Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

The Review and Herald

January 28, 1904

Practical Christianity

Mrs. E. G. White

I have been impressed with the subject of the influence of the church—what this influence should be. By earnest prayer the members are to obtain power that will make their influence a savor of life unto life. What is needed today is practical Christianity, not merely for a day or a year, but for a lifetime. The man who professes to be a Christian, and yet reveals in his life no practical godliness, is denying Christ. Opposite his name in the books of heaven are written the words, Unfaithful steward.

How is the world to be enlightened, save by the lives of Christ's followers? You profess to believe in Christ, to be a follower of his. Do you do his works? Can the world see plainly that you have been with Jesus, and learned of him? How are unbelievers to know that you belong to Christ if you show no zeal in his service, but instead cherish worldly ambition and follow worldly plans? Christ declares, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

God can not prepare for the day of trial before us those who are careless and indifferent. With those who are neither cold nor hot he has nothing to do. “I would thou wert cold or hot,” he says. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” The half-hearted Christian exerts an influence more harmful than the influence of the avowed infidel.

There are many whose lives are but a pretense of godliness. They are a law unto themselves, and they always will be, unless the grace of Christ subdues their hearts. They lift up their souls unto vanity, and God has no use for them in his service.

The Will of God Concerning You

Our sanctification is God's object in all his dealing with us. He has chosen us from eternity that we might be holy. Christ gave himself for our redemption, that through faith in his power to save from sin, we might be made complete in him. In giving us his Word, he has given us bread from heaven. He declares that if we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we shall receive eternal life.

As Christians we have pledged ourselves to fulfil the responsibilities resting on us, and to show to the world that we have a close connection with God. Thus, through the good words and works of his disciples, Christ is to be represented and honored.

God expects of us perfect obedience to his law. This law is the echo of his voice, saying to us, Holier, yea, holier still. Desire after the fulness of the grace of Christ, yea, long—hunger and thirst—after righteousness. The promise is, “Ye shall be filled.” Let your heart be filled with a longing for this righteousness, the work of which God's Word declares to be peace, and its effect quietness and assurance forever.

God has plainly stated that he expects us to be perfect, and because he expects this, he has made provision for us to be partakers of the divine nature. Only thus can we gain success in striving for eternal life. The power is given by Christ. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

God's people are to reflect to the world the bright rays of his glory. But in order for them to do this, they must stand where these rays can fall on them. They must co-operate with God. The heart must be cleansed of all that leads to wrong. The Word of God must be read and studied with an earnest desire to gain from it spiritual power. The bread of heaven must be eaten and assimilated, becoming part of the life. Thus we gain eternal life. Thus is answered the prayer of Christ, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

“This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” Is it your will that your desires and inclinations shall be brought into harmony with the divine mind?

Godliness in the Every-Day Life

Christ declares, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

The talent of speech was given to be used for the benefit of all. Pleasant, cheery words cost no more than unpleasant, moody words. Sharp words wound and bruise the soul. In this life every one has difficulties with which to wrestle. Every one meets with grievances and disappointments. Shall we not bring sunshine instead of gloom into the lives of those with whom we come in contact? Shall we not speak words that will help and bless? Such words will be just as verily a blessing to us as to those to whom they are spoken.

Parents, allow no faultfinding in your home. Teach your children to speak pleasant words, words that will bring sunshine and joy. Angels are not attracted to a home where discord reigns. Bring practical godliness into the home. Prepare yourselves and your children for entrance into the city of God. Angels will be your helpers. Satan will tempt you, but do not yield. Do not speak one word of which the enemy can take advantage.

Let the determination of each member of the family be, I will be a Christian: for in the school here below I must form a character that will give me entrance into the higher grade, even the school above. I must do unto others as I desire them to do to me.

Make the home life as nearly as possible like heaven. Let the members of the family forget not, as they gather round the family altar, to pray for the men in positions of responsibility in God's work. The physicians in our sanitariums, the ministers of the gospel, those in charge of our publishing houses and schools, need your prayers. They are tempted and tried. As you plead with God to bless them, your own hearts will be subdued and softened by his grace.

From Grace to Grace

We are living amid the perils of the last days, and we are to cleanse ourselves from all defilement, and put on the robe of Christ's righteousness. The work of God is to be steadily carried forward. We are to bring ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, into subjection to Christ. Unless we do this, the health of both body and soul will be endangered.

God desires his workers to gain daily a better understanding of how to reason logically from cause to effect, arriving at wise, safe conclusions. He desires them to add to the strength of the memory. We can not afford to make mistakes. As little children we are to sit at the feet of Christ, learning of him how to work successfully. We are to ask God for sound judgment, and for light to impart to others. There is need of knowledge that is the fruit of experience. We should not allow a day to pass without gaining an increase of knowledge in temporal and spiritual things. We are to plant no stakes that we are not willing to take up and plant further on, nearer the heights we hope to ascend. The highest education is to be found in training the mind to advance day by day. The close of each day should find us a day's march nearer the overcomer's reward. Day by day our understanding is to ripen. Day by day we are to work out conclusions that will bring a rich reward in this life and in the life to come. Looking daily to Jesus, instead of to what we ourselves have done, we shall make decided advancement in temporal as well as spiritual knowledge.

The end of all things is at hand. What we have done must not be allowed to place the period to our work. The Captain of our salvation says, “Advance. The night cometh, in which no man can work.” Constantly we are to increase in usefulness. Our lives are always to be under the power of Christ. Our lamps are to be kept burning brightly.

Prayer is a heaven-ordained means of success. Appeals, petitions, entreaties, between man and man, move men, and act a part in controlling the affairs of nations. But prayer moves heaven. That power alone that comes in answer to prayer will make men wise in the wisdom of heaven, and enable them to work in the unity of the Spirit, joined together by the bonds of peace. Prayer, faith, confidence in God, bring a divine power that sets human calculations at their real worth,—nothingness.

In all ages God has given human beings divine revelations, that thus he may fulfil his purpose of unfolding gradually to the mind the doctrines of grace. His manner of imparting the truth is illustrated by the words, “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” He who places himself where God can enlighten him, advances, as it were, from the partial obscurity of dawn to the full radiance of noonday.

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»