Manuscript Releases, vol. 20 [Nos. 1420-1500]


MR No. 1487—Privileges and Responsibilities of Christians; Depend on Holy Spirit, Not Self

As we behold the restless ocean and the sea and waves roaring, we think of the mighty power of God with whom we have to do. And all who accept of Jesus Christ are brought into close relationship with God. [John 1:1-14, quoted.] 20MR 323.1

What testimony does John bear? “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1). We have to continue to receive Christ and to confess Christ as our personal Saviour. We must day by day be kept by the power of God. We must in all humility of mind acknowledge in spirit and our actions that we are not “sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 3:5). We cannot vindicate ourselves before God, or justify ourselves. The Holy Spirit alone can guide us into all truth. 20MR 323.2

Much more needs to be brought before the church, which will be a test of character; and our acceptance is not on our own merits, not on our own capabilities, but on our acceptance of light, which cometh from God and worketh with us to regulate our conduct toward God in complete sanctification of our own mind and our own will by the infallible standard. The expression of His character is in the positive declaration of His law. “Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name?” (Revelation 15:3, 4). 20MR 323.3

There is altogether too little made of the work of the Holy Spirit's influence upon the church. Altogether too much dependence is placed upon the individual human agencies to bring success into the church. Where there is genuine piety in a church, there will be a genuine faith in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit's efficiency. It is depending so largely upon man and his supposed capabilities and his education and his knowledge that eclipses the Lord God, who is All-power and can help, and will help, and longs to manifest himself to every neglected, cast-down soul who feels that he is weak in moral power. He must rely upon the Word of God with unwavering confidence, and not be continually making the arm of flesh his dependence and his trust. 20MR 323.4

The individual Christian will grow in grace just in proportion as he depends not on his or her smartness and supposed natural and acquired capabilities, but on the teachings and leadings of the Holy Spirit, and trains his mind and habituates himself to turning in contemplation and earnest prayer to his heavenly Father for guidance and instruction in righteousness. Every church member will be vigorous and fruitful in proportion as he honors the Father, who is not to be regarded as an essence but as a personal God who made man in His own image and likeness. 20MR 323.5

The Son of God, who is the express image of the Father's person, became man's Advocate and Redeemer. He humbled himself in taking the nature of man in his fallen condition, but He did not take the taint of sin. As the second Adam He must pass over the ground where Adam fell, meet the wily foe who caused Adam and Eve's fall, and be tempted in all points as man will be tempted, and overcome every temptation in behalf of man. To him should man look—to him who endured the “contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3). While every human being is to be loved for Christ's sake, not one is to be looked to as supreme in counsel and unerring in wisdom. 20MR 324.1

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, in Christ's name. He personifies Christ, yet is a distinct personality. We may have the Holy Spirit if we ask for it and make it [a] habit to turn to and trust in God rather than in any finite human agent who may make mistakes. 20MR 324.2

Those who are now our leaders, men in authority in important business transactions in all our institutions, must consider and plan wisely in regard to children and youth who are growing in years and in knowledge. The ones who are now using the school books will fill their places as educators, sit in councils, and have a voice in methods and plans to shape and mold the work. The church will consider that new elements will be connected with it as teachers, as deacons, as workers. Those who are to do this work satisfactorily will have to devote labors to new fields, and trusts and responsibilities will fall upon those who are now students in our schools. How is the work going forward with those who are now learners? How well fitted are they becoming for grave, important responsibilities? 20MR 324.3

The question of the proper training of children and youth is to be understood and acted upon. What is the nature of the studies that are given to the young? 20MR 324.4

The Lord would have every man have a true, living experience that the representation may be of that character as is brought before us in 1 Corinthians 4:1-3: “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.” Can we say with Paul, “It is a very small thing”? [Verses 4-9, quoted.] 20MR 324.5

Here the deficiencies are apparent before angels and men. This whole chapter contains strong truths to be communicated. How important that every soul shall have His righteousness going before him; then will the glory of God be his rearward (Isaiah 58:8). The most splendid workmanship is God's building in human character. The most splendid building art can produce is liable to come to naught. [1 Corinthians 1:1-10, quoted.] 20MR 325.1

If this is not a possible thing to do, then these words would not be written. This whole chapter may be read and most earnestly taken into the life practice, and so answer the prayer of Christ in John 17. [1 Corinthians 3:9-13, quoted.]—Manuscript 93, 1893. 20MR 325.2

Ellen G. White Estate

Silver Spring, Maryland,

January 11, 1990.

Entire Ms.