The Review and Herald

1317/1902

April 14, 1904

Partakers of the Divine Nature

[Sermon at the St. Helena church, Sabbath, February 20, 1904.]

EGW

“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: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” RH April 14, 1904, par. 1

“Partakers of the divine nature.” Is this possible? Of ourselves we can do no good thing. How, then, can we be partakers of the divine nature?—By coming to Christ just as we are, needy, helpless, dependent. He died to make it possible for us to be partakers of the divine nature. He took humanity upon himself that he might reach humanity. With the golden chain of his matchless love he has bound us to the throne of God. We are to have power to overcome as he overcame. RH April 14, 1904, par. 2

To all he gives the invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” RH April 14, 1904, par. 3

We have a part to act in this work. Let none think that men and women are going to be taken to heaven without engaging in the struggle here below. We have a battle to fight, a victory to gain. God says to us, “Work out your own salvation.” How?—“With fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God works, and man works. We are to co-operate with God. Thus only can we be partakers of the divine nature. RH April 14, 1904, par. 4

Here is the consistency of true religion. We are to be “laborers together with God,” working in harmony with him. “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” This figure represents human character, which is to be wrought upon point by point. Each day God works on his building to perfect the structure, that it may become a holy temple for him. Man is to co-operate with God, striving in his strength to make himself what God designs him to be, building his life with pure, noble deeds. RH April 14, 1904, par. 5

Those who are partakers of the divine nature will not give way to temptation. The enemy is working with all his might to overcome those who are striving to live the Christian life. He comes to them with temptations, in the hope that they will yield. Thus he hopes to discourage them. But those who have planted their feet firmly on the Rock of Ages will not yield to his devices. They will remember that God is their Father and Christ their Helper. The Saviour came to our world to bring to every tried, tempted soul strength to overcome even as he overcame. I know the power of temptation; I know the dangers that are in the way; but I know, too, that strength sufficient for every time of need is provided for those who are struggling against temptation. RH April 14, 1904, par. 6

“God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” And we also have a part to act. We are not to place ourselves needlessly in the way of temptation. God says, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, ... and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” If by associating with worldlings for pleasure, by conforming to worldly practises, by uniting our interests with unbelievers, we place our feet in the path of temptation and sin, how can we expect God to keep us from falling. RH April 14, 1904, par. 7

Keep yourselves away from the corrupting influences of the world. Do not go unbidden to places where the forces of the enemy are strongly entrenched. Do not go where you will be tempted and led astray. But if you have a message for unbelievers, and if you live so near to God that you can speak to them a word in season, you can do a work that will help them and will honor God. “I pray not,” Christ said, “that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” RH April 14, 1904, par. 8

The Plan of Addition

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience.” RH April 14, 1904, par. 9

Notice that patience comes after temperance. In order to be patient, we must be temperate. Those who give loose reign to appetite will be dyspeptics; and we all know how hard it is to live peaceably with a dyspeptic. When the digestive organs are abused and irritated, nervous, hasty, impatient words follow. RH April 14, 1904, par. 10

God has a work for each one of us to do, and into this work we are to put all the power of brain, bone, and muscle. We are to keep ourselves in the best condition for the accomplishment of this work. We are not our own; we have been bought with a price; and in all that we do or say, we are to glorify God. RH April 14, 1904, par. 11

“And to patience godliness.” In thought, word, and deed, God's people are to be Christlike. RH April 14, 1904, par. 12

“And to godliness brotherly kindness.” Those who are controlled by the Spirit of the Holy One will be kind in the family. They will conduct the affairs of the home without irritation, knowing that irritation on the part of father or mother arouses irritation in the child. Kind, gentle words, which show tenderness and unselfish interest, exert a powerful influence for the right. RH April 14, 1904, par. 13

We are to live on the plan of addition, and as we do this, God will work for us on the plan of multiplication. Grace and peace will be multiplied unto us. RH April 14, 1904, par. 14

An Eternal Life Insurance Policy

“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 he that lacketh these things is blind, and can not see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 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.” RH April 14, 1904, par. 15

This is your life insurance policy. Act well your part, and you will be given entrance into the kingdom of glory. God has chosen you to have eternal life if you will do his will. RH April 14, 1904, par. 16

One Day at a Time

We shall pass through this world only once. Let us, then, be careful how we speak and act. Let us be careful where we place our feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. Let us so live that God can make us partakers of the divine nature, enabling us to obtain victories, and to overcome as Christ overcame. RH April 14, 1904, par. 17

God asks us to live only one day at a time. You need not look a week or a month ahead. Today do your best. Today speak and act in a way that will honor God. The promise is, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” RH April 14, 1904, par. 18

Courage in the Lord

Troublous times are before us. The judgments of God are abroad in the land. Calamities follow one another in rapid succession. Soon God is to rise out of his place to shake terribly the earth, and to punish the inhabitants for their iniquity. Then he will stand up in behalf of his people, and will give them his protecting care. He will throw his everlasting arms around them to shield them from all harm. RH April 14, 1904, par. 19

After the passing of the time in 1844, a number of the brethren and sisters were assembled in a meeting. All were very sad; for the disappointment had been sore. Presently a man came in, crying, “Courage in the Lord, brethren, courage in the Lord.” This he repeated again and again, till every face was aglow, and every voice was lifted in praise to God. And this morning I say to you, “Courage in the Lord.” Ever since 1844 I have been proclaiming present truth, and today this truth is dearer to me than ever before. RH April 14, 1904, par. 20

God loves his believing people. Go through the Psalms, and find all the places where God has promised you his love and his help. Praise him for these promises, and make them your own. Do your best every day, and trust God for the future. We are his little children, and he desires us to trust him as a child trusts its earthly parents. RH April 14, 1904, par. 21