Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)

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Ms 48, 1904

Talk/Lessons From the First and Second Chapter of Colossians

Berrien Springs, Michigan

May 20, 1904

Portions of this manuscript are published in 6MR 39.

(Morning talk by Mrs. E. G. White.)

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, ... to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” [Colossians 1:1, 2.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 1

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints: for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which is come unto you, as it is in all the world, and bringeth forth fruit.” [Verses 3-6.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 2

You may be a gospel minister, but if you preach the Word in such a way that it brings forth no fruit, your labor is in vain. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 3

If we will eat of the bread of life, we shall have spiritual strength. We shall have no disposition to think or talk of the faults of others. We shall remember that by beholding we shall become changed, and that if we spend our time thinking and talking of the faults of others, we shall be changed into the same likeness. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 4

“Filled With the Knowledge of His Will”

“As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” [Verses 7-9.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 5

Paul’s words show no spirit of envy, no fear lest some one is trying to get before him. He presents the high attainments that may be reached by every one. His desire for believers is that they “might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” that they might “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” [Verses 9-11.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 6

What wonderful possibilities these words hold out to us. If we heed them, we shall go on from strength to strength, increasing in the knowledge of God. Each night will find us a day’s march nearer home. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 7

“Partakers of the Inheritance of the Saints”

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” [Verse 12.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 8

This is the Christian’s hope. It is this that fills him with joy and courage. My brethren and sisters, does this hope fill your heart, or is your mind so beclouded by wrong habits of eating and drinking that you cannot appreciate the blessings of God? 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 9

“Which hath made us meet.” [Verse 12.] Those who have fully consecrated themselves to Christ are fitted by His grace to be partakers of the immortal inheritance. They have an intense desire to be like the Saviour, and they are constantly growing in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. They meditate upon the truths of the gospel, and upon the lives of Christ’s faithful followers, and follow their godly example. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 10

“Even the Forgiveness of Sins”

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son; in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” [Verses 13, 14.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 11

It is our right to have the evidence that our sins are forgiven because we have cast our helpless souls upon Christ. He has said, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] We need positiveness in our faith. In order to have this, we must day by day live in communion with God, that we may know what He is to those who seek Him. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 12

Christ the Head

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” [Colossians 1:15-17.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 13

We are to be students of prophecy. We are constantly to be accumulating a knowledge of the things of heaven. We are to prepare for entrance into the abodes of bliss by receiving all the power and grace of God that it is possible for us to receive before the coming of Christ. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 14

“And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” [Verse 18.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 15

Never is a human being to be set up as a god. Never are we to take any man as our pattern and guide, going to him to know what we shall do. Christ is our guide. He has given us reasoning powers of our own, and He wants us to put them to the very best use. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 16

“It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.” [Verse 19.] O why do we go to weak, erring fellow mortals for guidance? Jesus says, “Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I—I who have the preeminence—will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] There are many in our world who are restless and dissatisfied. They are unwilling to perform the duties He points out, unwilling to practice the self-denial He calls for. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 17

Reconciled Through His Death

“And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things on earth or things in heaven. And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” [Colossians 1:20-22.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 18

“Yet now hath He reconciled.” [Verse 21.] Have you been reconciled? And is your life revealing to the world the fruit of this reconciliation? God calls upon us to take hold of His work with an earnestness and energy that will show to unbelievers the power of the truth that we believe. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 19

“Holy and Unblameable”

“To present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” [Verse 22.] These words present a very high attainment, but this attainment is possible to all who learn in the school of Christ His meekness and lowliness, putting themselves entirely under His control. Those who follow Christ will make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. They will not allow any root of bitterness to spring up in their hearts lest others be injured. They will work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who works in them, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 20

“To fulfil the word of God, even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is manifest to His saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.” [Verses 25-29.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 21

“Knit Together in Love”

“For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.” [Colossians 2:1, 2.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 22

Could you wish anything fuller than this expression? Shall we not resolve that with the help of God we will grasp a higher faith, a higher power, that we will put away the foolishness that we ought to have put away long ago? God wants us to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. He wants us to be strong in His strength. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 23

“With Enticing Words”

“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” [Verse 4.] The one who deceived Adam and Eve tries continually to deceive the children of God today. His angels are in this room now; but the angels of heaven are here also, ready to sweep away the fog from your mind if you will let them. Will you not let the glory of God flood your hearts. His grace is for us. If we place ourselves in right relation to Him, we shall reveal this grace as we labor for perishing souls, trying with all the power that He has given us to win them to Christ. God will be with us as we lift up the Man of Calvary, that sinners may see that all who will believe may be saved. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 24

Wherever we go, we shall meet the enticing words against which the apostle warns us. We shall meet with spiritualistic interpretations of the Scriptures, but we are not to accept them. Keeping our eyes fixed on Christ, we are to move steadily forward in the path He has marked out. He came to this world to give men the principles of truth and to teach them how to obey these principles. He came to place human beings on vantage ground. Bearing our human nature, He conquered where the first Adam failed. He withstood every temptation that Satan brought against Him and lived a life free from spot or stain of sin. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 25

Our Work

I would say to my ministering brethren, Do not hover over the churches. Teach the members that to every one God has given his work. Those who go to church Sabbath after Sabbath, and during the week make no effort to give to others what they have received, grow rusty from inaction. The truth loses its preciousness to them. But those who during the week labor earnestly for souls will gain a deeper and still deeper appreciation of the truth. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 26

There are many places in which there is no memorial for God, many cities in which the truth for this time has not been proclaimed. Let our ministers go forth into these unworked fields, trusting in the Lord God of Israel. Let the church members help them with their prayers and their sympathy. There is a world to be saved. Christ came to teach us how to reach and uplift sinners. Wherever He went, He preached the gospel and healed the sick. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 27

Those ministers who feel at liberty to indulge appetite are falling far short of the mark. God wants them to be health reformers. He wants them to live up to the light that has been given us on this subject. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 28

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him; rooted and builded up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” [Verses 6, 7.] 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 29

My brethren and sisters, I want you to study these two chapters. When you feel inclined to find fault with others, think of the instruction these chapters contain, and ask God to impress it on your mind. Ask Him to help you to carry it out in the daily life, that you may be filled with the fulness of God. I entreat you to be one in Christ. Do not try to search out some doctrine that Christ has not taught. Stand unitedly on the platform of eternal truth. Preach Christ and Him crucified. 19LtMs, Ms 48, 1904, par. 30