This article was written in 1899 by one of the Good King’s faithful Lightbearers. This really spoke to me and made me understand more of the love of Jesus. I pray that I will be more like His Majesty in all I say, do, and think. As you read this consider how you can be more like the Good King as you live your life as His Lightbearer.
“Christ Our Example” Part 1
God saw that the world was destitute of true knowledge, and he sent Christ into the world to live the law and represent him. This was the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. The knowledge of God was the chief treasure Christ brought to man. It was his prerogative to impart this knowledge, and he gave it to his disciples to be given to the world. Christ gave lessons that men might be impressed with his justice, condescension, and love. To the just and the unjust he gives a distinct representation of the divine goodness God has manifested in their behalf. He leads men abroad into the open field of nature, and touching the eyes of their senses he shows them the hand that sustains the world, the power ever working in behalf of human beings, good and evil. He spreads before them the beautiful flowers, the lily of the valley, the fragrant pinks and roses, delicately tinted by the great Master Artist, and he declares: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
Jesus gave his life to make it possible for men and women to secure eternal life. The Father appreciates every soul whom his Son has purchased by the gift of his life. Every provision has been made for us to receive divine power, which will enable us to overcome temptations. Through obedience to all God’s requirements the soul is preserved unto eternal life.
The dumb animals have no souls, yet God cares for them. “Are ye not much better than they?” Christ asks. “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
This lesson is given to all who love God and keep his commandments. The One who gave his life that we should not perish is the divine Teacher, and he appeals to every blessing of the natural world, the showers that fall upon the earth, the dew, the glorious sunlight, given alike to thankful and unthankful. The bounties of God’s providence speak to every soul, confirming Christ’s testimony to the supreme goodness of his Father. The Lord would have his people realize that the blessings bestowed upon any object of creation are proportionate to the place that object occupies in the scale of creation. If even the wants of dumb animals are supplied, can we appreciate the blessings which God will bestow upon the beings formed in his image?
Christ would elevate and refine man’s mind, purifying it from all dross, that he may appreciate the love that is without a parallel. He leads them up to the higher grade, unfolding before them the treasures of eternity. He opens before them the volume of his providence, and bids them, as far as possible, take in the whole revelation. He tells them that in this book is written the name of every individual, that in the page assigned each individual is written every particular of his history, even to the numbering of the hairs of the head. He leads the human agent to think of the
love of God manifested by giving his only begotten Son to die for the world. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Thus God showed his love for man. With Christ he gave all heaven, that the moral image of God might be restored in man. Our part is to appreciate the means provided, and in harmony with the divine mind work out our salvation. God could do no more to express his love. His gift could not be greater; for it embraces infinity. His grace in all its vastness is provided for all. There is no excuse for any to retain selfishness. In the hearts of all who receive him, Christ will be formed, the hope of glory. The Saviour says to every one for whom he has died, You must receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption. You must become so united with God that you will impart the grace you have received. Thus you become a living channel, by which God can communicate his light to the world.
God can not approve our work while it has in it one thread of selfishness. It was apparently a small transgression that closed the gates of paradise against Adam and Eve. But ever since then sin has been increasing in volume and prevalence, and it is still increasing. But notwithstanding this, the divine benevolence has not been cut off. God’s love and care still flow earthward.
This should make man afraid of his littleness, of his sin-loving propensities. God calls upon us to receive and impart the love which passeth knowledge. He is looking upon his prostrate law, upon his Sabbath trampled under foot by a race of rebellious subjects. He could have come forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity. He could have swept them away by a flood, as he did in Noah’s day. But he did not do this. He has spared them because of the covenant made with Noah. The Lord God is full of compassion, mercy, and love. When his servants, the stewards of his business misrepresent him, and act contrary to his arrangements, they greatly dishonor him. History will testify against them. Those who are in the service of God, who profess to believe the truth, should closely examine themselves, to see whether they are in the faith, whether they are using sacred or common fire. At the death of Nadab and Abihu, Moses declared to Aaron, “This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” Let all who name the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
The Lord Jesus Christ, when in human flesh, successfully resisted every temptation of the enemy. His efforts of superhuman love, made to save the race, were successful. From him men and women may receive power to overcome, if they will consent to cease from sin. Christ gave every son and daughter of Adam unmistakable evidence that through the provisions God has made they may overcome. Each one must rely on the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. He takes every repenting soul into covenant relation with himself.
Christ regarded the enemies of the human race as his enemies. In our behalf he overcame Satan, gaining an everlasting victory for all who will receive him. He engaged in the warfare, and did not give up, but resisted even unto death; and in dying he gained the victory for which he came to our world. Before he died he cried out, “It is finished.” “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” To his disciples he said, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Christ has left us a perfect, sinless example. His followers are to walk in his footsteps. If they are not transformed in character, they can never dwell with him in his kingdom. Christ died to elevate and ennoble them, and those who retain hereditary tendencies to wrong can not dwell with him. He suffered all that it is possible for human flesh to suffer and endure, that we might pass triumphantly through all the temptations Satan may invent to destroy our faith.
In Christ is our only hope. God has daily victories for his people to gain. After his resurrection Christ said to his disciples: “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”
The very ones who had rejected Christ were to hear his message. Those who had lived in close alliance with the leaders of rebellion were to bear to them a message of pardon and
forgiveness. Some who had been united with those who had planned and compassed Christ’s death, who had said, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him,” were to be reclaimed from disobedience and apostasy. “Ye have not chosen me,” Christ said, “but I have chosen you.” The Lord forgave them; for they had not known what they were doing; and he sent them forth to proclaim a risen and ascended Saviour. They published the truth that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah.
Mrs. E. G. White
Part 2 of this inspiring article will be posted next week.