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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 189, 1903

    Sermon/Thoughts on Ephesians 2.

    St. Helena, California

    Sabbath Morning, June 20, 1903

    Previously unpublished.

    (Talk by Mrs. E. G. White, St. Helena Sanitarium Chapel)

    [First portion missing.]18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 1

    Now this is all blended, and we want, every soul of us, to improve the talents that God has given us, our capabilities. We want to be advancing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and what did He do? He laid off His royal robe, He laid off His royal crown, He stepped down from His position of height and dignity, He kept that dignity, and yet He stepped down from the magisterial throne, the Majesty of heaven, the King of Glory, and clothed His divinity with humanity.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 2

    How and why? Why, He must come now to stand at the head of humanity, that humanity might touch humanity. He was the Son of humanity. The Son of God condescended to become the Son of humanity, that He might encircle the human race with His long human arm. With His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 3

    Why did He not bring with Him the cloud of angels? Why did He not have legions of angels that should encircle right around Him, to let them all understand who He was, that He was the ruler over angels in the heavenly courts? But, no. He must stand as humanity stands, to bear the afflictions that humanity bore; to be tempted in all points like as humanity is tempted. And then what? Why, then He understands the affliction of humanity. When He was crucified, suffering the most shameful death. He was both mocked and derided, and the heavenly host watching the scene. How quickly they would have broken their ranks and dispersed all His persecutors; but, no. The death He bore for us makes it possible for us to be partakers of the divine nature. He was partaker of human nature, and all judgment is to be given into His hand.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 4

    I look and see how difficult it is for us to bear the trials and disappointments of this life. Certainly we have to have these trials, and if we bear them correctly, if we bear them as children of God, just as surely shall we stand before God on vantage-ground, because we remember that Christ has passed over the ground before us and left us His example.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 5

    Now we want to work the works of Christ. He was the great Medical Missionary that stood in our world. He went from place to place, and they would bring the sick, and He would heal them; and then they would beg of Him, Oh, stay with us, stay with us. We want you with us. But no, He said, I must go to other cities and other towns; and I must preach the gospel to all people. Well, that is just what we have to do.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 6

    We cannot sit down in a do-nothing position, thinking that we will enter the courts of the Lord. We have been carried at every step, and have been comforted and encouraged, and will we feel it our privilege to feel just as bad as we can feel when any difficulty comes? We have no right to feeling that way. Why? Because we have a big hope in the gospel; because we have a Friend at court; we have a risen Saviour that proclaimed over the rest sepulcher of Joseph, I am the resurrection and the life.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 7

    Now Christ came to our earth as a babe in Bethlehem, coming up as a child, and testifying against the lie of Satan that it was not possible for any man of the fallen race to overcome and become spotless, and keep God’s Commandments. But Christ took human nature, and kept the commandments of God. It is some consequence to us what behavior we have in this life, in this world. It is of very great consequence to us what character we are forming, what kind of a building we are making.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 8

    We must be in a position before God that we shall imitate the life of Christ. How many search the Scriptures as they ought to search them? How many put in the place of the Scriptures foolish reading, and when they want to be conversant with the Scriptures, why, get as much of it as you can by heart, in their memory, but that is not enough. You want to make the application of it to the soul. It is a life-and-death question with us. It is nothing to be trifled with.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 9

    If you enter heaven, you will never set your stakes that you are going to be worldly, and you are going to have all the conveniences, and you are going to have all that you desire in this life, and then you will have a transport to the future immortal life. No, you will do just as Christ did. “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. So shall he be My disciple.” [See Mark 8:34.] The Lord of life and glory humbled Himself, and the Lord requires that everyone that shall enter in through the gates into the city of God shall be a partaker with Christ of His self-denial and of His self-sacrifice. And what then? A crown of life will He bestow upon everyone that will live the life of self-denial and self-sacrifice.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 10

    We have an individual, personal work to carry on for ourselves. We want to learn all that it is possible for us to learn as to how to perfect Christian character. Every one of us have had talents given us. Every man, every living soul, has talents that have been entrusted to him from God. He is to improve those talents to the very best account, and he is to bring all the sunshine, all the pleasantness, all the agreeableness of the person in words, in speech; for that is a talent. There are to be no cross speeches, no hasty, passionate speeches.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 11

    Every one of us, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, is to have a fitness of character that we shall bring joy, and that we shall bring happiness into the lives of others. No man (and that means no woman; it covers both) liveth unto himself. And yet we have, every one of us, our part to act in the great firm. Here is God’s firm in the world, and we must act our part if we shall have the city of God for our mansions—shall have mansions there.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 12

    Just before He left His people, Christ did not talk of His sufferings, and of what He had to endure and the agony; He did not present that before His disciples; but He told them the bare facts, that He was to be tried and be crucified. But, He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” [John 14:1.]18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 13

    If we work right away from Christ, and do not try to assimilate to Christ here, and we do not try to make things pleasant, and to bring heaven right into our homes here below, we are neglecting the duty of every family that lives on the face of the earth. Do you think every family had obeyed the commandments of God, you would hear of bloodshed, that you would hear of robbery, that you would hear next of God’s punishments that come upon the earth, as they will come, as they have come? God is in earnest with us. He invites us to come to Him, and He says if we come to Him, He will in no wise cast us out.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 14

    [Portion missing because of change of transcribers.]18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 15

    Be determined that you will have it, and then you that you can use your talent of speech to the glory of God. The very consciousness that you are trying to obey Christ will be health to your soul. But the sense that you commit sin is just a scourge to you. Those sins are always scourges; but leave off your sins, return to Christ. He will give you health, He will give you health of mind, He will give you physical strength, He will give you mental power. He will give you that faith that works by love and purifies the soul.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 16

    Well, don’t any one of you think that God is going to hire you here below to do some great work and give you the very highest wages to do that work. He does not employ you in any such a way. If there is a place that you can come in to fill, go into that place, and then you say, I will do the very best I can in every place where I am placed, but I want to have the good works of mercy. I want the good works of the love of God to attend all that I shall do.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 17

    I want a living connection with the Lamb of God, who said, If you follow Me, deny thyself, take up thy cross, and follow Me. This is the very thing that we have to do—deny self, and lift these crosses that seem to us to be awfully belittling to our dignity. Well, we had to do it in order to build these institutes. We had to do it in order to provide schools, so that we might educate the youth. We had to do it in order to have publishing houses, where the truth might be prepared and go out to the people. God calls only for every self-denying and helping hand that will unite with Him in self-sacrifice. For our sakes He became poor, and you are called and invited for His sake to be willing to become poor, and that you may indeed deny self in order that you may be a partaker with Christ of His sufferings.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 18

    Now we invite those that are here, the nurses that are about the sick, to carry pleasantness, carry peace in your countenance. Pray to God that He will help you that when you will come to the sick there will be a reviving as they look at your pleasantness. A pleasant look, a pleasant word will go a great ways. Well, we want to be what?—God’s missionary helping hands. All who unite as gospel missionaries in this world will have to deny self, and take up the cross. Well, we have got to do this. It is the only way, and there is a world to save. God help us, is my prayer. God help us.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 19

    I have just begun to say a few words to you; but I want to tell you, the Lord is in earnest with us. He is in earnest with us. You never can begin to suffer nor to understand the depth and breadth of the humiliation that our Saviour went through. There is no one of us that can ever go through that. And then the priests and the rulers stood, while He was hanging in agony on the cross, saying Oh, if you are the Son of man, come down, and we will believe on you. But no, no, He was to bear all this suffering in our behalf, that no one that lives on the face of the earth can say He never suffered as I suffered; He doesn’t know how to suffer; He doesn’t know how to pity us; for He never suffered as I suffered.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 20

    But He has gone through every phase of temptation, every phase of suffering, and I want you to have sympathy with my Lord. I want you to have that love for Him that you will try to imitate His life of character; because He wants you. He wants to put a crown of glory on your heads. He wants to throw back the gates of the city of God, that all the nations that have kept the truth may enter in. He pronounces His blessing upon them as they enter in, and they cast at His feet their glittering crowns that He has placed upon their heads, and they touch the golden harps, and fill all heaven with rich music and with songs to the Lamb.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 21

    Well, I love Him; I love Him, because He first loved me. I love Him, because He took me right out of my despair and He set me at eleven years of age to praise His name. I have followed on in His footsteps just as fast as I could, in order that I might have a home with Him in His kingdom. I do not say that I am perfect in Christian character; but I am following on; I am trying to attain. I shall strive to attain every day, I hope, in this life, to know more of Christ, to know still more of Christ, so that He can say, Well done, of all that enter in, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Well, now, that is what He wants us all to do.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 22

    I mean to be there. I want you to be there. I will praise Him here on the earth. We have too little praise and thanksgiving and honor that we bestow upon God, and had we not better begin to praise Him; had we not better begin to honor and glorify Him? Shall we not thank Him here upon the earth? God help us that we may honor God by praising Him. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth God. Now let us every one strive to be overcomers.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 23

    Just a verse I want to read here. Ephesians 2:16, 17 quoted. Now we calculate we will do just the same—everyone will help some other one.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 24

    “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Verses 18, 19. He is speaking to the brethren that are right before Him.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 25

    “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Verses 20-22. “Together.” Now you see they are fitly framed, every one matches the work of the other and “groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord, in whom all parts are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 26

    Now here are the buildings; here are the personalities; and these personalities are to be the habitation of God in the Spirit. And when you have the grace of Christ in the heart, you will have that peace that is beyond any comparison. You will have peace and light and joy and happiness, and, at last, everlasting life.18LtMs, Ms 189, 1903, par. 27

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