The Signs of the Times


December 20, 1905

A Divine Leader


In our behalf the Saviour gave Himself to a life of self-denial and sacrifice. He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and stepped down from His position as commander in the heavenly courts, to take humanity upon Himself, and stand at the head of the human race. He came to be tempted as man is tempted, to pass through the vicissitudes through which human beings are called to pass, and to live a life of sinlessness, showing to all the “better part” that they may obtain by living for God, through the grace received from heaven. For our sake He became poor, that we might come into possession of eternal riches He took our nature upon Him, that we might be partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. He subjects Himself to poverty and temptation, that human beings, seeing His example, listening to His teaching, obeying His lessons, might obtain everlasting life—even an eternal weight of glory. ST December 20, 1905, par. 1

O Jesus, what humiliation, what suffering, what trial, Thou didst endure to procure for us happiness in this world and in the world to come! Thou wast wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Thee, and by Thy stripes we are healed. ST December 20, 1905, par. 2

It is a marvel to the angels that human beings should choose to be incapable of realizing how greatly Christ humiliated Himself in their behalf. They marvel that men and women do not rejoice to acknowledge Christ as their Saviour, to accept Him as their Leader, and to follow His example of self-denial. ST December 20, 1905, par. 3

The course followed by human beings seems to the angels strangely inconsistent. They wonder why beings dependent on their Creator for every breath they draw act so unreasonably; why they choose the side of the one who crucified Christ, and who has filled the world with envy and strife and jealousy. ST December 20, 1905, par. 4

Can we, as reasoning beings, regard as wise the choice that leads us to stand under the black banner of rebellion, rather than under the banner of Prince Emmanuel? ST December 20, 1905, par. 5

Choose the Life

Christ is the Lord our righteousness. Let us take our stand on His side. Let none be ashamed to acknowledge Him as their leader, their counselor, their guide, and their exceeding great reward. Is this sacrificing anything? Is it an honor to be numbered among Satan's army? Those who make this choice gain nothing. Only death, eternal death, awaits them. ST December 20, 1905, par. 6

Satan charged God with possessing the attributes that he himself possessed. Christ came to this world to reveal God's character as it really is. He is the perfect representation of the Father. His life of sinlessness, lived on this earth in human nature, is a refutation of Satan's charge against the character of God. ST December 20, 1905, par. 7

Christ is the Light of the World, pure, clear, and undimmed. This light shines out in sharp contrast with Satan's gloom. Into the darkness of error and deception it casts a light that is a perpetual reproach to the sin of the world. Our Redeemer did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. He is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” He offers to cover our unworthiness with the spotless robe of His righteousness. ST December 20, 1905, par. 8

Christ is constantly inviting us, Look unto Me. He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. No man can look to Christ without being strengthened and uplifted. By beholding Him, we are changed into His likeness, and cherish the same spirit. All sullenness, all gloom, are gone. The experience of the Christian is as clear as the sunlight. His constant question is, What shall I render to Thee for all Thine infinite love and mercy to me? I am Thy servant; for Thou hast loosed my bonds. ST December 20, 1905, par. 9

What Holiness and Love Require

True holiness is wholeness in the service of God. This is the condition of true Christian living. Christ asks for unreserved consecration, for undivided service. He demands the heart, the mind, the soul, the strength. Self is not to be cherished. He who lives to himself is not a Christian. ST December 20, 1905, par. 10

Love must be the principle of action. Love is the underlying principle of God's government in heaven and earth, and it must be the foundation of the Christian's character. This alone can make and keep him steadfast. This alone can enable him to withstand trial and temptation. ST December 20, 1905, par. 11

And love will be revealed in sacrifice. The plan of redemption was laid in sacrifice,—a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable. Christ gave all for us, and those who receive Christ will be ready to sacrifice all for the sake of their Redeemer. The thought of His honor and glory will come before anything else. ST December 20, 1905, par. 12

If we love Jesus, we shall love to live for Him, to present our thank-offerings to Him, to labor for Him. The very labor will be light. For His sake we shall covet pain and toil and sacrifice. We shall sympathize with His longing for the salvation of men. We shall feel the same tender craving for souls that He has felt. ST December 20, 1905, par. 13

This is the religion of Christ. Anything short of it is a deception. No mere theory or profession of discipleship will save any soul. ST December 20, 1905, par. 14

We do not belong to Christ unless we are His wholly. It is by half-heartedness in the Christian life that men become feeble in purpose and changeable in desire. The effort to serve both self and Christ makes one unfit to endure when the test comes upon him. ST December 20, 1905, par. 15