The Review and Herald


October 1, 1901

How to Gain Spiritual Strength


“Search the Scriptures,” Christ commanded; “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” The Holy Spirit is beside every true searcher of God's word, enabling him to discover the hidden gems of truth. Divine illumination comes to his mind, stamping the truth upon him with a new, fresh importance. He is filled with a joy never before felt. The peace of God rests upon him. The preciousness of truth is realized as never before. A heavenly light shines upon the Word, making it appear as though every letter were tinged with gold. God himself speaks to the heart, making His word spirit and life. RH October 1, 1901, par. 1

Eternal life is the receiving of the living elements in the Scriptures, the doing of the will of God. This is what is meant by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. It is the privilege of all to partake of the bread of heaven by studying the word, and thus gain spiritual sinew and muscle. RH October 1, 1901, par. 2

Just before Christ's crucifixion one of the disciples asked Him, “Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” Jesus answered, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” RH October 1, 1901, par. 3

These words are not half comprehended by those through whom God wishes to communicate His truth. Let us believe the word. Let us practice the lessons given by Him who has bought us with His blood. He said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” RH October 1, 1901, par. 4

A rich banquet is set before those who accept Christ as a personal Saviour. Day by day, as they partake of His word, they are nourished and strengthened. RH October 1, 1901, par. 5

Why do God's people pass by the words of the Great Teacher? Why do they rely upon human beings for help and comfort, when they have the great and grand promise, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.... He that eateth of this bread shall live forever”? He may die; but the life of Christ is in him, and at the resurrection of the just he will rise to newness of life. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” RH October 1, 1901, par. 6

It is the privilege of all to gain strong consolation from these precious utterances. Those who partake of the banquet provided for them will gain an experience of the highest value. They will see that in comparison with the word of God, the word of man is as chaff to the wheat. RH October 1, 1901, par. 7

In every plan we make, we must act with entire dependence upon God, else we shall be deceived by a semblance instead of the reality. As stewards of the grace of Christ, we are to inquire at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” The word of God is a character-detector, a motive-tester. We are to read this word with heart and mind open to receive the impressions that God will give. We must not think that the reading of the word can accomplish that which only He whom the word reveals, who stands behind the word, can accomplish. Some are in danger of hastening to the conclusion that because they hold firmly to the doctrines of the truth, they are actually in possession of the blessings which these doctrines declare shall come to the receiver of truth. Many keep the truth in the outer court. Its sacred principles have not a controlling influence over the words, the thoughts, the actions. They do not possess the faith which works by love and purifies the soul. An assent to the truth may quiet the conscience, but let every believer inquire, “Does my faith make me a daily, hourly follower of Christ? Has it a sanctifying influence on my soul? Can I say, The gentleness of Christ has made me great? A faultless creed and a carnal life are too often found together in professed believers. To be a means to a saving end, the word of God must be intelligently and practically understood and obeyed. RH October 1, 1901, par. 8

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the World. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, 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.” RH October 1, 1901, par. 9

Here is the standard which all must reach who enter the heavenly city. The end of our faith is the perfection of human character, the sanctification of the entire being. The Lord knows what His people need, and through His chosen agents He manifests His benevolence to them. He is constantly working for the happiness of those who love and serve Him. He is pleased with harmonious service; and when He sees men and women obeying His commandments, He greatly blesses them. RH October 1, 1901, par. 10

By reason of the waste in the body, the blood must be constantly renewed by food. So with our spiritual life. The word must be daily received, believed, and acted upon. Christ must dwell in us, energizing the whole being, renewing the life-blood of the soul. His example is to be our guide. In our dealing with one another, we must reveal His sympathy. There must be a real working out of Christ's grace in our hearts. Then we can say with the apostle, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Christ's life abiding in the soul is the cause of our joy and the pledge of our glory. RH October 1, 1901, par. 11