The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Justification by Faith—How Perverted by Some

Said the apostle Paul, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?...And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. The absence of devotion, piety, and sanctification of the outer man comes through denying Jesus Christ our righteousness. The love of God needs to be constantly cultivated. 1888 820.2

Oh, how my heart cries out to the living God for the mind of Jesus Christ! I want to lose sight of self. I want to work with all the powers I am capable of exercising to save souls for whom Christ has made the infinite sacrifice of His own precious life. I must seek wisdom daily to know how to deal with souls that are entrapped by Satan's snares. There are many erring, well-beloved souls whom we may win back to God if we are imbued with the spirit of Christ. The Lord loves them, notwithstanding their sins and follies. He gave His only beloved Son to save them, and it was because He loved them that He sent His Son into the world that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 1888 821.1

I must ever keep close to Jesus Christ that I may constantly be a partaker of the divine nature and have a deep personal interest in those who have once been my best friends but in time of temptation have lifted up their heels against me. The love of Christ must not be extinguished in the soul. The prejudice against me cannot make me what they think I am, and I shall not feel hard toward them; but when I see my own brethren in the faith, responsible men, working in darkness, my heart aches. They have not injured me, but the Lord Jesus who has delegated me to bear His message to them. 1888 821.2

And now I can but weep as I think of the suffering, stubborn natures who will not yield to evidence. They wear an appearance of nonconcern, but it is not truth. Gladly would they change their relation to me and those whom they have deeply wronged by thoughts, by words, by influence, if they could avoid the humiliation of saying, “I have committed an error; I confess my faults, will you forgive me?” The haughty, stubborn will evades the very points they will have to face if their souls are recovered and converted. Oh, will they never break the spell of Satan that is upon them? Will they cherish their pride to the last? How my heart longs to see them free and not in the strong deceptions of Satan. 1888 821.3

While one class pervert the doctrine of justification by faith and neglect to comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God—“If ye love me, keep my commandments,”—there is fully as great an error on the part of those who claim to believe and obey the commandments of God but who place themselves in opposition to the precious rays of light—new to them—reflected from the cross of Calvary. The first class do not see the wondrous things in the law of God for all who are doers of His Word. The others cavil over trivialities, and neglect the weightier matters, mercy and the love of God. 1888 822.1

Many have lost very much in that they have not opened the eyes of their understanding to discern the wondrous things in the law of God. On the one hand, religionists generally have divorced the law and the gospel, while we have, on the other hand, almost done the same from another standpoint. We have not held up before the people the righteousness of Christ and the full significance of His great plan of redemption. We have left out Christ and His matchless love, brought in theories and reasonings, and preached argumentative discourses. 1888 822.2

Unconverted men have stood in the pulpits sermonizing. Their own hearts have never experienced, through a living, clinging, trusting faith, the sweet evidence of the forgiveness of their sins. How then can they preach the love, the sympathy, the forgiveness of God for all sins? How can they say, “Look and live”? Looking at the cross of Calvary, you will have a desire to bear the cross. A world's Redeemer hung upon the cross of Calvary. Behold the Saviour of the world, in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Can any look, and behold the sacrifice of God's dear Son, and their hearts not be melted and broken, ready to surrender to God heart and soul? 1888 822.3

Let this point be fully settled in every mind: If we accept Christ as a Redeemer, we must accept Him as a Ruler. We cannot have the assurance and perfect confiding trust in Christ as our Saviour until we acknowledge Him as our King and are obedient to His commandments. Thus we evidence our allegiance to God. We have then the genuine ring in our faith, for it is a working faith. It works by love. Speak it from your heart: “Lord, I believe Thou hast died to redeem my soul. If Thou hast placed such a value upon the soul as to give Thy life for mine, I will respond. I give my life and all its possibilities, in all my weakness, into Thy keeping.” 1888 823.1

The will must be brought into complete harmony with the will of God. When this is done, no ray of light that shines into the heart and chambers of the mind will be resisted. The soul will not be barricaded with prejudice, calling light darkness and darkness light. The light from heaven is welcomed, as light filling all the chambers of the soul. This is making melody to God. 1888 823.2

How much do we believe from the heart? Draw nigh to God, and God will draw nigh to you. This means to be much with the Lord in prayer. When those who have educated themselves in skepticism and have cherished unbelief, weaving questioning doubts into their experience, are under conviction of the Spirit of God, they see it to be their personal duty to confess their unbelief. They open their hearts to accept the light sent them and throw themselves by faith over the line from sin to righteousness, from doubt to faith. They consecrate themselves unreservedly to God, to follow His light in the place of the sparks of their own kindling. As they maintain their consecration, they will see increased light and the light will continue to grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. 1888 823.3

The unbelief which is cherished in the soul has a bewitching power. The seeds of doubt which they have been sowing will produce their harvest, but they must continue to dig up every root of unbelief. When these poisonous plants are pulled up, they cease to grow for want of nourishment in word and action. The soul must have the precious plants of faith and love put in the soil of the heart and enthroned there. 1888 823.4

Copied as grammatically corrected from
handwritten Book No. 16, Journal for 1890,
pp. 17-41 and 159-164
July 1, 1959