The Review and Herald

1005/1902

July 25, 1899

The Sanctifying Power of Truth

EGW

“Another parable spake he unto them: The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 1

This parable illustrates the penetrating and assimilating power of the gospel, which is to fashion the church after the divine similitude by working on the hearts of the individual members. As the leaven operates on the meal, so the Holy Spirit operates on the human heart, absorbing all its capabilities and powers, bringing soul, body, and spirit into conformity to Christ. RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 2

In the parable the woman placed the leaven in the meal. It was necessary to supply a want. By this God would teach us that, of himself, man does not possess the properties of salvation. He can not transform himself by the exercise of his will. The truth must be received into the heart. Thus the divine leaven does its work. By its transforming, vitalizing power it produces a change in the heart. New thoughts, new feelings, new purposes are awakened. The mind is changed, the faculties are set to work. Man is not supplied with new faculties, but the faculties he has are sanctified. The conscience hitherto dead is aroused. But man can not make this change himself. It can be made only by the Holy Spirit. All who would be saved, high or low, rich or poor, must submit to the working of this power. RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 3

This truth is presented in Christ's words to Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again he can not see the kingdom of God.... That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 4

When our minds are controlled by the Spirit of God, we shall understand the lesson taught by the parable of the leaven. Those who open their hearts to receive the truth will realize that the word of God is the great instrumentality in the transformation of character. “The entrance of thy words giveth light,” the psalmist declares; “it giveth understanding unto the simple.” And Christ prayed for his disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 5

Christ came to this world to declare the truth, that we might be sanctified by it. Speaking of him, John says: “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 6

In his prayer for us, Christ said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” These words embody everything; and we can not, therefore, place too much importance on them. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then shall we not awaken to our holy responsibilities, and strive to meet God's standard of character? If we are one with Christ by faith, we are sons and daughters of God. RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 7

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 8

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” The Holy Spirit presents the law to the sinner as God's only standard of character. “For I was alive without the law once,” Paul continues; “but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.... I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 9

“For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” By the grace of Christ we are saved. But grace does not abolish the law of God. The law is the transcript of God's character. It presents his righteousness in contrast with unrighteousness. By the law is the knowledge of sin. The law makes sin appear exceeding sinful. It condemns the transgressor, but it has no power to save and restore him. Its province is not to pardon. Pardon comes through Christ, who lived the law in humanity. Man's only hope is in the substitute provided by God, who gave his Son, that he might reconcile the world to himself. “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 10

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 11

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.... For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.... Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 12

Are you standing on the foundation laid by Christ? Have you faith in him, who is made unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption”? His word is true, and it requires those who believe in him to be sanctified, soul, body, and spirit. Sanctification is the measure of our completeness. The moment we surrender ourselves to God, believing in him, we have his righteousness. We realize that we have been redeemed from sin, and we appreciate the sacrifice made to purchase our freedom. RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 13

Our salvation is complete, because it is founded on the accomplishment of a plan laid before the foundation of the world. Before Christ came, a ceremonial holiness could be obtained by offering the blood of bulls and of goats; but these sacrifices could not cleanse the conscience. They were but a representation of Christ, the great sacrifice. The substance of all the sacrifices and offerings, he came to this world to do God's will by offering himself. He came as the world's Redeemer, to stand at the head of humanity. The Holy Spirit comes to man through Christ. We are given a decided testimony regarding the value of Christ's offering. God's word declares, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” It was a whole and entire sacrifice that was made for us. RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 14

The last great crisis is upon us. The working of the man of sin is revealed. “The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 15

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.... Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 16

This sanctification we must all experience, else we can never gain eternal life. It is obtained by a union with Christ, a union which no power of Satan can break. RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 17

Christ demands undivided heart-service,—the entire use of mind, soul, heart, and strength. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” When we make this surrender, Christ sets our minds at rest, and consecrates our hearts and hands to his service. His wisdom gives us spiritual life, and enables us to manifest love to God and to one another. We reveal his grace in our characters; for we have his life. He presents us spotless before his Father; for we are sanctified through his blood. We are purged from dead works; for Jesus takes possession of the sanctified soul, to renew, sustain, and guide all its impulses, and give vitality to its purposes. Thus we become temples for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. RH July 25, 1899, Art. A, par. 18