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    May 25, 1896

    The Law in Christ or, the Relation Between the Law and the Gospel

    WWP

    W. W. Prescott

    A STANDARD NEEDED

    But if God’s law has been changed or abolished, there is no longer any standard by which to test the character of the righteousness which men claim to have received by faith. Each one is then at liberty to erect his own standard to suit his own inclinations. Such teaching as this is now bearing its legitimate fruit in the world. God’s holy law is not brought to bear upon the consciences of men to convince of sin, as in former days; hence the need of the Saviour is not felt to the same degree; and without a standard with which to test their professed righteousness, the counterfeit passes for the genuine, and religion is reproached. It is universally acknowledged that there is need of having a standard in all the transactions between man and man, and so we have the standard of weight, the standard of measure, etc. Without these standards there would be the utmost confusion in the business world. Moreover, these standards must not be variable. A variable standard is no standard at all. But is man wiser than God? “Were men free to depart from the Lord’s requirements, and set up a standard of duty for themselves, there would be a variety of standards to suit different minds, and the government would be taken out of the Lord’s hands. The law of self would be erected, the will of man would be supreme, and the high and holy will of God-His purpose of love toward His creatures-would be dishonoured, disrespected.” [Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 51, 52.]BEST May 25, 1896, page 154.1

    OFFICE OF THE LAW

    The office of the law in making known sin, and in witnessing to the righteousness obtained through faith in Christ may be illustrated by the way in which a mirror is used. A man may learn by looking into it that his face is smirched with smut. The mirror did not put the smut there, neither can it take it away. It simply reveals its presence. Some other means must be used to remove the dirt; but when this is done, the same mirror testifies that his face is clean. But suppose the man should destroy or throw away the mirror because it revealed the presence of the dirt, and yet, not fully satisfied with this course, should endeavour to make himself clean, what will now satisfy him of the success of his efforts? He may feel better because he has made some effort to be clean; but at the same time he may have done only an incomplete work, or he may have made matters worse. So we are defiled by sin. The law reveals that fact, yet cannot cleanse; but there is “a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1), in which we may wash and be clean. The law testifies to the character of the work wrought for us by “Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Revelation 1:5. But if the law is variable or has been abolished, we are left in uncertainty. Then self-righteousness may pass for righteousness because one feels satisfied in trying to meet the standard which he himself has set up.BEST May 25, 1896, page 154.2

    THE PLEDGE OF AN IMMUTABLE LAW

    The fact that the law of God is not done away, is the pledge of our security in heaven. “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12. That law is the standard in the judgment. Harmony with the law of God is the condition of the entrance into the kingdom. Everyone who applies for admission is tested by it. The law is a transcript of God’s character. Everyone must meet this standard in its perfection, and those who do not reach it are shut out of the kingdom. We cannot meet the standard except as we receive Christ; but when we have received Christ, we know we have that which will meet the test. If anyone could be admitted to the kingdom who was out of harmony with God’s law, sin would be transferred into the world to come. The very fact that the law of God is neither changed nor abolished is our safety in the eternal kingdom, the pledge that “affliction shall not rise up the second time.”BEST May 25, 1896, page 154.3

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