Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 1 John 2:5.
God has a standard of righteousness by which He measures character. This standard is His holy law, which is given to us as a rule of life. We are called upon to comply with its requirements, and when we do this we honor both God and Jesus Christ; for God gave the law, and Christ died to magnify it, and make it honorable. He declares: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” ... “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
There are many hearers, but few doers, of the words of Christ. His words may be theoretically accepted, but if they are not stamped upon the soul, and woven into the life, they will have no sanctifying effect upon the character. It is one thing to accept the truth, and another thing to practice it in the daily life. From those who hear only, God's Word calls for no grateful response. The commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength,” is acknowledged to be just, but its claims are not recognized; its principles are not carried out.
We are all sinful, and of ourselves are unable to do the words of Christ. But God has made provision whereby the condemned sinner may be freed from spot and stain. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But while Christ saves the sinner, He does not do away with the law which condemns the sinner....The law shows us our sins, as a mirror shows us that our face is not clean. The mirror has no power to cleanse the face; that is not its office.
So it is with the law. It points out our defects, and condemns us, but it has no power to save us. We must come to Christ for pardon. He will take our guilt upon His own soul, and will justify us before God. And not only will He free us from sin, but He will give us power to render obedience to God's will....
Today many erect a standard of their own, thinking to gain heaven, even though they neglect to do God's will. But all such are building upon the sand. They are hearers only....Our salvation cost the life of the Son of God, and God demands of us that we build our characters upon a foundation that will stand the test of the judgment.—The Signs of the Times, September 24, 1896.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 55
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