Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8

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Ms 93, 1893

Privileges and Responsibilities of Sons of God.

NP

1893

This manuscript is published in entirety in 20MR 323-325.

As we behold the restless ocean and the sea and waves roaring, we think of the mighty power of God with whom we have to do. And all who accept of Jesus Christ are brought into close relationship with God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 1

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And 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.” John 1:1-14. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 2

What testimony does John bear? “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” 1 John 3:1. We have to continue to receive Christ and to confess Christ as our personal Saviour. We must day by day be kept by the power of God. We must in all humility of mind acknowledge in spirit and our actions that we are not “sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 3:5. We cannot vindicate ourselves before God, or justify ourselves. The Holy Spirit alone can guide us into all truth. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 3

Much more needs to be brought before the church, which will be a test of character; and our acceptance is not on our own merits, not on our own capabilities, but on our acceptance of light which cometh from God, and worketh with us to regulate our conduct toward God in complete sanctification of our own mind and our own will by the infallible standard. The expression of His character is in the positive declaration of His law. “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints; who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?” Revelation 15:3, 4. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 4

There is altogether too little made of the work of the Holy Spirit’s influence upon the church. Altogether too much dependence is placed upon the individual human agencies to bring success into the church. Where there is genuine piety in a church, there will be a genuine faith in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s efficiency. It is depending so largely upon man and his supposed capabilities and his education and his knowledge that eclipses the Lord God, who is All-power and can help, and will help, and longs to manifest Himself to every neglected, cast down soul who feels that he is weak in moral power. He must rely upon the Word of God with unwavering confidence, and not be continually making the arm of flesh his dependence and his trust. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 5

The individual Christian will grow in grace just in proportion as he depends not on his or her smartness and supposed natural and acquired capabilities, but on the teachings and leadings of the Holy Spirit, and trains his mind and habituates himself to turning in contemplation and earnest prayer to his heavenly Father for guidance and instruction in righteousness. Every church member will be vigorous and fruitful in proportion as he honors the Father, who is not to be regarded as an essence but as a personal God who made man in His own image and likeness. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 6

The Son of God, who is the express image of the Father’s person, became man’s Advocate and Redeemer. He humbled Himself in taking the nature of man in his fallen condition, but He did not take the taint of sin. As the second Adam He must pass over the ground where Adam fell, meet the wily foe who caused Adam’s and Eve’s fall, and be tempted in all points as man will be tempted, and overcome every temptation in behalf of man. To Him should man look—to Him who endured the “contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:3. While every human being is to be loved for Christ’s sake, not one is to be looked to as supreme in counsel and unerring in wisdom. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 7

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ’s name. He personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality. We may have the Holy Spirit if we ask for it and make it [a] habit to turn to and trust in God rather than in any finite human agent who may make mistakes. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 8

Those who are now our leaders, men in authority in important business transactions in all our institutions, must consider and plan wisely in regard to children and youth who are growing in years and in knowledge. The ones who are now using the school books will fill their places as educators, sit in councils, and have a voice in methods and plans to shape and mold the work. The church will consider that new elements will be connected with it as teachers, as deacons, as workers. Those who are to do this work satisfactorily will have to devote labors to new fields, and trusts and responsibilities will fall upon those who are now students in our schools. How is the work going forward with those who are now learners? How well fitted are they becoming for grave, important responsibilities? 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 9

The question of the proper training of children and youth is to be understood and acted upon. What is the nature of the studies that are given to the young? 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 10

The Lord would have every man have a true, living experience that the representation may be of that character as is brought before us in (1 Corinthians 4:1-3): “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.” Can we say with Paul, “It is a very small thing”? 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 11

“For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” Verses 4-9. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 12

Here the deficiencies are apparent before angels and men. This whole chapter contains strong truths to be communicated. How important that every soul shall have his righteousness going before him; then will the glory of God be his rearward (Isaiah 58:8). The most splendid workmanship is God’s building in human character. The most splendid building art can produce is liable to come to naught. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 13

“Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:1-10. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 14

If this is not a possible thing to do, then these words would not be written. This whole chapter may be read and most earnestly taken into the life practice, and so answer the prayer of Christ in John 17. “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” 1 Corinthians 3:9-13. 8LtMs, Ms 93, 1893, par. 15