Friday, March 09, 2018

1888 Glad Tidings : Insight #10 March 10, 2018

MARCH 10, 2018
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col. 1:27 (all texts NKJV unless otherwise noted)
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Phil. 4:19
Jesus is the rightful Steward of heaven's resources. In Him all creation exists and holds together. "He is the living center of everything." Evangelism, p. 186. Without Him we can do nothing. John 15:5.  Jesus gave Himself, and thus all of heaven's resources, in order to redeem us.  The Creator of all things took the responsibility for all humanity, and "did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped." Phil. 2:5, RSV.  Yet He held on to the Father by faith, the faith of Jesus.  It is this faith that the stewards of the gospel need so desperately today.
Jesus is the only One Who can teach us what we should hold and what we should release as good stewards.  His unselfish life is what informs ours.  For too long we have been holding onto, or worse yet, suppressing, the glorious truths of the gospel.  The root causes are our own self sufficiency, thinking we can do what only God can do, and our unbelief in what He has already done, which impacts what we believe He will do.  What we must have is the "fellowship of the mystery" in an experiential, practical religion.
"Christ is coming 'to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.' 2 Thess. 1:9, 10. But before He can come, His way must be prepared, so that He can dwell fully in His saints. Just as God was in Christ, so must He be in His church as a whole, and in each individual member, before Christ can be revealed to the eyes of all the world. It is only as men see God in His people, that they can fully know that there is only one God, the One who created all things. Christ, the fulness of God, must be fully formed in His people, and then will all 'See what is the stewardship of the mystery which from all ages hath been hid in God who created all things; to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Eph. 3:9-11, R.V. Then will the world know that God hides Himself in man, in order that man may be glorified by His presence." {January 4, 1900 EJW, PTUK 3.5}
The sanctuary was given by God, as He said, "that I might dwell among (tavek, also translated 'in') them.  The sanctuary teaching is an illumination of what Christ was doing for humanity as well as what He is doing in humanity.
The sanctuary, rightly understood, encompasses God's universal sacrifice for the world, His justification for all men, the true humanity of Christ, the walk of faith, the life of prayer, and so much more. The message of Minneapolis was focused on these truths.
"The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders [E.J.] Waggoner and [A. T.] Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. 
     Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure."--TM 91, 92 (1895). 
Our doctrines must not just be Christ-centered in name, but in reality - in experience.  Perhaps Christ-infused is a better term.  "The soul must be infused with the Spirit of the great Teacher if the mind would penetrate into the deep things of God." (20MR 241).  For example, we cannot rightly present the sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin as the great truth around which all others cluster until we admit our shortcoming in this area.  Historically our Adventist view has been so focused on us and our response (i.e., self-centered) that we have neglected the fact that, in Christ, God has justified, reconciled, redeemed, and given the gift of eternal life to the entire race.
We are much more motivated to share the message as good stewards and willing ambassadors when we finally believe how valuable and precious it is. Then we can properly give the message of what God accomplished through the unconditional expression of His love, while we were yet sinners and His enemies.
We have been justified by a loving God through the faith of Jesus, and we experience this justification as we agree with what He has done for us, as us, letting the reality of His faith transform and sanctify us. This is the basis of holiness. This is the essence of the final proclamation of the three angel's messages.
As Ellen White noted:
     "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 (1890).  
     "The message of Christ's righteousness is to sound from one end of the earth to the other to prepare the way of the Lord. This is the glory of God, which closes the work of the third angel."--6T 19 (1900). 
     "The last message of mercy to be given to the world is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them."--COL 415, 416 (1900).
~Todd Guthrie