But grow in grace - Increase in the image and favor of God; every grace and Divine influence which ye have received is a seed, a heavenly seed, which, if it be watered with the dew of heaven from above, will endlessly increase and multiply itself. He who continues to believe, love, and obey, will grow in grace, and continually increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, as his sacrifice, sanctifier, counsellor, preserver, and final Savior. The life of a Christian is a growth; he is at first born of God, and is a little child; becomes a young man, and a father in Christ. Every father was once an infant; and had he not grown, he would have never been a man. Those who content themselves with the grace they received when converted to God, are, at best, in a continual state of infancy: but we find, in the order of nature, that the infant that does not grow, and grow daily, too, is sickly and soon dies; so, in the order of grace, those who do not grow up into Jesus Christ are sickly, and will soon die, die to all sense and influence of heavenly things.
There are many who boast of the grace of their conversion; persons who were never more than babes, and have long since lost even that grace, because they did not grow in it. Let him that readeth understand.
To him - The Lord Jesus, be glory - all honor and excellency attributed, both now - in this present state, and for ever, εις ἡμεραν αιωνος, to the day of eternity - that in which death, and misery, and trial, and darkness, and change, and time itself, are to the righteous for ever at an end: it is eternity; and this eternity is one unalterable, interminable, unclouded, and unchangeable Day!
Amen - So let it be! and so it shall be! Though this word is wanting in some reputable MSS., get it should be retained, as it has here more than usual authority in its support.
Subscriptions to this epistle in the Versions:
The end of the Second Epistle of Peter the apostle. - Syriac.
The Second Epistle of Peter the apostle is ended. - Syriac Philoxenian.
Nothing in the printed Vulgate.
The end of the epistles of blessed Peter the apostle, the rock of the faith. - Arabic.
The Second Epistle of Peter is ended; and glory be to God for ever and ever! - Aethiopic.
Nothing in the Coptic.
The end of the Second catholic Epistle of St. Peter. - Complutensian Polyglot.
The end of the Second Epistle of St. Peter. - Bib. Lat., edit. antiq.
Subscriptions in the Manuscripts;
Of the second of Peter. - Codex Alexandrius, and Codex Vaticanus.
Of the catholic epistle of Peter. - Codex Ephrem.
The Second Epistle of the holy Apostle Peter. - Other MSS.
We have now passed over all the canonical writings of Peter that are extant; and it is worthy of remark that, in no place of the two epistles already examined, nor in any of this apostle's sayings in any other parts of the sacred writings do we find any of the peculiar tenets of the Romish Church: not one word of his or the pope's supremacy; not one word of those who affect to be his successors; nothing of the infallibility claimed by those pretended successors; nothing of purgatory, penances, pilgrimages, auricular confession, power of the keys, indulgences, extreme unction, masses, and prayers for the dead; and not one word on the most essential doctrine of the Romish Church, transubstantiation. Now, as all these things have been considered by themselves most essential to the being of that Church; is it not strange that he, from whom they profess to derive all their power, authority, and influence, in spiritual and secular matters, should have said nothing of these most necessary things? Is it not a proof that they are all false and forged; that the holy apostle knew nothing of them; that they are no part of the doctrine of God; and, although they distinguish the Church of Rome, do not belong to the Church of Christ? It is no wonder that the rulers of this Church endeavor to keep the Scriptures from the common people; for, were they permitted to consult these, the imposture would be detected, and the solemn, destructive cheat at once exposed.
But grow in grace - Compare Colossians 1:10. Religion in general is often represented as “grace,” since every part of it is the result of grace, or of unmerited favor; and to “grow in grace” is to increase in that which constitutes true religion. Religion is as susceptible of cultivation and of growth as any other virtue of the soul. It is feeble in its beginnings, like the grain of mustard seed, or like the germ or blade of the plant, and it increases as it is cultivated. There is no piety in the world which is not the result of cultivation, and which cannot be measured by the degree of care and attention bestowed upon it. No one becomes eminently pious, any more than one becomes eminently learned or rich, who does not intend to; and ordinarily men in religion are what they design to be. They have about as much religion as they wish, and possess about the character which they intend to possess. When men reach extraordinary elevations in religion, like Baxter, Payson, and Edwards, they have gained only what they meant to gain; and the gay and worldly professors of religion who have little comfort and peace, have in fact the characters which they designed to have. If these things are so, then we may see the propriety of the injunction “to grow in grace;” and then too we may see the reason why so feeble attainments are made in piety by the great mass of those who profess religion.
And in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - See the notes at John 17:3. Compare the notes at Colossians 1:10. To know the Lord Jesus Christ - to possess just views of his person, character, and work - is the sum and essence of the Christian religion; and with this injunction, therefore, the apostle appropriately closes this epistle. He who has a saving knowledge of Christ, has in tact all that is essential to his welfare in the life that is, and in that which is to come; he who has not this knowledge, though he may be distinguished in the learning of the schools, and may be profoundly skilled in the sciences, has in reality no knowledge that will avail him in the great matters pertaining to his eternal welfare.
To him be glory - Compare the Romans 16:27 note; 2 Timothy 4:18 note. With the desire that honor and glory should be rendered to the Redeemer, all the aspirations of true Christians appropriately close. There is no wish more deeply cherished in their hearts than this; there is nothing that will enter more into their worship in heaven. Compare Revelation 1:5-6; Revelation 5:12-13.
Peter kept alive in his heart the hope of Christ's return, and he assured the church of the certain fulfillment of the Saviour's promise, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.” John 14:3. To the tried and faithful ones the coming might seem long delayed, but the apostle assured them: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. AA 536.1
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. AA 536.2
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.... Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” AA 536.3Read in context »
That these elements are in Healdsburg as well as in other places none will deny; and if Satan did not use them, he would use some other influence to the same end. But “woe to that man by whom the offense cometh;” for it were “better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” God has His means of working. Men cannot always discern them, and by attaching so much importance to their own efforts they not only give the Lord no room to work, but are found working against Him. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 5T 483.1
We are nearing the end of time. Trials will be abundant from without, but let them not come from within the church. Let God's professed people deny self for the truth's sake, for Christ's sake. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” Everyone who truly loves God will have the spirit of Christ and a fervent love for his brethren. The more a person's heart is in communion with God, and the more his affections are centered in Christ, the less will he be disturbed by the roughness and hardships he meets in this life. Those who are growing up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus, will become more and more like Christ in character, rising above the disposition to murmur and be discontented. They will despise to be faultfinders. 5T 483.2
The church at this time should have the faith once delivered to the saints, which will enable them to say boldly: “God is mine helper;” “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” The Lord bids us arise and go forward. Whenever the church at any period have forsaken their sins, and believed and walked in the truth, they have been honored of God. There is in faith and humble obedience a power that the world cannot withstand. The order of God's providence in relation to His people is progression—continual advancement in the perfection of Christian character, in the way of holiness, rising higher and higher in the clear light and knowledge and love of God, to the very close of time. Oh! why are we ever learning only the first principles of the doctrine of Christ? 5T 484.1Read in context »
The present activity of Satan in working upon hearts, and upon churches and nations, should startle every student of prophecy. The end is near. Let our churches arise. Let the converting power of God be experienced in the hearts of the individual members, and then we shall see the deep movings of the Spirit of God. The forgiveness of sins is not the sole result of the death of Jesus. He made the infinite sacrifice, not only that sin might be removed, but that human nature might be restored, rebeautified, reconstructed from its ruins, and made fit for the presence of God. 5T 537.1
We should show our faith by our works. A greater anxiety should be manifested to have a large measure of the spirit of Christ; for in this will be the strength of the church. It is Satan who is striving to have God's children draw apart. Love, oh, how little love we have—love for God and for one another! The word and spirit of truth, dwelling in our hearts, will separate us from the world. The immutable principles of truth and love will bind heart to heart, and the strength of the union will be according to the measure of grace and truth enjoyed. Well would it be for us each to hold up the mirror, God's royal law, and see in it the reflection of His own character. Let us be careful not to neglect the danger signals and the warnings given in His word. Unless heed is given to these warnings, and defects of character are overcome, these defects will overcome those who possess them, and they will fall into error, apostasy, and open sin. The mind that is not elevated to the highest standard will in time lose its power to retain that which it had once gained. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 5T 537.2
God has selected a people in these last days whom He has made the depositaries of His law, and this people will ever have disagreeable tasks to perform. “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” It will require much diligence and a continual struggle to keep evil out of our churches. There must be rigid, impartial discipline exercised; for some who have a semblance of religion will seek to undermine the faith of others and will privily work to exalt themselves. 5T 538.1Read in context »
The apostle Peter had had a long experience in the things of God. His faith in God's power to save had strengthened with the years, until he had proved beyond question that there is no possibility of failure before the one who, advancing by faith, ascends round by round, ever upward and onward, to the topmost round of the ladder that reaches even to the portals of heaven. AA 533.1
For many years Peter had been urging upon the believers the necessity of a constant growth in grace and in a knowledge of the truth; and now, knowing that soon he would be called to suffer martyrdom for his faith, he once more drew attention to the precious privileges within the reach of every believer. In the full assurance of his faith the aged disciple exhorted his brethren to steadfastness of purpose in the Christian life. “Give diligence,” he pleaded, “to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Precious assurance! Glorious is the hope before the believer as he advances by faith toward the heights of Christian perfection! AA 533.2
“I will not be negligent,” the apostle continued, “to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” AA 534.1Read in context »
Each member of the family should understand just the part he is expected to act in union with the others. All, from the child six years old and upward, should understand that it is required of them to bear their share of life's burdens.10 AH 180.1
A Fitting Resolve—I must grow in grace at home and wherever I may be, in order to give moral power to all my actions. At home I must guard my spirit, my actions, my words. I must give time to personal culture, to training and educating myself in right principles. I must be an example to others. I must meditate upon the word of God night and day and bring it into my practical life. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is the only sword which I can safely use.11 AH 180.2Read in context »
Show No Retaliation Against Unjust Parents—Said one of her mother, “I always hated my mother, and my mother hated me.” These words stand registered in the books of heaven to be opened and revealed in the day of judgment when everyone shall be rewarded according to his works. AH 362.1
If children think that they were treated with severity in their childhood, will it help them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, will it make them reflect His image, to cherish a spirit of retaliation and revenge against their parents, especially when they are old and feeble? Will not the very helplessness of the parents plead for the children's love? Will not the necessities of the aged father and mother call forth the noble feelings of the heart, and through the grace of Christ, shall not the parents be treated with kind attention and respect by their offspring? Oh, let not the heart be made as adamant as steel against father and mother! How can a daughter professing the name of Christ cherish hatred against her mother, especially if that mother is sick and old? Let kindness and love, the sweetest fruits of Christian life, find a place in the heart of children toward their parents.7 AH 362.2
Be Patient With Infirmities—Especially dreadful is the thought of a child turning in hatred upon a mother who has become old and feeble, upon whom has come those infirmities of disposition attendant upon second childhood. How patiently, how tenderly, should children bear with such a mother! Tender words which will not irritate the spirit should be spoken. A true Christian will never be unkind, never under any circumstances be neglectful of his father or mother, but will heed the command, “Honour thy father and thy mother.” God has said, “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man.” ... AH 362.3Read in context »
Profession Is Valueless Without Home Religion—The daily acts of life tell the measure and mold of our disposition and character. Where there is a lack of home religion, a profession of faith is valueless. Then let no unkind words fall from the lips of those who compose the home circle. Make the atmosphere fragrant with tender thoughtfulness of others. Only those will enter heaven who in probationary time have formed a character that breathes a heavenly influence. The saint in heaven must first be a saint upon earth.5 CG 481.1
That which will make the character lovely in the home is that which will make it lovely in the heavenly mansions. The measure of your Christianity is gauged by the character of your home life. The grace of Christ enables its possessors to make the home a happy place, full of peace and rest. Unless you have the Spirit of Christ, you are none of His and will never see the redeemed saints in His kingdom, who are to be one with Him in the heaven of bliss. God desires you to consecrate yourself wholly to Him and represent His character in the home circle.6 CG 481.2
The work of sanctification begins in the home. Those who are Christians in the home will be Christians in the church and in the world. There are many who do not grow in grace because they fail of cultivating home religion.7 CG 481.3Read in context »
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” Those who would become the educators of the youth and children must learn much, very much, both in precept and experience, in order that they may be successful laborers for God. They must grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, attaining unto the measure of the stature of Christ. Growth in grace is a testimony to the fact that you are abiding in Christ as the branch is abiding in the vine. If you abide in Him, you will have power to discern spiritual truth, for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. CSW 30.1
“I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” God calls upon the young men and young women to make the most of their entrusted ability. He would have you cultivate habits of industry, habits of study, that you may improve the talents He has given you. God will accept your service, and the improvement of your talents, but He cannot look with approval upon half-hearted, halfway work. Every branch of God's work calls for the exercise of the highest ability; it demands that you shall bring into requisition every available help, that you shall direct your noblest impulses to the propagation of the truth. The exalted, sacred character of the work requires the enlistment of the highest intellectual and spiritual powers, that it may be properly represented before those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. CSW 30.2Read in context »
In studying the Scriptures, in manifesting an unselfish interest in others, in doing those things that will please the Saviour, you will grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. Let every teacher and scholar ask, “What can I do that can be counted as good service to Him who has died that I might live?” The Master gives this answer, “Seek and save that which is lost.” You are to work in Christ's way, with patience, with interest, with determination that you will not feel discouraged as you work for time and eternity, believing that Jesus can do much through human ability consecrated to His service. What higher privilege could we desire than to be laborers together with God, making the most of our entrusted powers, that this very work may be accomplished? CSW 69.1
When young men and women are sober-minded and cultivate piety and devotion, they will let their light shine forth to others, and there will be vital power in the church. It would be well to have an hour appointed for Bible study, and let the youth, both converted and unconverted, gather together for prayer and for the relation of their experiences. The youth should have a chance to give expression to their feelings. It would be well to have a judicious leader chosen at first, one who will talk little and encourage a great deal, by dropping a word now and then to help and strengthen the youth in the beginning of their religious experiences. After they have had a little experience, let one of their number take the leadership, and then another, and in this way let workers be educated that will meet the approval of God.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 48, 49. CSW 69.2Read in context »
Then let every one look to Christ and copy the divine Model. Let every worker tax his powers to the utmost to work in harmony with the plan of God. Let him learn in the school of Christ, that he may be wise in instructing others. Those who are committed to the care of the teacher in the Sabbath school will need the wisdom and experience that God can give to the follower of Christ. Let the teacher learn of Christ's meekness and lowliness of heart, that he may be a true teacher, and win his pupils to Christ, that they, in turn, may become faithful missionaries in the great harvest field.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 76, 77. CSW 106.1
There is altogether too little sympathy brought into our labor for souls. There is not that beseeching, wooing, drawing power that God requires us to exert that souls may be reconciled to Him. If we teach the truth as it is in Jesus, religion will not be regarded as a drudgery, but as a delight. Let the teachers bring sunshine, gratitude, and hearts full of tenderness and Christlike compassion, into their work, and leaven the hearts of their scholars with the spirit of unselfish love; for this is the spirit that pervades heaven. Shall not the workers in the Sabbath school divest themselves of all pride and self-love, and heartily and sincerely become doers of the word? “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Genuine faith confides in Christ, and renders implicit submission, consenting to follow Him wheresoever He goeth. When this is fulfilled, as a result of well-directed efforts, many souls will be brought as precious sheaves to the Master. CSW 106.2Read in context »
The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is the very highest education. It is the key that opens the portals of the heavenly city. This knowledge it is God's purpose that all who put on Christ shall possess. CT 37.1
He whose mind is enlightened by the opening of God's word to his understanding will realize his responsibility to God and to the world, and he will feel that his talents must be developed in a way that will produce the very best results; for he is to “show forth the praises” of Him who has called him “out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9. While growing in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, he will realize his own imperfections, he will feel his real ignorance, and he will seek constantly to preserve and put to the stretch his powers of mind, that he may become an intelligent Christian. Students who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ will grasp knowledge with all their faculties. Without this experience, education is disrobed of its true brightness and glory. CT 37.2Read in context »
There is untold value in industry. Let the children be taught to do something useful. More than human wisdom is needed that parents may understand how best to educate their children for a useful, happy life here, and for higher service and greater joy hereafter. CT 125.1
Parents should seek to awaken in their children an interest in the study of physiology. From the first dawn of reason the human mind should become intelligent in regard to the physical structure. We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful. It is therefore of the highest importance that among the studies selected for children, physiology occupy an important place. All children should study it. And then parents should see to it that practical hygiene is added. CT 125.2Read in context »
In giving us the privilege of studying His word, the Lord has set before us a rich banquet. Many are the benefits derived from feasting on His word, which is represented by Him as His flesh and blood, His spirit and life. By partaking of this word our spiritual strength is increased; we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. Habits of self-control are formed and strengthened. The infirmities of childhood—fretfulness, willfulness, selfishness, hasty words, passionate acts—disappear, and in their place are developed the graces of Christian manhood and womanhood. CT 207.1
If your students, besides studying God's word, learn no more than how to use correctly the English language in reading, writing, and speaking, a great work will have been accomplished. Those who are trained for service in the Lord's cause should be taught how to talk properly in ordinary conversation and before congregations. Many a laborer's usefulness is marred by his ignorance in regard to correct breathing and clear, forcible speaking. Many have not learned to give the right emphasis to the words they read and speak. Often the enunciation is indistinct. A thorough training in the use of the English language is of far more value to a youth than a superficial study of foreign languages, to the neglect of his mother tongue. CT 207.2
Let the school be conducted along the lines of the ancient schools of the prophets, the word of God lying at the foundation of all the education given. Let not the students attempt to grasp the higher rounds of the ladder first. There are those who have attended other schools, thinking that they could obtain an advanced education; but they have been so intent on reaching the higher rounds of the ladder that they have not been humble enough to learn of Christ. Had they placed their feet on the lower rounds first, they would have made progress, learning more and still more of the Great Teacher. CT 208.1Read in context »
The students are to be taught to help those who need encouragement. As they seek to help others they themselves will “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and their efficiency will be increased. “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9. Christians will fulfill the purpose of God for them only as they increase in knowledge and return to Him in earnest service the gifts they have received. CT 452.1
The truths of God's word are not mere sentiments, but the utterances of the Most High. He who makes these truths a part of his life becomes in every sense a new creature. He is not given new mental powers, but the darkness that through ignorance and sin has clouded the understanding is removed. CT 452.2Read in context »
What is worth doing at all is worth doing well. While religion should be the prevailing element in every school, it will not lead to a cheapening of the literary attainments. It will make all true Christians feel their need of thorough knowledge, that they may make the best use of the faculties bestowed upon them. While growing in grace and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, they will seek constantly to put to the stretch their powers of mind, that they may become intelligent Christians. CT 504.1
The Lord is dishonored by low ideas or designs on our part. He who does not perceive the binding claims of God's law, who neglects to keep its every requirement, violates the whole law. He who is content to meet only partially the standard of righteousness, and who does not triumph over every spiritual foe, will not fulfill the purpose of Christ. He cheapens the whole plan of his religious life and weakens his character. Under the force of temptation his defects of character gain the supremacy, and evil triumphs. CT 504.2Read in context »
Elder _____'s Church—In working for those who are converted under your labors, you would be highly pleased if they were called Elder_____'s church. You would like to manipulate their minds in such a way that they would be guided by sentiments of your choosing. But God forbid! In fastening minds to yourself, you lead them to disconnect from the Source of their wisdom and efficiency. Their dependence must not be in you but be wholly in God. Only thus can they grow in grace. They are dependent on Him for success, for usefulness, for power to be laborers together with God.—Letter 39, 1902. Ev 331.1
Christ's Property—Not Ours—Let us always remember, Brother _____, that no matter how great and good a work the human agent may do, he does not gain the ownership of those who through his instrumentality have been converted to the truth. None are to place themselves under the control of the minister who has been instrumental in their conversion. In our ministry we are to bring souls direct to Christ. They are Christ's property, and must ever be amenable to Him alone. Every person possesses an individuality that no other person can claim.—Letter 193, 1903. Ev 331.2
God to Receive the Glory for Success—After the warning has been given, after the truth has been presented from the Scriptures, many souls will be convicted. Then great carefulness is needed. The human agent cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit, we are only the channels through which the Lord works. Too often a spirit of self-sufficiency comes in, if a measure of success attends the efforts of the worker. But there must be no exaltation of self, nothing should be attributed to self; the work is the Lord's, and His precious name is to receive all the glory. Let self be hid in Jesus.—The Review and Herald, October 14, 1902. Ev 331.3Read in context »
Sacred Truth Dishonored by Excitement—We need to be thoughtful and still, and to contemplate the truths of revelation. Excitement is not favorable to growth in grace, to true purity and sanctification of the Spirit. Ev 612.1
God wants us to deal with sacred truth. This alone will convince the gainsayer. Calm, sensible labor must be put forth.... Ev 612.2
God calls upon His people to walk with sobriety and holy consistency. They should be very careful not to misrepresent and dishonor the holy doctrines of truth by strange performances, by confusion and tumult. By this unbelievers are led to think that Seventh-day Adventists are a set of fanatics. Thus prejudice is created that prevents souls from receiving the message for this time. When believers speak the truth as it is in Jesus, they reveal a holy, sensible calm, not a storm of confusion.—Manuscript 76a, 1901. Ev 612.3Read in context »
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 »
The forgiveness of sin is promised to him who repents and believes; the crown of life will be the reward of him who is faithful to the end. We may grow in grace by improving through the grace we already have. We are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world if we would be found blameless in the day of God. Faith and works go hand in hand; they act harmoniously in the work of overcoming. Works without faith are dead, and faith without works is dead. Works will never save us; it is the merit of Christ that will avail in our behalf. Through faith in Him, Christ will make all our imperfect efforts acceptable to God. The faith we are required to have is not a do-nothing faith; saving faith is that which works by love and purifies the soul. He who will lift up holy hands to God without wrath and doubting will walk intelligently in the way of God's commandments. FW 48.3Read in context »
The Lord Jesus is dishonored by low ideas or designs on our part. He who does not feel the binding claims of God's law, and neglects to keep every requirement, violates the whole law. He who is content to partially meet the standard of righteousness, and who does not triumph over every spiritual foe, will not meet the designs of Christ. He cheapens the whole plan of his religious life, and weakens his religious character, and under the force of temptation his defects of character gain the supremacy, and evil triumphs. We need to be persevering and determined, to meet the highest standard possible. Pre-established habits and ideas must be overcome in many cases, before we can make advancement in religious life. The faithful Christian will bear much fruit; he is a worker; he will not lazily drift, but will put on the whole armor to fight the battles of the Lord. The essential work is to conform the tastes, the appetite, the passions, the motives, the desires, to the great moral standard of righteousness. The work must begin at the heart. That must be pure, wholly conformed to Christ's will, else some master passion, or some habit or defect, will become a power to destroy. God will accept of nothing short of the whole heart. FE 118.1
God wants the teachers in our schools to be efficient. If they are advanced in spiritual understanding, they will feel that it is important that they should not be deficient in the knowledge of the sciences. Piety and a religious experience lie at the very foundation of true education. But let none feel that having an earnestness in religious matters is all that is essential in order to become educators. While they need no less of piety, they also need a thorough knowledge of the sciences. This will make them not only good, practical Christians, but will enable them to educate the youth, and at the same time they will have heavenly wisdom to lead them to the fountain of living waters. He is a Christian who aims to reach the highest attainments for the purpose of doing others good. Knowledge harmoniously blended with a Christlike character will make a person truly a light to the world. God works with human efforts. All those who give all diligence to make their calling and election sure, will feel that a superficial knowledge will not fit them for positions of usefulness. Education balanced by a solid religious experience, fits the child of God to do his appointed work steadily, firmly, understandingly. If one is learning of Jesus, the greatest educator the world ever knew, he will not only have a symmetrical Christian character, but a mind trained to effectual labor. Minds that are quick to discern will go deep beneath the surface. FE 119.1
God does not want us to be content with lazy, undisciplined minds, dull thoughts, and loose memories. He wants every teacher to be efficient, not to feel satisfied with some measure of success, but to feel his need of perpetual diligence in acquiring knowledge. Our bodies and souls belong to God, for He has bought them. He has given us talents, and has made it possible for us to acquire more, in order that we may be able to help ourselves and others onward in the way to life. It is the work of each individual to develop and strengthen the gifts which God has lent him, with which to do most earnest, practical work, both in temporal and religious things. If all realized this, what a vast difference we should see in our schools, in our churches, and in our missions! But the larger number are content with a meager knowledge, a few attainments, just to be passable; and the necessity of being men like Daniel and Moses, men of influence, men whose characters have become harmonious by their working to bless humanity and glorify God,—such an experience but few have had, and the result is, there are but few now fitted for the great want of the times. FE 119.2Read in context »
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” As a student, you must learn to see with your brain as well as your eyes. You must educate your judgment so that it shall not be feeble and inefficient. You must pray for guidance, and commit your way unto the Lord. You must close your heart against all foolishness and sin, and open it to every heavenly influence. You must make the most of your time and opportunities, in order to develop a symmetrical character. Fun and folly and indolence cannot be entertained as your guests, if you copy the pattern, Christ Jesus, and become daily more intelligent as to what you shall do to be saved. FE 302.1
Youthful students, your life cannot be governed by impulse without proving an entire failure. You cannot follow your natural inclinations without meeting with a great loss. If you would move securely, you must keep the way of the Lord. Your understanding must be refined and purified; you must work according to God's plan, or fail to make a success. You must ever be growing and advancing in grace and knowledge. You will be able to do nothing acceptably in your school life without practicing habits of system and order. Haphazard work will bring certain failure. FE 302.2
You need to study carefully the question of amusements. Ask yourself, What is the influence of amusements on mind and character, and on the work which I have come to do? Ask yourself, What bearing has the question of amusements on my religious life, on my character as a Christian? Do the games in which you participate, fit you to engage in prayer and in the service of God? Do they aid you to bring as much zeal and earnestness into the Lord's work as you put into the games you play? Have not these amusements in which you have engaged, absorbed your interest so that you have not been able to put as much fervor into the learning of your lessons as you should have done? Which is to have the supremacy—the service of God, or the service of self? Let every student closely examine the ground on which he is standing. FE 302.3Read in context »
When the truth is received, it will work radical changes in life and character; for religion means the abiding of Christ in the heart, and where He is, the soul goes on in spiritual activity, ever growing in grace, ever going on to perfection.... AG 324.2Read in context »
A vital connection with the Chief Shepherd will make the under-shepherd a living representative of Christ, a light indeed to the world. An understanding of all points of our faith is essential, but it is of still greater importance that the minister be sanctified through the truth he presents. GW 142.1
The worker who knows the meaning of union with Christ, has a constantly increasing desire and capacity to grasp the meaning of service for God. His knowledge enlarges; for to grow in grace means to have an increased ability to understand the Scriptures. Such a one is indeed a laborer together with God. He realizes that he is but an instrument, and that he must be passive in the Master's hands. Trials come to him; for unless thus tested, he would never know his lack of wisdom and experience. But if he seeks the Lord with humility and trust, every trial will work for his good. He may sometimes seem to fail, but his apparent failure may be God's way of bringing him true advancement, and may mean a better knowledge of himself and a firmer trust in Heaven. He may still make mistakes, but he learns not to repeat these mistakes. He becomes stronger to resist evil, and others reap benefit from his example. GW 142.2Read in context »
Brethren, when perplexities arise in your conference, when emergencies are to be met, do not let these dark clouds drift into the General Conference if you can possibly avoid it. The president of the General Conference should not be burdened with the affairs of the State conferences, as has been the case in the past. If you, with your associates in the work, cannot adjust the troubles and difficulties that arise in your conference, how do you think that one man can do this work for all the conferences? Why should you pour all your perplexities and discouragements into the burdened mind and heart of the president of the General Conference? He cannot understand the situation as well as do you who are on the ground. If you shirk responsibility and crosses and burden-bearing, hard thinking and earnest praying, and look to the president of the General Conference to do your work and help you out of your difficulties, cannot you see that you lay upon him burdens that will imperil his life? Have you not mind and ability as well as he? You should not neglect any part of the work because it calls for earnest, cross-bearing effort. GW 415.1
I repeat, Do not throw your burdens upon the president of the General Conference. Do not expect him to take up your dropped stitches and bind off your work. Resolve that you will bear your own burdens through Christ who strengthens you. GW 415.2
The president of the General Conference, if he is walking in the counsel of God, will not encourage his brethren to look to him to define their duty, but will direct them to the only Source that is untainted with the errors of humanity. He will refuse to be mind and conscience for others.... GW 415.3Read in context »
Conversion is a change of heart, a turning from unrighteousness to righteousness. Relying upon the merits of Christ, exercising true faith in Him, the repentant sinner receives pardon for sin. As he ceases to do evil and learns to do well, he grows in grace and in the knowledge of God. He sees that in order to follow Jesus he must separate from the world, and after counting the cost, he looks upon all as loss if he may but win Christ. He enlists in His army and bravely and cheerfully engages in the warfare, fighting against natural inclinations and selfish desires and bringing the will into subjection to the will of Christ. Daily he seeks the Lord for grace, and he is strengthened and helped. Self once reigned in his heart, and worldly pleasure was his delight. Now self is dethroned, and God reigns supreme. His life reveals the fruit of righteousness. The sins he once loved he now hates. Firmly and resolutely he follows in the path of holiness. This is genuine conversion.... HP 20.3Read in context »
Guard jealously your hours for prayer and self-examination. Set apart some portion of each day for a study of the Scriptures and communion with God. Thus you will obtain spiritual strength and grow in grace and favor with God. He alone can direct our thoughts aright. He alone can give us noble aspirations and fashion our characters after the divine similitude. If we draw near to Him in earnest prayer, He will fill our hearts with high and holy purposes and with deep, earnest longing for purity and cleanness of thought.... HP 85.5Read in context »
Especially in your marriage relations, be careful to get one who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in spiritual growth. LYL 22.5Read in context »
You are just entering upon womanhood, and if you seek the grace of Christ, if you follow the path where Jesus leads the way, you will become more and more a true woman. You will grow in grace, become wiser by experience, and as you advance from light to a greater light you will become happier. Remember your life belongs to Jesus, and that you are not to live for yourself alone. LYL 26.1Read in context »
Again my heart goes out to you. How is it with your soul? Have you a conscience void of offense toward God and man? Your associations, are they of that character to draw your mind to God and to heavenly things, to increase in you reverence for your parents, pure and holy aspirations? Do you love the truth and the right? Or are you indulging in a creative imagination that has no healthful influence upon the soul? Can you look back upon the last year of your life with satisfaction? Can you see a growth in spiritual power? Any low gratification, any self-indulgence, is a scar left upon the soul, and the noble powers of mind are corrupted. There may be repentance, but the soul is crippled, and will wear its scars through all time. Jesus can wash away the sin but the soul has sustained a loss. LYL 43.1Read in context »
In order to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, it is essential that you meditate much upon the great themes of redemption. You should ask yourself why Christ has taken humanity upon Himself, why He suffered upon the cross, why He bore the sins of men, why He was made sin and righteousness for us. You should study to know why He ascended to heaven in the nature of man, and what is His work for us today.... LHU 237.3Read in context »
During the waking hours, the mind will be constantly employed.... There may be some spasmodic flashes of thought; but the mind is not disciplined to steady, sober reflection. There are themes that demand serious consideration. They are those connected with the great plan of redemption, which is soon to be finished. Jesus is about to be revealed in the clouds of heaven, and what manner of characters must we have to enable us to stand in that day? By dwelling upon these themes of eternal interest, the mind is strengthened, and the character developed. Here lies the foundation of that firm, unswerving principle which Joseph possessed. Here is the secret of growth in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. LHU 367.4Read in context »
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” It is the privilege of the young, as they grow in Jesus, to grow in spiritual grace and knowledge. We may know more and more of Jesus through an interested searching of the Scriptures, and then following the ways of truth and righteousness therein revealed. Those who are ever growing in grace will be steadfast in the faith, and moving forward. MYP 121.1Read in context »
The best way to prevent the growth of evil is to preoccupy the soil. The greatest care and watchfulness is needed in cultivating the mind and sowing therein the precious seeds of Bible truth. The Lord, in His great mercy, has revealed to us in the Scriptures the rules of holy living.... MYP 282.1
He has inspired holy men to record, for our benefit, instruction concerning the dangers that beset the path, and how to escape them. Those who obey His injunction to search the Scriptures will not be ignorant of these things. Amid the perils of the last days, every member of the church should understand the reasons of his hope and faith—reasons which are not difficult of comprehension. There is enough to occupy the mind, if we would grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 123-126. MYP 282.2Read in context »
Peace Found in Cherishing Meekness—The soul finds rest only in cherishing meekness and lowliness of heart. The peace of Christ is never found where selfishness reigns. The soul cannot grow in grace when it is self-centered and proud. Jesus assumed the position that man must take in order that the peace of Christ may abide in the heart. Those who have offered themselves to Christ to become His disciples must deny self daily, must lift up the cross and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. They must go where His example leads the way.—Letter 28, 1888 1MCP 45.2Read in context »
Health of Body Important to Health of Soul—God would be recognized as the Author of our being. That life He has given us is not to be trifled with. Recklessness in the bodily habits reveals a recklessness of moral character. The health of the body is to be regarded as essential for the advancement of growth in grace, an even temper.—Manuscript 113, 1898. 2MCP 405.1
Good Deeds Promote Health—Good deeds are twice a blessing, benefiting both the giver and the receiver of the kindness. The consciousness of rightdoing is one of the best medicines for diseased bodies and minds. When the mind is free and happy from a sense of duty well done and the satisfaction of giving happiness to others, the cheering, uplifting influence brings new life to the whole being.—The Ministry of Healing, 257 (1905). 2MCP 405.2
Godliness in Harmony With Laws of Health—Those who walk in the path of wisdom and holiness find that “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). They are alive to the enjoyment of life's real pleasures and are not troubled with vain regrets over misspent hours nor with gloomy forebodings, as the worldling too often is when not diverted by some exciting amusement. Godliness does not conflict with the laws of health but is in harmony with them. The fear of the Lord is the foundation of all real prosperity.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 14, (1890). (Counsels on Health, 29.) 2MCP 405.3Read in context »
We need constantly a fresh revelation of Christ, a daily experience that harmonizes with His teachings. High and holy attainments are within our reach. Continual progress in knowledge and virtue is God's purpose for us. His law is the echo of His own voice, giving to all the invitation, “Come up higher. Be holy, holier still.” Every day we may advance in perfection of Christian character. MH 503.1
Those who are engaged in service for the Master need an experience much higher, deeper, broader, than many have yet thought of having. Many who are already members of God's great family know little of what it means to behold His glory and to be changed from glory to glory. Many have a twilight perception of Christ's excellence, and their hearts thrill with joy. They long for a fuller, deeper sense of the Saviour's love. Let these cherish every desire of the soul after God. The Holy Spirit works with those who will be worked, molds those who will be molded, fashions those who will be fashioned. Give yourselves the culture of spiritual thoughts and holy communings. You have seen but the first rays of the early dawn of His glory. As you follow on to know the Lord, you will know that “the path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18, R.V., margin. MH 503.2Read in context »
We are living in an important and interesting period of this earth's history. We need more faith than we have yet had; we need a firmer hold from above. Satan is working with all power to obtain the victory over us, for he knows that he has but a short time in which to work. Paul had fear and trembling in working out his salvation; and should not we fear lest a promise being left us, we should any of us seem to come short of it, and prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life? We should watch unto prayer, strive with agonizing effort to enter in at the strait gate. NL 37.1Read in context »
The young should be constantly growing in grace, and in a knowledge of the truth. The Creator of all things, with whom are all the treasures of wisdom, has promised to be the guide of their youth. He who has conquered in their behalf all the powers of evil asks for their homage. There can be no higher knowledge than the knowledge of Him whom to know aright is life and peace; no purer, deeper affection than the love of our Saviour.... OHC 14.3Read in context »
He who does not climb the ladder of progress and add grace to grace “is blind, and cannot see afar off.” He fails to discern that without taking these successive steps in ascending the ladder round after round, in growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, he is not placing himself in a position where the light of God above the ladder is reflected upon him. As he does not add grace to grace, he has forgotten the claims of God upon him, and that he was to receive the forgiveness of sins through obedience to the requirements of God.... OHC 74.3Read in context »
We will not be able to meet the trials of this time without God. We are not to have the courage and fortitude of martyrs of old until brought into the position they were in.... We are to receive daily supplies of grace for each daily emergency. Thus we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and if persecution comes upon us, if we must be enclosed in prison walls for the faith of Jesus and the keeping of God's holy law, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Should there be a return of persecution there would be grace given to arouse every energy of the soul to show a true heroism.... OHC 125.4Read in context »
“Watch unto prayer,” and you will steadily grow in grace and in a knowledge of Christ. Your experience will not be one-sided, deformed, but healthful, symmetrical. All unawares to yourself, you will have expanded like the widespreading cedar, and many will profit by your counsel; your association with them will have the fragrance of heaven. OHC 216.2Read in context »
Be anxious and earnest to grow in grace, seeking for a more distinct and intelligent understanding of the will of God concerning you, striving earnestly for the mark of the prize before you. Christian perfection alone will win the spotless robes of character which will entitle you to stand before the throne of God among the blood-washed throng, bearing the palm branch of everlasting victory and eternal triumph. OHC 242.6Read in context »