Ellen G. White Writings

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Bible Echo and Signs of the Times

February 15, 1892

“Ye Are Complete In Him”

[A discourse in Melbourne, December 19, 1891.]

Mrs. E. G. White

(Concluded.)

Text: Colossians 2:1-10

When Moses prayed, “Lord, show me thy glory,” the Lord took this atom of humanity, who was yet a mighty man of faith, and placed him in the cleft of the rock, and covered him with his hand, and the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.”

The glory of the Lord is his goodness and love. Then do not teach your children that God frowns upon them, but that when they sin they grieve the Spirit of God, who always loves them. Draw your children to Jesus. But if you would draw your children to Jesus, you must not enter your home with cross words, with a frown upon your brow. If you come from your business weary and worn, just plead with God for his grace, for his restful spirit, that your heart may be melted into tenderness, and that your lips may be filled with words of kindness and comfort. Bind your children to your heart. Recommend your religion to them by its pleasantness. Your children are a part of you, and can you bear to have them separated from you in the day of Christ's coming? Give them a representation of the character of Christ, by your own Christlike character, and let your home be as a heaven upon earth.

The religion of Christ will take away all the ruggedness of the character, and will melt and subdue the soul. It is the Spirit of God that we need. Let the work begin by turning to the Lord with full purpose of heart, that the heart may be softened, and that Christ may mould and fashion you after his own divine image. But many feel that they cannot go to Jesus in confidence. They say, “It does not seem as though God heard my prayers. I have tried and tried to rid my soul of sin, but I cannot do it.” Then say, “Lord, I am powerless to cleanse and save myself, and I cast my helpless soul on thee.” That is what Jacob did. All night long he had been wrestling with One whom he supposed was his enemy; but it was the great I AM, the mighty God, the Prince of peace; and just as long as he continued his wrestling, he found no comfort, no hope. It was a life-and-death question with him, and his strength was almost exhausted. Then the Angel touched his thigh, and he knew that he wrestled with no common adversary. Wounded and helpless, Jacob fell upon his bosom, just as you and I must do, just as any soul does when he falls upon the Rock and is broken. “Let me go for the day breaketh,” pleaded the angel; but Jacob ceased not his intercession, and Christ had to make terms with this helpless, broken, penitent soul, in accordance with his own character: “And let him take hold of my strength, and make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Our precious Saviour cannot tear himself away from a soul wounded and helpless, and crying unto him for aid. Jacob pleaded with determined spirit, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” Who was it that inspired this spirit of persistence?—It was He who wrestled with the patriarch: it was He who gave him the victory, who changed his name from Jacob to Israel, and said, “As a prince hast thou power with God, and with men, and hast prevailed.”

But many of you say, “The nearer I seek to come to Christ, the worse I feel.“ Did not Jacob have this very experience? As you see the wounds and bruises that sin has made in you, look upon the bruised body of your divine Redeemer, wounded in your behalf, that the marks which sin has made may be healed. Have you not again and again felt distressed and agonized in looking to yourself for merit? I have. And now the question is, What will you do? You can say, “Lord Jesus, I cannot blot out one stain of sin from my soul. I must come to thee:

‘Just as I am, without one plea, But that thy blood was shed for me.’ I can only come saying,— ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to thy cross I cling.’”

You might say, “I will give all my goods to feed the poor, I will give my body to be burned;” but that would not better your case. Man can do nothing to merit the favor of Heaven. That which avails for the sinner is to accept gladly the sacrifice which Christ has made, and appreciate his love, laying hold of his righteousness by faith. He loves you; and when you love him because he first loved you, you will feel that every power of soul and body belongs to him. Take his free gift to you, and then give yourself freely to him; and the power of God will come upon you.

But when you ask God for his blessing, do not mark out the way in which he is to give you that blessing. You will not always receive it in just the way you think it will come. Ask the Lord to give you the very blessing you need in the very way in which he sees will be for your best good. Let your prayer be, “Give me that which my soul needs, in order that I may be a faithful sentinel for God.”

“Come, now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Can we not believe the promise of God, and know that he will do for us just what he has promised? We need the vital touch of faith, that we may know that the mercy of God is extended toward us. God accepts us through Christ, and we are not to feel that we are of no value in his sight. He sent his only begotten Son into the world to die for us, and we are to value ourselves in the light of the cross of Calvary. Jesus declares: “I will make a man more precious than gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” And we may all be made precious in Christ; for he says to those who feel their own weakness, “Let him take hold of my strength, and make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.”

If the life of Jesus was in you, you would be filled with vital energy. The church would not be in a cold, backslidden state, but we should see a revival of the missionary spirit. You would not rest in ease, taking the privileges of the gospel as though they were meant exclusively for you; but you would seek to extend the glad tidings of salvation to this and that relative, to this and that neighbor or friend. You would go to them, not in a Pharisaical spirit, but in the spirit of love, seeking to break down all opposition. You would find your way into their hearts, and would tell them of the love of Jesus. You would present to the Lord in prayer those for whom you carried a burden, pleading with him to give you this or that soul as a precious sheaf for the heavenly garner, to bring to the feet of the Master.

We are all to be missionaries, and it is essential for every one of us that we have the righteousness of Christ to go before us, and the glory of the Lord to be our rearward. My heart is lifted up as I think of the blessings that are in store for those who rightly relate themselves to God, and it causes a hope to spring up within me that we may be baptized with the Holy Ghost in this place. Jesus is holding out his precious gift to you; will you receive it? It is the Comforter which he promised should come and abide with you forever. Thank God for this precious promise.

It is known in heaven how we represent Christ to the world. It is known what impressions we make upon those around us. Our words and actions are all written in the books of heaven. Then how important it is that we reveal the fact that we have been with Jesus, and have learned of him. Do any of you who profess to know him indulge in light, trifling conversation? O, do not permit your lips to utter that which will be a stumbling-block to those who are watching to see what benefit you have received from your faith in Christ. Rather lift their minds to dwell upon eternal realities. When you mingle with the people in the market place, as you walk the street, or wherever you may be, be sure that you have a living connection with God, and that you represent the character of Christ to the world. Jesus said, “As the Father hath sent me, so have I sent you.” As he represented the Father, so his followers are to represent their Lord to the world. But you cannot do this unless the converting power of God is felt in your own heart from day to day. Your life must be hid with Christ in God. Self must be hidden in Christ. There must be no great I in heaven but the great I AM.

“Ye are laborers together with God.” God will work with the church, but not without their cooperation. May every one of you who have tasted the good word of God, “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Jesus says, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” The saving salt, the savor of the Christian, is the love of Jesus in the heart, the righteousness of Christ pervading the soul. If the professor of religion would keep the saving efficacy of his faith, he must ever keep the righteousness of Christ before him, and have the glory of God for his rearward. Then the power of Christ will be revealed in life and character.

O, when we come to the pearly gates, and have an entrance into the city of God, will any one who enters there, regret that he devoted his life unreservedly to Jesus? Let us now love him with undivided affections, and co-operate with the heavenly intelligences, that we may be laborers together with God, and by partaking of the divine nature, be able to reveal Christ to others. O, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit! O, that the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness might shine into the chambers of mind and heart, that every idol might be dethroned and expelled from the soul temple! O, that our tongues might be loosened to speak of his goodness, to tell of his power! If you respond to the drawing of Jesus, you will not fail to have an influence on somebody through the beauty and power of the grace of Christ. Let us behold him and become changed into the image of him in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and realize that we are accepted in the Beloved, “complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power.”

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