Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 13: Two Worshipers
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At every advance step in Christian experience our
repentance will deepen. It is to those whom the Lord has
forgiven, to those whom He acknowledges as His people,
that He says, "Then shall ye remember your own evil
ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe [p. 161] yourselves in your own sight." Eze. 36:31. Again He says,
"I will establish My covenant with thee, and thou shalt
know that I am the Lord; that thou mayest remember, and
be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because
of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that
thou hast done, saith the Lord God." Eze. 16:62, 63. Then
our lips will not be opened in self-glorification. We shall
know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone. We shall make
the apostle's confession our own. "I know that in me (that
is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing." Rom. 7:18. "God
forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and
I unto the world." Gal. 6:14.
In harmony with this experience is the command,
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do
of His good pleasure." Phil. 2:12, 13. God does not bid
you fear that He will fail to fulfill His promises, that His
patience will weary, or His compassion be found wanting.
Fear lest your will shall not be held in subjection to Christ's
will, lest your hereditary and cultivated traits of character
shall control your life. "It is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Fear lest self
shall interpose between your soul and the great Master
Worker. Fear lest self-will shall mar the high purpose that
through you God desires to accomplish. Fear to trust to
your own strength, fear to withdraw your hand from the
hand of Christ and attempt to walk life's pathway without
His abiding presence.
We need to shun everything that would encourage pride
and self-sufficiency; therefore we should beware of giving
or receiving flattery or praise. It is Satan's work to flatter.
He deals in flattery as well as in accusing and condemnation.
Thus he seeks to work the ruin of the soul. Those [p. 162] who give praise to men are used by Satan as his agents.
Let the workers for Christ direct every word of praise away
from themselves. Let self be put out of sight. Christ alone
is to be exalted. "Unto Him that loved us, and washed
us from our sins in His own blood," let every eye be
directed, and praise from every heart ascend. (Rev. 1:5.)
The life in which the fear of the Lord is cherished will
not be a life of sadness and gloom. It is the absence
of Christ that makes the countenance sad, and the life a
pilgrimage of sighs. Those who are filled with
self-esteem and self-love do not feel the need of a living,
personal union with Christ. The heart that has not fallen on
the Rock is proud of its wholeness. Men want a dignified
religion. They desire to walk in a path wide enough to
take in their own attributes. Their self-love, their love of
popularity and love of praise, exclude the Saviour from
their hearts, and without Him there is gloom and sadness.
But Christ dwelling in the soul is a wellspring of joy. For
all who receive Him, the very keynote of the word of God
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth
eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy
place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of
the contrite ones." Isa. 57:15.
It was when Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock
that he beheld the glory of God. It is when we hide in the
riven Rock that Christ will cover us with His own pierced
hand, and we shall hear what the Lord saith unto His
servants. To us as to Moses, God will reveal Himself
as "merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in
goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving
iniquity and transgression and sin." Ex. 34:6, 7.
The work of redemption involves consequences of which [p. 163] it is difficult for man to have any conception. "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. As the sinner, drawn by the power
of Christ, approaches the uplifted cross, and prostrates
himself before it, there is a new creation. A new heart is
given him. He becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Holiness finds that it has nothing more to require. God
Himself is "the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
Rom. 3:26. And "whom He justified, them He also glorified."
Rom. 8:30. Great as is the shame and degradation
through sin, even greater will be the honor and exaltation
through redeeming love. To human beings striving for
conformity to the divine image there is imparted an outlay
of heaven's treasure, an excellency of power, that will place
them higher than even the angels who have never fallen.
"Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His
Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the
nation abhorreth, . . . Kings shall see and arise, princes
also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and
the Holy One of Israel, and He shall choose thee." Isa.
"For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased;
and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
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