Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

October 13, 1892

Christ our Pattern

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” If you strive in all humility to understand what is the mind of Christ, you will not be left in darkness. Jesus says, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” “But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”

The youth are called upon to copy the pattern given them. They cannot do this in their own strength; for human nature is erring. Through studying the life and character of Jesus, desire is awakened in the heart to have the mind of Christ, to learn of him meekness and lowliness of spirit. Jesus said, “I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified.” It is his desire that his followers shall reflect his image. One unsanctified act on the part of our Saviour, would have marred the pattern, and he could not have been a perfect example for us; but although he was tempted in all points like as we are, he was yet without one taint of sin. He proclaims his character by the mouth of the prophet, saying, “I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight.” All who profess the name of Christ should delight in these things, by conversation and conduct making manifest to the world that they are copying the Pattern.

Some souls respond to the drawing of Christ, and become learners in his school. They keep their eye fixed upon the Pattern, and seek to reproduce the characteristics of Christ in their practical life; for whoever believes in Christ must do the works of Christ. The Lord has been presented before them as one who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, and these are the fruits that are borne by the genuine Christian. The characteristics of Christ are to be manifested by every true believer; for those who are sanctified through the truth, are as bright, shining lights, giving light to all that are in the house. Good works will be revealed in every true believer. The Lord can accept of nothing short of perfection of character, wholeness to God. Any half-hearted service will testify before the heavenly intelligences that you have failed to copy the Pattern.

Many are not interested in Christ, and are not charmed with the virtues of the Christian life. They seem to have an idea that by becoming Christians, they will become miserable; but if Christ abides in the heart by faith, you will not be wretched and gloomy, but happy, full of praise and joy. You will reveal Christ, and shine as lights amid the moral darkness of the world, holding forth the word of life.

If you are Christ-like, your influence will work as leaven upon those connected with you. Christ declares to his followers, “Ye are the salt of the earth.” But there are very many who profess to be Christians that Jesus looks upon with sadness, saying, “But if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted.?” How shall the world then be saved? When human effort is not combined with divine agencies, it is as salt without savor. The Saviour puts his estimate upon the Christless professors, saying, “It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” This is the description of those who profess to believe in Christ, and yet who do not imitate his virtues, his self-denial, manifest his sympathy, his goodness, his compassion and love. Their influence draws men away from Christ, because they present a false pattern to the world. They have not sanctified themselves to the service of Christ that he might make them vessels unto honor. They misrepresent the great example. Whether associated with those who believe or those who do not believe, their conversation is made up of jesting, joking, and vain, useless talk. They indulge their inclination, and live to please themselves instead of copying the Pattern. The record says, “For even Christ pleased not himself.”

How does Jesus look upon those who profess the truth, and in works deny him, manifesting the sad fact that they have not been partakers of the divine nature, and have not overcome the corrupt tendencies of the natural heart? Are such happy? Can such delight in the characteristics which should mark the true Christian,—goodness, mercy, and the love of God? Jesus expects much of the youthful soldiers of his army, and let it be your determination that you will not disappoint your Captain and Leader. You are to wear his armor, to be marshaled under his banner, and become co-laborers with him in conquering his enemies and extending his kingdom. It is thus we are to be laborers together with God; for God has given to every man his work. You cannot betray sacred trust without imperiling your soul. You are to be found loyal and true, obedient to every word of command, presenting to others the highest motive to action, and showing them the attractions of the service of Christ. You are to show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. If you follow the Pattern, you will love and win souls for whom Christ died. You will wear the yoke of Christ, not seeking to shun responsibilities, but finding his yoke easy and his burden light.

Mrs. E. G. White

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