One minute after the General Conference Session began in 2022, the chairperson made this statement: “We will start this meeting with mission, and we will end this with mission….Mission is the heartbeat of this church….Our mission…is to make disciples of Jesus Christ….We are opening the session with the mission statement just to highlight to the delegates that this is our priority….The mission statement is the guide for the rest of the meetings.” Appropriately, the next order of business at the session was a baptism.
What Is Our Mission?
The speaker was exactly right that our mission is to make disciples and baptize them. But have we totally forgotten the second part of our mission? It is clearly and definitively stated in Revelation 7:1-3. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”
Now baptism is the beginning of our mission journey, but sealing is the end of our mission journey. Which of these is more important? The sealing vindicates God’s plan and ends the great controversy.
Another way to focus on our mission is to find the center of Scripture. “The Bible is its own expositor….The student…should gain a knowledge of its grand central theme, of God’s original purpose for the world, of the rise of the great controversy, and of the work of redemption….In every act of life he himself reveals the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives.” Ed 190. This central theme we know as the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
The major issue in the great controversy is the character of God. The first words of her five-volume Conflict of the Ages series are “God is love,” and the last words are “God is love.” In Scripture “The curtain that separates the visible from the invisible world is lifted, and we behold the conflict of the opposing forces of good and evil, from the first entrance of sin to the final triumph of righteousness and truth; and all is but a revelation of the character of God.” PP 596.
“Jesus is the living center of everything”; “Christ is the center to which all should be attracted”; “The great center of attraction, Jesus Christ.” Ev 186. “The cross of Calvary is the great center.” 4BC 1173. “The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster….Every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary.” GW 315. “The standard of truth is to be uplifted and the atonement of Christ presented as the grand, central theme for consideration.” 8T 77. “The doctrine of the second advent is the very keynote of the Sacred Scriptures.” GC 299.
“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God….The burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme—man’s uplifting….He who grasps this thought…has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s Word.” Ed 125.
In light of these statements, is the “restoration of the image of God” most clearly seen in baptism or in sealing? Why have we chosen baptism as our only mission, and ignored the final sealing work of God?
Two well-known movies tell the story of Moses: The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt. But we know better than to rely on Hollywood for biblical history. To understand the Bible, we need to study it for ourselves. Otherwise, we might never learn about some of the most important events in Moses’ life—such as when God sought to kill him. But why would God want to kill Moses, His chosen messenger to Pharaoh? Let’s read the story in Exodus 4:24-26. “And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.”
Most people have forgotten this story. Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, and their firstborn son was named Gershom. They had a second son, Eliezer. Both sons were born in Midian before Moses went back to Egypt. We also know that Moses failed to circumcise one or both boys. Circumcision was an important sign of the covenant between God and Abraham. This rule was meant not only for Abraham but also for all his male descendants—Moses and his sons included. The consequence for ignoring this command was severe. Uncircumcised males were cast out from God’s people because they had broken the covenant. Moses could not claim ignorance. All Israelites knew the importance and necessity of circumcision. Failing to circumcise his sons was negligence of the highest order. It meant disregarding God’s law. God could not simply overlook Moses’ sin. No such sinful person could lead the Israelites out of Egypt and deliver God’s law to them. God was prepared to use severe measures to get His point across. And the point? Disobedience of any kind is sin, and destroys a relationship with God. James 2:24 clearly says, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” For Moses and for us, belief without works is dead. Obedience is always a crucial part of true faith, and always reveals the real condition of the heart.
What is Grace?
There are several meanings or aspects of grace. God cares for the physical life of our world and its inhabitants by universal or common grace. Each person experiences basic divine blessings. Common grace can be described as every favor of whatever kind which this undeserving and sin-cursed world enjoys as a gift from God.
But there is more to grace than this. How can we live a spiritually abundant life? For this we need God’s special grace. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).” Eph. 2:5. We become truly alive when we accept Jesus as our Savior. But before we can accept Christ, we need Prevenient grace. This grace is given to all, and it enables a spiritually dead person to hear God’s voice and respond to His call. Without this grace, our hearts would remain forever dead and closed to spiritual appeals.
Saving grace emerges when we accept God’s appeals and do not resist His Holy Spirit. New life blossoms within us when we repent and make a commitment to obey Him. Obedience is only possible when God enables it. Then follows several more aspects of God’s grace. Transforming grace changes believers’ lives, including their thinking and emotions. Christ’s followers are changed into God’s image with a new self-worth, with new orientations, attitudes, and values. Empowering grace equips believers for effective service and witnessing for God. Sustaining grace keeps us in a vital relationship with Christ. Finally, triumphant grace works miracles in our lives and triumphs in our everyday struggles with selfishness and even addictions.
But there is one aspect of grace, believed in by many Christians, which is not part of God’s saving grace. Irresistible grace does not exist, because one can always choose to reject grace or fall from grace. Once again we must ask our basic question, Which part of our mission expresses the fullest revelation of God’s grace—saving grace or triumphant grace?
There’s an ancient story of a king who placed a huge boulder to block a thoroughfare. He then hid himself to see which of his citizens would exercise initiative to remove the stone. Many merchants and leaders simply walked around it; others loudly complained and blamed the king for not keeping the road clear. Then a peasant loaded with vegetables came along. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded in moving the stone. After picking up his vegetables to leave, the peasant noticed a purse filled with gold coins under where the stone previously had been. It had a note from the king stating his thanks and that it was for whoever invested the effort to remove this obstacle to progress. Once again we see the close connection between grace and obedience.
Grace in Action
In the January 2022 issue of the Adventist Review I found a fascinating article:
Life has its unexpected and surprising moments. I had been pulled over by police before, but this was the most memorable. The police officer pushed his head through the open window of my car and, in my face—eyeball to eyeball—repeated in a loud, exasperated voice, “Do you have any idea how fast you were going? The minimum fine is one thousand dollars and nine of your ten driving points.”
I was guilty. Caught red-handed. There was no escape. My heart sank, and I was speechless. He looked in the car, and then, suddenly, poked his head through the window, squarely in my face, and asked again, in a loud, exasperated voice, “Do you have any idea how fast you were going? The fine, at minimum, is one thousand dollars and nine points.” Then, pulling his head out of the car, he repeated himself again.
He asked for my driver’s license, and he again said, still exasperated, “Do you have any idea how fast you were going? The minimum fine is one thousand dollars and nine points; you were way over the limit.” Then he asked, “What are you doing up here anyway?” I told him I was one of the new pastors in Williams Lake. “You’re a pastor? You’re a pastor and driving that fast!” He repeated, for the fifth time, the thousand dollar penalty. He turned to go back to his car. My wife and I just looked at each other in shock and wondered if we would eat for the next month.
Finally the officer returned. He stuck his head fully into the car in front of my face, looked over to my wife, and asked, “Who is this?” Then he said, “Shirley, do you realize how fast your husband was going? The minimum fine is one thousand dollars and nine points.” She quietly said, “Yes.” Then he continued, “Shirley, what would you think if, instead of giving your husband a one thousand dollar fine and taking nine points off his license, I tell him that he must take you out this evening and buy you dinner?” He backed out of the window, gave me a written warning, and said, “Take her out to dinner, slow down, and drive carefully,” and he was gone.
We sat there in shock for a few minutes. I am sure that officer smiled as he got back into his car. He had seriously disciplined a pastor who needed it. That night he gave an illustration of salvation by grace. I drove the remaining 60 miles differently that Friday night. I never came close to exceeding the speed limit. I gratefully took my wife out to dinner.
I remember every time, with thankfulness and joy, that police officer, the reduced speed limit coming up, and the grace I was shown. Grace made me a better and more careful driver. And grace does more than forgive; it brings with it the desire and power to do better. Grace forgives us; grace transforms us; and grace empowers us to obey.
Revival Plus Reformation
Ellen White famously urges the need for revival and reformation. But what did she mean by reformation? “Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life; everything offensive to God must be put away.” SC 39. So reformation means a change in lifestyle, concrete changes in the way we live our lives. “The grace of Christ will enable you to overcome your perverted appetites.” ST Feb. 17, 1888
There is another sense in which Ellen White used reformation: to mean corporate spiritual change, distinguishing it from an individual personal revival. In 1901, talking to delegates to that year’s General Conference Session, she admonished: “There should be a general reformation.” General Conference Bulletin Extra, April 16, 1901, p. 267. In 1903 she affirmed, “In every institution among us there needs to be a reformation.” General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1903, p. 31
In 1904 she published one of her most powerful testimonies: “Unless the church... shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself.” 8T 250. Clearly, revival is not enough. We also need reformation, a church that is simple, pure, and true to God’s Word.
Sin, Justification, and Perfection
Long before God created mankind, He formulated a plan to restore us to fellowship with Him. The Son of God would offer Himself to become human. He would minister to suffering humanity to reveal God’s infinite love. He would take our place and die, bearing our sins as our substitute. Now God did all of this one-sidedly, without consulting us. God also decided to send the Holy Spirit to entreat us to accept His gracious, saving work.
Based on all of this—God’s one-sided plan—a false gospel is built. In Adventist World, Sept. 2021, the question is asked, “What is the relationship between justification by faith and Christian perfection?” Angel Manuel Rodriguez responded with these words: “Christ’s work in us is not what saves us.” “We are constantly depending on His atoning work for us.” “placing our faith exclusively in Christ’s forgiving grace for the assurance of our salvation.” “our need to develop a character like Christ’s…is to make our service to others more effectual.”
If Christ’s work in us is not necessary for salvation, then what assurance do we really have that sin will not arise the second time? If we are placing our faith exclusively in forgiving grace, that means we will never be beyond the need for forgiving grace until Christ’s return. In other words, sinning will be our lot until the second coming. The teaching that a Christlike character is only important to be good witnesses to others is exactly what the evangelical gospel has always been teaching. This answer is just another bit of evidence that the evangelical gospel is growing stronger and more significantly, more “mainstream” in our written assumptions.
Another question was addressed in the October, 2021 Adventist World. “There is some debate in my church about the nature of sin.” Once again Dr. Rodriguez was chosen to reply. He said: “Sin is the ethical, moral, mental, and spiritual decomposition of the human being….a process of spiritual putrefaction.” No, these are the results of sin, which has to be kept separate from the nature of sin. Later, Rodriguez correctly defined the nature of sin as “an incomprehensible act of rebellion against the good Creator,” or “a permanent, disrupting, and destructive inner attitude expressing itself in all sorts of evil thoughts, words, and actions,” or “a state of inner conflict against God, others, and self.”
Rodriguez continued: “Most of the time we conceive of sin as a serious behavioral problem, and this is correct. In fact, the Bible states that sin is a violation of the law (1 John 3:4). The Bible emphasizes wicked behavior in its portrait of sin because actions reveal the inner condition of the human being. They are the objective evidence of the state of the human heart as the corrupted center of existence.” Then the question has to be asked, Did Jesus’ fallen nature corrupt Him? Obviously this is the reason for the desperate effort to insist that Christ could not have taken our fallen nature.
More from Rodriguez: “There is something deeply wrong with humans; there is rottenness at the very core of our existence. An understanding of sin as a behavioral problem is hardly adequate to reveal the deep darkness of the human predicament.” The constant defining of sin as a rotten darkness of the human condition makes it necessary to believe that we will be sinning until the very end of this world, since we have rejected the idea of exchanging fallen nature for unfallen nature at any time before Jesus returns. Rodriguez claims that “the corrupted human nature is not to be patched up, but to be destroyed….at the coming of Christ our sinful human nature will be removed, and we will be dressed with incorruptibility.” This obviously means that there will be no sinlessness until that moment, which makes the close of probation a meaningless teaching which needs to be abandoned. Once again, the evangelical gospel wins the theological battle and the Bible loses.
There is an interesting verse included in the Bible’s final book. Describing scenes from the second coming of Christ, John identifies a particular group of people who are not pleading for the rocks to fall on them. He writes, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Rev. 14:12. So we can turn the Ten Commandments into a salvation checklist. To be saved, you must:
Worship only the one true God
Not create false gods to follow
Never call yourself a Christian and then not act like one
Keep the Sabbath holy
Honor your parents
Not commit adultery
Never desire something that belongs to someone else
This means that we can place a checkmark on all of those items on the list, and we can know that, without a doubt, we are saved. But, by now, you may have concluded that actually living that flawless life might be a bit of a challenge. The unvarnished, ugly truth is that we’re flawed. We’re broken vessels. We’re in the process of healing. We’re on an ardent and often painful journey to allow Jesus to change us into His likeness and to pick up the pieces of our sin-shattered lives. To expect perfect obedience at any given moment is both unrealistic and dangerous.
One day, when asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Matt. 22:36, Jesus identified two, which weren’t even written in the law. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matt. 22:37-40. The greatest commandment, according to the God who wrote them with His own finger is love. And it seems that all the other ten commandments hang on love like ornaments on a Christmas tree. Without love, God’s law is just a collection of arbitrary do’s and don’ts. But with love permeating our obedience, God’s law becomes a beautiful description of how we can live life with the least amount of heartache and strife.
Then of course there is 1 Cor.13: “Though I speak with the tongue of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” Vs.1-3.
At this point, with all these truths fully understood, it would again be very easy to come to a false conclusion. They’re like God saying to us, “Oh, I see you’re having trouble with number 9. I can help. Number 5 causing you problems? Let me show you what you need to do.” As a matter of fact, we may be working on a couple of those commandments when we see a small black cloud about the size of a man’s hand appear in the east. Is it really true that all those standing ready to meet Him will be 100% obedient? How do we resolve this? The Bible unambiguously says, Obey and live forever; Disobey and die forever.
Because we have a fallen nature and will keep that nature until Jesus returns, obedience is 100% impossible. Therefore we can never look to obedience to save us, but because we realize that only obedience will protect the universe from destroying itself, we must look to another method of being saved. Simply, we pray for a miracle. We focus entirely on God’s grace. We know that God will forgive us and transform us so that we will come to hate sin just as Christ did. Obedience is never a method of salvation, but always the sure result of salvation. Grace is the only method of salvation. Only the obedient will be saved, because grace always produces obedience. Christ proved that for all eternity, and that reality is the only fact which proves sin will never arise again. The miracle we are praying for is to have the same Holy Spirit in control of our fallen nature as Christ did in His.
Do you believe in the investigative judgment? Good, because it’s true. And that your name will come up in it? Good, because it will. How will you fare, though, when it does? Ellen White writes that every “work passes in review before God, and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the books of Heaven is entered, with terrible exactness, every wrong word, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling. Heaven-sent warnings or reproofs neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far-reaching results, all are chronicled by the recording angel.” GC 481. All of that is biblical. The Bible refers to “every secret thing, every idle word, the hidden things of darkness, your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers.” So how well will we fare when, with “terrible exactness,” every “secret thing” comes under scrutiny before God?
Ellen White writes that “Jesus does not excuse their sins, but shows their penitence and faith, and, claiming for them forgiveness, he lifts his wounded hands before the Father and the holy angels, saying, ‘I know them by name. I have graven them on the palms of my hands.’” GC 484. Those whose sins are blotted out “have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God.” GC 483. This means that grace provides both forgiveness and transformation through Christ, so that our characters are 100% obedient, and in perfect harmony with God’s law. Any time you hear that transformation is not a requirement for salvation you are listening to a fatal denigration of the gospel’s work within our minds. Transformation is always a special gift of grace. It is both a requirement for salvation and a gift of grace.
Is it possible to be obedient by doing absolutely nothing? A recent Adventist Review article (Oct. 2022, p. 67) says yes, it is.
It was my daughter’s fourteenth birthday party. We invited a handful of kids she had met at church to join us for some roller skating and pizza. The party host helped me serve the pizza onto paper plates and pass it out to our guests. As I handed out the last plate I noticed everyone was sitting and looking at their pizza, but no one was eating it. They were chatting pleasantly with each other, but no one had touched their pizza. I thought they’re probably too thirsty from skating to think about eating until they get some water! I poured out the ice-cold water from the glass pitcher into the plastic cups, and the party host helped me distribute the drink.
Still the kids sat pleasantly talking but not partaking of the food in front of them. I passed out napkins, but nothing was prompting the kids to eat. What am I missing? I asked myself. Then it hit me. I’d been so concerned with making sure everyone was served that I had completely forgotten to offer a blessing over the food. I got everyone’s attention and offered a special birthday prayer for my daughter.
Relief swept over me as the kids started eagerly eating their pizza. The party host scooted up to my side. “That was beautiful!” she said. “I’ve never seen any party guests do that before! I’m not a religious person, but that was awesome.”
They had no idea that their actions—or should I say inactions—had opened the way for the non-Christian party host to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thank you, God, I prayed silently, that Sierra’s new friends are living witnesses for you.
Yes, sometimes doing nothing can be a perfect witness of obedience.
Time of Trouble
The expression “time of trouble” appears eight times in the Old Testament. The New Testament equivalent “great tribulation” appears three times. The great time of trouble is not a time far off in the future, but a time we may all experience. A time of trouble “such has never has been since there was a nation till that time” is also mentioned in Matthew 24:21.
Events leading up to the time of trouble include the sealing of the saints, the latter rain, the loud cry, the shaking, the Sunday laws, the death decree, and the close of probation. There will come persecution, and God’s people will have to live without an Intercessor in heaven. Nevertheless, they have nothing to fear, for God has promised in Revelation 22:11 that He will take care of them.
One of the deceptions we will be facing has already appeared. It is called the Watchman Decree, and parts of it are quoted below.
THE WATCHMAN DECREE
As a Patriot of faith, I attest my allegiance first and foremost to the kingdom of God and the Great Commission. Secondly, I agree to be a watchman over our nation concerning its people and their rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
- we, the Church, are God’s governing Body on the earth,
- we have been given legal power from heaven and now exercise our authority,
- through the power of God, we are the world influencers,
- because of our covenant with God, we are equipped and delegated by Him to destroy every attempted advance of the enemy
WE MAKE OUR DECLARATIONS:
We decree that America’s executive branch of government will honor God and defend the Constitution.
We decree that our legislative branch (Congress) will write only laws that are righteous and constitutional.
We decree that our judicial system will issue rulings that are biblical and constitutional.
We decree and we now take back our God-given freedoms, according to our Constitution.
We declare that we take back influence at the local level in our communities.
We declare that our nation is energy independent.
We decree that evil carries no power, authority or rights in our land nor over our people.
We decree that we will operate in unity, going beyond denominational lines in order to accomplish the purposes of God for our nation.
And we decree that AMERICA SHALL BE SAVED!
We know the truth; therefore, we stand for truth and will NEVER be deceived! We will never stop fighting! We will NEVER, EVER, EVER give up or give in! We WILL take our country back. We will honor the ONE TRUE GOD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! AMERICA SHALL BE SAVED!
If you want to read the entire document, go to: (https://flashpoint.govictory.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2022/06/WatchmanDecree.pdf)
If you would like to see a more complete analysis of the Watchman Decree by my son Matthew, go to my website (dennispriebe.com), click on the YouTube button to Dennis Priebe Ministries, and find the video “The Dragon Speaks.”
Here are a few thoughts about how to handle temptation from Doug Batchelor: “The Bible offers much advice for dealing with temptation, but I believe one of the most important tips is this: Run! Few speed records are broken when people run from sin; they often crawl away hoping it catches up with them. Sometimes temptation comes through a door deliberately left open….Run away from sin as fast as you can, and don’t leave a forwarding address….The bravest person runs from temptation; the fool flirts with it….’You will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.’ Deut. 4:29….We must also choose to serve God when we discover His will, even when His will conflicts with the desires of our sinful hearts. If you’re not sure you’re willing, you can pray, ‘Lord make me willing to be willing.’…Yield your will to Christ in the same way He yielded to His Father.” Inside Report, 4th quarter, 2021, p.13
A fascinating story comes from Ministry, Jan. 2023, pp.4-5.
If Jesus needed prayer, how much more do we need prayer? Not prayer just to seek His help but prayer just to know His heart….I made it a habit of asking God to wake me up each morning when He wanted me to awake. At the end of my last year of construction engineering studies, the most important exam that decided my passing or failing arrived. But the night before I stayed up late talking with friends. Before I fell asleep, I did not ask God to wake me up because I was afraid He would wake me up to early. I woke up 30 minutes before the final was to start! I read a very short verse and said a quick 10-word prayer. When I ran to the door to leave, God reminded me, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” Then came my father’s words: “You need to fully surrender all daily.”
So I turned around and opened my Bible, which opened to “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus.” Uh, was I supposed to consider my school year a loss? Then I opened another book I was studying and read, “Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel.” Ed 260.
I decided right then to recommit my life to Jesus and make Him above all things at any price, even my year of schooling. I took time to pray and study the Word; two hours went quickly. I finished worship and then wondered, Should I even go to school? The exam will be over by the time I get there. But I felt I should go, so I went to school.
When I entered the classroom, the students were sitting there, waiting. One said, “Pavel, how did you know the teacher would not show up?” “I didn’t,” I replied. They said, “The teacher was caught in a very bad traffic jam and told us he would be here soon.” The teacher came after that; I took the exam and passed with flying colors. I did not lose my school year; rather, I experienced God’s faithfulness….God wants our thirst to find Jesus to exceed our burden to preach Jesus.
We need to master the subject of righteousness by faith and incorporate it into all messages and practices of the life of our local church. Although Jesus never used the theological term righteousness by faith, He was, in fact, its embodiment. Jesus related to people as if they were righteous, even though they were not. Let us commit ourselves to a living, vibrant connection with Christ, and then pray for our church to have the same connection, so that He can trust us with the latter rain of the Holy Spirit.
I strongly suggest that you read Ellen White’s personal appeal from her heart in Testimonies, volume 5, pages 217-235.
I am including an appeal from W.W. Prescott in the years following 1888, entitled “Victory in Christ.”
Jesus deals with us as individuals….He loves me as if I were the only object of His love….And this intimate, personal relationship does not interfere in any way with my perfect freedom of choice and action. Each morning I choose to accept His love. Each morning I choose to love and work for Him….Jesus took the same flesh that I have. He met the same temptations that I meet….He demonstrated that it is possible for one as weak as I am, to be obedient to God’s holy will, through the grace provided….If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Savior, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.
Nay, had there been in all this wide,
Wide world no other soul beside
But only mine, then He had died,
That He might be its Savior….
I earnestly wish that every person in the world knew that Jesus died for him, and would accept Him in his life and in his death….
With Him I have fellowship day by day, as I live with Him and walk with Him. I recognize His presence with me, and I depend upon Him to keep me from doing anything contrary to His blessed will. I have surrendered to Him, I have definitely accepted His will in all things….I know that I enjoy the blessing of present salvation through my acceptance of Jesus as the Lord of my life, and I trust Him moment by moment….I have found that “it is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him.”…I can believe about Christ with my mind, but to be saved by Him I must believe in Him with my whole heart….I yield myself that He may perform in me the good thing that He has promised. This is the basis of my Christian experience.
My effort is directed, not toward doing things myself, but toward not hindering Jesus from doing. My only fear is lest I should in some way lose my personal fellowship with Him….He will work in me “both to will and to do,” if I say to Him from the depths of my heart, “Thy will be done.”…
He Himself becomes my righteousness….He asks me to give myself to Him in order that He may give Himself to me. The righteousness of Jesus is not a theological creed, but a living experience. It not only changes my standing with God, but it determines my conduct….It purifies the current of my life, and sweetens my thinking, my speaking, and my doing. It makes me a new creature in Christ Jesus….I must fully submit my will to God’s will;…I must commit my life entirely into God’s hands….They must be taken anew every day.
For a long time I tried to gain the victory over sin, but I failed….Instead of doing the part God expects me to do, and which I can do, I was trying to do God’s part, which He does not expect me to do, and which I cannot do. Primarily, my part is not to win the victory, but to receive the victory which has already been won for me by Jesus Christ….I did not give heed to the fact that victory is a gift, already won, and ready to be bestowed upon all who are willing to receive it. I assumed the responsibility of trying to win what He had already won for me. This led me into failure….
My conflicts have been when influences were brought to bear upon me to induce me to lose my confidence in Christ as my personal Saviour, and to separate from Him. My mistakes have been made when I have allowed something to come in between me and Him to prevent me from looking into His blessed face with the look of faith. When I fix my eyes upon the enemy, or upon the difficulties, or upon myself and my past failures, I lose heart, and fail to receive the victory….I surrender my whole being to be under His control, allowing Him to work in me “both to will and to work.”…By living His life of victory in me, He gives me the victory….
Since Jesus is not ashamed to call me His brother, I can confidently regard Him as my brother. It inspires me with hope and joy to remind me that I have a Brother in heaven….Union with God, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, is Christianity as it has been revealed to me in my experience….So I wait for Him with confident assurance. He will not disappoint me. His coming for me will be the consummation of all His work for me, and of all my hope in Him….
It cheers me to know that He thinks of me individually, that He loves me personally….I do not intend to disappoint Him by not being ready to meet Him….
Jesus, my Saviour, shall come from on high.
Sweet is the promise as weary years fly;
O, I shall see Him descending the sky,
Coming for me, for me….
But Jesus Christ does more for me than merely to restore that which was lost through sin, although that would be sufficient to win my praise and adoration throughout the eternal ages….This is no hallucination. This is not the imagination of a fevered brain. This is sober reality….His victory is mine. His throne is mine. He is mine, and I am His….I have found Christ to be the sufficient supply of my every need as a Christian….
I need power to persevere in the way which He has shown me is right, and though His own personal presence in me by the Holy Spirit, He becomes my power….Self-surrender is the way of power. He who is my wisdom and my power, is also my righteousness….I am glad that I have learned to accept His death as my death to sin, and His life as my life, and that I take Him as my victory. His victory is mine, as He becomes mine….He is my peace. He is my wisdom. He is my power. He is my righteousness. He is my love. He is my victory. He is my all. What is He to you?