Power of the will
“Without freedom of choice, his (man’s) obedience would not have been voluntary, but forced. There could have been no development of character.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 49.
“Many are inquiring, ‘How am I to make the surrender of myself to God?’ . . . What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice.” Steps to Christ, p. 47.
“The will is the governing power in the nature of man, bringing all the other faculties under its sway. The will is not the taste or the inclination, but it is the deciding power which works in the children of men unto obedience to God or unto disobedience.” Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 513.
“As you confess before men and women your confidence in the Lord, additional strength is imparted to you. Determine to praise Him. With firm determination comes increased will power; . . . “ The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 1143. Manuscript 116, 1902.
“There is nothing harder for those who possess a strong will than to give up their own way, and submit to the judgement of others.” Gospel Workers, p. 447.
Perseverance. determination, steadfastness reveal will power and are a blessing when used for the right purpose.
Human, natural, sinful
“When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity (hatred) between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy.” The Great Controversy, p.505.
“The word (Bible) destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature.“ The Desire of Ages, p. 391.
“ . . . should they (Adam and Eve) once yield to temptation, their nature would become so depraved that in themselves they would have no power, and no disposition, to resist Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 53.
“While Adam was created sinless, in the likeness of God, Seth, like Cain, inherited the fallen nature of his parents.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 80.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,”—it could not justify man, because in his sinful nature he could not keep the law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 373.
Human, divine, sinless
“As the graft receives life when united to the vine, so the sinner partakes of the divine nature when connected to Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 355.
“ . . . man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 45.
“‘If a man love Me,’ Christ said, ‘he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.’ John 14:23. The spell of a stronger, a perfect mind will be over us; for we have a living connection with the source of all-enduring strength. In our divine life we shall be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. We shall no longer live the common life of selfishness, but Christ will live in us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 61.
The term “human nature” can apply to either the sinless (before sin) nature, or the born-again nature. It can also apply to the sinful nature according to the context in which it is used.
“The character is revealed, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the tendency of the habitual words and acts.” Steps to Christ, pp. 57,58.
“Actions make habits, and habits, character . . . “ Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 194.
“Thus actions repeated form habits, habits form character, and by the character our destiny for time and for eternity is decided.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 356.
“If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in the place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.” Steps to Christ, p. 62.
“While the sinner cannot save himself, he still has something to do to secure salvation. ‘Him that cometh to Me,’ says Christ, ‘I will in no wise cast out.’ But we must come to Him; and when we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours . . . Jesus died for us because we were helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p.431.
“The only way which he (the sinner) can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son.” The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1073, The Review and Herald, November 4, 1890.
“ . . . sanctification . . . is nothing less than a daily dying to self, and daily conformity to the will of God . . . Paul’s sanctification was a constant conflict with self. Said he, ‘I die daily.’ His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did the will of God, however unpleasant and crucifying to his nature." Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 299.
"Sanctification means habitual communion with God. The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 908, The Review and Herald, March 15, 1906.
“ . . . we should consider the words of the apostle in which he appeals to his brethren, by the mercies of God, to present their bodies, 'a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.' This is true sanctification. It is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 164, 165.
"'Learn of Me,' says Jesus; 'for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest.' We are to enter the school of Christ, to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. Redemption is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven. This training means a knowledge of Christ. It means emancipation from ideas, habits, and practises that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to loyalty to God." The Desire of Ages, p. 330.
Webster's New College Dictionary, 1973, defines impute as "To credit to a person or a cause."
"Among the great mass of professed Christians, the grievous character of the transgression of the law of God is not understood. They do not realise that salvation can be obtained only through the blood of Christ, through His imputed righteousness, but this alone will avail to make fallen man what he should be, and exalt him to become a member of the Royal Family." The Review and Herald, November 8, 1892.
In justification Christ's character is imputed (credited to the believer's account). Thus his standing before God is changed.
Webster's New College Dictionary, 1973, defines impart as "To give, convey, or grant from or as if from a store."
"Christ imparts His righteousness to those who consent to let Him take away their sins. We are indebted to Christ for the grace [His character] which makes us complete in Him." The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 972, Manuscript 40, 1900.
"The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven." Messages to Young People, p. 35.
In sanctification Christ's character is imparted (or conveyed to the believer and becomes a part of his person). Thus his personality is changed.
Death to self
"When self is crucified and Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, we shall reveal, in thought, word, and deed, the reality of our belief in the truth." Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 116.
"Words cannot describe the peace and joy possessed by him who takes God at His word. Trials do not disturb him, slights do not vex him. Self is crucified." Messages to Young People, p. 98.
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Romans 6:6.
"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you." 2 Corinthians 4:10-12.
"There are some who are seeking, always seeking, for the goodly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl." Selected Messages, book 1, p. 399.
"Implicit belief in Christ's word is true humility, true self-surrender.” The Desire of Ages, p. 523.
"When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan . . . . The only defence against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome." The Desire of Ages, p. 324.
Surrender and death to self equal the same thing.
"When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. . . . The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God. . . . Its mystery exceeds human knowledge; yet he who passes from death to life realises that it is a divine reality. The Desire of Ages, p. 173.
"How, then, are we to be saved? 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,' so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour . Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul.” The Desire of Ages, pp. 175, 176.
"'One thing thou lackest,' Jesus said. 'If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow Me.' Christ read the ruler's heart. Only one thing he lacked, but that was a vital principle. He needed the love of God in the soul. This lack, unless supplied, would prove fatal to him; his whole nature would become corrupted. By indulgence, selfishness would strengthen. That he might receive the love of God, his supreme love of self must be surrendered." The Desire of Ages, p. 519.
"The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptised, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ." The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1075, Manuscript 148, 1897.
The born-again experience necessitates a complete surrender, a dying to self, before a new creature can be born by the power of God. We had no choice in the first birth, but the new birth must be by our choice.
"Faith is the only condition upon which justification can be obtained, and faith includes not only belief but trust." Selected Messages, book 1, p. 389.
Faith is taking God at His word.