The Review and Herald

629/1902

July 19, 1892

The Privilege of the Follower of Christ

(Concluded.)

EGW

Christ is our example. In his life on earth he withstood the temptations of the enemy; for he was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. No man will ever be called upon to endure what Jesus had to endure. No man will ever have occasion to cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus endured the hiding of his Father's face, that God might never have to forsake the children of earth, unless they deliberately turned from him. In the light of the cross of Calvary, I ask you if you cannot see why the transgressor cannot escape the penalty of the broken law. Death is the wages of sin, and the law cannot be changed in the least to make a way of escape for its transgressor. The anguish of Christ on Calvary's cross speaks louder than any argument that can be presented, to prove the immutability of the law. But Jesus bore the penalty of the law, and tasted death for every man. But the tomb could not hold him. Three days after his crucifixion, the mighty angels of heaven parted the darkness from their track, and rolled the stone from the sepulcher. The seal of the government was broken, and the Roman guards placed there to keep the tomb from all disturbance, lest the disciples might come and steal away the body of Jesus, fell to the earth as dead. The angel of the Lord appeared, whose countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow, and for fear of him, the keepers did quake, and became as dead men. Christ came forth from the tomb a mighty conqueror over death and the grave, and he ascended up on high, there to intercede for us as a merciful and faithful high priest, who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. RH July 19, 1892, par. 1

We are not to enter heaven without trial. Jesus has told us that we must strive, agonize, to enter in at the strait gate. We are to wage a continual warfare against principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places, against the ruler of the darkness of this world. But Jesus knows the plan of the battle, and he comforts us with the assurance that he is at our right hand, that we shall not be moved. He says, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” The angels of God are all about us. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation?” RH July 19, 1892, par. 2

Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, on which descended and ascended the angels of God, while the glory of God illuminated every round of the ladder from the highest heaven to the earth. Christ spanned the gulf that separated man from God, and earth from heaven, and he is working continually in our behalf, and individually we are to co-operate with him and with the heavenly intelligences. But Christ can do nothing for us without our co-operation, and we can do nothing without him. Satan and his angels are at war with us, and they will be at war with us to the end of the world, and Jesus has told us, “Without me ye can do nothing.” This is the lesson that Christ has been teaching his children through all ages, and in every generation. When Joshua went forth in the morning before the taking of Jericho, there appeared before him a warrior fully equipped for battle. And Joshua asked, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” and he answered, “As Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.” If the eyes of Joshua had been opened as were the eyes of the servant of Elisha at Dothan, and he could have endured the sight, he would have seen the angels of the Lord encamped about the children of Israel; for the trained army of heaven had come to fight for the people of God, and the Captain of the Lord's hosts was there to command. When Jericho fell, no human hand touched the walls of the city, for the angels of the Lord overthrew the fortifications, and entered the fortress of the enemy. It was not Israel, but the Captain of the Lord's host that took Jericho. But Israel had their part to act to show their faith in the Captain of their salvation. RH July 19, 1892, par. 3

Battles are to be fought every day. A great warfare is going on over every soul, between the prince of darkness and the Prince of life. There is a great battle to be fought, that the inhabitants of the world may be warned of the great day of the Lord, that the strongholds of the enemy may be entered, and that all who love the Lord may be gathered under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, but you are not to do the main fighting here. As God's agents you are to yield yourselves to him, that he may plan and direct and fight the battle for you, with your co-operation. The Prince of life is at the head of his work. He is to be with you in your daily battle with self, that you may be true to principle; that passion, when warring for the mastery, may be subdued by the grace of Christ; that you come off more than conqueror through Him that hath loved us. Jesus has been over the ground. He knows the power of every temptation. He knows just how to meet every emergency, and how to guide you through every path of danger. Then why not trust him? Why not commit the keeping of your soul unto God, as unto a faithful Creator? RH July 19, 1892, par. 4

Do not think that you can be careless and reckless, and neglect so great salvation, and not suffer loss, eternal loss. It took the life-blood of the Son of the infinite God to make a way of escape for the sinner, and can God save you in your sins? Christ came to save you from your sins. In view of the sufferings of the Son of God, what will be the result of the neglect of so great salvation? The Father gave all heaven to man in that one gift. He has made it manifest that he has done all that is possible to do, all that a God can do, that you might be saved, that you might have an inheritance with the saints in light. Election is just what the Bible has described it to be. “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” If you will but yield your own way, and surrender yourself to Christ, how pitiful will he be to you. Read the parable of the prodigal son, if you would see the mercy of God toward the repenting sinner. Like the prodigal son, the sinner has taken God's good gifts, and has wasted them on the gratification of self, used them for the indulgence in sin. When the sinner awakes to his true condition, he sees that he has spent his all for that which is worthless, and that he is lost and undone. He says, “I will arise and go to my father.” I will tell him how unworthy I am, how I am no more worthy to be called his son. I will ask him to make me as one of his hired servants. The prodigal did just as he said he would. He went to his father just as he was; for he could do no other way. His garments were in rags and tatters, but his father did not turn from him. While he was still a great way off, the father sees him, and goes to meet him. Before his repenting child can utter a word of confession, the father has forgiven him. He embraces him, he weeps upon his neck. Does he think of carrying out his son's request as he sobs out his repentant story?—No, he takes him to his home. He puts upon him the best robe. He puts a ring upon his finger, and makes a feast, and calls in the neighbors to rejoice with him; for he says, “This my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” RH July 19, 1892, par. 5

This is the way that God deals with the sinner. O, I would that we had hearts of flesh to feel for those who know nothing of the pardoning love of God! O that we were baptized with the Holy Spirit, that we might know how to work for the Master! How many come before the congregation and offer up long, tedious prayers that weary the people, and do not bring the blessing of God upon them. Keep your long prayers for the closet; and when you come to the meeting, present your request before God in a simple, direct way. Let your words be the expression of the need of the hour; for God has said: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” RH July 19, 1892, par. 6

We want the light of the glory of God to shine upon us. Paul says, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is the Father who “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” The family is named after the Father. Those who enter the heavenly mansions will have the name of the Father and the name of the city of God written in their foreheads. They will bear the divine superscription, and be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust. RH July 19, 1892, par. 7

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” Why is it that so many who profess to have faith in Christ, have no strength to stand against the temptations of the enemy?—It is because they are not strengthened with might by the Spirit in the inner man. The apostle prays “that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” If we had this experience, we should know something of the cross of Calvary. We should know what it means to be a partaker with Christ in his sufferings. The love of Christ would constrain you, and though you would not be able to explain how the love of Christ warmed your heart, you would manifest his love in fervent devotion to his cause. The love of Christ passeth knowledge; human language cannot express its depth. It is the privilege of the children of God to be filled with all the fullness of God. “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” RH July 19, 1892, par. 8

From this scripture we are to understand what is the privilege of every follower of Christ. Our standard has been too low, and may the Lord help us that we may come as we are, and learn of his righteousness, that through his power we may be enabled to keep the commandments of God. As you seek to come to Jesus, Satan will point to your filthy garments that have been defiled with sin, and tell you that you are a sinner and unworthy of the favor of God. You will have to acknowledge that you have transgressed the law of God. You will have to say, “I know that I am a sinner, but I repent of my sins. I come to Christ because he has said: ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ I came because he has said: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labor.’” Do you want anything broader than that? “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.” RH July 19, 1892, par. 9

When Satan assails you with doubt and temptation, point him to Calvary; for he cannot stand before the weighty argument of the cross. Take the yoke of Jesus, and learn of him; for he is meek and lowly of heart. Temptations and trials will come upon the Christian; but you need not be discouraged and lose your faith. The apostle says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love: in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” RH July 19, 1892, par. 10

We cannot provide a robe of righteousness for ourselves, for the prophet says, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ's righteousness. We are to say, “He died for me.” He bore my soul's disgrace, that in his name I might be an overcomer, and be exalted to his throne. Tell of his power, sing of his matchless love. In every trial he will be near you, and will give grace and power according to your need. RH July 19, 1892, par. 11

We are to be co-laborers with Christ, and we are to be continually working to extend the knowledge of the gospel. We are to be liberal with our means, that the cause of the Master may be advanced. We should seek to economize, that we may extend the message of truth, and send the tidings to those who know not God, and are without hope in the world, that they may be turned from error and iniquity unto truth and righteousness. O, let us seek to be co-laborers with the Master. There are souls all through Australia and the islands of the sea, who in the sight of God are just as precious as are your souls, and if they had an opportunity, they would accept the light as readily as you have accepted it. RH July 19, 1892, par. 12

O, may the love of God inspire our hearts! Let the Holy Spirit enkindle in our hearts a flame of sacred devotion, that we may go forth to work in the vineyard of the Lord. Then we shall wear the victor's crown. Then we shall see him as he is, and hear at last the benediction, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” RH July 19, 1892, par. 13