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April 1, 2019

Righteousness by Faith and the Third Angel’s Message — 4

For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith (Romans 1:16, RSV).

A.T. Jones may have hinted at a new understanding of the “faith of Jesus” in 1887, but Ellen White would be even more specific.

“The Message,” she wrote, “that was given to the people” in the Minneapolis “meetings presented in clear lines not alone the commandments of God — a part of the third angel’s message — but the faith of Jesus, which comprehends more than is generally sup- posed. And it will be well for the third angel’s message to be proclaimed in all its parts, for the people need every jot and tittle of it. If we proclaim the commandments of God and leave the other half scarcely touched the message is marred in our hands. . . .

“The present message that God has made it the duty of His servants to give to the people is no new or novel thing. It is an old truth that has been lost sight of, just as Satan made his masterly efforts that it should be.

“The Lord has a work for every one of His loyal people to do to bring the faith of Jesus into the right place where it belongs — in the third angel’s message. The law has its important position but it is powerless unless the righteousness of Christ is placed beside the law to give its glory to the whole royal standard of righteousness. . . .

“A thorough and complete trust in Jesus will give the right quality to religious experience. Aside from this the experience is nothing. The service is like the offer- ing of Cain — Christless. God is glorified by living faith in a personal, all sufficient Saviour. Faith views Christ as he is — the sinner’s only hope. Faith takes hold of Christ, trusts Him. It says, ‘He loves me; He died for me. I accept the sacrifice and Christ shall not have died for me in vain.’

“We have not only lost much to our souls, but as ministers have neglected the most solemn part of our work in not dwelling upon the blood of Jesus Christ as the sinner’s only hope for eternal live. Tell the story of Christ. . . . Tell the sinners, ‘look and live’” (MS 30, 1889).

Faith in Christ as Savior is the core of the gospel. And it is also the core of the third angel’s message, the heart of the 1888 message.

Help us, Father, to grasp the relationship of law and gospel in fuller richness as we contemplate the implications of Revelation 14:12. P