The Review and Herald

514/1902

February 4, 1890

The Relation of Christ to the Law Is Not Understood

EGW

We have only glimmering light in regard to the exceeding breadth of the law of God. The law spoken from Sinai is a transcript of God's character. Many who claim to be teachers of the truth have no conception of what they are handling when they are presenting the law to the people, because they have not studied it; they have not put their mental powers to the task of understanding its significance. Their God-given powers are diverted and misapplied, and they come far short of apprehending what is truth. They have a smattering of knowledge, but they do not understand the relation of Christ to the law, and cannot present it in such a way as to unfold the plan of salvation to their hearers; for they do not let Christ into their hearts, or bring him into their discourses. They do not feel in their souls that they must plow deeper in their search for truth, so that they may declare the whole counsel of God. RH February 4, 1890, par. 1

Christ's relation to the law is but faintly understood, but ignorance will not excuse any man for acting contrary to the principles of the law and the gospel. Many of those who claim to believe the testing truths for these last days, act as though God took no note of their disrespect of, and manifest disobedience to, the principles of his holy law. The law is the expression of his will, and it is through obedience to that law that God proposes to accept the children of men as his sons and daughters. The consequences of transgression reach into eternity, and none of us can afford to be novices in regard to the deep mysteries of salvation. We should understand the relation of Christ to the moral law. RH February 4, 1890, par. 2

Our righteousness is found in obedience to God's law through the merits of Jesus Christ. We cannot afford to offend in one point; for if we do, we are pronounced guilty of all; that is, we are recorded in heaven as transgressors, as disobedient children, unthankful, unholy, who choose the depravity of Satan rather than the purity of Christ. An infinite sacrifice has been made that the moral image of God may be restored to man, through willing obedience to all the commandments of God. Exceeding great is our salvation, for ample provision has been made through the righteousness of Christ, that we may be pure, entire, wanting nothing. RH February 4, 1890, par. 3

The plan of salvation opens before the repenting, believing sinner prospects for eternity which the greatest stretch of his imagination cannot compass. If man will keep God's law through faith in Christ, the treasures of heaven will be at his disposal; but the opposite of this will be the result if we refuse to obey God. Man cannot possibly meet the demands of the law of God in human strength alone. His offerings, his works, will all be tainted with sin. A remedy has been provided in the Saviour, who can give to man the virtue of his merit, and make him co-laborer in the great work of salvation. Christ is righteousness, sanctification, and redemption to those who believe in him, and who follow in his steps. Jesus came to our world to make manifest in his life the character of God. He took upon him our nature, combining humanity with divinity. He set before us a perfect example of holy obedience to God's law, and we are exhorted, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, [How this humbles human pride!] and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” RH February 4, 1890, par. 4

The disciple John declares from the Isle of Patmos, “I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” He who is worthy of all this honor is our Saviour, the One who only can save us from our sins. RH February 4, 1890, par. 5

We should study the Scriptures more earnestly; for their treasures of wisdom and knowledge do not lie upon the surface for the superficial reader. Although we may know these things and be established in the present truth, yet we do not know them as we ought. The fountain from which we are to drink is an inexhaustible fountain. We may come again and again to the sacred treasure-house of truth, but there is no diminution in its store. An infinite supply waits our demand upon it. Thousands of those who have loved and feared God have drawn from this store-house of truth, and have left to us the treasures they have gathered, but there is more waiting our request. Our course in regard to Bible study is not commendable. We rob ourselves of great blessings by not comparing scripture with scripture. We rob the people of increased light concerning the deep mysteries of godliness. In the study of the Scriptures there is large scope for the employment of every faculty that God has given us. We should dwell on the law and the gospel, showing the relation of Christ to the great standard of righteousness. The mediatorial work of Christ, the grand and holy mysteries of redemption, are not studied or comprehended by the people who claim to have light in advance of every other people on the face of the earth. Were Jesus personally upon earth, he would address a large number who claim to believe present truth, with the words he addressed to the Pharisees: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” The most learned of the Jewish scribes did not discern the relation of Christ to the law; they did not comprehend the salvation which was offered. They could not discern the moral excellency of the law at that day, and many today do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God. In the time of Christ the senses of his hearers were clouded by their own teachings and opinions. They mingled their own preconceived notions with the teachings of Christ, and thus were hindered from comprehending the elevated truths he presented. They were blinded to the correct interpretation of the Old Testament Scriptures, but he opened to his disciples their significance, revealing the spiritual and practical bearing of God's commands on life and character. He promised his disciples that after his ascension to his Father, he would send the Holy Spirit, who should bring all things to their remembrance. Jesus had left truths in their possession the value of which they did not comprehend. After his resurrection they were astonished at the words he uttered; but he said unto them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” The disciples were slow of heart to believe all that the Scriptures testified of Christ. RH February 4, 1890, par. 6

As long as we are content with our limited knowledge, we are disqualified to obtain rich views of truth. We cannot comprehend the facts connected with the atonement, and the high and holy character of God's law. The church to whom God has intrusted the treasures of truth needs to be converted. If we are blessed, we can bless others; but if we do not receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we cannot give forth light to others. There is a sad lack of genuine conversion among us. We do not put forth personal effort that souls may have a true knowledge of what constitutes repentance, faith and remission of sins. Our ministering brethren make a decided failure of doing their work in a manner directed by the Lord. They fail to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. They have not gained an experience through personal communion with God, or a true knowledge of what constitutes Christian character; therefore many are baptized who have no fitness for this sacred ordinance, but who are knit to self and the world. They have not seen Christ or received him by faith. RH February 4, 1890, par. 7

Those who begin to study the law of God, and to reach the vital truths connected with the great plan of redemption, will find that they have known but little of the truth as it is in Jesus. Christ revealed in the New Testament, is Christ revealed in the Old Testament. I have been shown that in both the Old and the New Testament are mines of truth that have scarcely been touched. The truths revealed in the Old Testament are the truths of the gospel of Christ. Heavenly veins of truth are lying beneath the surface of Old Testament history. Precious pearls of truth are to be gathered up, which will require not only laborious effort, but spiritual enlightenment. Those to whom Christ has intrusted great light, whom he has surrounded with precious opportunities, are in danger, if they do not walk in this light, of being filled with pride of opinion and with self-exaltation as were the Jews. This class is represented by the message to the Laodicean church. The True Witness says of them, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; 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.” We should study closely the meaning of the gold, white raiment, and eye-salve, lest we be found in self-deception, satisfied with what we are, and the attainments we have made. RH February 4, 1890, par. 8