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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 70, 1903

    Sermon/Divine Sonship

    Calistoga, California

    June 7, 1903

    Portions of this manuscript are published in RH 09/03/1903.

    Sunday afternoon, June 7, 1903

    Sermon, Mrs. E. G. White, Open-air service at the Hot Springs Grove, Calistoga, California,

    “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” [1 John 3:1-3.]18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 1

    In this Scripture are portrayed Christian privileges that are comprehended by but comparatively few. Every one should become familiar with the blessed privileges God has offered us in His Word. He has given us many assurances of what He will do for us. And all these promises are made possible by Christ’s sacrifice in our behalf.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 2

    John the Baptist bore witness of the One through whom we may become sons and daughters of God. “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:6-12.]18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 3

    Divine sonship is not something we may gain of ourselves. Only to those who receive Christ as their Saviour is given the power to become sons and daughters of God. But the promise is to all who “believe on His name.” [Verse 12.] What an incentive to greater effort this assurance should be to those who are trying to set the hope of the gospel before those who are still in the darkness of error!18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 4

    The sinner cannot, by any power of his own, rid himself of sin. For the accomplishment of this work he must look to a higher Power. John exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [Verse 29.] Christ alone has power to cleanse the heart from sin. As soon as the penitent one turns from sin, and looks to the Saviour for help, the Holy Spirit begins its transforming work upon the heart. Man is dependent on God for transforming grace. Every one who comes to Jesus in faith, nothing wavering, will receive pardon. He who is seeking for forgiveness and acceptance can only say:18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 5

    “Nothing in my hand I bring;
    Simply to Thy cross I cling!”
    18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 6

    Through Adam’s fall, Man forfeited the right to live. But Christ offered to give His life as a ransom for the fallen race in order that they might have another opportunity to keep God’s commandments and live. To us is granted a time of probation in which we may co-operate with God in the work of forming characters acceptable in His sight.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 7

    How thankful we should be for the privileges offered us; for the hope we have in the gospel; for the great sacrifice Christ has made in order to give us these blessings! He, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to this earth to stand at the head of humanity. In His life on this earth He was “a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” [Isaiah 53:3.]18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 8

    Christ with His long human arm encircles the fallen race, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite. He stands before the Father as the Propitiation for the sins of every repentant one who receives Him and believes on His name. No matter how poor the sinner may be; no matter how numerous may be the difficulties surrounding him; no matter how great may be his infirmities, the compassionate Saviour will accept him. Christ loves every member of the human race; for He has bought them all with a price—and what a price! By a self-sacrificing life and a humiliating death He became the Redeemer of us all; and He now stands in the courts above as our Advocate.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 9

    Christ would have given His life, even if He had known that only the little company before whom I am standing today would be saved at last. Yes; if there had been but one member of our little company that could have been saved, He would have given His life as a ransom for that one. How incomprehensible is His infinite love!18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 10

    Our Redeemer passed over the same ground on which Adam fell. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He never yielded to temptation; and yet, in withstanding the enemy’s temptations, He exercised no power that is not granted us. He might have come to this earth accompanied by a vast retinue of angels; but He came unattended and dwelt with those who were poor and lowly. He worked at the carpenter’s bench with Joseph for many years. Throughout His youth and manhood He was sorely tried with temptations. He passed through all the afflictions through which we are called to pass. Thus He stood at the head of humanity, as a human being. If He had not clothed His divinity with humanity, no one could have approached Him because of the glory of His presence.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 11

    How many of those who are assembled here today are willing to make any sacrifice for Jesus? Are you willing firmly to determine that you will strive not to grieve the Holy Spirit by pursuing a course that would put your Saviour to open shame? Will you constantly remember that He has humiliated Himself and given His life for your salvation? Are you willing daily to consecrate yourselves to His service?18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 12

    Dear friends, did Christ come to this earth in order that you might receive and enjoy the riches and glory of the world?—No, no. He came in order that you might have life eternal in the kingdom of God. He came in order that you might live a life that measures with the life of God and be a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King, in the courts of heaven where there is neither sorrow nor death, where we can associate forever with Christ and the unfallen angels.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 13

    With those thoughts in mind, cannot we appreciate a little more fully than before the words we read in the third chapter of John’s first epistle? “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” [Verses 1-3.]18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 14

    By being partakers of the divine nature, we may overcome the corruption that is in our natures through lust. Keeping Jesus always in view, we shall be changed into His likeness. He knows all about our trials and difficulties. Let us lay them all at His feet and trust Him to lead us aright. As He overcame Satan on every point, so we may overcome every temptation of the enemy.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 15

    Shall we not give our lives to the service of Him who has given so much for us? Shall we not determine to stand always on the side of Christ? The privilege of abiding in Christ and working for Him should make us the happiest people in the world. From personal experience, I know what it means to have severe trials. But night after night, when I cannot sleep, I look to the great Physician, and He fills my heart with joy and love and peace. The same blessings are offered to every one else. Whoever partakes of Christ’s sufferings will partake of His glory.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 16

    “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.” [Verses 4-6.]18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 17

    Many profess to abide in Christ, but cherish imperfections of character. Their names may be on the church book; but if they persist in clinging to imperfections of character, it is manifest that they are not “born again.” [John 3:3.] God desires us to put away everything that is wrong and to come to the foot of the Cross to learn of Jesus. “Learn of Me,” Christ says: “for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] In this life we are to prepare for promotion to the higher grade, the school above, by learning of Jesus.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 18

    None need heavenly instruction more than fathers and mothers. Upon them rests a great responsibility. If they abide in Christ, He will abide in their home. Men and women, at the beginning of married life, should reconsecrate themselves to God. They are His children, bought by an infinite sacrifice. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.]18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 19

    Parents may cultivate sweetness of disposition in the home life and by God’s grace be overcomers. Although they may have natural tendencies to wrong, these should be resolutely put away. Let them learn to speak kindly under all circumstances. It takes no more time and effort to speak kindly than it does to speak unkindly. From the beginning, those who have received the Saviour into their hearts as their Redeemer can educate their children to love and fear God, and not to have their own way.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 20

    Many of those who have grown to manhood and womanhood have never left the traits of their childhood behind them. They are just as fretful and impatient, just as ready to quarrel over little things, as they were in their youth. God desires us to put away childish things and to prepare to live in the home toward which we are journeying. None whose hearts are unrenewed by the gentle influences of the Holy Spirit can enter the heavenly home. The character must first be transformed. Let us learn in our home life how to live in such a way that we shall be granted a home on the earth made new. Unkindness in speech, harshness of voice, disagreeableness of disposition—these are characteristics that must never be manifested by parents who desire to train their children aright.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 21

    Is there a troubled father or mother here this afternoon? Is there one who feels that he is unable to reach the high and holy standard God has given us? If there should be such an one here, come to Jesus just as you are. Seek His forgiveness, and ask Him to give you power to become a child of His and to walk acceptably in His sight day by day. He will not fail to help one who comes to Him in sincerity.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 22

    Trials will come, it is true, even to those who are fully consecrated. The patience of the most patient will be severely tested. The husband or the wife may utter words that are liable to provoke a hasty reply; but let the one who is spoken to keep silent. In silence there is safety. Often silence is the severest rebuke that could be given to the one who has sinned with his lips.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 23

    Parents, train your children to be missionaries for God. As teachers in the home, you have an important place to fill in the Master’s work. There are many lines of work to be carried forward, and not the least important of these is the training of children so that they will become co-laborers with God. This line of work should not be neglected on account of the press of ordinary business matters. If in the time of the judgment you should stand before God without your children, and He would ask you, “What have you done with My little flock that I entrusted to you? Why are they not with you?” what answer could you give? [See Jeremiah 13:20.] Let us not neglect our duty now; for we cannot afford to allow our children to lose the opportunity of living with us throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 24

    Probationary time will not continue much longer. Already we begin to see the judgments of God in the land. God is withdrawing His restraining hand from the earth. Long has He been speaking to the hearts of men and women through the agency of His Holy Spirit; but they have not heeded the call. He is now under the necessity of permitting His judgments to fall upon the inhabitants of the world, because of the universal prevalence of crime and iniquity. He does not desire to destroy; but some have steeled their hearts against every entreaty.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 25

    Soon it will be forever too late to enter the fold of safety. Is it not high time that ye should help our children to choose the path that leads to this fold? Jesus loves the children. If He could come into our midst today at the close of this meeting, He would place His hands on the heads of the little ones and bless them. He desires to bless them in their homes. They are His precious little flock, and they need to be carefully, tenderly shielded from temptation.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 26

    Jesus says, “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] Let every professing Christian search his heart diligently and put away everything unlike Christ. Let him remember that he has been bought with a price, even the blood of the Son of God. So long as he remembers this, he will be the less liable to indulge in pride and foolishness. Constantly he will endeavor so to live that he can meet the Saviour in peace; and he will not fail to repel every suggestion of the enemy to engage in intemperate, wicked practices. Those who are faithful in this life will be ready to welcome the Saviour when He comes in the clouds of heaven, and to say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” [Isaiah 25:9.]18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 27

    For many, many years I have waited for my Saviour’s second advent. But do you imagine that I have grown weary of waiting? Is this what saddens my heart? O, no! My heart is saddened by the sight of so many, even among professing Christians, who are still unready for His appearing. The unprepared state of themselves and of their children fills my heart with sorrow; for I know that they are failing to give to the world the impression that Christians should give. The line of demarcation between righteousness and sin, obedience and disobedience, should always be unmistakably distinct.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 28

    The father, as the priest of the household, should deal gently and patiently with his children. He should be careful not to arouse in them a combative disposition. He must not allow transgression to go uncorrected; and yet there is a way to correct without stirring up the worst passions of the human heart. Let him in love talk with his children, telling them how grieved the Saviour is over their course; and then let him kneel with them before the mercy seat and present them to Christ, praying that He will have compassion upon them and lead them to repent and ask forgiveness. Such disciplining will nearly always break the most stubborn heart.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 29

    God desires us to deal with our children in simplicity. We are liable to forget that children have not had the advantage of the long years of training that older people have had. If the little ones do not act in accordance with our ideas in every respect, we sometimes think that they deserve a scolding. But this would not mend matters. Take them to the Saviour, and tell Him all about it; then believe that His blessing will rest upon them.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 30

    Those who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of bringing children into the world are held accountable by God for the salvation of their little ones. He will give you grace and strength, parents, to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of your testimony. Surrender yourselves unreservedly to Him, and ask Him to help you to use your talent of influence in the home life. He who has endowed you with capabilities will enable you to increase daily in wisdom and prudence, so that you may discharge faithfully your duties as parents.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 31

    Teach the children to bear their share of the burdens of the household. Keep them occupied at some useful employment. Show them how to do their work easily and well. Help them to realize that by lightening the burdens of their mother, they are preserving her strength and prolonging her life. Many a weary mother has been laid away in an untimely grave for no other reason than that her children were not taught to share her burdens. By encouraging a spirit of unselfish service in the home, parents are drawing their children closer to Christ, who is the embodiment of unselfishness. None but the unselfish can become missionaries for God. The basis of missionary effort is self-sacrifice and self-denial.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 32

    Our homes will be filled with sunshine and happiness, if we choose to invite the Saviour to dwell with us. And to those who make Him their counselor and guide in this life, He has promised a beautiful home in the new earth. This promise was given to His disciples just prior to His crucifixion. He knew of the sufferings through which He was about to pass. He realized that soon He must leave those whom He loved; but He did not allow His mind to brood over these matters. He directed the minds of His disciples to the life beyond. “Let not your heart be troubled,” He said; “ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:1-3.]18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 33

    Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us by the side of the living stream flowing from the throne of God and explain to us the dark providences through which He led us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall see on every hand the beautiful trees of Paradise, including the tree that bears twelve manner of fruit, one kind during each month of the year. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. There we shall cast at the feet of our Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and, touching our golden harps, we shall render praise and thanksgiving to Him that sitteth on the throne.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 34

    Dear friends, I have talked to you this afternoon in regard to some of the simple truths of the gospel. If you will only practice them, I shall feel that my words have not been in vain. May the blessing of God rest upon you and your children. May you all be among those who will enter through the beautiful gates of pearl into the golden city of our God. May you, as unbroken families, have the privilege of dwelling forever in that haven of rest. To this end may God help you now to strive to secure the crown of life that fadeth not away.18LtMs, Ms 70, 1903, par. 35

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