Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Commandments of God and The Faith of Jesus

Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, "It is the third angel's message, in verity."-- EGW, The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890. 
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.  Rev. 14:12

The Seventh Day Adventist understanding of justification or righteousness by faith - The Everlasting Gospel, incorporates many elements, elements the enemy has often used against our witness. Of course, the sabbath is one of those issues. Our emphasis on other aspects of the law is another. However, the most controversial component especially among non-adventist Christians (and even some adventists) may be our doctrine of the "investigative" or "pre-advent" judgement based on our understanding of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and our study of the sanctuary. I'm finding that the enemy uses these elements of the glad tidings or the good news against us because we ourselves are shocked by and often reject its truth.

The tragedy of our Laodicean lethargy is that this truth which incorporates the Law; the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, is the life giving message that the people of this dying world are longing to hear and it must be delivered by we who have been given this light. Our hiccups, our stumbling blocks are the praiseworthy sounding euphemisms for behavior we think we ought to be seeing from the converted, like "Christian living" or emphasis on how sanctification literally scrubs the hell out of you if you, the stubborn and hard-hearted will only obey. As I read the bible, the only behavior of consequence we should be discussing or describing is that of Jesus. Or, as Paul said, "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." 1 Cor 2:2 NASB

Yesterday, guided by the Holy Spirit, our associate pastor, Michael Polite, in a sermon entitled, "Chill, I got this!," preached about the desperate state of our wicked condition (that we are unable to change by our effort) and just who is the object of scrutiny and inspection as it relates to justification, sanctification and glorification. A critically important aspect of the good news is that at no point along salvation's spectrum are we the object of inspection, if we bring an acceptable offering! Pastor Polite brought the glad tidings of Psalm 77:13 "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?" Our responsibility, our work, our righteous comportment is to, by faith, bring the proper offering.

My prayer is that we be delivered from darkness into His marvelous light!


  1. I not only agree, but I champion the sentiments of this post. The thought that human effort can secure a higher-level of existence or perfection is the motivation of Eve's choice in Genesis. We all fall to it from time to time. We get to a place where we feel confident in our ability to process through and even produce our own improvement--not realizing that improving a created model is the responsibility of the Creator. Christ improves while I accept my inability to change my lot; this is the almost impossible challenge declared by the Christian faith. Thankfully, with God, "all things are possible."

    --Michael Polite

    1. I was blessed by your sermon by the revelation God through the Holy Spirit gave you and I am also encouraged by your affirmation. What's becoming clearer to me is something David compellingly articulated - One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. The more I look at it, the more beautiful God's design and plan of salvation and He himself becomes and I can't help trying to see more!