The Review and Herald

1648/1902

June 23, 1910

The Test of Faith and Sincerity

EGW

Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine. RH June 23, 1910, par. 1

It is not enough for us to believe that Jesus is not an impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. We may believe that the name of Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby man may be saved, and yet we may not through faith make him our personal Saviour. It is not enough to believe the theory of the truth. It is not enough to make a profession of faith in Christ and have our names registered on the church-roll. “He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” This is the genuine evidence of conversion. Whatever our profession, it amounts to nothing unless Christ is revealed in works of righteousness. RH June 23, 1910, par. 2

In the sermon on the mount Christ said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” The test of sincerity is not in words, but deeds. Christ does not say to any man, “What say ye more than others?” but “What do ye more than others?” Full of meaning are his words, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” Words are of no value unless they are accompanied by appropriate deeds. RH June 23, 1910, par. 3

Saying and Doing

This is the lesson taught in the parable of the two sons. In the parable the son who said, “I go, sir,” represented himself as faithful and obedient, but time proved that his profession was not real. He had no true love for his father. So the Pharisees prided themselves on their holiness, but when tested, it was found wanting. Of them Christ declared, “Do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” RH June 23, 1910, par. 4

Self-righteousness is not true righteousness, and those who cling to it will be left to take the consequences of holding a fatal deception. Many today claim to obey the commandments of God, but they have not the love of God in their hearts to flow forth to others. Christ calls them to unite with him in his work for the saving of the world, but they content themselves with saying, “I go, sir.” They do not co-operate with those who are doing God's service. They are idlers. Like the unfaithful son, they make false promises to God. In taking upon themselves the solemn covenant of the church, they have pledged to receive and obey the Word of God, to give themselves to God's service; but they do not do this. In profession they claim to be sons of God, but in life and character they deny the relationship. They do not surrender the will to God. They are living a lie. RH June 23, 1910, par. 5

In the command, “Go work today in my vineyard,” the test of sincerity is brought to every soul. Will there be deeds as well as words? Will the one called put to use all the knowledge he has, working faithfully, disinterestedly, for the Owner of the vineyard? RH June 23, 1910, par. 6

The Heavenly Ladder

The apostle Peter instructs us as to the plan on which we must work. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you,” he says, “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. “And besides this, 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.” RH June 23, 1910, par. 7

If you cultivate faithfully the vineyard of your soul, God will make you a laborer together with himself. And you will have a work to do not only for yourself, but for others. In representing the church as the vineyard, Christ does not teach that we are to restrict our sympathies and labors to our own numbers. The Lord's vineyard is to be enlarged. In all parts of the earth he desires it to be extended. As we receive the instruction and grace of God, we should impart to others a knowledge of how to care for the precious plants. Thus we may extend the vineyard of the Lord. God is watching for evidences of our faith, love, and patience. He is looking to see if we are using every spiritual advantage to become skilful workers in his vineyard on earth, that we may enter the paradise of God, that Eden home from which Adam and Eve were excluded by transgression. RH June 23, 1910, par. 8

Service to Our Father

God stands toward his people in the relation of a father, and he has a father's claim to our faithful service. Consider the life of Christ. Standing at the head of humanity, serving his Father, he is an example of what every son should and may be. The obedience that Christ rendered, God requires from human beings today. He served his Father in love, with willingness and freedom. “I delight to do thy will, O my God,” he declared; “yea, thy law is within my heart.” Christ counted no sacrifice too great, no toil too hard, in order to accomplish the work which he came to do. At the age of twelve he said, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” He had heard the call, and had taken up the work. “My meat,” he said, “is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” RH June 23, 1910, par. 9

Thus we are to serve God. He only serves who acts up to the highest standard of obedience. All who would be sons and daughters of God must prove themselves coworkers with Christ and God and the heavenly angels. This is the test for every soul. Of those who faithfully serve him, the Lord says, “They shall be mine, ... in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” RH June 23, 1910, par. 10

Opportunity to Develop Character

God's great object in the working out of his providences is to try men, to give them opportunity to develop character. Thus he proves whether they are obedient or disobedient to his commands. Good works do not purchase the love of God, but they reveal that we possess that love. If we surrender the will to God, we shall not work in order to earn God's love. His love as a free gift will be received into the soul, and from love to him we shall delight to obey his commandments. RH June 23, 1910, par. 11

There are only two classes in the world today, and only two classes will be recognized in the Judgment,—those who violate God's law, and those who obey it. Christ gives the test by which we prove our loyalty or disloyalty. “If ye love me,” he says, “keep my commandments.... He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to 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.” “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” RH June 23, 1910, par. 12