SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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Chapter 8

1. See EGW on 1 Timothy 2:5. 7BC 931.5

1, 2 (Romans 12:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 12:27; see EGW on Romans 8:26, 34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24). Tabernacle a Type of the Christian Church—The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christian church.... The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the “true tabernacle,” whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform. 7BC 931.6

This tabernacle is Christ's body, and from north, south, east, and west He gathers those who shall help to compose it.... A holy tabernacle is built up of those who receive Christ as their personal Saviour.... Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the high priest of all who believe in Him as a personal Saviour (The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1900). 7BC 931.7

5. See EGW on 2 Corinthians 3:7-11. 7BC 931.8

5-13 (chs. 10:16-18; 12:24; Jeremiah 31:31; John 1:12). New Covenant Grounded on Mercy—The blessings of the new covenant are grounded purely on mercy in forgiving unrighteousness and sins. The Lord specifies, I will do thus and thus unto all who turn to Me, forsaking the evil and choosing the good. “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” All who humble their hearts, confessing their sins, will find mercy and grace and assurance. Has God, in showing mercy to the sinner, ceased to be just? Has He dishonored His holy law, and will He henceforth pass over the violation of it? God is true. He changes not. The conditions of salvation are ever the same. Life, eternal life, is for all who will obey God's law.... 7BC 931.9

Under the new covenant, the conditions by which eternal life may be gained are the same as under the old—perfect obedience. Under the old covenant, there were many offenses of a daring, presumptuous character, for which there was no atonement specified by law. In the new and better covenant, Christ has fulfilled the law for the transgressors of law, if they receive Him by faith as a personal Saviour. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” Mercy and forgiveness are the reward of all who come to Christ trusting in His merits to take away their sins. In the better covenant we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ (Letter 276, 1904). 7BC 931.10

6. See EGW on ch. 9:11, 12. 7BC 931.11

6, 7 (chs. 7:22; 10:19, 20; 13:20; Matthew 27:51; Luke 10:27, 28; 2 Corinthians 3:6-9). Terms of God's Covenant—God's people are justified through the administration of the “better covenant,” through Christ's righteousness. A covenant is an agreement by which parties bind themselves and each other to the fulfillment of certain conditions. Thus the human agent enters into agreement with God to comply with the conditions specified in His Word. His conduct shows whether or not he respects these conditions. 7BC 932.1

Man gains everything by obeying the covenant-keeping God. God's attributes are imparted to man, enabling him to exercise mercy and compassion. God's covenant assures us of His unchangeable character. Why, then, are those who claim to believe in God changeable, fickle, untrustworthy? Why do they not do service heartily, as under obligation to please and glorify God? It is not enough for us to have a general idea of God's requirements. We must know for ourselves what His requirements and our obligations are. The terms of God's covenant are, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” These are the conditions of life. “This do,” Christ said, “and thou shalt live.” 7BC 932.2

Christ's death and resurrection completed His covenant. Before this time, it was revealed through types and shadows, which pointed to the great offering to be made by the world's Redeemer, offered in promise for the sins of the world. Anciently believers were saved by the same Saviour as now, but it was a God veiled. They saw God's mercy in figures. The promise given to Adam and Eve in Eden was the gospel to a fallen race. The promise was made that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, and it should bruise His heel. Christ's sacrifice is the glorious fulfillment of the whole Jewish economy. The Sun of Righteousness has risen. Christ our righteousness is shining in brightness upon us. 7BC 932.3

God did not lessen His claim upon men in order to save them. When as a sinless offering Christ bowed His head and died, when by the Almighty's unseen hand the veil of the temple was rent in twain, a new and living way was opened. All can now approach God through the merits of Christ. It is because the veil has been rent that men can draw nigh to God. They need not depend on priest or ceremonial sacrifice. Liberty is given to all to go directly to God through a personal Saviour. 7BC 932.4

It is God's pleasure and will that the blessings bestowed on man shall be given in perfect completeness. He has made provision that every difficulty may be overcome, every want supplied through the Holy Spirit. Thus He designs that man shall perfect a Christian character. God would have us contemplate His love, His promises, given so freely to those who have no merit in themselves. He would have us depend fully, gratefully, rejoicingly, in the righteousness provided for us in Christ. To all who come to God in His appointed way, He freely listens (Manuscript 148, 1897). 7BC 932.5