When prophets stood in defense of the truth, it was the word of God that was given to them. They understood the work of salvation to be accomplished by the Messiah to come. But after Christ came, after he died as man’s sacrifice, after the typical sacrifices were fulfilled by the antitype, the old truth in the typical service was revealed more clearly. In Christ, the representative of the Father, a wonderful truth was revealed to the world. The light from the cross of Calvary, reflected back upon the Jewish age, gives character and significance to the whole Jewish economy; and on this side of the cross, in a special manner, we have the truth as it is in Jesus. Truth communicated through our Redeemer becomes indeed present truth.
What a truth is presented as we gaze upon Jesus in connection with the cross of Calvary, as we see this Wonderful, this Counselor, this mysterious victim, stooping beneath the amazing burden of our race! That the transgressor might have another trial, that men might be brought into favor with God the Father, the eternal Son of God interposed himself to bear the punishment of transgression. One clothed with humanity, who was yet one with the Deity, was our ransom. The very earth shook and reeled at the spectacle of God’s dear Son suffering the wrath of God for man’s transgression. The heavens were clothed in sackcloth to hide the sight of the divine sufferer.
It was the transgression of the law of God that made this suffering necessary. And yet men harbor the thought, and give expression to the suggestions of Satan through those who trample upon the law of God, that all this suffering was to make that law of none effect. Deceived and blinded by the great transgressor, they tell the people that there is no law, or that, if they keep the commandments of God in this dispensation, they have fallen from grace. What a delusion is this that Satan has fastened upon human minds!
When the theory that the law of Jehovah is not binding upon the human family is adopted and taught, man is blinded to his terrible ruin. He cannot discern it. Then God has no moral standard by which to measure character, and to govern the heavenly universe, the worlds unfallen, and this fallen world. Could God have abolished the law in order to meet man in his fallen condition, and yet have maintained his honor as Governor of the universe, Christ need not have died. But the death of Christ is the convincing, everlasting argument that the law of God is as unchanging as his throne. In the place of the great sacrifice’s abating one jot or one tittle of the Father’s law, that sacrifice exalts the law; it proclaims to worlds unfallen and to the fallen race that God’s law is changeless, and that he will maintain his authority and sustain his law.
Were the law understood apart from Christ, it would have a crushing power upon sinful men, blotting the sinner out of existence. But by understanding the law in connection with Christ, receiving him by faith as his substitute and surety, man sees himself as a prisoner of hope. The truth as it is in Jesus is an acquaintance with the holy, just, and good law of God, as this law is elevated, and its immutability demonstrated, in Christ. He magnified the law, expanded its every precept, and in his obedience left man an example, that he also may meet its demands.
Then why will men be so deceived, and rush on in transgression, breaking God’s law, and teaching others to do the same, rushing on the thick bosses of Jehovah’s buckler? Why will they make trial for themselves? Why will they test the justice of God, whether he will venture to deal out to man, unsparingly and unflinchingly, the portion that is expressly declared in the Scriptures for all transgressors of the law? The agonies of the garden of Gethsemane, the insult, the mockery, the abuse, heaped upon God’s dear Son, the horrors and ignominy of the crucifixion, furnish sufficient and thrilling demonstration that God’s justice, when it punishes, does the work thoroughly. The fact that his own Son, the surety for man, was not spared, is an argument that will stand to all eternity before saint and sinner, before the universe of God, to testify that he will not excuse the transgressor of his law.
God is love. He has shown that love in the gift of his only begotten Son. Yet the love of God does not excuse sin. God did not excuse sin in Satan, in Adam, or in Cain, nor will he excuse sin in any of the children of men. The perverted nature of man may distort the love of God into an attribute of weakness; but light is shining from the cross of Calvary, that man may have correct views, and hold theories that are not perverted.
God has given his law for the regulation of the conduct of nations, of families, and of individuals. There is not one worker of wickedness, though his sin is the least and the most secret, that escapes the denunciation of that law. The whole work of the father of lies is recorded in the statute-books of heaven; and those who lend themselves to the service of Satan, to present to men his lies by precept and practise, will receive according to their deeds. Every offense against God, however minute, is set down in the reckoning. And when the sword of justice is taken in hand, it will do the work that was done to the divine sufferer. Justice will strike; for God’s hatred of sin is intense and overwhelming.
The truth as it is in Jesus will teach most important lessons. It will show that the love of God is broad and deep; that it is infinite; and that in awarding the penalty to the disobedient, those who have made void God’s law, it will be uncompromising. This is the love and the justice of God combined. It reaches to the very depth of human woe and degradation, to lift up the fallen and oppressed who lay hold of the truth by repentance and faith in Jesus. And God works for the good of the universe, for the good of the rebellious sinner, by causing the sinner to suffer the penalty of his sin.
The plan of salvation is but dimly comprehended by the Christian world. Man, as now taught by men who claim to have a knowledge of the Scriptures, can never know the extent of his fallen, degraded condition; but the mission of Christ will reveal the truth as it is in Jesus. Man can know the depths to which he has sunk only by beholding the wondrous chain of redemption employed to draw him up. The extent of our ruin can be discerned only in the light of the law of God exhibited in the cross of Calvary. The wonderful plan of redemption must be discerned in the death of Christ.
The world by its own wisdom cannot acquire a correct knowledge of the true and living God. When Christ came to this world, clothing his divinity with humanity, the treatment he received from the highest authorities of a nation that professed to know God, made fully manifest the strength of human wisdom and reason. Their reason could not form a correct idea of God through his way and works.
Only through faith in Christ is it possible for man to live the law. Man is not able to save himself, but the Son of God fights his battles for him, and places him on vantage-ground by giving him his divine attributes. And as man accepts the righteousness of Christ, he is a partaker of the divine nature. He may keep the commandments of God, and live. Says Peter: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
The truth as it is in Jesus is obedience to every precept of Jehovah. It is heart work. Bible sanctification is not the spurious sanctification which will not search the Scriptures, but will trust to good feeling and impulses rather than to the seeking for truth as for hidden treasure. Bible sanctification will lead its possessors to know the requirements of God and to obey them. There is a pure and holy heaven in store for those who keep God’s commandments. It is worth lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. Satan is on your right hand and on your left; he is before you and behind. He supplies his falsehoods to every soul who is not cherishing the truth as it is in Jesus. He, the destroyer, is upon you to palsy your every effort. But there is a crown of life to be won, a life that measures with the life of God. And those who do not close their hearts and minds to conviction will learn what the love of a holy and righteous God is; for it is an amazing principle, which works in a mysterious and wonderful manner to secure the salvation of the race.1White, E.G. (1898, February 8). The Truth Revealed in Jesus. The Review and Herald
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|1.||↑||White, E.G. (1898, February 8). The Truth Revealed in Jesus. The Review and Herald|