Signs Of The Times February 22, 1899
Through disobedience to God’s command Adam fell from his loyalty. Thus he opened the flood-gates of woe upon our world. His posterity perpetuated his sin, while they found fault with their first parents. The depth to which men fell justified the employment of great means to procure a ransom. God saw that man could never rescue and restore himself. Therefore He exercised His divine benevolence to the fullest extent to redeem those who had lost their connection with Him. He “so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God’s love exceeds the love of an earthly father. It can be measured only by the power and strength of His character. Proportionate to His power was His infinite compassion for fallen men, and His desire to restore in them His image. The high and holy One, who inhabiteth eternity, travailed in the greatness of His power and in His immeasurable love to rescue fallen man.
Only by the gift of God’s Son could the ransom of the human race be obtained. Without this sacrifice, all that remained for man was death in his sins. But by giving His life for the life of the world, Christ bridged the gulf that sin had made, joining this sin-cursed earth to the universe of heaven as a province. God chose this world to be the theater of His mighty work of grace. While the sentence of condemnation was suspended over it because of the rebellion of its inhabitants, while the clouds of wrath were accumulating because of transgression of God’s law, a strange and mysterious voice was heard in heaven: “Lo, I come ... to do Thy will, O God.” “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared me.”
“The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old,” Christ says. “When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment; when He appointed the foundations of the earth; then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” But the only-begotten Son of God humbled Himself to come to this earth. He took the sinner’s place; the guiltless suffered for the guilty. This was the hiding of His glory. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death.”
God accepted the death of His Son to save a rebellious race. But in this was there no sacrifice made by the Father? The Creator Himself, the Omnipotent God, suffered with His Son. Abraham was permitted to know something of the meaning of this great sacrifice. He is called the father of the faithful, because he carried out in heart purpose the fearful test, as fully as if he had by his own hand taken the life of his son.
Our Substitute and Surety came from heaven, declaring that He had brought with Him the vast and inestimable donation of eternal life. Pardon is offered to all who will return to their allegiance to the law of God. ¼
The Lord made the richest gift He could make in giving His only-begotten Son to the world. Why then are not more grace and power given to the church? Man by his own choice has severed himself from God. His mind and soul are so bound up in Satan’s plans that he is palsied. He is incapable of appreciating, appropriating, or imparting the elements of divine life. A connection with the deceiver, who was so long in the heavenly courts, makes him ingenious to pervert the blessings given him, and to employ them as weapons against God. Therefore the Lord can not venture to bestow upon man the blessings that He otherwise would.
Jesus is now sending His message to a fallen world. He delights to take apparently hopeless material, those through whom Satan has worked, and make them the subjects of His grace. He rejoices to deliver them from the wrath that is to fall upon the disobedient. He has committed Himself to the work of our redemption. He resolved that He would spare nothing, however costly, withhold nothing, however dear, which would restore the moral image of God in man. And He holds in store gift upon gift, waiting for the proper channels through which He can communicate the treasures of eternal life.
Mrs. E. G. White
(all emphais mine)