God's Amazing Grace

Chap. 152 - Exile from Heaven's Throne

Who, being in the form of God, . . . was made in the likeness of men: and . . . humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil. 2:6-8. {AG 160.1}

In order to fully realize the value of salvation, it is necessary to understand what it cost. In consequence of limited ideas of the sufferings of Christ, many place a low estimate upon the great work of the atonement. The glorious plan of man's salvation was brought about through the infinite love of God the Father. In this divine plan is seen the most marvellous manifestation of the love of God to the fallen race. Such love as is manifested in the gift of God's beloved Son amazed the holy angels. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). This Saviour was the brightness of His Father's glory and the express image of His person. He possessed divine majesty, perfection, and excellence. He was equal with God. "It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell" (Col. 1:19). . . . {AG 160.2}

Christ consented to die in the sinner's stead, that man, by a life of obedience, might escape the penalty of the law of God. {AG 160.3}

Jesus was the majesty of heaven, the beloved commander of the angels, who delighted to do His pleasure. He was one with God, "in the bosom of the Father" (John 1:18), yet He thought it not a thing to be desired to be equal with God while man was lost in sin and misery. He stepped down from His throne, He left His crown and royal sceptre, and clothed His divinity with humanity. He humbled Himself even to the death of the cross, that man might be exalted to a seat with Him upon His throne. In Him we have a complete offering, an infinite sacrifice, a mighty Saviour, who is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. In love He comes to reveal the Father, to reconcile man to God, to make him a new creature renewed after the image of Him who created him. {AG 160.4}

Our heavenly Father made an infinite sacrifice in giving His Son to die for fallen man. The price paid for our redemption should give us exalted views of what we may become through Christ. {AG 160.5}


Chap. 153 - Matchless Condescension

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. Heb. 2:14. {AG 161.1}

Satan accomplished the fall of man, and since that time it has been his work to efface in man the image of God, and to stamp upon human hearts his own image. . . . He intercepts every ray of light that comes from God to man, and appropriates the worship that is due to God. . . . {AG 161.2}

But the only begotten Son of God has looked upon the scene, has beheld human suffering and misery. . . . He looked upon the schemes by which Satan works to blot from the human soul every trace of likeness to God; how he led them into intemperance so as to destroy the moral powers which God gave to man as a most precious, priceless endowment. He saw how, through indulgence in appetite, brain power was destroyed, and the temple of God was in ruins. . . . The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of man, were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the grossest, vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men, and human faces reflected the expression of the legions of evil with which they were possessed. Such was the prospect upon which the world's Redeemer looked. What a horrible spectacle for the eyes of infinite purity to behold! . . . {AG 161.3}

The great condescension on the part of God is a mystery beyond our fathoming. The greatness of the plan cannot be fully comprehended, nor could infinite wisdom devise a plan that would surpass it. It could be successful only by . . . Christ becoming man, and suffering the wrath which sin has made because of the transgression of God's law. Through this plan the great, the dreadful God can be just, and yet be the justifier of all who believe in Jesus, and who receive Him as their personal Saviour. This is the heavenly science of redemption, of saving men from eternal ruin. . . . {AG 161.4}

God so loved the world that He gave Himself in Christ to the world to bear the penalty of man's transgression. God suffered with His Son, as the divine Being alone could suffer, in order that the world might become reconciled to Him. {AG 161.5}


Chap. 154 - Incomparable Temptations

The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. John 14:30. {AG 162.1}

From the moment that Christ entered the world, the whole confederacy of Satanic agencies was set at work to deceive and overthrow Him as Adam had been deceived and overthrown. . . . {AG 162.2}

When Christ was born in Bethlehem, the angels of God appeared to the shepherds, who were watching their flocks by night, and gave divine credentials of the authority of the newborn babe. Satan knew that One had come to the earth with a divine commission to dispute his authority. He heard the angel declare: ". . . Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. . ." (Luke 2:10, 11). {AG 162.3}

The heavenly heralds aroused all the wrath of the synagogue of Satan. He followed the steps of those who had charge of the infant Jesus. He heard the prophecy of Simeon in the temple courts. . . . "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, . . ." (Luke 2:29-32). Satan was filled with frenzy as he saw that the aged Simeon recognized the divinity of Christ. {AG 162.4}

The Commander of heaven was assailed by the tempter. . . . From the time that He was a helpless babe in Bethlehem, when the agencies of hell sought to destroy Him in His infancy through the jealousy of Herod, until He came to Calvary's cross, He was continually assailed by the evil one. In the councils of Satan it was determined that He must be overcome. No human being had come into the world and escaped the power of the deceiver. The whole forces of the confederacy of evil were set upon His track. . . . Satan knew that he must either conquer or himself be conquered. Success or failure involved too much for him to leave the work with any one of his agents of evil. The prince of evil himself must personally conduct the warfare. . . . {AG 162.5}

The life of Christ was a perpetual warfare against Satanic agencies. Satan rallied the whole energies of apostasy against the Son of God. {AG 162.6}

On not one occasion was there a response to his manifold temptations. Not once did Christ step on Satan's ground, to give him any advantage. {AG 162.7}


Chap. 155 - Unutterable Loneliness

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me. Isa. 63:3. {AG 163.1}

Through childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus walked alone. In His purity and His faithfulness, He trod the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with Him. He carried the awful weight of responsibility for the salvation of men. He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of the human race, all would be lost. This was the burden of His soul, and none could appreciate the weight that rested upon Him. {AG 163.2}

Throughout His life His mother and His brothers did not comprehend His mission. Even His disciples did not understand Him. He had dwelt in eternal light, as one with God, but His life on earth must be spent in solitude. As one with us, He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe. The Sinless One must feel the shame of sin. The peace lover must dwell with strife, the truth must abide with falsehood, purity with vileness. Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought, was torture to His spirit. {AG 163.3}

Alone He must tread the path; alone He must bear the burden. Upon Him who had laid off His glory and accepted the weakness of humanity the redemption of the world must rest. He saw and felt it all, but His purpose remained steadfast. Upon His arm depended the salvation of the fallen race, and He reached out His hand to grasp the hand of Omnipotent love. {AG 163.4}

The loneliness of Christ, separated from the heavenly courts, living the life of humanity, was never understood or appreciated by the disciples as it should have been. . . . When Jesus was no longer with them, . . . they began to see how they might have shown Him attentions that would have brought gladness to His heart. . . . {AG 163.5}

The same want is evident in our world today. But few appreciate all that Christ is to them. If they did, the great love of Mary [Matt. 26:6-13] would be expressed, the anointing would be freely bestowed. . . . Nothing would be thought too costly to give for Christ, no self-denial or self-sacrifice too great to be endured for His sake. {AG 163.6}


Chap. 156 - Unequalled Test

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb. 4:15. {AG 164.1}

After His baptism, the Son of God entered the dreary wilderness, there to be tempted by the devil. . . . For forty days He ate and drank nothing. . . . He realized the power of appetite upon man; and in behalf of sinful man, He bore the closest test possible upon that point. Here a victory was gained which few can appreciate. The controlling power of depraved appetite, and the grievous sin of indulging it, can only be understood by the length of the fast which our Saviour endured that He might break its power. . . . He came to earth to unite His divine power with our human efforts, that through the strength and moral power which He imparts, we might overcome in our own behalf. {AG 164.2}

Oh! what matchless condescension for the King of glory to come down to this world to endure the pangs of hunger and the fierce temptations of a wily foe, that He might gain an infinite victory for man. Here is love without a parallel. . . . {AG 164.3}

It was not the gnawing pangs of hunger alone which made the sufferings of our Redeemer so inexpressibly severe. It was the sense of guilt which had resulted from the indulgence of appetite that had brought such terrible woe into the world, which pressed so heavily upon His divine soul. . . . {AG 164.4}

With man's nature, and the terrible weight of his sins pressing upon Him, our Redeemer withstood the power of Satan upon this great leading temptation, which imperils the souls of men. If man should overcome this temptation, he could conquer on every other point. {AG 164.5}

Intemperance lies at the foundation of all the moral evils known to man. Christ began the work of redemption just where the ruin began. The fall of our first parents was caused by the indulgence of appetite. In redemption, the denial of appetite is the first work of Christ. What amazing love has Christ manifested in coming into the world to bear our sins and infirmities, and to tread the path of suffering, that He might show us by His life of spotless merit how we should walk, and overcome as He had overcome. {AG 164.6}


Chap. 157 - Infinite Suffering

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Heb. 2:18. {AG 165.1}

Would that we could comprehend the significance of the words, Christ "suffered being tempted." While He was free from the taint of sin, the refined sensibilities of His holy nature rendered contact with evil unspeakably painful to Him. Yet with human nature upon Him, He met the archapostate face to face, and single-handed withstood the foe of His throne. Not even by a thought could Christ be brought to yield to the power of temptation. {AG 165.2}

What a sight was this for Heaven to look upon! Christ, who knew not the least taint of sin or defilement, took our nature in its deteriorated condition. This was humiliation greater than finite man can comprehend. God was manifest in the flesh. He humbled Himself. What a subject for thought, for deep, earnest contemplation! So infinitely great that He was the Majesty of heaven, and yet He stooped so low, without losing one atom of His dignity and glory! He stooped to poverty and to the deepest abasement among men. For our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. {AG 165.3}

The world had lost the original pattern of goodness and had sunk into universal apostasy and moral corruption; and the life of Jesus was one of labourious, self-denying effort to bring man back to his first estate by imbuing him with the spirit of divine benevolence and unselfish love. While in the world, He was not of the world. It was a continual pain to Him to be brought in contact with the enmity, depravity, and impurity which Satan had brought in; but He had a work to do to bring man into harmony with the divine plan, and earth in connection with heaven, and He counted no sacrifice too great for the accomplishment of the object. He "was in all points tempted like as we are" (Heb. 4:15). Satan stood ready to assail Him at every step, hurling at Him his fiercest temptations; yet He "did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth" (1 Peter 2:22). "He . . .suffered being tempted," suffered in proportion to the perfection of His holiness. But the prince of darkness found nothing in Him; not a single thought or feeling responded to temptation. {AG 165.4}


Chap. 158 - Agonizing Prayer

Who in the days of his flesh ... offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death. Heb. 5:7. {AG 166.1}

While you pray, dear youth, that you may not be led into temptation, remember that your work does not end with the prayer. You must then answer your own prayer as far as possible by resisting temptation, and leave that which you cannot do for yourselves for Jesus to do for you. . . . {AG 166.2}

I would remind the youth who ornament their persons . . . that, because of their sins, the Saviour's head wore the shameful crown of thorns. When you devote precious time to trimming your apparel, remember that the King of glory wore a plain, seamless coat. You who weary yourselves in decorating your persons, please bear in mind that Jesus was often weary from incessant toil and self-denial and self-sacrifice to bless the suffering and needy. He spent whole nights in prayer upon the lonely mountains, not because of His weakness and His necessities, but because He saw, He felt, the weakness of your natures to resist the temptations of the enemy upon the very points where you are now overcome. He knew that you would be indifferent in regard to your dangers and would not feel your need of prayer. It was on our account that He poured out His prayers to His Father with strong cries and tears. It was to save us from the very pride and love of vanity and pleasure which we now indulge, and which crowds out the love of Jesus, that those tears were shed. . . . {AG 166.3}

Will you, young friends, arise and shake off this dreadful indifference and stupor which has conformed you to the world? Will you heed the voice of warning which tells you that destruction lies in the path of those who are at ease in this hour of danger? {AG 166.4}

Many of our youth, by their careless disregard of the warnings and reproofs given them, open the door wide for Satan to enter. With God's word for our guide and Jesus as our heavenly Teacher we need not be ignorant of His requirements or of Satan's devices. . . . It will be no unpleasant task to be obedient to the will of God when we yield ourselves fully to be directed by His Spirit. {AG 166.5}


Chap. 159 - Whole Nights of Prayer

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12. {AG 167.1}

The Majesty of heaven, while engaged in His earthly ministry, prayed much to His Father. He was frequently bowed all night in prayer. . . . The Mount of Olives was the favourite resort of the Son of God for His devotions. Frequently after the multitude had left Him for the retirement of the night, He rested not, though weary with the labours of the day. . . . While the city was hushed in silence, and the disciples had returned to their homes to obtain refreshment in sleep, Jesus slept not. His divine pleadings were ascending to His Father from the Mount of Olives that His disciples might be kept from the evil influences which they would daily encounter in the world, and that His own soul might be strengthened and braced for the duties and trials of the coming day. All night, while His followers were sleeping, was their divine Teacher praying. The dew and the frost of night fell upon His head bowed in prayer. His example is left for His followers. . . . {AG 167.2}

He chose the stillness of night, when there would be no interruption. Jesus could heal the sick and raise the dead. He was Himself a source of blessing and strength. He commanded even the tempests, and they obeyed Him. He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet He prayed, and that often with strong crying and tears. He prayed for His disciples and for Himself, thus identifying Himself with our needs, our weaknesses, and our failings, which are so common with humanity. He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from His Father. {AG 167.3}

Christ is our example. Are the ministers of Christ tempted and fiercely buffeted by Satan? so also was He who knew no sin. He turned to His Father in these hours of distress. He came to earth that He might provide a way whereby we could find grace and strength to help in every time of need, by following His example in frequent, earnest prayer. {AG 167.4}


Chap. 160 - Gethsemane's Anguish

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou will. Matt. 26:39. {AG 168.1}

In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ suffered in man's stead, and the human nature of the Son of God staggered under the terrible horror of the guilt of sin, until from His pale and quivering lips was forced the agonizing cry, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." . . . Human nature would then and there have died under the horror of the sense of sin, had not an angel from heaven strengthened Him to bear the agony. . . . Christ was suffering the death that was pronounced upon the transgressors of God's law. {AG 168.2}

It is a fearful thing for the unrepenting sinner to fall into the hands of the living God. This is proved by the history of the destruction of the old world by a flood, by the record of the fire which fell from heaven and destroyed the inhabitants of Sodom. But never was this proved to so great an extent as in the agony of Christ, the Son of the infinite God, when he bore the wrath of God for a sinful world. It was in consequence of sin, the transgression of God's law, that the Garden of Gethsemane has become pre-eminently the place of suffering to a sinful world. No sorrow, no agony, can measure with that which was endured by the Son of God. {AG 168.3}

Man has not been made a sin-bearer, and he will never know the horror of the curse of sin which the Saviour bore. No sorrow can bear any comparison with the sorrow of Him upon whom the wrath of God fell with overwhelming force. Human nature can endure but a limited amount of test and trial. The finite can only endure the finite measure, and human nature succumbs; but the nature of Christ had a greater capacity for suffering. . . . The agony which Christ endured, broadens, deepens, and gives a more extended conception of the character of sin, and the character of the retribution which God will bring upon those who continue in sin. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ to the repenting, believing sinner. {AG 168.4}

The sword of justice was unsheathed, and the wrath of God against iniquity rested upon man's substitute, Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father. {AG 168.5}


Chap. 161 - The Father's Frown

This is your hour, and the power of darkness. Luke 22:53. {AG 169.1}

As the Son of God bowed in the attitude of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, the agony of His spirit forced from His pores sweat like great drops of blood. It was here that the horror of great darkness surrounded Him. The sins of the world were upon Him. He was suffering in man's stead as a transgressor of His Father's law. Here was the scene of temptation. The divine light of God was receding from His vision, and He was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness. In His soul anguish He lay prostrate on the cold earth. He was realizing His Father's frown. He had taken the cup of suffering from the lips of guilty man, and proposed to drink it Himself, and in its place give to man the cup of blessing. The wrath that would have fallen upon man was now falling upon Christ. It was here that the mysterious cup trembled in His hand. {AG 169.2}

Jesus had often resorted to Gethsemane with His disciples for meditation and prayer. . . . Never before had the Saviour visited the spot with a heart so full of sorrow. It was not bodily suffering from which the Son of God shrank. . . . The sins of a lost world were upon Him and overwhelming Him. It was a sense of His Father's frown, in consequence of sin, which rent His heart with such piercing agony and forced from His brow great drops of blood. . . . {AG 169.3}

We can have but faint conceptions of the inexpressible anguish of God's dear Son in Gethsemane, as He realized His separation from His Father in consequence of bearing man's sin. He became sin for the fallen race. The sense of the withdrawal of His Father's love pressed from His anguished soul these mournful words: "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matt. 26:38). . . . {AG 169.4}

The divine Son of God was fainting, dying. The Father sent a messenger from His presence to strengthen the divine Sufferer and brace Him to tread the bloodstained path. Could mortals have viewed the amazement and the sorrow of the angelic host as they watched in silent grief the Father separating His beams of light, love, and glory from the beloved Son of His bosom, they would better understand how offensive sin is in His sight. {AG 169.5}


Chap. 162 - Forsaken by His Father

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Matt. 27:46. {AG 170.1}

He [Jesus] was betrayed by a kiss into the hands of His enemies, and hurried to the judgment hall of an earthly court. . . . The angelic host beheld with wonder and with grief Him who had been the Majesty of heaven, and who had worn the crown of glory, now wearing the crown of thorns, a bleeding victim to the rage of an infuriated mob, fired to insane madness by the wrath of Satan. Behold the patient Sufferer! Upon His head is the thorny crown. His lifeblood flows from every lacerated vein. . . . {AG 170.2}

Behold the oppressor and the oppressed! A vast multitude enclose the Saviour of the world. Mockings and jeerings are mingled with the coarse oaths of blasphemy. . . . Christ, the precious Son of God, was led forth, and the cross was laid upon His shoulders. . . . Thronged by an immense crowd of bitter enemies and unfeeling spectators, He is led away to the crucifixion. . . . He is nailed to the cross, and hangs suspended between the heavens and the earth. . . . The glorious Redeemer of a lost world was suffering the penalty of man's transgression of the Father's law. He was about to ransom His people with His own blood. . . . {AG 170.3}

Oh, was there ever suffering and sorrow like that endured by the dying Saviour! It was the sense of His Father's displeasure which made His cup so bitter. It was not bodily suffering which so quickly ended the life of Christ upon the cross. It was the crushing weight of the sins of the world, and a sense of His Father's wrath. . . . The fierce temptation that His own Father had forever left Him caused that piercing cry from the cross: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" {AG 170.4}

In His dying agony, as He yields up His precious life, He has by faith alone to trust in Him whom it has ever been His joy to obey. . . . Denied even bright hope and confidence in the triumph which will be His in the future, He cries with a loud voice: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46). He is acquainted with the character of His Father, with His justice, His mercy, and His great love, and in submission He drops into His hands. {AG 170.5}


Chap. 163 - The Sins of the World

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isa. 53:5. {AG 171.1}

Some have limited views of the atonement. They think that Christ suffered only a small portion of the penalty of the law of God; they suppose that, while the wrath of God was felt by His dear Son, He had, through all His painful sufferings, the evidence of His Father's love and acceptance; that the portals of the tomb before Him were illuminated with bright hope, and that He had the abiding evidence of His future glory. Here is a great mistake. Christ's keenest anguish was a sense of His Father's displeasure. His mental agony because of this was of such intensity that man can have but faint conception of it. {AG 171.2}

With many the story of the condescension, humiliation, and sacrifice of our divine Lord awakens no deeper interest . . . than does the history of the death of the martyrs of Jesus. Many have suffered death by slow tortures; others have suffered death by crucifixion. In what does the death of God's dear Son differ from these? . . . If the sufferings of Christ consisted in physical pain alone, then His death was no more painful than that of some of the martyrs. But bodily pain was but a small part of the agony of God's dear Son. The sins of the world were upon Him, also the sense of His Father's wrath as He suffered the penalty of the law transgressed. It was these that crushed His divine soul. . . . The separation that sin makes between God and man was fully realized and keenly felt by the innocent, suffering Man of Calvary. He was oppressed by the powers of darkness. He had not one ray of light to brighten the future. . . . It was in this terrible hour of darkness, the face of His Father hidden, legions of evil angels enshrouding Him, the sins of the world upon Him, that the words were wrenched from His lips: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" . . . {AG 171.3}

In comparison with the enterprise of everlasting life, every other sinks into insignificance. {AG 171.4}


Chap. 164 - What a Price

Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, ... but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:18, 19. {AG 172.1}

"Ye know," says Peter, "that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold." Oh, had these been sufficient to purchase the salvation of man, how easily it might have been accomplished by Him who says: "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine" (Haggai 2:8). But the transgressor of God's holy law could be redeemed only by the precious blood of the Son of God. {AG 172.2}

It was through infinite sacrifice and inexpressible suffering that our Redeemer placed redemption within our reach. He was in this world unhonoured and unknown, that, through His wonderful condescension and humiliation, He might exalt man to receive eternal honours and immortal joys in the heavenly courts. During His thirty years of life on earth His heart was wrung with inconceivable anguish. The path from the manger to Calvary was shadowed by grief and sorrow. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, enduring such heartache as no human language can portray. He could have said in truth, "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow" (Lam. 1:12). Hating sin with a perfect hatred, He yet gathered to His soul the sins of the whole world. Guiltless, He bore the punishment of the guilty. Innocent, yet offering Himself as a substitute for the transgressor. The guilt of every sin pressed its weight upon the divine soul of the world's Redeemer. The evil thoughts, the evil words, the evil deeds of every son and daughter of Adam, called for retribution upon Himself; for He had become man's substitute. Though the guilt of sin was not His, His spirit was torn and bruised by the transgressions of men, and He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. {AG 172.3}

What a price has been paid for us! Behold the cross, and the Victim uplifted upon it. Look at those hands, pierced with the cruel nails. Look at His feet, fastened with spikes to the tree. Christ bore our sins in His own body. That suffering, that agony, is the price of your redemption. {AG 172.4}


Chap. 165 - The Worth of One Soul

Know ye not that . . . ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price. 1 Cor. 6:19, 20. {AG 173.1}

All men have been bought with this infinite price. By pouring the whole treasury of heaven into this world, by giving us in Christ all heaven, God has purchased the will, the affections, the mind, the soul, of every human being. Whether believers or unbelievers, all men are the Lord's property. {AG 173.2}

We are His by creation and by redemption. Our very bodies are not our own, to treat as we please, to cripple by habits that lead to decay, making it impossible to render to God perfect service. Our lives and all our faculties belong to Him. He is caring for us every moment; He keeps the living machinery in action; if we were left to run it for one moment, we should die. We are absolutely dependent upon God. {AG 173.3}

A great lesson is to be learned when we understand our relation to God, and His relation to us. The words, "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price," should be hung in memory's hall, that we may ever recognize God's right to our talents, our property, our influence, our individual selves. We are to learn how to treat this gift of God, in mind, in soul, in body, that as Christ's purchased possession, we may do Him healthful, savoury service. {AG 173.4}

The wealth of earth dwindles into insignificance when compared with the worth of a single soul for whom our Lord and Master died. He who weigheth the hills in scales and the mountains in a balance regards a human soul as of infinite value. {AG 173.5}

Let the youth be impressed with the thought that they are not their own. They belong to Christ. They are the purchase of His blood, the claim of His love. They live because He keeps them by His power. Their time, their strength, their capabilities are His, to be developed, to be trained, to be used for Him. {AG 173.6}

Christ has bought you at a dear price, and offers you grace and glory if you will receive it. {AG 173.7}


Chap. 166 - The Sacrifice of Love

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. Eph. 5:2. {AG 174.1}

This is the oblation of a life-gift in our behalf, that we may be all that He desires us to be--representatives of Him, expressing the fragrance of His character, His own pure thoughts, His divine attributes as manifested in His sanctified human life, in order that others may behold Him in His human form, and . . . be led to desire to be like Christ--pure, undefiled, wholly acceptable to God, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. {AG 174.2}

How earnestly Christ prosecuted the work of our salvation! What devotion His life revealed as He sought to give value to fallen man by imputing to every repenting, believing sinner the merits of His spotless righteousness! How untiringly He worked! In the Temple and in the synagogue, in the streets of the cities, in the market place, in the workshop, by the seaside, among the hills, He preached the gospel and healed the sick. He gave all there was of Himself, that He might work out the plan of redeeming grace. {AG 174.3}

Christ offered up His broken body to purchase back God's heritage, to give man another trial. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25). By His spotless life, His obedience, His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now, not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a Conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and as our Intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, these ascend to God as a sweet savour. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression. {AG 174.4}


Chap. 167 - Heaven Itself Imperiled

I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Isa. 13:12. {AG 175.1}

The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34). Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul. {AG 175.2}

If you are in communion with Christ you will place His estimate upon every human being. You will feel for others the same deep love that Christ has felt for you. Then you will be able to win, not drive, to attract, not repulse, those for whom He died. . . . The greater their sin and the deeper their misery, the more earnest and tender will be your efforts for their recovery. You will discern the need of those who are suffering, who have been sinning against God, and who are oppressed with a burden of guilt. Your heart will go out in sympathy for them, and you will reach out to them a helping hand. {AG 175.3}

Christ and Him crucified should become the theme of our thoughts and stir the deepest emotions of our souls. . . . It is through the cross alone that we can estimate the worth of the human soul. Such is the value of men for whom Christ died that the Father is satisfied with the infinite price which He pays for the salvation of man in yielding up His own Son to die for their redemption. What wisdom, mercy, and love in its fullness are here manifested! The worth of man is known only by going to Calvary. In the mystery of the cross of Christ we can place an estimate upon man. {AG 175.4}

How glorious are the possibilities set before the fallen race! Through His Son, God has revealed the excellency to which man is capable of attaining. Through the merits of Christ man is lifted from his depraved state, purified, and made more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. {AG 175.5}


Chap. 168 - The Father's Immeasurable Sacrifice

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10. {AG 176.1}

Love is the underlying principle of God's government in heaven and earth, and it must be the foundation of the Christian's character. . . . And love will be revealed in sacrifice. {AG 176.2}

The plan of redemption was laid in sacrifice--a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable. Christ gave all for us, and those who receive Christ will be ready to sacrifice all for the sake of their Redeemer. {AG 176.3}

When Adam's sin plunged the race into hopeless misery, God might have cut Himself loose from fallen beings. He might have treated them as sinners deserve to be treated. He might have commanded the angels of heaven to pour out upon our world the vials of His wrath. He might have removed this dark blot from His universe. But He did not do this. Instead of banishing them from His presence, He came still nearer to the fallen race. He gave His Son to become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. . . . {AG 176.4}

The gift of God to man is beyond all computation. Nothing was withheld. God would not permit it to be said that He could have done more or revealed to humanity a greater measure of love. In the gift of Christ He gave all heaven. {AG 176.5}

Those who have professed to love Christ, have not comprehended the relation which exists between them and God, and it is still but dimly outlined to their understanding. They but vaguely comprehend the amazing grace of God in giving His only-begotten Son for the salvation of the world. {AG 176.6}

In order to secure man to Himself and ensure his eternal salvation, Christ left the royal courts of heaven and came to this earth, endured the agonies of sin and shame in man's stead, and died to make him free. In view of the infinite price paid for man's redemption, how dare any professing the name of Christ treat with indifference one of His little ones? . . . How patiently, kindly, and affectionately should they deal with the purchase of the blood of Christ! {AG 176.7}


Chap. 169 - The Only Acceptable Ransom

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all. 1 Tim. 2:5, 6. {AG 177.1}

Through Christ, restoration as well as reconciliation is provided for man. The gulf that was made by sin has been spanned by the cross of Calvary. A full, complete ransom has been paid by Jesus, by virtue of which the sinner is pardoned, and the justice of the law is maintained. All who believe that Christ is the atoning sacrifice may come and receive pardon for their sins; for through the merit of Christ, communication has been opened between God and man. God can accept me as His child, and I can claim Him and rejoice in Him as my loving Father. We must centre our hopes of heaven upon Christ alone, because He is our substitute and surety. . . . {AG 177.2}

The best efforts that man in his own strength can make, are valueless to meet the holy and just law that he has transgressed; but through faith in Christ he may claim the righteousness of the Son of God as all-sufficient. Christ satisfied the demands of the law in His human nature. He bore the curse of the law for the sinner, made an atonement for him, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish. . . . Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine nature, and thus divinity and humanity are combined. {AG 177.3}

He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure. . . . All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin; but that which is wrought through faith is acceptable to God. When we seek to gain heaven through the merits of Christ, the soul makes progress. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we may go on from strength to strength, from victory to victory; for through Christ the grace of God has worked out our complete salvation. {AG 177.4}

We cannot estimate the precious ransom paid to redeem fallen man. The heart's best and holiest affections should be given in return for such wondrous love. {AG 177.5}


Chap. 170 - God's Unspeakable Gift

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 2 Cor. 9:15. {AG 178.1}

The revelation of God's love to man centres in the cross. Its full significance tongue cannot utter; pen cannot portray; the mind of man cannot comprehend. . . . Christ crucified for our sins, Christ risen from the dead, Christ ascended on high, is the science of salvation that we are to learn and to teach. {AG 178.2}

"Who, being in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:6-8, R.V., margin). "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God." "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). . . . {AG 178.3}

Here are infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy--"the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" (Rom. 11:33). {AG 178.4}

It is through the gift of Christ that we receive every blessing. Through that gift there comes to us day by day the unfailing flow of Jehovah's goodness. Every flower, with its delicate tints and sweet fragrance, is given for our enjoyment through that one Gift. The sun and moon were made by Him; there is not a star that beautifies the heavens which He did not make. There is not an article of food upon our tables that He has not provided for our sustenance. The superscription of Christ is upon it all. Everything is supplied to man through the one unspeakable Gift, the only-begotten Son of God. He was nailed to the cross that all these bounties might flow to God's workmanship. {AG 178.5}

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9). Surely there are none that, beholding the riches of His grace, can forbear to exclaim with the apostle: "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." {AG 178.6}


Chap. 171 - So Costly--and Yet Free

By the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Rom. 5:18. {AG 179.1}

Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot grasp it, power cannot command it; but to all who will accept it, God's glorious grace is freely given. But men may feel their need, and, renouncing all self-dependence, accept salvation as a gift. Those who enter heaven will not scale its walls by their own righteousness, nor will its gates be opened to them for costly offerings of gold or silver, but they will gain an entrance to the many mansions of the Father's house through the merits of the cross of Christ. {AG 179.2}

For sinful men, the highest consolation, the greatest cause of rejoicing, is that Heaven has given Jesus to be the sinner's Saviour. . . . He offered to go over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell; to meet the tempter on the field of battle, and conquer him in man's behalf. Behold Him in the wilderness of temptation. Forty days and forty nights He fasted, enduring the fiercest assaults of the powers of darkness. He trod the "winepress alone; and of the people there was none with" Him (Isa. 63:3). It was not for Himself, but that He might break the chain that held the human race in slavery to Satan. {AG 179.3}

As Christ in His humanity sought strength from His Father, that He might be enabled to endure trial and temptation, so are we to do. We are to follow the example of the sinless Son of God. Daily we need help and grace and power from the Source of all power. We are to cast our helpless souls upon the One who is ready to help us in every time of need. Too often we forget the Lord. Self gives way to impulse, and we lose the victories that we should gain. {AG 179.4}

If we are overcome let us not delay to repent, and to accept the pardon that will place us on vantage ground. If we repent and believe, the cleansing power from God will be ours. His saving grace is freely offered. His pardon is given to all who will receive it. . . . Over every sinner that repents the angels of God rejoice with songs of joy. Not one sinner need be lost. Full and free is the gift of saving grace. {AG 179.5}


Chap. 172 - Bought Without Money

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1:4. {AG 180.1}

There are many who hope by their own works to merit God's favour. They do not realize their helplessness. They do not accept the grace of God as a free gift, but are trying to build themselves up in self-righteousness. {AG 180.2}

The blessings of redeeming love our Saviour compared to a precious pearl [Matt. 13:45, 46]. . . . {AG 180.3}

In the parable the pearl is not represented as a gift. The merchantman bought it at the price of all that he had. Many question the meaning of this, since Christ is represented in the Scriptures as a gift. He is a gift, but only to those who give themselves soul, body, and spirit, to Him without reserve. We are to give ourselves to Christ, to live a life of willing obedience to all His requirements. All that we are, all the talents and capabilities we possess, are the Lord's, to be consecrated to His service. When we thus give ourselves wholly to Him, Christ, with all the treasures of heaven, gives Himself to us. We obtain the pearl of great price. {AG 180.4}

Salvation is a free gift, and yet it is to be bought and sold. In the market of which divine mercy has the management, the precious pearl is represented as being bought without money and without price. . . . {AG 180.5}

The gospel of Christ is a blessing that all may possess. The poorest are as well able as the richest to purchase salvation; for no amount of worldly wealth can secure it. It is obtained by willing obedience, by giving ourselves to Christ as His own purchased possession. . . . {AG 180.6}

We are to seek for the pearl of great price, but not in worldly marts or in worldly ways. The price we are required to pay is not gold or silver, for this belongs to God. Abandon the idea that temporal or spiritual advantages will win for you salvation. God calls for your willing obedience. {AG 180.7}

All His gifts are promised on condition of obedience. God has a heaven full of blessings for those who will cooperate with Him. {AG 180.8}


Chap. 173 - Grace Enough For All

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:17. {AG 181.1}

God has an abundance of grace and power awaiting our demand. But the reason we do not feel our great need of it is because we look to ourselves and not to Jesus. We do not exalt Jesus and rely wholly upon His merits. {AG 181.2}

The provision made is complete, and the eternal righteousness of Christ is placed to the account of every believing soul. The costly, spotless robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has been provided for the repenting, believing sinner, and he may say: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness" (Isa. 61:10). {AG 181.3}

Abundant grace has been provided that the believing soul may be kept free from sin; for all heaven, with its limitless resources, has been placed at our command. We are to draw from the well of salvation. . . . In ourselves we are sinners; but in Christ we are righteous. Having made us righteous through the imputed righteousness of Christ, God pronounces us just, and treats us as just. He looks upon us as His dear children. Christ works against the power of sin, and where sin abounded, grace much more abounds. {AG 181.4}

We may make daily progress in the upward path to holiness and yet we find still greater heights to be reached; but every stretch of the spiritual muscles, every taxation of heart and brain, brings to light the abundance of the supply of grace essential for us as we advance. {AG 181.5}

The more we contemplate these riches, the more we will come into possession of them, and the more we shall reveal the merits of Christ's sacrifice, the protection of His righteousness, His inexpressible love, the fullness of His wisdom, and His power to present us before the Father without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. {AG 181.6}

We are living in the day of preparation. We must obtain a full supply of grace from the divine storehouse. The Lord has made provision for every day's demand. {AG 181.7}


Chap. 174 - Unmerited Favour

Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation. Ps. 106:4. {AG 182.1}

Grace is unmerited favour, and the believer is justified without any merit of his own, without any claim to offer to God. He is justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, who stands in the courts of heaven as the sinner's substitute and surety. But while he is justified because of the merit of Christ, he is not free to work unrighteousness. Faith works by love and purifies the soul. Faith buds and blossoms and bears a harvest of precious fruit. Where faith is, good works appear. The sick are visited, the poor are cared for, the fatherless and the widows are not neglected, the naked are clothed, the destitute are fed. {AG 182.2}

Christ went about doing good, and when men are united with Him, they love the children of God, and meekness and truth guide their footsteps. The expression of the countenance reveals their experience, and men take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Christ and the believer become one, and His beauty of character is revealed in those who are vitally connected with the Source of power and love. Christ is the great depositary of justifying righteousness and sanctifying grace. {AG 182.3}

All may come to Him and receive of His fullness. He says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). . . . Have you been looking unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of your faith? Have you been beholding Him who is full of truth and grace? Have you accepted the peace which Christ alone can give? If you have not, then yield to Him, and through His grace seek for a character that will be noble and elevated. Seek for a constant, resolute, cheerful spirit. Feed on Christ who is the Bread of life, and you will manifest His loveliness of character and spirit. {AG 182.4}

The very best you can do will not merit the favour of God. It is Jesus' worthiness that will save you, His blood that will cleanse you. {AG 182.5}


Chap. 175 - Christ Our Righteousness

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. Rom. 3:25. {AG 183.1}

Christ is called "the Lord our righteousness," and through faith each one should say, "The Lord my righteousness." When faith lays hold upon this gift of God, the praise of God will be upon our lips, and we shall be able to say to others, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). We shall then be able to tell the lost concerning the plan of salvation, that while the world was lying under the curse of sin, the Lord presented terms of mercy to the fallen and hopeless sinner, and revealed the value and meaning of His grace. Grace is unmerited favour. . . . It was grace that sent our Saviour to seek us as wanderers and bring us back to the fold. . . . {AG 183.2}

No man can look within himself and find anything in his character that will recommend him to God, or make his acceptance sure. It is only through Jesus, whom the Father gave for the life of the world, that the sinner may find access to God. Jesus alone is our Redeemer, our Advocate and Mediator; in Him is our only hope for pardon, peace, and righteousness. It is by virtue of the blood of Christ that the sin-stricken soul can be restored to soundness. . . . {AG 183.3}

Apart from Christ we have no merit, no righteousness. Our sinfulness, our weakness, our human imperfection make it impossible that we should appear before God unless we are clothed in Christ's spotless righteousness. . . . {AG 183.4}

When you respond to the drawing of Christ, and join yourself to Him, you manifest saving faith. . . . Faith familiarizes the soul with the existence and presence of God, and, living with an eye single to the glory of God, more and more we discern the beauty of His character, the excellence of His grace. Our souls become strong in spiritual power; for we are breathing the atmosphere of heaven. . . . We are rising above the world, beholding Him who is the Chief among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely, and by beholding we are to become changed into His image. {AG 183.5}


Chap. 176 - The Bright Side of Religion

I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Hab. 3:18. {AG 184.1}

Every one who loves God is to testify of the preciousness of His grace and truth. Those who receive the light of truth are to have lesson upon lesson to educate them not to keep silent, but to speak often one to another. They are to keep in mind the Sabbath meeting, when those who love and fear God, and who think upon His name, can have opportunity to express their thoughts in speaking one to another. . . . {AG 184.2}

The Majesty of heaven identifies His interests with those of the believers, however humble may be their circumstances. And whenever they are privileged to meet together, it is appropriate that they speak often one to another, giving utterance to the gratitude and love that is a result of thinking upon the name of the Lord. Thus shall God be glorified as He hearkens and hears, and the testimony meeting will be considered the most precious of all meetings; for the words spoken are recorded in the book of remembrance. . . . {AG 184.3}

Do not gratify the enemy by dwelling upon the dark side of your experience; trust Jesus more fully for help to resist temptation. If we thought and talked more of Jesus, and less of ourselves, we should have much more of His presence. If we abide in Him, we shall be so filled with peace, faith, and courage, and shall have so victorious an experience to relate when we come to meeting, that others will be refreshed by our clear, strong testimony for God. These precious acknowledgements to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christlike life, have an irresistible power, which works for the salvation of souls. The bright and cheerful side of religion will be represented by all who are daily consecrated to God. We should not dishonour our Lord by a mournful relation of trials that appear grievous. All trials that are received as educators will produce joy. The whole religious life will be uplifting, elevating, ennobling, fragrant with good words and works. {AG 184.4}


Chap. 177 - "Worthy is the Lamb!"

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Rev. 5:12. {AG 185.1}

We are not worthy of God's love, but Christ, our surety, is worthy, and is abundantly able to save all who shall come unto Him. {AG 185.2}

Christ delights to take apparently hopeless material, those whom Satan has debased and through whom he has worked, and make them the subjects of His grace. He rejoices to deliver them from suffering and from the wrath that is to fall upon the disobedient. {AG 185.3}

If the enemy can lead the desponding to take their eyes off from Jesus, and look to themselves, and dwell upon their own unworthiness, instead of dwelling upon the worthiness of Jesus, His love, His merits, and His great mercy, he will get away their shield of faith and gain his object; they will be exposed to his fiery temptations. The weak should therefore look to Jesus, and believe in Him; they then exercise faith. {AG 185.4}

The Son of God gave all--life and love and suffering--for our redemption. And can it be that we, the unworthy objects of so great love, will withhold our hearts from Him? Every moment of our lives we have been partakers of the blessings of His grace, and for this very reason we cannot fully realize the depths of ignorance and misery from which we have been saved. {AG 185.5}

Many make a serious mistake in their religious life by keeping the attention fixed upon their feelings and thus judging of their advancement or decline. Feelings are not a safe criterion. We are not to look within for evidence of our acceptance with God. We shall find there nothing but that which will discourage us. Our only hope is in "looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2). There is everything in Him to inspire with hope, with faith, and with courage. He is our righteousness, our consolation and rejoicing. . . . {AG 185.6}

A sense of our weakness and unworthiness should lead us with humility of heart to plead the atoning sacrifice of Christ. As we rely upon His merits we shall find rest and peace and joy. He saves to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. {AG 185.7}


Chap. 178 - Mystery of Mysteries

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Tim. 3:16. {AG 186.1}

What a mystery of mysteries! It is difficult for the reason to grasp the majesty of Christ, the mystery of redemption. The shameful cross has been upraised, the nails have been driven through His hands and feet, and the cruel spear has pierced to His heart, and the redemption price has been paid for the human race. . . . {AG 186.2}

Redemption is an inexhaustible theme, worthy of our closest contemplation. It passes the comprehension of the deepest thought, the stretch of the most vivid imagination. . . . {AG 186.3}

Were Jesus with us today, He would say to us as He did to His disciples, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (John 16:12). Jesus longed to open before the minds of His disciples deep and living truths, but their earthliness, their clouded, deficient comprehension made it impossible. . . . The want of spiritual growth closes the door to the rich rays of light that shine from Christ. . . . {AG 186.4}

Those who have been diligently working in the mines of God's Word, and have discovered the precious ore in the rich veins of truth, in the divine mysteries that have been hidden for ages, will exalt the Lord Jesus, the Source of all truth, by revealing in their characters the sanctifying power of what they believe. Jesus and His grace must be enshrined in the inner sanctuary of the soul. Then He will be revealed in words, in prayer, in exhortation, in the presentation of sacred truth. {AG 186.5}

The mystery of the cross explains all other mysteries. In the light that streams from Calvary, the attributes of God which had filled us with fear and awe appear beautiful and attractive. Mercy, tenderness, and parental love are seen to blend with holiness, justice, and power. While we behold the majesty of His throne, high and lifted up, we see His character in His gracious manifestations, and comprehend, as never before, the significance of that endearing title, "Our Father." {AG 186.6}


Chap. 179 - Unsearchable Riches

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. Eph. 3:8. {AG 187.1}

It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit. {AG 187.2}

It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour's love. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts. {AG 187.3}

"God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, . . . and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-7). {AG 187.4}

Such are the words in which "Paul the aged," "a prisoner of Jesus Christ," writing from his prison house at Rome, endeavoured to set before his brethren that which he found language inadequate to express in its fulness--"the unsearchable riches of Christ," the treasure of grace freely offered to the fallen sons of men. {AG 187.5}

As your soul yearns after God, you will find more and still more of the unsearchable riches of His grace. As you contemplate these riches, you will come into possession of them, and will reveal the merits of the Saviour's sacrifice, the protection of His righteousness, the fulness of His wisdom, and His power to present you before the Father "without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:14). {AG 187.6}


Chap. 180 - "Behold, What Manner of Love"

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1. {AG 188.1}

It is from the Father's heart that the streams of divine compassion, manifest in Christ, flow out to the children of men. . . . God permitted His beloved Son, full of grace and truth, to come from a world of indescribable glory, to a world marred and blighted with sin, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. He permitted Him to leave the bosom of His love, the adoration of the angels, to suffer shame, insult, humiliation, hatred, and death. . . . It was the burden of sin, the sense of its terrible enormity, of its separation of the soul from God--it was this that broke the heart of the Son of God. . . . {AG 188.2}

God suffered with His Son. In the agony of Gethsemane, the death of Calvary, the heart of Infinite Love paid the price of our redemption. . . . Nothing less than the infinite sacrifice made by Christ in behalf of fallen man could express the Father's love to lost humanity. . . . {AG 188.3}

The price paid for our redemption, the infinite sacrifice of our heavenly Father in giving His Son to die for us, should give us exalted conceptions of what we may become through Christ. As the inspired apostle John beheld the height, the depth, the breadth of the Father's love toward the perishing race, he was filled with adoration and reverence; and, failing to find suitable language in which to express the greatness and tenderness of this love, he called upon the world to behold it. . . . What a value this places upon man! Through transgression, the sons of man become subjects of Satan. Through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, the sons of Adam may become the sons of God. By assuming human nature, Christ elevates humanity. Fallen men are placed where, through connection with Christ, they may indeed become worthy of the name, "sons of God." {AG 188.4}

Such love is without a parallel. Children of the heavenly King! Precious promise! Theme of the most profound meditation! The matchless love of God for a world that did not love Him! {AG 188.5}


Chap. 181 - How Long Must Heaven Suffer?

I and my Father are one. John 10:30. {AG 189.1}

God Himself was crucified with Christ; for Christ was one with the Father. {AG 189.2}

Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ's agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him. When there came upon Israel the calamities that were the sure result of separation from God--subjugation by their enemies, cruelty, and death--it is said that "his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel." "In all their affliction he was afflicted: . . . and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old" (Judges 10:16; Isa. 63:9). {AG 189.3}

His Spirit "maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." As the "whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together" (Rom. 8:26, 22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy. Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. {AG 189.4}

Not a sigh is breathed, not a pain felt, not a grief pierces the soul, but the throb vibrates to the Father's heart. {AG 189.5}

He who knows the depths of the world's misery and despair, knows by what means to bring relief. . . . Although human beings have abused their mercies, wasted their talents, and lost the dignity of godlike manhood, the Creator is to be glorified in their redemption. {AG 189.6}

In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through cooperation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end. {AG 189.7}

With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come--the end of suffering and sorrow and sin! {AG 189.8}