Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

June 12, 1901

Spiritual Growth

It is the Lord's desire that His followers shall grow in grace, that their love shall abound more and more, that they shall be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the praise and glory of God.

Where there is life, there will be growth and fruit-bearing; but unless we grow in grace, our spirituality will be dwarfed, sickly, fruitless. It is only by growing, by bearing fruit, that we can fulfil God's purpose for us. “Herein is My Father glorified,” Christ said, “that ye bear much fruit.” In order to bear much fruit, we must make the most of our privileges. We must use every opportunity granted us for obtaining strength.

A pure, noble character, with all its grand possibilities, has been provided for every human being. But there are many who have not an earnest longing for such a character. They are not willing to part with the evil that they may have the good. Great opportunities are placed within their reach. But they neglect to grasp the blessings that would place them in harmony with God. They work at cross-purposes with the One who is seeking their good. They are dead branches, having no living union with the Vine. They can not grow.

One of the divine plans for growth is impartation. The Christian is to gain strength by strengthening others. “He that watereth shall be watered also himself.” This is not merely a promise; it is a divine law, a law by which God designs that the streams of benevolence, like the waters of the great deep, shall be kept in constant circulation, continually flowing back to their source. In the fulfilling of this law is the secret of spiritual growth.

Hear Christ's words: “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commended you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” No words can express the blessings received by those who work earnestly to carry out this commission. Of those who after the Saviour's resurrection obeyed His command to impart the light they had received, we read, “They went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.”

Everything that could be done was done to make our first parents pure and keep them pure. And since the fall the Lord has wrought out His will in the plan of redemption, a plan by which He is seeking to restore man to his original perfection. Christ's death on the cross has made it possible for God to receive and pardon every repentant soul. This was arranged in the councils of love. It is possible for us to be more than conquerors thru Him who gave His life for us. If we come to God in faith, He will receive us and give us strength to climb upward to perfection. If we watch every word and action, that we may do nothing to dishonor the One who has trusted us, if we improve every opportunity granted us, we shall grow into the full stature of men and women in Christ. Exceeding great and precious promises have been given us that we may do this.

Let those who are oppressed under a sense of sin remember that there is hope for them. The salvation of the human race has ever been the object of the councils of heaven. The covenant of mercy was made before the foundation of the world. It has existed from all eternity, and is called the everlasting covenant. So surely as there never was a time when God was not, so surely there never was a moment when it was not the delight of the eternal mind to manifest His grace to humanity. He is ever calling, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” “Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it can not save, neither His ear heavy, that it can not hear.”

Christians, is Christ revealed in us? Are we doing all in our power to gain a body that is not easily enfeebled, a mind that looks beyond self to the cause and effect of every movement, that can wrestle with hard problems and conquer them, a will that is firm to resist evil and defend the right? Are we crucifying self? Are we growing up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ, preparing to endure hardness as good soldiers of the cross?

Mrs. E. G. White

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