The Review and Herald

1567/1902

October 22, 1908

The Inestimable Gift

EGW

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him, ... that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, ... the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” RH October 22, 1908, par. 1

Such are the words in which “Paul the aged,” “the prisoner of Jesus Christ,” writing from his prison-house at Rome, endeavored to set before his brethren that which he found language inadequate to express in its fulness,—“the unsearchable riches of Christ,”—the treasure of grace freely offered to the fallen sons of men. The plan of redemption was laid by a sacrifice, a gift. Says the apostle: “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.” And as the crowning blessing of redemption, “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” RH October 22, 1908, par. 2

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” RH October 22, 1908, par. 3

Christ, by his sacrifice paying the penalty of sin, would not only redeem man, but recover the dominion which man had forfeited. All that was lost by the first Adam will be restored by the second. The prophet says, “O Tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to thee shall it come, even the first dominion.” And Paul points forward to the “redemption of the purchased possession.” God created the earth to be the abode of holy, happy beings. That purpose will be fulfilled when, renewed by the power of God, and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal home of the redeemed. RH October 22, 1908, par. 4

A fear of making the future inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths which lead us to look upon it as our home. Christ assured his disciples that he went to prepare mansions for them in the Father's house. Those who accept the teachings of God's Word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the paradise of God. RH October 22, 1908, par. 5

In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called a country. There the heavenly Shepherd leads his flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the widespreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God's people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home. RH October 22, 1908, par. 6

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” What love, what matchless love, that, sinners and aliens as we are, we may be brought back to God, and adopted into his family! We may address him by the endearing name, “Our Father,” which is a sign of our affection for him, and a pledge of his tender regard and relationship to us. And the Son of God, beholding the heirs of grace, “is not ashamed to call them brethren.” They have even a more sacred relationship to God than have the angels who have never fallen. RH October 22, 1908, par. 7

All the paternal love which has come down from generation to generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but as a tiny rill to the boundless ocean, when compared with the infinite, exhaustless love of God. Tongue can not utter it; pen can not portray it. You may meditate upon it every day of your life; you may search the Scriptures diligently in order to understand it; you may summon every power and capability that God has given you, in the endeavor to comprehend the love and compassion of the Heavenly Father; and yet there is an infinity beyond. You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving his Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible, and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more. And it will be ours to realize the blessing which Paul desired for the Ephesian church, when he prayed “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe.” RH October 22, 1908, par. 8

Christ's redeemed ones are his jewels, his precious and peculiar treasure. “They shall be as the stones of a crown,”—“the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” In them “he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” Christ looks upon his people in their purity and perfection as the reward of all his sufferings, his humiliation, and his love, and the supplement of his glory,—Christ the great center, from whom radiates all glory. RH October 22, 1908, par. 9