SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW)

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Chapter 7

7. See EGW on 2 Corinthians 3:7-18. 6BC 1076.4

7-9 (Philippians 3:5, 6; James 1:23-25). Paul's Marvelous Change—Paul says that “as touching the law”—as far as outward acts were concerned—he was “blameless”, but when the spiritual character of the law was discerned, when he looked into the holy mirror, he saw himself a sinner. Judged by a human standard, he had abstained from sin, but when he looked into the depths of God's law, and saw himself as God saw him, he bowed in humiliation, and confessed his guilt. He did not go away from the mirror and forget what manner of man he was, but he exercised genuine repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. He was washed, he was cleansed. He says, “I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” 6BC 1076.5

Sin then appeared in its true hideousness, and his self-esteem was gone. He became humble. He no longer ascribed goodness and merit to himself. He ceased to think more highly of himself than he ought, and he ascribed all the glory to God. He was no longer ambitious for greatness. He ceased to want to avenge himself, and was no longer sensitive to reproach, neglect, or contempt. He no longer sought earthly alliance, station, or honor. He did not pull others down to uplift himself. He became gentle, condescending, meek and lowly of heart, because he had learned his lesson in the school of Christ. He talked of Jesus and His matchless love, and grew more and more into His image. He bent his whole energy to win souls to Christ. When trial came upon him because of his unselfish labor for souls, he bowed in prayer, and his love for them increased. His life was hid with Christ in God, and he loved Jesus with all the ardor of his nature. Every church was dear to him; every church member was a person of interest to him; for he looked upon every soul as the purchase of the blood of Christ (The Review and Herald, July 22, 1890). 6BC 1076.6

9. God's Law Did Not Die—The apostle Paul, in relating his experience, presents an important truth concerning the work to be wrought in conversion. He says, “I was alive without the law once”—he felt no condemnation; “but when the commandment came,” when the law of God was urged upon his conscience, “sin revived, and I died.” Then he saw himself a sinner, condemned by the divine law. Mark, it was Paul, and not the law, that died (The Spirit of Prophecy 4:297). 6BC 1076.7

12 (ch. 3:25; Ephesians 1:7). The Law Holds Its Dignity—Through the plan of salvation the law holds its dignity in condemning the sinner, and the sinner can be saved through the propitiation of Christ for our sins, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” The law is not changed in any particular to meet man in his fallen condition. It remains what it ever has been—holy, just, and good (The Review and Herald, May 23, 1899). 6BC 1076.8