The Review and Herald

1064/1902

April 24, 1900

Christian Perfection

EGW

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” RH April 24, 1900, par. 1

If all could appreciate this great blessing, what an advantage it would be to them! We can obtain like precious faith with Peter and those who were his companions, only through one source,—the righteousness of Christ, who as a sin-bearer stood at the head of humanity, overcoming in our behalf, that we might overcome in his strength. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” RH April 24, 1900, par. 2

If man could appreciate this great blessing, what an advantage it would be to him! He is given the privilege of being a laborer together with God in the saving of his soul. Receiving and believing is his part of the contract. He is to receive Christ as his personal Saviour, and is to continue to believe in him. This means abiding in Christ, showing in him, at all times and under all circumstances, a faith that is a representation of his character—a faith that works by love, and purifies the soul from all defilement. Christ is the author of this faith, and he demands that it be constantly exercised. Thus we receive a continuous supply of grace. RH April 24, 1900, par. 3

Each person must obtain an experience for himself. No one can depend for salvation on the experience or practice of any other man. We must each become acquainted with Christ in order properly to represent him to the world. “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” None of us need excuse our hasty temper, our misshapen characters, our selfishness, envy, jealousy, or any impurity of soul, body, or spirit. God has called us to glory and virtue. We are to obey the call. RH April 24, 1900, par. 4

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” How can we escape the power of one who was once an exalted angel in the heavenly courts? He was a being full of beauty and personal charm, blessed with a powerful intellect. Because of his exaltation he thought himself equal with God. He rebelled against his Creator, and by his rebellion he led astray some of the heavenly angels. With these he was cast out of heaven, and then he set up a kingdom of his own, determined that he would allure the world to his apostate banner. How can we discern his false theories and resist his temptations?—Only through the individual experience gained by receiving a knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. Without divine aid we could not possibly escape the temptations and snares that Satan has prepared to deceive human minds. RH April 24, 1900, par. 5

In his prayer to the Father, Christ said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” We must learn of Christ. We must know what he is to those he has ransomed. We must realize that through belief in him it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then we are cleansed from all sin, all defects of character. We need not retain one sinful propensity. Christ is the sin-bearer; John pointed the people to him, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” And Paul declared. “You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, ... and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” RH April 24, 1900, par. 6

Christ says to us, “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.” We are ever to learn of Christ. Yoked up with him in perfect restraint, we are to be learners during our whole lifetime. Then we are indeed “laborers together with God.” We can be acceptable teachers only as we learn Christ's meekness and lowliness. Constantly we must learn more and more regarding these attributes. As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, daily partaking of his nature, we co-operate with God in overcoming Satan's temptations. God works, and man works, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with God. Then we sit together with Christ in heavenly places. The mind rests with peace and assurance in Jesus. The Saviour declares, “He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” In him there is inexhaustible fullness. As we follow on to know the Lord, we shall lead souls to the living word. With us they will know that his going forth is prepared as the morning. RH April 24, 1900, par. 7

Why, then, do we not have more of the Holy Spirit?—Because we do not abide in Christ; because we do not eat his flesh and drink his blood. All who eat the heavenly bread will have eternal life. God has given us every facility, every grace. He has provided the riches of heaven's treasure, and it is our privilege to draw continually from this capital. But we do not avail ourselves of this privilege. Vanity, evil-thinking, and evil-speaking keep us powerless and inefficient. Self is cherished, petted, exalted; and therefore we can not work out our own salvation in harmony with God's will. RH April 24, 1900, par. 8

The service of Christ demands prompt obedience. We are to walk as he walked, following closely in his footsteps, manifesting his meekness and lowliness. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” “He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk even as he walked.” The service of Christ is pure and elevated. The path he traveled is not one of self-pleasing, self-gratification. He speaks to his children, saying, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” The price of heaven is submission to Christ. The way to heaven is obedience to the command, Deny thyself, take up thy cross, and follow me. As Jesus journeyed, so we must journey. The path he followed, we must follow; for that path leads to the mansions he is preparing for us. RH April 24, 1900, par. 9