The Review and Herald

1033/1902

November 21, 1899

“Let This Mind Be in You, Which Was Also in Christ Jesus”

EGW

As ministers of the gospel of Christ, we need to study the example of Christ. In taking humanity, Christ united himself to the human race by inseparable cords. By his life of self-denying ministry, by his suffering on the cross, in which he tasted death for every man, he bound himself to the heart of every member of the human family. “In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Touched with the feeling of their infirmities, Christ wept with those that wept; and with those who rejoiced, he could rejoice. Such a character as his can not be without its influence upon the characters of his followers. Those who educate their minds to dwell on the perfections of Christ will represent him to the world. RH November 21, 1899, par. 1

We are to learn a lesson from the goodness and mercy and self-sacrificing life of the Father. We are to study how to give our sympathy and love to others. As we have received this priceless gift, so we are to impart it. We are to learn how to rule by love and kindness, rather than by severity and censure. When an erring person becomes conscious of his wrong, do not deal with him in a manner that will take away all his self-respect. Do not seek to tear to pieces, but to bind up and heal. You may see the errors of a brother. Yet he may not be able to discern his wrong; and it may be difficult to know how to act. But never pursue a course that will give him the impression that you regard yourself as his superior. You may think that your feelings, your pursuits, your organization, are superior to his, but do not seek to make this apparent; for such a course is altogether out of harmony with true refinement, true nobility of character. We are not to bruise the souls of the erring, but to go to them armed with humility and prayer. When the gospel minister, with his heart subdued by the love and grace of Christ, comes in touch with human minds, he can reveal his superior qualifications, not by destroying hope and courage, but by inspiring faith in the faithless, by lifting up the hands that hang down, and confirming the feeble knees. RH November 21, 1899, par. 2

The action will always testify to the texture of the character. The counsel of one who has a keen sense of right will always be valuable. He will work as Christ worked, seeking to lift up from the depths of woe and wretchedness the unhappy beings who will surely perish unless a loving, sympathizing hand is extended to them. RH November 21, 1899, par. 3

We are all sinners, and should seek for true elevation of character through Christ. We are not to exalt ourselves, and then expect the sinner to climb to us. God calls upon us to do as the world's Redeemer did. He was commander in the heavenly courts, but he stripped himself of his glory, and clothed his divinity with humanity. He was rich, but for our sake he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He came to this world all seared and marred by the curse, that he might come close to man in his woe and affliction. With his long human arm he encircled the race, while with his divine arm he grasped the throne of the Infinite, bringing to fallen man divine power to co-operate with his human effort. As we seek to follow Christ's example, we shall stand on a high level, imbued with keen sympathy, an abundant love, and tender compassion. We shall stand where the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness can shine upon us, and this will fill us with the sympathy and tenderness and pity of Christ for the helpless. Divine power will be given us to combine with our human capabilities. RH November 21, 1899, par. 4

Unless the gospel minister brings himself in touch with souls, he is not following the example of Christ. The mind of Christ is to be the mind of every child of God. How pitiful and courteous Jesus was! How tenderly he entered into the feelings of others! He desires to awaken in every heart an anxious longing to seek and save that which is lost. His servants are not to display their own superiority. They are to make no special reference to their own qualifications; for by this act they testify that they do not have the endowments they think they possess. If their eyes were fixed on Jesus, if they were contemplating his purity and excellence, they could not regard themselves as holy. They would see their weakness and poverty and defects as they are. They would see themselves lost and hopeless, clad in garments of self-righteousness, like every other sinner. If we are saved, it will not be because of our superior intellect or our refinement, but because of the grace of God. We have no garment of our own that will give us a position of honor at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Christ's robe alone, the garment woven in the loom of heaven, will give to the guests a worthiness to sit down at the marriage feast. Each must accept this robe, and it is offered to the lowliest who will believe in Christ as his personal Saviour. RH November 21, 1899, par. 5

The world is polluted under the inhabitants thereof; Satan has left his fearful mark upon men and women. But God has not placed upon any the burden of the sins of the world. We must have serious thoughts as we see the prevalence of iniquity in the world; but the fact that imperfection reigns everywhere should not cause us to look upon the unpleasant side of life. We are children of a King, pilgrims and strangers who seek a better country, even a heavenly. As we see the exciting pleasures of the world, we must guard against a sour, hard, censorious spirit. Let us look away from the sin and the evil of the world to Jesus, who is the embodiment of purity. His love reigns supreme toward his enemies, and all who follow him will keep themselves in subjection to the laws of his kingdom. RH November 21, 1899, par. 6

Those who feel it their prerogative to criticize their fellow men are doing the work of the enemy. The Lord has set none to correct the supposed errors of others; for by beholding these imperfections they themselves become harsh and self-centered. They compare themselves with themselves, and measure themselves among themselves. There are jealous and sensitive souls who foster their pride until, like an inflamed wound, it can not bear the slightest touch. They fancy that they have been slighted, when no slight exists, until they create in themselves the very evils they imagine in others. No man is to regard himself as appointed by God to dwell upon these objectionable features. Christ has given none the grace to do this work, and those who attempt it will make serious mistakes. Neither ministers nor people must educate themselves to think evil of their brethren, to watch for any slight or misconception of their own importance; for Satan is waiting to follow up any advantage gained. RH November 21, 1899, par. 7

Christ has given instruction in these lines. “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” he says; “for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Let us heed the instruction. We may dwell upon the love of God with all safety. Let us open the door of the heart to this sweet influence; for it will expand the soul, and give it something upon which to feed. It will create a new capacity; he who loves God will love his brother also. RH November 21, 1899, par. 8

“Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” Thus Jesus reasoned with the Jews; and should not his words have weight with us? The wonderful facilities, the precious revealings of the love and grace of Christ, constantly abounding to believers and unbelievers, if not appreciated and improved, will lose their value to the soul. It is possible for every man to become a Christian; but if man will not accept the light, the darkness of unbelief will prevail in his soul. He will lose his faith; he will move away from God. While he thus sets aside the counsel, the warnings, the reproofs, the mercy of God, and fails to co-operate with divine agencies, his light steadily diminishes. RH November 21, 1899, par. 9

As a people, we must have more love. Our hearts must grow soft in contemplating Christ. Oh that we might see our need of sympathy and wisdom and grace! When we are Christlike, we shall acknowledge no walls of partition. Christ died for all, and all who will believe may be cleansed from sin. It is the privilege of all to reach the perfection of Christian character. The true Christian educates himself to look away from self to Christ; and as he beholds his matchless mercy, his inexpressible love, every barrier between him and his brethren is broken down. The harshness of his nature is melted. He is refined and purified by the furnace fires, and can present an offering to God in righteousness. The law of kindness is upon his lips as the expression of the soul. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith, he is changed into the same image. RH November 21, 1899, par. 10

“The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” RH November 21, 1899, par. 11