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Life Sketches Manuscript

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    Self-distrustfulness the Mark of a True Christian

    The words of John came forcibly to my mind, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,” I was shown that those who triumphantly claim to be sinless, show by their very boasting that they are far from being without taint of sin. The more clearly fallen man comprehends the character of Christ, the more distrustful will he be of himself, and the more imperfect will his works appear to him, in contrast with those which marked the life of the spotless Redeemer. But those who are far from Jesus, those whose spiritual perceptions are so clouded by error that they cannot comprehend the character of the great Exemplar, conceive of Him as altogether such a one as themselves, and dare to talk of their own perfection of holiness. But they are far from God; they know little of themselves, and less of Christ.LSMS 121.2

    None of the apostles or prophets claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God has honored with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their own nature. They have put no confidence in the flesh, have claimed no righteousness of their own, but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ. So will it be with all who behold Christ.LSMS 121.3

    Those who have experienced the cleansing efficiency of the blood of Christ upon their hearts, will be like their Master, pure, peaceable, and lowly. No matter how bold one may be in his claims of spiritual soundness and perfection of character, if he lacks Christian grace and humility, sin is still in his nature, and unless it is purged from him, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. The truly holy, those who walk with God, as did Enoch, will not boast of their piety, but will be free from spiritual pride and self—exaltation. Those who know most of God, and who keep their eyes fixed on the Author and Finisher of their faith, will see nothing good or great in themselves. After they have done all in their power to be faithful, they will still feel that they are unprofitable servants.LSMS 122.1

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