Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

April 1, 1897

Self-Denial

“If by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” These scriptures tell the story so important for every human being to know. On the one hand is presented the disobedience of Adam, with its consequences; on the other, the obedience of Christ. The garden of Eden was disgraced by Adam's disobedience; but as by that one transgression many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One, many are made righteous.

The world has been honored with the presence of one Man who was wholly and entirely obedient,—one who not only believed and taught the claims of God's law, but who lived the law. His whole life was a representation of its holy principles. His obedience was manifested in the awful agony he endured in the garden of Gethsemane; and through his suffering he has brought pardon to the disobedient.

When Christ gave to his disciples the conditions of salvation, he said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Self-denial and crosses lie directly in the path of every soul who will follow Jesus. Our advance heavenward will be opposed at every step; for Satan will come in many ways to mislead, to deceive, and to clothe sin with the appearance of good.

But the victory must be gained over the enemy. “To him that overcometh,” says Christ, “will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

I would urge you, dear children and youth, carefully to consider the self-denial and self-sacrifice that Christ has endured in your behalf, that you, if you choose, may have that happiness and peace in this life which he alone can give, and an eternity of bliss by and by. Then will you not become missionaries for Christ? Are you not willing to deny self for his sake? to consider how you can do him service who has done such service for you in redeeming your soul from the power of sin and Satan? When upon earth, Christ said of himself, “I am among you as he that serveth.” He did not strive to obtain the highest place; for he was meek and lowly in heart. He invites you to learn of him, to wear his yoke,—the yoke of obedience to every precept of Jehovah.

Mrs. E. G. White

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