Baptism

March 1, 1874 The Life of Christ.--No. 12.

By Ellen G. White.

 

                                 His Baptism.

 

     After Jesus had been baptized of John in Jordan, He went straightway up out of the water to the bank of the river, and bowed in the attitude of prayer. A new and important era was opening before Him, and He felt the solemnity and responsibilities of the new duties He was to perform, and heavier burdens which He was hencefor-th to bear. His baptism was the first act of His public ministry; and He here identifies Himself with sinners as their representative, in taking upon Him their sins, and numbering Himself with transgressors. In His prayer, Christ, with His human arm, encircles fallen humanity, while with His divine arm He is reaching for the throne of the Infinite.

 

     His hands were raised upward, and His eyes were fixed as if penetrating Heaven; and He poured out His soul in supplication to His Father for strength to meet the unbelief and sinfulness of men, to break the power of Satan over man, and to be able to overcome Satan in behalf of man. He presented humanity before His Father, asking that He would grant to fallen man the Light and strength and power from His Own throne to successfully overcome the prince of the power of darkness.

 

     The soul of Christ was burdened with the sense of the sinfulness of men, and the hardness of their hearts,

that kept them in unbelief and darkness, so but few would discern His glorious mission and accept the Salvation (deliverance, freedom, healing) He came from Heaven to bring them !

 

     Christ was about to enter upon a scene of fearful trial and temptation, which was to open His life to conflict and suffering. He was to perform new and arduous duties (steep, demanding, requiring hard and continuous physical effort), and bear heavy burdens, such as had never fallen to the lot of men. His sinless humanity suppli-cates support and strength from His Father as He was about to commence His labors. He asks for the witness that God accepts fallen man, in His Son. He reaches for the throne of God to hang man upon His Father’s mercy.

 

     Never had angels listened to such a prayer. They were solicitous (ready, willing, eager) to bear to the praying Redeemer messages of assurance and love. But no; the Father Himself will minister to His Son. Direct from the throne proceeded the Light of the glory of God. The heavens were opened, and beams of Light and glory proceeded there from and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dove-like form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ.

 

     The people stood spell-bound with fear and amazement. Their eyes were fastened upon Christ, whose bowed form was bathed in the beautiful Light and glory that ever surround the throne of God. His upturned face was glorified as they had never before seen the face of man. The thunders rolled and the lightnings flashed from the opening heavens, and a Voice came therefrom in terrible majesty, saying . . . “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased !”

 

     The Words of confirmation were given for the benefit of the witnesses at His baptism, and to assure God’s dear Son that His Father accepted humanity through Him, their Substitute and Surety, and that God would connect man to Himself, and open Heaven to the prayers of men through the intercession of His Son.

 

     Notwithstanding the sins of a guilty world were laid upon His Son, and He had humiliated Himself to humanity to save the ruined race, Jehovah’s Voice assured Christ of His Sonship with the Eternal. In this manifestation, God put His seal to the plan of redemption through His Son, and evidenced that He accepted humanity as exalted through the righteous character and divine excellence of His Beloved Son. A way was opened for sinners (John 14:6) that, through obedience to God’s law and faith in Christ as their Redeemer, they might form righteous characters and become children of God.

 

     As John witnessed the Saviour of the world bowed in the deepest humiliation, and pleading fervently with tears for the approval of His Father, he was deeply moved. As the Light and glory from Heaven enshrouded the Saviour, and a Voice was heard claiming Jesus as the Son of the Infinite, John saw the token God had promised him, and knew for a certainly that the world’s Redeemer had received baptism at his hands. With transport of joy and tearful emotion he stretched forth his hand, and pointed to Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world !”

 

     This is He of Whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me; for He was before me.” “And I knew Him not; but He that sent me to baptize with water, the Same said unto me, Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the Same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” And I saw the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove and overshadowing Him; and I heard the Voice of God bear record that this is the Son of God !

                                                                                                           - The Youth Instructor, March 1, 1874

 

 

 

     “None among the hearers, and not even the speaker himself, discerned the import of these words, “the Lamb of God.” Upon Mount Moriah, Abraham had heard the question of his son, “My father, . . . where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” The father answered, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” Genesis 22:7, 8. And in the ram divinely provided in the place of Isaac, Abraham saw a symbol of Him who was to die for the sins of men.

     The Holy Spirit through Isaiah, taking up the illustration, prophesied of the Saviour, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,” “and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:7, 6); but the people of Israel had not understood the lesson. Many of them regarded the sacrificial offerings much as the heathen looked upon their sacrifices,--as gifts by which they themselves might propitiate the Deity. God desired to teach them that from His own love for fallen man, comes the gift which reconciles them to Himself.  {DA 112.5}

 

     And the Word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased,” embraces all humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our Representative. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”     ref: Ephesians 1:6.

 

     The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells us of the power of prayer,--how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven. By sin, earth was cut off from heaven, and alienated from its communion; but Jesus has connected it again with the sphere of glory. His love has encircled man, and reached the highest heaven. The Light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The Voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul . . . This is My beloved child, in whom I Am well pleased !

 

     “Beloved, now are we the sons (children begotten) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2. Our Redeemer has opened the way so that the most sinful, the most needy, the most oppressed and despised, may find access to the Father. All may have a home in the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare. “These things saith He that is holy, He that is True, He that hath the key of David . . .

     He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; . . . behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:7, 8. 

                                                                                                                       - Desire of Ages, p.112-113

 

     “I present Jesus before you as the true pattern. He was the creator of the worlds, yet He consented to humble Himself, to take upon Himself man’s nature, to live as a child, as a youth, in order that He might give them a perfect example. He was subject to His parents, obeying the commandment of the LORD which says, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

 

     There are many children and youth who see no attraction in Christ's Life of humble toil and loving obedience; but it was for our sake, for our good, that He thus lived; for if He had chosen, He might have enjoyed the riches of glory. Even after He had proclaimed His Divine relation to the Father, saying to His mother, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” He was still obedient to the claims of Mary and Joseph. For eighteen years after He had declared Himself the Son of God, He submitted to a life of toil, of restraint, of yielding submission to the authority of His parents.

 

     He practiced self-denial, and worked with Joseph at the humble trade of a carpenter, thus forever dignifying toil. When we look upon His patient self-denial, His shrinking from all notoriety (seeking to be known, seeking man‘s recognition, and fame), devoting Himself to His daily labor in a humble sphere, what a beautiful Light is shed about His life! How clearly is pointed out the path in which children and youth should walk. If the youth would become strong in mind, pure in morals, firm in spiritual power, let them follow the example of Jesus in His simplicity, in His submission to parental restraint. For thirty years His life was veiled in obscurity; yet Jesus was no less the Son of God in His lowly home, in His submission to His parents, than when God spoke from His eternal throne, saying, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I Am well pleased !”

                                                                                                         - The Youth Instructor, July 14, 1892

 

 

     “After His baptism, Christ knelt on the banks of Jordan and offered prayer to His Father, And as He prayed, the heavens were opened, and the glory of God, like a dove of burnished gold, rested upon Him, while from the highest heaven there came the Voice, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased” [Matthew 3:17].

 

     Christ’s prayer was offered for us (in our place), and it cleaves through every shadow that Satan casts between us and God. In our behalf the Saviour laid hold of the power of Omnipotence, and as we pray to God, we may know that Christ’s prayer has ascended before, and that God has heard and answered it. With all our sins and weaknesses we are not cast aside as worthless. For “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6. The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge (a guarantee) of the love of God for us.

 

     It tells of the power of prayer --how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven. The Light that fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour, will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The Voice that spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, “This is My beloved child, in whom I Am well pleased !”  - {1SAT 334.2}   


March 1, 1874 The Life of Christ.--No. 12.

By Ellen G. White.

 

                                 His Baptism.

 

     After Jesus had been baptized of John in Jordan, He went straightway up out of the water to the bank of the river, and bowed in the attitude of prayer. A new and important era was opening before Him, and He felt the solemnity and responsibilities of the new duties He was to perform, and heavier burdens which He was hencefor-th to bear. His baptism was the first act of His public ministry; and He here identifies Himself with sinners as their representative, in taking upon Him their sins, and numbering Himself with transgressors. In His prayer, Christ, with His human arm, encircles fallen humanity, while with His divine arm He is reaching for the throne of the Infinite.

 

     His hands were raised upward, and His eyes were fixed as if penetrating Heaven; and He poured out His soul in supplication to His Father for strength to meet the unbelief and sinfulness of men, to break the power of Satan over man, and to be able to overcome Satan in behalf of man. He presented humanity before His Father, asking that He would grant to fallen man the Light and strength and power from His Own throne to successfully overcome the prince of the power of darkness.

 

     The soul of Christ was burdened with the sense of the sinfulness of men, and the hardness of their hearts,

that kept them in unbelief and darkness, so but few would discern His glorious mission and accept the Salvation (deliverance, freedom, healing) He came from Heaven to bring them !

 

     Christ was about to enter upon a scene of fearful trial and temptation, which was to open His life to conflict and suffering. He was to perform new and arduous duties (steep, demanding, requiring hard and continuous physical effort), and bear heavy burdens, such as had never fallen to the lot of men. His sinless humanity suppli-cates support and strength from His Father as He was about to commence His labors. He asks for the witness that God accepts fallen man, in His Son. He reaches for the throne of God to hang man upon His Father’s mercy.

 

     Never had angels listened to such a prayer. They were solicitous (ready, willing, eager) to bear to the praying Redeemer messages of assurance and love. But no; the Father Himself will minister to His Son. Direct from the throne proceeded the Light of the glory of God. The heavens were opened, and beams of Light and glory proceeded there from and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dove-like form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ.

 

     The people stood spell-bound with fear and amazement. Their eyes were fastened upon Christ, whose bowed form was bathed in the beautiful Light and glory that ever surround the throne of God. His upturned face was glorified as they had never before seen the face of man. The thunders rolled and the lightnings flashed from the opening heavens, and a Voice came therefrom in terrible majesty, saying . . . “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased !”

 

     The Words of confirmation were given for the benefit of the witnesses at His baptism, and to assure God’s dear Son that His Father accepted humanity through Him, their Substitute and Surety, and that God would connect man to Himself, and open Heaven to the prayers of men through the intercession of His Son.

 

     Notwithstanding the sins of a guilty world were laid upon His Son, and He had humiliated Himself to humanity to save the ruined race, Jehovah’s Voice assured Christ of His Sonship with the Eternal. In this manifestation, God put His seal to the plan of redemption through His Son, and evidenced that He accepted humanity as exalted through the righteous character and divine excellence of His Beloved Son. A way was opened for sinners (John 14:6) that, through obedience to God’s law and faith in Christ as their Redeemer, they might form righteous characters and become children of God.

 

     As John witnessed the Saviour of the world bowed in the deepest humiliation, and pleading fervently with tears for the approval of His Father, he was deeply moved. As the Light and glory from Heaven enshrouded the Saviour, and a Voice was heard claiming Jesus as the Son of the Infinite, John saw the token God had promised him, and knew for a certainly that the world’s Redeemer had received baptism at his hands. With transport of joy and tearful emotion he stretched forth his hand, and pointed to Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world !”

 

     This is He of Whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me; for He was before me.” “And I knew Him not; but He that sent me to baptize with water, the Same said unto me, Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the Same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” And I saw the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove and overshadowing Him; and I heard the Voice of God bear record that this is the Son of God !

                                                                                                           - The Youth Instructor, March 1, 1874

 

 

 

     “None among the hearers, and not even the speaker himself, discerned the import of these words, “the Lamb of God.” Upon Mount Moriah, Abraham had heard the question of his son, “My father, . . . where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” The father answered, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” Genesis 22:7, 8. And in the ram divinely provided in the place of Isaac, Abraham saw a symbol of Him who was to die for the sins of men.

     The Holy Spirit through Isaiah, taking up the illustration, prophesied of the Saviour, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,” “and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:7, 6); but the people of Israel had not understood the lesson. Many of them regarded the sacrificial offerings much as the heathen looked upon their sacrifices,--as gifts by which they themselves might propitiate the Deity. God desired to teach them that from His own love for fallen man, comes the gift which reconciles them to Himself.  {DA 112.5}

 

     And the Word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased,” embraces all humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our Representative. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”     ref: Ephesians 1:6.

 

     The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells us of the power of prayer,--how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven. By sin, earth was cut off from heaven, and alienated from its communion; but Jesus has connected it again with the sphere of glory. His love has encircled man, and reached the highest heaven. The Light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The Voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul . . . This is My beloved child, in whom I Am well pleased !

 

     “Beloved, now are we the sons (children begotten) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2. Our Redeemer has opened the way so that the most sinful, the most needy, the most oppressed and despised, may find access to the Father. All may have a home in the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare. “These things saith He that is holy, He that is True, He that hath the key of David . . .

     He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; . . . behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:7, 8. 

                                                                                                                       - Desire of Ages, p.112-113

 

     “I present Jesus before you as the true pattern. He was the creator of the worlds, yet He consented to humble Himself, to take upon Himself man’s nature, to live as a child, as a youth, in order that He might give them a perfect example. He was subject to His parents, obeying the commandment of the LORD which says, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

 

     There are many children and youth who see no attraction in Christ's Life of humble toil and loving obedience; but it was for our sake, for our good, that He thus lived; for if He had chosen, He might have enjoyed the riches of glory. Even after He had proclaimed His Divine relation to the Father, saying to His mother, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” He was still obedient to the claims of Mary and Joseph. For eighteen years after He had declared Himself the Son of God, He submitted to a life of toil, of restraint, of yielding submission to the authority of His parents.

 

     He practiced self-denial, and worked with Joseph at the humble trade of a carpenter, thus forever dignifying toil. When we look upon His patient self-denial, His shrinking from all notoriety (seeking to be known, seeking man‘s recognition, and fame), devoting Himself to His daily labor in a humble sphere, what a beautiful Light is shed about His life! How clearly is pointed out the path in which children and youth should walk. If the youth would become strong in mind, pure in morals, firm in spiritual power, let them follow the example of Jesus in His simplicity, in His submission to parental restraint. For thirty years His life was veiled in obscurity; yet Jesus was no less the Son of God in His lowly home, in His submission to His parents, than when God spoke from His eternal throne, saying, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I Am well pleased !”

                                                                                                         - The Youth Instructor, July 14, 1892

 

 

     “After His baptism, Christ knelt on the banks of Jordan and offered prayer to His Father, And as He prayed, the heavens were opened, and the glory of God, like a dove of burnished gold, rested upon Him, while from the highest heaven there came the Voice, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased” [Matthew 3:17].

 

     Christ’s prayer was offered for us (in our place), and it cleaves through every shadow that Satan casts between us and God. In our behalf the Saviour laid hold of the power of Omnipotence, and as we pray to God, we may know that Christ’s prayer has ascended before, and that God has heard and answered it. With all our sins and weaknesses we are not cast aside as worthless. For “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6. The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge (a guarantee) of the love of God for us.

 

     It tells of the power of prayer --how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven. The Light that fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour, will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The Voice that spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, “This is My beloved child, in whom I Am well pleased !”   - {1SAT 334.2}   


Ye are Complete in Him !

 

     “According as He hath chosen us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love . . . wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved !”

                                                                                                                               Ephesians 1:4-6

 

 

     “For God so loved this world, that He gave His Only-Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.” John 3:16. This message is for the world, for “whosoever” means that any and all who comply with the condition may share the Blessing (ref: Galatians 3:14).

 

     All who look unto Jesus, believing in Him as their personal Saviour, shall “not perish, but have everlasting Life.” Every provision has been made that we may have the everlasting reward. Christ is our sacrifice, our Substitute, our Surety, our Divine intercessor; He is made unto us Righteousness, Sanctification, and Rede-mption. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures (shadows) of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the Presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:24

 

     “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool . . . where is the house that

ye build unto Me? and where is the place of My Rest (Hebrews 4:1-3)?  For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD . . . . But to this Man will I look, even to him that is

poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at My Word !”                                 Isaiah 66:1-2

 

     “And He shall be for a Sanctuary . . . but for a Stone of stumbling and as a Rock of offence to both the houses of Israel . . .”                                                                                                  Isaiah 8:14

 

     “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavey laden . . . and I will give you Rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I Am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find Rest unto your souls !”

                                                                                                                                   Matthew 11:28-29

 

     The intercession of Christ in our behalf is that of presenting His Divine merits (worthiness) in the offering of Himself to the Father as our Substitute and Surety (guarantee of perfection, His completed work) ; for He ascen-ded up on high to make an atonement for our transgressions. “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” I John 2:2. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation* for our sins.” I John 4:10. “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them !”

                                                                                                                                     Hebrews 7:24-25

 

     From these Scriptures it is evident that it is not God's will that you should be distrustful, and torture your soul with the fear that God will not accept you because you are sinful and unworthy. “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8. Present your case before Him, pleading the merits of the blood shed for you upon Calvary's cross.

 

     “For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God (as Divine) . . . Like-wise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord !”

                                                                                                                                Romans 6:10-11

 

     Satan will accuse you of being a great sinner, and you must admit this, but you can say: “I know I am a sinner, and that is the reason I need a Saviour. Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

     And “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and He is Just to forgive us (give in exchange for) our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:7-9. I have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim Salvation, but I present before God the all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is my only plea. The name of Jesus gives me access to the Father. His ear, His heart, is open to my faintest pleading, and He supplies my deepest necessities.

 

     “For He (God the Father) hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him . . . !”                                                                   II Corinthians 5:21-6:2

 

     It is the righteousness of Christ that makes the penitent sinner acceptable to God and works his justification. However sinful has been his life, if he believes in Jesus as his (your) personal Saviour, he stands before God in the spotless robes of Christ's imputed righteousness.

 

     The sinner so recently dead in trespasses and sins is quickened by faith in Christ. “and faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God !” Romans 10:17.  He sees by faith that Jesus is his Saviour, and alive forevermore, able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.

 

     In the atonement made for him the believer sees such breadth, and length, and height, and depth of efficiency,--sees such completeness of Salvation (deliverance, rescue, freedom, healing and restoration), purchas-ed at such infinite cost, that his soul is filled with praise and thanksgiving. He sees as in a glass the glory of the Lord (ref: James 1:21-25), and is changed into the same image as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

     “Written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy (soft) tables of the heart . . . !”                                                                               II Corinthians 3:3

 

     He sees the robe of Christ's righteousness, woven in the loom of heaven, wrought by His obedience, and imputed to the repenting soul through faith in His name (Jesus, Yehushua - Matthew 1:21). When the sinner has a view of the matchless charms of Jesus, sin no longer looks attractive to him; for he beholds the Chiefest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely. He realizes by a personal experience the power of the gospel (the Glad Tidings), whose vastness of design is equaled only by its preciousness of purpose.

 

     We have a Living Saviour. He is not in Joseph's new tomb; He is risen from the dead, and has ascended on high as a Substitute and Surety for every believing soul. “Therefore being justified (declared innocent, righte-ous and holy) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1

 

     “To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be Just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus . . . !”                                                                                                     Romans 3:26

 

     “To declare, I say . . . . the Glad Tidings of God (Deity), which He had promised afore by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord (and Sovereign King), which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; but declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead !”                                                                    Romans 1:1-4

 

     The sinner is justified (declared innocent, righteous and holy) through the merits of Jesus, and this is God's acknowledgment of the perfection of the ransom paid for man. That Christ was obedient even unto the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8) is a pledge of the repenting sinner's acceptance with the Father. Then shall we permit ourselves to have a vacillating experience of doubting and believing, believing and doubting? Jesus is the pledge of our acceptance with God. We stand in favor before God, not because of any merit in ourselves, but because of our faith in “the LORD our righteousness.”

     Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the Presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy, and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith !

 

     Perfection through our own good works we can never attain. The soul who sees Jesus by faith, repudiates his own righteousness. He sees himself as incomplete, his repentance insufficient, his strongest faith but feebleness, his most costly sacrifice as meager, and he sinks in humility at the foot of the cross. But a Voice speaks to him from the Oracles of God's Word. In amazement he hears the message, “Ye are complete in Him !”

 

     Now all is at rest in his soul. No longer must he strive to find some worthiness in himself, some meritorious deed by which to gain the favor of God. Beholding the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, he finds the peace of Christ; for pardon is written against his name, and he accepts the Word of God, “Ye are complete in Him.” Colossians 2:10

 

     How hard is it for humanity, long accustomed to cherish doubt, to grasp this great Truth! But what peace

it brings to the soul, what vital life! In looking to ourselves for righteousness, by which to find acceptance with God, we look to the wrong place, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We are to look to Jesus; “for we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass the glory of the LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory.” II Corinthians 3:18. You are to find your completeness by beholding the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

     Standing before the broken law of God, the sinner cannot cleanse himself; but, believing in Christ, he is the object of His infinite love and clothed in His spotless righteousness. For those who believe in Christ, Jesus prayed “Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth (Verity) !. . . that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be One (ekh-awd - united, joined) in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.

 

     And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are One !” “O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee; but I have known Thee . . . For this is Life Eternal, that they might know Thee, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent ! . . . and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name (character), and will declare it; so that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:17-26 & 17:3

 

     Who can comprehend the nature of that righteousness which makes the believing sinner whole, presenting him to God without spot or wrinkle or any such thing?   We have the pledged Word of God that Christ is made unto us Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption. God grant that we may rely upon His Word with implicit trust, and enjoy His richest blessing. “For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from (born in Heaven prior to Bethlehem) God.” John 16:27 - Signs of the Times, July 4, 1892

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