The Review and Herald

962/1902

November 29, 1898

The Work Required of God's People

EGW

As God's people, we have a special work to do. All who have submitted their will to the will of God are to become laborers together with him. The invitation of Christ is: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” All who respond to this invitation receive the assurance of him who is the way, the truth, and the life. If they will yoke up with Christ, they will become laborers together with God. RH November 29, 1898, par. 1

There are but two classes of persons in our world,—those who receive Christ, and those who reject him. All who receive him believe in him. John declares, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” But many have a spurious religion, and all the professions of Christianity in the world will not elevate the soul with God. His word declares: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree can not bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” RH November 29, 1898, par. 2

Are we obedient or disobedient to the commandments of God? Have we made Christ our personal Saviour? Have we put on the robe of Christ's righteousness? These are the questions that decide the soul's salvation. Said Christ: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.... Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” RH November 29, 1898, par. 3

Let us seriously ask ourselves the question, Have I come to Christ? Have I put my neck under the yoke of Christ? Have I learned in the school of Christ his meekness and lowliness of heart? All who are doers of the Word build securely on the rock Christ Jesus. When the follower of Christ places implicit trust in the word of God, and yields obedience to it, his duty will be made plain to him. He will regard his talents as consecrated to the Giver, and will use them in laboring together with God. RH November 29, 1898, par. 4

The apostle Paul says: “We are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” RH November 29, 1898, par. 5

Here are presented the two great forces that are to co-operate in the work of saving souls: the strong, loving, working faith of the human agent is to unite with divinity. This is what Christ means when he says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” This is the condition of the partnership. We must be laborers together with God in seeking and saving the lost. Christ said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” And we are not to be idle nor indifferent. Souls are perishing around us. It behooves all who claim to believe Christ to show their faith by their works. As soon as we leave the black banner of Satan, and stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel, there is earnest work for us to do. RH November 29, 1898, par. 6

It is at the peril of our souls that we are willingly ignorant of the conditions under which we have enlisted in the army of the Lord. We are to be co-workers with Christ in seeking to save that which is lost. As God's professed people, we are to have an experimental knowledge of him. We are to search for the doctrine of Christ, armed with faith, and employing whatever resources God has provided. Diligent, prayerful search is essential. We must search for the truth as for hid treasure. RH November 29, 1898, par. 7

There must be well-organized effort and unity in our co-operation with Christ. Love must pervade the church. All evil-speaking and bearing of false witness is disloyalty to God and to his cause. There must be unity of action; love and disinterested benevolence must be revealed. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Mutual love and confidence constitute forces that will be a power for good. Satan sees this, and he manages to sow tares among the wheat. God designs that his people shall press together; and all who have the mind of Christ will do this. RH November 29, 1898, par. 8

If our piety is sound and healthy, we shall have nothing to fear from open opposers; but there are deceivers,—those who sow the tares while men sleep. We want to be sure on which side we are working; for the crisis is upon us. We have no time now to work with divided interest. We must work with one spirit, even with the mind of Christ; and if we do this, new life will come into the church. If God, the great Master-worker, is with us, we shall withstand the great temptations that are to try us, and shall remain loyal and true to principle. We shall achieve victories which the littleness of our faith has led us to regard as impossible. RH November 29, 1898, par. 9

God calls upon every sincere believer to find his place in the work. Wake up, brethren! for Christ's sake, wake up! Kindle your tapers at the divine altar. God calls you to set your houses in order. Let personal piety pervade your homes. Let your influence tell on the side of righteousness and truth. Let every talent be put into exercise. God calls for a wise and unreserved co-operation with the principles of truth. He calls for active, whole-souled workers. RH November 29, 1898, par. 10

The call must be made, Who will be on the Lord's side? let him come over with the loyal and the true. The law of God, which binds us to render firm and undivided obedience to our Maker, tolerates no easy fellowship with the careless, the lax, unconverted, who demonstrate that the truth has no power upon the heart and character, whose influence is not to gather with Christ, but to separate from him. Our churches must be purified from impiety, from many things that have accumulated to hinder the advancement of the work. “By their fruits,” said Christ, “ye shall know them.” RH November 29, 1898, par. 11

“We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” God has chosen to bring to perfection nothing in the plan of salvation without the co-operation of the human with the divine. He could save the human race only through his Son, who combined humanity with divinity. In his divine plan of salvation, God gave his only begotten Son that every voice may be silent upon the point that it is not possible for humanity to keep the law of God. In Christ, divinity and humanity bore every test of temptation; in him, humanity is exalted and honored. In Christ, man is privileged to become a partaker of the divine nature. RH November 29, 1898, par. 12

The part we are called to act in the work may be small and inferior; but that part is indispensable to the victory we are to gain over the world, the flesh, and the devil, through the intercession of Christ as our Advocate with the Father. The fragrant incense of the merits of Christ gives to the believing soul the virtues of his character. Thus it is that the co-operation of divine energy and merit with man makes him a complete overcomer in every sense, and elevates humanity in the scale of moral value with God. RH November 29, 1898, par. 13

We are not to think that we can honor God in any line except through the merits of Christ. We are to bear in mind that man, with his finite capabilities can accomplish nothing. Every organ of the human machinery is dependent upon God for its action. Everything required to keep the being in health, God supplies. “Know ye not,” says the apostle, “that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.” RH November 29, 1898, par. 14

In everything that tends to the sustenance of man is seen the concurrence of divine and human effort. “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof;” yet the Lord graciously causes the earth to produce for the benefit of man. But man must co-operate with God. He must prepare the soil, and sow the seed. He must act a part in the work to show his appreciation of the bountiful provision God has made. And the Lord takes care of the seed sown, giving sunshine and showers, dew and clouds. Without these agencies there would be no increase. And thus it is in every business pursuit, every department of study and science. We must have the power of divinity to unite with us, or our human efforts will be a failure. RH November 29, 1898, par. 15

Whenever man accomplishes anything in spiritual or temporal lines, he should bear in mind that he does it only through the co-operation of his Maker. There is great necessity of our seeking the Lord in our dependence. Too much confidence has been placed in man, too much reliance on human inventions. However sure man may be of his knowledge and his capabilities, he must, before he can co-operate with God, become meek and lowly in heart; he must wear Christ's yoke, and carry Christ's burdens. Immeasurably inferior is the part which the human agent sustains; but if he is linked up with the divinity of Christ, he can do all things through the strength that Christ imparts. RH November 29, 1898, par. 16