Whoever says, "I abide in him," ought to walk just as he walked. 1 John 2:6, NRSV.
What surpassing love and condescension, that when we had no claim on divine mercy, Christ was willing to undertake our redemption! But our great Physician requires of every soul unquestioning obedience. We are never to prescribe for our own case. Christ must have the entire control of our will and action, or He will not undertake in our behalf.
Many are not sensible of their condition and their danger; and there is much in the nature of the Christian religion that is averse to every worldly feeling and principle, and opposed to the pride of the human heart. We may flatter ourselves, as did Nicodemus, that our lives and our moral character have been correct, and think that we need not humble our heart before God, like the common sinner; but we must be content to enter into life in the very same way as the chief of sinners. Self must die. We must not trust to our own righteousness, but depend on the righteousness of Christ. He is our strength and our hope.
Genuine faith is followed by love--love that is manifested in the home, in society, and in all the relations of life--love which smooths away difficulties, and lifts us above the disagreeable trifles that Satan places in our way to annoy us. And love will be followed by obedience. All the powers and the passions of the converted person are brought under the control of Christ. His Spirit is a renewing power, transforming to the divine image all who will receive it.
To become a disciple of Christ is to deny self, and follow Jesus through evil as well as through good report. It is to close the door to pride, envy, doubt, and other sins, and thus shut out strife, hatred, and every evil work. It is to welcome into our hearts Jesus, the meek and lowly one, who is seeking admittance as our guest....
Jesus is a pattern for humanity, complete, perfect. He proposes to make us like Himself--true in every purpose, feeling, and thought--true in heart, soul, and life. The man or woman who cherishes the most of the love of Christ in the soul, who reflects the image of Christ most perfectly, is, in the sight of God, the truest, most noble, and most honorable person. But those who have not the Spirit of Christ are "none of his."--The Signs of the Times, July 14, 1887.