The Review and Herald

1315/1902

March 31, 1904

The Result of Beholding Christ

EGW

God has promised to draw near to all who will draw near to him. All may delight their souls in the Lord. All may grow in grace, in wisdom, and in love; through faithful continuance in well-doing all may become partakers of the divine nature. RH March 31, 1904, par. 1

Those who strive for the Spirit of God will be rewarded in accordance with the promise, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” My brethren and sisters, will you not awake out of sleep? Will you not pray, and watch unto prayer? Through the power that Jesus gives, we can be “more than conquerors.” But we can not manufacture this power. Only through the Spirit of God can we receive it. We need a deep insight into the nature of Christ and into the mystery of his love, “which passeth knowledge.” We are to live in the warm, genial rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Nothing but Christ's loving compassion, his divine grace, his almighty power, can enable us to baffle the relentless foe, and subdue the opposition of our own hearts. What is our strength?—The joy of the Lord. Let the love of Christ fill our hearts, and then we shall be prepared to receive the power that he has for us. RH March 31, 1904, par. 2

Let us thank God every day for the blessings that are ours. If the human agent will humble himself before God, realizing how inappropriate it is for him to cherish self-sufficiency, realizing his utter inability to do the work that needs to be done in order that his soul may be purified; if he will cast away his own righteousness, Christ will abide in his heart. He will put his hand to the work of creating him anew, and will continue the work till he is complete in him. RH March 31, 1904, par. 3

Christ will never neglect the work that has been placed in his hands. He will inspire the resolute disciple with a sense of the perversity, the sin-stained condition, the depravity, of the heart upon which he is working. The true penitent learns the uselessness of self-importance. Looking to Jesus, comparing his own defective character with the Saviour's perfect character, he says only, RH March 31, 1904, par. 4

“In my hand no price I bring;
Simply to thy cross I cling.”
RH March 31, 1904, par. 5

With Isaiah he declares, “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.” RH March 31, 1904, par. 6

“Dead in Trespasses and Sins”

“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.” RH March 31, 1904, par. 7

Spiritual death is here spoken of. How many there are who are unwarned, and in consequence unconvicted. They are passing on, in harmony with the world and with the desires of their own undisciplined, unsubdued hearts. They live in pleasure and worldliness, and should sickness come, and death overtake them, they would be found unready. They are not interested in the race for eternal life. They do not look upon the conflict against sin, the warfare with principalities and powers, as essential. They are in need of light. Satan holds them in his power, and they see not their danger. They know nothing of the crucifixion that cuts away from the life all that separates the soul from Christ. They are subject to the power of the spirit that works in the children of disobedience. RH March 31, 1904, par. 8

This spirit is Satan, the fallen angel, the ruler of the power of darkness. He has control of the spirits of evil, and through them he seeks to gain control of human beings. He is the head of the fallen angels. He supplies them with vital force. RH March 31, 1904, par. 9

How many there are who are left in darkness because the lives of those who have had light, and who profess to believe the truth, are a falsehood, a fatal deception. These professed Christians have kept the truth in the outer court. It has not been brought into the daily life. They may belong to the church, but this will not save them. Those who do the works of a sinner will receive the punishment of a sinner. Profession is but a snare to those who have no experience in the reality of true Christianity, who know not the principles that lead the Christian to inquire at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” RH March 31, 1904, par. 10

Raised to Spiritual Life

“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 March 31, 1904, par. 11

As God raised Christ from the dead, that he might bring life and immortality to light through the gospel, and thus save his people from their sins, so Christ has raised fallen human beings to spiritual life, quickening them with his life, filling their hearts with hope and joy. RH March 31, 1904, par. 12

“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.” RH March 31, 1904, par. 13

Power That Gains the Victory

Beholding Christ for the purpose of becoming like him, the seeker after truth sees the perfection of the principles of God's law, and he becomes dissatisfied with everything but perfection. Hiding his life in the life of Christ, he sees the holiness of the divine law as revealed in the character of Christ, and more and more earnestly he strives to be like him. A warfare may be expected at any time; for the tempter sees that he is losing one of his subjects. A battle must be fought with the attributes that Satan has been strengthening for his own use. RH March 31, 1904, par. 14

The human agent sees what he has to contend with,—a strange power opposed to the idea of attaining the perfection that Christ holds out. But he knows that with the Redeemer there is saving power that will gain for him the victory in the conflict. The Saviour will strengthen and help him as he comes pleading for grace and efficiency. RH March 31, 1904, par. 15

Paul's Experience

Paul had a wonderful experience. He says: “If any man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more; circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is of the law, blameless.” That is, he was trying to keep the letter of the law perfectly. RH March 31, 1904, par. 16

But a change came in his life. On his way to Damascus to persecute the followers of Christ, he was suddenly stopped. Christ revealed himself to him. Henceforth his testimony was: RH March 31, 1904, par. 17

“Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” RH March 31, 1904, par. 18

The righteousness that heretofore he had thought of so much worth was now worthless in his sight. The longing of his soul was, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” RH March 31, 1904, par. 19

In his estimation no treasure could equal the gift of the knowledge of Christ. He trusted in the Saviour's power to save even him, who had persecuted his followers. RH March 31, 1904, par. 20

If God's people today would see how far short they fall of being what they ought to be; if they would strive with the powers of the whole being to reach the standard that God has declared they must reach; if they would put into their efforts an energy and a perseverance proportionate to the greatness of the reward offered, how wonderfully they would be blessed, and how much God would accomplish through them! RH March 31, 1904, par. 21

The adversary stands ready to lead church-members into strange paths. Let them keep the soul fully guarded, and filled with the light and grace and life that heaven is always ready to supply. RH March 31, 1904, par. 22

“Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” We are children of one family,—a family acknowledged to be of heavenly extraction. We are to live lives that declare us to be children of God. We are not to follow the customs and the policy of the world, but the law of heaven. We are Christ's purchased possession, and we are to put away envy and evil-surmising, and love one another as Christ has loved us, helping one another to press onward and upward. RH March 31, 1904, par. 23