The Children of Yahweh are given signs for which to watch, so that we will not be surprised by the events that take place around us. (Amos 3:7)
The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been,—just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents,—perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized.
"It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God's law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen, and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey a holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now he offers to take our sins and give us his righteousness. If you give yourself to him, and accept him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for his sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.
"Your only safety is in coming to Christ, and ceasing from sin this very moment.
The sweet voice of mercy is sounding in your ears today, but who can tell if it will sound tomorrow."
- Ellen G. White
"More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to him; and so long as you do this, he will work in you to will and to do according to his good pleasure. So you may say, 'The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.' So Jesus said to his disciples, 'It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.' Then with Christ working in you, you will manifest the same spirit and do the same works,—works of righteousness, obedience."
"The faith essential for salvation is not mere nominal faith, but an abiding principle, deriving vital power from Christ. It will lead the soul to feel the love of Christ to such a degree that the character will be refined, purified, ennobled. This faith in Christ is not merely an impulse, but a power that works by love and purifies the soul. It accomplishes something, bringing the soul under discipline, elevating it from defilement, and bringing it into connection with Christ, till it appropriates his virtue to the soul's need. This is saving faith."
"Where there is not only a belief in God's word, but a submission of the will to him, where the heart is yielded to him, the affections fixed upon him, there is faith,—faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts, exclaiming with the psalmist, 'O how love thy law! it is my meditation all the day.' And the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, 'who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'" "Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction, by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which, through the grace of Christ, the soul becomes a conquering power."
"How often those who trusted the word of God, though in themselves utterly helpless, have withstood the power of the whole world,—Enoch, pure in heart, holy in life, holding fast his faith in the triumph of righteousness against a corrupt and scoffing generation; Noah and his household against the men of his time, men of the greatest physical and mental strength and the most debased in morals; the children of Israel at the Red Sea, a helpless, terrified multitude of slaves, against the mightiest army of the mightiest nation on the globe; David, a shepherd lad, having God's promise of the throne, against Saul, the established monarch, bent on holding fast his power; Shadrach and his companions in the fire, and Nebuchadnezzar on the throne; Daniel among the lions, his enemies in the high places of the kingdom; Jesus on the cross, and the Jewish priests and rulers forcing even the Roman governor to work their will; Paul in chains led to a criminal's death, Nero the despot of a world empire.
"Such examples are not found in the Bible only. They abound in every record of human progress. The Vaudois and the Huguenots, Wyclif and Huss, Jerome and Luther, Tyndale and Knox, Zinzendorf and Wesley, with multitudes of others, have witnessed to the power of God's word against human power and policy in support of evil. These are the world's true nobility. This is its royal line. In this line the youth of youth of today are called to take their places.
"Faith is needed in the smaller no less than in the greater affairs of life. In all our daily interests and occupations, the sustaining strength of God becomes real to us through an abiding trust... "As a shield from temptation and an inspiration to purity and truth, no other influence can equal the sense of God's presence. 'All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.' He is 'of purer eyes than to behold evil,' and cannot look on iniquity. This thought was Joseph's shield amidst the corruptions of Egypt. To the allurements of temptation his answer was steadfast: 'How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' Such a shield, faith, if cherished, will bring to every soul... "Through faith in Christ, every deficiency of character may be supplied, every defilement cleansed, every fault corrected, every excellence developed.
"'Ye are complete in him.'
"Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that every one who would make his life work a success must understand. Christ says, 'What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.' He makes it plain that our asking must beaccording to God's will; we must ask for the things that he has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing his will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal.
"For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do his work, for any gift he has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received. "We need look for no outward evidence of the blessing. The gift is in the promise, and we may go about our work assured that what God has promised he is able to perform, and that the gift, which we already possess, will be realized when we need it most."
"We do not value the power and efficacy of prayer as we should. Prayer and faith will do what no power on earth can accomplish. We are seldom, in all respects, placed in the same position twice. We continually have new scenes and new trials to pass through, where past experience cannot be a sufficient guide... "The temptations to which we are daily exposed make prayer a necessity. Dangers beset every path." "As workers for God, we must reach men where they are, surrounded with darkness, sunken in vice, and stained with corruption. But while we stay our minds upon him who is our sun and our shield, the evil that surrounds us will not bring one stain upon our garments. As we work to save the souls that are ready to perish, we shall not be put to shame if we make God our trust. Christ in the heart, Christ in the life, this is our safety. The atmosphere of his presence will fill the soul with abhorrence of all that is evil. Our spirit may be so identified with his that in thought and aim we shall be one with him."
"He whose trust is in God will with Paul be able to say, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' Whatever the mistakes or failures of the past, we may, with the help of God, rise above them. With the apostle we may say:— "'This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'"
A publication of Ellen G. White -- Review and Herald, November 11, 1915