Christ Our Righteousness and Justification by Faith
A compilation of quotes from Ellen G. White
www.PresentTruthMag.org
Abbreviations to the works of Ellen G. White

AA - The Acts of the Apostles
AH - The Adventist Home
1BC - The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary , Vol. 1 (2BC etc., for Vols. 2-7)
CD - Counsels on Diet and Foods
CG - Child Guidance
CH - Counsels on Health
ChS - Christian Service
CM - Colporteur Ministry
COL - Christ's Object Lessons
CS - Counsels on Stewardship
CSW - Counsels on Sabbath School Work
CT - Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students
CW - Counsels to Writers and Editors
DA - The Desire of Ages
Ed - Education
Ev - Evangelism
EW. - Early Writings
FE - Fundamentals of Christian Education
FL - The Faith I Live By
GC - The Great Controversy
GW - Gospel Workers
HP - In Heavenly Places
KH - That I May Know Him
LS - Life Sketches of Ellen G. White
MB - Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing
MH - The Ministry of Healing
ML - My Life Today
MM - Medical Ministry
MYP - Messages to Young People
OHC - Our High Calling
PK - Prophets and Kings
PP - Patriarchs and Prophets
QD - Questions on Doctrine
RH - Review and Herald
SC - Steps to Christ
SD - Sons and Daughters of God
1SG - Spiritual Gifts , Vol. 1
2SG - Spiritual Gifts , Vol. 2
3SG - Spiritual Gifts , Vol. 3
4SG-a - Spiritual Gifts , Vol. 4, part 1
4SG-b - Spiritual Gifts , Vol. 4, part 2
SL - The Sanctified Life
1SM - Selected Messages , Book 1
2SM - Selected Messages , Book 2
1SP - The Spirit of Prophecy , Vol 1 (2SP etc., for Vols. 2-4)
SR - The Story of Redemption
ST - Signs of the Times
1T - Testimonies , Vol. 1 (2T etc., for Vols. 2-9)
Te - Temperance
TM - Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers
1TT - Testimony Treasures , Vol. 1 (2TT etc., for Vols. 2 and 3)
WM - Welfare Ministry

 

 

Christ Our Righteousness and Justification by Faith (editor's note: long quotes are indented)

The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, is a precious thought. The enemy of God and man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken . If he can control minds so that doubt and unbelief and darkness shall compose the experience of those who claim to be the children of God, he can overcome them with temptation. That simple faith that takes God at his word should be encouraged. God's people must have that faith which will lay hold of divine power; "for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." [ Ephesians 2:8 .] Those who believe that God for Christ's sake has forgiven their sins should not, through temptation, fail to press on to fight the good fight of faith. Their faith should grow stronger until their Christian life, as well as their words, shall declare, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin."

If we would have the spirit and power of the third angel's message, we must present the law and the gospel together, for they go hand in hand. As a power from beneath is stirring up the children of disobedience to make void the law of God, and to trample upon the faith of Christ as our righteousness, a power from above is moving upon the hearts of those who are loyal, to exalt the law, and to lift up Jesus as a complete Saviour. Unless divine power is brought into the experience of the people of God, false theories and erroneous ideas will take minds captive, Christ and his righteousness will be dropped out of the experience of many, and their faith will be without power or life. Such will not have a daily, living experience of the love of God in the heart; and if they do not zealously repent, they will be among those who are represented by the Laodiceans, who will be spewed out of the mouth of God.

The Lord can do little for his people, because of their limited faith. The ministers have not presented Christ in his fullness to the people, either in the churches or in new fields, and the people have not an intelligent faith. They have not been instructed as they should have been, that Christ is unto them salvation and righteousness. It is Satan's studied purpose to keep souls from believing in Christ as their only hope; for the blood of Christ that cleanseth from all sin is efficacious in behalf of those only who believe in its merit, and who present it before the Father as did Abel in his offering.

The offering of Cain was an offense to God, because it was a Christless offering. The burden of our message is not only the commandments of God, but the faith of Jesus. A bright light shines upon our pathway today, and it leads to increased faith in Jesus. We must receive every ray of light, and walk in it, that it may not be our condemnation in the Judgment. Our duties and obligations become more important as we obtain more distinct views of truth. Light makes manifest and reproves the errors that were concealed in darkness; and as light comes, the life and character of men must change correspondingly, to be in harmony with it. Sins that were once sins of ignorance because of the blindness of the mind, can no more be indulged in without incurring guilt. As increased light is given, men must be reformed, elevated, and refined by it, or they will be more perverse and stubborn than before the light came.Gospel Workers, page 103-105, Dated 1892

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"The present messagejustification by faithis a message from God; it bears the divine credentials, for its fruit is unto holiness. RH Sept. 3, 1889

"Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, 'It is the third angel's message in verity. ' 1SM 372

"The doctrine of justification by faith has been lost sight of by many who have professed to believe the third angel's message." RH Aug. 13, 1889

". . . this I do know, that our churches are dying for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and on kindred truths." GW 301

God will give additional light, and old truths will be recovered, and replaced in the frame-work of truth; and wherever the laborers go, they will triumph. As Christ's ambassadors, they are to search the Scriptures, to seek for the truths that have been hidden beneath the rubbish of error. And every ray of light received is to be communicated to others. One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,—-Christ our righteousness.... SD 259

"By His perfect obedience He has satisfied the claims of the law, and my only hope is found in looking to Him as my Substitute and Surety, who obeyed the law perfectly for me."   1 S.M.   396 (See also   S.D.   240)

"He was born without a taint of sin..."   Q.D. 657

". . . no trace of sin marred the image of God within Him."   D.A.   71

"He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions. As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil."   2T   202

"He (Christ) was to take His position at the head of humanity by taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man."   7 B.C.   925

"We should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ... This holy Substitute is able to save to the uttermost."   1 S.M.   256

"Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin... not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity."   5 B.C.   1128

"Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to, corruption rested upon Christ."   ibid.

"He... became like one of us except in sin..."   Q.D . 657

"He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions."   Q.D.   659

"...taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man."   7 B.C.   925

"Because of sin his (Adam 's) posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience . . . . . but not for one moment was there in Him (Christ) one evil propensity."   5 B.C.   1728

"Parents have a more serious charge than they imagine. The inheritance of children is that of sin. Sin has separated them from God. Jesus gave His life that He might unite the broken links to God. As related to the first Adam, men receive from him nothing but guilt and the sentence of death. But Christ steps in and passes over the ground where Adam fell, enduring every test in man's behalf. . . . Christ's perfect example and the grace of God are given him to enable him to train his sons and daughters to be sons and daughters of God. It is by teaching them, line upon line, precept upon precept, how to give the heart and will up to Christ that Satan's power is broken.  CG 475.3, 476

"None of the apostles and prophets ever claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived the nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God has honored with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their nature."   A.A.   561

"It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin."   5 B. C.   1128, 1129

"There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of Christ."   Ibid

" . . . let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves; for it cannot be."   5 B.C.   1129

"The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth, (also) the first and second angels' messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, 'The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.' One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God , seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God's law. The non-immortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. All this cry about changing the old landmarks is all imaginary."   C. W. E.   30

"Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself."   7 B.C . 933

"But that which God required of Adam in paradise before the fall, He requires in this age of the world from those who would follow Him—perfect obedience to His law. But righteousness without a blemish can be obtained only through the imputed righteousness of Christ." R. & H., Sept. 3, 1901 .

"Under the covenant of grace God requires from man just what He required in Eden - perfect obedience. The believing sinner, through his divine Substitute and Surety renders obedience to the law of God." S.T ., Sept. 5, 1892 .

"The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature... No deep-seated love for Jesus can dwell in the heart that does not realize its own sinfulness." S.C . 70

"The more closely they contemplate the life and character of Jesus, the more deeply will they feel their own sinfulness, and the less will they be disposed to claim holiness of heart or to boast of their sanctification." S.C . 79

"But he who is truly seeking for holiness of heart and life delights in the law of God, and mourns only that he falls so far short of meeting its requirements." S.C . 81

"The more we contemplate the character of Christ, and the more we experience of His saving power, the more keenly shall we realize our own weakness and imperfection, and the more earnestly shall we look to Him as our strength and our Redeemer." S.C . 83

"Those who are really seeking to perfect Christian character will never indulge the thought that they are sinless. Their lives may be irreproachable, they may be living representatives of the truth which they have accepted; but the more they discipline their minds to dwell upon the character of Christ, and the nearer they approach to His divine image, the more clearly will they discern its spotless perfection, and the more deeply will they feel their own defects." Ibid , 7

"We cannot say, I am sinless, till this vile body is changed and fashioned like unto His glorious body." S.T ., March 23, 1888

"The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes." S.C. 64

"No deep-seated love for Jesus can dwell in the heart that does not realize its own sinfulness." Ibid.

"Are you in Christ? Not if you do not acknowledge yourselves erring, helpless, condemned sinners". 5T 48

"It is because of the imputed righteousness of Christ that we are counted precious by God." O.H.C. 53

"You will meet with those who will say, "You are too much excited over the matter. You are too much in earnest. You should not be reaching for the righteousness of Christ, and making so much of that. You should preach the law." As a people we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa, that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. We must not trust in our own merits at all, but in the merits of Jesus of Nazareth. RH Mar. 11, 1890

"Christ has not been presented in connection with a law as a faithful and merciful high priest, who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He has not been lifted up before the sinner as the divine sacrifice. His work as sacrifice, substitute, and surety, has been only coldly and casually dwelt upon; but this is what the sinner needs to know. It is Christ in His fullness as a sin-pardoning Saviour, that the sinner must see; for the unparalleled love of Christ, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, will bring conviction and conversion to the hardened heart. RH Nov. 29, 1892

"The present message—justification by faith—is a message from God; it bears the divine credentials, for its fruit is unto holiness. RH Sept. 3, 1889

"Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, 'It is the third angel's message in verity. ' 1SM 372

"The doctrine of justification by faith has been lost sight of by many who have professed to believe the third angel's message." RH Aug. 13, 1889

". . . this I do know, that our churches are dying for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and on kindred truths." GW 301

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"The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining, as a people, false ideas of justification by faith. . . . The law of God has been largely dwelt upon, and has been presented to congregations, almost as destitute of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relation to the law as was the offering of Cain. I have been shown that many have been kept from the faith because of the mixed, confused ideas of salvation, because the ministers have worked in a wrong manner to reach hearts. The point which has been urged upon my mind for years is the imputed righteousness of Christ. I have wondered that this matter was not made the subject of discourses in our churches throughout the land, when the matter has been kept so constantly urged upon me, and I have made it the subject of nearly every discourse and talk that I have given to the people. . . .

"There is not a point that needs to be dwelt upon more earnestly, repeated more frequently, or established more firmly in the minds of all, than the impossibility of fallen man meriting anything by his own best good works. Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone. . . .

"Let the subject be made distinct and plain that it is not possible to effect anything in our standing before God or in the gift of God to us through creature merit. Should faith and works purchase the gift of salvation for anyone, then the Creator is under obligation to the creature. Here is an opportunity for falsehood to be accepted as truth. If any man can merit salvation by anything he may do, then he is in the same position as the Catholic to do penance for his sins. Salvation, then, is partly of debt, that may be earned as wages. If man cannot, by any of his good works, merit salvation, then it must be wholly of grace, received by man as a sinner because he receives and believes in Jesus. It is wholly a free gift. Justification by faith is placed beyond controversy. And all this controversy is ended, as soon as the matter is settled that the merits of fallen man in his good works can never procure eternal life for him.

"The light given me of God places this important subject above any question in my mind. Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do. . . .

"There has been too little educating in clear lines upon this point. . . .

"All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee." No work of man can merit for him the pardoning love of God, but the love of God pervading the soul will lead him to do those things which were always required of God and that he should do with pleasure. He has done only that which duty ever required of him. . . .

"Discussions may be entered into by mortals strenuously advocating creature merit, and each man striving for the supremacy, but they simply do not know that all the time, in principle and character, they are misrepresenting the truth as it is in Jesus. They are in a fog of bewilderment. . . .

"I ask, How can I present this matter as it is? The Lord Jesus imparts all the powers, all the grace, all the penitence, all the inclination, all the pardon of sins, in presenting His righteousness for man to grasp by living faith—which is also the gift of God. If you would gather together everything that is good and holy and noble and lovely in man, and then present the subject to the angels of God as acting a part in the salvation of the human soul or in merit, the proposition would be rejected as treason. Standing in the presence of their Creator and looking upon the unsurpassed glory which enshrouds His person, they are looking upon the Lamb of God given from the foundation of the world to a life of humiliation, to be rejected of sinful men, to be despised, to be crucified. Who can measure the infinity of the sacrifice!

"Christ for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. And any works that man can render to God will be far less than nothingness. My requests are made acceptable only because they are laid upon Christ's righteousness. The idea of doing anything to merit the grace of pardon is fallacy from beginning to end.

"Lord, in my hand no price I bring,  
Simply to Thy cross I cling. . ."

"We hear so many things preached in regard to the conversion of the soul that are not the truth. Men are educated to think that if a man repents he shall be pardoned, supposing that repentance is the way, the door, into heaven; that there is a certain assured value in repentance to buy for himself forgiveness. Can man repent of himself? No more than he can pardon himself. Tears, sighs, resolutions—all these are but the proper exercise of the faculties that God has given to man, and the turning from sin in the amendment of a life which is God's. Where is the merit in the man to earn his salvation, or to place before God something which is valuable and excellent? Can an offering of money, houses, lands, place yourself on the deserving list? Impossible!

"There is danger in regarding justification by faith as placing merit on faith. When you take the righteousness of Christ as a free gift you are justified freely through the redemption of Christ. What is faith? "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is an assent of the understanding to God's words which binds the heart in willing consecration and service to God, who gave the understanding, who moved on the heart, who first drew the mind to view Christ on the cross of Calvary . Faith is rendering to God the intellectual powers, abandonment of the mind and will to God, and making Christ the only door to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

"When men learn they cannot earn righteousness by their own merit of works, and they look with firm and entire reliance upon Jesus Christ as their only hope, there will not be so much of self and so little of Jesus. Souls and bodies are defiled and polluted by sin, the heart is estranged from God, yet many are struggling in their own finite strength to win salvation by good works. Jesus, they think, will do some of the saving; they must do the rest. They need to see by faith the righteousness of Christ as their only hope for time and for eternity. . . .
"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Here is truth that will unfold the subject to your mind if you do not close it to the rays of light. Eternal life is an infinite gift. This places it outside the possibility of our earning it, because it is infinite. It must necessarily be a gift. . . .

"The absence of devotion, piety, and sanctification of the outer man comes through denying Jesus Christ our righteousness. . . .

". . . . when I see my own brethren in the faith, responsible men, working in darkness, my heart aches. .. .
"While one class pervert the doctrine of justification by faith and neglect to comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God—" If ye love Me , keep My commandments"—there is fully as great an error on the part of those who claim to believe and obey the commandments of God but who place themselves in opposition to the precious rays of light—new to them—reflected from the cross of Calvary. The first class do not see the wondrous things in the law of God for all who are doers of His Word. The others cavil over trivialities, and neglect the weightier matters, mercy and the love of God.

"Many have lost very much in that they have not opened the eyes of their understanding to discern the wondrous things in the law of God. On the one hand, religionists generally have divorced the law and the gospel, while we have, on the other hand, almost done the same from another standpoint. We have not held up before the people the righteousness of Christ and the full significance of His great plan of redemption. We have left out Christ and His matchless love, brought in theories and reasonings, and preached argumentative discourses.

"Unconverted men have stood in the pulpits sermonizing. Their own hearts have never experienced, through a living, clinging, trusting faith, the sweet evidence of the forgiveness of their sins. How then can they preach the love, the sympathy, the forgiveness of God for all sins? How can they say, "Look and live"? Looking at the cross of Calvary , you will have a desire to bear the cross. A world's Redeemer hung upon the cross of Calvary . Behold the Saviour of the world, in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Can any look, and behold the sacrifice of God's dear Son, and their hearts not be melted and broken, ready to surrender to God heart and soul? MS 36, 1890

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"....one interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,—Christ our righteousness." SD 259

"Sinners can be justified by God only when He pardons their sins, remits the punishment they deserve, and treats them as though they were really just and had not sinned, receiving them into divine favor and treating them as if they were righteous. OHC 52

"Grace is unmerited favor. The angels, who know nothing of sin, do not understand what it is to have grace exercised toward them; but our sinfulness calls for the exercise of grace from a merciful God. It was grace that sent our Saviour to seek us as wanderers and bring us back to the fold. 1SM 331, 332

"Grace means favor to one who is undeserving, to one who is lost. The fact that we are sinners, instead of shutting us away from the mercy and love of God, makes the exercise of His love to us a positive necessity in order that we may be saved.   1 SM 347

"Grace is unmerited favor, and the believer is justified without any merit of his own, without any claim to offer to God. 1 SM 398

"By reason of the sacrifice made by Christ for fallen men, God can justly pardon the transgressor who accepts the merits of Christ. Christ was the channel through which the mercy, love, and righteousness might flow from the heart of God to the heart of the sinner. 1SM 396

"How is God reconciled to man?—By the work and merit of Jesus Christ, who . . . put aside everything that would interpose between man and God's pardoning love. The law that man has transgressed is not changed to meet the sinner in his fallen condition, but is made manifest as the transcript of Jehovah's character,—the exponent of His holy will,—and is exalted and magnified in the life and character of Jesus Christ. Yet a way of salvation is provided; for the spotless Lamb of God is revealed as the One who taketh away the sin of the world. Jesus stands in the sinner's place, and takes the guilt of the transgressor upon Himself. Looking upon the sinner's Substitute and Surety, the Lord Jehovah can be just, and yet be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. To him who accepts Christ as his righteousness, as his only hope, pardon is pronounced; for God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. The justice, truth, and holiness of Christ, which are approved by the law of God, form a channel through which mercy may be communicated to the repenting, believing sinner .   SD 239

"What is righteousness?—It is the satisfaction that Christ gave the divine law in our behalf." RH Aug. 21, 1894

"Christ's righteousness alone can avail for his [man's] salvation, and this is the gift of God. 1SM 331

". . . he is justified because of the merit of Christ. . 1SM 398

"We are accepted through Christ's merit alone. . . . 5BC 1122

"No one can be justified by any works of his own. He can be delivered from the guilt of sin, from the condemnation of the law, from the penalty of transgression, only by virtue of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. 1SM 389

"The brand of sin upon the soul can be effaced only through the blood of the atoning Sacrifice. 1SM 371

"The repentant soul realizes that his justification comes because Christ, as his substitute and surety, has died for him, is his atonement and righteousness. 1SM 367

"We must center our hopes of heaven upon Christ alone, because He is our substitute and surety. 1SM 363

"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. Christ is the fragrance, the holy incense which makes your petition acceptable to the Father. Then can you not say:

"Just as I am, without one plea,  
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come." 1SM 332, 333

"We have transgressed the law of God, and by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified. 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, but have everlasting life. 1SM 363

"Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner's account. Christ's righteousness is accepted in place of man's failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness. . . . 1SM 366, 367

By reason of the sacrifice made by Christ for fallen men, God can justly pardon the transgressor who accepts the merits of Christ. . . . Every soul may say: "By His perfect obedience He has satisfied the claims of the law, and my only hope is found in looking to Him as my substitute and surety, who obeyed the law perfectly for me. By faith in His merits I am free from the condemnation of the law. He clothes me with His righteousness, which answers all the demands of the law. I am complete in Him who brings in everlasting righteousness. He presents me to God in the spotless garment of which no thread was woven by any human agent. All is of Christ, and all the glory, honor, and majesty are to be given to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world." 1SM 396

"Through the imputed righteousness of Christ, the sinner may feel that he is pardoned, and may know that the law no more condemns him, because he is in harmony with all its precepts. It is his privilege to count himself innocent when he reads and thinks of the retribution that will fall upon the unbelieving and sinful. By faith he lays hold of the righteousness of Christ. . . . Knowing himself to be a sinner, a transgressor of the holy law of God, he looks to the perfect obedience of Christ, to His death upon Calvary for the sins of the world; and he has the assurance that he is justified by faith in the merit and sacrifice of Christ. He realizes that the law was obeyed in his behalf by the Son of God, and that the penalty of transgression cannot fall upon the believing sinner. The active obedience of Christ clothes the believing sinner with the righteousness that meets the demands of the law. SD 240

"Repentance is associated with faith, and is urged in the gospel as essential to salvation. Paul preached repentance. He said, "I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." There is no salvation without repentance. No impenitent sinner can believe with his heart unto righteousness. Repentance is described by Paul as a godly sorrow for sin, that "worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of." This repentance has in it nothing of the nature of merit, but it prepares the heart for the acceptance of Christ as the only Saviour, the only hope of the lost sinner. 1SM 365

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"Not through controversy and discussion is the soul enlightened. We must look and live. Nicodemus received the lesson, and carried it with him. He searched the Scriptures in a new way, not for the discussion of a theory, but in order to receive life for the soul. He began to see the kingdom of heaven as he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

"There are thousands today who need to learn the same truth that was taught to Nicodemus by the uplifted serpent. They depend on their obedience to the law of God to commend them to His favor. When they are bidden to look to Jesus, and believe that He saves them solely through His grace, they exclaim, "How can these things be?"

"Like Nicodemus, we must be willing to enter into life in the same way as the chief of sinners. Than Christ, "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Through faith we receive the grace of God; but faith is not our Saviour. It earns nothing. It is the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ, and appropriate His merits, the remedy for sin. And we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel , and forgiveness of sins. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon.

"How, then, are we to be saved? "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness," so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart and we can say with Christ, "I delight to do Thy will, O my God." DA 175, 176

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"But he who is truly seeking for holiness of heart and life delights in the law of God, and mourns only that he falls so far short of meeting its requirements. SL 81

"So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience.

"None of the apostles and prophets ever claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived the nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God has honored with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their nature. They have put no confidence in the flesh, have claimed no righteousness of their own, but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ.

"So will it be with all who behold Christ. The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves. There will be a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the heart before Him. At every advance step in our Christian experience our repentance will deepen. AA 560, 561

"No deep-seated love for Jesus can dwell in the heart that does not realize its own sinfulness. SC 65

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"The Lord is constantly at work to open the understanding, to quicken the perceptions, that man may have a right sense of sin and of the far-reaching claims of God's law. The unconverted man thinks of God as unloving, as severe, and even revengeful; His presence is thought to be a constant restraint, His character an expression of "Thou shalt not." His service is regarded as full of gloom and hard requirements. But when Jesus is seen upon the cross, as the gift of God because He loved man, the eyes are opened to see things in a new light. God as revealed in Christ is not a severe judge, an avenging tyrant, but a merciful and loving Father.

"As we see Jesus dying upon the cross to save lost man, the heart echoes the words of John, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." There is nothing that more decidedly distinguishes the Christian from the worldly man than the estimate he has of God.

"Some workers in the cause of God have been too ready to hurl denunciations against the sinner; the grace and love of the Father in giving His Son to die for the sinful race have been put in the background. The teacher needs the grace of Christ upon his own soul, in order to make known to the sinner what God really is—a Father waiting with yearning love to receive the returning prodigal, not hurling at him accusations in wrath, but preparing a festival of joy to welcome his return.

"O that we might all learn the way of the Lord in winning souls to Christ! We should learn and teach the precious lessons in the light that shineth from the sacrifice upon the cross of Calvary . There is but one way that leads from ruin, and continuously ascends, faith all the time reaching beyond the darkness into the light, until it rests upon the throne of God. All who have learned this lesson have accepted the light which has come to their understanding. To them this upward way is not a dark, uncertain passage; it is not the way of finite minds, not a path cut out by human device, a path in which toll is exacted from every traveler.

"You cannot gain an entrance by penance nor by any works that you can do. No, God Himself has the honor of providing a way, and it is so complete, so perfect, that man cannot, by any works he may do, add to its perfection. It is broad enough to receive the greatest sinner if he repents, and it is so narrow, so holy, lifted up so high, that sin cannot be admitted there. 1SM 183, 184

"The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God's right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ's propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable. Then gracious answers are returned.

"Oh, that all may see that everything in obedience, in penitence, in praise and thanksgiving, must be placed upon the glowing fire of the righteousness of Christ. The fragrance of this righteousness ascends like a cloud around the mercy seat. 1SM 344

Vicarious Atonement Statement

Christ came to reveal to the world the knowledge of the character of God, of which the world was destitute. This knowledge was the chief treasure which he committed to his disciples to be communicated to men. The truth of God had been hidden beneath a mass of tradition and error. The sacrificial offerings which had been instituted to teach men concerning the vicarious atonement of Christ, to teach them that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, had become to them a stumbling-block. All that was spiritual and holy was perverted to their darkened understanding. RH November 1, 1892

 

Editor's Note: For more quotations on Ellen G. White's understanding of the relationship between Justification and Sanctification and how they relate to each other, click on these links: 1. Justification, 2. Sanctification, 3. Law and Gospel.