The Signs of the Times


July 7, 1890

“What shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?”


“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” ST July 7, 1890, par. 1

The scribes and Pharisees trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. They looked with contempt upon the Samaritans, and Jesus related this parable to show them that it is the spirit of the man that makes him of value with God, and not his nation or profession. The priest and Levite had passed by the man who was in need of their help, and had left him to die by the wayside; but the Samaritan had had compassion upon him, and had acted the part of a Christian neighbor to him. It would not have been best to present this lesson to the haughty priests except in a parable, yet in this parable Jesus made it evident that they had only a religion of ceremonies. They rested in outward observances of the law, but did not keep it in heart. The Scriptures declare that “by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” In the gospel the great standard of righteousness is not presented in a dimmer light than in the Old Testament. Christ declared that not one jot or tittle of the law should pass until heaven and earth should pass. The divine Teacher held up the perfect standard of righteousness as the only thing by which to test human character. The law reveals to men the deformity of the heart, and the gospel enforces the law by presenting Christ in contrast to man. ST July 7, 1890, par. 2

In the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus gave a picture of himself and his mission. Man had been deceived, bruised, robbed, and ruined by Satan, and left to perish; but Christ had compassion on our helpless condition. He left his glory to come to our rescue. He found us ready to die, and he undertook our case. He healed our wounds, he opened to us a refuge of safety, made complete provision for our needs at his own charges. He died to redeem us. We are to look to Christ's life, we are to see his Spirit and work, that we may view our life and work in the light reflected from the life of Christ. We may see how far short we come of keeping the commandments of God, how far short we come of loving our neighbors as ourselves. ST July 7, 1890, par. 3

When the rich young ruler came to Christ, inquiring the way of salvation, Jesus told him to keep the commandments. The ruler answered that he had kept them from his youth up, but he who could penetrate into the secrets of the heart, showed him that he had failed. Jesus said to him: “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” ST July 7, 1890, par. 4

Conviction of sin is the first step in conversion, and by the law is the knowledge of sin. When the sinner has a realization of his sin, he is in a condition to be drawn to Christ by the amazing love that has been shown for him on the cross of Calvary. When he is humble and penitent, he does not look for pardon to the law which he has broken, but he looks to God, who has provided forgiveness and sanctification through his well-beloved Son. As he beholds the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world, he grows to love him, and by beholding he becomes changed into his image. The apostle wrote, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” The meek and holy Sufferer bore our sins, that the plan of salvation might be opened before men, that whosoever should believe on him might not perish, but have everlasting life. ST July 7, 1890, par. 5

All who see their own ignorance and sin, will have some appreciation of the great work of redemption, through which man is chosen as the object of God's patience and loving-kindness. As man sees the sinfulness of his nature in the light of the law, he will realize his great need of a Saviour. We all need to search the Scriptures, that we may become acquainted with the conditions of salvation, by which reconciliation may be brought about between man and God. Man must find the path that leads back to the Father's house, and every step away from transgression is a step toward Paradise. Every step in repentance, contrition, obedience, and faith, is a step toward the Father. True faith in Christ will lead to obedience to the requirements of God. ST July 7, 1890, par. 6

(To be Continued.)