Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 182, 1905

The Christian Life



Formerly Undated Ms 133. Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 343-344. +Note

We are living in a time when there are but two classes in our world: those who trample upon the commandments of God and those who honor God and love His Word, using the weapon that Christ used in His battle with the great deceiver—the sword of the Spirit, “It is written.” 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 1

Christ clothed His divinity with humanity to make it possible for human beings to be partakers of the divine nature, overcoming the corruption that is in the world through lust. What is the result when the repentant sinner sees the privilege that is his in being enabled to unite with Christ? He is filled with thankfulness and rejoicing. “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous, and give praise at the remembrance of His holiness.” [Psalm 97:12.] And as long as man keeps humble and lowly, God blesses him. But when he gives place to self-exaltation, he ceases to depend on Him who is the source of mercy and peace and love. Self-sufficiency clothes him, and he puts himself in high places. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 2

The Lord desires His servants to be cheerful, but never selfish or filled with pride. “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 3

Happy and sure experience. The joy of the love of God in the soul is derived from and connected with the service of God. A cheerful, happy temper belongs to the soul who walks humbly in a perfect way of the Lord’s choosing. “Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.” [Psalm 105:3.] 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 4

A strange work is leavening the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists. There is seen pride, self-seeking, self-exaltation, a sense of self-sufficiency. Self is placed where God should be. Those to whom these words apply do not know God. They do not know themselves. They have impulses for good, but their hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil spoil their religion and their experience. Self and selfishness bear sway, and the words and acts exert a wrong influence on their associates. They wear a self-satisfied smile, but they have spoiled their record. Hearts are made sad and sore by their course of action, and angels weep while Satan rejoices. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 5

It is religion of this kind that makes so strange a showing. True religion leads men and women to work, not for the exaltation of self, but for the blessing of others. How little pure, sincere, Christlike love is seen! God calls upon His people to be sincere, as true as steel to principle. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 6

“I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” [John 17:14.] Their actions do not harmonize with the actions of the world. The pure, unselfish life of the true Christian is a reproach to the worldling. Those who are genuinely converted will not link up with the world. They will not follow the ways and practices of worldlings. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 7

“I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” [Verses 15, 16.] They are serving a different master from the one served by the world, and they are to keep themselves entirely separate from the evil practices of the world. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 8

Christ labored untiringly to save perishing souls, but in all that He did, He kept God’s standard of perfection uplifted. He presented clearly and plainly the requirements of the Word of God, pointing to this Word as the guide by which His workers were to be protected from the evil that they would meet in this world. On every side they would come in contact with polluted sentiments, and Christ prayed, “Sanctify them though Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” [Verse 17.] 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 9

“As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” [Verse 18.] The disciples had not been chosen from the learned men of Israel. They were humble, unlearned fishermen; but they were willing to learn of Christ, and He taught them the highest of all wisdom. Christian worth does not depend on lofty birth or brilliant powers, but upon heeding the invitation, “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29, 30.] A heart that feels its constant dependence on the Lord Jesus is necessary to success in the Christian life. Christ’s disciples must work as He worked. As they give themselves wholly to Him for service, the similitude of His character is stamped upon their hearts by His Spirit. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 10

“And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified though the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.” [John 17:19, 20.] These words include all who will come to Christ in repentance, confessing their sins. But there are many who will not do this. They will do anything but confess their sins. They are unwilling to humiliate themselves and will continue to put off the humiliation until at the judgment they will be forced to confess their unworthiness to enter heaven. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 11

I thank God that the way is opened for all to come to Christ and be saved. The words, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word,” come sounding down along the line to our time, gathering out from the world precious, blood-bought souls. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 12

The message that Christ bore we are to bear. There is a sanctification of soul that all may have—a sanctification that will reveal the outworking of the principles of truth in the daily life. It rests with us to place ourselves where God can give us this sanctification. We are to reveal the purity of character that Christ revealed, that we may set a right example before those who are seeking the right way. God expects us to help them, that their senses may not be confused by the uncertain movements and unchristlike manifestations of character of those whose lives are patterned after the lives of worldlings. It is required of us that we copy the model that Christ has revealed in His life. We shall see evil and vice all about us. There will be seducing spirits, and here is our greatest danger. But the Word is our guide. In contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, we are to speak and act in a way that will be a savor of life unto life. There will be gainsayers who will play upon words, and who will ridicule the most sacred things, but we are not to retaliate. Every word is recorded in the books of heaven. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 13

We shall have to keep up a constant warfare with the evil devices of humanity as exhibited in ourselves. Christ came from heaven to give us strength to do this, to make it possible for us to conquer in the struggle. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 14

Without Christ, human beings cast aside truth and righteousness as if there were no heaven to win, no hell to shun. They seek to trample down the truth. But truth lives, and truth will triumph. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 15

Those who amidst the perils of the last days are seeking the salvation of their souls need to study carefully the prayer that Christ offered for them just before His trial and crucifixion. They will need to cling close to the One who gave His life for them, that they might have power to become the sons of God, power to obtain the victory over sin. They are to live the Christ life, revealing purity and holiness. Never are they to gloss over sin. Never are they to have perverted appetites and passions. These appetites and passions are to be uprooted and cast away. The children of God are not to be slaves of passion. Their lives are to show that the truth has sanctified their souls. The reason is to be sanctified and carefully guarded as a precious, heaven-sent gift. Their hearts are to be gladdened by the rich promises given them and the bright prospects before them. Every feature of their experience is to be radiant with heaven’s brightness. Their lives are to be filled with thanksgiving. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 16

“That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” [Verse 21.] This argument is ever to be borne in mind in every family, in every church, in every school. The unity of believers is the evidence that is to convince the world that God sent His Son to save sinners. Satan says, “I will defeat God’s plan. I will make men selfish and bigoted, seeking honor and glory for themselves.” Let us not help him to carry out his evil design. Let us have confidence that God sent His Son to save perishing souls. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 17

“And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one.” [Verse 22.] My brother, my sister, I am bidden to ask you the question: Are you converted? Are you receiving the endowment of glory that the Father gave His Son? Are you revealing the meekness and lowliness of Christ? “I in them,” by the faith they have in Me, “and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” [Verse 23.] How high and holy the thought! It seems too great for us to comprehend. But the promise is sure and steadfast. Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him. He is our completeness. He fits human beings to be partakers of the divine nature. He whose heart is sanctified through the truth is one with Christ in God. He has the wisdom that is first pure, then peaceable. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 18

Let those who preach the gospel so present the truth that men and women shall hear the message that God has given for these last days. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 19

“Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.] 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 20

It is through the power of the Word that souls are led to believe in Christ. He who has received the sanctification of the truth will reveal in the life the unity and tenderness and love that bind heart to heart. The Christian does not fix his affections on self. He works for the good of others, receiving and imparting grace for grace. He realizes that Christ is his efficiency, and he seeks most earnestly for the divine presence, that he may be one with Christ, complete in Him. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 21

Christians are to be knit together in the bonds of love and charity. They are to be one in heart and purpose and sentiment, guided and controlled by the Word of God. Are we revealing this oneness? The unity for which Christ prayed is not to be regarded as a sentiment, but as the purpose of God for us. It is in accordance with the councils held by the Father and the Son that there shall be perfect unity among those who name the name of Christ. This is a holy, sanctified unity, which forbids all alienation and strife. Why should it not be seen among us? It will be seen when believers are sanctified by the Holy Spirit. If we expect to be united in the courts above as members of the family of the redeemed, should we not be united in the church here below? 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 22

The words “I in them, and Thou in Me” [John 17:23] reveal the nature and character of the union that is to bind His followers together. This union is needed in the church now, just now. Complete union with Christ and with one another is absolutely necessary to the perfection of believers. Christ’s presence by faith in the hearts of believers is their power, their life. It brings union with God. “Thou in Me.” Union with God through Christ makes the church perfect. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 23

“The glory which Thou gavest Me,” as the channel of conveyance, “I have given them, that they may be one, as We are one.” [Verse 22.] We are to bend every energy to the attainment of this oneness. The gifts that God has bestowed upon His people are not to create diversity, but are to blend in harmony. Medical missionary workers are not to regard it as of no consequence whether or not they respect the ministry. God calls for unity. The trumpet that calls His people into line will have a certain sound. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 24

It is an honor to be ambassadors for God, an honor to belong to a church gathered out from the world to stand before the world as God’s commandment-keeping people. The keeping of the Sabbath of the Lord is the sign that is to distinguish God’s people from the world. 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 25

“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them!” [Verses 24-26.] 20LtMs, Ms 182, 1905, par. 26