Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]
MR No. 369—The Bible and the Law
God's law reaches to the internal as well as to the external actions of men. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents and purposes of the soul. A man may be guilty of sins which God alone knows. God's law is indeed a searcher of hearts. There are dark passions of jealousy and revenge and hatred and malignity, lust, and wild ambition that are covered up from human observation and the great I AM knows it all. Sins have been contemplated and yet not carried out for want of opportunity. God's law makes a record of all these. These hidden away, secret sins form character. The law of God condemns not only what we have done but what we have not done. We will, in the day of final accounts, find a register of the sins of omission as well as the sins of commission. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. It is not enough that by your own measurement of character you prove you have done no positive wrong. The fact that one has done no positive good will be enough to condemn him as a wicked and slothful servant. 6MR 141.1
By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified. There is no power in law to save the transgressor of law. If man, after his transgression, could have been saved by his utmost energy to keep the law, then Jesus need not have died. Man could have stood on his own merits and said, “I am sinless.” God will never bring down the law to man's standard and man can never lift himself up to answer to its claims of perfection. But Christ comes to our world and pays the sinner's debt, suffers the penalty for transgression of the law and satisfies justice, and now the sinner may claim the righteousness of Christ. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20. 6MR 141.2
But grace does not come in to excuse the sinner in the continuance of sin. God's grace does not detract from the law, but establishes the law as changeless in its character. Here “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10. God looks upon His Son dying upon the cross and is satisfied, and Jesus is called “the Lord our righteousness.” Then let the sinner by faith appropriate the merits of the blood of a crucified Redeemer to his own case—“the Lord my righteousness.”—Manuscript 30, 1889, 21, 22. (“Experience Following the Minneapolis Conference,” June, 1889.) 6MR 142.1
I am glad that a time has come when something will stir our people to investigate the points of our faith for themselves.... My cry has been: Investigate the Scriptures for yourselves, and know for yourselves what saith the Lord. No man is to be authority for us. If he has received his light from the Bible so may we also go to the same source for light and proof to substantiate the doctrines which we believe. The Scriptures teach that we should give a reason of the hope that is within us with meekness and fear.—Letter 7, 1888, pp. 3, 4. (To Brother Healey, December 9, 1888.) 6MR 142.2
Released April 16, 1974.