Every soul who truly accepts Christ by faith, will walk in humility of heart. There will be no exalting of self; but Christ will be exalted as the One on whom the hope of eternal life depends. “By grace are ye saved through faith,” the apostle Paul declared. And it is the grace of Christ in us that makes us His witnesses. We can be overcomers only by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony. By a well-ordered life and a godly conversation, we become lights in the church and in the world. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. Those who drink most deeply of the waters of salvation, will reveal most fully the meekness and lowliness of Christ.
I am bidden to say to those who have been called to teach the Word of God to others: Never encourage men to look to you for wisdom. When men come to you for counsel, point them to the One who reads the motives of every heart. A different spirit must come into our ministerial work. No persons must act as confessors; no man must be exalted as supreme. Our work is to humble self and to exalt Christ before the people. After His resurrection, the Saviour promised that His power should be with all who would go forth in His name. Let this power and this name be exalted. We need to keep continually before our minds the prayer of Christ when He prayed that self might be sanctified by truth and righteousness.
The power of the eternal Father, and the sacrifice of the Son, should be studied more than it is. The perfect work of Christ was consummated in His death upon the cross. In His sacrifice and intercession at the right hand of the Father, is our only hope of salvation. It should be our joy to exalt the character of God before men, and make His name a praise in the earth.
As David considered the works of God in the earth, and the love manifested for man, he was led to exclaim: “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! who hast set Thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. . . . O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!”
“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength,” the psalmist says. The Lord will work through the words of even little children who have been instructed from their babyhood to love and fear Him. Through their instrumentality the Lord will teach men to be kind and tender-hearted, and to seek Him in simplicity of heart.
“I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart,” the psalmist continues; “I will show forth all Thy marvelous works, I will be glad and rejoice in Thee: I will sing praise to Thy name, O Thou Most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at Thy presence. For Thou hast maintained my right hand and my cause; Thou satest in the throne judging right.”
I have been shown that these words will be literally fulfilled. Troublous times are just before us, and this is the beginning of the end. At this time, instead of the church becoming worldly in its practices, it should be drawing near to God in a work of repentance and putting away of sin. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”
There is a work for our ministers and workers to do in watching diligently their religious life, that it may not be perverted by self-exalted ideas. Profession is of no avail. “Be not conformed to this world,” the apostle Paul exhorts: “but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
The twelfth chapter of Romans is an educational one, and should be studied and understood. It contains lessons that we are to bring into the life-practise. I am bidden to bear a testimony against the danger of exalting self,—a species of self-deception that will prove the ruin of some who have once known the truth. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love,” the apostle says; “in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.”
We lose many and rich blessings because we neglect to seek the Lord with humble hearts. When we come to Him in sincerity of heart, asking Him to reveal our defects, He will show us a true picture of ourselves, reflected in the mirror of His Word. Then, having seen ourselves as God sees us, let us not go away forgetting what manner of men we are. Let us study critically the features of our character that are defective, and seek for grace to make them like the pattern presented in the Word of God.
The faithful minister will water with his prayers the seed sown in his discourse. He will plead that the seeds of truth may find a lodgment in hearts, and that souls may be truly converted. There is to be in the life of the minister a revelation of the Holy Spirit that will bind heart to heart in love and unity. The more of the grace and power of the Spirit that finite man receives from the Infinite, the more love will he express for his fellow-men. He will ever bear in mind his high privilege: “Ye are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.”
— E.G. White, Lake Union Herald, November 3, 1909