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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 75, 1903

    Practical Christianity


    August 1, 1903 [typed]

    Previously unpublished.

    I have been impressed with the subject of the influence of the church—what it should be. By earnest prayer the members are to obtain power that will make their influence a savor of life unto life. I call upon our people to use for God the powers that He has given them. If they refuse, they will become unable to use these powers. But the one who uses his capabilities and talents in God’s service will grow in strength and usefulness, daily becoming better able to perform the duty laid upon him.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 1

    What is needed today is practical Christianity, not merely for a day or a year, but for a lifetime.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 2

    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.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 3

    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 cherish instead worldly ambitions and follow worldly plans?18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 4

    Christ declares, “He that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.]18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 5

    God cannot prepare for the day of trial before us those who are cold 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 spue thee out of My mouth.” [Revelation 3:15, 16.] The half-hearted Christian exerts an influence more harmful than the influence of the avowed infidel.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 6

    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 refuse the divine illuminations. They lift up their souls unto vanity, and God has no use for them in His service.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 7

    To Every Man His Work

    While travelling in Switzerland, we passed by a large building in process of erection. Many men were at work. Some were bringing stones from the quarry; others were squaring, shaping, and measuring these stones; and others were placing them in their proper position in the building. In charge of the different departments were experienced workers, whose part it was to see that the work was done with faithfulness and thoroughness. Over all the men, superintending the work on the entire building, was the master builder.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 8

    United action and perfect order prevailed among the men, and the work moved forward rapidly. Every one was doing something. I was told that in the mountains other men were at work, felling trees for the timber needed in the building and floating them down the stream.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 9

    To me this sight was an object lesson of the way in which the Lord’s work is to be carried forward. In His work there are many different branches. Workers of different talents and capabilities are needed. Every one is to do his best faithfully, and all are to work under the direction of the great Head of the church, Christ Jesus.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 10

    The Master worker chose fishermen of Galilee as His first disciples. These men, humble and unlearned, He purposed to train and educate as the architects of His church. They in turn were to educate other workers and send them out with the gospel message, to hew timber, as it were, and to quarry stones. Not on man’s foundation, but on Christ, the true foundation, was the church to be built.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 11

    Those who through the work of the apostles received Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah were expelled from the synagogues, but before them Christ opened the door that no man could shut. They were to go out into the highways and hedges and compel men to come in, that God’s house might be filled. They did not build fine churches and settle down over them as pastors. They went constantly from place to place, proclaiming the good news of salvation through Christ.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 12

    The Gospel Commission

    “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 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 commanded you, and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.]18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 13

    “So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven. ... And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” [Mark 16:19, 20.]18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 14

    They tarried for a time in Jerusalem, for thus the Lord had directed. Here they spent ten days in prayer and confession of sin. At the end of this time, the Holy Spirit descended on them with mighty power, and three thousand were converted in a day.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 15

    After the outpouring of the Spirit, the apostles went forth and raised up companies of believers in many places. Leaving these newly formed companies in charge of faithful teachers, they went on to still other places. Under their labors there were added to the church chosen men, who, receiving the Word of life, consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the message that had filled their hearts with peace and joy. Hundreds proclaimed the message, The kingdom of God is at hand. They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatenings. The Lord spoke through them, and wherever they went, the sick were healed and the poor had the gospel preached unto them.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 16

    As God’s workers go forth today into the harvest field, let those who remain at home hold up their hands by prayer. Let them not neglect to do this. Fighting against the Amalekites, the hosts of Israel were successful while Moses, praying for their success, held up his hands toward heaven. As the battle progressed, it was observed that so long as his hands were reaching upward, Israel prevailed, but when they were lowered, the enemy was victorious. As Moses became weary, Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, and the enemy was put to flight.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 17

    God calls for humble, devoted men who will impart to others the blessings He has given them. He calls for men who will be wise counsellors, men who will act promptly when they see that the time has come for them to act. Let God’s workers keep close by His side. All the way along the danger has been that those who were doing God’s will would lose sight of His plans and would fail to work with an eye single to His glory.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 18

    In the days of the apostles, contention hindered them in their work. Paul writes of this in his letter to the Corinthians. “Now this I say,” he declared, “that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” [1 Corinthians 1:12, 13.]18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 19

    Driven from country to country by persecution, the believers carried the gospel to the dark places of the earth, and new churches were raised up.18LtMs, Ms 75, 1903, par. 20

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