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The experience of the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane contains a lesson for the Lord's people today. . . . They did not realize the necessity of watchfulness and earnest prayer in order to withstand temptation. Many today are fast asleep, as were the disciples. Pr 18.

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Justification By FaithóOur Only Hope

If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:1, 2.

††††As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christís atonement in his behalf, and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to Godís will, and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory.

††††Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety. The Lord speaks to His heavenly Father, saying: ďThis is My child. I reprieve him from the condemnation of death, giving him My life insurance policyóeternal lifeóbecause I have taken his place and have suffered for his sins. He is even My beloved son.Ē Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christís righteousness, stands faultless before God.

††††The sinner may err, but he is not cast off without mercy. His only hope, however, is repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Fatherís prerogative to forgive our transgressions and sins, because Christ has taken upon Himself our guilt and reprieved us, imputing to us His own righteousness. His sacrifice satisfies fully the demands of justice.

††††Justification is the opposite of condemnation. Godís boundless mercy is exercised toward those who are wholly undeserving. He forgives transgressions and sins for the sake of Jesus, who has become the propitiation for our sins. Through faith in Christ, the guilty transgressor is brought into favor with God and into the strong hope of life eternal.óThe SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 1070, 1071.

††††The sinner is justified through the merits of Jesus, and this is Godís acknowledgment of the perfection of the ransom paid for man. That Christ was obedient even unto the death of the cross is a pledge of the repenting sinnerís acceptance with the Father.óThe Signs of the Times, July 4, 1892.

From Reflecting Christ - Page 75

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