The Review and Herald

545/1902

September 23, 1890

The Conditions of Salvation

EGW

The example of Christ shows us that our only hope of victory is in continual resistance of Satan's attacks. He who triumphed over the adversary of souls in the wilderness of temptation, understands what the Christian has to meet; for he has conquered the enemy in our behalf, and as an overcomer, he has given us the advantage of his victory, that we may be able to resist the temptations of the evil one. We have the privilege of uniting our weakness with divine strength, of connecting our imperfection with the merit of Jesus; and sustained by his enduring might, in his all-powerful name, we may be more than conquerors. RH September 23, 1890, par. 1

It was through infinite sacrifice and inexpressible suffering that our Redeemer placed salvation within our reach. He lived in the world unhonored and unknown, that through his condescension and humiliation, he might exalt man to receive heavenly honors and immortal joys in the kingdom of glory. And when all this humiliation and suffering was endured by the divine Son of God, will fallen man murmur because heaven can be obtained only through conflict, abasement, and self-sacrifice? RH September 23, 1890, par. 2

The inquiry of many a proud heart is, “Why need I go in humiliation and penitence before I can find the acceptance of God, and obtain the immortal reward? Why is not the path to heaven less difficult? Why is it not more pleasant and attractive?” We refer all these murmuring, doubting ones to the great Example. Look upon our precious Saviour suffering in the wilderness, bowing under the load of man's guilt, and enduring the keenest pangs of hunger. He was sinless, and more than that, he was the Prince of heaven; but in man's behalf he became sin for the race. The prophet writes, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” RH September 23, 1890, par. 3

Christ sacrificed everything for man in order that he might make a way whereby it would be possible for man to gain heaven. Now it is for fallen man to show what he will sacrifice on his own account for Christ's sake, that he may win immortal glory. Those who have any realization of the magnitude of salvation, of its inestimable value, of what it has cost the Son of God, will never murmur that their sowing must be in tears, and that trial and conflict are their portion. RH September 23, 1890, par. 4

When earthly treasures have our supreme affection, our works will make the fact evident. Then our greatest anxiety, labor, and care will be devoted to worldly interests, while eternal considerations will rank as secondary in our plans. When we are in this condition, Satan receives the homage that is due to God. Selfish love of the world corrupts the faith of the professed followers of Christ, and makes them weak in moral power. The more the heart is centered on earthly treasure, the farther will men depart from God, and the less will they become partakers of the divine nature. It is through a union with Christ that we have a realization of the corrupting influences of the world, and of the peril of harmonizing with its spirit. RH September 23, 1890, par. 5

It is the purpose of Satan to make the world very attractive. He has a bewitching power which he exercises to allure the affections of even the professed followers of Christ. There are many professedly Christian men who will make any sacrifice in order to gain riches, and the more successful they are in obtaining the object of their desires, the less they care for the precious truth and its advancement in the world. They lose their love for God, and act like men who are insane. The more they are prospered in material wealth, the less they invest in the cause of God. The works of those who have an insane love for riches, make it evident that it is impossible to serve two masters, God and mammon. They show to the world that money is their god. They yield their homage to its power, and to all intents and purposes they serve the world. The love of money becomes a ruling power, and for its sake they violate the law of God. They may profess the religion of Christ, but they do not love its principles, or heed its admonitions. They give their best strength to serve the world, and they bow to mammon. RH September 23, 1890, par. 6

It is alarming that so many are deluded by Satan. He excites the imagination with brilliant prospects of worldly gain, and men become infatuated, and think that before them is a prospect of perfect happiness. They are lured on by the hope of obtaining honor and riches and position. Satan says to the soul, “All this will I give thee, all this power and wealth with which you may do good to your fellow-men;” but when the object for which they seek is gained, they find themselves with no connection with the self-denying Redeemer; they are not partakers of the divine nature. They hold to earthly treasures, and despise the requirements of self-denial, self-sacrifice, and humiliation for the truth's sake. They have no desire to part with the dear earthly treasure upon which their heart is set. They have exchanged masters, and accepted the service of mammon instead of the service of Christ. Satan has secured to himself the worship of these deceived souls through the love of worldly treasure. RH September 23, 1890, par. 7

It is often found that the change from godliness to worldliness has been made so imperceptibly by the wily insinuations of the evil one, that the deceived soul is not aware that he has parted company with Christ, and is his servant only in name. RH September 23, 1890, par. 8

Satan deals more guardedly with men than he did with the world's Redeemer in the wilderness of temptation. He lost his case, and retreated from the field of conflict a conquered foe. He does not approach men with a demand for homage by outward worship. All he asks of man is to be dazzled and allured by the presentation of worldly attractions which will, if he succeeds in obtaining them, engage the mind and affections, and lessen the value of heavenly things. All he wants of man is to fall under the influence of his deceptive power, to love the world, to love rank, position, and money, and to place his affections on the things of this world. If he secures this, he gains all that he failed to gain when in conflict with the Son of God. RH September 23, 1890, par. 9

The condition upon which God has ordained that man may obtain eternal life is self-abasement and cross-bearing. The repenting sinner may find comfort and peace in following in the footsteps of his self-denying Redeemer. The thought that Jesus submitted to humiliation, sacrifice, and such suffering as man will never be called upon to endure, should hush every murmuring voice. The sweetest joy comes to man through sincere repentance toward God for the transgression of his law, and through faith in Christ as the sinner's Advocate and Redeemer. RH September 23, 1890, par. 10

Men are willing to labor, to endure toil and hardship, that they may secure some worldly advantage; and why should the Christian shrink from suffering and self-denial when there awaits the overcomer an imperishable treasure, eternal life, and a crown of glory that fadeth not away? RH September 23, 1890, par. 11