The Review and Herald

550/1902

October 28, 1890

Representatives of Christ

EGW

The minister of Christ should be a man who has sought and found the Lord, who has been brought into holy alliance with unfailing, divine resources. He should be able to say to his flock, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain;” “giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true.” RH October 28, 1890, par. 1

The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, a youthful minister, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” And Peter admonishes his brother-laborers, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. RH October 28, 1890, par. 2

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” RH October 28, 1890, par. 3

I would that I could present before you the teaching and character of Jesus; but human language can never describe his matchless loveliness. Yet I will at least call upon all who profess to believe in him, to study carefully and imitate the Pattern as it has been revealed to us in the word of God. Those who are heirs of God should make it manifest that they have been with Jesus and learned of him. Without this culture in the school of Christ, those who are most highly educated go through life shorn of their strength; for a symmetrical character can result only from the discipline given in this school of heaven. RH October 28, 1890, par. 4

Many dishonor their Redeemer because they fail to obtain moral and mental development; they do not see the need of fitting themselves to do the best work of which they are capable. Most earnest effort should be made to correct petty faults, and overcome wrong habits; for if these are not overcome, they will greatly hinder usefulness, and misrepresent the Master. There are many who, becoming disgusted with the superficial gloss of what the world calls refinement, have gone to another as hurtful an extreme, and they refuse to receive the polish and refinement that Christ desires his children to possess. Some raise their voices to an unnatural key when they speak in the desk, others talk very rapidly, and the people cannot hear what is said. This works disaster to themselves, as well as to others; for their unnatural use of the voice results in injury to the vocal organs. They needlessly exhaust their strength, and make their efforts painful to their congregation. They should exercise self-control, that quality so essential for them as embassadors of Christ, and overcome their pernicious habits. If they would but do this, they would be able to leave a pleasant impression on the minds of their hearers, and the preaching of the truth would become attractive. RH October 28, 1890, par. 5

It requires earnest effort to overcome a long-established habit. Ungraceful gestures and attitudes detract from the influence you could have for the truth; hence it is necessary that the embassador for God should cultivate grace of manner, and refinement of language. If the servants of God would become polished by the truth, a greater influence might be exerted upon the world in its favor. God requires that every minister should take heed to himself and to the doctrine. I entreat you, both men and women, ministers and laymen, who are connected with the sacred cause of God, take time for close self-inspection; consider your habits, your language, and the influence you exert, and see if you do all things in a manner that will glorify God and exalt his truth. If you see in yourselves one habit of speech or language that will detract from the influence of the truth upon the minds of others, make determined efforts to overcome. A defective tone of voice, an ungraceful manner, or any other defect, will surely be reproduced in others. The Christian, and especially the minister, is an educator. If he presents coarse, rough ways, those who have less knowledge and experience will follow in his wake. And so the sowing of tares goes on from one to another; and if these deficiencies are not overcome, they will result in the destruction of souls for whom Christ died. RH October 28, 1890, par. 6

The Lord requires his followers to be his representatives. Christ came to the world to represent the character of God, and the Lord has sent his ministers to represent the character of the Father and the Son. RH October 28, 1890, par. 7