Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

September 30, 1903

A Divine Sin-Bearer

By Mrs. E. G. White

Through disobedience Adam fell. The law of God had been broken. The divine government had been dishonored, and justice demanded that the penalty of transgression be paid.

To save the race from eternal death, the Son of God volunteered to bear the punishment of disobedience. Only by the humiliation of the Prince of heaven could the dishonor be removed, justice be satisfied, and man be restored to that which he had forfeited by disobedience. There was no other way. For an angel to come to this earth, to pass over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell, would not have sufficed. This could not have removed one stain of sin, or brought to man one hour of probation.

Christ, equal with God, the brightness of the Father’s “glory, and the express image of His person”, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to this earth to suffer and die for sinners. The only-begotten Son of God humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. By bearing in His body the curse of sin, He placed happiness and immortality within the reach of all.

One honored of all heaven came to this world to stand in human nature at the head of humanity, testifying to the fallen angels and to the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds that through the divine help which has been provided, every one may walk in the path of obedience to God’s commands. The Son of God died for those who had no claim on His love. For us He suffered all that Satan could bring against Him.

Wonderful—almost too wonderful for man to comprehend—is the Saviour’s sacrifice in our behalf, shadowed forth in all the sacrifices of the past, in all the services of the typical sanctuary. And this sacrifice was called for. When we realize that His suffering was necessary in order to secure our eternal wellbeing, our hearts are touched and melted. He pledged Himself to accomplish our full salvation in a way satisfactory to the demands of God’s justice, and consistent with the exalted holiness of His law.

No one less holy than the Only-begotten of the Father, could have offered a sacrifice that would be efficacious to cleanse all—even the most sinful and degraded—who accept the Saviour as their atonement and become obedient to Heaven’s law. Nothing less could have reinstated man in God’s favor.

What right had Christ to take the captives out of the enemy’s hands?—The right of having made a sacrifice that satisfies the principles of justice by which the kingdom of heaven is governed. He came to this earth as the Redeemer of the lost race, to conquer the wily foe, and, by His steadfast allegiance to right, to save all who accept Him as their Saviour. On the cross of Calvary He paid the redemption price of the race. And thus He gained the right to take the captives from the grasp of the great deceiver, who, by a lie, framed against the government of God, caused the fall of man, and thus forfeited all claim to be called a loyal subject of God’s glorious everlasting kingdom.

Ransomed from Sin

Our ransom has been paid by our Saviour. No one need be enslaved by Satan. Christ stands before us as our all-powerful helper. “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.”

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.... And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

Those who are adopted into the family of God are transformed by His Spirit. Self-indulgence and supreme love for self are changed for self-denial and Supreme love for God. No man inherits holiness as a birthright, nor can he, by any methods that he can devise, become loyal to God. “Without me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing.” Human righteousness is as “filthy rags.” But with God all things are possible. In the strength of the Redeemer, weak, erring man can become more than conqueror over the evil that besets him.

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