Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

December 8, 1890

Transformation Through Christ

By Mrs. E. G. White

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.... For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

A great change takes place in the character of him who accepts Christ; for “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” When we see those who profess Christianity manifesting the old carnal desires in word and action, we may know that they are not in Christ, that the transforming grace of Christ has not touched the soul, moulded the character, and cleansed the defilement of the heart. They lack the essential elements of Christian character.

Those who have an experimental knowledge of the grace of Christ will feel their obligation to him to be representatives of his power to the world. They will realize that he who knew no sin was made to be sin for them, that they might be made the righteousness of God in him. An appreciation of this fact will enable us to get correct views of the work of our Redeemer. True believers will realize that while they were separated from him through impenitence and sin, he did not forsake them, but rather interceded for them, that they might have the benefits of the salvation which he had purchased for them at an infinite sacrifice. In accepting Christ they know that they must come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean, that they may be the children of God. They must love Christ supremely. It is impossible for finite minds to make a just estimate of the love of God toward his fallen creatures. We are ever in danger of forgetting this great love, because we fail to meditate upon it, and allow ourselves to become absorbed in the things of this world. We permit our hearts to be divided by placing our affections on things below, and so separate from the true Source of happiness. Christ should be the theme of our thoughts, the object of our tenderest affection. We should let our minds dwell upon the precious characteristics of our Lord; we should contemplate the rich promises of his word; we should meditate upon the glories of heaven. We should not be satisfied with but occasional glimpses of our Redeemer, but our minds should be stayed upon God by continual trust in his word. We should search the Scriptures diligently in order that we may have an understanding of the claims that Christ has upon us, and that we may have right views of the truth. Our wills must be subdued, and brought into harmony with the will of God.

Precious light has been permitted to shine upon our pathway, and around us are the angels of heaven, who are interested in our welfare. God is willing to do great things for his people, and he has promised that if we ask we shall receive; but many fail to grasp the promises of blessed assurance and help. These precious promises are to be fulfilled to those who keep the commandments of God, and who do those things that are pleasing in his sight. We should praise God for his abundant goodness, and manifest our love to him by our obedience. The love of Christ manifested toward us in his life of humiliation and self-denial, in his death on Calvary, should call forth songs of gratitude from our lips. The hope of his soon coming should fill us with sacred joy, and we should lay hold of the merits of the divine character of him who endured insult, mockery, shame, and death in our behalf. He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

God has given us a perfect standard of character, which we are ever to keep before us. Through the strength that Christ can impart, we may keep the law of God. We should be obedient children, whatever difficulty we may have to encounter. We must not expect to enter heaven without conflict and trial, but we have the assurance that if we will not consult our own pleasure, but the will of God, we shall not be left to fight the battle alone.

There is a great work to be done in the world, and every one of us should let his light shine upon the pathway of others. We need to gather divine rays of light from Christ. We need to search the Scriptures, and dig deep in the mines of truth; for the precious jewels do not always lie on the surface; we should search for them as for hidden treasure. There is a heaven of bliss to gain, for Christ has gone to prepare mansions for us; and now is the time for us to seek a preparation for that which he is preparing for us. In order to do this, we must bring Christ into our life daily; for those who dwell in the abodes of bliss must have hearts free from all envy, jealousy, hatred, malice, and selfishness. Jesus is waiting to do great things for us, to fill us with all the fullness of God. We should believe in his promises, for “he keepeth truth forever,” “and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

(Concluded next week.)

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