Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

March 24, 1890

Faith Does Not Make Void the Law

By Mrs. E. G. White

The blood of Christ was shed to atone for sin and to cleanse the sinner; and we must take hold of the merits of Christ's blood, and believe that we have life through his name. Let not the fallacies of Satan deceive you; you are justified by faith alone, but faith in Christ does not absolve you from obligation to keep God's unchangeable law, which is as sacred as his throne. Faith is essential, but genuine faith will enable its possessor to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit.

Sin is the transgression of the law, and no man can be saved in sin. The sinner must repent toward God, and become obedient to God's law through faith in Christ. Faith is the hand that lays hold on Omnipotence. When we do those things that are lawful and right, through the grace of Christ, we are keeping God's commandments; and to such God has pledged his word that he will do great things. Like Daniel, you may make confession of your sin, and present daily supplication unto God; but however poor and unworthy and erring you may feel yourselves to be, it is your privilege to appropriate the promises of God. You may obtain the grace and help which Christ alone is able to give you. God can no more forget one of his children who is seeking to be obedient to his holy requirements than he can forget himself. The Scriptures declare that Christ has graven us on the palms of his hands, that he holds us in everlasting remembrance.

An impulse, an emotional exercise, is not faith or sanctification. Sanctification is the doing of all the commandments of God. Some of you have failed to do this, because you have taken your eyes away from Jesus, and have looked to yourselves. Some have kept Christ apart from their lives because they felt their own unworthiness; but Christ died upon the cross of Calvary for the unrighteous and unworthy. If they look to him, will they perish?—No; they are to look and live. You who feel that your work is unworthy and full of imperfections, you who are weary and heavy-laden, Jesus invites you to come to him, that you may find rest to your souls. Jesus desires you to wear his yoke, to lift his burdens, and he says his yoke is easy, and his burden is light.

Noah was a preacher of righteousness; but all his warnings were despised by the generation to whom they were addressed. Truth will never be popular with the world; for the world is at enmity with God's law. The world is full of sin, full of falsehood, full of transgression. Jesus preached the truth faithfully, affectionately, earnestly, practicing self-denial; and did the world flock to his banner?—No; when did truth ever meet with more stern and positive rejection than at the time of Christ? If we place ourselves in right relation to God, that we may teach the truth, practice the truth, and become sanctified through it, we shall not always meet with success in our efforts for others; we shall have to trust the result with God, and not drive ourselves to the brink of despair because men will harden their hearts and reject the plainest declaration of the Scriptures. We must hold fast our faith, and strengthen our souls by firm reliance upon the promise of God. You may say, “I know I am an unworthy laborer, but I rely upon Christ's righteousness. The merit of the blood of Christ is my only plea. I know I am a sinner, but the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.” We must honor God by believing his promises.

There are those who have had an excellent experience, who have been strong in the truth, who have known what it is to believe God, and their faith has been counted unto them for righteousness, but Satan has worked to discourage them and to break their hold upon God. Although clouds have encompassed them, the Lord has not forsaken, the Lord will lift them up, give them physical strength, and encourage and revive their faith. We shall have to wage a constant battle with Satan, if we preserve our faith to the end amid the discouragements that will press upon us. We must look away from self, for Jesus is our only hope. The language of the soul must be, “He is mine; I will never let go his arm. He will bless me; the cleansing blood will be applied to my soul.”

Whatever may be our difficulties, Jesus knows all about them; we may tell them all to our sympathizing Saviour. He pities our every weakness, he is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Let us carry our burdens to him trustingly, and we shall see his salvation. If we pray for it, if we believe for it, we shall have the heavenly endowment of his Spirit. Stretch forth your hands in faith today, for Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. Send up your petitions, crying, “Abide with us; we need thy presence, thy love, thy pardon.” He will not pass you by, he will abide with you and bless you.

The Lord is willing to give each of you a rich experience; for he would have you able to appreciate the knowledge of the truth he has given you, and to value the precious tokens of his love. He desires to give you greater evidences of his love, still more marked answers to your prayers, a deeper and closer acquaintance with himself; for the Lord has a work for each one to do. If you will come up to your exalted privileges, you will have increased faith. Remember that faith is not feeling. We are inclined to measure our religious attainments by our emotions; but feeling is no criterion by which to judge. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Those who have had moral courage to stand in defense of the faith in times past, should now be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. We have a work to do for the Master, and we should put on the whole armor of righteousness. When Satan tells you of your unworthiness, you can acknowledge it, but at the same time you can present a compassionate Saviour, who will save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. Talk faith, talk hope and courage, and come into the light. It is by beholding the loveliness of the character of Christ that we are to be changed into his image. Look away from the darkness, look away from yourself to your compassionate Redeemer, and let your soul be inspired by faith and prayer. Bring Jesus into your life, the virtues of his character into your character.

We are not to yield to the suggestions of Satan. It is his design to deceive you either by flattering your vanity, or by causing you to become discouraged in dwelling upon your unworthiness. He will seek to surround you with the society of those who will confuse your faith and break your connection with God; but you should keep a holy trust in God, and maintain a Christian character consistent with your religious faith. You should be meek yet resolute, cheerful yet devout, that sin may not be sanctioned by you in any form.

In your home life you should manifest patience, forbearance, and love. You should walk circumspectly, wisely, and in a perfect way. You should begin and end the day with prayer, and be full of faith and gratitude toward God. Let your words be select, well chosen, seasoned with salt, that your soul may be constantly reaching up for higher attainments. If this is your attitude, the peace of God will not be an occasional visitor, but an abiding guest, ruling in the heart. The Spirit of God will soften and subdue the soul, and ennoble the character. What is healthful piety but a well-balanced experience? We must have more faith. The language of the soul should be, “Because Jesus lives, I shall live also.” There is freedom for us in Christ, and if we look to him in faith at all times, we shall have the blessed assurance of his presence; but if we distrust his love and power, we shall dishonor God. It is our privilege to have Jesus as our constant helper.

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