Ellen G. White Writings

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The Present Truth (UK)

December 29, 1892

Abiding in Christ

“Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.” “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

In this scripture Christ has plainly taught that we must co-operate with God in the work of our salvation. We have something to do; and yet without Christ all our doing is valueless. Fruit-bearing, it is plainly stated, is the result of abiding in Christ. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” We have read these words of instruction again and again, but have we taken them into our hearts? Are they practiced in our life, and revealed to all with whom we associate? Not a soul will be lost who will practice the principles of these words of Christ.

Jesus prayed for His disciples, “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.” “I have given them Thy word.” It is through the truth that the soul's sanctification is accomplished. In the fear and love of Christ, I would inquire, Do we hear, and do we receive into a good and honest heart these important words? and are we individually determined to know for ourselves what is truth? Do we know by experience what it is to abide in Christ as the branch abides in the parent stock? “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.” Have these words any weight in determining our course of action? Has not self been strangely mingled with all our service? Is not the chief reason why growth in religious experience is so dwarfed and sickly, to be found in the fact that our works are so largely of self, and so little of Jesus? Christ must be our guide, our counselor, our Alpha and Omega. He is all and in all to us, or He is nothing to us. Self must die if Christ abides with us; our very life is to be hid with Christ in God. We are to contemplate the great and important truths of His word, to feed upon them.

Let every soul make sure that the principles which Christ has taught in the words recorded by John are planted in his heart by the Holy Spirit. This instruction has been strangely neglected; and while the Lord's professed people feel so little responsibility to carry out His directions, how can they expect to have the peace of Christ and His love abiding in their hearts? How can the professed teacher of the truth impress upon the people the importance of this work, when the truth has not sufficient weight with him to sanctify his own character and life? Unless the truth is enthroned in the heart, and there is a thorough transition from darkness to light, even those who are attempting to teach the truth will be blind leaders of the blind, clouds without water, carried about of winds; they will be as trees whose fruit withereth, twice dead, to be plucked up by the roots. Let all feel the necessity of self-examination. Let us know for ourselves that we are abiding in Christ, and that His words are dwelling in us. As we near the close of this earth's history, Satan redoubles his efforts to cast his hellish shadow over us, that he may turn our eyes away from Christ. If he can prevent us from beholding Jesus, we shall be overcome; but we must not permit him to do this.

“We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” What is the glory of the Lord? Moses prayed, “I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory.” And the Lord said, “I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.” “And the Lord passed by before him and proclaimed, the Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.”

The glory of God is His character, and to us it is manifest in Christ. It is by beholding Him that we become changed,—by contemplating the character of Christ, learning His lessons, obeying His words. Enlightened by His Spirit, the believer sees no virtue or merit in himself. There is naught but deformity. But he beholds Jesus, and the glory of the Redeemer manifested in His atoning sacrifice, and His justifying righteousness, His fulness of grace, not only to pardon but to sanctify, fills his whole soul with admiration of the holiness and love of God; and in contemplating this goodness and mercy and love, he becomes transformed in character.

Jesus said, “The glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one as we are one.” On him who receives Christ, the glory of the Lord hath shined, the Sun of Righteousness has arisen, he rises from his low and worldly state, and shines by reflecting the light of Christ's glory. Thus by looking continually to Jesus, contemplating His beauty, the believer is more and more transformed into the child of light.

“Ye are the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples,” God is glorified in His children as they in their character represent Christ. Jesus says, “He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.” Good works are the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. It is impossible to be a disciple of Christ and be a fruitless branch. But the good works are wrought by Christ Himself through the human agent. And those who are doers of the words of Christ, will not only impart blessings of the highest order to others, but as they by their likeness and obedience to Christ represent His character, they bring joy to the heart of Christ and to all the holy ones of heaven.

Mrs. E. G. White

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