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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 57, 1902

    Sermon/“If ye then be risen with Christ ...”

    St. Helena, California

    April 19, 1902

    Previously unpublished. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    April 19, 1902

    Sermon, Mrs. E. G. White, Sanitarium Chapel, St. Helena, California,

    “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God (we decide our own election), holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” [Colossians 3:1-13.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 1

    If we should bear this instruction in mind, making it an actuating principle in our lives, a much happier state of things would exist. This Scripture means much to us. Wonderful are the possibilities set before those who choose to be children of God. How important it is that we search the Scriptures diligently, lest we depart from the precepts which teach us how to live happily in this life! Daily learning to cherish the joys of heaven, we are preparing for the future immortal life—the life that measures with the life of God.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 2

    “And above all these things put on charity (love), which is the bond of perfectness.” [Verse 14.] Are we cherishing and cultivating the precious grace of love?17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 3

    Christ’s Work for Mankind

    Christians are engaged in a warfare. The church militant is not the church triumphant. In his onward march toward heaven, the follower of Christ must fight at every step. Our adversary is the one who once stood in the heavenly courts as the first of the covering cherubs. The ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God once rested upon him continually. But, not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he began to covet the glory with which the Father had invested the Son. Lucifer desired to be first in heaven. Thus he introduced sin into the universe. Why sin was permitted, no man can explain. A satisfactory reason for the existence of sin cannot be given. Nor can any reason be given for jealousy, evil surmising, covetousness, and idolatry. No man can reason out such things.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 4

    It was because of the existence of sin that Christ came to this earth. He covenanted with God to lay aside His kingly crown and royal robe, clothe His divinity with humanity, and come to the earth to stand at the head of humanity and bear testimony against the assertion of the price of darkness that man could not live without sin. The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, descended step by step to the depths of humiliation.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 5

    If we should ask Isaiah who Jesus of Nazareth is, He would tell us that He is the first and the last. Of Him he declares: “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6.] Such are the titles of the One who came to our world to save the fallen race.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 6

    Christ came to subject Himself to all the temptations wherewith man is beset. In His human nature He suffered all the trials and disappointments, the humiliations and afflictions, that man suffers. In our behalf Christ took humanity upon Himself, and stood at the head of humanity. In His humanity He touched humanity; in His divinity He laid hold of the throne of God.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 7

    Christ came as the representative of His Father, to reveal to the world His Father’s character.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 8

    By giving Himself, Christ offered a complete sacrifice, so that we, by believing on Him, might become sons and daughters of the Most High. What are we willing to do in return for Christ’s infinite sacrifice? What sacrifice are we willing to make, that we may be sons and daughters of God, partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust?17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 9

    When I see men and women desirous of worldly pleasure and ambitious for worldly honor, I think of the One who sacrificed so much in order to show them what they may become through His grace and strength. Will those for whom He has died do what they must do to be saved? Will they learn from His life lessons in regard to the character that they must form in order to be prepared to unite with the loyal, holy family that shall rise from the grave and enter in through the gates into the city?17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 10

    When the Pharisees asked the disciples why their Master ate with publicans and sinners, Christ, overhearing the question, turned to His accusers, and, in the dignity of His mission, said: “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Matthew 9:13.] In His life He has given us a representation of what a repentant sinner may become. He was pure and undefiled. From His lips escaped no word that could leave a stain upon His character. All through the Scriptures He has given us assurances of what we may become.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 11

    My brother, my sister, do you desire to be a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King? Do you desire to share in the final reward of the faithful? In order to become sons and daughters of God, we must begin work just where we are. It matters not what our surroundings are: if we look to Christ for counsel and strength, we shall be able to withstand every temptation.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 12

    “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.” If the affections are set on earthly things, the life is tainted and corrupted. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” [Colossians 3:2-4.] Precious promise!17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 13

    I am so thankful that Christ came in poverty. No one can say, “He knows nothing about the trials and hardships of poverty.” Although He knew that He was the Majesty of heaven and the Redeemer of the lost race, He worked for many years at the carpenter’s trade. From childhood He did His part toward sustaining a family living in poverty. And in His daily work He taught lessons in regard to the perfecting of character. In every detail of the work connected with the construction of buildings—in every stroke He made, in every piece He prepared and joined to other pieces—He showed the care and exactness with which character should be built. It is He who inspired Paul to declare, “Ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 14

    The companions of Jesus often said to Him: “Why need you be so particular? It is unnecessary to work in this way. You could just as well work <with less exactitude> and save time.” Instead of arguing with them, Jesus answered their criticisms by singing. He would begin to sing one of the Psalms in which David taught that faithfulness and integrity must mark the character. The spirit of the song affected the hearts of those who were with Jesus, and almost before they realized what they were doing, they caught the strain and joined with Him in singing. And when a quarrel arose, instead of stopping to argue or to justify His course, Jesus began to sing. Soon His companions would forget their differences of opinion and their angry words. Those who a few moments before had felt provoked with Him or with one another, now joined in singing the hymn of praise.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 15

    By pursuing the same course, we may hide in Christ. Then we shall be partakers of the divine nature.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 16

    The fifth of Romans is full of instruction. We read: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Verse 1.] If we do not have this peace, we are in danger of becoming irritable. Brethren and sisters, for Christ’s sake I plead with you to cease fretting and scolding. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, I beseech of you to stop and ask yourself, “Am I a Christian?” If you are fretting, scolding, cheating, or lying, you are not a Christian, but are exerting a counterinfluence.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 17

    The Lord desires that you shall be saved. He is willing to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. It is through Him that “we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.” [Verse 2.] Through Him we have access to heaven’s treasure house. We have no semblance of an excuse for neglecting to draw supplies of grace from this treasure house. With faith centered in Christ, we, as the church militant, are able to stand unmoved by the assaults of the enemy. Continuing to resist the enemy, we shall gain strength and finally become the church triumphant.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 18

    “Stand, and rejoice.” [Verse 2.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 19

    In the daily life we come in contact with those who are full of pettishness. But there is a way to deal with such persons. We are enjoined to “stand, and rejoice.” [Verse 2.] By obeying this injunction we shall be able always to gain the victory. When some one speaks fretfully, simply “stand, and rejoice.” Do not speak one word in reply. If the lips are opened to speak a word or two, a whole volume of words will flow out. Keep silent. This is the easiest way to gain the victory. Silence will put to shame the one who is full of wrath. I know the worth of this advice. I have proved its value. Follow it, and you will find that you can greatly mortify Satan by keeping the tongue with all diligence. When brought into contention with others, those who “stand, and rejoice,” will not dishonor God in word or action.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 20

    “Rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” [Verse 2.] We should always rejoice. When our way is crossed, when we meet with criticism and condemnation, or when the outlook is forbidding, let us sing, even if it be one of the simplest of songs. We can sing, “When the Mists Have Rolled Away,” or some other inspiring song that will lift the thoughts from self.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 21

    The talent of speech is a wonderful gift which should be used only to glorify God. Words spoken in reply to those who are angry usually act as a whip, lashing the temper into fury instead of soothing it. But a song will subdue feelings of anger. Heavenly angels will influence hearts and join in the song because of the victory gained.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 22

    Not only are we to rejoice, but we are to “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Wonderful, wonderful love! “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” [Verses 3-9.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 23

    The sixth of Romans is closely related in thought to the third of Colossians, where we read: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.” [Verses 3, 1.] In Romans we read: “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. ... But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” [Romans 5:12, 20, 21; 6:1, 2.] Brethren and sisters, can you answer this? How can a man dead to sin live the life of a sinner?17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 24

    “Baptized Into Jesus Christ”17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 25

    “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” This is a familiar symbol. “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death.” [Verses 3, 4.] We are not to be buried by baptism while we are alive to sin. We regard with horror the burial of a live person. But how many who have never died to sin have gone through the form of burial with their Lord in baptism!17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 26

    Repentance, faith, and baptism are the three steps requisite to conversion. Christ Himself was baptized of John. When John forbad Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?” Jesus answering said unto him, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” [Matthew 3:14, 15.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 27

    The ceremony of baptism is a most solemn one. Men and women are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This signifies that the three greatest representatives of heavenly authority behold the baptismal service and hear the vows that are made by human agents to walk henceforth in newness of life.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 28

    In taking the baptismal vows, man unites with the highest powers in the heavenly courts. He covenants to live the life that Christ lived while on this earth. And Christ, on His part, fulfils every promise that He has made in His Word. He molds the character of every one who follows in His footsteps. Wonderful, wonderful is His work in behalf of sinners!17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 29

    We are buried with our Lord in baptism, but we are not left in the grave. We “are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” [Romans 6:4.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 30

    “If we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” [Verse 5.] As Christ came forth from the rent sepulcher of Joseph, He proclaimed in triumph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] Never again is He to lie in the grave. To every believer, Christ is the resurrection and the life. This is typified in the baptismal ceremony. We are buried in the likeness of Christ’s death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection, henceforth to live a new life. And when at last we enter the portals of the city of God, we shall be welcomed by the One who prayed, “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory.” [John 17:24.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 31

    In order to represent Christ aright, we must reach a high standard, “knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” [Romans 6:6-8.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 32

    As I mediate on the privileges of the Christian life, I cannot refrain from exclaiming, “Oh, how precious they are!” I am so thankful to the Lord for His goodness. As I consider what we may escape and what we may become, I am amazed that so few choose to follow the Master.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 33

    To us the promise is: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” [Matthew 7:7, 8.] We have no excuse for giving way to doubt, despondency, and despair. In the gift of Christ all the treasures of heaven have been placed at our command. If we by faith lay hold of God’s promises, we shall be able to walk in the Saviour’s footsteps.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 34


    The Home Life

    Today one great need of the world is home religion. As I have been writing on the subject of education, it has been plainly and unmistakably represented to me that the education of the child begins in the home. At the beginning of married life the church in the home is to be established. Parents stand in the place of God during the tender years of the children that they bring into the world. They are to mold and fashion the characters of their children after the divine pattern. In the highest sense of the term, Christian parents are to be educators.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 35

    Into the home life, parents are to bring rays of divine light. Not a word of censure or faultfinding should escape their lips, not a cross word should be uttered; for such words disturb their little children. At a much earlier age than is generally supposed, children are able to read the countenance and to understand words uttered in their presence. I know that, years ago, when spasms of pain crossed by countenance because of heart difficulty, the little one in my arms would quiver in sympathy and then burst into tears. It was the expression of my countenance that caused him to cry. As I placed my hand over my heart and revealed in my countenance the pain that I felt, he read my expression and understood its meaning.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 36

    The home can be made a place where God’s Spirit loves to dwell. Every Christian who labors to this end is striving to place the religion of Jesus Christ upon the highest basis. Right principles will then be brought into the church. In dealing with their brethren and sisters, men and women will realize the necessity of following a course different from the course followed in the past. Until religion is practiced more in the home, there will be very little religion in the church. If difficulties often arise in the home, difficulties will constantly arise in the church.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 37

    Parents are under obligation to train their children from infancy as missionaries for God. And how far-reaching is this work! Parents, begin a work in your own home. Humble yourself before God; pray for His Spirit to come into your heart. Cultivate home religion. Learn how to deal with human minds. Never let a degrading, rough, or impure word escape your lips. Never indulge in jesting and joking. Bring into the home life heaven’s purity and light and love. Thus you will co-operate with Christ. A Christian cannot do otherwise than co-operate with the great Master-worker. Paul declares, “We are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 38

    Fathers and mothers, never quarrel with your children or provoke them to anger. Train them to obey you to the letter. I know by experience that this can be done without provocation. I have taken charge of children that were said to be incorrigible, and at the close of the year I have told them that I should not ask them to obey me any better in the year to come than they had obeyed me during the past year. In dealing with them, never would I allow them to gain an advantage over me by causing me to lose my temper. I knew that the enemy wanted me to become angry when the children disobeyed; but I would always say to them: “Children, I shall leave you now to think over your course of action. In your excited, angry state of mind you are not prepared to see things in the right light. Tonight before you sleep we will talk the matter over together.” Thus I gave them opportunity for calm reflection. When night came and we met together for worship, they were ready to break down and cry like babies. They would ask my forgiveness, and then we would kneel and ask God’s forgiveness.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 39

    Let parents who regard their children as precious in their sight remember that their loved ones are so precious in the sight of Jesus Christ, that He bore the agony of the cross to make it possible for them to perfect a Christian character. Through His sacrifice it is possible for you to enter, an unbroken family, through the gates of the city of God. Every parent may then say, Here am I, Lord, and the children whom Thou hast given me. What a victory is <thus gained!>17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 40

    How often men and women are so absorbed in the cares of this life that they fail of training their children aright! It would be far better to neglect business than to neglect to care for the precious treasures that God has placed in our hands. Let us begin to do the work that God desires us to do in our homes. Let us determine that henceforth we will not let Satan obtain the mastery over us. When the enemy gains a victory, the heart of Jesus is grieved. Let us work together with God, pressing forward “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 3:14.]17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 41


    This is the first time I have dared to speak to a congregation since my return from the East. While in New York City I labored very hard. <During my journey to the East> I did the work of two or three persons and had no rest. During the past ten years I have known nothing of extremely cold weather, as I have lived in mild climates. For this reason my visit to South Lancaster in the midst of winter was especially trying. Unaccustomed to the deep snow and the zero temperature, I took a severe cold, which affected my throat and lungs. I lost my voice. For a time I could utter no sound. I could not even take part in family worship or ask a blessing at the table. Sometimes I could speak a few words, but no more. This is why I have not been with you before.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 42

    The power of speech is just beginning to return to me. Thrice I have spoken to a few brethren and sisters—in Calistoga and near Santa Rosa—to test my voice; but this is the first time for many weeks that I have been able to speak to a congregation. I thank the Lord that He has restored my voice. Night after night I have prayed for this. In feebleness and infirmity I have been clinging to the hand of the Mighty One, pleading with Him to give me health and strength and courage and hope. I praise the holy name of the God of Israel that He has again given me my voice.17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 43

    May the Lord bless you. May He especially bless the invalids who are here for treatment. How much they need comfort and strength and grace! The helpers are to have such a living connection with God that they will know how to give spiritual food in season. They are to flash rays of divine light upon the pathway of those before whom the way appears dark. They are to lead the patients into the fulness of God’s glorious light. How blessed it is to receive to impart! May the Lord bless this congregation!17LtMs, Ms 57, 1902, par. 44

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