Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

July 14, 1890

“What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?”

By Mrs. E. G. White

(Continued.)

There are many who say, “Believe, believe; all you have to do is to believe.” But faith must have foundation, and those who preach that all we must do is to believe, do not themselves know what constitutes true faith. They do not carefully search the Scriptures to know on what ground faith should rest. The advocating of faith, and the disparaging of the keeping of the commandments of God, is only another phase of the controversy originated by Satan in heaven. Indifference to the precepts of the law lowers the conception of what constitutes righteousness; and one who opposes the law at this time, places himself in a more perilous position than that in which Adam and Eve were when they disobeyed God's commandments, for they afterward repented of their sin, and turned away from their allegiance to his enemy.

After Satan brought sin into the world, he tempted man to set himself in rebellion against the authority of God. He inspired him with hatred against God because of the results that followed sin. He suggested that God was arbitrary, destitute of mercy and benevolence, because the penalty of the law fell upon the transgressor. When fallen man views God in this light, he casts aside his authority as a moral governor. God has a right to enforce the penalty of the law upon transgressors, for law without a penalty would be without force. God's law is the foundation of all law and government. The fact that Christ suffered the penalty of the law for all transgressors, is an unanswerable argument as to its immutable character, and it will justly condemn those who have sought to make it void. When the curse fell upon the beloved Son of God, who became sin for us, the Father made it manifest that the unrepenting transgressor of his law would have to suffer its full penalty. The word of God declares, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” The law of God was upheld and vindicated by the Son of God. The death of Christ, as an expiatory sacrifice, opens a way whereby the sinner may be pardoned, and turn from the path of transgression into the path of truth and righteousness, while at the same time it vindicates the honor and unchangeableness of the law. In the plan of salvation, justice and mercy clasp hands together.

The sinner will find no saving quality in law; he must look to the surety and substitute, for it is the blood of Christ that cleanseth from all sin. The repenting prodigal is taken into fellowship with God, and he becomes one with Christ, as Christ is one with the Father. The obedient children of God recognize the law as a divine law, the sacrifice on Calvary as a divine sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit as their divine sanctifier. All the claims of the law are met in Jesus. In him we have a perfect foundation for our faith. The Son of God did not die that man might always remain a transgressor; for Christ is not a minister of sin. He died that by that act man might no longer remain a rebel against God's law. He died to point men to the way of faith and obedience, that they might see to the end of that which is abolished. When sinners have a view of the plan of salvation, there is no more disposition to cavil concerning the law; for the way of truth and light is open to their understanding. They see that “whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” In the light of the law the sinner is convicted as was Paul.

Christ revealed himself to Paul in a flood of glory, and he was struck down helpless before him. He asked, “Who art thou, Lord?” and the Lord answered, “I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest.” Paul then inquired, “What will thou have me to do?” When Christ is revealed to the soul, the sinner's relation to the law is made plain. There must be repentance toward God for the transgression of his law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ as the sinner's substitute. The convicted sinner sees his bruised, demoralized condition, feels his need of a physician, sees Christ as his only hope, and lays hold of him by faith. He is deeply conscious of his sin and ruin, and seeks the divine remedy in the world's Redeemer.

(Concluded next week.)

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