Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), Page 1089

time some features of our faith, if expressed, would, by the elements with which you have to deal, arouse prejudice at once.

Paul could be as zealous as any of the most zealous, in his allegiance to the law of God, and show that he was perfectly familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures. He could dwell upon the types and shadows that typified Christ; he could exalt Christ, and tell all about Christ and His special work in behalf of humanity, and what a field he had to explore. He could advance most precious light upon the prophecies, that they had not seen; and yet he would not offend them. Thus the foundation was laid nicely, that when the time came that their spirits softened, he could say in the language of John, Behold in Jesus Christ, who was made flesh, and dwelt among us, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.

To the Gentiles, he preached Christ as their only hope of salvation, but did not at first have anything to say upon the law. But after their hearts were warmed with the presentation of Christ as the gift of God to our world, and what was comprehended in the work of the Redeemer in the costly sacrifice to manifest the love of God to man, in the most eloquent simplicity he showed that love for all mankind—Jew and Gentile—that they might be saved by surrendering their hearts to Him. Thus when, melted and subdued, they gave themselves to the Lord, he presented the law of God as the test of their obedience. This was the manner of his working—adapting his methods to win souls. Had he been abrupt and unskillful in handling the Word, he would not have reached either Jew or Gentile.

He led the Gentiles along to view the stupendous truths of the love of God, who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us; and how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? The question was asked why such an immense sacrifice was required, and then he went back to the types, and down through the Old Testament Scripture, revealing Christ in the law, and they were converted to Christ and to the law (Special Testimonies, Series A, 6:54, 55).

24-27 (1 Peter 2:11). A Contest in Which All May Win—[1 Corinthians 9:24-27 quoted.] This glorious contest is before us. The apostle seeks to inspire us to enter into a noble emulation, a competition in which will be seen no selfishness, unfairness, or underhanded work. We are to use every spiritual nerve and muscle in the contest for the crown of life. No one who does his best will fail in this contest.

All who seek for the prize are to place themselves under strict discipline. “Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” Those who enter into a contest of physical strength for a corruptible prize realize the necessity of rigid abstinence from every indulgence that would weaken the physical powers. They eat simple food at regular hours.

How much more should those who enter for the gospel race, restrain themselves from the unlawful indulgence of appetite and “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” They must be temperate at all times. The same restraint that gives them the power to obtain the victory at one time will, if practiced constantly, give them a great advantage in the race for the crown of life (Manuscript 74, 1903).

(Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5.) Under Discipline to God—[1 Corinthians 9:24-27 quoted.] Thus Paul presents the conditions which God imposes upon every soul who enlists in His service. The apostle fears for himself, lest he shall fail of bearing the examination test, and be found wanting, and he places himself under severe training. So the Christian today needs to keep strict guard over his appetite. He needs to subject himself to severe training, that he may not run uncertainly or at random, without seeing his standard and striving to reach it. He must obey the laws of God. The physical, mental, and moral powers must be kept in the most perfect condition if he would obtain the approval of God. “I keep under my body,” the apostle says. This means literally to beat back its desires and impulses and passions by severe discipline, even as did those competing for an earthly prize (Manuscript 93, 1899).

27 (see EGW on 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). Paul on Guard—[1 Corinthians 9:26, 27 quoted.] Paul was ever on the watch lest evil propensities should get the better of him. He guarded well his appetites and passions and evil propensities (Letter 27, 1906).

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