You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain. John 15:16.
Christ ever rebuked the Pharisees for their self-righteousness…. They were exalted to heaven in point of opportunity, in having the Scriptures, in knowing the true God, but their hearts were not filled with thankfulness to God for His great goodness toward them. They came forth filled with spiritual pride, and their theme was self—“myself, my feelings, my knowledge, my ways.” Their own attainments became the standard by which they measured others….
Let every disciple of Christ inquire in all humility of mind, What must I do to be saved? If we sincerely desire to understand, we shall know. It is not because of our riches, our knowledge, our superiority of position, that Jesus loves us and blesses us, but because we believe in Him as our personal Savior. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners, but having chosen us He says He has ordained us to go and bring forth fruit. Has each one something to do? Certainly, everyone that is yoked up with Christ must bear His burden, work in His lines…. The life of Christ’s pardoning love in the soul is as a well of water springing up unto eternal life. If the well of water is in the heart, then the entire life will reveal the fact, and the refreshing grace of God will be made manifest.
Religion is not simply to have joyous feelings, to be conscious of having privileges and light, to have rapturous emotions, while expending all the energies to keep a balance in the Christian life, while doing nothing for the salvation of souls. Religion is doing the words of Christ; it is standing as faithful sentinels, not doing to earn salvation, but doing because, all undeserving, you have received the heavenly gift. Religion is to work out God’s plans, to cooperate with the intelligences of heaven….
If we will follow on to know the Lord, our views will broaden. They will not be bound about by self. We should pray the Lord to enlarge our understanding, so that we may not only understand that Jesus Christ is our substitute and surety, but that we belong to Christ as His purchased possession. Paul says, “Ye are bought with a price,” and draws this conclusion, “Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”—Signs of the Times, December 17, 1894.