Spirit: The Sinner's Need of Christ (2)
It is not enough to discern the wisdom and justice of his law, to see that it is founded upon the eternal principle of love. Paul the apostle saw all this when he exclaimed, "I consent unto the law, that it is good." "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." (Rom. 7:16, 12, 14). But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, "I am carnal, sold under sin." He longed for the purity, the righteousness, to which in himself he was powerless to attain, and he cried out, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?"(Rom. 7:24). Such is the cry that has gone up from burdened hearts in all lands and in all ages. To all, there is but one answer, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29).
Many are the figures by which the Spirit of God has sought to illustrate this truth, and make it plain to souls that long to be freed from the burden of guilt. When, after his sin in deceiving Esau, Jacob fled from his father's home, he was weighed down with a sense of guilt. Lonely and outcast as he was, separated from all that had made life dear, the one thought that above all others pressed upon his soul, was the fear that his sin had cut him off from God, that he was forsaken of Heaven.
In sadness he lay down to rest on the bare earth, around him only the lonely hills, and above, the heavens bright with stars. As he slept, a strange light broke upon his vision; and lo, from the plain on which he lay, vast shadowy stairs seemed to lead upward to the very gates of heaven, and upon them angels of God were passing up and down; while from the glory above, the divine voice was heard in a message of comfort and hope. Thus was made known to Jacob that which met the need and longing of his soul, a Saviour. With joy and gratitude he saw revealed a way by which he, a sinner, could be restored to communion with God.
The mystic ladder of his dream represented Jesus, the only medium of communication between God and man. This is the same figure to which Christ referred in his conversation with Nathanael, when he said, "Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." (John 1:51) . In the apostasy, man alienated himself from God; earth was cut off from heaven. Across the gulf that lay between, there could be no communion. But through Christ, earth is again linked with heaven. With his own merits, Christ has bridged the gulf which sin had made, so that the ministering angels can hold communion with man. Christ connects fallen man, in his weakness and helplessness, with the source of infinite power.
But in vain are men's dreams of progress, in vain all efforts for the uplifting
of humanity, if they neglect the one source of hope and help for the fallen race. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from God” (James 1:17). There is no true excellence of character apart from him. And the only way to God is Christ. He says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6).
The heart of God yearns over his earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up his Son, he has poured out to us all heaven in one gift. The Saviour's life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings; all are enlisted in behalf of man's redemption.
O, let us contemplate the amazing sacrifice that has been made for us! Let us try to appreciate the labor and energy that heaven is expending to reclaim the lost, and
bring them back to the Father's house. Motives stronger, and agencies more powerful, could never be brought into operation; the exceeding rewards for right-doing, the enjoyment of heaven, the society of the angels, the communion and love of God and his Son, the elevation and extension of all our powers throughout eternal ages; are these not mighty incentives and encouragements to urge us to give the heart's loving service to our Creator and Redeemer?
And, on the other hand, the judgments of God pronounced against sin, the inevitable retribution, the degradation of our character, and the final destruction, are presented in God's word to warn us against the service of Satan. Shall we not regard the mercy of God? What more could he do? Let us place ourselves in right relation to him who has loved us with amazing love. Let us avail ourselves of the means provided for us that we may be transformed into his likeness, and be restored to fellowship with the ministering angels, to harmony and communion with the Father and the Son.
(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
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
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 will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life...more
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
"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)...more