Editorial – Laboring to Give Birth

“Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale” (Jeremiah 30:6)?

“Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. … She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne” (Revelation 12:2, 5).

“My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).

“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel… .  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. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:21-23, 27, 28).

All four of these diverse passages of scripture are talking about the same subject. Before anyone can be taken out of this world to live forever in heaven, all their sins must be forgiven and blotted out. And by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, a new heart and life must also be created within, their character a reflection of the character of Jesus Christ. Have you been born again?

“The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. As the Son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their life. … He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God.” The Faith I Live By, 44.

“A well-balanced character is formed by single acts well performed. One defect, cultivated instead of being overcome, makes the man imperfect, and closes against him the gate of the Holy City. … In all the redeemed host not one defect will be seen.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 17, 1901.