Shall we choose darkness rather than light because the light shows us our sins and reproves us? Shall we refuse to come to the light, lest our deeds shall be made manifest? When the truth controls the life, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fulness, the completeness, of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The light of truth irradiates the soul-temple. The understanding takes hold of Christ. The light is not hated because it reproves and warns, but it is accepted and rejoiced in.
Christ declared, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32). If man’s will is submitted to the will of God, the man, though a sinner, will be drawn to Christ. He will realize something of the love manifested by God when He gave His Son to die on Calvary’s cross, to bring life and immortality within the reach of men. The acceptance of the Saviour brings perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the Christ-life, revealed in the character, testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world. No other power could bring about so marked a change in a man’s words, spirit, and actions.
Without Christ the heart of man is cold. But when one feels his need of the Sun of Righteousness; when he comes to Jesus, saying, Lord, I am sinful, unworthy, helpless; save me, or I perish, he is accepted in the Beloved, and his heart is warmed by the rays of divine love. By this sincere coming to Christ, he opens the door to Him who has long been saying: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). He is accepted, and he knows what it means to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. God says, Let there be light; and there is light (Genesis 1:3). The soul possesses an abiding Christ, who is the light of life.
Christ humbles the proud heart by giving it a view of Himself, His generosity, His great love. He desires to save us, soul, body, and spirit, by uniting us to Himself. He desires us to behold His glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father. Then we can say, “Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16). He who shows that he appreciates the grace he receives, by imparting it to others, receives increased grace, in proportion to the grace he imparts. And he is so full of joy that he exclaims, “Thy gentleness hath made me great” (Psalm 18:35, last part)!
The one great lesson all must learn—the poor sinner, dead in trespasses and sins, as well as the professed Christian, who has known the truth, but has clung to his unsanctified traits of character—is that God will save to the uttermost all who come to Him. “Him that cometh to Me,” He says, “I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). The poor, the suffering, the sinful, may find in Christ all they need. As soon as they receive Jesus as a personal Saviour, the cries of distress and woe are changed to songs of praise and thanksgiving.
All may share Christ’s grace if they will confess to the great sin-bearer, whose work it is to take away the sins of all who believe. You have the assurance that as you renounce your own righteousness, you will be clothed with His righteousness. Christ invites you, saying, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me” (Isaiah 27:5). The door is opened to all. No one is turned away. God proffers to all a priceless treasure—His peace—a peace that the world can neither give nor take away. The everlasting gates of pearl will not open to those who come with the symbols of power, but they will open wide to the trembling touch of the meek and lowly. To be great in the kingdom of God is to be as a little child in simplicity and love. The Lord is able and willing to work in our behalf, and He will work if we come to Him as children. He will lead us by the hand, upholding us that our feet shall not slip.
The Youth’s Instructor, September 28, 1899.