Ellen G. White Writings

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Bible Training School

November 1, 1916

Practical Godliness

Mrs. E. G. White

A connection with Christ in God will establish principles in youthful disciples and in those who claim a longer experience, that will enable them to reveal that they have walked with Christ to some purpose. They have loved His ways, and learned His meekness and lowliness, and have cultivated purity of speech. The soul-temple has been cleansed, and they can speak good, wholesome words to the young. The love of God is the crowning glory of their characters. They have not lost the saving qualities of the salt. They never violate the dictates of purity, either in action, language, or thought. The spoken word, the outward action, is the expression of the inward thought. Out of the good treasure of the heart proceed good things; out of the evil treasure of the heart proceed evil things.

There must be a living connection with God in prayer, a living connection with God in songs of praise and thanksgiving. The church may be converted, and demonstrate the truth of Christ's words, “Ye are the salt of the earth.” May the Lord help us everyone, through Christ, to obtain an experience that will enable us to place a proper value on our individual selves. We cannot avoid, while we live, being in the company of ourselves. If we do not expect much from ourselves, if we sink into cheap habits and common talk, we meet with continual disappointment in the Christian life. We are unable to rid ourselves of the idea that we are spurious coin. We have not the right ring. Self may pretend a great many things, and yet be untrue to the position it should occupy. But self may be lost in Christ, and Christ's character appear.

As professed Christians we are making a great mistake in being so well pleased with self. It would be far better if our liberal distrust and our free criticism were given to self instead of to others. If our eyes were anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, we would not make the great blunder many are now making of believing themselves to be rich in the knowledge of the truth. Their riches are riches that spoil the individual life. Self-satisfaction is a terrible element to cherish. Christ looks upon us, and His estimate of us is in marked contrast to our own. “I know thy works,” He says, “that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

How many are in this very position! In their ignorance they are in a deplorable, selfish condition. They are as salt without a savor. They are separated from the Lord Jesus, in whom their hope of eternal life is centered, yet they are satisfied with the knowledge of their smartness, thinking themselves wise. But their eyes are blinded; they do not discern their wretchedness. They do not keep the law of God, but fail to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. “I know thy works,” Christ declares. They are an offense to God. His righteousness is not in them. They have not kept their garments from worldly defilement. They do not keep the correct standard of character uplifted before them.

It is a knowledge of practical godliness, a daily conversion, that is the great need in our world.

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