The Review and Herald

392/1902

March 8, 1887

Co-laborers With Christ

EGW

Workers in the Master's vineyard must be imbued with the spirit of Christ in his love for souls. Divine influences and a strong, living, working faith are especial qualifications, in order for them to be co-laborers with Jesus Christ. They must cultivate constantly the graces of the Spirit, repressing unbelief. Honor is to be given to the human powers by putting them to the very highest use in the service of God. Under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit, all may be co-laborers with God. All whom God has blessed with reasoning powers are to become intellectual Christians. They are not requested to believe without evidence; therefore Jesus has enjoined upon all to search the Scriptures. Let the ingenious inquirer, and the one who would know for himself what is truth, exert his mental powers to search out the truth as it is in Jesus. Any neglect here is at the peril of the soul. We must know individually the prescribed conditions of entering into eternal life. We must know what is the voice of God, that we may live by every word that proceeds out of his mouth. We cannot allow these questions to be settled for us by another's mind, or another's judgment. We must search the Scriptures carefully with a heart open to the reception of light and the evidences of truth. We cannot trust the salvation of our souls to ministers, to idle traditions, to human authorities, or to pretensions. We must know for ourselves what God has said. We are laborers together with God, and we want to know, and must know, what conditions are resting upon those who are to be heirs of salvation, or we shall die in our sins. It is not to be our study as to what may be the opinion of men, or of popular faith, or what the Fathers have said. We cannot trust to the voice of the multitude, but we want to know what is the voice of God, what is his revealed will. He has left us his own statements, and we must search for the truth as for hidden treasures. We must put away all skepticism, all exaltation of our own ideas. We must humble our hearts by repentance and with contrition of soul, praying for true enlightenment. We must be diligent and thoughtful. We must be constant learners in the school of Christ, then we shall be meek and lowly of heart as was our Saviour. The Lord positively demands of every Christian an intelligent knowledge of the Scriptures. He must dig for the truth as he would dig for hid treasures. He must search the Scriptures, comparing scripture with scripture; for he must be a laborer together with God. Individually, we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. It is God who works in us, and by us, and through us. God's word is the sword of the Spirit, and with a knowledge of revealed truth, which is our spiritual weapon, we must go to work, laboring to pull down the strong-holds of the enemy. The truth must be spoken in love. We must show that we are Christ's followers and that we have learned of Jesus. We must approach the people in the spirit of kindness and affection. RH March 8, 1887, par. 1

I feel deeply the need of our churches’ having greater spirituality and more personal piety. If we are laborers together with God, our own piety must be sound and healthy, and then, when it comes in contact with error, it will not be moved with iniquity, or will not be corrupted. Our churches must feel their responsibility, and instead of devoting their time and talents to worldly things, seek to become elevated, ennobled. The truth must be to them a divine inspiration, a living reality. The laborers together with God will be aroused to do their work for the Master. Instead of doing so little, they must do very much more, and act as if they were plucking souls as brands from the burning fires. God is displeased with the ease-loving dispositions of those who have the light of truth. Time is golden. Lay hold of God by living faith, and exert your powers to their very utmost, having your testimony so vitalized by the Spirit of God that sinners will feel and sense their danger. Let faith be woven into your experience. Let every believer in the truth be thoroughly alive to the danger of this time. Let them awake from their stupor and feel that the delegated ministers are not the only ones to be workers together with God. Every soul must have a part in this. Says Christ, “Ye are the light of the world.” This not only applies to the ministers, but to every soul to whom Christ has revealed himself. In your several churches you are to be active, living, Christian workers. Are you acquainted with your neighbors? Have you labored for those close by your own homes? Have you the love of Jesus? If so, you will feel an interest for the souls for whom Christ died. Pure religion and undefiled is an active principle. It overreaches the walls of home. It goes forth in quest of objects that need help. Its light flashes into the highways and hedges, and it is seen and felt in the larger places of the earth. The lost sheep are searched for diligently, and wanderers are brought back to the fold. RH March 8, 1887, par. 2

We must have more religion. We must love the Lord better. We must daily consecrate ourselves to the Lord and practice the truth. We profess to believe in earnest, sincere, self-denying effort. Let it ever be borne in mind that if a man who professes to believe the truth neglects his God-given responsibility, he will in the day of God be placed with the unprofitable servant. He will learn by the announcement made in the great day of accounts, if not before, that God was the owner of all he possessed, and that he was only made a trustee, or steward, and was held to a stern reckoning for the faithful administration of his trust. It is all the same, whether we have one talent, or three, or five, or ten; all are the Lord's. Not a farthing is to be squandered upon needless things to gratify the lusts. Not a particle is to be hoarded to the neglect of the salvation of souls for whom Christ has given his life. The principal is all the Lord's, the improvement of it is his, and on every dollar is stamped the image and superscription of Jehovah. All must render an account to God, of how their time and their talents of intellect and money have been used. It is not a light thing to be intrusted with riches; but it is a grand thing to be accounted as a faithful steward of God in making right use of the Lord's money. “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” but how beautiful will be the character of those who have borne the trust of God's capital worthily! If one has held all as God's property, and heeded God's voice to invest his property in his cause to save precious souls, he will see these souls saved in the kingdom of God, because he appropriated God's means as he designed it should be appropriated. He will then be received into everlasting habitations. RH March 8, 1887, par. 3

Let us come up to the high standard of God in Christ Jesus. Let us now consider, before it shall be everlasting too late, what is the measure of our responsibilities in this world in regard to the salvation of our fellow-men. Let each watch and pray, place himself in right relation to God, and study to see what good he may do,—what words he may speak, what influence he may exert, what light he may diffuse as co-laborers with God, and what he can do to establish missions in places where there are none, that a light may be continually shining forth to the dark corners of the earth He may make such a disposition of his intrusted earthly treasures, as shall produce to him in the world to come an hundred-fold, and an eternal inheritance. While the religion of Christ flourishes in hearts, the streams of beneficence will never cease to flow. The one who is a faithful steward is constantly giving, and God is constantly supplying that the channel shall not become dried up. But it is not the rich alone that are to sustain the cause of God in our world; those who have been blessed with the light of truth can learn to practice self-denial, and have something to give. All the little rivulets made to flow into the channel of doing good, blessing humanity, will keep the treasury supplied with means. RH March 8, 1887, par. 4

It is not merely the duty of the minister, but of every member of the church, to represent Christ to the world. They are to catch the rays of light from Jesus, and reflect them upon souls blinded by error and infatuated with false doctrines. They are to hold up the only true standard of righteousness, which is God's holy law, while the world is holding up a false standard. Satan is seeking to present light for darkness, and darkness for light, the truth for error, and error for the truth. He would extinguish every ray of light shining from the throne of God, and in its place put his darkness. But the sons of God are here, every one of them, for the purpose of irradiating the world. The more light is despised, opposed, and condemned, the greater evidence they have in regard to their work to let their light shine forth to others. They receive their orders from God to guide souls to righteousness, truth, and heaven. The torch of truth must shine to willing as well as unwilling eyes. When Christ ascended on high, the church was to be the agent, or medium, through which light was to be communicated to the world. “Ye are the light of the world.” Every individual Christian is required of God to be a living, shining light in the world. He must wrestle with God in secret prayer; then he will go forth in the spirit of Christ to hold converse with men. Anointed for the mission, he bears with him the atmosphere of paradise. His words will be well-chosen, and his face will reflect the image of his Master. He will be the light of the world, a living epistle known and read by all men. RH March 8, 1887, par. 5

Basel, Switzerland.