Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

December 1, 1890

“God so Loved the World”

By Mrs. E. G. White

(Concluded.)

Those who depend upon their own righteousness instead of relying upon the righteousness of Christ, will lose the prize; they will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found wanting. Let everyone who is striving for the precious boon of eternal life distrust his own strength, and, in much prayer, cast his helpless soul upon Christ. There is too little searching of the word of God for definite direction in the way of life. The larger number of those who profess to believe on Christ have only superficial ideas as to what constitutes Christian character. A sad awakening will come to such souls sooner or later. The thoughts of these superficial believers are not deep or strong enough to comprehend the work of the atonement, and the relation of that work to their own work and life. So terrible a deception has come upon many, so many false ideas have become inwrought in the character, that it seems necessary to tear the whole experience to pieces in order that self-dependence and self-sufficiency may be laid aside, and outward obedience deepened to inward piety and truth. Do not deceive yourself with the idea that your own inherent righteousness will bring you into harmony with God. Do not fail to look upon yourself as a sinner in the sight of God. Do not fail to look upon Jesus lifted up upon the cross; and as you look, believe and live; for by faith in the atoning sacrifice you may be justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Believe that you are forgiven, that you are justified, not in transgression and disobedience, but in submission to the will of God. If through faith you lay hold of the righteousness of Christ, then be not careless of your thoughts, your words, your works. Study much, and pray that as Christ has shown you the way, he may by his grace keep you in the way. For we are “kept by the power of God through faith;” and even faith is not of ourselves, but it also is the gift of God.

In order to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, it is essential that you meditate much upon the great themes of redemption. You should ask yourself why Christ has taken humanity upon himself, why he suffered upon the cross, why he bore the sins of men, why he was made sin and righteousness for us. You should study to know why he ascended to heaven in the nature of man, and what is his work for us today.

If thoughts of Christ, his work and character, are cherished, you will be led to sink deep the shaft of truth, and you will be enabled to come into possession of precious jewels of truth. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to you. As you meditate upon heavenly things, and walk with God, as did Enoch, you will lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset, and will run with patience the race set before you. We think that we are familiar with the character of Christ, and we do not realize how much is to be gained by the study of our glorious Pattern. We take it for granted that we know all about him, and yet we do not comprehend his character or mission. If we neglect to search the Scriptures, which testify of him, we shall be led from the truth into the error of the wicked one. Our building must be founded upon the Rock Christ Jesus or it will not stand the test of the tempest.

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