Lift Him Up

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Power of God, Not Self, October 30

I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him. 2 Timothy 1:12. LHU 317.1

To some who witnessed [Paul's] martyrdom, his spirit of forgiveness toward his murderers and his unwavering confidence in Christ till the last, proved a savor of life unto life.... LHU 317.2

Until his latest hour the life of Paul testified to the truth of his words to the Corinthians: “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:6-10). His sufficiency was not in himself, but in the presence and agency of the divine Spirit that filled his soul and brought every thought into subjection to the will of Christ. The prophet declares, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3). The heaven-born peace expressed on Paul's countenance won many a soul to the gospel. LHU 317.3

Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of truth. The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that is impossible wholly to resist.... The few Christians who accompanied him to the place of execution he endeavored to strengthen and encourage by repeating the promises given for those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. He assured them that nothing would fail of all that the Lord had spoken concerning His tried and faithful children.... Soon the night of trial and suffering would end, and then would dawn the glad morning of peace and perfect day. LHU 317.4

The apostle was looking into the great beyond, not with uncertainty or dread, but with joyous hope and longing expectation.... LHU 317.5

Ransomed by the sacrifice of Christ, washed from sin in His blood, and clothed in His righteousness, Paul has the witness in himself that his soul is precious in the sight of his Redeemer (The Acts of the Apostles, 510-512). LHU 317.6