SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW)

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Chapter 12

A Sermon Written for Our Instruction—A study of the twelfth chapter of Romans would be of profit to us. It is a sermon by the apostle Paul, written for our instruction (Manuscript 50, 1903). 6BC 1080.1

1. See EGW on Exodus 20:1-17. 6BC 1080.2

1, 2 (ch. 1:20; Psalm 19:1-4). God's Works Are His Teachers—[Romans 12:1, 2 quoted.] What does God accomplish, and what does He demand of us individually in the work of saving ourselves? God works in us by the light of His truth, which lighteneth every man that cometh into the world. The Scriptures refer to the works of God as they are revealed in our world, as so many teachers whose voices have gone out through the whole earth, proclaiming the attributes of God. The mind must see the truth, and the will bend to its claims, when it is presented to us based upon scriptural evidence (Manuscript 49, 1898). 6BC 1080.3

2 (1 Corinthians 4:9; Philippians 2:12, 13). Good Fruits the Proof—Man, fallen man, may be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that he can “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” How does he prove this? By the Holy Spirit taking possession of his mind, spirit, heart, and character. Where does the proving come in? “We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” A real work is wrought by the Holy Spirit upon the human character, and its fruits are seen. 6BC 1080.4

Just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will the tree that is actually planted in the Lord's garden produce good fruit unto eternal life. Besetting sins are overcome; evil thoughts are not allowed in the mind; evil habits are purged from the soul temple. The tendencies which have been biased in a wrong direction are turned in a right direction. Wrong dispositions and feelings are changed, new principles of action supplied, and there is a new standard of character. Holy tempers and sanctified emotions are now the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. An entire transformation has taken place. This is the work to be wrought. 6BC 1080.5

We see by experience that in our own human strength, resolutions and purposes are of no avail. Must we, then, give up our determined efforts? No; although our experience testifies that we cannot possibly do this work ourselves, help has been laid upon One who is mighty to do it for us. But the only way we can secure the help of God is to put ourselves wholly in His hands, and trust Him to work for us. As we lay hold of Him by faith, He does the work. The believer can only trust. As God works, we can work, trusting in Him and doing His will (Manuscript 1a, 1890). 6BC 1080.6

3. Seeds of Self-glory Produce a Sure Harvest—[Romans 12:3, 10, 9 quoted.] ... The forms of unbelief are varied, for Satan watches every opportunity to crowd in some of his attributes. There is in the natural heart a tendency to be exalted or puffed up if success attends the efforts put forth. But self-exaltation can find no place in the work of God. Whatever your intelligence, however earnestly and zealously you may labor, unless you put away your own tendencies to pride, and submit to be guided by the Spirit of God, you will be on losing ground. 6BC 1080.7

Spiritual death in the soul is evidenced by spiritual pride and a crippled experience; those who have such an experience seldom make straight paths for their feet. If pride is nourished, the very qualities of the mind which grace, if received, would make a blessing, become contaminated. The very victories which would have been a savor of life unto life, if the glory had been given to God, become tarnished by self-glory. These may seem to be little things, unworthy of notice, but the seed thus scattered brings forth a sure harvest. It is these little sins, so common that they are often unnoticed, that Satan uses in his service (Manuscript 47, 1896). 6BC 1080.8

(Hebrews 11:1.) Faith Is God's Gift—Faith earns nothing for us; it is the gift of God, which we may receive and cherish by making Christ our personal Saviour. We may refuse the gift, and talk doubts, and become unhappy by cherishing unbelief. But this will grow into an impassable barrier, shutting us away from the Spirit of God and closing our hearts to His light and His love (The Signs of the Times, May 19, 1898). 6BC 1080.9

11. See EGW on Mark 12:30. 6BC 1081.1

12. See EGW on Nehemiah 2:4. 6BC 1081.2

17 (2 Corinthians 8:21; 1 Peter 2:12). The Honest Are His Jewels Forever—Truthfulness and frankness should be ever cherished by all who claim to be followers of Christ. God and the right should be the motto. Deal honestly and righteously in this present evil world. Some will be honest when they see that honesty will not endanger their worldly interests, but all who act from this principle will have their names blotted out of the book of life. 6BC 1081.3

Strict honesty must be cultivated. We can go through the world but once; we cannot come back to rectify any mistakes; therefore every move made should be with godly fear and careful consideration. Honesty and policy will not harmonize; either policy will be subdued, and truth and honesty hold the lines of control, or policy will take the lines, and honesty cease to direct. Both cannot act together; they can never be in agreement. When God makes up His jewels, the true, the frank, the honest, will be His chosen ones, His treasures. Angels are preparing crowns for such, and light from the throne of God will be reflected in its splendor from these star-gemmed diadems (The Review and Herald, December 29, 1896). 6BC 1081.4

19 (Psalm 119:126; Luke 18:1-7; Revelation 6:9). Protector and Avenger—When the defiance of God's law is almost universal, when His people are pressed in affliction by their fellow men, God will interpose. Then will the voice be heard from the graves of martyrs, represented by the souls that John saw slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ, which they held—then the prayer will ascend from every true child of God: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” 6BC 1081.5

The fervent prayers of His people will be answered; for God loves to have His people seek Him with all the heart, and depend upon Him as their deliverer. He will be sought unto to do these things for His people, and He will arise as their protector and avenger. “Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him” (The Review and Herald, December 21, 1897)? 6BC 1081.6