Larger font
Smaller font
Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Ms 38, 1901

    Sermon/The Unity of the Spirit

    Des Moines, Iowa

    May 6, 1901

    Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 321.

    Sermon by Mrs. E. G. White in the Des Moines Church.

    “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” [Ephesians 2:1-6.]16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 1

    God desires His children to show the world what it means to sit together in heavenly places in Christ, “that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” [Verse 7.] This kindness He expects us to bring into our dealings with one another.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 2

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” [Verses 8-10.]16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 3

    “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” [Ephesians 4:1-3.] Here is something we are to do. We are to be practical Christians. We are to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 4

    “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” [Verses 4-7.] How many of us comprehend these words—“According to the measure of the gift of Christ”? When God gave Christ to our world, He gave all heaven. That gift places at our command all the facilities and powers of heaven.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 5

    “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. ... And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” [Verses 8, 11.] All these gifts are needed. One is not sufficient. God gives varied gifts to His servants that they may accomplish the work entrusted to them. Different gifts, different capabilities, are necessary for the “perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” [Verses 12-14.] We are not to bring childishness with us as we advance in years. But many of us are doing this. Into our religious experience we weave the objectionable traits of character which in our earlier years we have failed to overcome.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 6

    Parents cannot too earnestly warn their children against cherishing hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong which, unless overcome, will spoil their Christian experience. Many, when they join the church, bring with them the inconsistencies and foolishness of childhood. Without thinking, they say the things which come first into the mind. Thus they wound their brethren and sisters, and stir up the worst passions of the human heart. This grieves the Spirit of God. The Lord desires His children to esteem one another as the purchase of the blood of Christ. When they do this, they will know what it means to sit together in heavenly places in Christ. Our lips need to be sanctified with a live coal from the altar of God. Then we shall speak words that are elevating, refining, ennobling; words that are filled with the fragrance of Christ’s righteousness; words that are a savor of life unto life.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 7

    Christ wants His followers to be like Him, because He desires to be correctly represented in the family circle, in the church, and in the world. He wants us to attend to ourselves. When we do this, we shall find that we have enough to keep us busy. We are to accept Christ as our efficiency, our strength, that we may reveal His character to the world. This is the work resting upon us as Christians. We are to witness to the power of heavenly grace.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 8

    But are there not many who are not clothed with the garment of Christ’s righteousness, who are like a chestnut burr, hurting those with whom they come in contact? Might they not better speak sanctified words? Might they not better remember that the talent of speech is given them by God for the blessing of those around them? Those who represent Christ will not speak harshly. Their words will be pleasant and helpful. “Speaking the truth in love,” we “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” [Verses 15, 16.]16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 9

    Do we read this Scripture as often as we should? I wish you would all commit it to memory. It contains the essence of religion.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 10

    “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” [Verses 29-32.]16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 11

    “Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor. But fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.” [Ephesians 5:1-4.]16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 12

    Have we not abundant reason for giving thanks? Why should we not thus honor God? Why should we not show the world how thankful we are for the great goodness of our heavenly Father?16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 13

    And now I want to tell you about our conference in Battle Creek. It was a great trial for me to leave my home in California and take the long journey across the continent. And to save me this journey in midwinter, the brethren decided to hold the conference in California. But in the night season I was addressing congregations in Battle Creek. The Spirit of the Lord was striving with me, and I knew that I must go to Battle Creek. Therefore it was decided to hold the conference in that place.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 14

    The journey was trying, but the Lord sustained me, as He did also during the conference. At times, when I arose to address the vast congregation assembled in the Tabernacle, I feared that I would not have strength to speak. But I committed myself to the Lord, and He strengthened me. His presence was manifest in our meetings, and through His grace precious victories were gained. It was a conference after God’s order, a conference such as has never before been held by our people. Some thought that the meeting would bring a terrible crisis, but the Lord overruled for His glory. He worked to unite His people.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 15

    After the conference it was proposed that I visit Indianapolis on my way home. I was so weak that I feared I could not do this. I had slept but little for three nights. But I decided to trust in the Lord for strength. The morning I left, just before going to the train, I called on Judge Arthur, who had been anxious for me to visit his family. I had very little time, and I told him I thought that a season of prayer would be the best visit we could have. His children had come in from school to be present, and together we sought the Lord. While I was praying, peace and comfort from on high came to me. I rose from my knees quite ready to go to Indianapolis. On the way there, our train stopped at every station on the line. People were constantly getting off and on the car. This has usually tired me, but this time it did not affect me in the least. The Lord’s blessing was with me all the way, and He helped me to speak twice to the church in Indianapolis.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 16

    The Lord gave me strength to come here, and I praise His holy name. I wish to say that some among our people have regarded Dr. Kellogg with unreasoning prejudice. Few realize how much Dr. Kellogg has done to advance the principles of truth. He has labored unceasingly and earnestly to educate young men and young women to engage in medical missionary work. He has accomplished a work which our people might well study carefully before they begin to criticize him. I know the feeling which has been cherished by many in Iowa against Dr. Kellogg. I hope this feeling will be cherished no longer. I do not say that Dr. Kellogg has not made mistakes, because I think he has. But who is there who has not made mistakes? Dr. Kellogg has stood in a very trying position. He has had few to sympathize with him, while many have stood by to criticize and condemn, instead of aiding him in his God-given work. He has been trying to live out the principles of truth. Why, then, have his brethren made it so hard for him?16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 17

    Dr. Kellogg has for a long time stood under a heavy load. Things have been told about him of which one-twentieth part may be near the truth, while the rest is false. Someone has heard something and has told some one else. Thus reports have been carried. Thus the churches have nourished criticism, robbing themselves of heaven’s richest blessing. The spirit of criticism which has sprung up in Iowa is an offence to God. Those who have cherished this spirit cannot prosper until it is cleansed from their hearts.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 18

    God wants His people in Iowa to come into order. He wants to do great things for them, and this He will do if they will take a correct position. He wants them to look at their own defects instead of at the defects of some one else. Remember the words of the Saviour when the Pharisees brought to Him a woman taken in adultery. “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone,” He said. [John 8:7.] Then, bending down, He wrote on the ground. As the accusers of the woman pressed forward to see what He wrote, they read the record of their own sins, and one after another, ashamed and confounded, they went away. Remember the sin in your own heart. Then you will not be so ready to throw stones at some one else.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 19

    I speak to our people in Iowa. I hope you will carry what I have said to the whole conference. Tell our people that God wants them to come into working order. Tell them that He wants them to take up the work they have neglected. This neglect has thrown upon Dr. Kellogg a burden which he should never have had to carry, a burden which he would not have had to carry if our people had done their appointed work. Not till you begin to do the work Dr. Kellogg has done will it be time for you to criticize him. But it is never right to find fault. If you hear that some one has done wrong, go to him, and find out whether he is really at fault. Have you done this in the past, or have you said, “Report, and we will report it”? [Jeremiah 20:10.] May the converting power of God come upon His people in Iowa, for they need this power. The work in this State ought to be much farther advanced than it is. Let those who leave their own work undone to criticize the work of another remember that all they say is written in the records of heaven, and that by their words they will be either justified or condemned.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 20

    Christ is the greatest Missionary the world has ever known. When He was on this earth, He went from city to city, preaching the gospel and healing the sick. When the people of a city urged Him to remain with them, He would answer, I must go to other cities also. He came to our world as the great Restorer. He wants His people to do the work He has left for them. Are those who claim to be laborers together with God working as Christ worked? Are you helping and blessing those around you, or are you criticizing and finding fault? I beg of you for Christ’s sake to banish all criticism from your hearts. Let your words and actions be sanctified by the love of Christ. When you are tempted to think that some one else is doing wrong, ask yourself if all you are doing is right.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 21

    There is work for the Iowa Conference to do. When they do this work, they will have no time for fault-finding or complaining. Christ said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” [Luke 4:18, 19.] This is our work. God calls upon His people to be working Christians. They are to improve by right use of the talents He has entrusted to them. Let us not be like the slothful servant who hid his one talent in the earth. Let us rather be like the servant who doubled his talents, to whom his Lord said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] Shall we not live so that the “Well done” shall be spoken to us? If we expect to sit with the Man of Calvary on His throne, we must here work as He worked.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 22

    Christ has paid a costly price for your service, and He expects you to consecrate all you have and are to Him. Will you do this? Will you take up medical missionary work? To do medical missionary work as Christ did it means to have Christ formed within, to work for the good of humanity with a heart filled with unselfish love. Take up this work, that the curse of God may not rest on you, as it rested on Meroz, for not coming up to His help.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 23

    Those who strive for an earthly prize are temperate and earnest. We claim to be Christians, seeking for a crown of immortality. Is our earnestness proportionate to the value of the object for which we are seeking? God help us to see that it is time for us to pay some attention to ourselves, to be temperate in all things, to practice the principles of health reform.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 24

    In the name of the Lord I beseech you to humble your hearts before Him. Criticize yourselves, but do not criticize others. Christ wants you to help one another. Open the door of the heart, and let the Saviour in. When He abides in the heart, you will do all in your power to strengthen and encourage those for whom He gave His life.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 25

    Suppose that Christ were coming today! Are you ready to meet Him? Is your character without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? Could you look up and say, “This is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation”? [Isaiah 25:9.] May God help and bless and sanctify you. May He cleanse you from all impurity, that you may enter in through the gates into the city. God forbid that any of you should be weighed in the balances and found wanting.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 26

    God wants His sons and daughters to reveal before the synagogue of Satan, before the heavenly universe, before the world, the power of His grace, that men and angels may know that Christ has not died in vain. Let us show the world that we have power from on high. I beseech you for Christ’s sake to be reconciled to God. Beware lest at the last great day you are found without God and without hope in the world. It is time that we sought the Lord with the whole heart, that we may find Him. Ask Him to fill your heart with His grace and sweetness. May God help His people to get out of the rut into which they have fallen, and come to the place where they can walk and talk with God. Then, as they reflect the light and joy of heaven, God Himself will rejoice over them with singing.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 27

    God gave me this message to bear to His people in Iowa. He said to me, “You are to enter into no controversy. Bear the testimony as I give it to you. Do not try to make the people believe it. I have not laid this burden upon you. All you are to do is to deliver the message. I am beside you. I will work with you.”16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 28

    I have now given you the message in the name of the Lord.16LtMs, Ms 38, 1901, par. 29

    Larger font
    Smaller font