Roanoke, November 25, 2018
Dear brethren around the world,
Warm Christian greetings with the following Scriptures: “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”.
We have many, many reasons to praise the Lord: For the gift of life, and the hope of eternal salvation, a new “today” of probationary time in which we still have the opportunity to seek the Lord with all our heart, the happy fellowship with God’s family on earth, and many other uncountable blessings.
I would like to call your attention to a very small yet, at the same time, a vital, profound, and essential chapter in the book Gospel Workers, entitled “Righteousness by Faith”. From it we quote some paragraphs and expressions:
“The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, is a precious thought. The enemy of God and man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken. If he can control minds so that doubt and unbelief and darkness shall compose the experience of those who claim to be the children of God, he can overcome them with temptation.” Gospel Workers, p. 161.
Here we find the simplicity of the gospel of Christ: Salvation is a free gift of God to undeserving human beings. We do not earn salvation, but we receive it by faith, which is a gift itself. Satan works hard to hinder God’s people from presenting this vital subject in its clarity, because if the people accept this wonderful truth, Satan’s power will be broken. The enemy rejoices when God’s children doubt about their own salvation acquired with a high price by the Son of God. If we doubt about our own salvation we cannot overcome temptations and sins.
“That simple faith which takes God at His word should be encouraged. God’s people must have that faith which will lay hold of divine power; ‘for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ [.] Those who believe that God for Christ’s sake has forgiven their sins, should not, through temptation, fail to press on to fight the good fight of faith. Their faith should grow stronger until their Christian life, as well as their words, shall declare, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ ...cleanseth us from all sin.’ [ .]” Gospel Workers, p.161.
Unless we really believe God’s word, we are saying that God is a liar. What is written in the Bible is the voice of God to everyone. When we believe it, it becomes our own experience. In, we read that “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.”
“If we would have the spirit and power of the third angel’s message, we must present the law and the gospel together, for they go hand in hand. As a power from beneath is stirring up the children of disobedience to make void the law of God, and to trample upon the truth that Christ is our righteousness, a power from above is moving upon the hearts of those who are loyal, to exalt the law, and to lift up Jesus as a complete Saviour. Unless divine power is brought into the experience of the people of God, false theories and ideas will take minds captive, Christ and His righteousness will be dropped out of the experience of many, and their faith will be without power or life.” Gospel Workers, p. 161.
“Ministers are to present Christ in His fulness both in the churches and in new fields, that the hearers may have an intelligent faith. The people must be instructed that Christ is unto them salvation and righteousness. It is Satan’s studied purpose to keep souls from believing in Christ as their only hope; for the blood of Christ that cleanseth from all sin is efficacious in behalf of those only who believe in its merit, and who present it before the Father as did Abel in his offering. Gospel Workers, p. 162.
How can we teach the people for them to have an intelligent faith? Presenting Christ in His fulness. We need to know Christ by the Scriptures and by our own experience. We need to know that Christ is fully divine, and totally able to save to the uttermost all those who believe on Him. Believing means to trust and being faithful to His truth as revealed in the Bible.
“The offering of Cain was an offense to God, because it was a Christless offering. The burden of our message is not only the commandments of God, but the faith of Jesus. A bright light shines upon our pathway today, and it leads to increased faith in Jesus. We must receive every ray of light, and walk in it, that it may not be our condemnation in the judgment. Our duties and obligations become more important as we obtain more distinct views of truth. Light makes manifest and reproves the errors that were concealed in darkness; and as light comes, the life and character of men must change correspondingly, to be in harmony with it. Sins that were once sins of ignorance, because of the blindness of the mind, can no more be indulged in without incurring guilt. As increased light is given, men must be reformed, elevated, and refined by it, or they will be more perverse and stubborn than before the light came.” Gospel Workers, p. 162.
Any message we present without Christ being the center is like the offering of Cain, because it is a Christless message. We must present the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. So, what is the faith of Jesus?
“The third angel’s message is the proclamation of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. The commandments of God have been proclaimed, but the faith of Jesus Christ has not been proclaimed …. as of equal importance, the law and the gospel going hand in hand. I cannot find language to express this subject in its fullness.
“’The faith of Jesus.’ It is talked of, but not understood. What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs to the third angel’s message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin-pardoning Saviour. He was treated as we deserve to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins that we might take His righteousness. And faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 172.
What we really need is to make a complete surrender of our life to Jesus who bought our salvation for a very high price. As He gave Himself for us, we need to give ourselves to Him. “Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 3: 7, 8.
Cordially, in Jesus Christ, Davi Paes Silva