Spirit: The Test of Discipleship (2)

    But notice here that obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. The law of God is an expression of his very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of his government in heaven and earth. If our hearts are renewed in the likeness of God, if the divine love is implanted in the soul, will not the law of God be carried out in the life?

When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new covenant promise is fulfilled, "I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." Heb. 10:16. And if the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? Obedience--the service and allegiance of love--is the true sign of discipleship. Thus the Scripture says, "This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." I John 5:3; 2:4. Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.

We do not earn salvation by our obedience; for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith. "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." I John 3:5,6. Here is the true test. If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in us, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God as expressed in the precepts of his holy law. "Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous." I John 3:7. Righteousness is defined by the standard of God's holy law, as expressed in the ten precepts given on Sinai.

That so-called faith in Christ which professes to release men from the obligation of obedience to God, is not faith, but presumption. "By grace are ye saved through faith." But "faith, if it hath not works, is dead." Eph. 2:8, James 2:17 Jesus said of himself before he came to earth, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." Ps. 40:8. And just before he ascended again to heaven he declared, "I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." John 15:10. The Scripture says, "Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." I John 2:3-6. "Because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." I Peter 2:21.

(source: © Ellen G White; From "Steps To Christ")


Collated Spirit Articles

Growing Up Into Christ (1).

The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life, air, sunshine, and food...more

Growing Up Into Christ (2).

A life in Christ is a life of restfulness...more

Knowledge of God.

Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make himself known to us and to bring us into communion with him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing...more

Growing Up Into Christ (3).

Constantly beholding him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:18)...more

Growing Up Into Christ (4).

They knew that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still...more

The Sinner's Need of Christ (1).

But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God...more

The Sinner's Need of Christ (2).

But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, "I am carnal, sold under sin...more

Repentance (1).

It is only through Christ that we can be brought into harmony with God, with holiness; but how are we to come to Christ?...more

Repentance (2).

Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that his Spirit is moving upon our hearts...more

Repentance (3).

One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct...more

Repentance (4).

Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed...more

The Privilege of Prayer (1).

Jesus himself, while he dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified himself with our needs and weaknesses...more

The Work And The Life (1).

The spirit of Christ's self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades heaven...more

The Work And The Life (2).

We are brought into sympathy with Christ through the fellowship of his sufferings...more

The Work And The Life (3).

We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ...more

Faith and Acceptance (1).

You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God...more

Faith and Acceptance (2).

Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought with a price...more

Faith and Acceptance (3).

But even this parable, tender and touching as it is, comes short of expressing the infinite compassion of the Heavenly Father...more

The Test of Discipleship (1).

Every burden is light; for the yoke that Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure...more

The Test of Discipleship (2).

When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new covenant promise is fulfilled...more

The Test of Discipleship (3).

If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled...more

The Test of Discipleship (4).

Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God...more

Confession (1).

Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life...more

Confession (2).

When sin has deadened the moral perceptions, the wrong-doer does not discern the defects of his character...more

What To Do With Doubt (1).

God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith...more

What To Do With Doubt (2).

There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them...more

Consecration (1).

"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)...more