SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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James

Chapter 1

2, 3. See EGW on Hebrews 12:11. 7BC 935.1

8. See EGW on ch. 4:8; Matthew 6:24. 7BC 935.2

13. See EGW on Genesis 22:1. 7BC 935.3

22-25. See EGW on Romans 8:15-21. 7BC 935.4

23-25. See EGW on Revelation 3:18. 7BC 935.5

23-27 (see EGW on Romans 7:7-9). God's Moral Looking Glass—[James 1:23-27 quoted.] This is the word of the living God. The law is God's great moral looking glass. Man is to compare his words, his spirit, his actions with the Word of God.... True religion means living the Word in your practical life. Your profession is not of any value without the practical doing of the Word (Manuscript 7, 1898). 7BC 935.6

25 (1 John 2:1, 2). The Office of the Mirror—Here is a mirror into which we are to look, and search out every defect of character. But suppose that you look into this mirror and see many defects in your character, and then go away and say, “I am righteous”; will you be righteous? In your own eyes you will be righteous and holy. But how will it be at the bar of God? God has given us a rule, and we are to comply with its requirements; if we dare to do otherwise, to trample this under our feet, and then stand up before God and say, “I am holy, I am holy,” we shall be lost in the great day of accounts. 7BC 935.7

What if we were to go out into the streets and soil our clothes with mud, and then come into the house and, beholding our filthy garments as we stand before the glass, we should say to the mirror, “Cleanse me from my filth”; would it cleanse us from our filth? That is not the office of the looking glass. All that it can do is to reveal that our garments are defiled; it cannot take the defilement away. 7BC 935.8

So it is with the law of God. It points out the defects of character. It condemns us as sinners, but it offers no pardon to the transgressor. It cannot save him from his sins. But God has made a provision. Says John, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” So we come to Him and there we find the character of Jesus, and the righteousness of His character saves the transgressor—if we have done on our part all that we could. 7BC 935.9

And yet while He saves the transgressor, He does not do away with the law of God, but He exalts the law. He exalts the law because it is the detector of sin. And it is Christ's cleansing blood that takes away our sins, when we come to Him with contrition of soul seeking His pardon. He imputes His righteousness, He takes the guilt upon Himself (MS 5, 1885). 7BC 935.10

26. See EGW on ch. 3:2. 7BC 935.11

27. True Religion a Fountain of Charity—The pure religion of Jesus is the fountain from which flow streams of charity, love, self-sacrifice (Letter 7, 1883). 7BC 935.12

A Christian is a Christlike man, a Christlike woman, who is active in God's service, who is present at the social meeting, whose presence will encourage others also. Religion does not consist in works, but religion works; it is not dormant (Letter 7, 1883). 7BC 935.13

Genuine Religion Never Cramps—Many seem to feel that religion has a tendency to make its possessor narrow and cramped, but genuine religion does not have a narrowing influence; it is the lack of religion that cramps the faculties and narrows the mind. When a man is narrow, it is an evidence that he needs the grace of God, the heavenly anointing; for a Christian is one whom the Lord, the God of hosts, can work through, that he may keep the ways of the Lord of the earth and make manifest His will to men (Manuscript 3, 1892). 7BC 935.14