Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

387/448

Ms 30, 1886

Sermon/The Christian Pathway

Villar Pellice, Italy

November 7, 1886

This manuscript is published in entirety in 5MR 250-253. +Note

“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” [John 15:7-10.] God holds up before us a high standard—perfect obedience to His law. Only through obedience, and faith in the Saviour, can we gain eternal life. Christ pitied the fallen race, and gave His life for them, that, through His grace, they might be overcomers, and at last enter the city of God. Should we not show our appreciation for the great sacrifice made in our behalf? Should not our hearts be filled with gratitude to God for the gift of His Son? Should not the love shown for us awaken in us an earnest desire to bring our lives into conformity to the will of God? 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 1

Christ came to this earth because the law was so sacred and so immutable that not one jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. Christ clothed His divinity with humanity and by His death made it possible for man to be restored to the favor that Adam lost. 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 2

It is our duty to search the Scriptures and from them learn our duty. My brethren and sisters, go to the Bible, and from it learn God’s will concerning you. If you rely upon human beings for instruction, you may be misled in regard to your duty. Let us not hold the doctrines of men, but the truths of God’s Word. 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 3

We must not think that by walking in the path of obedience we shall escape trials; for the enemy will do all in his power to hinder us from gaining heaven. But the Saviour has promised to help us. Have you trials? So had Jesus. Are you tempted? So was He—in all points like as we are. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” [John 1:12.] “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [1 Corinthians 10:13.] 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 4

When Christ was upon this earth, the people flocked to hear Him. So simple and plain were His words that the most unlearned among the people could understand Him, and His hearers listened as if spellbound. This enraged the scribes and Pharisees. They were filled with envy because the people listened so attentively to the words of this new teacher. They determined to break His hold upon the multitudes. They began by attacking His character, saying that He was born in sin, and that He cast out devils through the prince of the devils. Thus were fulfilled the words, “They hated Me without a cause.” [John 15:25.] The Jewish leaders maligned and persecuted the One who is chiefest among ten thousand and altogether lovely. 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 5

As we separate from the world and its customs, we shall meet with the displeasure of worldlings. The world hated the One who was the very embodiment of virtue, because He was better than they were. The servant is not greater than his Lord. If our ways please God, the world will hate us. If the Majesty of heaven came to this world, and endured a life of humiliation and a death of shame, why should we shrink back because obedience involves a cross. If He was persecuted can we expect better treatment? 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 6

Christ laid the truth before the Jewish people and called them to obedience. If they had accepted His counsel, they would not have cherished hatred in their hearts. But Christ declared, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:20.] 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 7

It is not enough to profess the religion of Christ. This religion must be lived. All sin is to be put away, and the law of God is to be obeyed. The truth must be given the first place in the life. Christ represents the truth as leaven, which a woman hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. The truth is to continue to work in the life until the whole character is transformed. 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 8

“The entrance of Thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130.] A casual reading of the Scriptures will not answer. The Bible must be closely and diligently searched. As we make this book the man of our counsel, our hearts will be filled with love for the heavenly Father, who, through the ministration of angels, is ever watching over us. Could our eyes be opened, we should see heavenly messengers guarding and keeping us from the attacks of evil angels and protecting us from harm and accident. 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 9

I point you to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He will comfort and sustain all who come to Him for help. Our Saviour did not remain in the tomb. He rose from the dead and is now making intercession for us. He wants to take the garments of sin from those who desire a better world than this and clothe them with the robes of His righteousness. He is a living, all-powerful Saviour, and we ought to have unwavering faith in Him; for He says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do.” [John 14:13.] Let us seek a close connection with Christ; for thus only can we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 10

An eternal weight of glory and a life that measures with the life of God await the overcomer. Our minds should be constantly dwelling on the goodness of God and the future home of the saints, and we should ever be striving for perfection of character, that at last we may be given entrance into the city of God. Outside of the city there will be those who love and make a lie, and with them there will be those who have distrusted God. How important, then, that we have the love of Christ in our hearts and cherish constantly the Spirit that will lead us to obey our Creator. 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 11

Let us take our stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. Those who at the coming of Christ are standing under the black banner of rebellion cannot enter into immortal life. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.] When you are tried and tempted, remember that Jesus is your helper. He will give you grace to resist every temptation, if you will strive to walk in harmony with the precepts of God. 4LtMs, Ms 30, 1886, par. 12