By their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:20.
Jesus came into the world because the human race were under sentence of death for their transgressions. His work was to bring them back to allegiance to the law of God, which Paul declares is “holy, and just, and good.” He kept His Father’s commandments. Those who by repentance and obedience testify their appreciation of the salvation He came to bring will show the work of the Spirit on their hearts. And the test is the life. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” “He that saith, I know Him,” says John, “and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
Yet notwithstanding these inspired testimonies as to the nature of sin, many claim to be sanctified and incapable of sin, while they are constantly transgressing the law of God….
No one who claims holiness is really holy. Those who are registered as holy in the books of heaven are not aware of the fact and are the last ones to boast of their own goodness. None of the prophets and apostles ever professed holiness, not even Daniel, Paul, or John. The righteous never make such a claim. The more nearly they resemble Christ, the more they lament their unlikeness to Him, for their consciences are sensitive, and they regard sin more as God regards it….
The only safe position for any of us to take is to consider ourselves sinners, daily needing divine grace. Mercy through the atoning blood of Christ is our only plea…. Those who have the truth as it is revealed in that Holy Word must stand fast on the platform of truth, relying on, “It is written.” …
God has great blessings to bestow upon His people. They may have the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” They “may be able to comprehend with all saints” … “what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of the love of Christ, being “filled with all the fulness of God.” But it is only to those who are meek and lowly of heart that Christ will thus manifest Himself. The ones whom God justifies are represented by the publican rather than the self-righteous Pharisee. Humility is heaven-born, and none can enter the pearly gates without it. All unconsciously, it shines in the church and in the world, and it will shine in the courts of heaven.—Signs of the Times, February 26, 1885.