God's Amazing Grace

Chap. 213 - A Miracle

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. Heb. 2:4. {AG 221.1}

Christ wrought no miracle at the demand of the Pharisees. He wrought no miracle in the wilderness in answer to Satan's insinuations. He does not impart to us power to vindicate ourselves or to satisfy the demands of unbelief and pride. But the gospel is not without a sign of its divine origin. Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart; it is implanted by the grace of God. When one who has been controlled by a stubborn, wayward will is set free, and yields himself wholeheartedly to the drawing of God's heavenly agencies, a miracle is wrought; so also when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. Every time a soul is converted, and learns to love God and keep His commandments, the promise of God is fulfilled, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you" (Eze. 36:26). The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle. In the preaching of the Word of God, the sign that should be manifest now and always is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to make the Word a regenerating power to those that hear. This is God's witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son. {AG 221.2}

Many are utterly discouraged.... They are looked upon as unable to comprehend or to receive the gospel of Christ. Yet by the miracle of divine grace they may be changed. Under the ministration of the Holy Spirit the stupidity that makes their uplifting appear so hopeless will pass away.... Vice will disappear, and ignorance will be overcome. {AG 221.3}

The chain that has been let down from the throne of God is long enough to reach to the lowest depths. Christ is able to lift the most sinful out of the pit of degradation, and to place them where they will be acknowledged as children of God, heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance. {AG 221.4}


Chap. 214 - Amazing Transformations

For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 1 Cor. 4:9. {AG 222.1}

The Lord Jesus is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of His mercy and abundant grace. He is effecting transformations so amazing that Satan, with all his triumphant boasting, with all his confederacy of evil united against God and the laws of His government, stands viewing them as a fortress impregnable to his sophistries and delusions. They are to him an incomprehensible mystery. The angels of God, seraphim and cherubim, the powers commissioned to cooperate with human agencies, look on with astonishment and joy, that fallen men, once children of wrath, are through the training of Christ developing characters after the divine similitude, to be sons and daughters of God, to act an important part in the occupations and pleasure of heaven. {AG 222.2}

To His church, Christ has given ample facilities, that He may receive a large revenue of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. The church, being endowed with the righteousness of Christ, is His depository, in which the wealth of His mercy, His love, His grace, is to appear in full and final display. The declaration in His intercessory prayer, that the Father's love is as great toward us as toward Himself, the only-begotten Son, and that we shall be with Him where He is, forever one with Christ and the Father, is a marvel to the heavenly host, and it is their great joy. The gift of His Holy Spirit, rich, full, and abundant, is to be to His church as an encompassing wall of fire, which the powers of hell shall not prevail against. In their untainted purity and spotless perfection, Christ looks upon His people as the reward of all His suffering, His humiliation, and His love, and the supplement of His glory--Christ, the great centre from which radiates all glory. {AG 222.3}

All heaven is watching those agencies that are as the hand to work out the purpose of God in the earth, thus doing the will of God in heaven. Such co-operation accomplishes a work that brings honour and glory and majesty to God. Oh, if all would love as Christ has loved, that perishing men might be saved from ruin, what a change would come to our world! {AG 222.4}


Chap. 215 - Heart Renewal

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph. 4:23, 24. {AG 223.1}

Christ was a faithful reprover.... To all things untrue and base His very presence was a rebuke. In the light of His purity, men saw themselves unclean, their life's aims mean and false. Yet He drew them. He who had created man, understood the value of humanity.... {AG 223.2}

In every human being He discerned infinite possibilities. He saw men as they might be, transfigured by His grace--in "the beauty of the Lord our God" (Ps. 90:17). {AG 223.3}

All defects of character originate in the heart. Pride, vanity, evil temper, and covetousness proceed from the carnal heart unrenewed by the grace of Christ. {AG 223.4}

It is by the renewing of the heart that the grace of God works to transform the life. No mere external change is sufficient to bring us into harmony with God. There are many who try to reform by correcting this bad habit or that bad habit and they hope in this way to become Christians, but they are beginning in the wrong place. Our first work is with the heart.... {AG 223.5}

The Scriptures are the great agency in this transformation of character. Christ prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth: Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17). If studied and obeyed, the Word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us, body, soul, and spirit, to His will.... {AG 223.6}

Let us not spare ourselves, but carry forward in earnest the work of reform that must be done in our lives. Let us crucify self. Unholy habits will clamour for the mastery, but in the name and through the power of Jesus we may conquer. To him who daily seeks to keep his heart with all diligence, the promise is given, "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38, 39). {AG 223.7}


Chap. 216 - It Takes Time

I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. Isa. 27:3. {AG 224.1}

The mind of a man or a woman does not come down in a moment from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to transform the human to the divine, or to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed. Though formed in the image of his Maker, man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him. As he ceases to watch and pray, he ceases to guard the citadel, the heart.... Constant war against the carnal mind must be maintained; and we must be aided by the refining influence of the grace of God, which will attract the mind upward and habituate it to meditate upon pure and holy things. {AG 224.2}

Character does not come by chance. It is not determined by one outburst of temper, one step in the wrong direction. It is the repetition of the act that causes it to become habit, and Moulds the character either for good or for evil. Right characters can be formed only by persevering, untiring effort, by improving every entrusted talent and capability to the glory of God. {AG 224.3}

God expects us to build characters in accordance with the pattern set before us. We are to lay brick by brick, adding grace to grace, finding our weak points and correcting them in accordance with the directions given. {AG 224.4}

God gives us strength, reasoning power, time, in order that we may build characters on which He can place His stamp of approval. He desires each child of His to build a noble character, by the doing of pure, noble deeds, that in the end he may present a symmetrical structure, a fair temple, HONOURED by man and God.... {AG 224.5}

He who would grow into a beautiful building for the Lord must cultivate every power of the being. It is only by the right use of the talents that the character can be developed harmoniously. Thus we bring to the foundation that which is represented in the Word as gold, silver, precious stones--material that will stand the test of God's purifying fires. {AG 224.6}


Chap. 217 - Determination the Key

For I am determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Cor. 2:2. {AG 225.1}

Many are attracted by the beauty of Christ and the glory of heaven, who yet shrink from the conditions by which alone these can become their own. . . . To renounce their own will, their chosen objects of affection or pursuit, requires a sacrifice at which they hesitate and falter and turn back. . . . They desire the good, they make some effort to obtain it; but they do not choose it; they have not a settled purpose to secure it at the cost of all things. {AG 225.2}

The only hope for us if we would overcome is to unite our will to God's will, and work in cooperation with Him, hour by hour and day by day. We cannot retain self and yet enter the kingdom of God. If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the renunciation of self and the reception of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified. Are we willing to pay the price required of us? Are we willing to have our will brought into perfect conformity to the will of God? Until we are willing the transforming grace of God cannot be manifest upon us. {AG 225.3}

By becoming thoroughly acquainted with ourselves, and then combining with the grace of God a firm determination on our part, we may be conquerors, and become perfect in all things, wanting in nothing. {AG 225.4}

Opposing circumstances should create a firm determination to overcome them. The breaking down of one barrier will give greater ability and courage to go forward. Press with determination in the right direction, and circumstances will be your helpers, not your hindrances. {AG 225.5}

True Christian character is marked by a singleness of purpose, an indomitable determination, which refuses to yield to worldly influences, which will aim at nothing short of the Bible standard. . . . The consecration of Christ's follower must be complete. . . . He must be willing to bear patiently, cheerfully, joyfully, whatever in God's providence he may be called to suffer. His final reward will be to share with Christ the throne of immortal glory. {AG 225.6}


Chap. 218 - Felt in the Home

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31. {AG 226.1}

Missionary work is to be done in the home. Here those who have received Christ are to show what grace has done for them. A divine influence controls the true believer in Christ, and this influence makes itself felt throughout the home and is favourable for the perfection of the characters of all in the home. . . . {AG 226.2}

The church needs all the cultivated spiritual force which can be obtained, that all, and especially the younger members of the Lord's family, may be carefully guarded. The truth lived at home makes itself felt in disinterested labour abroad. He who lives Christianity in the home will be a bright and shining light everywhere. {AG 226.3}

God wants the children and youth to join the Lord's army. . . . They must be trained to resist temptation and to fight the good fight of faith. Direct their minds to Jesus as soon as they can comprehend your lessons in simple words, easy to be understood. Teach them self-control. Teach them to begin the work of overcoming when young, and they will receive the precious help that Jesus can and will give, connected with prayerful efforts of parents. Cheer them with encouraging words for the battles they fight in resisting temptation and coming off conquerors through grace given them of Jesus Christ. {AG 226.4}

The harmony of the domestic circle is often broken by a hasty word and abusive language. How much better were it left unsaid. One smile of pleasure, one peaceful, approving word spoken in the spirit of meekness, would be a power to soothe, to comfort, and to bless. . . . Many excuse their hasty words and passionate tempers by saying: "I am sensitive; I have a hasty temper." This will never heal the wounds made by hasty, passionate words. . . . The natural man must die, and the new man, Christ Jesus, take possession of the soul. . . . You may show by your life what the power and grace of God can do in transforming the natural man into a spiritual man in Christ Jesus. {AG 226.5}


Chap. 219 - That the World May Know

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Isa. 43:12. {AG 227.1}

A living Christian will have a living testimony to bear. If you have been following Jesus step by step, you will have something right to the point to relate of the way He has led you. You can tell how you tested His promise, and found the promise true. You can point to the living spots in your experience, without going back for years into the past. Would that we could oftener hear the simple, earnest testimony of heart conflicts and victories. . . . {AG 227.2}

Every true Christian will have a battle to fight to practice the principles of truth as well as to assent to them. . . . The Captain of our salvation calls for witnesses fresh from the field of action. Those who have been fiercely assaulted by the enemies of truth and the adversary of souls, and who have conducted themselves as did Jesus in His hour of trial, will have a testimony to bear which will thrill the hearts of the hearers. They will indeed be witnesses for Jesus. {AG 227.3}

We do not always realize the power of example. We are brought in contact with others. We meet persons who are erring, who do wrong in various ways; they may be disagreeable, quick, passionate, dictatorial. While dealing with these we must be patient, forbearing, kind, and gentle. . . . There are trials and perplexities for us all to encounter; for we are in a world of cares, anxieties, and disappointments. But these continual annoyances must be met in the spirit of Christ. Through grace we may rise superior to our surroundings, and keep our spirits calm and unruffled amid the frets and worries of everyday life. We shall thus represent Christ to the World. {AG 227.4}

Christ sought to save the world, not by conformity to it, but by revealing to the world the transforming power of the grace of God to mould and fashion the human character after the likeness of the character of Christ. {AG 227.5}

The grace of Christ is to work a wonderful transformation in the life and character of its receiver; and if we are truly the disciples of Christ, the world will see that divine power has done something for us; for while we are in the world, we shall not be of it. {AG 227.6}


Chap. 220 - Sustaining the Spiritual Life

Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6:35. {AG 228.1}

God speaks to us in His Word. Here we have in clearer lines the revelation of His character, of His dealings with men, and the great work of redemption. Here is open before us the history of patriarchs and prophets and other holy men of old. They were men "subject to like passions as we are" (James 5:17). We see how they struggled through discouragements like our own, how they fell under temptation as we have done, and yet took heart again and conquered through the grace of God: and beholding, we are encouraged in our striving after righteousness. As we read of the precious experiences granted them, of the light and love and blessing it was theirs to enjoy, and of the work they wrought through the grace given them, the spirit that inspired them kindles a flame of holy emulation in our hearts and a desire to be like them in character--like them to walk with God. {AG 228.2}

Jesus said of the Old Testament Scriptures--and how much more it is true of the New--"They are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). . . . If you would become acquainted with the Saviour, study the Holy Scriptures. Fill the whole heart with the words of God. They are the living water, quenching your burning thirst. They are the living bread from heaven. . . . Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural economy, so in the spiritual economy: it is what we meditate upon that will give tone and strength to our spiritual nature. {AG 228.3}

Spiritual life must be sustained by communion with Christ through His Word. The mind must dwell upon it, the heart must be filled with it. The Word of God laid up in the heart and sacredly cherished and obeyed, through the power of the grace of Christ can make man right, and keep him right. {AG 228.4}

When His words of instruction have been received, and have taken possession of us, Jesus is to us an abiding presence, controlling our thoughts and ideas and actions. . . . Jesus Christ is everything to us--the first, the last, the best in everything. {AG 228.5}


Chap. 221 - Reveals God's Character

The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Ex. 34:6. {AG 229.1}

All the light of the past, all the light which shines in the present and reaches forth into the future, as revealed in the Word of God, is for every soul who will receive it. The glory of this light, which is the very glory of the character of Christ, is to be manifested in the individual Christian, in the family, in the church, in the ministry of the Word, and in every institution established by God's people. All these the Lord designs shall be symbols of what can be done for the world. They are to be types of the saving power of the truths of the gospel. . . . {AG 229.2}

By beholding the goodness, the mercy, the justice, and the love of God revealed in the church, the world is to have a representation of His character. . . . {AG 229.3}

In order to manifest the character of God . . . we must become personally acquainted with God. If we have fellowship with God, we are His ministers, though we may never preach to a congregation. We are workers together with God in presenting the perfection of His character in humanity. {AG 229.4}

God has enjoined the duty upon His human agents to communicate the character of God, testifying to His grace, His wisdom, and His benevolence, by manifesting His refined, tender, merciful love. . . . {AG 229.5}

Our work is to restore the moral image of God in man through the abundant grace given us of God by Jesus Christ. . . . Oh, how much we need to know Jesus and our heavenly Father that we may represent Him in character! {AG 229.6}

The soul that is transformed by the grace of Christ will admire His divine character. . . . The less we see to esteem in ourselves, the more we shall see to esteem in the infinite purity and loveliness of our Saviour. A view of our sinfulness drives us to Him who can pardon; and when the soul, realizing its helplessness, reaches out after Christ, He will reveal Himself in power. The more our sense of need drives us to Him and to the Word of God, the more exalted views we shall have of His character, and the more fully we shall reflect His image. {AG 229.7}


Chap. 222 - Perfection Now?

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matt. 5:48. {AG 230.1}

When God gave His Son to the world, He made it possible for men and women to be perfect by the use of every capability of their beings to the glory of God. In Christ He gave to them the riches of His grace, and a knowledge of His will. As they would empty themselves of self, and learn to walk in humility, leaning on God for guidance, men would be enabled to fulfill God's high purpose for them. {AG 230.2}

Perfection of character is based upon that which Christ is to us. If we have constant dependence on the merits of our Saviour, and walk in His footsteps, we shall be like Him, pure and undefiled. {AG 230.3}

Our Saviour does not require impossibilities of any soul. He expects nothing of His disciples that He is not willing to give them grace and strength to perform. He would not call upon them to be perfect if He had not at His command every perfection of grace to bestow on the ones upon whom He would confer so high and holy a privilege. . . . {AG 230.4}

Our work is to strive to attain in our sphere of action the perfection that Christ in His life on the earth attained in every phase of character. He is our example. In all things we are to strive to honour God in character. . . . We are to be wholly dependent on the power that He has promised to give us. {AG 230.5}

Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was. {AG 230.6}

Our Saviour is a Saviour for the perfection of the whole man. He is not the God of part of the being only. The grace of Christ works to the disciplining of the whole human fabric. He made all. He has redeemed all. He has made the mind, the strength, the body as well as the soul, partaker of the divine nature, and all is His purchased possession. He must be served with the whole mind, heart, soul, and strength. Then the Lord will be glorified in His saints in even the common, temporal things with which they are connected. "Holiness unto the Lord" will be in the inscription placed upon them. {AG 230.7}


Chap. 223 - Ever-Widening Influence

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned. Titus 2:7, 8. {AG 231.1}

The life of Christ was an ever-widening, shoreless influence, an influence that bound Him to God and to the whole human family. Through Christ, God has invested man with an influence that makes it impossible for him to live to himself. Individually we are connected with our fellow men, a part of God's great whole, and we stand under mutual obligations. No man can be independent of his fellow men; for the well-being of each affects others. It is God's purpose that each shall feel himself necessary to others' welfare, and seek to promote their happiness. . . . {AG 231.2}

By the atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come in contact is consciously or unconsciously affected. . . . {AG 231.3}

Our words, our acts, our dress, our deportment, even the expression of the countenance, has an influence. . . . If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same influence upon others, and they upon still others. Thus by our unconscious influence thousands may be blessed. . . . {AG 231.4}

Character is power. The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence. By revealing in our own life the character of Christ we co-operate with Him in the work of saving souls. It is only by revealing in our life His character that we can co-operate with Him. And the wider the sphere of our influence, the more good we may do. When those who profess to serve God follow Christ's example, practising the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbour as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world. {AG 231.5}

But never should it be forgotten that influence is no less a power of evil. To lose one's own soul is a terrible thing; but to cause the loss of other souls is still more terrible. . . . It is only through the grace of God that we can make a right use of this endowment. {AG 231.6}


Chap. 224 - Hearts Made Pure

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1 John 3:3. {AG 232.1}

Here is a work for man to do. He must face the mirror, God's law, discern the defects in his moral character, and put away his sins, washing his robe of character in the blood of the lamb. Envy, pride, malice, deceit, strife, and crime will be cleansed from the heart that is a recipient of the love of Christ and that cherishes the hope of being made like Him when we shall see Him as He is. The religion of Christ refines and dignifies its possessor, whatever his associations or station in life may be. Men who become enlightened Christians rise above the level of their former character into greater mental and moral strength. Those fallen and degraded by sin and crime may, through the merits of the Saviour, be exalted to a position but little lower than that of the angels. {AG 232.2}

But the influence of a gospel hope will not lead the sinner to look upon the salvation of Christ as a matter of free grace, while he continues to live in transgression of the law of God. When the light of truth dawns upon his mind and he fully understands the requirements of God and realizes the extent of his transgressions, he will reform his ways, become loyal to God through the strength obtained from his Saviour, and lead a new and purer life. {AG 232.3}

We have a work to do to fashion the character after the divine Model. All wrong habits must be given up. The impure must become pure in heart; the selfish man must put away his selfishness; the proud man must get rid of his pride; the self-sufficient man must overcome his self-confidence, and realize that he is nothing without Christ. . . . We must have a living connection with God. {AG 232.4}

A stubborn and rebellious heart can close its doors to all the sweet influences of the grace of God and all the joy in the Holy Ghost; but the ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. The more closely we are connected with Christ, the more will our words and actions show the subduing, transforming power of His grace. {AG 232.5}


Chap. 225 - Changed by Beholding

We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18. {AG 233.1}

The work of transformation from unholiness is a continuous one. Day by day God labours for man's sanctification, and man is to co-operate with Him, putting forth persevering efforts in the cultivation of right habits. He is to add grace to grace; and as he thus works on the plan of addition, God works for him on the plan of multiplication. Our Saviour is always ready to hear and answer the prayer of the contrite heart, and grace and peace are multiplied to His faithful ones. Gladly He grants them the blessings they need in their struggle against the evils that beset them. {AG 233.2}

John and Judas are representatives of those who profess to be Christ's followers. Both these disciples had the same opportunities to study and follow the divine Pattern. Both were closely associated with Jesus and were privileged to listen to His teaching. Each possessed serious defects of character; and each had access to the divine grace that transforms character. But while one in humility was learning of Jesus, the other revealed that he was not a doer of the Word, but a hearer only. One, daily dying to self and overcoming sin, was sanctified through the truth; the other, resisting the transforming power of grace and indulging selfish desires, was brought into bondage to Satan. {AG 233.3}

Such transformation of character as is seen in the life of John is ever the result of communion with Christ. There may be marked defects in the character of an individual, yet when he becomes a true disciple of Christ, the power of divine grace transforms and sanctifies him. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, he is changed from glory to glory, until he is like Him whom he adores. . . . {AG 233.4}

God can be HONOURED by those who profess to believe in Him, only as they are conformed to His image and controlled by His Spirit. Then, as witnesses for the Saviour, they may make known what divine grace has done for them. {AG 233.5}


Chap. 226 - For the Most Hopeless

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. 1 Peter 3:8. {AG 234.1}

Christ came to bring salvation within the reach of all. Upon the cross of Calvary He paid the infinite redemption price for a lost world. . . . His mission was to sinners, sinners of every grade, of every tongue and nation. . . . The most erring, the most sinful, were not passed by; His labours were especially for those who most needed the salvation He came to bring. The greater their need of reform, the deeper was His interest, the greater His sympathy, and the more earnest His labours. His great heart of love was stirred to its depths for the ones whose condition was most hopeless and who most needed His transforming grace. . . . {AG 234.2}

We should cultivate the spirit with which Christ laboured to save the erring. They are as dear to Him as we are. They are equally capable of being trophies of His grace and heirs of the kingdom. But they are exposed to the snares of a wily foe, exposed to danger and defilement, and without the saving grace of Christ, to certain ruin. Did we view the matter in the right light, how would our zeal be quickened and our earnest, self-sacrificing efforts be multiplied, that we might come close to those who need our help, our prayers, our sympathy, and our love! . . . If our hearts are softened and subdued by the grace of Christ, and glowing with a sense of God's goodness and love, there will be a natural outflow of love, sympathy, and tenderness to others. {AG 234.3}

Come close to the great heart of pitying love, and let the current of that divine compassion flow into your heart and from you to the hearts of others. Let the tenderness and mercy that Jesus has revealed in His own precious life be an example to us of the manner in which we should treat our fellow beings, especially those who are our brethren in Christ. . . . Never, never become heartless, cold, unsympathetic, and censorious. Never lose an opportunity to say a word to encourage and inspire hope. We cannot tell how far-reaching may be our tender words of kindness, our Christlike efforts to lighten some burden. The erring can be restored in no other way than in the spirit of meekness, gentleness, and tender love. {AG 234.4}


Chap. 227 - Partakers of Christ's Nature

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4. {AG 235.1}

What beauty of character shone forth in the daily life of Christ! He is to be our pattern. There is a great work to be done in fashioning the character after the divine similitude. The grace of Christ must mould the entire being, and its triumph will not be complete until the heavenly universe shall witness habitual tenderness of feeling, Christlike love, and holy deeds in the deportment of the children of God. {AG 235.2}

Each person must obtain an experience for himself. No one can depend for salvation on the experience or practice of any other man. We must each become acquainted with Christ in order properly to represent Him to the world. "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3). None of us need excuse our hasty temper, our misshapen characters, our selfishness, envy, jealousy, or any impurity of soul, body, or spirit. . . . {AG 235.3}

We must learn of Christ. We must know what He is to those He has ransomed. We must realize that through belief in Him it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then we are cleansed from all sin, all defects of character. We need not retain one sinful propensity. . . . {AG 235.4}

As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, daily partaking of His nature, we cooperate with God in overcoming Satan's temptations. God works, and man works, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with God. Then we sit together with Christ in heavenly places. The mind rests with peace and assurance in Jesus. . . . In Him there is inexhaustible fullness. . . . {AG 235.5}

God has given us every facility, every grace. He has provided the riches of heaven's treasure, and it is our privilege to draw continually from this capital. {AG 235.6}


Chap. 228 - Fashions the Character

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy. 1 Peter 1:14, 15. {AG 236.1}

The transforming power of Christ's grace Moulds the one who gives himself to God's service. Imbued with the Spirit of the Redeemer, he is ready to deny self, ready to take up the cross, ready to make any sacrifice for the Master. No longer can he be indifferent to the souls perishing around him. He is lifted above self-serving. He has been created anew in Christ, and self-serving has no place in his life. He realizes that every part of his being belongs to Christ, who has redeemed him from the slavery of sin; that every moment of his future has been bought with the precious lifeblood of God's only-begotten Son. {AG 236.2}

Christ is our pattern, and those who follow Christ will not walk in darkness, for they will not seek their own pleasure. To glorify God will be the continual aim of their life. Christ represented the character of God to the world. The Lord Jesus so conducted His life that men were compelled to acknowledge that He had done all things well. The world's Redeemer was the light of the world, for His character was without fault. Though He was the only begotten Son of God, and the heir of all things in heaven and earth, He did not leave an example of indolence and self-indulgence. . . . {AG 236.3}

Christ never flattered any one. He never deceived or defrauded, never changed His course of straightforward uprightness to obtain favour or applause. He ever expressed the truth. The law of kindness was in His lips, and there was no guile in His mouth. Let the human agent compare his life with the life of Christ, and through the grace which Jesus imparts to those who make Him their personal Saviour, reach the standard of righteousness. . . . Those who follow Christ will be continually looking into the perfect law of liberty, and through the grace given them by Christ, will fashion the character according to the divine requirements. {AG 236.4}


Chap. 229 - Revealed by Love

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34, 35. {AG 237.1}

The golden chain of love, binding the hearts of the believers in unity, in bonds of fellowship and love, and in oneness with Christ and the Father, makes the connection perfect, and bears to the world a testimony of the power of Christianity that cannot be controverted. . . . {AG 237.2}

Satan understands the power of such a testimony as a witness to the world of what grace can do in transforming character. . . . He will work every conceivable device to break this golden chain which links heart to heart of those who believe the truth and binds them up in close connection with the Father and the Son. {AG 237.3}

Those who have never experienced the tender, winning love of Christ cannot lead others to the fountain of life. His love in the heart is a constraining power, which leads men to reveal Him in the conversation, in the tender, pitiful spirit, in the uplifting of the lives of those with whom they associate. . . . {AG 237.4}

In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the ruling principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life, and sheds a refining influence on all around. {AG 237.5}

He who loves God supremely and his neighbour as himself will work with the constant realization that he is a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Making God's will his will, he will reveal in his life the transforming power of the grace of Christ. In all the circumstances of life, he will take Christ's example as his guide. {AG 237.6}

Every true, self-sacrificing worker for God is willing to spend and be spent for the sake of others. . . . By earnest, thoughtful efforts to help where help is needed, the true Christian shows his love for God and for his fellow beings. He may lose his life in service. But when Christ comes to gather His jewels to Himself, he will find it again. {AG 237.7}


Chap. 230 - A Life-giving Atmosphere

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. 2 Cor. 2:14, 15. {AG 238.1}

In the matchless gift of His son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life-giving atmosphere will live, and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. {AG 238.2}

Not all the beauty of art can bear comparison with the beauty of temper and character to be revealed in those who are Christ's representatives. It is the atmosphere of grace which surrounds the soul of the believer, the Holy Spirit working upon mind and heart, that makes him a savour of life unto life, and enables God to bless his work. {AG 238.3}

Transformation of character is to be the testimony to the world of the indwelling love of Christ. The Lord expects His people to show that the redeeming power of grace can work upon the faulty character and cause it to develop in symmetry and abundant fruitfulness. . . . {AG 238.4}

When the grace of God reigns within, the soul will be surrounded with an atmosphere of faith and courage and Christlike love, an atmosphere invigorating to the spiritual life of all who inhale it. . . . Those who are humble in heart the Lord will use to reach souls whom the ordained ministers cannot approach. They will be moved to speak words which reveal the saving grace of Christ. {AG 238.5}

And in blessing others they will themselves be blessed. God gives us the opportunity to impart grace, that He may refill us with increased grace. Hope and faith will strengthen as the agent for God works with the talents and facilities that God has provided. He will have a divine agency to work with him. {AG 238.6}

A holy influence is to go forth to the world from those who are sanctified through the truth. The earth is to be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. The Holy Spirit is to work on human hearts, taking the things of God and showing them to men. {AG 238.7}


Chap. 231 - Awaiting Our Demand

Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24. {AG 239.1}

Prayer is heaven's ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character. The divine influences that come in answer to the prayer of faith will accomplish in the soul of the suppliant all for which he pleads. For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; and the promise is, "Ye shall receive." {AG 239.2}

Jesus is our helper; in Him and through Him we must conquer. . . . The grace of Christ is waiting your demand upon it. He will give you grace and strength as you need it if you ask Him. . . . The religion of Christ will bind and restrain every unholy passion, will stimulate to energy, to self-discipline, and industry, even in the matters of homely, everyday life, leading us to learn economy, tact, and self-denial, and to endure even privation without a murmur. The Spirit of Christ in the heart will be revealed in the character, will develop noble qualities and powers. "My grace is sufficient" (2 Cor. 12:9) says Christ. {AG 239.3}

Make every effort to keep open the communion between Jesus and your own soul. . . . We should pray in the family circle, and above all we must not neglect secret prayer; for this is the life of the soul. It is impossible for the soul to flourish while prayer is neglected. Family or public prayer alone is not sufficient. In solitude let the soul be laid open to the inspecting eye of God. Secret prayer is to be heard only by the prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to receive the burden of such petitions. In secret prayer the soul is free from surrounding influences, free from excitement. . . . By calm, simple faith, the soul holds communion with God, and gathers to itself rays of divine light to strengthen and sustain it in the conflict with Satan. . . . {AG 239.4}

Pray in your closet, and as you go about your daily labour, let your heart be often uplifted to God. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. These silent prayers rise like precious incense before the throne of grace. Satan cannot overcome him whose heart is thus stayed upon God. {AG 239.5}


Chap. 232 - Disciplines and Refines

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Job 5:17. {AG 240.1}

Trials and obstacles are the Lord's chosen methods of discipline and His appointed conditions of success. . . . He sees that some have powers and susceptibilities which, rightly directed, might be used in the advancement of His work. In His providence He brings these persons into different positions and varied circumstances that they may discover in their character the defects which have been concealed from their own knowledge. He gives them opportunity to correct these defects and to fit themselves for His service. . . . {AG 240.2}

The fact that we are called upon to endure trial shows that the Lord Jesus sees in us something precious which He desires to develop. If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name, He would not spend time in refining us. He does not cast worthless stones into His furnace. It is valuable ore that He refines. The blacksmith puts the iron and steel into the fire that he may know what manner of metal they are. The Lord allows His chosen ones to be placed in the furnace of affliction to prove what temper they are of and whether they can be fashioned for His work. {AG 240.3}

It may seem that we are to study our own hearts, and square our own actions by some standard of our own; but this is not the case. This would but work deform instead of reform. The work must begin in the heart, and then the spirit, the words, the expression of the countenance, and the actions of the life, will make manifest that a change has taken place. In knowing Christ through the grace that He has shed forth abundantly, we become changed. . . . In humility we shall correct every fault and defect of character; because Christ is abiding in the heart, we shall be fitted up for the heavenly family above. {AG 240.4}

The Christian is not to retain his sinful habits and cherish his defects of character. . . . Whatever may be the nature of your defects, the Spirit of the Lord will enable you to discern them, and grace will be given you whereby they may be overcome. {AG 240.5}


Chap. 233 - Ever Upward

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. Col. 2:6. {AG 241.1}

This means that you are to study the life of Christ. You are to study it with as much more earnestness than you study secular lines of knowledge, as eternal interests are more important than temporal, earthly pursuits. If you appreciate the value and sacredness of eternal things, you will bring your sharpest thoughts, your best energies, to the solving of the problem that involves your eternal well-being; for every other interest sinks into nothingness in comparison with that. {AG 241.2}

You have the Pattern, Christ Jesus; walk in His footsteps. {AG 241.3}

"Add to your faith virtue" (2 Peter 1:5). There is no promise given to the one who is retrograding. The apostle, in his testimony, is aiming to excite the believers to advancement in grace and holiness. They already profess to be living the truth, they have a knowledge of the precious faith, they have been made partakers of the divine nature. But if they stop here they will lose the grace they have received. . . . {AG 241.4}

Truth is an active, working principle, moulding heart and life so that there is a constant upward movement. . . . In every step of climbing, the will is obtaining a new spring of action. The moral tone is becoming more like the mind and character of Christ. The progressive Christian has grace and love which passes knowledge, for divine insight into the character of Christ takes a deep hold upon his affections. The glory of the Lord revealed above the ladder can only be appreciated by the progressive climber, who is ever attracted higher, to nobler aims which Christ reveals. {AG 241.5}

The steps upward to heaven must be taken one at a time; every advance step strengthens us for the next. The transforming power of the grace of God upon the human heart is a work which but few comprehend because they are too indolent to make the necessary effort. . . . {AG 241.6}

It is beyond the power of man to conceive the high and noble attainments that are within his reach if he will combine human effort with the grace of God, who is the Source of all wisdom and power. And there is an eternal weight of glory beyond. {AG 241.7}


Chap. 234 - Grace Sufficient

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9. {AG 242.1}

"When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel" (1 Sam. 15:17)? Here Samuel points out the reason for Saul's appointment to the throne of Israel. He had a humble opinion of his own capabilities, and was willing to be instructed. When the divine choice fell upon him, he was deficient in knowledge and experience, and had, with many good qualities, serious defects of character. . . . But if he would remain humble, seeking constantly to be guided by divine wisdom, . . . he would be enabled to discharge the duties of his high position with success and honour. Under the influence of divine grace, every good quality would be gaining strength, while evil traits would as steadily lose their power. {AG 242.2}

This is the work which the Lord proposes to do for all who consecrate themselves to Him. . . . To all who will receive instruction He will impart grace and wisdom. . . . He will reveal to them their defects of character, and bestow upon all who seek His aid, strength to correct their errors. Whatever may be man's besetting sin, whatever bitter or baleful passions struggle for the mastery, he may conquer, if he will watch and war against them in the name and strength of Israel's Helper. The children of God should cultivate a keen sensitiveness to sin. . . . It is one of Satan's most successful devices, to lead men to the commission of little sins, to blind the mind to the danger of little indulgences, little digressions from the plainly stated requirements of God. Many who would shrink with horror from some great transgression, are led to look upon sin in little matters as of trifling consequence. But these little sins eat out the life of godliness in the soul. The feet which enter upon a path diverging from the right way are tending toward the broad road that ends in death. {AG 242.3}

Whatever the position in which God has placed us, whatever our responsibilities or our dangers, we should remember that He has pledged Himself to impart needed grace to the earnest seeker. Those who feel insufficient for their position and yet accept it because God bids them, relying upon His power and wisdom, will go on from strength to strength. {AG 242.4}


Chap. 235 - While Probation Lasts

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. Rev. 22:11. {AG 243.1}

All the good that man enjoys comes because of the mercy of God. He is the great and bountiful Giver. His love is manifest to all in the abundant provision made for man. He has given us probationary time in which to form characters for the courts above. {AG 243.2}

We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us; it is a reality. . . . When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. Those who have reserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honour, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us. {AG 243.3}

During probationary time the grace of God is offered to every soul. But if men waste their opportunities in self-pleasing, they cut themselves off from everlasting life. No after-probation will be granted them. By their own choice they have fixed an impassable gulf between them and their God. {AG 243.4}

Many are deceiving themselves by thinking that the character will be transformed at the coming of Christ, but there will be no conversion of heart at His appearing. Our defects of character must here be repented of, and through the grace of Christ we must overcome them while probation shall last. This is the place for fitting up for the family above. {AG 243.5}

Probation is almost ended. . . . Get ready! get ready! Work while the day lasts, for the night cometh when no man can work. {AG 243.6}


Chap. 236 - The Reward

Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Rev. 22:12. {AG 244.1}

In His divine arrangement, through His unmerited favour, the Lord has ordained that good works shall be rewarded. We are accepted through Christ's merit alone; and the acts of mercy, the deeds of charity, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works. It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us. Our works in and of themselves have no merit. . . . We deserve no thanks from God. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures. {AG 244.2}

We need . . . to bring the light and grace of Christ into all our works. We need to take hold of Christ and to retain our hold of Him until we know that the power of His transforming grace is manifested in us. We must have faith in Christ if we would reflect the divine character. . . . Faith in the Word of God and in the power of Christ to transform the life will enable the believer to work His works. {AG 244.3}

To His servants Christ commits "His goods"--something to be put to use for Him. He gives "to every man his work." . . . Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God. . . . {AG 244.4}

Christ has paid us our wages, even His own blood and suffering, to secure our willing service. He came to our world to give us an example of how we should work, and what spirit we should bring into our labour. He desires us to study how we can best advance His work and glorify His name in the world. {AG 244.5}

The sanctification of the soul by the working of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity. Gospel religion is Christ in the life--a living, active principle. It is the grace of Christ revealed in character and wrought out in good works. {AG 244.6}


Chap. 237 - For the Whole Man

The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. 5:23. {AG 245.1}

The sanctification set forth in the Scriptures embraces the entire being--spirit, soul, and body. . . . Christians are bidden to present their bodies, "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God" (Rom. 12:1). In order to do this, all their powers must be preserved in the best possible condition. Every practice that weakens physical or mental strength unfits man for the service of his Creator. . . . Said Christ: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart" (Matt. 22:37). Those who do love God with all the heart will desire to give Him the best service of their life, and they will be constantly seeking to bring every power of their being into harmony with the laws that will promote their ability to do His will. They will not, by the indulgence of appetite or passion, enfeeble or defile the offering which they present to their heavenly Father. {AG 245.2}

God would have us realize that He has a right to mind, soul, body, and spirit--to all that we possess. We are His by creation and by redemption. As our Creator, He claims our entire service. As our Redeemer, He has a claim of love as well as of right--of love without a parallel. . . . Our bodies, our souls, our lives, are His, not only because they are His free gift, but because He constantly supplies us with His benefits, and gives us strength to use our faculties. . . . {AG 245.3}

Shall we not, then, give to Christ that which He has died to redeem? If you will do this, He will quicken your conscience, renew your heart, sanctify your affections, purify your thoughts, and set all your powers at work for Him. Every motive, and every thought will be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. {AG 245.4}

Those who are sons of God will represent Christ in character. Their works will be perfumed by the infinite tenderness, compassion, love, and purity of the Son of God. And the more completely mind and body are yielded to the Holy Spirit, the greater will be the fragrance of our offering to Him. {AG 245.5}


Chap. 238 - In God's Image

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Col. 3:10. {AG 246.1}

When Adam came from the Creator's hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. . . . {AG 246.2}

Through sin the divine likeness was marred, and well-nigh obliterated. Man's physical powers were weakened, his mental capacity was lessened, his spiritual vision dimmed. He had become subject to death. Yet the race was not left without hope. By infinite love and mercy the plan of salvation had been devised, and a life of probation was granted. To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized--this was to be the great work of redemption. {AG 246.3}

Though the moral image of God was almost obliterated by the sin of Adam, through the merits and power of Jesus it may be renewed. Man may stand with the moral image of God in his character; for Jesus will give it to him. {AG 246.4}

It was a wonderful thing for God to create man, to make mind. The glory of God is to be revealed in the creation of man in God's image and in his redemption. One soul is of more value than a world. . . . The Lord Jesus Christ is the author of our being, and He is also the author of our redemption, and everyone who will enter the kingdom of God will develop a character that is the counterpart of the character of God. {AG 246.5}

The Lord, by close and pointed truths for these last days, is cleaving out a people from the world and purifying them unto Himself. Pride and unhealthful fashions, the love of display, the love of approbation--all must be left with the world if we would be renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created us. {AG 246.6}

By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. {AG 246.7}

It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which Jesus said He would send into the world, that changes our character into the image of Christ; and when this is accomplished, we reflect, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord. {AG 246.8}


Chap. 239 - Representatives of Christ

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen. Isa. 43:10. {AG 247.1}

The life that Christ lived in this world, men and women can live through His power and under His instruction. In their conflict with Satan they may have all the help that He had. . . . {AG 247.2}

The lives of professing Christians who do not live the Christ life are a mockery to religion. Every one whose name is registered on the church roll is under obligation to represent Christ by revealing the inward adorning of a meek and quiet spirit. They are to be His witnesses, making known the advantages of walking and working as Christ has given them example. The truth for this time is to appear in its power in the lives of those who believe it, and is to be imparted to the world. Believers are to represent in their lives, its power to sanctify and ennoble. . . . They are to show forth the power of the grace that Christ died to give men. . . . They are to be men of faith, men of courage, whole-souled men, who, without questioning, trust in God and His promises. . . . {AG 247.3}

There must be no pretense in the lives of those who have so sacred and solemn a message as we have been called to bear. The world is watching Seventh-day Adventists because it knows something of their profession of faith and of their high standard, and when it sees those who do not live up to their profession, it points at them with scorn. {AG 247.4}

Those who love Jesus will bring all in their lives into harmony with His will. . . . Through the grace of God they are enabled to keep their purity of principle unsullied. Holy angels are close beside them, and Christ is revealed in their steadfast adherence to the truth. They are Christ's minutemen, bearing, as true witnesses, a decided testimony in favour of the truth. They show that there is a spiritual power that can enable men and women not to swerve an inch from truth and justice for all the gifts that men can bestow. Such ones, wherever they may be, will be HONOURED of heaven because they have conformed their lives to the will of God, caring not what sacrifices they are called upon to make. {AG 247.5}


Chap. 240 - Every Day, Everywhere

In all thy ways acknowledge him. Prov. 3:6. {AG 248.1}

Bible religion is not a garment which can be put on and taken off at pleasure. It is an all-pervading influence, which leads us to be patient, self-denying followers of Christ, doing as He did, walking as He walked. . . . {AG 248.2}

If no one ever came under your notice who needed your sympathy, your words of compassion and pity, then you would be guiltless before God for failing to exercise these precious gifts; but every follower of Christ will find opportunity to show Christian kindness and love; and in so doing he will prove that he is a possessor of the religion of Jesus Christ. {AG 248.3}

This religion teaches us to exercise patience and long-suffering when brought into places where we receive treatment that is harsh and unjust. . . . "Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that we should inherit a blessing" (1 Peter 3:9). . . . When Christ was reviled, He reviled not again. . . . His religion brings with it a meek and quiet spirit. . . . {AG 248.4}

There is constant need of patience, gentleness, self-denial, and self-sacrifice in the exercise of Bible religion. But if the word of God is made an abiding principle in our lives, everything with which we have to do, each word, each trivial act, will reveal that we are subject to Jesus Christ. . . . If the word of God is received into the heart, it will empty the soul of self-sufficiency and self-dependence. Our lives will be a power for good, because the Holy Spirit will fill our minds with the things of God. . . . {AG 248.5}

Of ourselves, we can neither obtain nor practice the religion of Christ; for our hearts are deceitful above all things; but Jesus . . . has shown us how we may be cleansed from sin. "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:9), He says. . . . Looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, we shall catch the light of His countenance, reflect His image, and grow up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. Our religion will be attractive, because it will possess the fragrance of the righteousness of Christ. We shall be happy; for our spiritual meat and drink will be to us righteousness and peace and joy. {AG 248.6}


Chap. 241 - A Work of Reformation

Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. Luke 3:4, 5. {AG 249.1}

The work of reformation here brought to view by John, the purging of heart and mind and soul, is one that is needed by many who today profess to have the faith of Christ. Wrong practices that have been indulged in need to be put away; the crooked paths need to be made straight, and the rough places smooth. The mountains and hills of self-esteem and pride need to be brought low. There is need of bringing forth "fruits meet for repentance" (Matt. 3:8). When this work is done in the experience of God's believing people, "all flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke 3:6). . . . {AG 249.2}

The fact that our names are on the church books will not secure for us an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. God asks, Have you used your opportunities for service and for the development of Christian character? Have you traded faithfully with your Lord's goods? Knowing the will of God concerning you, how have you obeyed that will? Have you sought to benefit and bless those who needed help and encouragement? . . . {AG 249.3}

There is no human being in the world but bears fruit of some kind, either good or evil; and Christ has made it possible for every soul to bear most precious fruit. Obedience to the requirements of God, submission to the will of Christ, will yield in the life the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The inhabitants of this world are dear to God's family. . . . He gave the richest gift that heaven could bestow, that men and women might return from their rebellion to His law, and accept into their hearts and lives the principles of heaven. If men would acknowledge the Gift, and accept His sacrifice, their transgressions would be pardoned, and the grace of God would be imparted to them to help them to yield in their lives the precious fruits of holiness. {AG 249.4}

"Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit." We have a representation to make to the world of pure principles, holy ambitions, noble aspirations, that will distinguish us from all other people, making us a separate nation, a peculiar people. {AG 249.5}


Chap. 242 - Preparing for Heaven

Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the son of man also confess before the angels of God. Luke 12:8. {AG 250.1}

The thought that God can take a poor, sinful, sorrowful human being, and so transform him by grace that he may become an heir of God and joint heir with Jesus, is almost too great for our comprehension. . . . Christ takes upon Him the sins of the transgressor, and imputes to him His righteousness, and by His transforming grace makes him capable of associating with angels and communing with God. {AG 250.2}

The refining influence of the grace of God changes the natural disposition of man. Heaven would not be desirable to the carnal-minded; their natural, unsanctified hearts would feel no attraction toward that pure and holy place, and if it were possible for them to enter, they would find there nothing congenial. The propensities that control the natural heart must be subdued by the grace of Christ before fallen man is fitted to enter heaven and enjoy the society of the pure, holy angels. When man dies to sin and is quickened to new life in Christ, divine love fills his heart; his understanding is sanctified; he drinks from an inexhaustible fountain of joy and knowledge, and the light of an eternal day shines upon his path, for with him continually is the Light of life. {AG 250.3}

God desires that heaven's plan shall be carried out, and heaven's divine order and harmony prevail, in every family, in every church, in every institution. Did this love leaven society, we should see the outworking of noble principles in Christian refinement and courtesy, and in Christian charity toward the purchase of the blood of Christ. Spiritual transformation would be seen in all our families, in our institutions, in our churches. When this transformation takes place, these agencies will become instrumentalities by which God will impart heaven's light to the world and thus, through divine discipline and training, fit men and women for the society of heaven. {AG 250.4}

Jesus has gone to prepare mansions for those who are preparing themselves through His love and grace, for the abodes of bliss. {AG 250.5}


Chap. 243 - Longing for Heaven and Home

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Ps. 84:2. {AG 251.1}

Oh that the great interests of the world to come were appreciated! Why is it that men are so unconcerned about the salvation of the soul when it was purchased at such cost by the Son of God? {AG 251.2}

The heart of man may be the abode of the Holy Spirit. The peace of Christ that passeth understanding may rest in your soul, and the transforming power of His grace may work in your life, and fit you for the courts of glory. But if brain and nerve and muscle are all employed in the service of self, you are not making God and heaven the first consideration of your life. . . . {AG 251.3}

If the eye is single, if it is directed heavenward, the light of heaven will fill the soul, and earthly things will appear insignificant and uninviting. The purpose of the heart will be changed, and the admonition of Jesus will be heeded. . . . Your thoughts will be fixed upon the great rewards of eternity. All your plans will be made in reference to the future, immortal life. . . . Bible religion will be woven into your daily life. {AG 251.4}

Some who profess to have true religion sadly neglect the guide-book given by God to point the way to heaven. They may read the Bible, but merely reading God's Word, as one would read words traced by a human pen, will give only a superficial knowledge. . . . {AG 251.5}

If we do not receive the religion of Christ by feeding upon the word of God, we shall not be entitled to an entrance into the city of God. Having lived on earthly food, having educated our tastes to love worldly things, we would not be fitted for the heavenly courts; we could not appreciate the pure, heavenly current that circulates in heaven. The voices of the angels and the music of their harps would not satisfy us. The science of heaven would be as an enigma to our minds. We need to hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Christ; we need to be moulded and fashioned by the transforming influence of His grace, that we may be fitted for the society of heavenly angels. {AG 251.6}

In order to be at home in heaven, we must have heaven enshrined in our hearts here. {AG 251.7}