How these impossibilities are made possible (Matt. 19:20; Mark 10:27; Luke 18: 27) is rendered clear in the principles at work in the co-operative relationship between the righteous God and the working faith of man in Christ. To wit (emphasis mine) :
“The work of gaining salvation is one of co-partnership, a joint operation. There is to be cooperation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make efforts to overcome that which hinders him from attaining to perfection. But he is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient.
Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works, and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God. On the one side there is infinite wisdom, compassion, and power; on the other, weakness, sinfulness, absolute helplessness. God wishes us to have the mastery over ourselves. But He cannot help us without our consent and co-operation. The divine Spirit works through the powers and faculties given to man.” —Acts of the Apostles, pp. 481,482.
In order to eternally secure our salvation, or “to make our calling and election sure” ( 2 Pet. 1:___) from the power of sin and Satan, something mysterious has taken place in the plan of redemption. What was it? “We marvel at the Savior’s sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for a manger, the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall in Bethlehem.” He partook of fallen humanity in order that we may partake of omnipotent divinity!
Yes, Jesus willingly entered into a transaction involving a totally unfair exchange, i.e., everything bad and evil in and from us in exchange for everything good, pure, lovely, and righteousness without a flaw from Him. How could this be? But that’s exactly what He did, saying to all of us:
Give Me your doubts and fears; I’ll give you My enduring faith that cheers.
Give me your weaknesses, frailties, and ignorance; I’ll give you My strength, My
wisdom, and My character’s brilliance.
Give Me your self-centeredness and lawlessness; I’ll give you my selflessness and
Give Me your pretenses and hypocrisy; I’ll give My reality, My transparency.
Give Me your double-mindedness; I’ll give you My consistency.
Give Me your loud voice and noisy impertinence; I’ll give you My “still small voice”–
–conscience–that convicts in silence.
Give Me your yesterday’s pain and today’s sorrows; I’ll wipe away those tears and
brighten your tomorrows.
Give Me your lukewarm wretchedness, misery, poverty, blindness and nakedness;
I’ll give you heavenly eye-salve, a royal robe of righteousness, and all the spiritual
Give Me your slavery to sinful desires and worldly fashions; I’ll unshackle you with
Gethsemane’s Pain and Calvary’s Passion.
Give Me your sin-soiled hands and wayward feet; I’ll give you My blood-stained
hands and nail-scarred feet.
Give me your mind-altering CDs, DVDs, and hypnotic televisions; I’ll gladly unveil
to you the deep mysteries of Daniel and Revelation.
Give Me your little troubled-mind in your little troubled-world; I’ll give you My
sweet peace through the Holy Spirit in My omnipotent Word.
Give Me your obstinacy, disobedience, and spiritual pride; I’ll give you My humility,
meekness, and obedience which the Holy Spirit alone can provide.
Give Me your theology’s high-falluting, tongue-twisting soteriology and eschatology;
I’ll give you eternal, saving truths in its Simplicity, Accuracy, and Purity.
Give Me your professional bigotry, religious superiority, and Pharisaical intolerance;
I’ll give you My dignity, depth, and poise with abundant mercy and divine
Give Me your Christless, legalistic religion of formal ceremonialism; I’ll give you
My heart-warming, soul-feeding, character-building Biblical Adventism.
Give Me your New-Model, noisy worship celebrations; I’ll give you Heaven’s
old-fashioned worship services, in happy yet reverent, solemn adoration.
Give Me your adult-onset immaturity and childishness; I’ll give you My advancing
spiritual maturity with its inspiring childlikeness.
Give Me your yesterday’s wasted time, wasted years, and lost opportunities; I’ll give you
redemption time to do your best of whatever remains of present duties.
Finally, give Me your sin-congested, cheating heart of failure; I’ll create in you a
new, law-loving heart in a totally brand new spiritual nature!
Indeed! God’s servant wrote:
“Jesus might have remained at His Father’s right hand, wearing His kingly crown and royal robes. But He chose to exchange all the riches, honor, and glory of heaven for the poverty of humanity, and His station of high command for the horrors of Gethsemane and the humiliation and agony of Calvary. The wounded hands, the pierced side, the marred feet, plead eloquently for fallen man, whose redemption is purchased at such an infinite cost. Oh, matchless condescension! Neither time nor events can lessen the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice.” Faith I Live By, p. 198.
Here’ wishing you the very best that God has planned for you and your loved ones this Season! Let’s continue praying, encouraging, and supporting one another in the work God has assigned to each one in His great plan, and to remain faithful to the end, which is not long from now!!