Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)


Ms 17, 1911

Sermon/Thoughts on Philippians 2

Long Beach, California

August 19, 1911

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 245. +Note

“If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels of mercies, fulfil ye my joy that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” [Philippians 2:1-4.] 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 1

Let us study this Scripture, and follow its instruction. If we will put self out of sight and come into right relation to God, we will manifest a forbearance and kindness that will make us a blessing to all with whom we associate. We need to come into right relation to God, for we are not safe unless we place ourselves under the broad shield of Omnipotence. Only there can God work through us to will and to do of His good pleasure, as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 2

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” the apostle continues, “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant; and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 3

“Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, to will and to do of His good pleasure.” [Verses 5-13.] 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 4

God desires that we shall be in a position where we shall honor Him. And how can we do this? We must first humble our hearts before God, bringing ourselves and our families into right relation to Him. We cannot afford to go on to Satan’s ground every now and then, but we must press steadily forward to the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. If we do this we shall have the approval, and angels of heaven will be near us to help us. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 5

Fathers and mothers, you have a great responsibility resting upon you. If the lives of your children meet the approval of God, you must work with an eye single to the glory of God and fashion your life according to the perfect pattern. Who is this pattern? It is the Son of God. Christ consented to come to this world and become a man, that He might by His own example teach humanity to bring their lives into conformity to the will of God. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 6

Consider the sacrifice of God in permitting His only begotten Son to come to our world to be this example to all the human family. Christ gave His precious life a daily sacrifice to men; and when His earthly ministry was accomplished, He suffered the death of the cross, that He might give to man an example of what heaven was willing to do for fallen humanity. Let us not disappoint God. The sacrifice made in our behalf cost too much for us to regard as a light thing the salvation which His Word bids us work out in our daily experience. There is a tremendous reality in the work that we are called to carry forward in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Let us not dishonor God by doing a haphazard work, but let us humble ourselves under His hand, that He may exalt us in due time. If we seek to exalt ourselves, we will surely make mistakes; but if God exalts us, the seal of our exaltation will be recorded in the books of heaven. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 7

Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, let us seek to follow closely the divine Pattern, to imitate the life of Christ; then we shall be exalted to stand by His side in the heavenly courts and to have placed on our brows the crown of immortal glory. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 8

Many of us need a clearer understanding of what it means to be an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. We need to learn, as we follow on to know the Lord, that His going forth is prepared as the morning. You have watched the rising sun and the gradual breaking of day over the earth. Little by little the light increases till the sun appears; then growing constantly stronger the light increases until we have the full glory of the day. This preparation of the morning is a beautiful illustration of what God desires to do for us in the perfecting of our Christian experience. We cannot afford to do a haphazard work in this world. We are seeking for a life that measures with the life of God. And we cannot afford to make mistakes that will give to others a wrong example. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 9

We need to keep ever before us the course that Christ followed. It was an overcoming course. When the devil came to Him in the wilderness of temptation, bidding Him command that the stones be made bread, that He might satisfy His hunger, the Saviour, though faint from want of food, refused to follow his suggestion. In the work before Him He would meet those who were suffering and needy. It was in the order of God that He should have this experience, that He might be touched with the feelings of the hungry and know how to sympathize with those who were suffering and in want. Men and women would be led to cast their helpless souls on the care and protection of Him who for their sakes had been hungry and had suffered want. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 10

We must learn to work intelligently; and if we will seek His help, God will give us His wisdom and strength to do this. He will give us power in prayer and in speech, and He will give us overcoming power. And this will bring us victory through Christ. We must be prepared to meet our Redeemer. We cannot afford to run the risk of the sinner. Let us keep our eyes upon the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 11

If you do this, fathers and mothers, it means that you must do more than order and direct as you shall feel inclined. You must wrestle for your children; nor can you afford to give up the battle for one hour, whatever may be your disappointments and trials. As the enemy worked to overcome the Saviour, so he will work with the human family today. But in every time of trial and difficulty, remember that Christ has passed through similar experiences, and He came out from every trial without a stain of sin upon His character. He came to show what every member of the human family may become through His grace. He understands every difficulty that we must meet, and He stands ready to strengthen those who struggle with Him against the powers of evil. He waits to hear and answer their prayers. When heaven is won, and we pass through the gates of the city of God to hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” [Matthew 25:23], how small will seem the trials and difficulties that have beset our pathway here. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 12

Who among us will determine to have the victory? Parents, here are your children. Are you educating them so that they will make it the first business of their lives to bring their spirit into harmony with the spirit of heaven? Let us respond to the light that God is giving. Let us help the children, strengthening them in every way possible, so that they may be overcomers. It is their privilege daily to gain victories over the agencies of evil. You cannot afford to be lax in your family life. You and your children have heaven to win. Every soul is under test and trial by which he will prove his fitness to pass the grand review of the judgment. Thus we are all to be prepared to glorify God in the courts of heaven. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 13

We need to educate our children to keep the commandments of God. Especially should we impress upon them the sacredness of the seventh-day Sabbath. “Six days shalt thou labor,” the Lord declares, “and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” [Exodus 20:9, 10.] 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 14

We must stand the temptation in this world if we are to stand in the grand review when the gates of the city of God are thrown open and the nations that have kept the truth shall enter in. Then a crown will be placed on the brow of those who have been overcomers, a harp will be placed in their hand, and their songs of praise and victory will resound through the heavenly courts. Then let us be overcomers here, that the glory of God may be revealed in us, and that from our sanctified lips may roll forth the songs of the victor in the city of God. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 15

We do not know how soon we shall be called to suffer for the truth’s sake. But let us be preparing for that time by witnessing for the truth every day as it comes to us. We have children, or brothers or sisters or friends. Let us give to them an example that will encourage them to be overcomers. By manifesting patience and forbearance, we may teach them to be patient under test and trial. And what a reward will be ours when we see those whom we have sought to influence in right lines saved, eternally saved in the kingdom of God, where there will be no more temptations to meet, no tempter to resist. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 16

Christ was an overcomer. He was called to wrestle with all the difficulties that it is possible for man to meet. Satan came to Him with the temptation, “If Thou be the Son of God, work a miracle.” Satan desired Christ to acknowledge that “if.” [Luke 4:3.] There was strong temptation for Christ to escape the trials that were before Him. But He stood the test; and when Satan brought his third temptation to bear, Christ commanded, “Get thee behind Me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” [Verse 8.] Then the Son of God fell fainting to the ground. But though His physical strength failed, His faith did not fail. He had refused to yield to temptation, and the victory was gained. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 17

Pilate declared Christ to be without fault when the Saviour was brought before him for trial. Yet to appease the angry mob, he delivered Christ into their hands, saying, “Take ye Him and crucify Him; for I find no fault in Him.” [John 19:6.] These words of Pilate declaring the innocence of Christ will in the day of judgment testify against him and against those into whose hands he delivered the Saviour. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 18

As Christ was an overcomer, so we must be overcomers. In times of special need and trial, we shall have to win the victory even as Christ won. Christ did not work a miracle to escape suffering, but committed His case into His Father’s hands. In times of special need and difficulty, do not let your faith fail; refuse to be discouraged; refuse to let it be said of you that Christ overcame in your behalf in vain. Determine that you will glorify your Redeemer by standing every test and trial. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 19

We have a heaven to win and a hell to shun. We cannot afford to make mistakes in this conflict; for if we lose, we lose too much. My brethren and sisters, guard your lips; guard your spirit. We want to see you converted; we do not want you to put this off, but to come to Christ as you are and give yourself unreservedly to Him. We need to realize the solemn fact that if we stand the great test of the judgment, we must do our work intelligently; we must have Christ as our helper and commit the keeping of our souls to God as to a faithful Creator. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 20

I ask you to study the fourth and fifth chapters of Ephesians. The apostle writes: “This I say therefore and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of your mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt concerning the former lusts; but be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 21

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another ... Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 22

“Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.” [Ephesians 4:17-5:2.] 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 23

It means everything to us to stand at last as overcomers before the throne of God. Open your hearts and minds to the impressions of the Holy Spirit, and determine to stand for the truth and righteousness. It is the Lord who impresses the human heart; I have not the power to make this impression. But I resolved that I would speak to you today of Him who is the perfect Pattern and point you to One who was equal with God, yet who gave His precious life that you might live. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 24

How many among those who are here will endeavor to put away all foolishness from the life? This is no time for trifling. Believers and unbelievers with whom you come in contact need the help of your influence to draw with Christ. There are souls all around you who need to be helped in the narrow way, souls who need to feel the converting power of God. Who will help these souls to find the peace and joy that is found only in the service of Christ? How many will pledge themselves to press forward decidedly in the way that leads to eternal life? How many will honor Christ by resolving that His great sacrifice shall avail for them? Let those who will pledge themselves to this work rise to their feet. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 25

(Congregation rises.) 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 26

(Praying:) My heavenly Father, I have borne this message to the best of my ability. I ask Thee to make the impression. I am weakness itself, but Thou art strength. Accept the pledge that has been made here today, and in the courts of heaven may it be acknowledged as true and genuine. Help these souls to give their life and strength to the honor and glory of God and for the blessing of those around them. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 27

Heavenly Father, I come to Thee. Accept me, and accept this congregation, and help them to make determined efforts to press the battle to the gates. Thou knowest their weakness; impart to them more than human strength. Give them the overcomer’s reward as they follow on to know the Lord. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 28

Father, we commit these souls to Thee. They are Thine. Let angels work in their behalf until they take their stand fully on the Lord’s side. Let Thy light shine into their hearts and minds, that they may be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony; and Thy blessed name shall have all the glory. Amen. 25LtMs, Ms 17, 1911, par. 29