Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 122, 1901

The Law


November 23, 1901

This manuscript is published in entirety in 8MR 98-100.

As a result of Adam’s disobedience, every human being is a transgressor of the law and is sold under sin. Unless man repents and is converted, he is under bondage of the law, serving Satan, falling into the deceptions of the enemy, bearing witness against the precepts of Jehovah. Only by perfect obedience to the requirements of God’s holy law can man be justified. Let those whose natures have been perverted by sin ever keep their eyes fixed on Christ, the Author and the Finisher of their faith. 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 1

No one who believes in Jesus Christ is under bondage to the law of God; for His law is a law of life, not of death, to those who obey its precepts. All who comprehend the spirituality of the law, all who realize its power as a detector of sin, are in just as helpless a condition as is Satan himself, unless they accept the atonement provided for them in the remedial sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who is our atonement—at-one-ment with God. 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 2

Through faith in Christ, obedience to every principle of the law is made possible. Thus Paul learned that “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” For our benefit he questions, “Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” [Romans 7:12-14.] 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 3

In the past, many, who wilfully disregarded the law of God, were not led to love and obey His law by the threatened judgments that will surely be visited on every transgressor. In their stubborn perversity they hated the law that condemned their wicked course of action. Their rebellion became still more decided and pronounced, bringing forth fruit unto death. 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 4

Unless by faith we accept the infinite plan of salvation, we are without divine wisdom. But every one who believes in Christ, everyone who relies on the keeping power of a risen Saviour that has suffered the penalty pronounced upon the transgressor, everyone who resists temptations and in the midst of evil strives to copy the pattern given in the Christ-life, will, through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 5

Those only, who through faith in Christ obey all of God’s commandments, will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression. They testify to their love of Christ by obeying all His precepts, including the one relating to the observance of the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, the day that He blessed and sanctified, “because that in it He had rested from all His work.” [Genesis 2:3.] 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 6

From the pillar of cloud Jesus “spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” [Exodus 31:12, 13.] The Sabbath is a pledge given by God to man—a sign of the relation existing between the Creator and His created beings. By observing the memorial of the creation of the world in six days, and the rest of the Creator on the seventh day, by keeping the Sabbath holy according to His directions, the Israelites were to declare to the world their loyalty to the only true and living God, the Sovereign of the universe. 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 7

By observing the true Sabbath, Christians are ever to bear to the world faithful witness of their knowledge of the true and living God as distinguished from all false gods; for the Lord of the Sabbath is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One exalted above all other gods. 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 8

“Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you. ... Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” [Verses 14-17.] 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 9

By these words Christ has placed this matter beyond all the sophistry of human conjecture. “And he (Christ) gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” [Verse 18.] Nothing written on those tables could be blotted out. The precious record of the law was placed in the ark of the testament and is still there, safely hidden from the human family. But in God’s appointed time He will bring forth these tables of stone to be a testimony to all the world against the disregard of His commandments and against the idolatrous worship of a counterfeit Sabbath. 16LtMs, Ms 122, 1901, par. 10