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He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. Hvn 86.

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By Faith Excellence is Developed

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.

    Do you ask, What shall I do to be saved? You must lay your preconceived opinions, your hereditary and cultivated ideas, at the door of investigation. If you search the Scriptures to vindicate your own opinions, you will never reach the truth. Search in order to learn what the Lord says. If conviction comes as you search, if you see that your cherished opinions are not in harmony with the truth, do not misinterpret the truth in order to suit your own belief, but accept the light given. Open mind and heart that you may behold wondrous things out of God’s Word.

    Faith in Christ as the world’s Redeemer calls for an acknowledgment of the enlightened intellect controlled by a heart that can discern and appreciate the heavenly treasure. This faith is inseparable from repentance and transformation of character. To have faith means to find and accept the gospel treasure, with all the obligations which it imposes.

    “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” He may conjecture and imagine, but without the eye of faith he cannot see the treasure. Christ gave His life to secure for us this inestimable treasure; but without regeneration through faith in His blood, there is no remission of sins, no treasure for any perishing soul.

    We need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in order to discern the truths in God’s Word. The lovely things of the natural world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the darkness, floods them with its light. So the treasures in the Word of God are not appreciated until they are revealed by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.

    The Holy Spirit, sent from heaven by the benevolence of infinite love, takes the things of God and reveals them to every soul that has an implicit faith in Christ. By His power the vital truths upon which the salvation of the soul depends are impressed upon the mind, and the way of life is made so plain that none need err.... As we study the Scriptures, we should pray for the light of God’s Holy Spirit to shine upon the Word, that we may see and appreciate its treasures.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 112, 113.

    Through faith in Christ, every deficiency of character may be supplied, every defilement cleansed, every fault corrected, every excellence developed.—Education, 257.

From Reflecting Christ - Page 126

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