The Review and Herald

1189/1902

April 29, 1902

The Glory of the Cross

EGW

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 1

The apostle magnifies the grace and mercy of God, shown in his miraculous conversion and in the sacred trust committed to him as a minister of Christ. By God's abundant mercy he and his brethren have been sustained in affliction, difficulty, and danger. He declares that they have not walked in craftiness, nor handled the word of God deceitfully. They have been unselfish, showing no avarice. They have not modeled their faith and teaching to suit the desires of their hearers, nor kept back truths profitable for them in order to make their teaching less offensive. They have not clouded the truths of God's word, so that their meaning should not be understood. On the contrary, feeling the importance of their calling, they have presented the truth with simplicity and clearness, praying for the conviction and conversion of souls. They have endeavored to bring their conduct into harmony with the truth presented, that this truth might commend itself to every man's conscience. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 2

Paul knew that, by many, conviction would be thrown off, that hearts would rise up against the truth, be it presented ever so wisely. The hearts of many were blinded by prejudice and lust. They could not see the beauty of the truth. But the apostle would not permit this to discourage him in his labor. If after he had plainly presented the truth, the hearts of the people were still covered by a veil, neither the truth nor the minister presenting it were at fault. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 3

Man's Mind Blinded by Worldliness

In this age we find men and women professing godliness who refuse to walk in the light which shows that they have greater truths to accept,—truths which involve a cross,—truths which, if accepted, would separate them from the world. They refuse to recognize the sacred claims of God's law. In an effort to justify their theories and their course, they misinterpret the plainest statements of Scripture. Filled with the love of the world, they say, “I cannot see; I cannot see.” RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 4

To such are applicable the words of Paul: “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Men are crying, “Christ, Christ; give us Christ; but the law we will not acknowledge.” Turning from the law, they turn from the Giver of the law, and they turn also from Christ; for he declares, “I and my Father are one.” RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 5

In every mind the solemn inquiry should be, “What must I do to be saved?” I must know for myself what is truth, that I may be sanctified by the truth, and thus obtain a fitness for the higher life. But Satan is untiring in his efforts to keep the transforming light of the gospel from the hearts of men. Those who do not willfully oppose, those who, like Paul, war against the truth ignorantly, may be converted. Yet it remains a stern, lamentable fact that among professed believers, as well as among unbelievers, the enemy blinds many to their ruin. They allow him to rob them of all desire to investigate the inspired word for themselves. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 6

“We preach not ourselves,” Paul continued, “but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The object of the apostles’ ministry was not self-exaltation. They did not covet authority or pre-eminence. They preached Christ. This was their theme. They hid self in the Saviour. The great plan of salvation, and the life of Christ, the author and finisher of this plan, were exalted before their hearers. Christ, yesterday, today, and forever, was the burden of their teaching. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 7

If those who today are preaching the word of God, would cease to glory in self, and would exalt the cross of Christ, their ministry would be far more successful. If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, to obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, all is gained. But very few ministers point sinners as they should to the Lamb of God. Few have a just estimate of the worth of souls or of the power of Christ to save. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 8

Satan's work is to make the truth of God of none effect. Cast out of heaven because of his transgression, his aim has ever been to defeat God's purpose for man. He seeks to make it appear that the law is imperfect, unjust, tyrannical. He declares that it is impossible for man to keep the law. And in his own power man cannot keep the law. Without a Saviour, he is without hope. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 9

Christ saw the helpless condition of the race, and he came to redeem them by living the life of obedience the law requires, and by paying in his death the penalty of disobedience. He came to bring us the message and means of deliverance, an assurance of salvation, not through the abrogation of the law, but through obedience made possible by his merits. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 10

To make it possible for human beings to be kings and priests to God, the Commander of the angels took the position of a servant. He set us a perfect example. He asks us to learn of him; for his life was an exemplification of the law. No act of sin marred his conduct. In word and deed he was without blemish. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 11

Christ's death shows God's great love for man. It is the pledge of our salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting out the sun. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to him. Jehovah looks upon it with the relenting compassion of a Father's love. He looks upon the suffering his Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and he accepts us in the Beloved. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 12

Without the cross, man could have no connection with the Father. On it hangs our every hope. In view of it the Christian may advance with the steps of a conqueror; for from it streams the light of the Saviour's love. When the sinner reaches the cross, and looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy; for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ; and the words of pardon are spoken: Live, O ye guilty sinners live. Your repentance is accepted; for I have found a ransom. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 13

Through the cross we learn that our Heavenly Father loves us with an infinite and everlasting love, and draws us to him with more than a mother's yearning sympathy for a wayward child. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”? It is our privilege also to glory in the cross of Calvary, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to him who gave himself for us. Then with the light of love that shines from his face on ours, we shall go forth to reflect it to those in darkness. RH April 29, 1902, Art. A, par. 14