The Missing Link
Preface: Though Israel had been punished for its sins, it was time to live again in relationship with God according to His promises.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8, NIV).
A bicycle chain with a missing link is no good. The bicycle will still look good from a distance, but if someone tries to use it, they won’t get very far. For many of us, a part of our Christianity consists of taking an active part at church and doing our best to help in our community in an effort to act as Christ would. These are all very commendable attributes for the Christian.
However, this is not the only way in which we can make Christianity applicable to our lives today. We strive to be Christians, but we must realize that to be more like Christ something has to happen within our hearts that can turn the actions and doing into feeling and loving.
As Ellen White points out, we should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor.* This shows that it is focusing our thoughts on Christ that can strengthen us. She also shows that it is as we meditate upon the perfections of the Savior that we shall desire to be wholly transformed and renewed in the image of His purity.
Belief in Christ is not enough. To make the Christian experience real, it should be more than just an awareness that Christ lived and performed miracles and gave wise counsel. In order for our condition to be changed, we need to be alive in God. It is not possible, however, for us to become alive in God by ourselves. We need some help with that one. If we were to obtain a Christlike character through our good works alone, we would have a long way to go. In fact, we would have missed the point completely: “not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:9, NIV).
Genuine Christianity can be attained only by accepting Christ into one’s life. That is the missing link in the chain between having an experience that may look good and one that not only looks good but really works!
1. How can we be sure that we are not just acting like Christians?
2. What benefits can dwelling upon Christ bring to our lives?
* Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 67.
Geoffrey Mullings, Birmingham, England