Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 73

The Christ for To-Day - 2

W. W. Prescott

(Continued.)

It is a wondrous truth that to-day humanity is sitting upon the very throne of God. It is a truth in which each one has a personal interest, that Jesus Christ, having taken our humanity,-he came as Son of man,-lived, died, arose, ascended on high, and sitteth on the right hand of God as Son of man. Not that he bears in heaven our flesh of sin; he still bears our humanity, but it is our humanity glorified. It is the completion of God’s ideal for humanity. He took humanity as we find it to day,-fallen, sinful. He lived in it, but he glorified that humanity, and he sitteth on the right hand of God to-day in our humanity glorified; and to-day our humanity is thus exalted of God, and having been freed from imputed sin, Christ is bearing our humanity as our brother in the flesh. God looks upon us in Christ as his completed work. Christ was here where we are, was subject to temptations, passed through the grave, was raised on high. That it God’s idea of the experience of humanity. When we receive Christ in place of ourselves, we let ourselves go. Then we enter into the experience of our substitute, and God looks upon him, and sees there what we are in him, and then the work. Christ was here where we are, was subject to temptations, passed through the grave, was raised on high. That is God’s idea of the experience of humanity. When we receive Christ in place of ourselves, we let ourselves go. Then we enter into the experience of our substitute, and God looks upon him, and sees there what we are in him, and then the work of Christ as our High Priest is to minister to us the power and life that will work this transformation in us. So God sees in him what he will be able to see in us when he takes us to be with him. That is Christian experience; that is the very experience that God has for every one.

Let us inquire, How is it possible for us to enter into this experience? Of what value is it to us to work for God, unless we enter into the experience as set forth? That is the only object, that we may be transformed into the life of Jesus Christ. We found that Christ came to our humanity by birth. The Scriptures emphasize the manner of his birth,-born of a woman, born of the seed of David. He was given to us by birth. And the announcement of the angels to the shepherds was, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Now as Christ partook of our nature by birth, so we must partake of his nature by birth. As Christ was twice born,-once in eternity, the only begotten of the Father, and again here in the flesh, thus uniting the divine with the human in that second birth,-so we who have been born once already in the flesh, are to have the second birth, being born again of the Spirit, in order that our experience may be the same,-the human and the divine being joined in a life union.

Salvation is not something which Christ brings to us and gives to us apart from himself. Salvation is simply Christ himself, and there is no salvation except in receiving Christ himself. We have just so much of salvation as we have of Christ. We are just so far saved as we have the Saviour, and it is by his coming in this way and dwelling in us, that we have salvation. Righteousness cannot be received apart from him; and we have just as much righteousness as we have of Christ, and no more. Unless he is the indwelling Christ, the Saviour that is in us, there is no righteousness in us. We cannot separate any of these things from Christ himself.

We must be born again. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:3-5. No one can enter the kingdom of God except he is twice born; once born of the flesh,-that which is born of the flesh is flesh,-and again born of the Spirit,-that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Let us go into the matter a little more fully, and see what it is to be born again, that we may know how to have the experience set forth here. “When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:13-17. How could the Father is heaven reveal to Peter the fact that Jesus of Nazareth, the man who that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but say Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:13-17. How could the Father in heaven reveal to Peter the fact that Jesus of Nazareth, the man who lived, worked, walked, ate, and slept, was the Christ, the Son of the living God?-Only by the imparting to him of the divine life that dwelt in Jesus of Nazareth. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Then Peter, born again with that new life, by that very life recognized the same life in Jesus of Nazareth; and he confessed that he was the Christ, the son of the living God. This experience is just as much a real experience of a birth at it our physical birth. It makes no difference whether or not we have our birthday written down. If the graft is there, you know that the grafting has been done. If Jesus Christ dwells in the heart, he will be revealed in the life. The spiritual life is just as genuine a life as is our physical life. We may not be able to tell how long since we were born again, but it matters not; if the life which comes with the new birth dwells in us and shows itself, that is all that is necessary. We are to enter into that experience which Jesus wrought for us and lives to minister to us. He it in heaven as our advocate, and he holds out to us his own heavenly life in the gift of the Holy Spirit Now to make possible in us the very life that Jesus Christ lived in the flesh, there must be the in dwelling presence. He himself must be the power; he himself must live the life. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth is me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. Hers is the union of the new life,-I have been crucified with Christ; I have shared with him in his crucifixion, and I live; “yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” w. w. p.

(Concluded next week.)

«Back «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»