The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 87—The Righteousness of Christ

Review and Herald, August 26, 1890

By Mrs. E. G. White.


Christ says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life;” and it is the privilege of every soul to make Christ his personal Saviour. You need not wait to grow good; you need not think that any effort of yours will make your prayers acceptable, and bring you salvation. Let each man and woman pray to God, not to man. Let each one come to Christ in humility, speak to him with your own lips. The request, “Will you pray for me?” has become simply a form of speech; you should pray to God for yourself, believing that he listens to every word you utter. Lay bare your heart for his inspection, confess your sins, asking him to forgive you, pleading the merits of the atonement, and then by faith contemplate the great scheme of redemption, and the Comforter will bring all things to your remembrance. 1888 695.1

The more you study the character of Christ, the more attractive will he appear to you. He will become as one near you, in close companionship with you; your affections will go out after him. If the mind is molded by the objects with which it has most to do, then to think of Jesus, to talk of him, will enable you to become like him in Spirit and character. You will reflect his image in that which is great and pure and spiritual. You will have the mind of Christ, and he will send you forth to the world as his spiritual representative. He will be your only glory. You cannot affiliate with the world without becoming a partaker of its spirit, without becoming guilty of treason against the Lord who has bought you. 1888 695.2

It is the privilege of every earnest seeker for truth and righteousness, to rely upon the sure promises of God. The Lord Jesus makes manifest the fact that the treasures of divine grace are placed entirely at our disposal, in order that we may become channels of light. We cannot receive the riches of the grace of Christ without desiring to impart them to others. When we have the love of Christ in our hearts, we shall feel that it is our duty and privilege to communicate it. The sun shining in the heavens, pours its bright beams into all the highways and by-ways of life. It has sufficient light for thousands of worlds like ours. And so it is with the Sun of Righteousness; his bright beams of healing and gladness are amply sufficient to save our little world, and are efficacious in establishing security in every world that has been created. Christ declares that Our Heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. The day of Pentecost furnished a wonderful occasion. In the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, what a testimony was given to the abundance of the grace of Christ. Why is it that those who claim to believe advanced truth, live so far beneath their privileges? Why do they mingle self with all they do? If they will cast out self, Jesus will pour into the thirsty soul a constant supply from the river of life. How can our ministers become the representatives of Christ, when they feel self-sufficient—when by spirit and attitude they say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing”? We must not be in a self-satisfied condition, or we shall be described as those who are poor, and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked. 1888 695.3

Since the time of the Minneapolis meeting, I have seen the state of the Laodicean Church as never before. I have heard the rebuke of God spoken to those who feel so well satisfied, who know not their spiritual destitution. Jesus speaks to these as he did to the woman of Samaria: “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” 1888 695.4

Like the Jews, many have closed their eyes lest they should see; but there is as great peril now, in closing the eyes to light, and in walking apart from Christ, feeling need of nothing, as there was when he was upon earth. I have been shown many things which I have presented before our people in solemnity and earnestness, but those whose hearts have been hardened through criticism, jealousy, and evil surmisings, knew not that they were poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. Those who resist the messages of God through his humble servant, think they are at variance with sister White, because her ideas are not in harmony with theirs; but this variance is not with sister White, but with the Lord, who has given her her work to do. 1888 695.5

Those who realize their need of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, will have contrition of soul, will repent for their resistance of the Spirit of the Lord. They will confess their sin in refusing the light that Heaven has so graciously sent them, and they will forsake the sin that grieved and insulted the Spirit of the Lord. They will humble self, and accept the power and grace of Christ, acknowledging the messages of warning, reproof, and encouragement. Then their faith in the work of God will be made manifest, and they will rely upon the atoning sacrifice. They will make a personal appropriation of Christ's abundant grace and righteousness, and he will become to them a present Saviour; for they will realize their need of him, and with complete trust will rest in him. They will drink of the water of life from the divine, inexhaustible fountain. In a new and blessed experience, they will cast themselves upon Christ, and become partakers of the divine nature. The human and the divine will co-operate every day, and the heart will well up in thanksgiving and praise to Christ. Heavenly inspiration will have a part in the Christian experience, and we shall grow to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. 1888 695.6

It is growth in knowledge of the character of Christ that sanctifies the soul. To discern and appreciate the wonderful work of the atonement, transforms him who contemplates the plan of salvation. By beholding Christ, he becomes changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. The beholding of Jesus becomes an ennobling, refining process to the actual Christian. He sees the Pattern, and grows into its likeness, and then how easily are dissensions, emulations, and strife adjusted. The perfection of Christ's character is the Christian's inspiration. When we see him as he is, desire awakes to be like him, and this elevates the whole man; for “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1888 695.7

I feel sad when I think how for long years there has been a gradual lowering of the standard. I have been shown that very few realize the constant presence of the divine Watcher who declares, “I know thy works.” Through the indulgence of sin, many have forfeited the favor of God, misrepresented Jesus, forgotten his presence, forgotten that they are living in his sight, and so have added evil to evil. All such are foolish virgins. They have no abiding consolation. The power of Christ is to be the comfort, the hope, the crown of rejoicing, of every one that follows Jesus in his conflict, in his struggles in life. He who truly follows the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, can shout as he advances, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1888 695.8

What kind of faith is it that overcomes the world?—It is that faith which makes Christ your own personal Saviour,—that faith which, recognizing your helplessness, your utter inability to save yourself, takes hold of the Helper who is mighty to save, as your only hope. It is faith that will not be discouraged, that hears the voice of Christ saying, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world, and my divine strength is yours.” It is the faith that hears him say, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” 1888 695.9

The reason why the churches are weak and sickly and ready to die, is that the enemy has brought influences of a discouraging nature to bear upon trembling souls. He has sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” Christ has all power in heaven and in earth, and he can strengthen the wavering, and set right the erring. He can inspire with confidence, with hope in God; and confidence in God always results in creating confidence in one another. 1888 696.1

Every soul must have a realization that Christ is his personal Saviour; then love and zeal and steadfastness will be manifest in the Christian life. However clear and convincing the truth is, it will fail to sanctify the soul, fail to strengthen and fortify it in its conflicts, unless it is brought in constant contact with life. Satan has achieved his greatest success through interposing himself between the soul and the Saviour. 1888 696.2

Christ should never be out of the mind. The angels said concerning him, “Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Jesus, precious Saviour! assurance, helpfulness, security, and peace are all in him. He is the dispeller of all our doubts, the earnest of all our hopes. How precious is the thought that we may indeed become partakers of the divine nature, whereby we may overcome as Christ overcame! Jesus is the fullness of our expectation. He is the melody of our songs, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. He is living water to the thirsty soul. He is our refuge in the storm. He is our righteousness, our sanctification, our redemption. When Christ is our personal Saviour, we shall show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1888 696.3

This great spiritual destitution is not caused by any failure on the part of Christ doing all that is possible for the Church. Our Heavenly Father bestowed all Heaven in one gift,—that of his dear Son. The work of the Holy Spirit is not to daub with untempered mortar, but it is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment to come. Jesus says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” The revelation of the Son of God upon the cross, dying for the sins of men, draws the hearts of men by the power of infinite love, and convinces the sinner of sin. Christ died because the law was transgressed, that guilty man might be saved from the penalty of his enormous guilt. But history has proved that it is easier to destroy the world than to reform it; for men crucified the Lord of glory, who came to unite earth with heaven, and man with God. 1888 696.4