Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16

292/447

Ms 49, 1901

Work Out Your Own Salvation

NP

June 26, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in AH 201-202, 235-236, 268; CG 79, 276-277, 498; 6MR 16-18; 7MR 11-12.

“Work Out Your Own Salvation.” 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 1

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 2

Willing and doing are bound together. The salvation of the soul requires the blending of human and divine strength. God does not propose to do the work that man can do to meet the standard of righteousness. Man has a part to act. Humanity must unite and co-operate with divinity. Grace and sufficiency have been abundantly provided for every soul. But in order to receive this, man must unite with his divine Helper. Unless of his own accord man consents to renounce his sinful practices, Christ cannot take away his sin. Man must heartily co-operate with God, willingly obeying His laws, showing that he appreciates the great gift of grace. Feeling his dependence upon God, having faith in Christ as his personal Saviour, expecting efficiency and success only as he shall keep the Lord ever before him—it is thus that man complies with the injunction, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” [Verse 12.] 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 3

But human effort is not sufficient. Human effort avails nothing without divine power. Of himself man has not strength to wrestle with the powers of darkness. Therefore Christ clothed His divinity with humanity and came to this earth that He might co-operate with man. To those who will receive Him and trust in His power to save, He imparts the virtue of His righteousness. He gives them power to become the sons of God. “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, ... full of grace and truth. ... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” [John 1:12-14, 16.] 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 4

The human agent must remember that he has in himself no merits to present to God. Christ is the fountain of life, the only security for man’s salvation, the one great source of immortality. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. The great, grand work of perfecting character cannot be accomplished without the help that heaven is always ready to supply. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 5

He who desires to grow in physical, mental, and moral power must feel every moment his dependence upon the One who provides efficiency for growth. In the work of perfecting the strength and activity of the faculties of mind and body, man must constantly receive power from on high. The Lord is watching with earnest interest to see how man will conduct himself in the life which has been given him. Be not careless and indifferent in regard to the grand union work to be done by man and God. On your part you are to believe, receive the grace of God, and honor Christ in your life. On His part, He dwells in your heart, supplying you with divine strength, working in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 6

Parents are to co-operate with God by bringing their children up in His love and fear. They cannot displease Him more than by neglecting to train their children aright. God has given them these children as a sacred trust, to educate for Him. In a sense they stand in the place of God to their children. They are to work out the salvation of those who are too young to understand the difference between good and evil. They are in no case to think that good will naturally predominate in the hearts of their children. They are to carefully guard the words and actions of their little ones, lest the enemy shall gain an influence over them. This he is intensely desirous of doing, that he may counterwork the purpose of God. Kindly, interestedly, tenderly, parents are to work for their children, cultivating every good thing and repressing every evil thing which develops in the characters of their little ones. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 7

Parents should never fail to be constant learners. They need freshness and power, that with the simplicity of Christ they may teach the younger members of God’s family the knowledge of His will. They are to reiterate His lessons, line upon line, precept upon precept. They should be diligent students of the Bible, that they may be apt in the tillage of the garden of the heart. With persevering care they are to cultivate the hearts of the children placed in their care. God will help them in every patient, faithful effort. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 8

In the earliest years of the child’s life, the soil of the heart should be carefully prepared for the showers of God’s grace. Then the seeds of truth are to be carefully sown and diligently tended. And God, who rewards every effort made in His name, will put life into the seed sown, and there will appear first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 9

Too often, because of the wicked neglect of parents, Satan sows his seeds in the hearts of children, and a harvest of shame and sorrow is borne. The world today is destitute of true goodness because parents have failed to gather their children to themselves in the home. They have not kept them from association with the careless and reckless. Therefore the children have gone forth into the world to sow the seeds of death. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 10

In the cultivation of the garden of the heart, the efforts of parents must be unceasing, or unsightly weeds will spring up and choke the good seed. The weeds which spring up, the natural imperfections which appear, must be removed. Day by day parents are to watch vigilantly and correct wisely, insisting upon prompt obedience. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 11

Parents, give your time to your children. Teach them to form careful habits. Some parents allow their children to be destructive, to use as playthings that which they have no right to touch. Children should be taught that they must not handle the property of other people. For the comfort and happiness of the family they must be taught to observe the rules of propriety. Children are no happier because they are allowed to handle everything they see. If they are not educated to be care-taking, they will grow up with unlovely, destructive traits of character. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 12

The greatest suffering has come upon the human family because parents have departed from the divine plan to follow their own imaginings and imperfectly developed ideas. Many parents follow impulse. They forget that the present and future good of their children requires intelligent discipline. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 13

Parents do their children great wrong when they allow them to scream and cry. They should not be allowed to be careless and boisterous. If these objectionable traits of character are not checked in their early years, they will take them with them, strengthened and developed, into the religious and business life. Children will be just as happy if they are taught to be quiet in the house. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 14

Fathers and mothers, be sensible. Teach your children that they must be subordinate to law. Do not allow them to think that because they are children, it is their privilege to make all the noise they wish in the house. Wise rules and regulations must be made and enforced, that the beauty of the home life may not be spoiled. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 15

Children will be happier, far happier, under proper discipline than if left to do as their untrained impulses shall suggest. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 16

If when parents had first begun to live upon the earth there had been a firm adherence to the laws of God, the world would now be filled with well-ordered families. From age to age, right habits and customs would have been handed down from parents to children, and God would have been loved and honored. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 17

The wickedness which exists in the world today may be traced to the neglect of parents to discipline themselves and their children. Thousands upon thousands of Satan’s victims are what they are because of the injudicious way in which they were managed during their childhood. The stern rebuke of God is upon this mismanagement. The records of heaven show the awful history of the men and women who as children were left to follow their own way. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 18

Upon parents rests the responsibility of developing in their children those capabilities which will enable them to do good service for God. To do this work acceptably, parents must exercise self-control. They must choose the good and decidedly refuse the evil. There are many parents who themselves need to be converted. Their untrained characters make them unfit for the great work of training their children. When a child reveals the wrong traits which it has inherited from its parents, shall they storm over this reproduction of their own defects? No, no! Let parents keep a careful watch over themselves, guarding against all coarseness and roughness, lest these defects be seen more and more in their children. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 19

Boys and girls may early reveal deep and symmetrical piety if the means which God has ordained for the guidance of every family is followed in His fear and love. They will demonstrate the value of correct training and discipline. But the impression made upon the mind of children by the words of the teacher of truth is often counteracted by the words and actions of the parents. The susceptible though wayward hearts of children are often impressed by the truth, but often temptations come to them through father or mother, and they fall a prey to Satan’s devices. It is almost impossible to set the feet of children in safe paths when the parents do not co-operate. Evil sentiments falling from the lips of injudicious parents are the chief hindrance to genuine conversions among children. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 20

The mother is especially the educator of her children. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that moves the world.” God sees all the possibilities in that mite of humanity. He sees that with proper training the child will become a power for good in the world. He watches with anxious interest to see whether the parents will carry out His plan or whether by mistaken kindness they will destroy His purpose, indulging the child to its present and eternal ruin. To transform this helpless and apparently insignificant being into a blessing to the world and an honor to God is a great and grand work. Parents should allow nothing to come between them and the obligation they owe to their children. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 21

The training of children constitutes an important part of God’s plan for demonstrating the power of Christianity. A solemn responsibility rests upon parents to so train their children that when they go forth into the world they will do good and not evil to those with whom they associate. Our children are to be educated line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. From babyhood the character of the child is to be molded and fashioned in accordance with the divine plan. Virtues are to be instilled into its opening mind. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 22

In the management of their children, parents are to be in perfect harmony with the divine plan. The rules and regulations of the home life must be in strict accordance with a “Thus saith the Lord.” The rules God has given for the government of His church are the rules parents are to follow in the church in the home. It is God’s design that there shall be perfect order in the families on earth, preparatory to their union with the family in heaven. The usefulness of men and women in the church and in the home depends on the discipline and training they receive in the home life. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 23

The Lord calls upon parents to study and obey His Word. He asks them to so conduct themselves before their children, to so guide and educate these children, that they will rise up and call them blessed. I recommend to parents a study of God’s will and way. I urge them to put on the whole armor of God and gird themselves for the battle. They will be aided and encouraged in every movement they make in the right direction. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 24

Without human effort, divine effort is in vain. God will work with power when in trustful dependence upon Him parents will awake to the sacred responsibility which rests upon them and seek to train their children aright. He will co-operate with those parents who carefully and prayerfully educate their children, working out their own and their children’s salvation. He will work in them, to will and to do of His own good pleasure. 16LtMs, Ms 49, 1901, par. 25