that God is their heavenly Father, that His love is expressed to them in the gift of His only-begotten Son, and that the Saviour of the world manifested His love toward them in coming to our world to die that we might live. If these lessons are presented in love and tenderness, they will leave a lasting impression upon the minds and hearts of the youth. As images and objects are reflected from the face of the mirror, when revealed by the sunlight, so these themes will be mirrored in the mind when illumined by the love of Christ.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 100, 101. CSW 107.1
How important are the lessons that may be given to the children and youth in unfolding the Scriptures in the simplicity of Christ. Let the teacher leave all his hard, high-sounding words at home, and take only the simplest words, that will be readily comprehended by the minds of the young. CSW 108.1Read in context »
Paul sought to uproot the plant of selfishness from the hearts of his brethren; for the character cannot be complete in Christ when self-love and covetousness are retained. The love of Christ in their hearts would lead them to help their brethren in their necessities. By pointing them to the sacrifice Christ had made in their behalf, he sought to arouse their love. CS 19.1
“I speak not by commandment,” he said, “but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” CS 19.2Read in context »
Oh, must Christ, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, bear the heavy cross, and wear the thorny crown, and drink the bitter cup, while we recline at ease, glorify ourselves, and forget the souls He died to redeem by His precious blood? No; let us give while we have the power. Let us do while we have the strength. Let us work while it is day. Let us devote our time and our means to the service of God, that we may have His approbation, and receive His reward.—The Review and Herald, October 17, 1882. CS 21.1
In this life our possessions are limited, but the great treasure that God offers in His gift to the world, is unlimited. It comprehends every human desire, and goes far beyond our human calculations. In the great day of final decision, when every man shall be judged according to his deeds, every voice of self-justification will be hushed; for it will be seen that in His gift to the human race the Father gave all He had to give, and that they are without excuse who have refused to accept the gracious offering. CS 21.2Read in context »
Is this the language of your heart? “I am wholly Thine, my Saviour; Thou hast paid the ransom for my soul, and all that I am or ever hope to be is Thine. Help me to acquire means, not to expend foolishly, not to indulge pride, but to use to Thine own name's glory.” CS 46.1
In all you do, let your thought be, “Is this the way of the Lord? Will this please my Saviour? He gave His life for me; what can I give back to God? I can only say, ‘Of Thine own, O lord, I freely give Thee.’” Unless the name of God is written in your forehead,—written there because God is the center of your thoughts,—you will not be meet for the inheritance in light. It is your Creator who has poured out to you all heaven in one wondrous gift,—His only-begotten Son.... CS 46.2Read in context »
All that we do is to be done willingly. We are to bring our offerings with joy and gratitude, saying as we present them, Of Thine own we freely give Thee. The most costly service we can render is but meager compared to the gift of God to our world. Christ is a gift every day. God gave Him to the world, and He graciously takes the gifts entrusted to His human agents for the advancement of His work in the world. Thus we show that we recognize and acknowledge that every thing belongs to God, absolutely and entirely.—Manuscript 124, 1898. CS 198.1
The offering from the heart that loves, God delights to honor, giving it highest efficiency in service for Him. If we have given our hearts to Jesus, we also shall bring our gifts to Him. Our gold and silver, our most precious earthly possessions, our highest mental and spiritual endowments, will be freely devoted to Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us.—The Desire of Ages, 65. CS 198.2Read in context »
Time is money, and many are wasting precious time which might be used in useful labor, working with their hands the thing that is good. The Lord will never say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” to the man who has not taxed the physical powers which have been lent him of God as precious talents by which to gather means, wherewith the needy may be supplied, and offerings may be made to God. CS 288.1
The rich are not to feel that they can be content in giving of their money merely. They have talents of ability, and they are to study to show themselves approved unto God, to be earnest spiritual agents in educating and training their children for fields of usefulness. Parents and children are not to regard themselves as their own, and feel that they can dispose of their time and property as shall please themselves. They are God's purchased possession, and the Lord calls for the profit of their physical powers, which are to be employed in bringing a revenue to the treasury of the Lord. CS 288.2Read in context »
In the days of Christ the established teachers instructed men in the traditions of the fathers, in childish fables, with which were mingled the opinions of those who were thought to be high authorities. Yet neither high nor low could find light or strength in their teaching. CT 29.1
Jesus spake as never man spake. He poured out to men the whole treasure of heaven in wisdom and knowledge. He had not come to utter uncertain sentiments and opinions, but to speak truth established on eternal principles. He could have made disclosures in the sciences that would have placed the discoveries of the greatest men in the background as utter littleness; but this was not His mission or His work. He had come to seek and to save the lost, and He would not permit Himself to be turned from His object. He revealed truths that had been buried under the rubbish of error, and He freed them from the exactions and traditions of men, and bade them stand fast forever. He rescued truth from its obscurity, and set it in its proper framework, that it might shine with its original luster. What wonder that crowds followed in the footsteps of the Lord and gave Him homage as they listened to His words! CT 29.2
Christ presented to men that which was entirely contrary to the representations of the enemy in regard to the character of God, and sought to impress upon men the love of the Father, who “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. He urged upon men the necessity of prayer, repentance, confession, and the abandonment of sin. He taught them honesty, forbearance, mercy, and compassion, enjoining upon them to love not only those who loved them, but those who hated them and treated them despitefully. In all this He was revealing to them the character of the Father, who is long-suffering, merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, and full of goodness and truth. CT 29.3Read in context »
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 338.1Read in context »
The Bible contains all that is needful for the saving of the soul, and at the same time it is adapted to strengthen and discipline the mind. Used as a textbook in our schools, it will be found far more effective than any other book in guiding wisely in the affairs of this life, as well as in aiding the soul to climb the ladder that reaches to heaven. The Bible gives the true seeker an advanced mental drill; he comes from the contemplation of divine things with his faculties enriched. Self is humbled, while God and His truth are exalted. It is because men are unacquainted with the truths of the Bible that there is so much lifting up of man and so little honor given to God. CT 448.1
In searching the pages of God's word, we move through scenes majestic and eternal. We behold Jesus, the Son of God, coming to our world and engaging in the mysterious conflict that discomfited the powers of darkness. How wonderful, how almost incredible, it is that the infinite God would consent to the humiliation of His only-begotten Son! Let students contemplate this great thought. They will not come from such contemplation without being elevated, purified, ennobled. CT 448.2Read in context »
The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan's deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world's dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2. DA 22.1
The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of “the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.” Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God's throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. DA 22.2
Lucifer had said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; ... I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14. But Christ, “being in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:6, 7, R. V., margin. DA 22.3
This was a voluntary sacrifice. Jesus might have remained at the Father's side. He might have retained the glory of heaven, and the homage of the angels. But He chose to give back the scepter into the Father's hands, and to step down from the throne of the universe, that He might bring light to the benighted, and life to the perishing. DA 22.4Read in context »
In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. But He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation. “Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8. As the high priest laid aside his gorgeous pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of the common priest, so Christ took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” Isaiah 53:5. DA 25.1
Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.” DA 25.2
By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.” John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder.” God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the “Son of man” who shares the throne of the universe. It is the “Son of man” whose name shall be called, “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. The I AM is the Daysman between God and humanity, laying His hand upon both. He who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” is not ashamed to call us brethren. Hebrews 7:26; 2:11. In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love. DA 25.3Read in context »
Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. DA 49.1
The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. “Herein is love.” Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! DA 49.2Read in context »
The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner. This gift was to be acknowledged in every household by the consecration of the first-born son. He was to be devoted to the priesthood, as a representative of Christ among men. DA 51.1
In the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the dedication of the first-born was again commanded. While the children of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians, the Lord directed Moses to go to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and say, “Thus saith the Lord, Israel is My son, even My first-born: and I say unto thee, Let My son go, that he may serve Me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy first-born.” Exodus 4:22, 23. DA 51.2
Moses delivered his message; but the proud king's answer was, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” Exodus 5:2. The Lord worked for His people by signs and wonders, sending terrible judgments upon Pharaoh. At length the destroying angel was bidden to slay the first-born of man and beast among the Egyptians. That the Israelites might be spared, they were directed to place upon their doorposts the blood of a slain lamb. Every house was to be marked, that when the angel came on his mission of death, he might pass over the homes of the Israelites. DA 51.3
After sending this judgment upon Egypt, the Lord said to Moses, “Sanctify unto Me all the first-born, ... both of man and of beast: it is Mine;” “for on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto Me all the first-born in Israel, both man and beast: Mine shall they be: I am the Lord.” Exodus 13:2; Numbers 3:13. After the tabernacle service was established, the Lord chose the tribe of Levi in the place of the first-born of all Israel to minister in the sanctuary. But the first-born were still to be regarded as the Lord's, and were to be bought back by a ransom. DA 51.4
Thus the law for the presentation of the first-born was made particularly significant. While it was a memorial of the Lord's wonderful deliverance of the children of Israel, it prefigured a greater deliverance, to be wrought out by the only-begotten Son of God. As the blood sprinkled on the doorposts had saved the first-born of Israel, so the blood of Christ has power to save the world. DA 51.5Read in context »
The unbelieving Jews refused to see any except the most literal meaning in the Saviour's words. By the ritual law they were forbidden to taste blood, and they now construed Christ's language into a sacrilegious speech, and disputed over it among themselves. Many even of the disciples said, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” DA 390.1
The Saviour answered them: “Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” DA 390.2
The life of Christ that gives life to the world is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God, as He had spoken through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ, and the Saviour desired to fix the faith of His followers on the word. When His visible presence should be withdrawn, the word must be their source of power. Like their Master, they were to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. DA 390.3
As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the word of God. And every soul is to receive life from God's word for himself. As we must eat for ourselves in order to receive nourishment, so we must receive the word for ourselves. We are not to obtain it merely through the medium of another's mind. We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know “what saith the Lord.” DA 390.4
In His promises and warnings, Jesus means me. God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that I by believing in Him, might not perish, but have everlasting life. The experiences related in God's word are to be my experiences. Prayer and promise, precept and warning, are mine. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. As faith thus receives and assimilates the principles of truth, they become a part of the being and the motive power of the life. The word of God, received into the soul, molds the thoughts, and enters into the development of character. DA 390.5Read in context »
There are Christians who think and speak altogether too much about the power of Satan. They think of their adversary, they pray about him, they talk about him, and he looms up greater and greater in their imagination. It is true that Satan is a powerful being; but, thank God, we have a mighty Saviour, who cast out the evil one from heaven. Satan is pleased when we magnify his power. Why not talk of Jesus? Why not magnify His power and His love? DA 493.1
The rainbow of promise encircling the throne on high is an everlasting testimony that “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. It testifies to the universe that God will never forsake His people in their struggle with evil. It is an assurance to us of strength and protection as long as the throne itself shall endure. DA 493.2
Jesus added, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Rejoice not in the possession of power, lest you lose sight of your dependence upon God. Be careful lest self-sufficiency come in, and you work in your own strength, rather than in the spirit and strength of your Master. Self is ever ready to take the credit if any measure of success attends the work. Self is flattered and exalted, and the impression is not made upon other minds that God is all and in all. The apostle Paul says, “When I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10. When we have a realization of our weakness, we learn to depend upon a power not inherent. Nothing can take so strong a hold on the heart as the abiding sense of our responsibility to God. Nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives of conduct as a sense of the pardoning love of Christ. We are to come in touch with God, then we shall be imbued with His Holy Spirit, that enables us to come in touch with our fellow men. Then rejoice that through Christ you have become connected with God, members of the heavenly family. While you look higher than yourself, you will have a continual sense of the weakness of humanity. The less you cherish self, the more distinct and full will be your comprehension of the excellence of your Saviour. The more closely you connect yourself with the source of light and power, the greater light will be shed upon you, and the greater power will be yours to work for God. Rejoice that you are one with God, one with Christ, and with the whole family of heaven. DA 493.3Read in context »
We should not come together to remain silent; those only are remembered of the Lord who assemble to speak of His honor and glory and tell of His power; upon such the blessing of God will rest, and they will be refreshed. If all moved as they should, no precious time would run to waste, and no reproofs would be needed for long prayers and exhortations; all the time would be occupied by short, pointed testimonies and prayers. Ask, believe, and receive. There is too much mocking the Lord, too much praying that is no praying and that wearies angels and displeases God, too many vain, unmeaning petitions. First we should feel needy, and then ask God for the very things we need, believing that He gives them to us, even while we ask; and then our faith will grow, all will be edified, the weak will be strengthened, and the discouraged and desponding made to look up and believe that God is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him. EW 115.1
Some hold back in meeting because they have nothing new to say and must repeat the same story if they speak. I saw that pride was at the bottom of this, that God and angels witnessed the testimonies of the saints and were well pleased and glorified by their being repeated weekly. The Lord loves simplicity and humility, but He is displeased and angels are grieved when professed heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus suffer precious time to run to waste in their meetings. EW 115.2
If the brethren and sisters were in the place they should be, they would not be at a loss to find something to say in honor of Jesus, who hung upon Calvary's cross for their sins. If they would cherish more of a realizing sense of the condescension of God in giving His only beloved Son to die a sacrifice for our sins and transgressions, and of the sufferings and anguish of Jesus to make a way of escape for guilty man, that he might receive pardon and live, they would be more ready to extol and magnify Jesus. They could not hold their peace, but with thankfulness and gratitude would talk of His glory and tell of His power. And blessings from God would rest upon them by so doing. Even if the same story were repeated, God would be glorified. The angel showed me those who ceased not day nor night to cry, “Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.” “Continued repetition,” said the angel, “yet God is glorified by it.” Although we may tell the same story over and over, it honors God, and shows that we are not unmindful of His goodness and mercies to us. EW 115.3Read in context »
Methods for Presenting the Temperance Message—The subject of temperance should be strongly and clearly presented. Let the people be shown what a blessing the practice of health principles will be to them. Let them see what God designed men and women to become. Point to the great sacrifice made for the uplifting and ennobling of the human race. With the Bible in hand, present the requirements of God. Tell the hearers that He expects them to use the powers of mind and body in a way that will honor Him. Show them how the enemy is trying to drag human beings down by leading them to indulge perverted appetite. Ev 530.1
Clearly, plainly, earnestly, tell them how thousands of men and women are using God's money to corrupt themselves and to make this world a hell. Millions of dollars are spent for that which makes men mad. Present this matter so clearly that its force cannot but be seen. Then tell your hearers of the Saviour, who came to this world to save men and women from all sinful practices. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Ev 530.2
Ask those who attend the meetings to help you in the work that you are trying to do. Show them how evil habits result in diseased bodies and diseased minds—in wretchedness that no pen can describe. The use of intoxicating liquor is robbing thousands of their reason. And yet the sale of this liquor is legalized. Tell them that they have a heaven to win and a hell to shun. Ask them to sign the pledge. The commission of the great I AM is to be your authority. Have the pledges prepared, and present them at the close of the meeting. Ev 530.3Read in context »
Medical missionaries who labor in evangelistic lines are doing a work of as high an order as are their ministerial fellow laborers. This kind of medical work, combined with ministerial work, is not to be limited to the poorer classes. The higher classes have been strangely passed by. In the higher walks of life will be found many who will respond to the truth because it is consistent, bearing the stamp of the high character of the gospel. Not a few men of ability will enter energetically into the work. Using their God-given talents, they will be producers, as well as consumers. Ev 546.1
The faithful physician and the minister are engaged in the same work. They should work in complete harmony. They are to counsel together. By their unity they will bear witness that God has sent His only-begotten Son into the world to save all who will believe in Him as their personal Saviour.—Manuscript 79, 1900. Ev 546.2
Spiritual Ministry of Physician—The work of the true medical missionary is largely a spiritual work. It includes prayer and the laying on of hands; he therefore should be as sacredly set apart for his work as is the minister of the gospel. Those who are selected to act the part of missionary physicians, are to be set apart as such. This will strengthen them against the temptation to withdraw from the sanitarium work to engage in private practice. No selfish motive should be allowed to draw the worker from his post of duty. We are living in a time of solemn responsibilities; a time when consecrated work is to be done. Let us seek the Lord diligently and understandingly.—Manuscript 5, 1908. Ev 546.3Read in context »
Positive Truth Versus Spiritualistic Representations—I am instructed to say, The sentiments of those who are searching for advanced scientific ideas are not to be trusted. Such representations as the following are made: “The Father is as the light invisible: the Son is as the light embodied; the Spirit is the light shed abroad.” “The Father is like the dew, invisible vapor; the Son is like the dew gathered in beauteous form; the Spirit is like the dew fallen to the seat of life.” Another representation: “The Father is like the invisible vapor; the Son is like the leaden cloud; the Spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power.” Ev 614.1
All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They weaken and diminish the Majesty which no earthly likeness can be compared to. God cannot be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things, suffering under the curse of God because of the sins of man. The Father cannot be described by the things of earth. The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight. Ev 614.2
The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be “the express image of His person.” “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Here is shown the personality of the Father. Ev 614.3Read in context »