Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 7, 1884

Sermon/Notes on a Sermon by Mrs. E. G. White

Oakland, California

May 24, 1884

Previously unpublished.

(Notes on a Sermon by Mrs. E. G. White at Oakland, California, Sabbath p.m., May 24, 1884.)

Luke 4:16-22. Up to this period there was an overpowering conviction in the minds of all that Jesus was all that this text claims; they witnessed to His words by a hearty response. But you can see how soon unbelief came in. The question arose, Who is this? As soon as this temptation came in, they did not retain their former good impressions. They did not consider that it was the God of heaven that had been working in their hearts to make these impressions. They put themselves in the enemy’s power and consequently could not endure the plain truth which Jesus spoke to them, and those who had been ready to accept Him now sought to kill Him. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 1

The same thing is acted over and over again today. Christ comes, not in person, but by His Word and in the person of His servants, and is rejected because of the plainness of the truth. All have to take one of two positions—either for or against Jesus. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 2

If we accept Him, what will He do? See verse 18. “Preach deliverance to the captives;” “heal the brokenhearted.” What gracious words! How eagerly we should join with Him in this work! How many there are with broken hearts and disappointed hopes without Jesus. He comes to give peace and joy. And yet, how many think that to accept Christ implies a great sacrifice. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 3

Is it not because they do not appreciate their own need? Is it a sacrifice to have the broken hearts healed? What more could He do than He has done? Who is it whom the multitudes flocked to hear? It was Jesus, and yet they would not accept the truth at His lips. If they had, He would have done for them all that they needed. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 4

The work of every mortal is to work on the Lord’s side. Who can measure the worth of the soul? There is no way in which we can estimate the worth of the soul except by the light that shines from Calvary. We there see how Christ valued the human soul. And since He has given Himself for us, our intellect and all our powers belong to Him. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 5

Adam and Eve obtained forgiveness only through Christ, and they showed their faith in Him by types. When He came, type met antitype, and these ceremonies lost their force. Why, then, did the Jews not accept Him to whom the types pointed? For the same reason that men do not accept Him today—because of the bewitching power of sin. Their own selfish desires and pursuits interposed between them and belief in Him. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 6

What a wonder that Christ died for sinners! Who can understand it? Never can the mystery of Calvary be explained to finite minds. The mind faints as it attempts to grasp it—that God should give His only Son to suffer shame and reproach, to be tracked by spies, to suffer ignominy, and finally to die. And yet, after all this sacrifice, men talk as though they do not need Christ! 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 7

There is only one hope for humanity—the Man of Calvary. Why, then, do we not accept this Saviour fully and heartily? Why not accept this salvation that was bought at such infinite cost? All heaven was poured out to man in the one gift of God’s Son. Why, then, do we not love to talk about His matchless charms and His love? Because He is not in the heart. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” [Matthew 12:34.] We need to feel the power of a personal Saviour. Many of us are in the condition of the Jews; we will accept Jesus if He comes to give us power, if He allows us to have our own way. But we must come to Him, not bring Him to our standard. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 8

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” [1 John 3:1.] The Pharisees did not want a change in their own lives and course of action. We do not want to be like them, ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God. If you realized the Scriptures and the need of a Saviour, you would not be content with the little that you now do. Learn of Christ; His is the wisdom that we want. Each one wants to carry his own burdens. Why not come to Christ for rest? If you are in perplexity, go and ask the Master to help you. When you find your inclinations leading in the way of some expensive luxury, go and ask Jesus for wisdom to guide. He will teach you. You can learn self-denial, and He will give peace to those who follow Him and learn of Him. The nearer we draw to Jesus, the more we shall decrease, and He will increase. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 9

How are we standing before God? I wish every one could see it. As we give ourselves to God in humility, our names are recorded in the book of life—not because of our pompous feeling, but because we accept Christ in humble belief. Is there one heart so hard, so stubborn, as to remain in impenitence in view of the great love that God has bestowed on us? Then we want to employ our powers for His glory. Jesus doesn’t want us to be with the company outside the city, and therefore He came to heal us. Christ took everything upon Him. He felt as the sinner will feel when he is rejected of God. He felt forsaken of God. All this He suffered that we might be saved from it. How must Christ feel when we are indifferent to His claims and turn from Him? What an insult, to be unmindful of such great love! 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 10

Can you doubt His love? Is there one who feels that though Christ hears others He does not hear him? He is our ever present Helper. Has He not done all that He could do? Did He not die for us? Then will He not help us and pity our infirmities? He is willing to help us every step of the way if we will only trust Him and follow Him. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 11

Our talents must all be used in His service. We cannot use any more talents than He has entrusted to us; but we are required to give Him all. As we serve Him to the best of our ability, He gives us increased powers. Do not give to the enemy one bit of the talent that God has given to you. We pride ourselves on our honesty with our fellow man, but if we rob God of that which is His due, what cause have we for self-congratulation? Christ has bought us and owns all that we have. Why should we not give Him the freshness of our powers? If you put ability into your business, put more energy into the service of God. 4LtMs, Ms 7, 1884, par. 12