Shall we sin because we are not under the law - Shall we abuse our high and holy calling because we are not under that law which makes no provision for pardon, but are under that Gospel which has opened the fountain to wash away all sin and defilement? Shall we sin because grace abounds? Shall we do evil that good may come of it? This be far from us!
What then? shall we sin - The apostle proceeds to notice an objection which might be suggested. “If Christians are not under the law, which forbids all sin, but are under grace, which pardons sin, will it not follow that they will feel themselves released from obligation to be holy? Will they not commit sin freely, since the system of grace is one which contemplates pardon, and which will lead them to believe that they may be forgiven to any extent?” This Consequence has been drawn by many professing Christians; and it was well therefore, for the apostle to guard against it.
God forbid - Note, Romans 3:4.
It is the mingling of judgment and mercy that makes salvation full and complete. It is the blending of the two that leads us, as we view the world's Redeemer and the law of Jehovah, to exclaim, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” We know that the gospel is a perfect and complete system, revealing the immutability of the law of God. It inspires the heart with hope, and with love for God. Mercy invites us to enter through the gates into the city of God, and justice is sacrificed to accord to every obedient soul full privileges as a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. 6BC 1072.1
If we were defective in character, we could not pass the gates that mercy has opened to the obedient; for justice stands at the entrance, and demands holiness, purity, in all who would see God. Were justice extinct, and were it possible for divine mercy to open the gates to the whole race, irrespective of character, there would be a worse condition of disaffection and rebellion in heaven than before Satan was expelled. The peace, happiness, and harmony of heaven would be broken up. The change from earth to heaven will not change men's characters; the happiness of the redeemed in heaven results from the characters formed in this life, after the image of Christ. The saints in heaven will first have been saints on earth. 6BC 1072.2
The salvation that Christ made such a sacrifice to gain for man, is that which is alone of value, that which saves from sin—the cause of all the misery and woe in our world. Mercy extended to the sinner is constantly drawing him to Jesus. If he responds, coming in penitence with confession, in faith laying hold of the hope set before him in the gospel, God will not despise the broken and contrite heart. Thus the law of God is not weakened, but the power of sin is broken, and the scepter of mercy is extended to the penitent sinner (Letter 1f, 1890). 6BC 1072.3Read in context »
But the influence of a gospel hope will not lead the sinner to look upon the salvation of Christ as a matter of free grace, while he continues to live in transgression of the law of God. When the light of truth dawns upon his mind and he fully understands the requirements of God and realizes the extent of his transgressions, he will reform his ways, become loyal to God through the strength obtained from his Saviour, and lead a new and purer life. 4T 295.1
While in Salem I formed the acquaintance of Brother and Sister Donaldson, who desired that their daughter should return to Battle Creek with us and attend the college. Her health was poor, and it was quite a struggle for them to part with her, their only daughter, but the spiritual advantages she would there receive induced them to make the sacrifice. And we are happy to here state that at the recent camp meeting in Battle Creek this dear child was buried with Christ in baptism. Here is another proof of the importance of Seventh-day Adventists’ sending their children to our school, where they can be brought directly under a saving influence. 4T 295.2
Our voyage from Oregon was rough, but I was not so sick as on my former passage. This boat, the “Idaho,” did not pitch, but rolled. We were treated very kindly on the boat. We made many pleasant acquaintances and distributed our publications to different ones, which led to profitable conversation. When we arrived at Oakland we found that the tent was pitched there and that quite a number had embraced the truth under the labors of Brother Healey. We spoke several times under the tent. Sabbath and first day the churches of San Francisco and Oakland met together, and we had interesting and profitable meetings. 4T 295.3Read in context »
Those who are obedient to the will of God will not have a hard and miserable time in this life. Hear again the words of Christ: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (verse 11). This is the witness which it is the privilege of all to have—the joy of Christ in the soul through appropriating the word of God ... and bringing the requirements of Christ into the practical life. There is full assurance of hope in believing every word of Christ, believing in Him, being united to Him by living faith. When this is his experience, the human being is no longer under the law, for the law no longer condemns his course of action.... HP 144.4Read in context »