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Self-Sacrifice, the Keynote of Christ’s Teachings

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

Written by: John Sernaque


CS - Counsels on Stewardship (1940) Chapter 4—The Conflicting Principles of Christ and Satan

The Keynote of Christ’s Teaching

Self-sacrifice is the keynote of Christ’s teachings. Often this is enjoined upon believers in language that seems authoritative, because there is no other way to save men than to cut them away from their life of selfishness. Christ gave, in His life on earth, a true representation of the power of the gospel.... To every soul who will suffer with Him in resistance of sin, in labor for His cause, in self-denial for the good of others, He promises a part in the eternal reward of the righteous. Through the exercise of the spirit that characterized His lifework, we are to become partakers of His nature. Partaking in this life of sacrifice for the sake of others, we shall share with Him in the life to come the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”—The Review and Herald, September 28, 1911. {CS 25.3}

Whether one follows the example of Satan or the teachings of Christ, is what makes the difference between life and death. Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf exemplifies His unselfish and humble nature. This represents the power of the gospel. The life that Jesus gave while on earth was in self-denial, and if we follow in the steps of Christ Jesus, we may receive the eternal reward of the righteous. This is His promise, and His promises never fail. Satan will try to separate us from Christ, till the very end. Satan is the originator of sin, and sin is what separates us from God. Satan does not consider others, but only self. Whereas the teachings and lifework of Christ revolve around self-denial. It is Jesus that gives us the truth, and it is the truth that saves.

Our kind and gracious heavenly Father,

We thank You for giving us Your Holy Word as our instruction manual in life. We thank You for the sacrifice You made of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins. We pray that we receive Your power to overcome our selfish nature and resist sin. We pray that we may lead a life of self-denial, as You did, that we may receive the eternal reward. We are sorry and repent of our sins. Save us dear Lord, and forgive us of our sins. Keep us faithful in our giving and benevolence towards our brothers and sisters, that none are left behind. These things we ask and pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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