Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Ms 38, 1896

Shall I Be Clothed With Immortality?

NP

December 15, 1896

Previously unpublished.

All the associations, with which we are brought into contact here, are that we may, through faith in Jesus Christ, become one with God. Whatever our surroundings, we are to form characters for the higher life. Severe temptations will come; affliction will come; but these influences are for educational purposes—not to degrade us, to bring us down to the level of our low surroundings, but that “looking unto Jesus,” we may be prepared for the future, immortal life. [Hebrews 12:2.] Jesus died a shameful death in order that we might have characters like His own character. How sad it would be to disappoint Him in the saving of one soul, and that your own soul! And the loss of your own soul will mean the loss of other souls. The power of your example will leaven others. 11LtMs, Ms 38, 1896, par. 1

Every soul who does not receive Christ as his personal Saviour receives, in the place of Christ, satanic agencies. He comes under the control of the great apostate. Christ has declared, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] Here the principle is plainly stated. Our Redeemer understood this, and was desirous that all should be saved through faith in Him. His prayer, recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John is full of instruction of the highest type. This prayer, uttered in the hearing of His disciples, was a sample of His intercession carried on in heaven, within the vail, for all who receive Him and believe on His name, even unto the ends of the earth. 11LtMs, Ms 38, 1896, par. 2

Christ is our Advocate. He intercedes for us as our High Priest. That which He has expressed in His prayer on earth is the assurance of His intercession above. He paid the ransom price for our souls with His own blood, which He gave for the life of the world. This life was not given for the world that He might justify men in transgression and sin. No; but that He might, through the repenting sinner’s reception of, and belief in, Him, take away his sins; that by faith in Christ as the propitiation for his sins, he might cease to sin. 11LtMs, Ms 38, 1896, par. 3

The life practice of the believing child of God should exalt the gospel of Christ. It should testify of the power of the Word upon the human life. Christ has said, “If ye love me keep my commandments.” [John 14:15.] “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” [John 17:19, 20.] Here is where the responsibility of individual influence comes in. The words of the disciple of Christ will simply be a voicing of the words of Christ, and are to be received from his servants as the words of Christ. 11LtMs, Ms 38, 1896, par. 4

Christ set Himself apart to achieve the redemption of men, that they might have an example in Him of their individual service to God, and how to discharge its duties. We are to remember that Christ prayed for us in His humanity; He prays for us as officiating High Priest within the vail. 11LtMs, Ms 38, 1896, par. 5

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” [Verses 20, 21.] What courage, what increase of faith, what trust we should have in God as we recall this petition of the Son of God. We can estimate the value He places upon those who receive and believe on Him by this prayer made to His Father in our behalf. Through His prayer on earth and intercessions in heaven, He brings all His true followers into close living union and relationship to Himself. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,” “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.” [John 1:12; Romans 8:17.] Thus the sacred union is formed between Christ and those who receive Him by faith as their personal Saviour. They are one with Christ, as Christ is one with God. 11LtMs, Ms 38, 1896, par. 6

The teachings of Christ individualize. He counts person by person, and the possibilities He has brought within the reach of each, through faith in Him, of being one with God, of gaining immortality through Christ. “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but unto them that are contentious (those who contend against the truth, who stir up strife, who do not cultivate kindness, sympathy, compassion, goodness, and love), and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first and also of the Gentile; but glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God.” [Romans 2:6-11.] 11LtMs, Ms 38, 1896, par. 7