SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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Chapter 3

8. See EGW on Acts 18:1-3; 20:17-35. 7BC 911.7

10. Complete Dedication of Paul—If any man will not work, neither shall he eat, applies to the spiritual, religious life as well as to earthly, temporal things. 7BC 911.8

Paul not only endured the taxation of the physical powers in common labor without one feeling of either belittling or degrading himself, and without discontent; but he bore the burden while at the same time exerting the activities of his mind to advance and attain in spiritual knowledge. He taught, and he practiced the lessons he taught. He had repeated visions from God, and from the light given he knew every man must be a worker with brain and muscle and sinew. This faithful disciple of Christ, and apostle of Jesus Christ, was dedicated without reserve to the service of God (Letter 2, 1889). 7BC 911.9

10, 14, 15 (Romans 12:11). Idleness a Sin—The apostle in his day considered idleness a sin, and those who indulge this evil today disgrace their profession. They will criticize the faithful worker, and bring reproach upon the gospel of Christ. Those who would believe, they turn from the way of truth and righteousness. 7BC 912.1

We should be warned not to associate with those who by their course of action lay a stumbling block in the way of others. “If any man obey not our word by this epistle,” the apostle says, “note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” If he refuses the admonition of the Lord's servants, and follows his own will and judgment under the inspiration of his leader, Satan, he will bring ruin upon himself, and must bear his own sin. 7BC 912.2

The custom of supporting men and women in idleness by private gifts or church money encourages them in sinful habits, and this course should be conscientiously avoided. Every man, woman, and child should be educated to do practical, useful work. All should learn some trade. It may be tentmaking, or it may be business in other lines; but all should be educated to use the members of their body to some purpose, and God is ready and willing to increase the adaptability of all who will educate themselves to industrious habits. 7BC 912.3

If a man in good physical health has property, and has no need of entering into employment for his own support, he should labor to acquire means that he may advance the cause and work of God. He is to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” God will bless all who will guard their influence in regard to others in this respect (Manuscript 93, 1899). 7BC 912.4

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