The Review and Herald

1144/1902

August 6, 1901

Co-operation With Christ

EGW

The Lord has chosen to accomplish nothing in the redemption of the human race without the co-operation of the human agent. Christ took human nature that humanity might uplift humanity by laying hold of divine power. Immeasurably inferior is the part the human agent sustains in this work; but, linked up with the divinity of Christ, he can accomplish all things. RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 1

The life of Christ was a representation of God, an ever-widening, shoreless influence, which bound Him to God and to the whole human family. Through this gift, God has invested man with an influence which makes it impossible for him to live to himself. Individually we are connected with our fellow men, a part of God's great whole, and we stand under mutual obligations. No man can be independent of his fellow men; for the well-being of each affects others. It is God's purpose that we shall stand thus related; for He designs that each individual shall feel himself necessary to the welfare of others, and pledge himself to promote their happiness. Thus our influence, divested of selfishness, would produce a harmony akin to the harmony of heaven. RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 2

It is Satan's studied plan to imbue humanity with selfishness, and thus defeat God's purpose. He is working in every possible way to separate interests, and to nourish the spirit of rivalry. He seeks to break up the harmony which should exist between man and his fellow man, and to bring in principles which God hates. This selfishness, if admitted into the heart, will corrupt the experience. Springing up, it defiles the whole man, and through him, many others. RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 3

Why is it that self rises up so readily? Why is it that men are offended if others do not think in accordance with their opinions and ideas? The Lord has not in the past, nor will He in the future, lead men to act in this way. “The end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” When we are partakers of the divine nature, and have the attributes of Christ, we shall not be easily drawn apart in judgment or opinions. Contentions come when the heart is not under Christ's discipline; and the apostle says, “Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” When the Lord is regarded as the great center, a close connection will exist between all lines of the work. There will be no divisions, no rivalry, but a feeling of mutual connection and dependence, a feeling which is devoid of all selfishness. RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 4

Paul writes for our admonition, “I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.... Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” We are not to strengthen any evil work. Let those who have used their talents of influence in doing this, do so no longer. Let them not by pen or voice act on Satan's side of the question. In obedience to a “Thus saith the Lord,” let unity of action be seen. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 5

Christ prayed for His followers: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Divine grace is needed to sanctify the human being—body, soul, and spirit. We have no right to manufacture yokes by gathering to ourselves a multitude of burdens and cares; for these will leave us no time for devotion or prayer, and will drive the truth out of the soul temple. Christ is to be enthroned in the heart. Then every talent will be used for the benefit of God's purchased heritage, and every transaction will bear the test of heaven. RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 6

The Saviour desires His Church to be governed by the principles of love and truth. Love for one another reveals that the love of God is abiding in the heart. But many who profess to be followers of Christ are so filled with a sense of their own importance that they have no room in the heart for the sweet peace of Christ. They do not practice His instruction. They do not manifest His forbearance and love. Their hearts, once full of love for God and their brethren, are frozen by selfishness. RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 7

Christ presented before John a class who, in their self-satisfaction, say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” These know not that they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. Christ counsels all such: “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 8

Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean Church. The ardor of their first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. When the love of Christ abides in the heart, it will be expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull, love for those for whom Christ has died will diminish. There may be an appearance of ceremony and zeal, but this is the only fruit of their self-inflated religion. Christ represents them as nauseating to His taste. “I know thy works,” He says, “that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 9

Faith and love are precious treasures, represented by pure gold. These graces are to dwell in our hearts, making our characters complete in Christ. But until these graces possess the soul, how can we understand Paul's words, “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” RH August 6, 1901, Art. A, par. 10