The Youth’s Instructor


February 17, 1898

Christlike Religion


The tremendous issues of eternity demand of us something more than an imaginary religion. A stately form of worship and high devotional ceremonies do not constitute a light to the world; and yet truth that is looked upon and admired in the same way as a beautiful picture or lovely flower, and not brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, is thought by many to be all that is required in a worshiper. Many hear the truth, and imaginary probabilities and possibilities loom up before their minds, and they think that, had they the chance, they would do some wonderful thing; but in all this that they seem to think the sum total of religion, they have no idea as to what is pure and undefiled religion. YI February 17, 1898, par. 1

It is not enough to believe what is preached; the truth must be brought into the temple of the soul. Holiness is not rapture; it is the result of surrendering all to God; it is living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our Heavenly Father; it is trusting in God in trial, believing in his promise in the darkness as well as in the light. Religion is to walk by faith as well as by sight, trusting in God with all confidence, and resting in his love. We shall be saved eternally when we enter in through the gates into the city. Then we may rejoice that we are saved, eternally saved. But until then we need to heed the injunction of the apostle, and to “fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should seem to come short of it.” Having a knowledge of Canaan, singing the songs of Canaan, rejoicing in the prospect of entering into Canaan, did not bring the children of Israel into the vineyards and olive-groves of the promised land. They could make it theirs in truth only by occupation, by complying with the conditions, by exercising living faith in God, by appropriating his promises to themselves. As we draw nigh to Christ, and as he draws nigh to the believing soul, we can say, with all confidence: “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” YI February 17, 1898, par. 2

The present and eternal security of men is their surety, Jesus Christ the righteous. No man will be able to pluck the believing soul out of his hands. The righteousness of Christ is a free gift, bestowed without money and without price. Man had nothing he could give for it; for he had no virtue of character that was not the gift of Jesus Christ. He could not claim even the ownership of himself. “Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price,” even with the precious blood of Christ. The righteousness of Christ must be accepted as a free gift by us who are all undeserving. No thread of legality is of any value in the salvation of the soul; for we are saved by grace, through the subduing love of Christ, and the heart is made a willing sacrifice. By keeping the love of God in the heart, the love of the world is kept out, and we become built up in the most holy faith. Christ is the author and finisher of our faith; and when we yield to his hand, we shall steadily grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. We shall make progress until we reach the full stature of men and women in Christ. YI February 17, 1898, par. 3

Faith works by love, and purifies the soul, expelling the love of sin that leads to rebellion against, and transgression of, the law of God. This true love in the heart always leads its possessor into harmony with the commandments of God; for through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the character is transformed, and the mind and will of the human agent are brought into perfect conformity to the divine will, and this is conformity to the divine standard of righteousness. To those who are thus transformed, Christ will say, “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.” YI February 17, 1898, par. 4

Mrs. E. G. White