Steps to Christ
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 2: The Sinner's Need of Christ
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Many are the figures by which the Spirit of God
has sought to illustrate this truth, and make it plain to
souls that long to be freed from the burden of guilt.
When, after his sin in deceiving Esau, Jacob fled from
his father's home, he was weighed down with a sense [p. 20] of guilt. Lonely and outcast as he was, separated
from all that had made life dear, the one thought
that above all others pressed upon his soul, was the
fear that his sin had cut him off from God, that he
was forsaken of Heaven. In sadness he lay down to
rest on the bare earth, around him only the lonely
hills, and above, the heavens bright with stars. As he
slept, a strange light broke upon his vision; and lo,
from the plain on which he lay, vast shadowy stairs
seemed to lead upward to the very gates of heaven,
and upon them angels of God were passing up and
down; while from the glory above, the divine voice
was heard in a message of comfort and hope. Thus
was made known to Jacob that which met the need
and longing of his soul—a Saviour. With joy and
gratitude he saw revealed a way by which he, a sinner,
could be restored to communion with God. The
mystic ladder of his dream represented Jesus, the only
medium of communication between God and man.
This is the same figure to which Christ referred
in His conversation with Nathanael, when He said,
"Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God
ascending and descending upon the Son of man."
John 1:51. In the apostasy, man alienated himself
from God; earth was cut off from heaven. Across the
gulf that lay between, there could be no communion.
But through Christ, earth is again linked with heaven.
With His own merits, Christ has bridged the gulf
which sin had made, so that the ministering angels
can hold communion with man. Christ connects fallen
man in his weakness and helplessness with the Source
of infinite power. [p. 21]
But in vain are men's dreams of progress, in vain
all efforts for the uplifting of humanity, if they
neglect the one Source of hope and help for the fallen
race. "Every good gift and every perfect gift" (James
1:17) is from God. There is no true excellence of
character apart from Him. And the only way to God
is Christ. He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the
life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
The heart of God yearns over His earthly children
with a love stronger than death. In giving up His
Son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift.
The Saviour's life and death and intercession, the
ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the
Father working above and through all, the unceasing
interest of heavenly beings,—all are enlisted in
behalf of man's redemption.
Oh, let us contemplate the amazing sacrifice that
has been made for us! Let us try to appreciate the
labor and energy that Heaven is expending to reclaim
the lost, and bring them back to the Father's house.
Motives stronger, and agencies more powerful, could
never be brought into operation; the exceeding
rewards for right-doing, the enjoyment of heaven, the
society of the angels, the communion and love of
God and His Son, the elevation and extension of all
our powers throughout eternal ages—are these not
mighty incentives and encouragements to urge us
to give the heart's loving service to our Creator and
And, on the other hand, the judgments of God
pronounced against sin, the inevitable retribution, the [p. 22] degradation of our character, and the final destruction,
are presented in God's word to warn us against
the service of Satan.
Shall we not regard the mercy of God? What
more could He do? Let us place ourselves in right
relation to Him who has loved us with amazing love.
Let us avail ourselves of the means provided for us
that we may be transformed into His likeness, and be
restored to fellowship with the ministering angels, to
harmony and communion with the Father and the Son.
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