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Faith and Works

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    Chapter 17—Counsel to a Leading Minister on the Presentation of the Relation of Faith and Works

    Portion of a letter to A. T. Jones, April 9, 1893, Letter 44, 1893. Published in Selected Messages 1:377-379.

    I was attending a meeting, and a large congregation were present. In my dream you were presenting the subject of faith and the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith. You repeated several times that works amounted to nothing, that there were no conditions. The matter was presented in that light that I knew minds would be confused and would not receive the correct impression in reference to faith and works, and I decided to write to you. You state this matter too strongly. There are conditions to our receiving justification and sanctification, and the righteousness of Christ. I know your meaning, but you leave a wrong impression upon many minds. While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works. God saves us under a law, that we must ask if we would receive, seek if we would find, and knock if we would have the door opened unto us.FW 111.1

    Christ offers Himself as willing to save unto the uttermost all who come unto Him. He invites all to come to Him. “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). You look in reality upon these subjects as I do, yet you make these subjects, through your expressions, confusing to minds. And after you have expressed your mind radically in regard to works, when questions are asked you upon this very subject, it is not lying out in so very clear lines in your own mind, and you cannot define the correct principles to other minds, and you are yourself unable to make your statements harmonize with your own principles and faith.FW 111.2

    The young man came to Jesus with the question, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17). And Christ saith unto him, “Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said unto Him, “Which?” Jesus quoted several, and the young man said unto Him, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” Jesus said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.” Here are conditions, and the Bible is full of conditions. “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:17, 20, 21, 22).FW 112.1

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