The Youth’s Instructor


March 1, 1900

Justification by Faith

Part 1.


Faith in Christ is the only condition upon which justification can be received; and the gift is bestowed only upon those who realize that they are sinners, and undeserving of mercy. The merits of the blood of Christ must be presented to the Father as the offering for the sins of men. When sinners seek God, and in repentance confess their sin, he pardons their transgressions, remits their punishment, and receives them into fellowship with himself, as if they had never transgressed. He imparts to them the righteousness of Christ. YI March 1, 1900, par. 1

The faith that accepts Christ as One who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him, means perfect belief and trust. To be intelligently convinced is not enough. The apostle James writes: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Many there are who believe that Christ has died for the sins of the world, but they make no appropriation of this grand truth to their own souls. Their hearts are not enlisted in the service of God, their lives are not reformed. They are not sanctified by the truth they profess to believe. Not having the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, no genuine good appears in their lives. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” asks the apostle. “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” YI March 1, 1900, par. 2

The offering of Isaac was designed by God to prefigure the sacrifice of his Son. Isaac was a figure of the Son of God, who was offered a sacrifice for the sins of the world. God desired to impress upon Abraham the gospel of salvation to men, and in order to make the truth a reality, and to test his faith, he required Abraham to slay his darling Isaac. All the agony that Abraham endured during that dark and fearful trial was for the purpose of deeply impressing upon his understanding the plan of redemption for fallen man. He was made to understand in his own experience how great was the self-denial of the infinite God in giving his Son to rescue man from ruin. YI March 1, 1900, par. 3

To Abraham no mental torture could be equal to that which he endured in obeying the command to sacrifice his son. But he girds up his soul with firmness, ready for the work that God requires him to do. With a breaking heart and unnerved hand, he takes the fire, while Isaac inquires, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for the burnt-offering?” But oh, Abraham can not tell him now! Father and son build the altar, and the terrible moment comes for Abraham to make known to Isaac that which has agonized his soul during all that long journey,—that Isaac himself is the victim. YI March 1, 1900, par. 4

Isaac is not a lad; he is a full-grown young man. He could refuse to submit to his father's design, should he choose to do so; but he does not even seek to change his purpose. He submits. He believes in the love of his father, and that he would not make this terrible sacrifice if God had not bidden him do so. Isaac is bound by the trembling, loving hands of his pitying father, because God has said it. The son submits to the sacrifice because he believes in the integrity of his father. But when everything is ready, when the faith of the father and the submission of the son are fully tested, the angel of God stays the uplifted hand of Abraham, and tells him that it is enough. “Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou has not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” YI March 1, 1900, par. 5

Mrs. E. G. White