The Review and Herald

908/1902

November 23, 1897

Connection With Christ

EGW

The lessons that Christ gave in the synagogue to all that were there assembled, come down through the ages to our time. His words come impressively to every heart, and we are to take heed to them. We are not to give them casual, but special, attention. Comparatively little attention should be given to the subject of temporal food, to satisfy temporal hunger; but that food which comes down from heaven is of the highest consequence to us. The bread of life comes to satisfy our highest spiritual demands,—the hunger of the soul. It is God's truth that is the bread of life. It is the truth that confronts the falsehood of the enemy. RH November 23, 1897, par. 1

All the way from the first disciple to the present time there have been those who have professed to believe in the same way that these disciples in Christ's day believed in him. These received the name of disciples; but they had not dug deep, and laid their foundation upon the Rock. Many who profess to be Christians today have not a vital connection with Christ. They do not discern their great spiritual necessity. They say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” They know not that they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. This is the sure consequence of neglecting to abide in the Vine, of neglecting to avail themselves of a personal relation to Christ. Christ cannot endure pretentious Christians,—those who do not live his character. He will spew such out of his mouth as utterly distasteful to him. RH November 23, 1897, par. 2

Can it be possible, one asks, that there can be any one in our church who feels such self-sufficiency as this? Time will answer this question. When reproof comes to them from God, if they are humbly seeking him, they will receive the reproof as a blessing, and will at once begin to ascertain their spiritual necessities. If they feel that they are rich in knowledge and are in need of nothing, they will take offense, as did the disciples who turned from Christ and walked no more with him. There are many who need to be awakened by plain, decided Testimonies to discern their spiritual deficiencies. Why are they not wise? Christ answers the question. They consider themselves whole, in no need of a physician. “I am rich, and increased with goods,” they say, “and have need of nothing.” The disciples who turned away from Christ were of this class, and many who are reproved for their wrongs in this time act just as did those men to whom Christ said, “Ye also have seen me, and believe not.” RH November 23, 1897, par. 3

But the One who is mighty in counsel says: “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.” Then they will not reveal that they are worthless branches, separate from the True Vine, to be cast into the fire, and burned. RH November 23, 1897, par. 4

The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The “eye-salve,” the Word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application; for it convicts of sin. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God. The sinner, beholding himself in God's great moral looking-glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. RH November 23, 1897, par. 5

This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Said Christ: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father.” RH November 23, 1897, par. 6

Self-sufficiency is the fatal danger of a lukewarm state. The Laodiceans boasted of a deep knowledge of Bible truth, a deep insight into the Scriptures. They were not entirely blind, else the eye-salve would have done nothing to restore their sight, and enable them to discern the true attributes of Christ. Says Christ, By renouncing your own self-sufficiency, giving up all things, however dear to you, you may buy the gold, the raiment, and the eye-salve that you may see. RH November 23, 1897, par. 7

The Lord sees the necessities and the peril of the soul. He came to our world in the garb of humanity, that his humanity might meet our humanity. While we were in sin, he pledged his life for us. He loves the sinner, but hates the sin. Therefore he does not leave his tempted ones with eyes that are nearly blind to their own imperfections. The man who uses the eye-salve is enabled to see himself as he is. His wretchedness is discovered; he feels his imperfections, his spiritual poverty, and his need of being healed of his spiritual malady. RH November 23, 1897, par. 8

The rebuke of wrong is designed for the good of the professed follower of Christ, who is misrepresenting Christ by his spirit of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency. “As many as I love,” says Christ, “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. To him that overcometh 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.” RH November 23, 1897, par. 9

The reception of the Word, the bread from heaven, is declared to be the reception of Christ himself. As the Word of God is received into the soul, we partake of the flesh and blood of the Son of God. As it enlightens the mind, the heart is opened still more to receive the engrafted Word, that we may grow thereby. Man is called upon to eat and masticate the Word; but unless his heart is open to the entrance of that Word, unless he drinks in the Word, unless he is taught of God, there will be a misconception, misapplication, and misinterpretation of that Word. RH November 23, 1897, par. 10

As the blood is formed in the body by the food eaten, so Christ is formed within by the eating of the Word of God, which is his flesh and blood. He who feeds upon that Word has Christ formed within, the hope of glory. The written Word introduces to the searcher the flesh and blood of the Son of God; and through obedience to that Word, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. As the necessity for temporal food cannot be supplied by once partaking of it, so the Word of God must be daily eaten to supply the spiritual necessities. RH November 23, 1897, par. 11

As the life of the body is found in the blood, so spiritual life is maintained through faith in the blood of Christ. He is our life, just as in the body our life is in the blood. He is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, just as the bone, sinew, and muscle are nourished, and the whole man built up, by the circulation of the blood through the system. In vital connection with Christ, in personal contact with him, is found health for the soul. It is the efficacy of the blood of Christ that supplies its every need and keeps it in a healthy condition. RH November 23, 1897, par. 12

By reason of the waste and loss, the body must be renewed with blood, by being supplied with daily food. So there is need of constantly feeding on the Word, the knowledge of which is eternal life. That Word must be our meat and drink. It is in this alone that the soul will find its nourishment and vitality. We must feast upon its precious instruction, that we may be renewed in the spirit of our mind, and grow up into Christ, our living Head. When his Word is abiding in the living soul, there is oneness with Christ; there is a living communion with him; there is in the soul an abiding love that is the sure evidence of our unlimited privilege. RH November 23, 1897, par. 13

A soul without Christ is like a body without blood; it is dead. It may have the appearance of spiritual life; it may perform certain ceremonies in religious matters like a machine; but it has no spiritual life. So the hearing of the word of God is not enough. Unless we are taught of God, we shall not accept the truth to the saving of our souls. It must be brought into the life practise. RH November 23, 1897, par. 14

When a soul receives Christ, he receives his righteousness. He lives the life of Christ. As he trains himself to behold Christ, to study his life and practise his virtues, he eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God. When this experience is his, he can declare, with the apostle Paul: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” RH November 23, 1897, par. 15