The Signs of the Times


December 15, 1898

The Pearl of Great Price


In the parable of the pearl of great price, the pearl is not represented as a gift. The merchantman bought it at the price of all he had. Many question what this means, when Christ is presented in the Scriptures as a gift. He is a gift to all who give themselves, soul, body, and spirit, to Him, without reserve. We are to give ourselves to Jesus, to live a life of full obedience to all His requirements. All that we are, all the talents and capabilities that we possess, are the Lord's, to be consecrated to His service. Only thus can we obtain the priceless gem of salvation. ST December 15, 1898, par. 1

Salvation is a free gift, and yet it is to be bought and sold. In the market of which Divine Mercy has the management, the precious pearl is represented as being bought without money and without price. In this market all may obtain the goods of heaven, which are lent on trust. The treasury of the jewels of truth is opened to all. “Behold, I have set before thee an open door,” the Lord declares, “and no man can shut it.” No sword guards the way through this door. Voices from within and at the door say, Come. The Saviour's voice earnestly and lovingly invites us: “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.” ST December 15, 1898, par. 2

The Gospel of Christ is a blessing which all may possess. It takes men as they are, poor, wretched, miserable, blind, and naked. The only condition Christ presents to those who come to Him to be clothed with His righteousness is obedience to His commandments. And by the obedient soul the law is found to be a law of perfect liberty, liberty to lay hold by faith on the hope that is sure and steadfast. When we render back to God His own, when we wash our robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, then we shall be entitled to a celestial crown. ST December 15, 1898, par. 3

The poorest are as well able as the richest to purchase salvation; for no amount of worldly wealth can secure this treasure. It is obtained by willing obedience, by giving ourselves to Christ as His own purchased possession. Education, even though it be of the highest class, can not, of itself, bring a man nearer to God. The Pharisees were favored with every temporal and spiritual advantage, and they said with boastful pride, We are rich, and have need of nothing. Yet they were wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Christ offered them the true riches, but they disdained to accept it; and He said to them. “Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” ST December 15, 1898, par. 4

We can not buy salvation, but we are to seek for it as interestedly and perseveringly as if we would abandon everything in the world for it, selling all that we have to obtain this treasure which is above price. By accepting Christ, by making Him all and in all, we shall obtain an invaluable experience; for good works will surely follow all who receive Him. The true, strong, joyous life of the soul begins when Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” ST December 15, 1898, par. 5

We are to seek for the pearl of great price, but not in worldly marts or in worldly ways. The price we are required to pay is not gold or silver; for this belongs to God. Abandon the idea that temporal or spiritual advantages will win for you salvation. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten,” God declares; “be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” God calls for your willing obedience. Open the door, and let Christ in. He asks you to give up your sins. “To him that overcometh,” He promises, “will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” ST December 15, 1898, par. 6

Christians are to be careful to maintain good works. They are to seek to save the souls that are perishing out of Christ. The Gospel is to be preached as a witness to all nations. Christ does not say that all will receive the Gospel. Many will not appreciate it, because things of minor importance claim their attention. Yet the Gospel is to be preached as a witness to all. The light is to shine amid moral darkness. The truth is to be placed in contrast with error. Christ says to His followers: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill can not he hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The work of grace is a progressive work. “And beside this,” Peter writes, “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ST December 15, 1898, par. 7

We are to guard against deception. “I say unto you,” Christ declared, “that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Every one who professes godliness is tested, as a merchant tests a piece of silver to see whether it is genuine. God has given His people the lesson essential for them to practise. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness,” He says, “and all these things [the things needful for this life] shall be added unto you.” Would that all who claim to be Christians were doers of these words. ST December 15, 1898, par. 8

Christ has given the invitation: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Great indeed are the promises given in God's Word. Christ gave His life for us, and He offers us salvation freely and without price. Those who are seeking for rest will find it by coming to Christ. All their wants will then be satisfied; for Christ cleanses the heart and renews the mind. But many turn with disdain from the salvation offered, giving the things of eternal interest only a passing thought. This is why they do not rightly estimate the value of the heavenly treasure. ST December 15, 1898, par. 9

Service to God is comprehensive. It means the consecration of all that we are, of all the talents that He has lent us. It means that we must devote everything to His glory. But there is a wonderful deceitfulness in sin. To the heart unchanged by righteousness, Satan presents a counterfeit righteousness. Those who trust in this righteousness build on shifting sand, and the storm of test and trial will overcome them. Many who think that they are walking in the way to heaven are walking in strange paths, because they have not given up all to obtain eternal life. ST December 15, 1898, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White