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Back to Justified Walk Sermon Series

It's Legal Anywhere

"I beg you to pray to God that He will show you your nothingness. Only by seeing your nothingness, will you be ready and willing for God to do His marvelous work of justification in your life. Then, and only then, will we see results manifest in our lives. The Fruit of the Spirit will begin to appear." Frank Phillips

These are my own notes and are not a word-for-word transcript of the message. However, by listening multiple times to the sermon and filling in what was missed previously, I have attempted to get as close as I can to what was shared. Quotations have, in many cases, been expanded to the sentences around what the speaker quoted to enable the reader to gain the full impact of what was shared in the sermon. Where the speaker referred to quotations without giving a reference, I have attempted to find the quotation that most closely reflects what was being shared. - © Cheryl Hosford


The next 5 meetings are on the following topics:
Tape 4 - Justification
Tape 5 - Justification
Tape 6 - Power of the will and what place it has in the message of Righteousness by faith, how dependent we are on the power of the will. Are we able to use that power.
Tape 7 & 8 - Sanctification - relationship to justification and Righteousness by Faith

After you have a complete picture of this, you will see some of the truths that have warmed the hearts of thousands of people and certainly have warmed my own heart.

I would like to call your attention to the following verse:

Romans 5:1-3
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

It goes without saying, whenever Paul begins by useing the word "therefore", he is simply saying "In conclusion of what I have said before." We know that what Paul has previously stated in Chapter 4 is directly with Justification by faith.

We have provided two handouts to accompany this sermon. One is a general handout, entitled Manuscript 36. That is Review & Herald, March 3, 1977. This came out in this Review and the one before, the last one in April. In the second part, are some writings that I have never seen before. I have found them to be very helpful indeed.

With that thought in mind, lets look at what Paul is saying in Romans 5:3

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

What is he saying here? In view of what he said in verse 2 - "By whom also we have access by faith, into this grace wherein we stand."

There are some terminologies that Paul uses that we need understand here:

Definitions:

  • Faith -
  • Grace -
  • Glory -
  • Imputed -
  • Imparted -

Some of these seem a bit rediculous for us to go through, and yet we must understand, for you will notice in Manuscript 36, Ellen White says, "There is danger in regarding justification by faith as placing merit on faith." This is a real danger in every Christian community of faith.

Manuscript 36 -

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." Heb. 11:1. 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. {1888 818.1}

It is easy for us to think of faith as quantitative. We think "This person has a great amount of faith and I have so little. How can I ever reach the state of justification with the little faith I have."

We often misunderstand faith from the standpoint of its application - not what it is - that too is misunderstood, but that is not where the great misunderstanding is. The great misunderstanding is it's application. We think that it is our faith that is so important- it is to a degree. According to God's Word and also according to the writings of Ellen White, it is Christ's faith in us that is the important factor, not our faith in Him. Our faith in Him must be of sufficient quantity or quality that we reach out to Him.

When Jesus came down from the mount of transfiguration, his disciples were moaning and groaning because they had tried to cast out a demon from a boy, whose father had brought him to the disciples. The demon had only mocked them and they were embarrased. The father came to Jesus and said, "If you can do anything, please do it." Jesus turned to him and said, "I will, if you will believe." The father replied, "I believe, help my unbelief." How much faith? Not very much, but it was enough to say "I believe, you help my unbelief." And the miracle happened. He was totally freed from demon possession.

Many places in Scripture, faith is talked about as being the faith of Jesus. Paul used this term frequently. The following verse is typical of a dozen different places that we will not take time to go through now.

Galatians 2:16, 20

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Then Paul gives us in verse 20 that marvelous statement of his own experience.

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I am crucified with Christ: not I will be, but I am.

Modern translation refer to this as faith in Christ, not by Christ. I choose to follow the way that Ellen White used them - and she always used them by quoting the King James Version, where there seemed to be a clarity of versions in other versions. She often did use other versions. Her own application of these verses indicates that this is the way that Paul wanted us to believe.

When we understand that this faith is His Faith, then we can understand why in Romans 12:3, "according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." We often quote this verse as "God hath dealt to every man a measure of faith." But it says "the measure of faith."

When we are teaching the Sabbath truth and we quote from Exodus 20, and one says "Remember athe Sabbath day." We need to be as explicit and exacting when we quote from Romans 12:3. Sabbath day," we say "No, that's not right. It is

The definite article "the" points to a definite possitive amount. God has given to every man the measure of faith. How much is that? Simply enough faith to believe in Him. That's all. That's all it takes. That's what Jesus said to this father, and that's what He says to every one of us. It isn't faith of any great quantity. It is the quality that's what is important.


FAITH

Faith includes not only belief,
but also trust. Belief alone is
not faith. When it is coupled
with trust, then we have faith.
That doesn't take quantity,
it takes quality.

Faith includes not only belief, but also trust. Faith is not faith unless it includes both of these connected together. The devils believe and tremble - that is not faith. Belief alone is not faith. When it is coupled with trust, then we have faith. That doesn't take quantity, it takes quality.

1 Selected Messages, p. 389

The sinner can be justified only through faith in the atonement made through God's dear Son, who became a sacrifice for the sins of the guilty world. 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. Faith is the only condition upon which justification can be obtained, and faith includes not only belief but trust.

Manuscript 36, section 2

There may be a fervor of labor and an intense affection, high and noble achievement of intellect, a breadth of understanding, and the humblest self abasement, laid at the feet of our Redeemer; but there is not one jot more than the grace and talent first given of God. There must be nothing less given than duty prescribes, and there cannot be one jot more given than they have first received; and all must be laid upon the fire of Christ's righteousness to cleanse it from its earthly odor before it rises in a cloud of fragrant incense to the great Jehovah and is accepted as a sweet savor. {1888 815.3}
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! {1888 816.1}

Everything comes from God. There is not one thing that we can think of that is not a gift from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Every solitary trace of righteousness by faith - both in justification and in sanctification - is a total gift from God and man's relationship to that gift. That is his trusting that makes it a reality in his life.

Romans 2:5 - By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Grace - what do you think of? Unmerited favor? Is that a definition of grace? No. It doesn't define grace, but tells us how it comes to us - it is unmerited and it is favor. That is not really a definition of what it is. There is only one place that I know of in the writings of Ellen White where she defines what grace actually is.

Christ's Object Lessons, p. 271


GRACE

Christ's character - The character of God freely given to me.

To learn of Christ means to receive His grace, which is His character. But those who do not appreciate and utilize the precious opportunities and sacred influences granted them on earth, are not fitted to take part in the pure devotion of heaven. Their characters are not molded according to the divine similitude. By their own neglect they have formed a chasm which nothing can bridge. Between them and the righteous there is a great gulf fixed.

To learn of Christ means to receive His grace, which is His character.

Grace: Christ's character.

With this in mind,

Romans 2:5 - By whom also we have access by (His) faith into this grace (His Character) wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

If this is true, then what A. G. Daniels

Christ Our Righteousness, p. 98

Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hard-hearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory. The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven. - Review and Herald, June 4, 1895.


IMPUTED
RIGHTEOUSNESS
(Justification)

The imputed righteousness is what is totally and completely credited to us, and in reality, becomes a legal manner.

It does not in one iota change man. Justification does not change man. It only changes His standing before God.

It changes my record to read "Just as if I had never sinned", but does not change my character.

The imputed righteousness is what is totally and completely credited to us, and in reality, becomes a legal manner. It is totally and completely done for us and does not in one iota change man. Justification does not change man. It only changes His standing before God. It changes the record, but does not change the person.

It is as though each of us was standing on death row, before we are born again. The governor comes and hands to you a pardon. What effect does this pardon have upon your character? None. It changes your standing before the law, but it doesn't change your character even a little bit.

The same happens with us. When we are justified, we are counted just as though we had never sinned. Justification wipes out the past record, makes our record read "Just as if I had never sinned." But it doesn't leave me any different than I was before.

It is probably one of the greatest and least understandable paradoxes of Christian living. The Christian life is made up of paradoxes. The Bible teaches

  • We live by dying.
  • We win by losing.
  • Victory comes through defeat.
  • The battle is won by surrendering.
  • Success comes by Failure.
  • Strength comes through weakness.


The most marvelous paradox is this: God finishes His work before He begins it.

On my record, it reads, "Just as if I had never sinned." - That is perfection. There is no way that sanctification can add even one thing to this.

His imputed righteousness - justification - comes instantly.

This is what the Bible teaches - all the way through. But the most marvelous paradox is this one:

  • God finishes His work before He begins it.

When God justifies you, He gives you a completed work. Just as if you had never sinned. Elder E.L. Minsion, a very dear friend of mine, used this as a favorite saying. "Just as if I had never sinned." He got it from Ellen White, of course, but it hit me with such gigantic force. That is perfection. Is there anything that you could add to that? What would you want to add? Does Sanctification add anything to it? No. There is no way that Sanctification can add even one thing to this.

Ellen White makes it crystal clear.

RH 1893, Christ our Righteousness, p. 99

Jesus is our great High Priest in heaven. And what is he doing?--He is making intercession and atonement for his people who believe in him. Through his imputed righteousness, they are accepted of God, as those who are manifesting to the world that they acknowledge allegiance to God, keeping all his commandments.

His imputed righteousness - justification - comes instantly, as acknowledging allegiance to God, keeping all His commandments.

Christ our Righteousness

We should study the life of our Redeemer, for he is the only perfect example for men. We should contemplate the infinite sacrifice of Calvary, and behold the exceeding sinfulness of sin and the righteousness of the law. You will come from a concentrated study of the theme of redemption strengthened and ennobled. Your comprehension of the character of God will be deepened; and with the whole plan of salvation clearly defined in your mind, you will be better able to fulfill your divine commission. From a sense of thorough conviction, you can then testify to men of the immutable character of the law manifested by the death of Christ on the cross, the malignant nature of sin, and the righteousness of God in justifying the believer in Jesus, on condition of his future obedience to the statutes of God's government in heaven and earth. {RH, April 24, 1888 par. 15}

I recently attended a meeting where Jeffrey Paxton spoke. I was impressed with the scholarly study he has done. During a question and answer session, a boy asked several questions related to the topic. He then asked, "Can you tell me why Christ had to die?" Jeffrey Paxton then spent 30 minutes talking about it, but he never did come to a satisfactory explanation.

Unless you have a firm conviction of the immutability of the law, you simply cannot come to a positive definition of why Christ came to die. "You will come from a concentrated study ... with a clear understanding of the immutability of the law manifested by the death of Christ on the cross." That is what is actually at the heart of the cross, and the malignant nature of sin - and now this amazine sentence. "and the righteousness of God in justifying the believer in Jesus, on condition of his future obedience to the statutes of God's government in heaven and earth. "


Jesus Christ justifies you on condition of your future obedience both in heaven and on earth.

Can you believe that? Jesus Christ justifies you on condition of your future obedience both in heaven and on earth. Now, who has the faith here? Whose faith is this? It's not my faith, and I don't think it is your faith. If the Son of God is going to justify me on that kind of thing, then He is working on the highest principle of education.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if your instructors in school would give you an "A" at the beginning of the course? I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you would earn the "A" before the course was ended. God deals with us on that basis. He gives to us a perfect record, and He does it based on my future obedience.

Everytime I read this, I sit back and wonder, "Lord, how can You do this? I don't understand it." Do you? I can't understand it at all, but that is what He says.

Justification is actually explained for us in:

Romans 3:26
"To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness (God's Righteousness) : that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

Before God could do the work of justifying us, Christ had to die. You say, "Abraham was justified," and that is true. and "Jesus Christ was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8." Christ's death was as real at the beginning of the world as it was when He came down to His real death 4000 years later. We are told that Christ saw every step of the way from the cradle to the cross before He laid aside His heavenly robe in heaven to come down here and become a man. He saw everything and went through it all in the heavenly courts above. Christ's knowledge actually is as great and as real and the reality. The only difference is that you and I really needed to be convinced, and the price must be paid in such a way that Lucifer in reality could never claim any unjust or illegal action of Christ in His redemption plan. He could never call "foul" to any act of Christ, so Jesus, in order to be just, paid the price and met the law which said that the wages of sin is death. Someone had to pay that price.

With that in mind, justification is a legal work. Man must seek for someone who legally can take care of this work in His behalf. If you have a legal problem, you go to a lawyer - one who is qualified and legally trained and licensed to perform that legal task.

On the cross of calvary, Jesus paid the redemptive price for man and thus "earned the right" to be our representative before the Father. (7 Bible Commentary, p. 468; Desire of Ages, p. 744) He paid that price before the foundations of the world were laid - for He was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. It became practical to you and me and to the universe when he died in AD 31.

On the cross of calvary, Jesus paid the redemptive price for man and thus "earned the right" to be our representative before the Father. What a price! What a price He had to pay in order to simply credit to you and me His character. How we should appreciate this marvelous, unspeakable gift!

Romans 5:2
"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."


When we are justified, God wants us to stand in that position of justified children of God. We do not grow into God's grace, but we grow in His grace (in His character.)

When we are justified, God wants us to stand in that position of justified children of God. We do not grow into God's grace, but we grow in His grace. There is a vast difference. Justification is actually accomplished by God crediting to us His character, which is His grace; or His grace, which is His character.

In that, we become God's ambassadors, and He says, "Stand in My grace, in My character as my representative." Is that the reason that in Christ Object Lesson, p. 69, it says, "Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. "

Jesus is not waiting for the gospel to be carried to the entire world. That could be taken care of in a very short time. He is not waiting for anything that we can or will do by way of proclamation of this message. You say, "That's heresy." Let it be so. For if we read correctly "When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people," so that in reality God can work through them to do the finishing of the work.

Ellen White says that when this message, called the third angel's message, neither this message of Justification by faith, which is the third angel's message in verity, is actually a part of God's people, we will see a work done very similar to the work of the first church on this earth.

When was that first church? It was the first church that the apostles belonged to. That was the church of Ephesus. That was the church that Paul belonged to, if he belonged to a church. It was in reality that church that Paul wrote to in Colossians 1:23 "which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;"

Ellen White says that was literally fulfilled. From the day of Pentecost, to the time that Paul wrote this, it was approximately 38 years. How long have we been trying to preach the gospel? Doing it our way, we have been preaching it at least 138 years. There are more people to be warned than when we started. We are still deeper in the hole when we began. We will be there until we begin doing God's work in His way.

The gospel went so rapidly then, not because they had televisions, radio, airplanes, automobiles, motorcycles, or even a printing press. The Scripture says that everywhere men went, they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.

When you go out in the world today, do men take knowledge of you, that you have been with Jesus? It wasn't a matter of going and knocking at the door. It was a matter of associating with men and women, and they said, "something is different about this person, and they become attracted." That is what they did back then. I have literally seen this happen when individuals accept this message of Righteousness by Faith.

I have thought so many times about what would happen in the world if the 3 million members of the Seventh-day Adventist church were set on fire by this marvelous message. We can then see why it would go as fire through a stubble field. It would go rapidly, and the gospel would be finished.

May we stand in the character of Jesus, so that His character would be reflected in us. Paul goes on.

Romans 5:2
"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."


GLORY

God's character shining
forth in His people.

God's character is first imputedimparted (credited) to me, then it is (implanted) in me.

The light of His goodness, mercy, and truth will be shed throughout the world in the lives of His people.

Christ's Object Lessons, p. 414, 415

So the followers of Christ are to shed light into the darkness of the world. Through the Holy Spirit, God's word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory--His character--is to shine forth in His followers...

There are different great words that refer to "glory". The word, glory, used in Romans 5:2 could easily be interpreted "God's character." We regoice in the hope of the character of God. But, if His character is credited to us, then why are we hoping for it?

God's character is first imputed (credited) to me, then it is imparted (implanted) in me.

It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.


IMPARTED
RIGHTEOUSNESS
(Sanctification)

God's character implanted
in His people.

By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God.

Through this process, His character becomes practically mine. It is only then that I begin to reflect His character in my very actions. In a practical sense my lifestyle begins to change.

Sanctification begins the very moment that justification occurs. It will continue on throughout eternity as I become more and more like Jesus.

It is only in the process of sanctification that the character becomes practically mine. It is only then that I begin to reflect His character in my very actions. Credited to me does not change me. But sanctification begins the very moment that justification occurs. There is no time lag. The moment we are justified, it takes care of the sins of the past. That moment we began to live and God begins the process of sanctification in our lives. That is the process of perfecting in reality. Not that the other isn't real, but in a practical sense my lifestyle begins to change. That's why it is called a work of a lifetime. It will not finish in this lifetime. It will go on throughout eternity, becoming more and more and more like Jesus.

If God would reveal all that needs to be changed in my life at one time, I would say, "Forget it. because there is no way that it can happen." I would be blind to any possibility of it happening. But He reveals to me just a little bit, and He says, "walk in the light." All He asks me to do is walk where the light is. Not going out into the darkness, which some of us try to do. That's why you can't judge me and I can't judge you. That's part of God's marvelous plan. I am rejoicing in the hope that my life will become like His in every way. That is the process of sanctification.

It is something that is foreign to us. Have you learned to rejoice in tribulations yet? Can you understand yet why it needs to become practical in Christian living - not just having it recorded up there in the heavenly courts? It has to become practical, because I have to learn what Jesus did and to rejoice in tribulation. That is in everything give thanks.

That's why we talked last time about giving thanks in everything, because when Christ surrounds me with His robe of righteousness, that is justification. Then with Christ, I recognize that anything that comes to me has to come through that robe. Anything. There is not one thing that touches my life that doesn't have to come through the robe. He parts the robe and allows to come through only that which will be for my best good.


REJOICING IN TRIBULATION

I recognize that anything that comes to me has to come through the robe of Christ's righteousness.

Therefore, I can say, "Thank you dear Jesus," and I can rejoice, even though it is hard to take.

Therefore, I can say, "Thank you dear Jesus," and I can rejoice, even though it is hard to take. God doesn't say you don't have to be happy about them, but you can rejoice even though they may be difficult. Christ rejoiced that He could do more for mankind by coming to this earth to die. It wasn't a pleasant thing for him. I will tell you it wasn't. It was a horrible experience. Yet He rejoiced that He could do this. Yet when we have a sliver in our finger, we have a tendency to gripe and growl. It is much more natural to complain about difficulties than to rejoice in them. But Paul tells us "in everything give thanks," "and I say unto you again, rejoice."

That's the part of Christian living that Paul is talking about when He says "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience." (Romans 5:3)

Romans 4:5
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

My little faith enables Him to open up the windows of heaven such unsearchable blessings as we cannot possibly comprehend.

6 Bible Commentary 1071

All that man can possibly do toward his own salvation is to accept the invitation, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." No sin can be committed by man for which satisfaction has not been met on Calvary. Thus the cross, in earnest appeals, continually proffers to the sinner a thorough expiation.


The only thing that man can do toward His salvation is to come.

The only thing that man can do toward His salvation is to come. That is hard for Seventh-day Adventists to believe. I have preached to thousands of people, and I find people resisting this; for we want to do some thing. It is so much easier to do something than to bebe clay is not a very desirable position. Just to be clay in a potter's hand, letting Him mold and fashion you - and even choose the vessel that He wants to make of you. That leaves me out, doesn't it. But I don't want to be left out. something. Just to

God says there is only one way. Only one way. "Whosoever will save his life will lose it. Whosoever will lose his life for My sake will find it."

That old life must absolutely die. "No sin can be committed by man for which satisfaction has not been met on Calvary." I have seen men who have completely rejoiced in their Christian life by listening to that one single sentence. There is no sin too great for God to forgive. So many people say "God can't forgive me. I've gone too far." but, "No sin can be committed by man for which satisfaction has not been met on Calvary. Thus the cross, in earnest appeals, continually proffers to the sinner a thorough expiation." There is not one thing that can be committed that the cross cannot take care of. I'm so thankful for that.

One of the greatest hinderances to believing, is probably that which has been taught through years and years of education by ministers, and Bible teachers alike. "God is willing to help us when we do our best." We equate this as going as far as we can, with "God's extremity is God's opportunity." So, I go as far as I can toward salvation, and I come to a dead-end street and say "God, you will have to take over from here. I just can't make it any farther."

6 Bible Commentary, p. 1101


Christ gives man no encouragement to think that He will accept a patchwork character, made up mostly of self, with a little of Christ. This is the condition of the Laodicean church.

Christ's plan is the only safe one. He declares, "Behold, I make all things new." "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." Christ gives man no encouragement to think that He will accept a patchwork character, made up mostly of self, with a little of Christ. This is the condition of the Laodicean church. At first there seems to be some of self and some of Christ. But soon it is all of self and none of Christ. The root of selfishness is revealed. It continues to grow, striking its roots deeper and deeper, till its branches are covered with objectionable fruit. Christ looks with pitying tenderness on all who have combination characters. Those with such a character have a connection with Christ so frail that it is utterly worthless.

When I first read this, I had a hard time believing that something that strong would be spoken by the servant of the Lord. God is not business of "helping you where you are weak." God knows that you and I have no strength. It has to be Him all the way.

Christ Our Righteous, p. 104


Justification by Faith

It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ.

What is justification by faith? -- It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. (Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers, No. 9, 1897, Chapter 5, Give Me Thine Heart. p. 62)

When men see their own nothingness. I'm not going to ask you if you have ever seen your own nothingness, because self has been the center of man's life for nearly 6000 years of time. As we have gone down through time, self has become more and more the center of man's life. We live in a generation in earth's history when self has become a dominant factor of our everyday thinking. Yet in our time, we must come to the time when we see our own nothingness.

We Must See Our
NOTHINGNESS

It is easy for me to see my sins, my weakness, my bad character and characteristics. But to see my nothingness is much more difficult.

Self would rather be thought badly of, than to not be thought of at all.

It is easy for me to see my sins, my weakness, my bad character and characteristics. It is easy to see all of these things. But when it comes to seeing our own nothingness, it is a different picture. That is why someone has said "Self would rather be thought badly of, than to not be thought of at all." As long as there is a single root of sin, it will take root and sprout.

Desire of Ages, p. 98

In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul. It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness.

Jesus knew that "we are incapable of doing any good thing" - even in the re-created man. Christ must do it in us. The recreation only brings to life a nature that God can work with. That is all. He can't work with the old nature. The Christian life is not a modification of the old - it is a transformation. A new creature is born that God can work with. It is still God working - not me.

I still have a work to do. In ourselves, we are incapable of doing anything. But we must be able to see our own nothingness. That is where God began - with nothingness and He builds up the character, a fabric which is heaven born, in which it "has in it not one thread of human devising" (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 311). That is what He clothes us with. That is His marvelous character that He gives to us.

"In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul." Desire of Ages, p. 98

What is my work?

To submit.
To surrender.
To yield.

Letting God actually do in me what He alone has power to do.

What is my work? to submit. to surrender, to yield. The Bible uses all of these words. That is my work. Letting God actually do in me what He alone has power to do. What a glorious, marvelous privilege it is to just submit. "Submit yourselves therefore to God." (James 4:7)

"It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness." Desire of Ages, p. 98.

Through faith (it is by His faith) by which He actually justifies me on the basis of my future obedience - By my being willing to surrender. When I see my nothingness, then it is not difficult to surrender. There is not much to surrender when I see my nothingness.

I challenge you, I urge you, I beg you to pray to God that He will show you your nothingness. Only by seeing your nothingness, will you be ready and willing for God to do His marvelous work of justification in your life. Then, and only then, will we see results manifest in our lives. The Fruit of the Spirit will begin to appear.

Galatians 5:22, 23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

All of these marvelous fruits of the spirit actually comprise the character of Jesus, which He wants to have revealed in you and me.

In the next session, we will go into how this can actually become a reality in our lives. We have seen the possibilities. We have seen that which God wants to do in us, and we have seen just a little glimpse of how he wants to do it. Next time, we will take an in-depth look at exactly how this is to take place in our lives.