Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

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

The Signs of the Times

March 3, 1898

Christ's Prayer for Us

The prayer offered by Christ just prior to His crucifixion, for His disciples and for us, should be carefully studied by all who profess to be children of God. “This is life eternal,” Christ prayed, “that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

Christ declares that the science by which a heart polluted with sin may be made pure and holy, contains the sum of all wisdom. A knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ is the foundation of all true religion. Thousands are seeking for knowledge that is worthless; but there is a knowledge that is positively necessary for us to obtain. We must know God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. This knowledge is the science of salvation, and is of more value than all earth's treasures. To all who appreciate it, this knowledge gives an inheritance among the sanctified, crowns that fade not away, and a life that measures with the life of God.

Before he was expelled from heaven, Satan had an acquaintance with God. He knew his character; but ever since then, his effort has been to misrepresent that character. It is at his suggestion that religion has been made a series of penances and mortifications, or of splendid sights and pageantries. There are many forms of religion instituted by the enemy of God, that are as Christless as was the offering of Cain.

Left to his finite wisdom, man debases everything he handles. He drops the spirituality and truth of the Gospel out of his reckoning. This is the danger today. In the home and in the church, we are suffering for want of Christ-like simplicity. Thank God that He has not left His kingdom to be molded by human hands and minds; for then it would have been made up of forms and ceremonies. The most trivial matters would have been exalted as supreme. But Christ declared that His kingdom is truth and righteousness, peace and joy.

“I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy Word.... They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth.”

At the time when Christ spoke these words, the world was destitute of the knowledge of God. Christ came to reveal God. The wise man Solomon had a knowledge of God. When he offered his prayer at the dedication of the temple, he felt the need of divine power. But through association with corrupting influences, he separated from God, and forsook the temple worship for idol groves. So the world has separated from God. God came to uplift men from their degradation. It was His prerogative alone to give to His disciples the precious treasures He came from heaven to bring.

“I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” God's people are to shine as lights in the world, in contrast with the moral darkness. Those who belong to the kingdom of Christ have nothing in common with those who follow the maxims, customs, and practises of the world. The Lord designs His people to be a peculiar people; for the church is His fortress in a revolted world. Those who follow Christ will walk, as He did, in heaven's light. They will not be of the earth, earthy. Altho in the world, they will not be of the world. Uplifted to heaven, the soul will breathe a pure atmosphere. These appreciate their Heaven-bought privileges. They may necessarily be associated with the world, but they are united to Christ. Wherever they go, they take Him with them, and He is ever at their right hand to help them.

Did the believers in the truth live the truth, they would today all be missionaries. Some would be working in the islands of the sea, while others would be serving Christ as home missionaries. All are not called upon to go abroad; they may be successful in business lines, and are thus prepared to aid missionary efforts by their means. They may show to the world that business may be conducted on religious principles, that business men may live in strict fidelity to the truth. There may be Christian lawyers, Christian physicians, Christian merchants. Christ may be represented by all lawful callings.

“As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their Word: that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”

The world watches to see what fruit is borne by professed Christians. It has a right to look for self-denial and self-sacrifice from those who claim to believe advanced truth. God designs that those who believe in His name shall show to the world an unmistakable representation of His own character, manifesting goodness, mercy, and love. These attributes all who belong to Christ's kingdom must possess. The truth must sanctify them, making them kind, tender, and true to each other, binding them together in the bonds of closest union, and building them up in the most holy faith. Genuine faith and love is the fruit borne by the Christian tree.

It is possible for us to be one with Christ, even as He is one with the Father. If we are grafted into the living vine, if we draw our nourishment from Christ, there will be unity in diversity. Those only who derive nourishment from the Eternal Word, the Son of God, are branches of the True Vine. If we are truly united to Christ, the fruits of His Spirit will be seen in our lives; and tho there may be many branches, each branch will bear the fruit of the True Vine.

Had those who name the name of Christ a knowledge of the Book that unfolds the character of God, they would not be at variance one with another. Those who are one with Christ are one with each other. This union is a living testimony to the power of the Gospel of Christ. Those thus united demonstrate to the world that God has sent His Son to redeem them. They are a manifestation of what the truth can do for humanity. They are living witnesses to the power of redemption. The love of God dwells in their hearts, as it dwelt in the heart of Christ, leading them to obey God's holy law. Christ's character is His glory, and the glory of believers is the representation they give of Christ's character. Unbelievers are convicted and converted as they see Christ's Spirit revealed by His children.

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee; but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Satan is full of plans and devices to lead our feet in paths that are not cast up for the ransomed of the Lord, but Jesus lifts up His voice and says: Follow Me. My sheep hear My voice, and a stranger will they not follow. The most exalted privileges are offered us. We are made laborers together with God. Wherever you may be, whatever business you may be engaged in, you may have Christ by your side. He is always seeking to draw you to Himself. Prayer and praise will come from the heart of those that respond to this drawing; for Christ is to them a well of water, springing up into everlasting life, with grateful hearts God's children will speak the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.... Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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