Ellen G. White Writings

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Homeward Bound, Page 98

An Example of Repentance, March 21

Create in me a clean heart, O God.—Psalm 51:10.

When the heart yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, the conscience will be quickened, and sinful human beings will discern something of the depth and sacredness of God’s holy law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth. The “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” illumines the secret chambers of the soul, and the hidden things of darkness are made manifest. (John 1:9.) Conviction takes hold upon the mind and heart. Sinners have a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and feel the terror of appearing, in their own guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. They see the love of God, the beauty of holiness, the joy of purity; they long to be cleansed and to be restored to communion with Heaven.

The prayer of David after his fall, illustrates the nature of true sorrow for sin. His repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to palliate his guilt; no desire to escape the judgment threatened, inspired his prayer. David saw the enormity of his transgression; he saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. He longed for the joy of holiness—to be restored to harmony and communion with God. . . .

A repentance such as this, is beyond the reach of our own power to accomplish; it is obtained only from Christ, who ascended up on high and has given gifts unto men. . . .

The Bible does not teach that sinners must repent before they can heed the invitation of Christ, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28.) It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ, that leads to genuine repentance. Peter made the matter clear in his statement to the Israelites when he said, “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.” (Acts 5:31.) We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience than we can be pardoned without Christ.

Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one that can implant in the heart enmity against sin. Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that His Spirit is moving upon our hearts.—Steps to Christ, 24-26.

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