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The Ministry Of Christ

Believe That Christ Will Give Us Power To Overcome,

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10. {CTr 220.1}

In your efforts to overcome, you will meet with many temptations; but if you continue to strive, Christ will give you great success. The more serious the trials, the more precious the victory you gain. If you will only flee to the Source of your strength, then you will receive a great blessing. But we must learn to cast all our cares upon Jesus Christ, who is our helper. All our sorrow and grief, take it to the Lord in prayer. {CTr 220.2}

It is a great thing to believe in Jesus. We hear many say, “Believe, believe, all you have to do is to believe in Jesus.” But it is our privilege to inquire, What does this belief take in, and what does it comprehend? There are many of us who have a nominal faith, but we do not bring that faith into our characters. The statement is made that the devil believed and trembled. While he was in heaven, he believed that Christ was the Son of God, and when upon this earth he was in conflict with Him here on the field of battle. He believed on Christ, but could this save him? No; because he did not weave Christ into his life and character. We must have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul, and this belief in Christ will lead us to put away everything that is offensive in His sight. {CTr 220.3}

Unless we have this faith that works, it is of no advantage to us. You may admit that Christ is the Saviour of the world, but is He your Saviour? Do you believe today that He will give you strength and power to overcome every defect in your character? … We are to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus, and we are thus growing up a precious temple unto the Lord. He says, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”… {CTr 220.4}

It makes every difference with us whether we are living righteously or in sin. To some of us Christ may say that He is ashamed to call us brothers and sisters; but to those who are loaded down with burdens, the pitying Saviour stands right by their side to help them…. {CTr 220.5}

He took our nature upon Him, that He might come right down to us in the temptation wherewith we are beset…. Then shall we not accept Him as our Saviour? If you feel the wound and sting of sin, then it is for you to cry to the Saviour to help you.—Manuscript 5, 1886. {CTr 220.6}

All May Know God The Father

For by grace are ye saved through faith; … it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8. {CTr 221.1}

Jesus Christ is our spiritual touchstone. He reveals the Father…. The mind must be prepared to appreciate the work and words of Christ, for He came from heaven to awaken a desire and to give the bread of life to all who hunger for spiritual knowledge. Inspiration declared that His mission was to preach the gospel to the poor, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. His Word declared that He should set judgment on the earth, and that the isles should wait for His law; that Gentiles should come to His light, and kings to the brightness of His rising. This was the Messenger of the Covenant yet to come, the Son of Righteousness yet to rise upon our world. {CTr 221.2}

Adam and Eve were formed in the image of God. But Satan worked constantly to destroy the divine similitude. The holy pair yielded to temptation, and God’s image was obliterated. Christ put His hand a second time to the work. He would recreate human beings. When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son. Hear, O heaven, and be astonished, O earth! The appointed Instructor appears, and He is no other than the Son of God; His divinity was clothed with humanity. {CTr 221.3}

Christ came to reveal perfection amid the imperfection of a world corrupted by disobedience and sin. The eternal Word appeared in human form, bringing with Him all grace, all healing, all efficiency. He brought with Him the bread of life, which, if received, will be to us as the tree of life. The Inspired Word declares of this Teacher, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” {CTr 221.4}

The question of how to obtain a knowledge of God is to all a life-and-death question. Read Christ’s prayer to His Father, intended not merely as an important lesson in education for the disciples, but to come down through all time for the benefit of those who would read the Inspired Writings. “Father,” He prayed, “the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”Manuscript 15, 1898. {CTr 221.5}

He Who Made The Worlds Became A Helpless Babe

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Luke 2:40. {CTr 222.1}

We cannot understand how Christ became a little helpless babe…. His face could have been bright with light, and His form could have been tall and beautiful. He could have come in such a way as to charm those who looked upon Him; but this was not the way that God planned He should come among the human family. He was to be like those who belonged to the human family and to the Jewish race. His features were to be like those of other human beings, and He was not to have such beauty of person as to make people point Him out as different from others. He was to come as one of the human family, and to stand as a man before heaven and earth. He had come to take our place, to pledge Himself in our behalf, to pay the debt that sinners owed. He was to live a pure life on the earth, and show that Satan had told a falsehood when he claimed that the human family belonged to him forever, and that God could not take the race out of his hands. {CTr 222.2}

People first beheld Christ as a babe, as a child. His parents were very poor, and He had nothing in this earth save that which the poor have. He passed through all the trials that the poor and lowly pass through from babyhood to childhood, from youth to manhood…. {CTr 222.3}

The more we think about Christ’s becoming a babe here on earth, the more wonderful it appears. How can it be that the helpless babe in Bethlehem’s manger is still the divine Son of God? Though we cannot understand it, we can believe that He who made the worlds became, for our sakes, a helpless babe. Though higher than any of the angels, though as great as the Father on the throne of heaven, He became one with us. In Him God and humanity became one, and it is in this fact that we find the hope of our fallen race…. {CTr 222.4}

From His earliest year, Christ lived a life of toil. In His youth He worked with His father at the carpenter’s trade, and thus showed that there is nothing of which to be ashamed in work…. Those who are idle do not follow the example that Christ has given, for from His childhood He was a pattern of obedience and industry. He was as a pleasant sunbeam in the home circle. Faithfully and cheerfully He acted His part, doing the humble duties that He was called to do in His lowly life. Christ became one with us in order that He might do us good.—Youth’s Instructor, November 21, 1895. {CTr 222.5}

Christ “Grew In Knowledge” Going About His Father’s Business,

Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? Luke 2:49. {CTr 223.1}

Every year His parents went to the city of Jerusalem to attend the feast of the Passover, and in His twelfth year Jesus went with them to the city. When the feast was over, the parents, forgetting all about Jesus, started on their road home with some of their relations, and did not know that Jesus was not with them. They supposed that He was in the company, and went a whole day’s journey before they found out that He was not there. Frightened as to what had become of Him, they turned back to the city…. {CTr 223.2}

Jesus knew that God had given Him this opportunity to give light to those who were in darkness, and He sought to do all in His power to open the truth to the rabbis and teachers. He led these men to speak about different verses in the Bible telling about the Messiah whom they expected to come. They thought that Christ was to come to the world in great glory at this time, and make the Jewish nation the greatest nation on the earth. But Jesus asked them what the Scriptures meant when they spoke of the humble life, the suffering and sorrow, the rejection and death, of the Son of God. Though Christ seemed like a child that was seeking help from those who knew a great deal more than He did, He was bringing light to their minds in every word He spoke…. {CTr 223.3}

While Christ was teaching others, He Himself was receiving light and knowledge about His own work and mission in the world, for it is plainly stated that Christ “grew in knowledge.” What a lesson there is in this for all the youth of our day! They may be like Christ, and by studying the Word of God, by receiving the light that the Holy Spirit can give them, they will be able to give light to others…. {CTr 223.4}

The wise men were surprised at the questions that the child Jesus asked…. When there was a pause, Mary, the mother of Jesus, came up to her son and asked, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” Then a divine light shone from Jesus’ face, as He lifted His hand and said, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”… They did not know what He really meant by these words, but they knew He was a true son, who would be submissive to their commands. Though He was the Son of God, He went down to Nazareth and was subject to His parents.—Youth’s Instructor, November 28, 1895. {CTr 223.5}

Jesus An Example To Children And Youth,

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Luke 2:52. {CTr 224.1}

As Jesus looked upon the offerings that were brought as a sacrifice to the temple, the Holy Spirit taught Him that His life was to be sacrificed for the life of the world…. From His earliest years He was guarded by heavenly angels; yet His life was one long struggle against the powers of darkness. Satan sought in every way to tempt and try Him. He caused people to misunderstand His words, so that they might not receive the salvation He came to bring them. He was opposed both at home and abroad, not because He was an evildoer, but because His life was free from every taint of sin, and condemned all impurity…. {CTr 224.2}

His stainless life was a rebuke, and many avoided His presence; but there were some who sought to be with Him because they felt at peace where He was. He was gentle, and never contended for His rights; but His own brethren scorned and hated Him, showing that they did not believe in Him, and casting contempt upon Him…. He lived above the difficulties of His life, as if in the light of God’s countenance. He bore insult patiently, and in His human nature became an example for all children and youth…. {CTr 224.3}

His life was as leaven, working amid the elements of society. Harmless and undefiled He walked amid the careless, the thoughtless, the rude and unholy. He mingled with the unjust publicans, the reckless prodigals, the unrighteous Samaritans, the heathen soldiers, the rough peasants, and the mixed multitudes…. He treated every human being as having great value. He taught people to look upon themselves as persons to whom had been given precious talents that, if rightly used, would elevate and ennoble them, and secure for them eternal riches. By His example and character He taught that every moment of life was precious, as a time in which to sow seed for eternity.—The Youth’s Instructor, December 12, 1895. {CTr 224.4}

Jesus carried the burden of the salvation of the human family upon His heart. He knew that unless people would receive Him, and become changed in purpose and life, they would be eternally lost. This was the burden of His soul, and He was alone in carrying this load…. From His youth He was filled with a deep longing to be a lamp in the world, and He purposed that His life should be “the light of the world.” This He was, and that light still shines to all who are in darkness. Let us walk in the light that He has given.—The Youth’s Instructor, January 2, 1896. {CTr 224.5}

Jesus Presented Truth By Using Familiar Objects,

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables. Matthew 13:34. {CTr 225.1}

The great Teacher proclaimed the truth to humanity, many of whom could not be educated in the schools of the rabbis, neither in Greek philosophy. Jesus uttered truth in a plain, direct manner, giving vital force and impressiveness to all His utterances…. {CTr 225.2}

The rabbis and teachers had virtually shut up the kingdom of heaven from the poor and the afflicted, and left them to perish. In His discourses Christ did not bring many things before them at once, lest He might confuse their minds. He made every point clear and distinct…. {CTr 225.3}

Christ was the originator of all the ancient gems of truth. Through the work of the enemy these truths had been displaced. They had been disconnected from their true position and placed in the framework of error. Christ’s work was to readjust and establish the precious gems in the framework of truth. The principles of truth that had been given by Himself to bless the world had, through Satan’s agency, been buried and had apparently become extinct. Christ rescued them from the rubbish of error, gave them a new, vital force, and commanded them to shine as precious jewels and stand fast forever. Christ Himself could use any of these old truths without borrowing the smallest particle, for He had originated them all…. {CTr 225.4}

As Christ presented these truths to minds, He broke up their accustomed train of thought as little as possible…. He therefore aroused their minds by presenting truth through the agency of their most familiar associations. He used illustrations in His teaching that called into activity their most hallowed recollections and sympathies, that He might reach the inner temple of the soul. Identifying Himself with their interests, He drew His illustrations from the great book of nature, using objects with which they were familiar. The lily of the field, the seed sown by the sower, the springing up of the seed, and the harvesting of the grain, the birds of the air—all these figures He used to present divine truth, for these would remind them of His lessons whenever they should afterward look upon them…. {CTr 225.5}

Although Satan has misrepresented God’s purposes, falsified His character, and caused people to look upon God in a false light, yet through the ages God’s love for His earthly children has never ceased. Christ’s work was to reveal the Father as merciful, compassionate, full of goodness and truth…. The only begotten Son of God sweeps back the hellish shadow in which Satan has enveloped the Father, and declares, “I and My Father are one; look on Me and behold God.”Manuscript 25, 1890 (Manuscript Releases 13:240-243). {CTr 225.6}

Prefer Tradition Rather Than Obedience To God’s Law

And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. Mark 7:9. {CTr 226.1}

The most learned men in the days of Christ—philosophers, legislators, priests, in all their pride and superiority—could not interpret God’s character…. When, in the fullness of time, Christ came to our world, it was darkened and marred by the curse of apostasy and spiritual wickedness. The Jews had wrapped themselves about with the dark mantle of unbelief. They kept not the commandments of God…. {CTr 226.2}

Those whom He addressed regarded themselves as exalted above all other peoples. To them, they proudly boasted, had been committed the oracles of God. The earth was languishing for a teacher sent from God, but when He came just as the living Oracles specified He would come, the priests and instructors of the people could not discern that He was their Saviour, nor could they understand the manner of His coming. Unaccustomed to accept God’s Word exactly as it reads, or to allow it to be its own interpreter, they read it in the light of their maxims and traditions. So long had they neglected to study and contemplate the Bible that its pages were to them a mystery. They turned with aversion from the truth of God to the traditions of men. {CTr 226.3}

The Jewish nation had reached a critical time in its history. Much was at stake. Would human ignorance give way? Would there be a thirsting for a deeper knowledge of God? Would this thirst develop into a longing for spiritual drink, as the thirst of David developed into a longing for water from the well of Bethlehem? Would the Jews turn from the influence of false teachers, which had perverted their senses, and call upon God for divine instruction? … {CTr 226.4}

When Christ came as a human being, a flood of light was shed upon the world. Many would have received Him gladly, choosing to walk in the light, if the priests and the rulers had only been true to God and had guided the people aright by giving to them a true interpretation of the truths of the Word. But so long had the leaders misapplied the Scriptures that the people were misled by falsehoods…. {CTr 226.5}

The Jews, as a nation, refused to accept Christ. They turned from the only One who could have saved them from eternal ruin. A similar condition of things exists in the so-called Christian world today. People who claim to understand the Scriptures are rejecting God’s law and exerting a strong, determined influence against it…. What is the result? Look at the course of the youth growing up around us.—Manuscript 24, 1891 (Manuscript Releases 19:252-254). {CTr 226.6}

Mortals Can Overcome Only Through Christ

I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. Revelation 3:12. {CTr 227.1}

Never will the human family—redeemed by the example of the Sent of God, the only begotten of the Father—understand and fully comprehend the terrible conflict waged with deceptive, alluring power and concealed, deadly hatred by Satan against our Lord when He lived upon earth. After the battle of the great day of God shall take place, when the power of rebellion is forever broken and Christ’s mediatorial work in its magnitude is represented so plainly that all of the redeemed of God’s family shall, with clear comprehension, understand the mission of His Son as the mediatorial remedy to make of the fallen race a repentant, humble, meek, reclaimed order of beings—then there will be seen developed the difference between the person that serveth God and the one that serveth Him not. {CTr 227.2}

Rebellion will exist in our world until in heaven are spoken the words “It is done.” Rebellion in the church is caused by its members feeling opposed to God and to His terms of salvation. Human beings want abundant room to express themselves and to attract attention. They do not know or understand that they are working out the plans of Satan. If they refuse to see and to become enlightened, if they refuse to be instructed, they reject the mediatorial remedy that has been given to save the sinner—not in sin but from sin. For the express purpose of saving sinners was the remedial work of Christ planned. {CTr 227.3}

When Christ first announced to the heavenly host His mission and work in the world, He declared that He was to leave His position of dignity and disguise His holy mission by assuming the likeness of a man, when in reality He was the Son of the infinite God. And when the fullness of time was come, He stepped down from His throne of highest command, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to this earth to exemplify what humanity must do and be in order to overcome the enemy and to sit with the Father upon His throne…. He made it possible for Himself to be buffeted by human agencies inspired by Satan, the rebel who had been expelled from heaven. {CTr 227.4}

As the head of humanity, Christ lived on this earth a perfect, consistent life, in conformity with the will of His heavenly Father…. Always uppermost in His mind and heart was the thought “Not My human will, but Thy will, be done.”Letter 303, 1903. {CTr 227.5}

Jesus Taught By Both Words And Example,

For neither did his brethren believe in him. John 7:5. {CTr 228.1}

The people saw that the Holy Spirit was resting upon Jesus at the age of twelve. He felt something of the burden of the mission for which He had come to our world…. {CTr 228.2}

He understands the temptations of children, for He bore their sorrows and trials. Firm and steadfast was His purpose to do the right; though others tried to lead Him to do evil, yet He never did wrong, and would not turn away in the least from the path of truth and right. He always obeyed His parents, and did every duty that lay in His path. {CTr 228.3}

But His childhood and youth were anything but smooth and joyous. His spotless life aroused the envy and jealousy of His brethren, for they did not believe on Him. They were annoyed because He did not act in all things as they did and would not become one with them in doing evil.—The Youth’s Instructor, November 28, 1895. {CTr 228.4}

Because He was so quick to see what was false and what was true, His brethren were greatly annoyed at Him, for they said that whatever the priest taught ought to be considered as sacred as a command of God. But Jesus taught both by His words and by His example that people ought to worship God just as He has directed them to worship Him, and not follow the ceremonies that religious leaders have said ought to be followed…. {CTr 228.5}

The priests and the Pharisees also were annoyed because this Child would not accept their human inventions, maxims, and traditions…. Failing to convince Him that He ought to look upon human traditions as sacred, they came to Joseph and Mary and complained that Jesus was taking a wrong course in regard to their customs and traditions. Jesus knew what it was to have His family divided against Him on account of His religious faith. He loved peace; He craved the love and confidence of the members of His family; but He knew what it was to have them withdraw their affection from Him. He suffered rebuke and censure because He took a straightforward course and would not do evil because others did evil, but was true to the commandments of Jehovah…. {CTr 228.6}

The scribes, rabbis, and Pharisees could not force Jesus to turn from the Word of God and follow human traditions, but they could influence His brethren in such a way that His life might become a very bitter one. His brethren threatened Him and sought to compel Him to take a wrong course, but He passed on, making the Scriptures His guide.—The Youth’s Instructor, December 5, 1895. {CTr 228.7}