Sermons and Talks, vol. 2


Chapter 14—Christ Spans the Gulf of Sin

Manuscript 21, 1895

[Address Given By Mrs. E. G. White at the Armadale Camp Meeting November 1895.]

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is” [1 John 3:1, 2]. 2SAT 110.1

From the commencement to the close, this chapter is full of precious lessons of instruction. We are to make the Bible the man of our counsel, and instead of taking from it that which we think will sustain us in our own opinions, we are to see in it the lessons of instruction God has given for us. There is truth for us in this Word, and that truth we must dig for as for hidden treasure. 2SAT 110.2

We may search for the truth as those have in past ages, thinking that we have a flood of light and yet only comprehend a small portion of the real instruction, the efficiency, and the fullness contained in the Scriptures. But when we search with our heart and mind put to the utmost test, we shall know for ourselves what we must do that we may have eternal life, for in the Bible there is something to meet the wants of each one. An invisible Instructor will be by our side, and we will find that the Author of this Word is not only the Author but the Finisher of our faith. His Word standeth fast from everlasting to everlasting, and we want to learn from it lessons of eternal interest. 2SAT 110.3

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” [1 John 3:1]. We cannot find words to express the love of God, but He calls upon us to behold it. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” [John 3:14]. 2SAT 110.4

It is not because God has given His Son that He loves the world, but because He loved the world He gave His Son, “that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” As you connect yourself with Jesus Christ you connect yourself with eternal life. His life is in you; you are hid with Christ in God, “and when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” [Colossians 3:4]. 2SAT 110.5

We have seen enough of what the world calls perfection to know that all such is valueless, “for the earth is corrupt under the inhabitants thereof.” But if we hide our life in Christ, we are the happiest mortals on the face of the earth. We have a faith that works by love and purifies the soul, for Christ is the purifier and the cleanser of everyone. Is Christ to you the first, the last, and the best in everything? If He is, you have a hope that goes beyond the dark shadows which, like a pall of death, cover the world; your hope is cast within the veil. You do not drift hither and thither, but have a firm foundation, even Christ Jesus. 2SAT 111.1

The gospel was first proclaimed in Eden. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” [Genesis 3:15]. But through ages of sin the image of God was almost obliterated from the earth. Satan said, Humanity cannot keep the law of God. I can take their minds and mold and fashion them so that they will not regard the law of God. 2SAT 111.2

But God looked down upon our earth, and seeing that the time had come, Christ the King of glory was born a helpless babe in Bethlehem. He who is from everlasting, and who is enshrouded in light unapproachable, He who fills all heaven with the train of His glory, looks upon sin as the only hateful thing that there is in our world, and yet He consented that His only begotten Son, sinless and holy, should take the sin of the world upon Himself. 2SAT 111.3

Leaving the royal courts of heaven, Christ came to our world to represent the character of His Father, and thus help humanity to return to their loyalty. The image of Satan was upon men, and Christ came that He might bring to them moral power and efficiency. He came as a helpless babe, bearing the humanity we bear. “As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same” [Hebrews 3:14]. He could not come in the form of an angel, for unless He met man as man, and testified by His connection with God that divine power was not given to Him in a different way to what it will be given to us, He could not be a perfect example for us. 2SAT 111.4

He came in humility, in order that the humblest being upon the face of the earth could have no excuse because of his poverty or ignorance, and say, Because of these things I cannot obey the law of Jehovah. Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity; that He might live with humanity, and bear all the trials and afflictions of man. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. In His humanity He understood all the temptations that will come to man. 2SAT 111.5

After Christ had been placed in the tomb, Roman guards were stationed round to protect His body. But a mighty angel from the court of heaven parted the darkness from his track, and descended to where the Son of God lay. When his light fell on the guards, they fell as dead men to the earth. But if the light from one angel caused men to fall to the earth as dead, Christ could not have come with even that glory. He took humanity that we, by partaking of His nature, might receive the impress of Jehovah, and stand as witnesses before men and angels, and before the whole army of the powers of darkness, of the efficacy of a crucified Saviour. 2SAT 112.1

Humility marked the path of Christ from the manger to the cross. He was a man in this small atom of a world, yet He conquered the power of Satan and released humanity from his grasp. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” He said, “because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” [Luke 4:18]. 2SAT 112.2

Step by step Christ descended the path of humility, pursued by the enemy. He wrestled not against “flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” [Ephesians 6:12]. This is our work, and therefore the exhortation is given, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” [verse 12]. In our fight we are barricaded by the ten commandments. “If ye do them,” says Christ, “ye shall live in them.” 2SAT 112.3

Christ entered the tomb that man might pass through the tomb and rise with a resurrection-life. He burst the fetters of the tomb, and over the rent sepulcher of Joseph He proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” And when the last trump shall sound, the Lifegiver will open the prison houses and those who have fallen asleep in Christ will come forth to a glorious immortality. 2SAT 112.4

Christ died for the sins of the world that we might have an opportunity of showing to the universe loyalty to God and His law. Today He is making an atonement for us before the Father. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” [1 John 2:1]. Pointing to the palms of His hands, pierced by the fury and prejudice of wicked men, He says of us, “I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” The Father bows in recognition of the price paid for humanity, and the angels approach the cross of Calvary with reverence. What a sacrifice is this! Who can fathom it! It will take the whole of eternity for man to understand the plan of redemption. It will open to him line upon line, here a little and there a little. 2SAT 112.5

By transgression man was severed from God, the communion between them was broken. But Jesus Christ died upon the cross of Calvary, bearing in His body the sins of the whole world, and the gulf between heaven and earth was bridged by that cross. Christ leads men to the gulf and points to the bridge by which it is spanned, saying, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” [Matthew 16:24]. 2SAT 113.1

God gives us a probation in which we may prove whether or not we will be loyal to Him. Christ calls upon us to lay our sins upon Him, the Sin-Bearer, that we may represent God. But if we refuse to let them go, taking the responsibility ourselves, we will be lost. We may fall upon Christ, the living stone, and be broken, but if that stone falls upon us, it will grind us to powder. 2SAT 113.2

In our warfare we have Christ's promise, “He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him” He manifested Himself to John, who had been banished by his persecutors to the lonely isle of Patmos. But there He who rules the earth and keeps the waters in their appointed channel, manifested Himself to John. “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” [Revelation 1:9-11]: “the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” [verse 8]. 2SAT 113.3

Christ manifested Himself to Peter, and delivered him from prison by the hand of an angel. He manifested himself to Stephen, and he, “being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” [Acts 7:55]. 2SAT 113.4

So Christ will manifest Himself to us if we are faithful. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” [Romans 8:38]. 2SAT 113.5

Now is the time when we may prove whether we will obey the law of God, or whether we will transgress. When a sinner unloads his burden at the foot of the cross, then it is that peace and happiness comes to him. And there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine who need no repentance. “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing” [Zephaniah 3:17]. 2SAT 113.6

All heaven appreciates the struggles of those who are fighting for the crown of everlasting life, that they may be partakers with Christ in the city of God, the very streets of which are pure gold, “as it were transparent glass.” God wants you there, Christ wants you there, the heavenly host wants you there. The angels are willing to stand in the outer circle, and let those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus stand in the inner circle. 2SAT 114.1

Do you realize your value in the sight of God? He says, “Ye are laborers together with Me.” Are you letting your light shine in clear rays to a fallen world? Are you seeking to exercise every faculty and every power which God has given you? You may not be a minister, but you can be a witness. You may not be an eloquent speaker, but you can be eloquent in living Christ; you can be eloquent in letting your light shine before men. You will have to travel a rough path; you will have to meet with the powers of darkness; but you do not meet them alone, for God has given you a General. 2SAT 114.2

Christ Himself, the Majesty of heaven, leads the children of God against their enemies. Thousands of holy angels wait to help those who are seeking for immortality and eternal life. A crown of glory waits for all who fight the good fight of faith, and when the warfare is over they will be greeted with the words, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” [Revelation 22:14]. Then, casting their glittering crowns at the feet of Jesus, and touching their golden harps, the redeemed host will fill all heaven with rich music.—Ms. 21, 1895. 2SAT 114.3