The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 73
February 18, 1896
“‘Be of Good Cheer’” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 73, 7, pp. 104, 105.
OF man it is written, “I have created him for my glory.” This expresses the true object of every man’s existence. He was created, and he exists, that he may glorify God. In that grand consummation when the object of their creation is accomplished in all who will have it so, it is shown how this is done. For of that time and of those people it is written: “Then cometh the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.... For he [Christ] must reign, till he [the Father] hath put all enemies under his [Christ’s] feet.... And when all things shall be subdued unto him [Christ], then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [the Father] that put all things under him [Christ], that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. ARSH February 18, 1896, page 104.1
Thus the object of man’s creation and existence is that he may glorify God; and this is done by God being manifest in him, by God being all in him; so that a man is properly himself, and meets the object of his existence, only as God is manifest in him. Man was never made to manifest himself nor to glorify himself nor any body else but God; and when he does glorify himself or anybody else but God, he misses the purpose of his creation and the object of his existence; and if he continued to do so to the end, he completely frustrates the object of his existence. God’s ideal of a man is not found in man alone, nor in any combination of man with any other except God. God and man united, God and man being one, and God the one, God all that there is in the man, and this upon the man’s own free choice,—this and this alone is God’s ideal of a man. ARSH February 18, 1896, page 104.2
It was so in the beginning when man was first created. He was made in the image of God. God was reflected in him, and was glorified in him, so that he was “the image and glory of God.” “And did not he make one? ... And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly [godlike] seed.” Malachi 2:15. Thus would it ever have been had Adam remained faithful to God, but he chose to and did give himself up to another, and became one with that other; and then this other one, the evil one, was reflected in him and is manifested through him; so that man is not really himself even in evil. Man is not strictly himself, even in the way of evil which he has chosen. Yet God did not leave the man without hope, enslaved under the power of the evil one whom he had chosen. God said to Satan: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed.” By this word the Creator of the man set him free again to choose between good and evil, to choose the service of God or the service of Satan. By this word God again set the man free to choose whether God shall be manifest in him or not; to choose whether God shall be glorified in him or not; to choose whether the object of his creation and existence shall be accomplished, or whether it shall be frustrated in him. And therefore the Lord is ever saying to all men, “Now is the accepted time; ... now is the day of salvation.” “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” ARSH February 18, 1896, page 104.3
And to show, in spite of a world of sin and against the disadvantage of sinfulness, how fully, how completely, whosoever chooses can glorify God in this world,—for this cause God sent his only begotten Son, and for this cause Jesus freely came, he freely chose to come, into the world of sin. For this cause the Son of God became the second and “last Adam.” He came and lived a whole lifetime on the earth; and as his course on earth was closing, in perfect fulness of truth he could say to God, “I have glorified thee on the earth.” ARSH February 18, 1896, page 104.4
How different is this from the first Adam! Yea, how different is everything was the “last Adam” when he succeeded, from the first Adam when he failed! The first Adam stood in a perfect world, a world in which every conceivable thing bore the living impress of the goodness and glory of God. Yea, more than this, he stood in the most beautiful place in the perfect world—in “Eden, the garden of God,” where there was “every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also.” Yes; yet more than all this, the man himself, the crowning piece of God’s creation, was perfect and upright; he was acquainted with God; he was crowned with glory and honor; he was in possession of faculties of such power and precious as to be able at first sight so fully to comprehend the essential nature of every beast of the field and every fowl of the air,—yea, of “every living creature,—that he could immediately speak the name of it. In every faculty and every feature he stood “the image and glory of God,” in a world that in all things reflected only the goodness and glory of God. And this man, in such a place, chose to abandon all that he was, all that was about him, and God who was above him; he chose a leader and a way that were contrary to God; he chose to abandon the object of his own existence; he chose to frustrate the purpose of God in his own creation; he chose not to glorify God on the earth. Instead of choosing that God should be manifested in him, glorified in him, and that in this he himself should be manifested and glorified, he chose that the arch-enemy of God should be manifested in him, and that he himself, with the whole world that had been committed to him, should be sunk to the lowest depths of degradation, and lost. What a failure was this! For such a man, in such a place, what a deplorable, what an inexcusable, what an altogether wretched failure! ARSH February 18, 1896, page 104.5
Four thousand years after this failure of the first Adam, the second and last Adam came into the world. But what a world it was, compared with the world in which the first Adam stood! It was now a world in which the curse which had been let loose by the failure of the first Adam, had been raging furiously for four thousand years; a world which had been completely ruined once, and which was ripe for utter ruin the second time; a world in which “sin had become a science,” and which had thus been brought to such a condition that demons now men nor even angels could see any alternative but that the race must be blotted from the earth. ARSH February 18, 1896, page 105.1
How widely different also was the second Adam himself from the first! The second Adam came not at the point where the first Adam stood when he failed, but at the point at which mankind stood at the end of four thousand years of degeneracy; not in the condition of power and glory in which the first man stood when he failed, but in the condition of weakness and dishonor in which the race was involved at the end of this long period of the reign of sin. He came at that point—“a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” bearing our infirmities and our sicknesses, with the iniquities of us all laid upon him, made “in all points” like sinful man, “made ... to be sin.” And under all this disadvantage, yet further, he became so weak that of his own self he could do nothing (John 5:30) any more than any other man who is without God. Chapter 15:5. ARSH February 18, 1896, page 105.2
And yet in all this fearful contrast from the first Adam, and this terrible disadvantage, “this man,” putting his trust in God, went from birth to death, a whole lifetime, through this forlorn world; and as his course was ending, he could truthfully and in grand though solemn triumph say to the Father:“I HAVE GLORIFIED THEE ON THE EARTH,” and to all mankind could ring out the glad word, “BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” What a victory was this! For such a man, in such a place, what a joyous, what an altogether commendable, what an all-over glorious victory was this! ARSH February 18, 1896, page 105.3
O, there is good cheer in it! There is not only good cheer in it, it is itself altogether good cheer; for it has demonstrated that however great the abundance of sin, however low a man may have been brought by it, he can overcome the world, he can glorify God on the earth. ARSH February 18, 1896, page 105.4
O then, poor, sin-laden, weak, discouraged soul, “Be of good cheer.” By the divine faith brought by Jesus Christ to every human being, you can overcome the world, you can glorify God on the earth. Rest on that divine faith which is given to you, and say with “this man,” “I will put my trust in him;” and then also with “this man” and in “this man” you, too, can glorify God on the earth; for he says, “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them.” ARSH February 18, 1896, page 105.5
And let every soul that has named the name of Christ take up this blessed note of “good cheer,” and sound it louder and yet more loud, until the whole earth shall be filled with the continuous, joyful sound, like the noise of many waters, yet “sweet as from blest voices uttering joy,” ringing in the ears and in the heart of every soul: “Be of good cheer; in Him you can overcome the world, in him you can glorify God on the earth. Be of good cheer!” ARSH February 18, 1896, page 105.6
“And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge [that glorifies himself] by us in every place. ARSH February 18, 1896, page 105.7
A. T. J.