The Signs of the Times


May 30, 1895

Christ Our Complete Salvation


The character of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be reproduced in those who believe in him as their personal Saviour. They will be “rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” Our acceptance with God is not upon the ground of our good works, but our reward will be according to our works. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” ST May 30, 1895, par. 1

“The carnal [or natural] mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Human nature could not keep the law, even if it would. Apart from Christ, without union with him, we can do nothing. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” The law requires us to present to God a holy character. It demands of men today just what it demanded of Adam in Eden,—perfect obedience, perfect harmony with all its precepts in all relations of life, under all circumstances and conditions. No unholy thought can be tolerated, no unlovely action can be justified. As the law requires that which no man of himself can render, the human family are found guilty before the great moral standard, and it is not in the province of law to pardon the transgressor of law. The standard of the law cannot be lowered to meet man in his fallen condition. No compromise can be made with the sinner to take less than the full requirement of the law. The law cannot acquit the guilty, it cannot cleanse the sinner, or give power to the transgressor to raise himself into a purer, holier atmosphere. Standing before a holy, good, and just law, and finding ourselves condemned because of transgression, we may well cry out, What shall we do to be saved? ST May 30, 1895, par. 2

There is but one way of escape for the sinner. There is but one agency whereby he may be cleansed from sin. He must accept the propitiation that has been made by the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. The shed blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” A complete offering has been made; for “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,”—not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father's person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. ST May 30, 1895, par. 3

John said, “We have seen, and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” The Son of God took upon him human nature,—“the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” “God was manifest in the flesh.” The union of divinity with humanity brings to the fallen race a value which we scarcely comprehend. The human and the divine were united in Christ, in order that he might represent those who should believe in him. He took our nature, and passed through our experiences, and as our representative he assumed our responsibilities. The sins of men were charged to Christ, and, innocent though he was, he engaged to suffer for the guilty, that through faith in him the world might be saved. “We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” Christ reconciled the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. O, what compassion and love are here revealed! How is humanity exalted through the merits of Christ! His sacrifice was ample and complete. The Holy One died instead of the unholy. He clothed himself in our filthy garments, that we might wear the spotless robe of his righteousness, which was woven in the loom of heaven. He paid the whole debt for all who would believe in him as their personal Saviour. His blood cleanseth from all sin and purifieth from all unrighteousness. In him, through him alone, we have forgiveness of sins. Through faith in his blood we have justification in the sight of God. ST May 30, 1895, par. 4

It will avail nothing for us to do penance, to afflict the body for the sin of the soul, or to flatter ourselves that by our good works we shall merit or purchase an inheritance among the saints. When the question was asked Christ, “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” he answered, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” We are not to do something in order to purchase our entrance into heaven; for the Lord gives us heaven through the merit of Jesus Christ, and not through any merit of our own. Good works are the result of faith and love; for, conscious of the debt of love and gratitude which we owe to God for the infinite sacrifice made in our behalf, we show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Every one is under bonds to God to manifest obedience to all his commandments, relying fully on the righteousness of Christ for his acceptance with God. Accepting the grace of Christ, we are to live to the honor and glory of God, keeping the commandments at any sacrifice to ourselves. “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” ST May 30, 1895, par. 5

The atonement of Christ was not made in order to induce God to love those whom he otherwise hated; it was not made to produce a love that was not in existence; but it was made as a manifestation of the love that was already in God's heart, an exponent of the divine favor in the sight of heavenly intelligences, in the sight of worlds unfallen, and in the sight of a fallen race. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We are not to entertain the idea that God loves us because Christ has died for us, but that he so loved us that he gave his only-begotten Son to die for us. The death of Christ was expedient in order that mercy might reach us with its full pardoning power, and at the same time that justice might be satisfied in the righteous substitute. The glory of God was revealed in the rich mercy that he poured out upon a race of rebels, who through repentance and faith might be pardoned through the merits of Christ, for God will by no means clear the guilty who refuse to acknowledge the merit of a crucified and risen Saviour. It is only through faith in Christ that sinners may have the righteousness of Christ imputed unto them, and that they may be “made the righteousness of God in him.” Our sins were laid on Christ, punished in Christ, put away by Christ, in order that his righteousness might be imputed to us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Although sin was charged to his account on our behalf, yet he remained perfectly sinless. ST May 30, 1895, par. 6

O, what a history we have in the life and death, resurrection and exaltation of Christ! He was the incarnate God, the Lord of life and glory; yet for our sakes he was delivered into the hands of wicked men. Satan and the whole confederacy of evil men and evil angels raged around him, and he suffered that which would have been insupportable to any human being. His life was one of utter self-denial and self-sacrifice, full of achievements of divine mercy, goodness, and power. Disease fled at his touch, the blind saw, the deaf heard, demons were cast out, the dead were raised. The tempest-tossed waters were stilled at his command, and as he hung upon the cross, nature gave signs that she sympathized with her dying Author. The earth reeled and heaved beneath the feet of men; the sun clothed itself in sackcloth. When the mighty angel descended from heaven, parting the darkness from his track, the Roman guard fell as dead men before the resplendent glory, and Christ in his Godhead shone forth as he burst from the tomb, and rose triumphant over death and the grave. The disciples understood, when they saw him arisen from the dead, what he meant when he said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” ST May 30, 1895, par. 7

Shall our faith ever falter again? What stronger evidence could God have given us that Jesus is the Son of God? What greater evidence could be given of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ than that which has been given by those who were eyewitnesses of his Majesty? Will those who claim to believe in Christ as a personal Saviour, dishonor God by doubting that he to whose guardianship they have committed their souls will keep that which has been committed to his trust against that day? Jesus is a risen Saviour. He came forth from the grave to vindicate his previous claims, to confirm the faith of his followers, to establish the truth of his Godhead before men, to make doubly sure the assurance that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ST May 30, 1895, par. 8