Glimpses Of The Gospel

March 11  Glimpses Of The Gospel


By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God-not because of works, lest any man should boast. Eph. 2:8, 9, RSV.

Bates may have been able to convince the other two founders of Seventh-day Adventism regarding the Sabbath, but they didn't buy into his legalism.

James White, for example, was explicitly clear when he wrote: "Let it be distinctly understood that there is no salvation in the law, that is, there is no redeeming quality in the law."

For White it was all-important to have "living active faith in Jesus." Speaking of the Millerite message in 1850, he declared that it "led us to the feet of Jesus, to seek forgiveness of all our sins, and a free and full salvation through the blood of Christ."

White James appealed to people to "obey and honor [God] by keeping his commandments," he also wrote that "we must seek a full and free pardon of all our transgressions and errors, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, now while he pleads his blood before the Father."

Ellen was of the same mind as her husband. Especially enlightening is her use of the rich young ruler of Matthew 19 throughout her long ministry. It varied context as saying that the way to gain heaven was to keep the commandments.

Rather, invariably she pointed beyond what she called the "external and superficial" understanding of the young ruler (and Bates) to be deeper need of a total transformation that could come only through a personal relationship with Christ.

To her the lesson of Matthew 19:16, 17 was not that one could gain salvation by the law, but that the rich young ruler had totally failed. While it was true, she pointed out, that he obeyed the external aspects of the Ten Commandments, he did not see that the law was rooted in the love of God. For her the rich young ruler had not been saved by keeping the commandments, but was totally lost(see, e.g., 2SG 239-243; DA518-523;COL 390-392).

Dear friend, one of the most important udnerstandings we need for daily living is the relationship of the law to the saving gospel. We will review the gospel message extensively later this year. But we need to begin our journey on the topic today.

Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." Proverbs 18:10(TFMB 119).