The Review and Herald

1065/1902

May 1, 1900

Christian Perfection

EGW

“And beside this,” the apostle continues, “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” As man works on the plan of addition, adding grace to grace, God works on the plan of multiplication. Peter declares, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” RH May 1, 1900, par. 1

“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” But a profession of faith without corresponding works is nothing. “He that lacketh these things is blind, and can not see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” This is a description of a professed Christian who lives a life of sin. He grieves the Lord Jesus, and puts him to open shame because he manifests a character after the similitude of Satan. He retains the same objectionable traits of character that he had before he claimed to have received Christ. Indulging his corrupt tendencies, he forgets to be a doer of the Word. He does not eat the flesh nor drink the blood of the Son of God. He does not practice Christ's words nor do his works. RH May 1, 1900, par. 2

Then comes the conclusion: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” This is the life-insurance policy that every one may have. “Wherefore,” the apostle says, “I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.” RH May 1, 1900, par. 3

For a man to be effectually saved, the truth of the Word must be inwrought in the soul. It is a power that works inwardly to bless the soul of the receiver, and outwardly to bless the souls of others. Take the Word just as it reads, and be a doer of it. The Holy Spirit works with the consecrated soul who searches the Scriptures. RH May 1, 1900, par. 4

Now, just now, is our great opportunity to study the word of life. The hearts of many in this world are hungering for the bread of life and thirsting for the water of salvation. They desire to know the Scriptures; they desire to know what the word of God says to them. The Holy Spirit is impressing their hearts, drawing them to the bread of life. They see everything around them changing. They come to hear the Word just as it reads. They desire to build upon a firm foundation; and therefore Christians are counseled to be always ready to give a reason of the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear. RH May 1, 1900, par. 5

A clear, faithful testimony must be borne by every shepherd of the flock of God. The state of the heart is to be our first concern. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Mere speech is nothing. Preaching the Word, and then working contrary to that Word, makes it of none effect. Lip knowledge, forms and ceremonies, are of little value if Christ does not abide in the soul. We are to watch for souls as they that must give an account. We are to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. Then we shall be men and women of faith and prayer and power. There is a great work to be done. The heart must be faithfully sentineled, else pride and rebellion will bear rule within. Evils without will awaken evils within, and the soul will wander in its own homemade fog, all the time charging upon some one else the result of its own unchristian course of action. RH May 1, 1900, par. 6

The living Word must dwell in us richly, else we can never sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. We must live by the Word, and take self in hand, closely examining ourselves to see whether we love God, or are bound up in our own conceit. Every heart that is not subdued by grace is treacherous, and will lead to ruin. RH May 1, 1900, par. 7

What privileges are ours if we will only believe and walk humbly before God, ever seeking to learn his will concerning us. The graces of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness—are the fruits that a life hid with Christ in God will produce. As a people who have had great light, we should be far advanced in spirituality and holiness. “Neither pray I for these alone,” Christ said, “but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” By manifesting Christlike love we present to the world the credentials that God sent his Son to this earth to save the human race. It is our privilege so fully to partake of the divine nature that we may be one with Christ as he is one with the Father. When this is so, Christ can confess us before God and before the heavenly angels. RH May 1, 1900, par. 8

Christ prayed for his disciples and for us, “As thou has sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” We have need of all the spiritual help that we can obtain in order to do the work to be done in this world. Satan is taking the world captive through the use of tea and coffee, liquor and tobacco. The mind is dulled by the use of narcotics. Can any one make an impression on a man who is drunk? A drunken man is unable to distinguish between right and wrong, because the enemy has control of his brain. He has sold his reason for that which makes him mad. He has no sense of what is right; for the liquor he drinks is so drugged that it makes him insane. Satan spread a net for his feet by tempting him to take the liquor poison, and he knows no more what he is doing than a madman. RH May 1, 1900, par. 9

The result of liquor-drinking is demonstrated by the awful murders that take place. How often it is found that theft, incendiarism, murder, were committed under the influence of liquor. Yet the liquor curse is legalized, and works untold ruin in the hands of those who love to tamper with that which ruins not only the poor victim, but his whole family. RH May 1, 1900, par. 10

Intemperance is widespread. How much man's senses are perverted by the use of liquor and tobacco it is impossible to say. Judges, senators, lawyers, the men who frame the laws of the land, are many of them working under the stimulus of liquor. What safety is there in their management? Are the men who command the great ocean steamers, who have the control of railways, strict temperance men? Are their brains free from the influence of intoxicants? If not, the accidents occurring under their management will be charged to them by the God of heaven, whose property men and women are. Liquor-drinkers are under Satan's destroying influence. He presents to them his false ideas, and no confidence can be placed in their judgment. RH May 1, 1900, par. 11

As the time draws near that is to decide the destiny of every soul, Satan will make strenuous efforts to corrupt the race. But Christ gave his life to save human beings. He pledged his divine word to work in behalf of humanity. RH May 1, 1900, par. 12

He was Commander of the heavenly host, but he left the royal courts to come to this earth. Laying aside his kingly crown, he stepped from his exalted position, and took upon him our nature, that by his own life he might pay the ransom for every soul. RH May 1, 1900, par. 13

Yes; Christ gave his life for the life of the world. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He gave his Son to be the propitiation for the sins of men and women. How many appreciate this sacrifice sufficiently to touch not, taste not, handle not, accursed, intoxicating beverages? Who are co-operating with Christ by practicing temperance in their lives, by keeping their tables free from all that will intoxicate? RH May 1, 1900, par. 14

The Lord calls for workers who are partakers of the divine nature, who have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. He would have every man to step forth in his God-given manhood, every woman in her God-given womanhood. He desires them to stand forth like faithful sentinels, to keep back the tide of moral woe, to break the fetters that are binding human beings in slavery. God calls upon his ministers to do faithful work in presenting the great curse that man himself is manufacturing. From every pulpit the message should be heard, “Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” RH May 1, 1900, par. 15