The Review and Herald

626/1902

June 28, 1892

Gospel Hearers—No. 5

Good-Ground Hearers

EGW

“But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold.” “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundred-fold, some sixty, some thirty.” “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” RH June 28, 1892, par. 1

What an encouragement it is that the sower is not always to meet with disappointment. The seed is sometimes received into honest hearts. The hearer comprehends the truth, and does not resist the Holy Spirit or refuse to receive the impression of truth upon his heart. He feels he must be true to God, and true to himself. He receives the truth into the heart, and it accomplishes its transforming work upon the character. He is not able to change his own heart, but the Holy Spirit, through his obedience to the truth, sanctifies the soul. RH June 28, 1892, par. 2

The good heart does not mean a heart without sin; for the gospel is to be preached to the lost. Jesus says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The convicted sinner sees himself a transgressor in the great moral mirror, God's holy law. He looks upon the Saviour, upon the cross of Calvary, and asks why this great sacrifice was made; and the cross points to the holy law of God, which has been transgressed. It was to save the transgressor from ruin that he who was co-equal with God, offered up his life on Calvary. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The law has no power to pardon the evil-doer; but Jesus has taken the sins of the transgressor upon himself, and as a sinner exercises faith in him as his sacrifice, Christ imputes his own righteousness to the guilty one. There has been but one way of salvation since the days of Adam. “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” We have no reason to fear while we are looking to Jesus, believing that he is able to save all who come unto him. RH June 28, 1892, par. 3

As the result of active faith in Christ, we are brought into the moral warfare with the world, the flesh, and the Devil. If we undertake this warfare in our own wisdom, our human ability, we shall certainly be overcome; but if we exercise living faith in Jesus, and practice godliness, we shall understand what it means to be sanctified through the truth, and we shall not be overcome in the conflict, for heavenly angels encamp around about us. Christ is the Captain of our salvation. He it is who strengthens his followers for the moral conflict which they are pledged to undertake. RH June 28, 1892, par. 4

But if the love of the world, if self-esteem, or any defiling thoughts or actions, obtain the victory over us, then shall we lose confidence in Jesus, or in ourselves? Is it because Jesus failed us, and did not supply us with his grace?—No; it is because we did not do what the Lord has told us to do, Watch unto prayer; “Pray always;” “Pray without ceasing.” How can your soul be in health, when you shut yourself away from prayer, and have no connection with Christ, the source of all spiritual light and life and power? We must have a constant connection with Christ; for he is our sustenance. He is that bread which came down from heaven. Then let us be doers of his word, and we shall have spiritual life and power. We must place ourselves often before God as suppliants, because prayer brings the soul into immediate contact with God through Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If a Christian fails, it is because he does not obey the orders of his Captain. He is off guard; he is not Christ-like. It will work disaster to the soul to neglect prayer; for you will be led to yield carelessly to temptation. But if you do yield, do not therefore cast away your confidence in God; lose confidence in yourself, and press closer to the side of Christ. RH June 28, 1892, par. 5

Christ is not to be charged with the results of the negligence and indecision of man. He who gave his life to save fallen man, appreciates the value of the soul. He will never fail of doing his part, nor become discouraged. He will never leave the erring one, tempted and tried in the conflict. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” He weighs and measures every trial before he permits it to come. RH June 28, 1892, par. 6

God can never be charged as unjust because he does not send assistance to men; but on the part of the one assailed by temptation there is a negligence to appropriate the freely offered aid. If they had trusted Christ, he would have proved an all-sufficient Saviour, and it is through conflict that the spiritual life is strengthened. We are not left alone, but we are to seek help where it will surely be found. RH June 28, 1892, par. 7

The opposition we meet may prove a benefit to us in many ways. If it is well borne, it will develop virtues which would never have appeared if the Christian had nothing to endure. And faith, patience, forbearance, heavenly mindedness, trust in Providence, and genuine sympathy with the erring, are the results of trial well borne. These are the graces of the Spirit, which bud, blossom, and bear fruit amid trials and adversity. Meekness, humility, and love always grow on the Christian tree. If the word is received into good and honest hearts, the obdurate soul will be subdued, and faith, grasping the promises, and relying upon Jesus, will prove triumphant. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” RH June 28, 1892, par. 8

He who opens the Scriptures, and feeds upon the heavenly manna, becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He has no life or experience apart from Christ. He hears the voice of God speaking from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” That voice is assurance to him that he is accepted in the Beloved. And he knows that in character he must be like him with whom God is well pleased. God has fully accepted Christ as our substitute, our surety; then let every one who names the name of Christ depart from all iniquity, and be one with Christ in character, that Jesus may not be ashamed to call us brethren. He in whom we trust has proved himself a present help in every time of need; and as we dwell with him, we grow more and more into his image. “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory [which means from character to character], even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” “For 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.” RH June 28, 1892, par. 9

If we bear much fruit to the glory of God, our souls must be absorbed in meditating upon the glorious truths of the word of God. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” RH June 28, 1892, par. 10