For if these things be in you and abound - If ye possess all there graces, and they increase and abound in your souls, they will make - show, you to be neither αργους, idle, nor ακαρπους, unfruitful, in the acknowledgment of our Lord Jesus Christ. The common translation is here very unhappy: barren and unfruitful certainly convey the same ideas; but idle or inactive, which is the proper sense of αργους, takes away this tautology, and restores the sense. The graces already mentioned by the apostle are in themselves active principles; he who was possessed of them, and had them abounding in him, could not be inactive; and he who is not inactive in the way of life must be fruitful. I may add, that he who is thus active, and consequently fruitful, will ever be ready at all hazard to acknowledge his Lord and Savior, by whom he has been brought into this state of salvation.
For if these things be in you, and abound - If they are in you in rich abundance; if you are eminent for these things.
They make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful - They will show that you are not barren or unfruitful. The word rendered “barren,” is, in the margin, “idle.” The word “idle” more accurately expresses the sense of the original. The meaning is, that if they evinced these things, it would show.
(1)that they were diligent in cultivating the Christian graces, and,
(2)that it was not a vain thing to attempt to grow in knowledge and virtue.
Their efforts would be followed by such happy results as to be an encouragement to exertion. In nothing is there, in fact, more encouragement than in the attempt to become eminent in piety. On no other efforts does God smile more propitiously than on the attempt to secure the salvation of the soul and to do good. A small part of the exertions which men put forth to become rich, or learned, or celebrated for oratory or heroism, would secure the salvation of the soul. In the former, also, men often fail; in the latter, never.
The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining, as a people, false ideas of justification by faith. I have been shown for years that Satan would work in a special manner to confuse the mind on this point. The law of God has been largely dwelt upon and has been presented to congregations, almost as destitute of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relation to the law as was the offering of Cain. I have been shown that many have been kept from the faith because of the mixed, confused ideas of salvation, because the ministers have worked in a wrong manner to reach hearts. The point that has been urged upon my mind for years is the imputed righteousness of Christ. I have wondered that this matter was not made the subject of discourses in our churches throughout the land, when the matter has been kept so constantly urged upon me, and I have made it the subject of nearly every discourse and talk that I have given to the people. FW 18.1
In examining my writings fifteen and twenty years old [I find that they] present the matter in this same light—that those who enter upon the solemn, sacred work of the ministry should first be given a preparation in lessons upon the teachings of Christ and the apostles in living principles of practical godliness. They are to be educated in regard to what constitutes earnest, living faith. FW 18.2Read in context »
When profligacy and heresy and infidelity fill the land, there will be many humble homes where prayer, sincere and contrite prayer, will be offered from those who have never heard the truth, and there will be many hearts that will carry a weight of oppression for the dishonor done to God. We are too narrow in our ideas, we are poor judges, for many of these will be accepted of God because they cherish every ray of light that shone upon them.—Manuscript 6, 1889. 3SM 400.1
Men are inspired by Satan to execute his purposes against God. The Lord has said, “Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations” (Exodus 31:13). None should disobey this command in order to escape persecution. But let all consider the words of Christ, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another” (Matthew 10:23). If it can be avoided, do not put yourselves into the power of men who are worked by the spirit of Antichrist. If the payment of a fine will deliver our brethren from the hands of these oppressors, let it be paid, rather than to be pressed and made to work on the Sabbath. Everything that we can do should be done that those who are willing to suffer for the truth's sake may be saved from oppression and cruelty.... 3SM 400.2Read in context »
The young should cultivate a spirit of devotion and piety. They cannot glorify God unless they constantly aim to attain unto the fullness of the stature of Christ—perfection in Christ Jesus. Let the Christian graces be and abound in you. Give to your Saviour your best and holiest affections. Render entire obedience to His will. He will accept nothing short of this. Be not moved from your steadfastness by the jeers and scoffs of those whose minds are given to vanity. Follow your Saviour through evil as well as good report; count it all joy, and a sacred honor, to bear the cross of Christ. Jesus loves you. He died for you. Unless you seek to serve Him with your undivided affections, you will fail to perfect holiness in His fear, and you will be compelled to hear at last the fearful word, Depart. 2T 237.1
*****Read in context »