The Signs of the Times


September 4, 1893

The Religion That Is Unto Salvation


Of Christ it is written, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” God hates sin. It is the work of Satan to allure to evil. Satan has worked adroitly with bewitching power to fascinate the mind with iniquity, and make righteousness to appear undesirable. We need to remember continually that our secret sins are in the light of God's countenance. Of ourselves we cannot see or realize how grievous are our secret sins in the sight of God. Under the influence of Satan we are led to pursue a course of evil until our hearts become hardened, our conscience seared, and our thoughts are brought into captivity to the prince of evil. But God is ever seeking to impress our hearts by his Holy Spirit, that we shall be convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come. We may place our will on the side of God's will, and in his strength and grace resist the temptations of the enemy. As we yield to the influence of the Spirit of God, our conscience becomes tender and sensitive, and sin that we have passed by with little thought, becomes exceeding sinful; for we begin to realize that our secret sins are in the light of his countenance. ST September 4, 1893, par. 1

There is hope for the sinner. Christ uplifted upon the cross of Calvary furnishes that hope; for mercy has provided to the uttermost demand the victim that justice calls for, for man's transgression. Through the merits of Jesus Christ, God can forgive sin, and be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Precious truth of inestimable value to every repenting soul! Shall we not individually seek to appreciate, as far as it is possible, the fact that God forgives sin, that he loves us if we believe in Jesus, though we are erring, ignorant, and sinful, even as he loves his Son? The moment we ask for forgiveness in contrition and sincerity, God forgives. Oh, what a glorious truth! Preach it, pray it, sing it. Lift up the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Say to the people, “Behold the man of Calvary!” God is waiting to forgive all who come unto him with sincere repentance. The Psalmist says, “There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mightest be feared.” ST September 4, 1893, par. 2

Oh, that the salvation of souls was the aim and object of every soul who professes the name of Christ! Let those who know the pardoning love of God speak to the youth, the unconverted, and in tenderness urge them to give their hearts to Jesus. Oh, make an offering of yourselves to the Lord ere it be too late! Jesus has given his own precious life for you. If God had not loved you, he would never have sent his well-beloved Son to live in humiliation, to suffer and to die. “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Do not allow the enemy to crowd this truth out of your mind. It is a theme for meditation. What have we done to show our appreciation of this great love? What have we given to Jesus, who has given himself for us? The gift that will be most grateful to him, most precious and fragrant, will be yourself. You that have not decided to become sons and daughters of God, I would now entreat you to delay no longer. Place your will on the side of God's will. He delights in mercy. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?” ST September 4, 1893, par. 3

Come to Jesus just as you are, weak, sinful, ignorant, unworthy, and he will receive you. He says, “A new heart also will I give thee.” Among the Jews there was a continual remembrance made of sin. Every year on the day of atonement a fresh sacrifice was brought forth; for sin was still remembered, and the blood of the sacrifices could not take away sin. But sins forgiven through Christ are remembered no more. The Lord says, “I will remember their sins no more.” ST September 4, 1893, par. 4

The Lord accepts the sinner who comes to him through the merits of Jesus, and he treats the transgressor as though he were innocent. Will not the youth and the unconverted begin to inquire, “What shall I do to be saved?” The answer is: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Train and educate the mind to think and to talk of Jesus, and Satan will lose his power over you. He cannot long bear to be in the company of those who meditate and converse upon the love of God. In this way the mind is strengthened. Moral power increases by dwelling upon the goodness, beauty, mercy, and love of Christ. Training the mind in this way will make it natural for you to inquire at every step: “Is this the way of the Lord? Will Jesus be pleased to have me do this? Will this course please self, or my Lord?” ST September 4, 1893, par. 5

The Lord would have us follow in his footsteps, and be influenced by the dictates of his Holy Spirit. The influence of man upon man, unless controlled by the Holy Spirit, is a dangerous influence; for Satan causes his suggestions to be acted upon, and draws men into his service through human instrumentalities. But the Lord Jesus by the agency of his Holy Spirit changes this order of things. He takes upon himself the sin of man, and by the power of his divine love draws men to himself, sanctifies and makes them holy. When men are under the control of Christ, he employs them as his agents, and leads them to devote their powers to doing a work exactly opposite to that which Satan had designed they should do. ST September 4, 1893, par. 6

Jesus would enlist men in his service. He would direct their perverted powers in such a way that, through his grace, they may become agents for the working of unmingled good to every other man, and each become his brother's keeper in disinterested love, and thus the world be restored to God. Through faith in Jesus Christ the chain of mutual dependence is fastened to the throne of God, and through the agency of man humanity is bound to God. God has promised his Holy Spirit, the highest power in the universe, to be embodied in men, that through faith in Jesus Christ humanity may be elevated. An influence emanating from God draws and concentrates the power of the universe, that a lost and rebel race may be reconciled and restored to God. ST September 4, 1893, par. 7

Then let those who would stand firmly for God, hold fast their profession of faith without wavering. Let them maintain a close and living connection with God, because in this is involved the life of the soul. Let them follow in the footsteps of Jesus, obeying to the letter his word of direction,—“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me,” “so shall he be my disciple.” In the grace of Christ alone can this be done. Whatever may be the Christian's business, if it be a lawful calling, God has provided grace that his chosen, his elect, shall not be discomfited by the enemy. God has provided that men shall be Christians in the market place, in the house of commerce, in all manner of taxing cares in private or public life, as well as at the prayer meeting. Every business enterprise may be conducted on Christian principles; but in attempting to serve God and mammon, there will be betrayal of sacred trusts; there will be the putting of mammon first and Christ last. ST September 4, 1893, par. 8

In order to be the blessing to the world which God would have his children, we need to pray and to watch unto prayer. Never should we be placed in a position where we shall be so pressed by care that we shall neglect the study of the Bible or fail to attend the prayer and social meeting. We are not to lose heaven out of our reckoning. The things which belong unto our eternal happiness, which make rich and add no sorrow, are not to be crowded out of our minds by any manner of responsibility. It is not the getting of houses and lands, heaping up treasure on earth, that is to give us peace and happiness; but it is our connection with God, a realization that we are laborers together with him, that is to constitute our joy. We have no right to place ourselves where we shall be loaded down with cares, that will lessen and finally supplant the influence of the truth upon us to sanctify the soul. Let us remember that every moment is charged with responsibility, and that we are to deal with all in the highest integrity, both as regards this life and that which is to come. ST September 4, 1893, par. 9