The Review and Herald


May 7, 1889

The Necessity of Connection With Christ


Text: “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” Ephesians 1:15-19. RH May 7, 1889, par. 1

In these words the importance of our having a connection with Christ, the source of all wisdom, is presented before us. We must have living faith in him, and trust him implicitly, so that we may reach the heights of wisdom and perfection that God would have us. If we come short of attaining this, we cannot be the light that God designed we should be in the world. Jesus alone can impart to us the light which it is essential for us to have. We should be more diligent students in the school of Christ than we now are. We should study the word of God more earnestly, that we may know the way, the truth, and the life. The best Christians are those who continually grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. RH May 7, 1889, par. 2

If we are content to take a low level in the Christian life, the truth will never become wrought into a deep experience; we shall not be fruit-bearing branches; we shall not honor God. Kind words, kind looks, kind deeds, and thoughtful consideration of others,—these are the fruits that grow on the Christian tree. Jesus is our example, and we must form our characters after his. By beholding his purity and perfection, we shall be changed into the same image. If Christ is dwelling in us, we shall reveal him in all our actions, and we shall see new charms in him every day. It is impossible to tell what work God will do for us and through us, if we will only consent to become channels of light. RH May 7, 1889, par. 3

There are many who claim to be Christians who have defective characters, and erroneous views of the Christian life. They are not a light in the world. But let us seek by faith to attain unto a blameless life, that our Christian character may be made manifest to all. Our conversation must be holy and without murmuring. If we think we are having a hard time, let us remember the Author and Finisher of our faith. There were a few that were not ashamed to confess Christ when he was on earth. He said that many of the chief rulers believed on him, but they would not confess him, for fear of being put out of the synagogue. “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” RH May 7, 1889, par. 4

We must have a higher sense of the work and claims of God upon us than did the Pharisees. It is for our present and eternal interests to make friends with Jesus. We need him in every trial and perplexity of life. We should have living faith in him,—faith to trust him as a little child trusts its earthly parents. He invites us to come to him. Let us tell him all about our troubles and our sins, and he will know just what to do in our case. We have a great High Priest to whom we may come boldly; we have a Mediator in the heavens. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Timothy 2:5, 6. RH May 7, 1889, par. 5

The mission of Christ to this earth was to direct erring human beings to God, to lead them to seek for holiness of character, to lead them to pray to Him that is mighty in counsel. Confess your sins to God, and he will never betray your trust. Although we are sinners, he will pardon abundantly. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He marks our contrition of soul; and our sins will go beforehand to judgment; and when the times of refreshing shall come, they will be blotted out by the blood of the Lamb, and our names will be retained in the Lamb's book of life. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.” Neither learning nor riches can bring us into favor with God. Moral worth alone is esteemed of value in his sight. RH May 7, 1889, par. 6

I do not covet rich farms nor costly palaces, I care not for gold or silver; but I prize the blessing of God. I have had a glimpse of the glories of heaven, and I would that every one of you could see what I have seen, that you might have a proper estimate of the eternal weight of glory that is to be the reward of the faithful. We need a more intimate knowledge of Christ. We should sit at his feet, and learn of him the precious lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart. The more we know of him, the more we shall want to know. As we behold and dwell upon his love, we shall see matchless charms in his character. He was perfect in all things, in soul, in spirit, in word, and in deed. He was all that the law required; but what the law demanded of Christ, it demands of all humanity. We must be Christ-like, and give an example to the world that is worthy of imitation. In this way we shall honor God. And the Lord says, “Them that honor me, I will honor.” RH May 7, 1889, par. 7

Daniel honored God in the courts of Babylon. He was surrounded by temptations to indulge appetite. Luxury was on every side, but he would not suffer himself to be enticed to selfish gratification. Those who were accounted honorable in the kingdom were self-indulgent. They gratified appetite and passion, and king commanded that Daniel should follow their example; but the servant of God purposed in his heart that he would be true and loyal to his Master. Says the Scripture, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” He would not yield the principles of his religion, and God gave him knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. The youth of today, if they will stand fast and unwavering to the truth, will receive heavenly wisdom, and God will pour upon them his richest blessing. We desire to see our people growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Saviour Jesus Christ. He loves you, and longs to bless you, and to increase your faith and your knowledge of himself. But in order that he may do this for you, you must live for God. There are many who are becoming anxious to understand the claims of God's law, and you must do your best to be a light and an example to them. Do not depend on the ministers to do all the work in your church and neighborhood. The pastors must seek the lost sheep, and you must help them; and while the ministers are called to labor in other parts of the vineyard, the people of God must have light in themselves, speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts and making melody unto the Lord. While you should respect the ministers highly for their work's sake, you must not trust them as your saviours, but build yourselves up in the most holy faith. When you assemble in the house of God, tell your experiences, and you will grow stronger. While you speak in meeting, you are gaining an education that will enable you to labor for others. What a precious privilege it is to bring souls to Christ. It is the greatest work that mortals can do, for in so doing they are co-laborers with God. But of ourselves we can do nothing. If we try to work in our own strength, we shall fail completely. Jesus came to our world to bring divine power to combine with human effort. When God unites his power with man's effort, the work is brought to perfection. God wants to do great things for his people; and if we only have faith in him, he will work for us mightily. RH May 7, 1889, par. 8