The Review and Herald

843/1902

September 15, 1896

The Keeping Power of God's Love

EGW

“Now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.... Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore I will give men for thee, and people for thy life.... I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” RH September 15, 1896, par. 1

The Lord loves every one of those for whom he gave his Son, and he does not wish us to spend our days mourning over our sins. Everything that God could do he has done to manifest his great love and mercy to us. He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then rest in the assurance of the love of God. Open the door of your heart, and let the sunbeams of Christ's righteousness drive away the shadow of sadness and grief. RH September 15, 1896, par. 2

Not because we first loved him, does God love us; but “while we were yet sinners,” Christ died for us, making full and abundant provision for our redemption. Although by our disobedience we have merited God's displeasure and condemnation, he has not forsaken us; he has not left us to grapple with the power of the enemy in our own finite strength. Heavenly angels fight our battles for us; and co-operating with them, we may be victorious over the powers of evil. Trusting in Christ as our personal Saviour, we may be “more than conquerors through him that loved us.” RH September 15, 1896, par. 3

“Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles: to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” This precious assurance of God to Christ embraces all who receive Jesus Christ; for John says, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” As we draw nigh to him by faith, he draws nigh to us, adopting us into his family, and making us sons and daughters of the Most High. RH September 15, 1896, par. 4

By disobeying the commands of God, man fell under the condemnation of his law. This fall called for the grace of God to appear in behalf of sinners. We should never have learned the meaning of this word “grace” had we not fallen. God loves the sinless angels, who do his service, and are obedient to all his commands; but he does not give them grace. These heavenly beings know naught of grace; they have never needed it; for they have never sinned. Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We did not seek after it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow this grace upon every one who hungers for it. To every one he presents terms of mercy, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we shall receive this gift. RH September 15, 1896, par. 5

But God does not use his grace to make his law of none effect, or to take the place of his law. “The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.” His law is truth. “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.” God gave man a perfect law. An imperfect law would have perpetuated sin—made God the author of sin. Jesus came to condemn sin in the flesh, to bear the curse of sin for us; and he took the law from beneath the feet of those who were trampling upon it, and made it honorable. He kept his Father's commandments; and only by being a partaker of the divine nature, can man keep them. RH September 15, 1896, par. 6

God's grace and the law of his kingdom are in perfect harmony; they walk hand in hand. His grace makes it possible for us to draw nigh to him by faith. By receiving it, and letting it work in our lives, we testify to the validity of the law; we exalt the law and make it honorable by carrying out its living principles through the power of the grace of Christ; and by rendering pure, whole-hearted obedience to God's law, we witness before the universe of heaven, and before an apostate world that is making void the law of God, to the power of redemption. RH September 15, 1896, par. 7

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Let no one try to carry his own sins, for they have been atoned for by the great sin-bearer. The only begotten Son of God voluntarily met the claims of God's violated law. He was stricken of God and afflicted in our behalf. One with the Father, he was fully able to bear the penalty of our disobedience. By connecting his divinity with our humanity, Christ has exalted the human family. His divinity grasps the throne of the Infinite in behalf of man. As our substitute, he took our sins upon himself, and now he intercedes before the Father in our behalf. “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of his people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” RH September 15, 1896, par. 8

It is impossible for us to save ourselves. Only by the efficacy of the blood of Jesus Christ can we be saved. He died on Calvary's cross for us, and we may be complete in him; for his sacrifice is all-sufficient. Why will you keep your eyes fastened on self, when your Saviour stands beside you, saying, “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”? “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Lay your sins on me. RH September 15, 1896, par. 9

Satan will come to you, saying, “You are a sinner;” but do not allow him to fill your mind with the thought that because you are sinful, God has cast you off. Say to him, Yes; I am a sinner, and for that very reason I need a Saviour. I need forgiveness and pardon, and Christ says that if I will come to him, I shall not perish. In his letter to me I read, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When Satan tells you that you are lost, answer, Yes; but Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.” The greater my sin, the greater my need of a Saviour. RH September 15, 1896, par. 10

The moment you grasp God's promises by faith, saying, I am the lost sheep Jesus came to save, a new life will take possession of you, and you will receive strength to resist the tempter. But faith to grasp the promises does not come by feeling. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” You must not look for some great change to take place; you must not expect to feel some wonderful emotion. The Spirit of God alone can make a lasting impression on the mind. RH September 15, 1896, par. 11

Christ longs to see his people resist the adversary of souls; but only by looking away from self to Jesus can we do this. Cease to bemoan your helpless condition; for your Saviour is touched with the feeling of your infirmities, and today he says to you, Be not discouraged, but cast your burdens upon me. I will take them all, and will bring to pass that which is good for your soul. Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, we shall be inspired with hope and shall see the salvation of God; for he is able to keep us from falling. When we are tempted to mourn, let us force our lips to utter the praises of God; for he is worthy of praise. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” “Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” RH September 15, 1896, par. 12

Never has a soul that trusts in Jesus been left to perish. “I, even I, am he,” the Lord declares, “that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance; let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.” “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain; I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.... Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.” Respond to the calls of God's love, and say, I will trust in the Lord, and be comforted; for he has loved me. I will praise the Lord, for his anger is turned away. RH September 15, 1896, par. 13