Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

October 14, 1897

That We Might Be Partakers of the Divine Nature

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Our future, eternal happiness depends upon having our humanity, with all its capabilities and powers, brought into obedience to God, placed under the control of Divinity. Many have no real faith in Christ. They say, “It was easy for Christ to obey the will of the Father; for he was divine.” But God's Word declares, “He was tempted in all points like as we are.” Christ was tempted according to his elevation of mind; but he would not weaken or cripple his divine power by yielding to temptation. In his life on earth he was a representative of what men may become through the privileges and opportunities granted them in him.

In order that the human family might have no excuse because of temptation, Christ became one with them. The only being who was one with God lived the law in humanity, descended to the lowly life of a common laborer, and toiled at the carpenter's bench with his earthly parent. He lived the life which he requires of all who claim to be his children. Thus was cut off the powerful argument of Satan that God required of humanity a self-denial and subjection that he would not himself render. The weapons that Satan designed to use against God, were taken from his hands.

When Satan tempted our first parents in Eden he said, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? ... Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Thus he tried to flatter Eve into believing that they should be raised above the sphere of humanity. But Christ, by the example he has set before us, encourages the human family to be men, obeying the Word of God within the sphere of their humanity. He himself became a man, not a bond-slave to Satan, to work out his attributes, but a man in moral power, obedient to the law of God, which is the transcript of his character.

Christ became a man that he might mediate between man and God. He clothed his divinity with humanity, he associated with the human race, that with his human arm he might encircle humanity, and with his divine arm grasp the throne of Divinity. And this humiliation on his part was that he might restore to man the original mind, the image of God, which he lost in Eden through Satan's alluring temptations, that man might realize that it is for his present and eternal good to obey the requirements of God. Disobedience is not in accordance with the nature which God gave to man in Eden.

The Lord has given Jesus to our world, to a life of suffering and a shameful death, in order to save perishing souls. In the place of punishing the guilty sinner, the Lord allowed his only-begotten Son to suffer the penalty of transgression, that man might have another opportunity, that another probation might be granted him in which to return from his transgression to his loyalty to God. By thus dying for man, Christ has shown that his love for the human family is measureless. And having done this, he will not withhold any facilities, any gift of heaven, that will enable man to accomplish the glorious work of salvation.

God would have us realize that all this was done to counterwork sin and rebellion against him, and bring in everlasting righteousness. Christ is able and willing to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him. Through his servant he declares, “For as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” As obedient children, we have the privilege of relationship with God. “If children,” he says, “then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”

God loves his children the same as he loves his only-begotten Son. Then let us have a sense of our relationship to him, and walk circumspectly before the world. This world is our training-place for the world to come. If we would be saints in heaven, we must first be saints on earth. Wherever we are we must bear in mind that we are near to God. If we would only believe that angels of God are constantly around us to protect us from Satan's snares, and to be a present help in every time of need, we would grow strong. Having a sense of our companionship we would do the things that are pleasing in the sight of God. How careful would we be lest our words should offend Christ, whose character we are to represent to the world. We need to meditate and converse on the mercy and love and compassion of God for us. Satan is not at all pleased with such pure, ennobling, and elevating themes, and he draws apart from us. God's promise is, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

Through the moral power Christ has brought to man, we may give thanks unto God, who has made us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. Through Jesus Christ every man may overcome in his own behalf standing in his own individuality of character. The word comes to him, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” Our whole earthly solace hangs upon him whose mission to earth was to give power unto men.

Christ would have us yoke up with him. “Learn of me,” he says, “for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Then we shall be overcomers. We “shall see his face,” and his name shall be in our foreheads. We shall be his chosen ones on earth, to enjoy the kingdom of his grace; we shall be with him in the heavenly world, to share in the kingdom of his glory. We shall be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; for he is our portion and our inheritance. We shall be partakers of his divine nature, and one with him in his perfection. We shall have the same life as Jesus; for we are sons and daughters of God.

God has a kingdom awaiting his children whom he has tested and tried in a world marred and corrupted by sin. Mansions are prepared for all who have subjected themselves in obedience to the divine law. Christ declared to his disciples: “In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Jesus asks no more of men than that they shall follow in his footsteps. He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory; but for our sake he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. Almost his last words to us are. “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me.” Instead of being sorrowful, your hearts troubled, you should rejoice. For your sake I came into the world. For your sake I have been a disinterested worker in the world. In the future I shall be engaged, just as devotedly, in an important work in your behalf. I came into the world to redeem you; I go away to prepare an abiding place for you in my Father's kingdom. Mrs. E. G. White.

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