Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)


Ms 55a, 1910




Variant of Ms 55, 1910, which is published in entirety in Ev 286-287.

I have been shown that many have had confused ideas in regard to conversion. They have often heard it repeated from the pulpit, “You must be born again. You must have a new heart.” These expressions have perplexed them. They could not comprehend the plan of salvation. Some are led to expect a special change to take place in their feelings—an irresistible power over which they had no control—to affect their physical strength. 25LtMs, Ms 55a, 1910, par. 1

Many have stumbled to ruin over erroneous views taught them by ministers from the pulpit and in private conversation in regard to the change answering to conversion. Some have lived in sadness for years, waiting for a special powerful evidence that they were accepted of God. They take pleasure in the society of God’s people, separate themselves in a great measure from the world, yet dare not venture to profess Christ because they fear to admit that they are children of God. They are waiting for that peculiar change which they have been led to believe was connected with conversion. 25LtMs, Ms 55a, 1910, par. 2

After a length of time, some have received satisfactory evidence of their acceptance with God, which leads them to identify themselves with God’s people, and they date their conversion from that period. But I saw that their adoption into the family of God was before that time. God accepted them as His when they became sick of sin and lost their relish for worldly pleasure and resolved to seek God earnestly. By not understanding the simplicity of the plan of salvation, they lost many privileges and blessings which they might have claimed had they only believed that they were accepted of God at the time when He did accept them. 25LtMs, Ms 55a, 1910, par. 3

Others fall into a more dangerous error. They are governed by impulse. Their sympathies are moved, but their principles are unchanged. They base their acceptance with God and the evidence of their being Christians upon feeling. The evidences of the genuine work of grace are not to be found in feeling, but in the life. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20. 25LtMs, Ms 55a, 1910, par. 4

Many precious souls are earnestly desiring to be Christians, yet are stumbling in darkness, expecting their feelings to be powerfully exercised. They overlook the fact that the believer in Christ and in the truth must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. The convicted sinner has something to do besides to repent. He must believe that God accepts his repentance according to His promise. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, (that God exists) and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6. 25LtMs, Ms 55a, 1910, par. 5

The work upon the Christian’s heart is not an instantaneous work. It is an every-day work; it is continual watching and believing. The repenting, believing one places himself by his faith and earnest desire for the renewing grace of God where God cannot turn him away empty, but in accordance with His Word will give him grace; and ministering angels will aid the persevering one in his efforts to advance. 25LtMs, Ms 55a, 1910, par. 6