Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

419/448

Ms 60, 1886

Sermon/The Mission of Christ

Tramelan, Switzerland

December 26, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 370; UL 374.

(Sermon at Tramelan, December 26, 1886. Second discourse in Town Hall; four hundred present. John Vuilleumier translating.) 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 1

Text: Titus 2:11-14. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 2

This is the mission of Christ—to give salvation to all who will be reconciled to God. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 3

He came to turn sinners from their sins. He has invited the penitent to come to Him with all their sins and iniquity. In the day of judgment there will be no excuse for sinners, for all has been done for man that could be done to bring salvation within his reach and to bring to him divine aid that he might perfect a Christian character. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 4

After Adam and Eve had fallen, the gospel was presented. They were told that a Saviour would be provided and that the Seed of the woman should bruise the head of Satan who was the instigator of sin, and that Satan should bruise His heel. Genesis 3:15. Christ “was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” Isaiah 53:5. When He came to this world, He laid aside the glory that He had before the world was, and He clothed His divinity with humanity. What a display of unselfishness on the part of our Saviour! Christ saw that it was impossible for man to overcome and become a conqueror in his own strength. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 5

It would be well for our minds to be carried back to the time when the Son of God was made flesh. Behold Him in the manger, and remember how the angel of the Lord appeared in great glory to the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night and announced to their joy a Saviour born in Bethlehem. There was also a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14. There were also wise men who had been guided from the east by a star to the place where the child Jesus had been born. They came to worship Him, and they brought their gifts to Jesus—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This was oblation offered by these men who were neither Jews nor Gentiles, but were men who had lived up to the best light they had. They had been searching the Scriptures, and as they traced the lines of prophecy, they ascertained about the time that Christ would come. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 6

When Christ entered upon His mission at His baptism, heaven was opened and the glory of God encircled Him, and a voice was heard to say, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 7

Many read of this circumstance and do not realize that it particularly concerns them, but it is by this proclamation that we may know that Christ is accepted as the Beloved, and His long arm encircles the human race, while His divine arm grasps the Infinite, giving to humanity special power. What force has this to the race of mankind? It means that heaven is opened to the sons and daughters of Adam. After the transgression heaven was shut, and man was separated from God because of the transgressions of His law. Christ gave Himself as a substitute and surety for man and thus opened a way by which man could be brought back into harmony with God. Thus all that would avail themselves of the proffered mercy could be saved. Oh, what a work was this! It was making a martyr of Himself, but through Him men are placed where they can become sons and daughters of the Most High. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 8

Let the words spoken from heaven, “This is My beloved Son,” have an effect upon our hearts. These are precious words. The gates have been left ajar, and man can have access to the Father. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 9

After the baptism of Christ, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, eating and drinking nothing for forty days, and Satan tested Him on three leading temptations. The first was on the point of appetite, but in this Christ came off conqueror. He met Satan with the Word of God, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. Satan knew also how to quote Scripture, and he knows how to lead into temptation. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 10

Jesus passed over the ground where Adam fell. He knows just how to help those who are tempted on appetite. Yet how many there are who have fallen on the same point, just because they do not go to Christ for help, and will sell their God-given reasons for a glass of stimulant. The mental power has degenerated from generation to generation. No one can realize the power of sin on the human race until he can understand what Christ suffered in order for us to perfect a Christian character. When we are tempted we should remember Jesus, who fasted forty days in our behalf. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 11

The second temptation was on the glory and honor of the world. “And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine.” Luke 4:5-7. But in this our Saviour came off victor. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 12

The third temptation was on presumption. “And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down from hence.” V. 9. And then Satan quoted Scripture to Him, and Jesus met him in the same way, and Satan left the battlefield a conquered foe, and it is possible for everyone to become victor. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 13

John, while in vision, saw a company clothed in white robes. An elder asked him who they were. “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14. They were seen in the temple of God. This will be the result for all who will lay hold of the merits of Christ and wash their robes in His blood. Every provision has been made so that we can sit with Christ upon His throne, but the condition is that we be in harmony with the law of God. We must forsake all unrighteousness and comply with the conditions; then all heaven is opened to our prayer. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 14

Christ says, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 5:7. Here is a precious promise, and the Lord would have us take hold of His Word and by faith lay hold of the promises. Oh, that all would place themselves in that condition where they would feel the need of a Saviour and be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness! 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 15

We cannot afford to lose heaven. We ought to have our conversation on heavenly things. There, there is no death nor pain. Why are we so reluctant to talk of these things? Why do we dwell upon earthly things? The apostle exhorts us to have our conversation in heaven. Philippians 3:20. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 16

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:1-5. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 17

Here is everything to think of. Christ will soon return to gather those who are prepared and take them to this glorious place. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 18

Do we love to think of this event, or do we want to put it off? We must set our affections on the things above. The more we talk of Jesus, the more we shall reflect His divine image. By beholding we become transformed. We need to bring Christ into our religious experience. When you assemble together, let the conversation be on Christ and His salvation. Here is a subject we want to talk of. The more we talk of Jesus, the more of His matchless charms we shall behold. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 19

We are not to study the world’s standard, but the Word of God. Let us contemplate the great work that has opened a way for our salvation. Shall we be careless in this matter? Christ has brought salvation within reach of all, and we want to lay hold of the hope that is set before us. Satan has almost everything his own way, because we do not resist him. We place ourselves within his reach. We must set a sentinel to guard against his attacks. Eternal life is worth everything, and we should be willing to sacrifice, for it is worth persevering effort. Every one can have access to the Man of Calvary. He will give us of His Spirit. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 20

Should we have to suffer for Christ’s sake, we should not complain, when we consider what has been done for us. We should extol the Son of God and thus bring heaven near to us and put our whole trust in God. If this advice were followed, we should not have so many trials in this life. We should rejoice in place of complaining. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 21

Yesterday was Christmas. Did you do as the wise men did by offering your gifts to Jesus? Or has the enemy changed the order of things and directed the worship to himself? The gifts are now bestowed upon friends instead of Him who has made so great a sacrifice for us. All the gifts should flow in another channel, where they could be used in the salvation of men. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 22

The New Year is just before us. Shall not the gifts be turned to a better account than heretofore? Shall not confession be made, and shall we not avail ourselves of the blood of Christ, who is able and willing to cleanse from all sin? For our sakes Christ became poor. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 23

In the last great day we shall be judged in accordance with what we have done. Christ will say, “I was an hungred and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked and ye clothed Me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not. Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?” Matthew 25:42-44. Christ will then say, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.” V. 45. And Christ will say, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” V. 41. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 24

Christ came and set the example in sacrificing; and if we are Christ’s, then we will do the works of Christ. Instead of pleasing ourselves, we will be seeking to do others good and to impart benefits to suffering humanity. And unless this is done, we can not expect to have a part with Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 25

There are souls to be saved all around us, and each has a work to do to be reconciled to Christ. This is the work to take hold of in the New Year. We are living for time and eternity, and we want the light to flash upon our pathway, and in return we want to extend its blessings to others. The only way to be representatives of Christ is to love one another; and if we reflect the image of Christ, then when we enter the gates of the city, it will be said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:21. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 26

Let each strive to have a better record for the coming year, and live so near to God that you may be surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven, and thus be a representative of Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 60, 1886, par. 27