The Sinner’s Only Hope

The Sinner’s Only Hope.–“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God is our creator, benefactor, preserver. The author of all good, He is able to fulfill the purpose that He had in the creation of human beings. {9MR 121.1}
The wickedness that fills our world is the result of Adam’s refusal to take God’s word as supreme. He disobeyed, and fell under the temptation of the enemy. “Sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). {9MR 121.2}
God declared, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). And apart from the plan of redemption human beings are doomed to death. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But Christ gave His life to save the sinner from the death sentence. He died that we might live. To those who receive Him He gives power that enables them to separate from that which, unless they return to their loyalty, will place them where they must be condemned and punished. {9MR 121.3}

Christ is the sinner’s only hope. By His death He brought salvation within the reach of all. Through His grace all may become loyal subjects of God’s kingdom. Only by His sacrifice could salvation be brought within man’s reach. This sacrifice has made it possible for men and women to fulfill the conditions laid down in the councils of heaven. {9MR 121.4}

Christ came to this earth and lived a life of perfect obedience, that men and women, through His grace, might also live lives of perfect obedience. This is necessary to their salvation. “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (See Hebrews 12:14).–Manuscript 80, 1900, pp. 2-4. (“A Holy People,” July 4, 1900.) {9MR 122.1}
A Personal God Revealed in Christ.–As a personal being, God has revealed Himself in His Son. Jesus, the outshining of the Father’s glory, “and the express image of His person,” was on earth found in fashion as a man. As a personal Saviour, He came to the world. As a personal Saviour, He ascended on high. As a personal Saviour, He intercedes in the heavenly courts. Before the throne of God in our behalf ministers “One like the Son of man.” {9MR 122.2}
As Jehovah, the supreme Ruler, God could not personally communicate with sinful men, but He so loved the world that He sent Jesus to our world as a revelation of Himself. “I and My Father are one,” Christ declared. No man knoweth “the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27). And Christ is also the revealer of the hearts of men. He is the exposer of sin. By Him the characters of all are to be tested. To Him all judgment has been committed, “because He is the Son of man.” {9MR 122.3}
Taking humanity upon Him, Christ came to be one with humanity, and at the same time to reveal our heavenly Father to sinful human beings. He was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He was hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He shared the lot of men, and yet he was the blameless Son of God. He was a stranger and sojourner on the earth–in the world, but not of the world; tempted and tried as men and women today are tempted and tried, yet living a life free from spot or stain of sin. “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). In His strength men and women can live the life of purity and nobility that He lived. {9MR 122.4}
Christ came to teach human beings what God desires them to know. Just before His trial and crucifixion, He said to His disciples, [John 16:24-33 quoted]. {9MR 123.1}
The disciples had asked many questions that revealed their ignorance of God’s relation to them and to their present and future interests. Christ desired them to have a clearer, more distinct knowledge of God. “I will show you the Father, and will make you better acquainted with Him,” He said. It is this knowledge that Christians need today. This knowledge, which Christ alone can give, is the highest of all education. {9MR 123.2}
When, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, they understood the truths that Christ had spoken in proverbs. The teachings that had been mysteries to them were made clear. The understanding that came to them with the outpouring of the Spirit made them ashamed of their fanciful theories. Their suppositions and interpretations were foolishness compared with the knowledge of heavenly things that now came to them. Their confused ideas were gone; they were led of the Spirit; and light shone into their once-darkened understanding. {9MR 123.3}
While with the disciples, Christ had revealed to them all the knowledge of God that they could bear. The complete fulfillment of the promise that He would show them plainly of the Father, was yet to come. Thus it is today. Now we know in part only. When the conflict is ended, and the Man Christ Jesus acknowledges before the Father His faithful workers, who in a world of sin have borne true witness for Him, they will understand clearly what now are mysteries to them. {9MR 123.4}
Christ took with Him to the heavenly courts His glorified humanity. To those who receive Him, He gives power to become the sons of God, that at last God may receive them as His, to dwell with Him throughout all eternity. If during this life they are loyal to God, they will at last “see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads.” And what is the happiness of heaven but to see God? What greater joy could come to the sinner, saved by the grace of Christ, than to look upon the face of God, and know Him as Father? “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). {9MR 124.1}
Some today are coming to hold false ideas of the invisible God [REFERENCE TO CERTAIN PANTHEISTIC TEACHINGS ADVOCATED BY CERTAIN SDA MEDICAL LEADERS AROUND THE TURN OF THE CENTURY.], and are presenting these ideas to others. Let those who do this know that their childish portrayal of God is a misconception. They know not God. Before the world, before angels, and before men, they are giving a false representation of Him. {9MR 124.2}
To those to whom these fanciful interpretations are presented, I would say, “Let not these sentiments charm your senses, and lead you into paths of Satan’s making. Beware, beware, of spiritualistic [SPIRITUALISM, A SYSTEM OF INTERPRETATION THAT SPIRITUALIZES THE TEACHINGS OF THE SCRIPTURES.] ideas of God. Those who entertain such ideas greatly dishonor Him. Let everyone humble His heart before God.”–Manuscript 124, 1903, pp. 1-6. (“A Personal God,” October 14, 1903). {9MR 124.3}
Christ a Sinless Being Sent From Heaven.–God did for us the very best thing that He could do when He sent from heaven a sinless Being to manifest to this world of sin what those who are saved must be in character– pure, holy, and undefiled, having Christ formed within. He sent His ideal in His Son, and bade men build characters in harmony with this ideal. And in all His ministry, all His self-denial and self-sacrifice, Christ’s object was to reveal God to the world. It was not merely a theory of the excellence of divine mercy that was to be presented to the world. Christ came, and in the likeness of man wrought out before the world a perfect character, that the world may be without excuse.–Letter 58, 1906, p. 3. (To Brethren Washburn, Prescott, Daniells, and Colcord, January 16, 1900.) {9MR 125.1}
Christ Employed the Human Faculties to Comprehend Humanity.–Oh, what great privileges are granted to all who are not only professors, but doers of the words of Christ! The knowledge of Christ as the Sin-Bearer, the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, enables us to live a life of holiness. This is the only safeguard to preserve the happiness of the human family. Satan realizes that without this knowledge we should be thrown into confusion, divested of our strength, our faith weakened, and thus we should be deceived by every artifice he might choose to practice upon us. His plans have been wisely made to carry out his purpose to destroy man. He endeavors to throw his hellish shadow, like the pall of death, between God and man, that he may hide Jesus from our view, that we may forget His ministry of love and mercy, and that he may prevent further disclosures of God’s great love and power to usward. He would intercept every ray of light from heaven. {9MR 125.2}

Christ alone was able to represent the Deity. He who had been in the presence of the Father from the beginning, He who was the express image of the invisible God, was alone sufficient to accomplish this work. No verbal description could reveal God to the world. Through a life of purity, a life of perfect trust and submission to the will of God, a life of humiliation such as even the highest seraph in heaven would have shrunk from, God Himself must be revealed to humanity. In order to do this, our Saviour clothed His divinity with humanity. He employed the human faculties, for only by adopting these could He be comprehended by humanity. Only humanity could reach humanity. He lived out the character of God through the body which God had prepared for Him. He blessed the world by living out in human flesh the life of God, thus showing that He had the power to unite humanity to divinity.–Manuscript 44, 1895, pp. 1-2. (“A Great Work to Be Done.”)

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