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    October 1, 1899

    Christ Our Example

    Reading for Sabbath, December 30


    God saw that the world was destitute of true knowledge, and he sent Christ into the world to live the law and represent him. This was the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. The knowledge of God was the chief treasure Christ brought to man. It was his prerogative to impart this knowledge, and he gave it to his disciples to be given to the world. Christ gave lessons that men might be impressed with his justice, condescension, and love. To the just and the unjust he gives a distinct representation of the divine goodness God has manifested in their behalf. He leads men abroad into the open field of nature, and touching the eyes of their senses he shows them the hand that sustains the world, the power ever working in behalf of human beings, good and evil. He spreads before them the beautiful flowers, the lily of the valley, the fragrant pinks and roses, delicately tinted by the great Master Artist, and he declares: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.... Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”GCB October 1, 1899, par. 1

    Jesus gave his life to make it possible for men and women to secure eternal life. The Father appreciates every soul whom his Son has purchased by the gift of his life. Every provision has been made for us to receive divine power, which will enable us to overcome temptations. Through obedience to all God's requirements the soul is preserved unto eternal life.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 2

    The dumb animals have no souls, yet God cares for them. “Are ye not much better than they?” Christ asks. “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”GCB October 1, 1899, par. 3

    This lesson is given to all who love God and keep his commandments. The One who gave his life that we should not perish is the divine Teacher, and he appeals to every blessing of the natural world, the showers that fall upon the earth, the dew, the glorious sunlight, given alike to thankful and unthankful. The bounties of God's providence speak to every soul, confirming Christ's testimony to the supreme goodness of his Father. The Lord would have his people realize that the blessings bestowed upon any object of creation are proportionate to the place that object occupies in the scale of creation. If even the wants of dumb animals are supplied, can we appreciate the blessings which God will bestow upon the beings formed in his image?GCB October 1, 1899, par. 4

    Christ would elevate and refine man's mind, purifying it from all dross, that he may appreciate the love that is without a parallel. He leads them up to the higher grade, unfolding before them the treasures of eternity. He opens before them the volume of his providence, and bids them, as far as possible, take in the whole revelation. He tells them that in this book is written the name of every individual, that in the page assigned each individual is written every particular of his history, even to the numbering of the hairs of the head. He leads the human agent to think of the love of God manifested by giving his only begotten Son to die for the world. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Thus God showed his love for man. With Christ he gave all heaven, that the moral image of God might be restored in man. Our part is to appreciate the means provided, and in harmony with the divine mind work out our salvation. God could do no more to express his love. His gift could not be greater; for it embraces infinity. His grace in all its vastness is provided for all. There is no excuse for any to retain selfishness. In the hearts of all who receive him, Christ will be formed, the hope of glory. The Saviour says to every one for whom he has died, You must receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption. You must become so united with God that you will impart the grace you have received. Thus you become a living channel, by which God can communicate his light to the world.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 5

    God can not approve our work while it has in it one thread of selfishness. It was apparently a small transgression that closed the gates of paradise against Adam and Eve. But ever since then sin has been increasing in volume and prevalence, and it is still increasing. But notwithstanding this, the divine benevolence has not been cut off. God's love and care still flow earthward.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 6

    This should make man afraid of his littleness, of his sin-loving propensities. God calls upon us to receive and impart the love which passeth knowledge. He is looking upon his prostrate law, upon his Sabbath trampled under foot by a race of rebellious subjects. He could have come forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity. He could have swept them away by a flood, as he did in Noah's day. But he did not do this. He has spared them because of the covenant made with Noah. The Lord God is full of compassion, mercy, and love. When his servants, the stewards of his business misrepresent him, and act contrary to his arrangements, they greatly dishonor him. History will testify against them. Those who are in the service of God, who profess to believe the truth, should closely examine themselves, to see whether they are in the faith, whether they are using sacred or common fire. At the death of Nadab and Abihu, Moses declared to Aaron, “This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” Let all who name the name of Christ depart from iniquity.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 7

    The Lord Jesus Christ, when in human flesh, successfully resisted every temptation of the enemy. His efforts of superhuman love, made to save the race, were successful. From him men and women may receive power to overcome, if they will consent to cease from sin. Christ gave every son and daughter of Adam unmistakable evidence that through the provisions God has made they may overcome. Each one must rely on the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. He takes every repenting soul into covenant relation with himself.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 8

    Christ regarded the enemies of the human race as his enemies. In our behalf he overcame Satan, gaining an everlasting victory for all who will receive him. He engaged in the warfare, and did not give up, but resisted even unto death; and in dying he gained the victory for which he came to our world. Before he died he cried out, “It is finished.” “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” To his disciples he said, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Christ has left us a perfect, sinless example. His followers are to walk in his footsteps. If they are not transformed in character, they can never dwell with him in his kingdom. Christ died to elevate and ennoble them, and those who retain hereditary tendencies to wrong can not dwell with him. He suffered all that it is possible for human flesh to suffer and endure, that we might pass triumphantly through all the temptations Satan may invent to destroy our faith.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 9

    In Christ is our only hope. God has daily victories for his people to gain. After his resurrection Christ said to his disciples: “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”GCB October 1, 1899, par. 10

    The very ones who had rejected Christ were to hear his message. Those who had lived in close alliance with the leaders of rebellion were to bear to them a message of pardon and forgiveness. Some who had been united with those who had planned and compassed Christ's death, who had said, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him,” were to be reclaimed from disobedience and apostasy. “Ye have not chosen me,” Christ said, “but I have chosen you.” The Lord forgave them; for they had not known what they were doing; and he sent them forth to proclaim a risen and ascended Saviour. They published the truth that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 11

    By his heavenly gifts the Lord has made ample provision for his people. An earthly parent can not give his child a sanctified character. He can not transfer his character to his child. God alone can transform us. Christ breathed on his disciples, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” This is the great gift of heaven. Christ imparted to them through the Spirit his own sanctification. He imbued them with his power, that they might win souls to the gospel. Henceforth Christ would live through their faculties, and speak through their words. They were privileged to know that hereafter he and they were to be one. They must cherish his principles and be controlled by his Spirit. They were no longer to follow their own way, to speak their own words. The words they spoke were to proceed from a sanctified heart, and fall from sanctified lips. No longer were they to live their own selfish life; Christ was to live in them and speak through them. He would give to them the glory that he had with the Father, that he and they might be one in God.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 12

    The Lord Jesus is our great High Priest, our Advocate in the courts of heaven. The solemn position in which we stand to him as worshipers, is not appreciated. For our present and eternal good we need to understand this relation. If we are his children we are bound together in the bonds of Christian brotherhood, loving one another as he has loved us, united in the sacred relation of those washed in the blood of the Lamb. Bound up with Christ in God, we are to love as brethren.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 13

    Thank God that we have a great High Priest, who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God. Christ has not entered into the holy place made with hands, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. By virtue of his own blood he entered in once for all into the holy place above, having obtained eternal redemption for us.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 14

    Now is the time for us to make sure work for eternity. Christ is pleading in our behalf. Shall we offer ourselves as a free, acceptable sacrifice? Shall we cover up our sins, or shall we confess them, that we may find mercy and grace to help in every time of need? While Christ is pleading in our behalf, shall we not put away and loathe the sins that caused the Son of God such great suffering and death? While Jesus is showing compassion for us, shall we not have compassion for ourselves? Shall we not pour out our souls in repentance and contrition, and receive the promise of a new heart? God says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”GCB October 1, 1899, par. 15

    If you are violating the law in the least, you stand under the wrath of an offended God. You may have the mercy of God. If you plead for it, you will obtain it. Cast yourself just as you are upon his mercy and compassion. Lay hold of him by faith. Put away all selfishness, all covetousness. By faith in the blood of Jesus cleanse your soul from moral defilement. Full and free salvation is offered to every one who will fall on the Rock and be broken. There are many who are saying, Lord, Lord, but they trust to their own self-righteousness. Every day they are practising sin. They are no honor to God; for wherever they go they are like evil leaven.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 16

    Why do you not cease from sin? You may overcome if you will cooperate with God. Christ's promise is sure. He pledges himself to fill the office of personal Intercessor, saying, “I will pray the Father.” He who could not see human beings exposed to destruction without pouring out his soul unto death to save them from eternal ruin, will look with pity and compassion upon every soul who realizes that he can not save himself. He will see no trembling suppliant without raising him up. He who through his own atonement provided for them an infinite fund of moral power, will not fail to employ this power in their behalf. He will impute to them his own righteousness.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 17

    Christ accepts the surrender of the soul. He has pledged himself to be our substitute and surety, and he neglects no one. There is an inexhaustible fund of perfect obedience accruing from his obedience. How is it that such an infinite treasure is not appreciated? In heaven the merits of Christ, his self-denial and self-sacrifice, are treasured up as incense, to be offered up with the prayers of his people. As sincere, humble prayers ascend to the throne of God, Christ mingles with them the merits of his life of perfect obedience. Our prayers are made fragrant by this incense. Christ has pledged himself to intercede in our behalf, and the Father always hears his Son. Pray then; pray without ceasing; an answer is sure to come. But let me speak in warning. If any man regard iniquity in his heart, the Lord will not hear him.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 18

    It is our privilege to avail ourselves of Christ's mediatorial influence. Let us then increase in wisdom and knowledge by praying much, being instant in prayer at all times, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. The name of Jesus must be in our hearts and fall from our lips. The eye of faith must behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 19

    According to justice and retribution God might have placed in the hands of his angelic ministers the vials of his wrath, to be poured out upon a rebellious world, to punish the inhabitants for their treatment of the Prince of heaven. But he did not do this. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Isaiah tells us who and what our Redeemer is: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Christ had two natures, the nature of a man and the nature of God. In him divinity and humanity were combined. Upon his mediatorial work hangs the hope of the perishing world. No one but Christ has ever succeeded in living a perfect life, in living a pure, spotless character. He exhibited a perfect humanity, combined with deity; and by preserving each nature distinct, he has given to the world a representation of the character of God and the character of a perfect man. He shows us what God is, and what man may become—godlike in character.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 20

    Christ is our example. He placed himself at the head of the human family to accomplish a work the importance of which men do not comprehend because they do not realize the privileges and possibilities before them as members of the human family of God. We may understand the subject of the work of Christ. His object was to reconcile the prerogatives of justice and mercy, and let each stand separate in its dignity, yet united. His mercy was not weakness, but a terrible power to punish sin because it is sin; yet a power to draw to it the love of humanity. Through Christ Justice is enabled to forgive without sacrificing one jot of its exalted holiness.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 21

    Justice and Mercy stood apart, in opposition to each other, separated by a wide gulf. The Lord our Redeemer clothed his divinity with humanity, and wrought out in behalf of man a character that was without spot or blemish. He planted his cross midway between heaven and earth, and made it the object of attraction which reached both ways, drawing both Justice and Mercy across the gulf. Justice moved from its exalted throne, and with all the armies of heaven approached the cross. There it saw One equal with God bearing the penalty for all injustice and sin. With perfect satisfaction Justice bowed in reverence at the cross, saying, It is enough.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 22

    By the offering made in our behalf we are placed on vantage-ground. The sinner, drawn by the power of Christ from the confederacy of sin, approaches the uplifted cross, and prostrates himself before it. Then there is a new creature in Christ Jesus. The sinner is cleansed and purified. A new heart is given to him. Holiness finds that it has nothing more to require.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 23

    The work of redemption involved consequences of which it is difficult for man to have any conception. There was to be imparted to the human being striving for conformity to the divine image an outlay of heaven's treasures, an excellency of power, which would place him higher than the angels who had not fallen. The battle has been fought, the victory won. The controversy between sin and righteousness exalted the Lord of heaven, and established before the saved human family, before the unfallen worlds, before all the host of evil workers, from the greatest to the least, God's holiness, mercy, goodness, and wisdom. Christ's sacrifice exalted the law, proving that it was from the beginning, and would be through all eternity, from everlasting to everlasting.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 24

    Satan, the first apostate, looked upon the fruit of his apostasy in the vast army under his banner, and his mind was made to comprehend the meaning of warfare against God and his Son. He saw how many he had by his subtlety led away from God, from happiness and holiness. The truth of his position and his efforts to overthrow God and assume his place, when he took with him vast numbers of angels who might have been a happy family in heaven, flashed over him. Never had the arch-deceiver such an appreciation of God and his throne, his holiness, his justice, his goodness, his amazing love, as when Christ hung on the cross. Mercy and Truth had met together; Righteousness and Peace had embraced each other.GCB October 1, 1899, par. 25

    Mrs. E. G. White

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