The Review and Herald

427/1902

February 28, 1888

Our High Calling

[Sermon at Copenhagen, Denmark, October 11, 1885.]

EGW

Text: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” 1 John 3:1. RH February 28, 1888, par. 1

The love of the Father toward a fallen race is unfathomable, indescribable, without a parallel. This love led him to consent to give his only begotten Son to die, that rebellious man might be brought into harmony with the government of Heaven, and be saved from the penalty of his transgression. The Son of God stepped down from his royal throne, and for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. He became “a Man of sorrows,” that we might be made partakers of everlasting joy. “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” God permitted his beloved Son, full of grace and truth, to come from a world of indescribable glory to a world marred and blighted with sin, shadowed with the shadow of death and the curse. He permitted him to leave the bosom of his love, the adoration of the angels, to suffer shame, insult, humiliation, hatred, and death. And Jesus bore all this untold sorrow, that we might be changed to his divine image, and become the sons of God. John exclaims, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” Is there not a response of gratitude in your hearts? Are you not lost in wonder and adoration as you contemplate the theme of redemption? RH February 28, 1888, par. 2

When Adam fell and lost the liberty of a son of God, and brought himself into captivity to Satan, infinite pity filled the heart of Jesus. He took the field of conflict to fight in man's behalf, that all who desired to leave the cruel bondage of the “god of this world,” might be set free, to serve the living God. Through all the lowly experiences of life, the exalted Son of God, consented to pass, step by step, from the manger to the cross; for “he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” And “he was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” In the wilderness he fasted forty days, and was tried by every subtle temptation that the prince of darkness could devise. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, he suffered the depth of temptation and sorrow, and “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” The nature of man had become so weakened by transgression, that it was an impossibility for him to overcome in his own strength; for he was led captive at the will of Satan; but, through the strength of Christ, every one may be an overcomer. We may be more than conquerors through Him who has “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” RH February 28, 1888, par. 3

The Prince of heaven has placed man in an exalted position. His life has been valued at the cost of Calvary's cross. The penalty of his transgression has been paid by the precious blood of the Son of God. He may, through repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, have remission of sins that are past, have another trial and test his loyalty to God by obedience to his law, that he may win an eternal inheritance. From the depths of sin's degradation, we may be exalted to become heirs with Christ, the sons of God, and kings and priests unto the Most High. Every repentant, obedient soul may stand as did Adam, free from the condemnation of the law. He may “come boldly unto the throne of grace,” and “obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” RH February 28, 1888, par. 4

When Christ bowed on the banks of Jordan, after his baptism, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove, like burnished gold, and encircled him with its glory; and the voice of God from the highest heaven was heard, saying. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The prayer of Christ in man's behalf opened the gates of heaven, and the father had responded, accepting the petition for the fallen race. Jesus prayed as our substitute and surety, and now the human family may find access to the Father through the merits of his well-beloved Son. This earth because of transgression had been struck off from the continent of heaven. Communication had ceased between man and his Maker; but the way has been opened, so that he may return to the Father's house. Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The gate of heaven has been left ajar, and the radiance from the throne of God shines into the hearts of those who love him, even though they dwell in the sin-cursed earth. The light that encircled the divine Son of God will fall upon the pathway of all those who follow in his footsteps. There is no reason for discouragement. The promises of God are sure and steadfast. RH February 28, 1888, par. 5

“Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Do you desire to become the sons and daughters of the Most High? Here is stated the condition of this great privilege. Come, be separate, touch not the unclean. You cannot keep the fellowship of the world, participate in its pleasures, identify yourself with its interests, and still be the sons of God. Says John, “The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” But shall we let the desire for the favor of our Lord's enemies weigh against our accepting the conditions of salvation? You may come unto the Father in the name of his Son, and, no matter how broken and feeble your petitions, Jesus will present them before the throne of infinite power, and the light that was shed upon him, will be reflected upon you. You will be “accepted in the Beloved.” RH February 28, 1888, par. 6

There are great things expected from the sons and daughters of God. I look upon the youth of today, and my heart yearns over them. What possibilities are open before them! If they sincerely seek to learn of Christ, he will give them wisdom, as he gave wisdom to Daniel. They may obtain directions from Him who is mighty in counsel. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Says the psalmist, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” And the wise man writes, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Let the youth try to appreciate the privilege that may be theirs, to be directed by the unerring wisdom of God. Let them take the word of truth as the man of their counsel, and become skillful in the use of “the sword of the Spirit.” Satan is a wise general; but the humble, devoted soldier of Jesus Christ may overcome him. It is written of the victors, that “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” We must not trust in self. Our finite strength is only weakness. Says Jesus, “Without me ye can do nothing;” but he promises, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” RH February 28, 1888, par. 7

It is thought a great honor to be invited into the presence of a king of this earth. But let us consider the amazing privilege that is proffered to us. If we obey the requirements of God, we may become the sons and daughters of the King of the universe. Through a crucified and risen Saviour, we may be filled with the fruits of righteousness, and be fitted to shine in the courts of the King of kings through unending ages. The world does not know the exaltation of the sons and daughters of the Most High. Those around them do not see that the humble, self-denying spirit, the patient meekness of heart, has any extraordinary value. They did not know or appreciate Christ when he was on the earth, and the servant is not greater than his Lord. They could not understand him; and the greater our likeness to the divine character of our Lord, the more we shall be misunderstood by the world. The more we come into fellowship with Christ and heaven, the less will be our fellowship with the world; for we are not of the world, therefore the world knoweth us not. Our work is to seek the closest union with the Son of God, to learn in his school, to become meek and lowly of heart, to work the works of Christ, advancing his kingdom and hastening his coming. RH February 28, 1888, par. 8

The great ambition of the children of this world is to meet the world's standard. They cannot see the precious advantages to be obtained in serving the God of heaven; but the children of light have the great prize set before them. They find the service of Christ is not grievous but full of delight. He says, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Beloved, if God has so loved us, should we not serve him with all our might, and strive to enter in at the strait gate, complying with every requirement of his word? Let us seek by “patient continuance in well-doing” to gain immortality and the crown of life. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” If we do this, we shall ere long see him as he is, and we shall be like him; for he “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body”; for “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Beloved, “behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” Let us try to appreciate this love, and “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” RH February 28, 1888, par. 9