SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW)

57/77

Chapter 5

7. See EGW on Romans 5:1. 6BC 1100.5

10 (John 5:22; Romans 14:10; see EGW on Romans 3:19). Christ the Judge—God designed that the Prince of sufferers in humanity should be judge of the whole world. He who submitted to be arraigned before an earthly tribunal, He who came from the heavenly courts to save man from eternal death, He whom men despised, rejected, and upon whom they heaped all the contempt of which human beings inspired by Satan are capable, He who suffered the ignominious death of the cross—He alone was to pronounce the sentence of reward or of punishment (Manuscript 39, 1898). 6BC 1100.6

11 (Psalm 119:53; Hebrews 4:1). A Proper Fear of God—[Hebrews 4:1 quoted.] The Lord would have His people trust in Him and abide in His love, but that does not mean that we shall have no fear or misgivings. Some seem to think that if a man has a wholesome fear of the judgments of God, it is a proof that he is destitute of faith; but this is not so. 6BC 1100.7

A proper fear of God, in believing His threatenings, works the peaceable fruits of righteousness, by causing the trembling soul to flee to Jesus. Many ought to have this spirit today, and turn to the Lord with humble contrition, for the Lord has not given so many terrible threatenings, pronounced so severe judgments in His Word, simply to have them recorded, but He means what He says. One says, “Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law,” Paul says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (The Review and Herald, October 21, 1890). 6BC 1100.8

14 (John 13:34; 1 John 4:7, 8). Love the Decision of a Sanctified Will—The love of Christ in the heart is what is needed. Self is in need of being crucified. When self is submerged in Christ, true love springs forth spontaneously. It is not an emotion or an impulse, but a decision of a sanctified will. It consists not in feeling, but in the transformation of the whole heart, soul, and character, which is dead to self and alive unto God. Our Lord and Saviour asks us to give ourselves to Him. Surrendering self to God is all He requires, giving ourselves to Him to be employed as He sees fit. Until we come to this point of surrender, we shall not work happily, usefully, or successfully anywhere (Letter 97, 1898). 6BC 1100.9

17 (John 1:12, 13; 3:5-8). Grace Not Inherited—The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again (The Review and Herald, April 12, 1892). 6BC 1101.1

(1 John 2:6; Revelation 3:14-17.) Pure Religion an Imitation of Christ—Pure religion is an imitation of Christ. A religion that is built on self-confidence and selfishness is worthless. The true Christian is a follower of Christ. This following means walking in the light. The heart must be opened to receive the heavenly guest. As long as the heart is closed against His entrance, there can be in it no abiding peace. No sunshine can flood the chambers of the soul temple, breaking through the mist and cloud. 6BC 1101.2

God makes no compromise with sin. A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete. There are a great many kinds of cloth which at first have a fine appearance, but they cannot endure the test. They wash out. The colors are not fast. Under the heat of summer they fade away and are lost. The cloth cannot endure rough handling. 6BC 1101.3

So it is with the religion of many. When the warp and woof of character will not stand the test of trial, the material of which it is composed is worthless. The efforts made to patch the old with a new piece do not better the condition of things; for the old, flimsy material breaks away from the new, leaving the rent much larger than before. Patching will not do. The only way is to discard the old garment altogether, and procure one entirely new. 6BC 1101.4

Christ's plan is the only safe one. He declares, “Behold, I make all things new.” “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” Christ gives man no encouragement to think that He will accept a patchwork character, made up mostly of self, with a little of Christ. This is the condition of the Laodicean church. At first there seems to be some of self and some of Christ. But soon it is all of self and none of Christ. The root of selfishness is revealed. It continues to grow, striking its roots deeper and deeper, till its branches are covered with objectionable fruit. Christ looks with pitying tenderness on all who have combination characters. Those with such a character have a connection with Christ so frail that it is utterly worthless (Letter 105, 1893). 6BC 1101.5

Patchwork Character Not Acceptable—[2 Corinthians 5:17 quoted.] The patchwork religion is not of the least value with God. He requires the whole heart. No part of it is to be reserved for the development of hereditary or cultivated tendencies to evil. To be harsh, to be severe, too self-important, selfish, to look out for one's own selfish interest and yet be zealous that others shall deal unselfishly is a religion which is an abomination to God. Many have just such an experience daily, but it is a misrepresentation of the character of Christ (Letter 31a, 1894). 6BC 1101.6

19 (John 1:18). Satan Sees in Christ a Manifestation of God's Character—There stood in the world One who was a perfect representative of the Father, One whose character and practices refuted Satan's misrepresentation of God. Satan had charged upon God the attribute he himself possessed. Now in Christ he saw God revealed in His true character—a compassionate, merciful Father, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to Him in repentance, and have eternal life (The Signs of the Times, June 9, 1898). 6BC 1101.7

20. See EGW on 1 Corinthians 3:9. 6BC 1102.1

21. See EGW on John 1:14. 6BC 1102.2