Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), Page 1085

Faithful, God-sent messengers are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men, not because they place themselves in high positions, but because they show that they are strengthened and helped by the Spirit (Manuscript 165, 1899).

7-14. See EGW on Romans 11:33.

9 (Ephesians 1:17, 18). Educating the Imagination—You need to dwell upon the assurances of God's Word, to hold them before the mind's eye. Point by point, day by day, repeat the lessons there given, over and over, until you learn the bearing and import of them. We see a little today, and by meditation and prayer, more tomorrow. And thus little by little we take in the gracious promises until we can almost comprehend their full significance.

Oh, how much we lose by not educating the imagination to dwell upon divine things, rather than upon the earthly! We may give fullest scope to the imagination, and yet, “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Fresh wonders will be revealed to the mind the more closely we apply it to divine things. We lose much by not talking more of Jesus and of heaven, the saints’ inheritance. The more we contemplate heavenly things, the more new delights we shall see, and the more will our hearts be brimful of thanks to our beneficent Creator (Letter 4, 1885).

14. Truth Versus Worldly Wisdom—Precious jewels of truth, that are of the highest value to the meek and lowly ones who believe in Christ, are as foolishness to him who is wise in the world's estimation. But truth, eternal truth, is ever present with the true believer. The Spirit is the appointed instructor of such a soul, his guide, his continual strength and righteousness (Manuscript 29, 1899).

16. The Law an Expression of God's Idea—The law of ten commandments is not to be looked upon as much from the prohibitory side as from the mercy side. Its prohibitions are the sure guarantee of happiness in obedience. As received in Christ, it works in us the purity of character that will bring joy to us through eternal ages. To the obedient it is a wall of protection. We behold in it the goodness of God, who by revealing to men the immutable principles of righteousness, seeks to shield them from the evils that result from transgression.

We are not to regard God as waiting to punish the sinner for his sin. The sinner brings punishment upon himself. His own actions start a train of circumstances that bring the sure result. Every act of transgression reacts upon the sinner, works in him a change of character, and makes it more easy for him to transgress again. By choosing to sin, men separate themselves from God, cut themselves off from the channel of blessing, and the sure result is ruin and death.

The law is an expression of God's idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin (Letter 96, 1896).

Chapter 3

1, 2 (Hebrews 5:9-12). Why Many Fail in Character Building—[Hebrews 5:9-12 quoted.] Paul could not speak to the Jewish converts as plainly as he desired regarding the mystery of godliness. Because of their spiritual weakness, their lack of perception, he could not utter the truth, which, could they have heard aright, with intelligent comprehension, would have been to them a savor of life unto life.

The fault was not with their instructors, but with themselves. They were dull of understanding. Abundant advantages had been given them. They could have increased in understanding regarding Christ, His work, His power to save to the uttermost all who come to Him. But they had not pressed onward and upward, improving their opportunity to learn more and still more of the Saviour. Because they had not received in faith the truths imparted to them, their memory was weak. They could not retain in their minds the truths essential to success in character-building.

The apostle calls their attention to their fault in this respect, which had become their spiritual infirmity. Their misconceptions gave them an indistinct view of Christ's power to make His people a praise in the earth (The Review and Herald, June 16, 1903).

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