The Review and Herald


August 1, 1893

Vital Connection With Christ Necessary


Those who are truly children of God are believers, not doubters and chronic grumblers. They believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They believe that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” They believe that “he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” RH August 1, 1893, par. 1

Through all ages and in every nation those that believe that Jesus can and will save them personally from sin, are the elect and chosen of God; they are his peculiar treasure. They obey his call, and come out of the world and separate themselves from every unclean thought and unholy practice. The Lord has graciously opened out to our understanding by the Holy Spirit rich truth, and we should respond to this by corresponding works of piety and devotion, in harmony with the superior privileges and advantages that have been bestowed upon us. The Lord is waiting to be gracious to his people, to give them an increased knowledge of his paternal character, of his goodness, mercy, and love. He waits to show them his glory; and if they follow on to know the Lord, they shall know that his goings forth are prepared as the morning. RH August 1, 1893, par. 2

The people of God are not to stand upon common ground, but upon the holy ground of gospel truth. They are to keep step with their Leader, looking continually to Jesus, the Author and finisher of their faith, marching onward and upward, and having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. It is impossible to tell what might have been the character and condition of the church today, had its members been doing the works of Christ. It is a sad fact that the great proportion of God's professed people have not had faith in Christ as their personal Saviour. If they had believed the promises of God on record for them, they would have been daily receivers of the grace of God, and would have overcome through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. It is the privilege of the children of God to be delivered from the control of the lusts of the flesh, and to preserve their peculiar, heavenly character, which distinguishes them from the lovers of the world. In their moral taste, in their habits and customs, they are separate from the world. Who are the children of God?—They are members of the royal family, and a royal nation, a peculiar people, showing forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. They do not worship idols, they love God with all the heart, and their neighbors as themselves. RH August 1, 1893, par. 3

The people of God might be far in advance of what they are now, if they would sincerely and perseveringly connect daily with Christ. They do not press forward, and attain unto the things that are before, because they permit themselves to be attracted and held back through the influence of common, sensual things. The devotion and experience of the professed people of God are not in harmony with the light and privileges that God has given them. They are to be children of the light, children of the day, and yet many who have had exalted privileges fail to manifest corresponding faith and works. Jesus says to them as he said to the city wherein he had done mighty works, and where they failed to appreciate the light and to conform their life to it, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” Many who claim to believe the truth, who have been blessed with great light, who have had great opportunities set before them, have yet come far short of reaching the high and holy standard that they would have reached if they had been doers of the words of Christ; and they have failed to set the example that they should have set before those who have had less experience than themselves in the Christian life, and before those who know not God, or Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. RH August 1, 1893, par. 4

Among the professed children of God, how little patience has been manifested, how many bitter words have been spoken, how much denunciation has been uttered against those not of our faith. Many have looked upon those belonging to other churches as great sinners, when the Lord does not thus regard them. Those who look thus upon the members of other churches, have need to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. Those whom they condemn may have had but little light, few opportunities and privileges. If they had had the light that many of the members of our churches have had, they might have advanced at a far greater rate, and have better represented their faith to the world. Of those who boast of their light, and yet fail to walk in it, Christ says, “But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent [in their own estimation], and hast revealed them unto babes.” RH August 1, 1893, par. 5

“And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.” RH August 1, 1893, par. 6

The Lord has established among us institutions of great importance, and they are to be managed, not as worldly institutions are managed, but after God's order. They are to be managed with an eye single to his glory, that by all means perishing souls may be saved. To the people of God the testimonies of the Spirit have come, and yet many have not taken heed to reproofs, warnings, and counsels. RH August 1, 1893, par. 7

“Here [hear] now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: fear ye not me[?] saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual degree [decree], that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? but this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.... They judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord; shall not my soul be revenged [avenged] on such a nation as this?” RH August 1, 1893, par. 8

Shall the Lord be compelled to say, “Pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee”? “Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain.... Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?” RH August 1, 1893, par. 9

Will not those to whom have been committed the treasures of truth, consider the superior advantages of light and privilege that have been purchased for us by the sacrifice of the Son of God on Calvary's cross? We are to be judged by the light that has been given us, and we can find no excuse by which to extenuate our course. The Way, the Truth, and the Life has been set before us. Many seek to excuse themselves by saying, “You must not judge me by some weak trait of character, but consider my character as a whole.” We always feel deep pain at heart when the sinner seeks to apologize for his sin, to smooth it over, and fails to realize the danger of cherishing one un-Christlike attribute of character. We are to place our will on the side of the Lord's will, and firmly determine that by his grace we will be free from sin. Sin is the transgression of the law, and it is not the magnitude of the action in iniquity that stamps it as sin. Adam and Eve were prohibited from eating of the tree of good and evil. The test was a slight one, but the act of disobedience to God was the transgression of his law. RH August 1, 1893, par. 10

The little sins that men think are of so trivial a character that on their account they will not be brought into condemnation, are very offensive in the sight of God. Says one, “You are too severe, a man must be allowed these little defects of character.” Let us hear the words of Christ. He says, “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” People venture to commit sins that are grievous in the sight of God, and think that they are not to be called to task for them, because they say they are due to nervousness, to a peculiar temperament; but this is simply soothing the conscience, and crying, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Sin is sin, and it is the delusion of Satan to look upon it in any other light than that it is grievous. RH August 1, 1893, par. 11

We may flatter ourselves that we are free from many things of which others are guilty; but if we have some strong points of character, and but one weak point, there is yet a communion between sin and the soul. The heart is divided in its service, and says, “Some of self and some of thee.” The child of God must search out the sin which he has petted and indulged himself in, and permit God to cut it out of his heart. He must overcome that one sin; for it is not a trifling matter in the sight of God. RH August 1, 1893, par. 12

One says, “I am not the least jealous, but then I do get provoked and say mean things, although I am always sorry after giving way to temper.” Another says, “I have this fault or that, but then I just despise such and such meanness as is manifested by a certain person of my acquaintance.” The Lord has not given us a list of graded sins, so that we may reckon some as of little consequence, and say that they will do but little harm, while others are of greater magnitude and will do much harm. A chain is no stronger than is its weakest link. We might pronounce such a chain good on the whole, but if one link is weak, the chain cannot be depended on. The work of overcoming is to be the study of every soul who enters the kingdom of God. That impatient word quivering on your lips must be left unspoken. That thought that your character is not rightly estimated must be put from you; for it weakens your influence, and works out the sure result, making you of light estimation in the minds of others. You should overcome the idea that you are a martyr, and lay claim to the promise of Christ, who says, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” RH August 1, 1893, par. 13