Day 1 Devotional Before United Prayer: (Reading about 1:07 min)
ELLEN WHITE AND THE 1888 MESSAGE
The Bible is clear and Ellen White understood that Christ’s imputed righteousness (justification) and His imparted righteousness (sanctification) was absolutely essential for the believer to understand and experience. “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” MY LIFE TODAY, P.311
“On Christ’s coronation day He will not acknowledge as His any who bear spot or wrinkle or any such thing. But to His faithful ones, He will give crowns of immortal glory. Those who would not that He should reign over them will see Him surrounded by the army of the redeemed, each of whom bears the sign, The Lord Our Righteousness.” MARANATHA: THE LORD IS COMING, P. 39
It is only as God’s people are “clad in Christ’s righteousness” that they will be empowered to be victorious against Satan and his host. Only those people who are without “spot or wrinkle,” without known sin in the life, will receive “crowns of immortal glory.” How do they become without “spot or wrinkle?” The righteousness of Christ shines forth in and through them. They know by experience what it means to declare, “The Lord Our Righteousness.”
“The Lord Our Righteousness” is the very message God gave to our denomination through Jones and Waggoner in 1888, and the years that followed. Following 1888, Ellen White herself wrote much about the importance of Christ’s righteousness. Christ’s righteousness encompasses two important experiences in the believer’s life. The first is called justification righteousness, which is imputed to the repentant sinner’s life.
Ellen White wrote: “By faith, he [the repentant sinner] 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. This is how faith is accounted righteousness.” REVIEW AND HERALD, NOVEMBER 4, 1890
In writing about Christ’s righteousness becoming manifested in the believer’s life, which is the sanctification aspect of righteousness by faith, Ellen White stated: “The sanctification of the soul by the operation of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity. It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed in character, and the grace of Christ brought into active exercise in good works. Thus, the character is transformed more and more perfectly after the image of Christ in righteousness and true holiness.” SELECTED MESSAGES, BOOK 3 , P. 198
Peter declared that Christ’s very nature is implanted in the believer by the Holy Spirit via God’s promises (2Peter 1:4). Every Spirit-baptized believer has Christ living in him. If the believer asks and has faith in God’s promise, Christ will live out His righteous life in the believer. The believer will then experience Christ’s victory over temptation and sin because it is Christ living out His victory in his life. This is sanctification righteousness, which is imparted to the believer as he places his faith in Christ to “will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13)
“He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure.” REVIEW AND HERALD, JULY 1, 1890
Ellen White summarized justification and sanctification when she wrote: “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.” REVIEW AND HERALD, JUNE 4, 1895
Day 1 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead you to understand and experience righteousness by faith
- Those on your prayer list
Day 1 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 1 to 4 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 21 to 24 of the PDF version])
1. According to the Bible and SOP what two experiences are absolutely essential for the believer to understand and experience?
2. What will Christ give to His faithful ones on His coronation day?
3. What is the sign that the army of the redeemed will bear who surround Jesus?
4. How will God’s people be empowered to be victorious against Satan and his host?
5. In order to receive the crowns of immortal glory, what must we be without?
6. How do you become “without spot or wrinkle”?
7. Can you illustrate this truth from an experience in your life.
8. What is God saying to you right now?
Day 1 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 4 to 8 (pages 24 to 28 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 2
- Prayerfully answer Day 2 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 2 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.