Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8


Chapter 34—Christ Our Example

St. Helena, California,

October 30, 1903

To Medical Missionaries:

That which is most needed by medical missionary workers is the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord. Those who labor as Christ, the great Medical Missionary, labored must be spiritually minded. But not all who are doing medical missionary work are exalting God and His truth. Not all are submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Some are bringing to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble—material that will not bear the test of fire. 8T 206.1

I pray that I may have wisdom and power from God to present to you that which constitutes gospel medical missionary work. This is a great and important branch of our denominational work. But many have lost sight of the pure, ennobling principles underlying acceptable medical missionary work. 8T 206.2

In my diary I find the following, written one year ago: October 29, 1902. This morning I awoke early. After praying most earnestly for wisdom and clearness of mind, that I might properly express the matters urged upon my attention, I wrote out about ten pages of instruction. I know that the Lord helped me to trace on paper the important matter that should come before His people. 8T 206.3

When writing thus, I feel intensely, but after the instruction has been recorded, relief comes to my mind; for I know then that the subject matter presented to me will not be lost, even though the subject may pass from my mind. Those only who realize that the cross is the center of hope for the human family can understand the gospel that Christ taught. He came to this world for no other purpose than to place man on vantage ground before the world and the heavenly universe. He came to bear testimony that fallen human beings, through faith in His power and efficacy as the Son of God, may become partakers of the divine nature. He alone could make atonement for sinners and open the gates of paradise to the fallen race. He took on Himself, not the nature of angels, but the nature of man, and in this world lived a life untainted by sin. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:14, 12. 8T 206.4

By His life and death Christ taught that only in obedience to God's commandments can man find safety and true greatness. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7. God's law is a transcript of His character. It was given to man in the beginning as the standard of obedience. In succeeding ages this law was lost sight of. Hundreds of years after the Flood Abraham was called, and to him was given the promise that his descendants should exalt God's law. In course of time the Israelites went into Egypt, where for many years they suffered grievous oppression at the hands of the Egyptians. After they had been in slavery for nearly four hundred years, God delivered them by a wonderful manifestation of His power. He revealed Himself to the Egyptians as the Ruler of the universe, One greater than all heathen deities. 8T 207.1

At Sinai the law was given a second time. In awful grandeur the Lord spoke His precepts and with His own finger engraved the Decalogue upon tables of stone. 8T 207.2

Passing down through the centuries, we find that there came a time when God's law must once more be unmistakably revealed as the standard of obedience. Christ came to vindicate the sacred claims of the law. He came to live a life of obedience to its requirements and thus prove the falsity of the charge made by Satan that it is impossible for man to keep the law of God. As a man He met temptation and overcame in the strength given Him from God. As He went about doing good, healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God's law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God. 8T 207.3

Never did Christ deviate from loyalty to the principles of God's law. Never did He do anything contrary to the will of His Father. Before angels, men, and demons He could speak words that from any other lips would have been blasphemy: “I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29. Day by day for three years His enemies followed Him, trying to find some stain in His character. Satan, with all his confederacy of evil, sought to overcome Him; but they found nothing in Him by which to gain advantage. Even the devils were forced to confess: “Thou art the Holy One of God.” 8T 208.1