The Review and Herald

1191/1902

May 6, 1902

An Exceeding and Eternal Weight of Glory

EGW

“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 1

To men has been given the great work of preaching Christ. The priceless treasure has been placed in earthen vessels. God could have proclaimed his truth by sinless angels, but this was not his plan. He could have intrusted his work to men of wealth, position, learning, and eloquence; but neither was this his plan. He chose men acquainted with poverty, hardship, and suffering, men who could reach the poor and lowly. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 2

The power of the truth must not be accredited to men. Men must not be given the honor due to God. It must be seen that to God belongs all the glory. Therefore human beings, men compassed with infirmity, are chosen as instruments for God's work. Through them his blessings were to be conveyed to the world. Through them his glory is to shine forth into the darkness of sin. In loving ministry they are to meet the sinful and the needy. And in all their work they are to ascribe glory, honor, and praise to him who is above all and over all. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 3

Paul speaks to his experience in connection with the service of Christ, showing that in choosing the Christian pathway he had not been prompted by selfish motives: for it is beset with trials and temptations. Of his own experience he says, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” The apostles were sometimes cast down in the conflict with evil men and evil angels, yet by the grace of God they were enabled to rise and press once more to the front. Their preservation under manifold dangers testified that Jesus lived. Deliverance, support, consolation, and fortitude came to them as they endured suffering for the Redeemer's sake. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 4

Paul reminds his brethren that as Christ's messengers he and his fellow laborers were continually in peril. The hardships they endured were telling on their strength. “We which live,” he says, “are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” Wearing physically through privation and toil, these ministers of Christ were conforming to his death. But that which was working death in them was bringing spiritual life and health to the Corinthians, who by a belief in the truth were being made partakers of life eternal. In view of this they were to be careful not to increase the burdens and trials of the laborers by neglect and disaffection. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 5

The Hope that Sustained Paul

Paul continues. “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” Firmly believing the reality of the truth intrusted to him, nothing could induce Paul to handle the word of God deceitfully, or to conceal the conviction of his soul. He would not purchase wealth, honor, or pleasure by a life of conformity to the opinions of the world. He was in daily expectation of martyrdom for the same faith that he had preached to the Corinthians, but he was not intimidated, knowing that he who died and rose again would raise him from the grave, and present him, with all the faithful who had accepted the truth through his labor, to the Father. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 6

“For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.” Not for self-aggrandizement did the apostles preach the gospel. It was the hope of saving souls that led them to devote their lives to this work. And it was the hope of saving souls that kept them from fainting or from ceasing their efforts because of threatened danger or actual suffering. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 7

“For which cause,” Paul declares, “we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Paul felt the power of the enemy; but though his physical strength was declining, yet he faithfully and unflinchingly declared the gospel of Christ. Clad in the whole armor of God, this hero of the cross pressed forward in the conflict. His voice of cheer proclaimed him triumphant in the combat. Fixing his gaze on high, he beholds the reward of the faithful, and in tones of victory he exclaims, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 8

If Paul, troubled on every side, perplexed, persecuted, could call his trials light afflictions, of what has the Christian of today to complain? How trifling are our trials in comparison with Paul's many afflictions! They are not worthy to be compared with the eternal weight of glory awaiting the overcomer. They are God's workmen, ordained for the perfection of character. However great the deprivation and suffering of the Christian, however dark and inscrutable may seem the way of providence, he is to rejoice in the Lord, knowing that all is working for his good. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 9

How Sorrows and Trials are Made Light

How many there are who grieve the Spirit of God by continual repining! This is because they have lost sight of Christ. If we behold him who bore our sorrows and died as our sacrifice, that we might have an exceeding weight of glory, we shall regard our heaviest sorrows and trials as light afflictions. Think of the Saviour upon the cross, bruised, smitten, mocked, yet uncomplaining and unresisting, suffering without a murmur. This is the Lord of heaven, whose throne is from everlasting. All this suffering and shame he endured for the joy that was set before him,—the joy of bringing to men the gift of eternal life. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 10

When the attention is fastened on the cross of Christ, the whole being is ennobled. The knowledge of the Saviour's love subdues the soul, and lifts the mind above the things of time and sense. Let us learn to estimate all temporal things in the light that shines from the cross. Let us strive to fathom the depths of humiliation to which our Saviour descended in order to make man the possessor of eternal riches. As we study the plan of redemption, the heart will feel the throb of the Saviour's love, and will be ravished by the charms of his character. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 11

It is the love of Christ that makes our heaven. But when we seek to tell of this love, language fails us. We think of his life on earth, of his sacrifice for us; we think of his work in heaven as our advocate, of the mansions he is preparing for those who love him; and we can but exclaim. “O the heights and depths of the love of Christ!” As we linger beneath the cross, we gain a faint conception of the love of God, and we say, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” But in our contemplation of Christ, we are only lingering round the edge of a love that is measureless. His love is like a vast ocean, without bottom or shore. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 12

In all true disciples this love, like sacred fire, burns on the altar of the heart. It was on the earth that the love of God was revealed through Jesus. It is on the earth that his children are to let this love shine out through blameless lives. Thus sinners will be led to the cross, to behold the Lamb of God. RH May 6, 1902, Art. A, par. 13