The Review and Herald

759/1902

February 5, 1895

Conquer Through the Conqueror

EGW

Christ was tempted of Satan on our account. He saw that it was not possible for man in his own strength to overcome the powerful foe, therefore he came in person from the courts of glory, and bore the test that Adam failed to endure. Christ resisted the manifold temptations of Satan on man's behalf, and through his name made it possible for man to overcome Satan on his own behalf. RH February 5, 1895, par. 1

When we are burdened, when we are pressed with temptation, when the feelings and desires of the natural heart are contending for the victory, we should offer up fervent, importunate prayer to our Heavenly Father in the name of Christ; and this will bring Jesus to our help, so that, through his all-powerful and efficacious name, we may gain the victory and banish Satan from our side. But we should not flatter ourselves that we are safe while we make but feeble efforts in our own behalf. The words of Christ should have weight with us: “Strive [agonize] to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” RH February 5, 1895, par. 2

Our danger does not arise from the opposition of the world; but it is found in the liability of our being in friendship with the world, and imitating the example of those who love not God or his truth. The loss of earthly things for the truth's sake, the suffering of great inconvenience for loyalty to principle, does not place us in danger of losing our faith and hope; but we are in danger of suffering loss because of being deceived and overcome by the temptations of Satan. Trials will work for our good, if we receive and bear them without murmuring, and will tend to separate us from the love of the world, and will lead us to trust more fully in God. RH February 5, 1895, par. 3

There is help for us only in God. We should not flatter ourselves that we have any strength or wisdom of our own; for our strength is weakness, our judgment foolishness. Christ conquered the foe in our behalf, because he pitied our weakness and knew that we would be overcome and would perish if he did not come to our help. He clothed his divinity with humanity, and thus was qualified to reach man with his human arm, while with his divine arm he grasped the throne of the Infinite. The merits of Christ elevate and ennoble humanity, and through the name and grace of Christ, it is possible for man to overcome the degradation caused by the fall, and through the exalted, divine nature of Christ, to be linked to the Infinite. It is dangerous for us to think that by any easy or common effort we may win the eternal reward. Let us consider how much it cost our Saviour in the wilderness of temptation to carry on in our behalf the conflict with the wily, malignant foe. Satan knew that everything depended upon his success or failure in his attempt to overcome Christ with his manifold temptations. Satan knew that the plan of salvation would be carried out to its fulfillment, that his power would be taken away, that his destruction would be certain, if Christ bore the test that Adam failed to endure. The temptations of Satan were most effective in degrading human nature, for man could not stand against their powerful influence; but Christ in man's behalf, as man's representative, resting wholly upon the power of God, endured the severe conflict, in order that he might be a perfect example to us. RH February 5, 1895, par. 4

There is hope for man. Jesus says: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” The work before us is to overcome as Christ overcame. He fasted forty days, and suffered the keenest pangs of hunger. Christ suffered on our account beyond our comprehension, and we should welcome trial and suffering on our own account for Christ's sake, that we may overcome as Christ also overcame, and be exalted to the throne of our Redeemer. Let us consider the life and suffering of our precious Saviour in our behalf, and remember that if we are not willing to endure trial, toil, and conflict, if we are not willing to be partakers with Christ of his sufferings, we shall be found unworthy of a seat upon his throne. RH February 5, 1895, par. 5

We have everything to gain in the conflict with our mighty foe, and we dare not for a moment yield to his temptations. We know that in our own strength it is not possible for us to succeed; but as Christ humbled himself, and took upon himself our nature, he is acquainted with our necessities, and has himself borne the heaviest temptations that man will have to bear, has conquered the enemy in resisting his suggestions, in order that man may learn how to be conqueror. He was clothed with a body like ours, and in every respect suffered what man will suffer, and very much more. We shall never be called upon to suffer as Christ suffered; for the sins not of one, but the sins of the whole world were laid upon Christ. He endured humiliation, reproach, suffering, and death, that we by following his example might inherit all things. RH February 5, 1895, par. 6

Christ is our pattern, the perfect and holy example that has been given us to follow. We can never equal the pattern; but we may imitate and resemble it according to our ability. When we fall, all helpless, suffering in consequence of our realization of the sinfulness of sin; when we humble ourselves before God, afflicting our souls by true repentance and contrition; when we offer our fervent prayers to God in the name of Christ, we shall as surely be received by the Father, as we sincerely make a complete surrender of our all to God. We should realize in our inmost soul that all our efforts in and of ourselves will be utterly worthless; for it is only in the name and strength of the Conqueror that we shall be overcomers. RH February 5, 1895, par. 7

If we believe in the power of Jesus’ name, and present our petitions to God in his name, we shall never be turned away. The Lord says, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” The psalmist says, “He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.” Our help cometh from God, who holds all things in his own hands. Our peace is in the assurance that his love is exercised toward us. If faith grasps this assurance, we have gained all; if we lose this assurance, all is lost. When we surrender all we have and are to God, and are placed in trying and dangerous positions, coming in contact with Satan, we should remember that we shall have victory in meeting the enemy in the name and power of the Conqueror. Every angel would be commissioned to come to our rescue, when we thus depend upon Christ, rather than that we should be permitted to be overcome. But we need not expect to get the victory without suffering; for Jesus suffered in conquering for us. While we suffer in his name, while we are called upon to deny appetite, and to withdraw ourselves from lovers of pleasure, we should not murmur, but should rather rejoice that we are privileged in a very small degree to be partakers with Christ of the trial, the sacrifice, the self-denial, and the suffering that our Lord endured on our behalf, that we might obtain eternal salvation. RH February 5, 1895, par. 8

Nothing can be more helpless, nothing can be more dependent, than the soul that feels its nothingness, and relies wholly upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour. The Christian life is a life of warfare, of continual conflict. It is a battle and a march. But every act of obedience to Christ, every act of self-denial for his sake, every trial well endured, every victory gained over temptation, is a step in the march to the glory of final victory. If we take Christ for our guide, he will lead us safely along the narrow way. The road may be rough and thorny; the ascent may be steep and dangerous; there may be pitfalls upon the right hand and upon the left; we may have to endure toil in our journey; when weary, when longing for rest, we may have to toil on; when faint, we may have to fight; when discouraged, we may be called upon to hope; but with Christ as our Guide, we shall not lose the path to immortal life, we shall not fail to reach the desired haven at last. Christ himself has trod the rough pathway before us, and has smoothed the path for our feet. The narrow path of holiness, the way cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, is illuminated by Him who is the Light of the world. As we follow in his steps, his light will shine upon us; and as we reflect the light borrowed from the glory of Christ, the path will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. RH February 5, 1895, par. 9

We may think it pleasant at first to follow pride and worldly ambition; but the end is pain and sorrow. Selfish plans may present flattering promises, and hold out the hope of enjoyment; but we shall find that our happiness is poisoned and our life embittered by hopes that center in self. In following Christ we are safe; for he will not suffer the powers of darkness to hurt one hair of our heads. He will keep that which is committed to his trust, and we shall be more than conquerors through him that loved us. RH February 5, 1895, par. 10