The Review and Herald

500/1902

October 1, 1889

“Christ May Dwell In Your Hearts By Faith”

[Sermon at Chicago, April 7, 1889.]

EGW

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19. RH October 1, 1889, par. 1

How can we harmonize our dwarfed spiritual condition with the presentation of our text that describes the fullness of knowledge it is our privilege to possess? How can Heaven look upon us, who have had every spiritual and temporal advantage that we might grow in grace, when we have not improved our opportunities? The apostle did not write these words to tantalize us, to deceive us, or to raise our expectations only to have them disappointed in our experience. He wrote these words to show us what we may and must be, if we would be heirs of the kingdom of God. How can we be laborers together with God, if we have a dwarfed experience? We have a knowledge of the Christian's privilege, and should seek for that deep, spiritual understanding in the things of God that the Lord has desired us to have. RH October 1, 1889, par. 2

Do we really believe the Bible? Do we really believe that we may attain to the knowledge of God that is presented before us in this text? Do we believe every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God? Do we believe the words that have been spoken by prophets and apostles, by Jesus Christ, who is the author of all light and blessing, and in whom dwelleth all richness and fullness? Do we really believe in God, and in his Son? RH October 1, 1889, par. 3

There are many who have a merely nominal faith, but this faith will not save you. Many believe in Christ because somebody else does, because the minister has told them this or that; but if you rest your faith only on the minister's word, you will be lost. You must not do as did the foolish virgins, who, when the cry came, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh,” found no oil in their vessels. When they discovered their lack, they sought those who were wise, and applied to them for oil for their dying lights; but it was too late to supply them. The wise had only enough for their own use, and they told the foolish virgins they must go and buy oil for themselves. We all must buy oil for ourselves. We must not be content with a mere profession. We are to take a stand for the truth by profession, and the principles of truth must become a part of our life. RH October 1, 1889, par. 4

There are many who know nothing of the new birth. They do not know that the truth will test them, and make manifest whether they really are in the truth or not. We should see to it that we are not deceived. We should know that we are really rooted and grounded in the truth. The Lord wants us to have the fullness of his blessing, that we may not be on the side of the questioner and the doubter, but have spiritual discernment, and be able to know the voice of the True Shepherd from the voice of a stranger. We must have an individual experience. Do not flatter yourselves that because you have made a high profession, you are the light of the world. The question is, “Are you the light of the world, or are you the darkness of the world?” RH October 1, 1889, par. 5

All heaven has its expectation of you to whom the precious light has been intrusted. The light has shone upon you in clear, bright rays from the throne of the living God. The question of most vital importance to each one is, “Is it well with my soul?” It is not well with any one unless he has met and responded to the light that Heaven has permitted to shine upon his mind. The light of truth is more precious than anything besides; it is more precious than gold and silver. The most magnificent palaces are nothing in comparison to the truth, and this light is to test us and to make manifest of what spirit we are. RH October 1, 1889, par. 6

In the world before the flood, God tested men with his message of warning. He had blessed them with great wealth; they were rich and increased with goods. Did they appreciate their blessings? Did the bestowal of these great and wonderful gifts fill them with gratitude? Did they prepare themselves for the mansions of heaven which Christ will give to all his faithful children? Were their hearts brought nearer to God?—No; they used the gifts of God to glorify themselves; their riches did not commend them to the favor of God. Riches cannot procure his favor. Riches will make no difference with his judgment of character. RH October 1, 1889, par. 7

Men despise the unfortunate and the poor. They do not appreciate the fact that it is moral worth that makes men of value with God. God estimates character with a different measure from the world. Some men are lifted up with pride when they attain positions of honor. They act as though they were the lords of creation, but a man in the sight of heaven is one who is connected with Christ, who walks in humility of mind, and serves God from the principle of love. God does not need to estimate men by their riches. The cattle upon a thousand hills are his. The beasts of Lebanon would not be sufficient for a burnt-offering. He takes up the isles as a very little thing; everything is manifest and open before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. He knows who are committing robbery toward him in withholding their means from his cause, or in withholding their tact and ability from his service. He knows who have buried their talents in the earth. There is nothing in the history of our life but he understands, and we are to live with an eye single to his glory. What is man in himself? He is only weakness, and yet he is privileged to know the length and depth and breadth and height of God's love, which passeth knowledge. RH October 1, 1889, par. 8

We cannot explain the great mystery of the plan of redemption. Jesus took upon himself humanity, that he might reach humanity; but we cannot explain how divinity was clothed with humanity. An angel would not have known how to sympathize with fallen man, but Christ came to the world and suffered all our temptations, and carried all our griefs. Are you not glad that he was tempted in all points like as we are, and yet without sin? Our hearts should be filled with gratitude to him. We should be able to present to God a continual thank-offering for his wonderful love. Jesus can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. When we are in sorrow and trouble and temptation, we need not think nobody knows, nobody can understand. O, no; Jesus has passed over every step of the ground before you, and he knows all about it. RH October 1, 1889, par. 9

I have heard those who have been in the faith for years, say that they used to be able to endure trial and difficulty, but since the infirmities of age began to press upon them, they had been greatly distressed when brought under discipline. What does this mean? Does it mean that Jesus has ceased to be your Saviour? Does it mean that when you are old and gray-headed, you are privileged to display unholy passion? Think of this. You should use your reasoning powers in this matter, as you do in temporal things. You should deny self, and make your service to God the first business of your life. You must not permit anything to disturb your peace. There is no need of it; there must be a constant growth, a constant progress in the divine life. RH October 1, 1889, par. 10

Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, whose base rests upon the earth, and whose topmost round reaches into the highest heaven; and round after round, you must mount this ladder until you reach the everlasting kingdom. There is no excuse for becoming more like Satan, more like human nature. God has set before us the height of the Christian's privilege, and it is “to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” RH October 1, 1889, par. 11