Conditions of Acceptance With God

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The Review and Herald

April 2, 1889

Conditions of Acceptance With God

By Mrs. E. G. White

 

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." If any man has been dishonest, and has wronged his neighbor and his God, there is but one course for him to pursue. He must confess his wrong; he must restore again that he has robbed; he must forsake his evil ways, and have repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

A precious work has been done in California and in Battle Creek. We have heard confessions, we have seen restitution. Men and women with countenances lighted up with the glory of God have come into meeting to bear testimony to the willingness of Jesus to forgive sins and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. They had tasted and found that the Lord was good. God is ready to do a similar work for this people. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Jesus has declared, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." We are composed of what we eat and drink; and as it is in the physical economy, so it is in the spiritual economy. That which we think upon, and meditate upon, will give tone and strength to our spiritual nature. We are to become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Jesus has said, "Whoso eateth of my flesh, and drinketh of my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." We are to be partakers of the root and fatness of the vine. We are to be like Christ, full of benevolence and love. We are to possess the characteristics of God.

The Lord declared his character to Moses, when he stood with him in the mount. "And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty." Moses had prayed that God would reveal himself to him. God had assured him that he had found grace in his sight, but Moses was not satisfied. He still pleaded with God, and said, "Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; and consider that this nation is thy people." How many would have been satisfied with the approval of God, and would have asked no further. And the Lord answered Moses, and said, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will givethee rest." Still the man of faith pressed his request before God. "And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth." O that we all felt as didMoses, that we could not go without the presence of the Lord! "And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name." Step after step this mighty man of faith advances. Three times he has obtained the thing he asked of God. But is he satisfied yet? Has God nothing further to bestow? Moses prefers still another request. "And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory." Does this seem like presumption? Did God rebuke him for asking so great things at his hand?óNo, no. God is not impoverished by giving. Hear what he answered Moses. "And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock; and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover thee with my hand while I pass by." And Moses saw the goodness of the Lord. He manifested his character to him. He represented himself as a God, full of compassion and tender mercy. And these are the fruits that we shall bear if we are partakers of the divine nature. We are to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, or there is no life in us. Jesus explained what he meant when he gave utterance to these words. He said, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the fleshprofiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." We do not live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, as we should. We do not give the diligent, prayerful study to the Bible that we should, desiring the sincere milk of the word, that we grow thereby. We do not believe in Christ as we should, or we would not be so far separated from God. What shall we do? How shall we stand in the judgment? We should stand today as we shall wish to stand then. "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

Who have been preparing themselves to go and work in his vineyard? God is not pleased with novices. He wants us to make the very best and highest use that is possible of the talents that he has given us. The ability that our Father has bestowed upon us is precious talent to be put out to the exchangers, to gain usury for the Giver. If we are content to be dwarfs and novices, content to let our ability waste from inaction, we are content to rob God. Every young person must feel the necessity of exercising his talents in the work of God. We should seek to mount to the very highest rounds of attainment, and in the fear of God and with trembling, we should work out our own salvation, because we feel the responsibility that rests upon us to reach the high claims that God has on every soul. We fear lest we shall not defeat the enemy of God and man; but while we work with fear and trembling, realizing our own weakness, God will work with us to will and to do of his own good pleasure. As man sees the claims of the law, and brings the truth to bear upon his soul, a power from on high co-operates with his efforts, and he becomes a laborer together with God.

There is a measurement of character constantly going on. The angels of God are estimating your moral value, and ascertaining your needs, and bearing your case to God. How earnestly we should strive to meet the mind of the Spirit of God! And O, how thankful we should be that help has been laid upon One who is mighty to save!

When Daniel was in Babylon, he was beset with temptations of which we have never dreamed, and he realized that he must keep his body under. He purposed in his heart that he would not drink of the king's wine or eat of his dainties. He knew that in order to come off a victor, he must have clear mental perceptions, that he might discern between right and wrong. While he was working on his part, God worked also, and gave him "knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." This is the way God worked for Daniel; and he does not propose to do any differently now. Man must co-operate with God in carrying out the plan of salvation.

Do you manifest impatience, and utter hasty words? Are you full of self-esteem? Have you lustful thoughts and practices? Are you doing things directly contrary to the purposes of God? Are you robbing your Heavenly Father by withholding your talents and your heart from him? Why not cease doing this way? Why not make a full surrender to God? He will impart to you his light and peace, and you will taste of his salvation. Do not any longer bring to God a lame, diseased offering. Your powers, mental and physical, are enfeebled by your own course of transgression; but such an offering is not acceptable to heaven. Why not come and be healed of your infirmities, and offer a living sacrifice, holy, and without blemish? Have you been robbing God in tithes and offerings? Here is instruction for you. Says the Lord, "Bring ye all the tithes into the store-house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Why not take the Lord at his word? It is our privilege to experience the joy of Christ.

It would be a difficult matter to convince those who have tasted of the rich knowledge of Christ, that he is as a root out of dry ground, without form or comeliness; and he may become to our souls "thechiefest among ten thousand," and the One "altogether lovely." I love him! I love him! I see in Jesus matchless charms. I see in him everything to be desired by the children of men. Let us come to the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world." Let us, through his merits and righteousness, obtain a fitting up for heaven. The broken and contrite heart he will not despise.

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