Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), Page 1103

liberally that their example might be recorded, thus leading others to exercise the same beneficence.

Encouraged by this movement, which showed the special working of the Holy Spirit on the hearts of the believers, Paul requested Titus to visit the Corinthian church and finish the collection which they had proposed and had already begun. He was anxious that they should perform that which they had promised through the grace of God working upon their hearts.

Lest they should be outstripped in liberality by the comparatively poor Macedonian churches, Paul not only writes to them, but sends Titus to attend to the collection. The apostle greatly desired to see in the believers symmetry of Christian character. He desired them to give evidence of their love and prove the sincerity of their faith. As disciples in full belief of the truth, he longed to see in them a lively sense of their obligation and accountability to God for the gospel. He desired that it should work in them as the power of God, and that they should bear testimony to its work by yielding fruit to the honor of God. As Christians under the control of God they were with all diligence to discharge every duty....

Paul laid no command upon the Corinthian brethren. But he set before them the necessity of the church at Jerusalem, and showed what others had given who had fewer advantages and less ability than had the Corinthians. He presented the example of others, to induce them to give (Manuscript 12, 1900).

6. Ministers to Teach Liberality—There is a lesson also in this chapter to those who are working in the cause of God. Paul says, “We desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also”—that is, make you to abound in the grace of liberality. A responsibility rests upon the ministers of Christ to educate the churches to be liberal. Even the poor are to have a part in presenting their offerings to God. They are to be sharers of the grace of Christ in denying self to help those whose need is more pressing than their own. Why should the poor saints be denied the blessing of giving to aid those who are still poorer than themselves (MS 28, 1894)?

9. Christ's Poverty a Part of His Great Sacrifice—The apostle called upon them to consider the example of Christ. The Commander of heaven gave Himself to a life of humiliation and poverty that He might stand side by side with the fallen race, to restore the moral image of God in man. The Lord Jesus was willing to become poor, that through His humiliation and His death on the cross He might pay the ransom for us.

Whether rich or poor, we must never forget that the poverty of Christ was a part of His legacy in humanity. It was not alone His betrayal in the garden or His agony upon the cross that constituted the atonement. The humiliation of which His poverty formed a part was included in His great sacrifice. The whole series of sorrows which compassed humanity Christ bore upon His divine soul (Manuscript 12, 1900).

(Matthew 11:28; Philippians 2:5-8.) Why Christ Came as a Poor Man—When the plan of redemption was laid, it was decided that Christ should not appear in accordance with His divine character; for then He could not associate with the distressed and the suffering. He must come as a poor man. He could have appeared in accordance with His exalted station in the heavenly courts; but no, He must reach to the very lowest depths of human suffering and poverty, that His voice might be heard by the burdened and disappointed, that to the weary, sinsick soul He might reveal Himself as the Restorer, the desire of all nations, the Rest-giver. And to those who are longing for rest and peace today just as truly as to those who listened to His words in Judea, He is saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Manuscript 14, 1897).

Christ's Poverty Paul's Mighty Argument—Here was the apostle's mighty argument. It is not the commandment of Paul, but of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Son of God had left His heavenly home, with its riches and honor and glory, and clothed His divinity with humanity—not to live in the palaces of kings, without care or labor, and to be supplied with all the conveniences which human nature naturally craves. In the councils of heaven He had chosen to stand in the ranks of the poor and

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