Steps to Christ
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 6: Faith and Acceptance
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As your conscience has been quickened by the
Holy Spirit, you have seen something of the
evil of sin, of its power, its guilt, its woe; and
you look upon it with abhorrence. You feel that sin
has separated you from God, that you are in bondage
to the power of evil. The more you struggle to escape,
the more you realize your helplessness. Your motives
are impure; your heart is unclean. You see that your
life has been filled with selfishness and sin. You long
to be forgiven, to be cleansed, to be set free.
Harmony with God, likeness to Him—what can you do
to obtain it?
It is peace that you need—Heaven's forgiveness
and peace and love in the soul. Money cannot buy
it, intellect cannot procure it, wisdom cannot attain
to it; you can never hope, by your own efforts, to
secure it. But God offers it to you as a gift, "without
money and without price." Isaiah 55:1. It is yours
if you will but reach out your hand and grasp it. The
Lord says, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall
be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18. "A new heart also
will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within
you." Ezekiel 36:26.
You have confessed your sins, and in heart put
them away. You have resolved to give yourself to
God. Now go to Him, and ask that He will wash
away your sins and give you a new heart. Then [p. 50] believe that He does this because He has promised.
This is the lesson which Jesus taught while He was
on earth, that the gift which God promises us, we
must believe we do receive, and it is ours. Jesus
healed the people of their diseases when they had
faith in His power; He helped them in the things
which they could see, thus inspiring them with
confidence in Him concerning things which they could
not see—leading them to believe in His power to
forgive sins. This He plainly stated in the healing
of the man sick with palsy: "That ye may know that
the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins,
(then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take
up thy bed, and go unto thine house." Matthew 9:6.
So also John the evangelist says, speaking of the
miracles of Christ, "These are written, that ye might
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and
that believing ye might have life through His name."
From the simple Bible account of how Jesus
healed the sick, we may learn something about how
to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins. Let us
turn to the story of the paralytic at Bethesda. The
poor sufferer was helpless; he had not used his limbs
for thirty-eight years. Yet Jesus bade him, "Rise,
take up thy bed, and walk." The sick man might
have said, "Lord, if Thou wilt make me whole, I will
obey Thy word." But, no, he believed Christ's word,
believed that he was made whole, and he made the
effort at once; he willed to walk, and he did walk.
He acted on the word of Christ, and God gave the
power. He was made whole. [p. 51]
In like manner you are a sinner. You cannot
atone for your past sins; you cannot change your
heart and make yourself holy. But God promises
to do all this for you through Christ. You believe
that promise. You confess your sins and give yourself
to God. You will to serve Him. Just as surely
as you do this, God will fulfill His word to you. If
you believe the promise,—believe that you are
forgiven and cleansed,—God supplies the fact; you are
made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power
to walk when the man believed that he was healed.
It is so if you believe it.
Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but
say, "I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but
because God has promised."
Jesus says, "What things soever ye desire, when ye
pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have
them." Mark 11:24. There is a condition to this
promise—that we pray according to the will of God. But
it is the will of God to cleanse us from sin, to make
us His children, and to enable us to live a holy life.
So we may ask for these blessings, and believe that we
receive them, and thank God that we have received
them. It is our privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed,
and to stand before the law without shame or remorse.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them
which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the
flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1.
Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought
with a price. "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 [p. 52] without spot." 1 Peter 1:18, 19. Through this simple
act of believing God, the Holy Spirit has begotten a
new life in your heart. You are as a child born into the
family of God, and He loves you as He loves His Son.
Now that you have given yourself to Jesus, do
not draw back, do not take yourself away from Him,
but day by day say, "I am Christ's; I have given
myself to Him;" and ask Him to give you His Spirit
and keep you by His grace. As it is by giving yourself
to God, and believing Him, that you become His
child, so you are to live in Him. The apostle says,
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk ye in Him." Colossians 2:6.
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