Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), Page 951

Lord's great moral standard of righteousness, the holy law of God, and see that he is a sinner in the light of that law. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”

It is through faith in Jesus Christ that the truth is accepted in the heart, and the human agent is purified and cleansed.... He has an abiding principle in the soul, that enables him to overcome temptation. “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not.” God has power to keep the soul that is in Christ who is under temptation....

A mere profession of godliness is worthless. It is he that abideth in Christ that is a Christian.... Unless the mind of God becomes the mind of men, every effort to purify himself will be useless; for it is impossible to elevate man except through a knowledge of God. The outward gloss may be put on, and men may be as were the Pharisees whom Jesus describes as “whited sepulchres” full of corruption and dead men's bones. But all the deformity of the soul is open to Him who judgeth righteously, and unless the truth is planted in the heart, it cannot control the life. Cleansing the outside of the cup will never make the vessel pure within. A nominal acceptance of truth is good as far as it goes, and the ability to give a reason for our faith is a good accomplishment, but if the truth does not go deeper than this, the soul will never be saved. The heart must be purified from all moral defilement (Letter 13, 1893).

4 (Romans 3:20; see EGW on Galatians 3:24-26; Ephesians 2:14-16). Only Definition of Sin—“Sin is the transgression of the law.” This is the only definition of sin. Without the law there can be no transgression. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” The standard of righteousness is exceeding broad, prohibiting every evil thing (Manuscript 27, 1899).

4, 5. What Is the Justice of God?—The transgression of God's law in a single instance, in the smallest particular, is sin. And the nonexecution of the penalty of that sin would be a crime in the divine administration. God is a judge, the avenger of justice, which is the habitation and foundation of His throne. He cannot dispense with His law, He cannot do away with its smallest item in order to meet and pardon sin. The rectitude and justice and moral excellence of the law must be maintained and vindicated before the heavenly universe and the worlds unfallen.

What is the justice of God? It is the holiness of God in relation to sin. Christ bore the sins of the world in man's behalf that the sinner might have another trial, with all the divine opportunities and advantages which God has provided in man's behalf (Manuscript 145, 1897).

8 (see EGW on Genesis 6:3). Simple Godliness Not Shallowness—John bears testimony of Christ, the giver of the Word, saying, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” In the simplest language John sets before us true practical godliness. This simplicity does not show shallowness, but depth. John is speaking to real men and women, and the Holy Spirit directed him to write in such a way that they would be brought in contact with a real, living God. He shows us what God is doing, and what man must do to meet God's requirements. John does not present the truth hesitatingly, but in a decided manner. He speaks positively [1 John 1:1-7 quoted] (The Signs of the Times, January 11, 1899).

Chapter 4

1 (Isaiah 8:20; Matthew 7:15, 16; 24:11, 23, 24; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 4:1; see EGW on Colossians 2:8; Revelation 1:1, 2). Beware of False Prophets—In these days of peril we are not to accept everything that men bring to us as truth. As professed teachers from God come to us declaring that they have a message from God, it is proper to inquire carefully, How do we know that this is truth? Jesus has told us that “false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many.” But we need not be deceived; for the Word of God gives us a test whereby we may know what is truth. The prophet says, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

From this statement it is evident that it becomes us to be diligent Bible students, that we may know what is according to the

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