Man May Be As Pure in His Sphere As God Is in His
PORTION OF ARTICLE "PURIFIETH HIMSELF" IN SIGNS OF THE TIMES, JUNE 20, 1895
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He
is" (1 John 3:2). The heritage of the people of God is discerned through faith in the
Word of God. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and
Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
Through faith the children of God obtain a knowledge of Christ and cherish the hope of
His appearing to judge the world in righteousness, until it becomes a glorious
expectation; for they shall then see Him as He is, and be made like Him, and ever be with
the Lord. The sleeping saints shall then be called forth from their graves to a glorious
immortality. When the day of deliverance shall come, then shall ye return and discern
between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. When Christ shall come, it will
be to be admired of all those that believe, and the kingdoms of this world shall become
the kingdoms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Those who are looking for the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power
and great glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, in life and character will seek to
represent Him to the world. "And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth
himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3:3). They will hate sin and iniquity, even as
Christ hated sin. They will keep the commandments of God, as Christ kept His Father's
commandments. They will realise that it is not enough to acquiesce
in the doctrines of truth, but that the truth must be applied to the heart, practised
in the life, in order that the followers of Christ may be one with Him, and that men may
be as pure in their sphere as God is in His sphere.
Not Hearers Only, but Doers
There have been men in every generation who have claimed to be the sons of God, who
paid tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and yet who led a godless life, for they
neglected the weightier matters of the law--mercy, justice, and the love of God.
There are today many who are in a similar deception; for while bearing an appearance of
great sanctity, they are not doers of the Word of God. What can be done to open the eyes
of these self-deluded souls except to set before them an example of true piety and be
ourselves not hearers only but doers of the commandments of the Lord, thus reflecting the
light of purity of character upon their pathway?
Not Like the Worldling
The sons of God will not be like the worldling; for the truth received in the heart
will be the means of purifying the soul and of transforming the character and of making
its receiver like-minded with God. Unless a man becomes like-minded with God, he is still
in his natural depravity.
If Christ is in the heart, He will appear in the home, in the workshop, in the
marketplace, in the church. The power of the truth will be felt in elevating, ennobling
the mind and softening and subduing the heart, bringing the whole man into harmony with
God. He who is transformed by the truth will shed a light upon the world. He that hath the
hope of Christ in him will purify himself even as He is pure. The hope of Christ's
appearing is a large hope, a far-reaching hope. It is the hope of seeing the King in His
beauty and of being made like Him.
When Christ shall come the earth will tremble before Him,
and the heavens will be rolled together as a scroll, and every mountain and every
island will be moved out of its place. "Our God shall come, and shall not keep
silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him.
He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.
Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.
And the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself" (Psalm
50:3-6). In view of the great day of God, we can see that our only safety will be found in
departing from all sin and iniquity. Those who continue in sin will be found among the
condemned and perishing.
The Fate of Transgressors
John saw the fate of those who choose the path of transgression: "And the kings of
the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty
men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of
the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face
of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of
His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:15-17).
A terrible doom awaits the sinner, and therefore it is necessary that we know what sin
is, in order that we may escape from its power. John says, "Whosoever committeth sin
transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4).
Here we have the true definition of sin; it is "the transgression of the law."
How often the sinner is urged to leave his sins, and come to Jesus; but has the messenger
who would lead him to Christ clearly pointed out the way? Has he clearly pointed out the
fact that "sin is the transgression of the law," and that he must repent and
forsake the breaking of God's commandments? . . .
God could not alter one jot or tittle of His holy law to meet
man in his fallen condition; for this would reflect discredit upon the wisdom of God in
making a law by which to govern heaven and earth. But God could give His only-begotten Son
to become man's Substitute and Surety, to suffer the penalty that was merited by the
transgressor, and to impart to the repentant soul His perfect righteousness. Christ became
the sinless sacrifice for a guilty race, making men prisoners of hope, so that through
repentance toward God because they had broken His holy law, and through faith in Christ as
their Substitute, Surety, and righteousness, they might be brought back to loyalty to God
and to obedience to His holy law.
Christ's Righteousness Makes Obedience Possible
It was impossible for the sinner to keep the law of God, which was holy, just, and
good; but this impossibility was removed by the impartation of the righteousness of Christ
to the repenting, believing soul. The life and death of Christ in behalf of sinful man
were for the purpose of restoring the sinner to God's favour, through imparting to him the
righteousness that would meet the claims of the law and find acceptance with the Father.
But it is ever the purpose of Satan to make void the law of God and to pervert the true
meaning of the plan of salvation. Therefore he has originated the falsehood that the
sacrifice of Christ on Calvary's cross was for the purpose of freeing men from the
obligation of keeping the commandments of God. He has foisted upon the world the deception
that God has abolished His constitution, thrown away His moral standard, and made void His
holy and perfect law. Had He done this, at what terrible expense would it have been to
Heaven! Instead of proclaiming the abolition of the law, Calvary's cross proclaims in
thunder tones its immutable and eternal character. Could the law have been abolished, and
the government of heaven and earth and the unnumbered worlds of God maintained, Christ
need not have died. The death of Christ was to
forever settle the question of the validity of the law of Jehovah. Having suffered the
full penalty for a guilty world, Jesus became the Mediator between God and man, to restore
the repenting soul to favour with God by giving him grace to keep the law of the Most
High. Christ came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfil them to the very
letter. The atonement of Calvary vindicated the law of God as holy, just, and true, not
only before the fallen world but before heaven and before the worlds unfallen. Christ came
to magnify the law and to make it honourable.