Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

April 28, 1891

Changed Into His Image

By Mrs. E. G. White

Sin-burdened, struggling souls, Jesus in his glorified humanity has ascended into the heavens to make intercession for us. “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace.” We should be continually looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; for by beholding him we shall be changed into his image, our character will be made like his. We should rejoice that all judgment is given to the Son, because in his humanity he has become acquainted with all the difficulties that beset humanity.

To be sanctified is to become a partaker of the divine nature, catching the spirit and mind of Jesus, ever learning in the school of Christ. “But 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 of the Lord the Spirit.” It is impossible for any of us by our power or our own efforts to work this change in ourselves. It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which Jesus said he would send into the world, that changes our character into the image of Christ; and when this is accomplished, we reflect, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord. That is, the character of the one who thus beholds Christ is so like his, that one looking at him sees Christ's own character shining out as from a mirror. Imperceptibly to ourselves, we are changed day by day from our own ways and will into the ways and will of Christ, into the loveliness of his character. Thus we grow up into Christ, and unconsciously reflect his image.

Professed Christians keep altogether too near the lowlands of earth. Their eyes are trained to see only common-place things, and their minds dwell upon the things their eyes behold. Their religious experience is often shallow and unsatisfying, and their words are light and valueless. How can such reflect the image of Christ? How can they send forth the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness into all the dark places of the earth? To be a Christian is to be Christ-like.

Enoch kept the Lord ever before him, and the inspired word says that he “walked with God.” He made Christ his constant companion. He was in the world, and performed his duties to the world; but he was ever under the influence of Jesus. He reflected Christ's character, exhibiting the same qualities in goodness, mercy, tender compassion, sympathy, forbearance, meekness, humility, and love. His association with Christ day by day transformed him into the image of him with whom he was so intimately connected. Day by day he was growing away from his own way into Christ's way, the heavenly, the divine, in his thoughts and feelings. He was constantly inquiring. “Is this the way of the Lord?” His was a constant growth, and he had fellowship with the Father and the Son. This is genuine sanctification.

Many who claim to be sanctified become boisterous, passionate, and wholly unlike Christ in words and deportment, if their will is crossed. These show that they are not what they claim to be. The more closely one views Christ, the less disposed will he be to make high claims to holiness. He will have a humble opinion of himself and of his own goodness, but Christ will be revealed in his character.

Christ said, “It is expedient for you that I go away.” No one could then have any preference because of his location or personal contact with Christ. The Saviour would be accessible to all alike, spiritually, and in this sense he would be nearer to us all than if he had not ascended on high. Now all may be equally favored by beholding him and reflecting his character. The eye of faith sees him ever present, in all his goodness, grace, forbearance, courtesy, and love, those spiritual and divine attributes. And as we behold, we are changed into his likeness.

Christ is soon coming in the clouds of heaven, and we must be prepared to meet him, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. We are now to accept the invitation of Christ. He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” The words of Christ to Nicodemus are of practical value to us today: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

The converting power of God must be upon our hearts. We must study the life of Christ, and imitate the divine Pattern. We must dwell upon the perfection of his character, and be changed into his image. No one will enter the kingdom of God unless his passions are subdued, unless his will is brought into captivity to the will of Christ.

Heaven is free from all sin, from all defilement and impurity; and if we would live in its atmosphere, if we would behold the glory of Christ, we must be pure in heart, perfect in character through his grace and righteousness. We must not be taken up with pleasure and amusement, but be fitting up for the glorious mansions Christ has gone to prepare for us. If we are faithful, seeking to bless others, patient in well-doing, at his coming Christ will crown us with glory, honor, and immortality.

Prophecy reveals the fact that we are nearing the end of all things, and the people of God are to be the light of the world. In character and life we are to make manifest the requirement of God in humanity; and in order to do this, we must gather up the rays of divine light from the Bible, and let them shine forth to those who are in darkness. Christ must abide in our hearts by faith, that we may know and teach the way to heaven. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.”

Christ is soon coming in glory, and when his majesty is revealed, the world will wish that they had his favor. At that time we shall all desire a place in the mansions of heaven; but those who do not confess Christ now in word, in life, in character, cannot expect that he will confess them then before his Father and the holy angels. By those who have denied him, the cry will be raised, even to the mountains, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” O, how happy will those be who have made themselves ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb, who are robed in the righteousness of Christ, and reflect his lovely image! They will have on the pure white linen which is the righteousness of the saints, and Christ will lead them by the side of living waters; God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and they will have the life that runs parallel with the life of God.

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