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Ezekiel 36:26

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A new heart also will I give you - I will change the whole of your infected nature; and give you new appetites, new passions; or, at least, the old ones purified and refined. The heart is generally understood to mean all the affections and passions.

And a new spirit will I put within you - I will renew your minds, also enlighten your understanding, correct your judgment, and refine your will, so that you shall have a new spirit to actuate your new heart.

I will take away the stony heart - That heart that is hard, impenetrable, and cold; the affections and passions that are unyielding, frozen to good, unaffected by heavenly things; that are slow to credit the words of God. I will entirely remove this heart: it is the opposite to that which I have promised you; and you cannot have the new heart and the old heart at the same time.

And I will give you a heart of flesh - One that can feel, and that can enjoy; that can feel love to God and to all men, and be a proper habitation for the living God.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Water is an emblem of the cleansing our polluted souls from sin. But no water can do more than take away the filth of the flesh. Water seems in general the sacramental sign of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost; yet this is always connected with the atoning blood of Christ. When the latter is applied by faith to the conscience, to cleanse it from evil works, the former is always applied to the powers of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. All that have an interest in the new covenant, have a new heart and a new spirit, in order to their walking in newness of life. God would give a heart of flesh, a soft and tender heart, complying with his holy will. Renewing grace works as great a change in the soul, as the turning a dead stone into living flesh. God will put his Spirit within, as a Teacher, Guide, and Sanctifier. The promise of God's grace to fit us for our duty, should quicken our constant care and endeavour to do our duty. These are promises to be pleaded by, and will be fulfilled to, all true believers in every age.
Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 158

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Lord says, “Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God.” “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you.” 1 John 1:9; Jeremiah 3:13; Ezekiel 36:25. COL 158.1

But we must have a knowledge of ourselves, a knowledge that will result in contrition, before we can find pardon and peace. The Pharisee felt no conviction of sin. The Holy Spirit could not work with him. His soul was encased in a self-righteous armor which the arrows of God, barbed and true-aimed by angel hands, failed to penetrate. It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. He came “to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18. But “they that are whole need not a physician.” Luke 5:31. We must know our real condition, or we shall not feel our need of Christ's help. We must understand our danger, or we shall not flee to the refuge. We must feel the pain of our wounds, or we should not desire healing. COL 158.2

The Lord says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:17, 18. The gold tried in the fire is faith that works by love. Only this can bring us into harmony with God. We may be active, we may do much work; but without love, such love as dwelt in the heart of Christ, we can never be numbered with the family of heaven. COL 158.3

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Ellen G. White
Messages to Young People, 71-2

“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” MYP 71.1

Many who speak to others of the need of a new heart do not themselves know what is meant by these words. The youth especially stumble over this phrase, “a new heart.” They do not know what it means. They look for a special change to take place in their feelings. This they term conversion. Over this error thousands have stumbled to ruin, not understanding the expression, “Ye must be born again.” MYP 71.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), 1164-5

See EGW on Psalm 92:12, Vol. 3, p. 1146. 4BC 1164.1

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 452

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 452.2

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 286

The Experience of Genuine Conversion—I have been shown that many have confused ideas in regard to conversion. They have often heard the words repeated from the pulpit, “Ye must be born again.” “You must have a new heart.” These expressions have perplexed them. They could not comprehend the plan of salvation. Ev 286.1

Many have stumbled to ruin because of the erroneous doctrines taught by some ministers concerning the change that takes place at conversion. Some have lived in sadness for years, waiting for some marked evidence that they were accepted by God. They have separated themselves in a large measure from the world, and find pleasure in associating with the people of God; yet they dare not profess Christ, because they fear it would be presumption to say that they are children of God. They are waiting for that peculiar change that they have been led to believe is connected with conversion. Ev 286.2

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 290

Sanctification Only Through Practicing the Truth—Man must not only read the Word of God, supposing that a casual knowledge of this Word will bring about in him a reformation of character. This work only the One who is the way, the truth, and the life can accomplish. Firmly may certain doctrines of truth be held. Again and again they may be reiterated, till the holders come to think that they are indeed in possession of the great blessings which these doctrines represent. But the greatest, most powerful truths may be held, and yet kept in the outer court, exerting little influence to make the daily life wholesome and fragrant. The soul is not sanctified through the truth that is not practiced.—Letter 16, 1892. Ev 290.1

Doctrines or Church Membership Do Not Take Place of Conversion—All, high or low, if they are unconverted, are on one common platform. Men may turn from one doctrine to another. This is being done, and will be done. Papists may change from Catholicism to Protestantism; yet they may know nothing of the meaning of the words, “A new heart also will I give you.” Accepting new theories, and uniting with a church, do not bring new life to anyone, even though the church with which he unites may be established on the true foundation. Connection with a church does not take the place of conversion. To subscribe the name to a church creed is not of the least value to anyone if the heart is not truly changed.... Ev 290.2

We must have more than an intellectual belief in the truth. Many of the Jews were convinced that Jesus was the Son of God, but they were too proud and ambitious to surrender. They decided to resist the truth, and they maintained their opposition. They did not receive into the heart the truth as it is in Jesus. When truth is held as truth only by the conscience, when the heart is not stimulated and made receptive, only the mind is affected. But when the truth is received as truth by the heart, it has passed through the conscience, and has captivated the soul with its pure principles. It is placed in the heart by the Holy Spirit, who reveals its beauty to the mind, that its transforming power may be seen in the character.—The Review and Herald, February 14, 1899. Ev 291.1

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Ellen G. White
The Faith I Live By, 121.2

The promises are, “A new heart will I give you”; “I will put my Spirit within you.” This provision is made for us through the merit of Christ's righteousness: “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Isaiah 32:17. Those who experience the change spoken of in these words will find that their restlessness and disquietude are all taken away, and they will find rest unto their souls in Christ. His merit, His righteousness, are imputed to the believing soul, and the believer has inward peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. FLB 121.2

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 264

Inquire, teachers, you who are doing your work not only for time but eternity, Does the love of Christ constrain my heart and my soul, in dealing with the precious souls for whom Jesus has given His own life? Under His constraining discipline, do old traits of character, not in conformity to the will of God, pass away and the opposite take their place? “A new heart also will I give you.” Have all things become new through your conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ? In words and by painstaking effort are you sowing such seed in these young hearts that you can ask the Lord to water it, that it shall, with His imputed righteousness, ripen into a rich harvest? Ask yourselves, Am I by my own unsanctified words and impatience and want of that wisdom that is from above, confirming these youth in their own perverse spirit, because they see that their teacher has a spirit unlike Christ? If they should die in their sins, shall I not be accountable for their souls? The soul who loves Jesus, who appreciates the saving power of His grace, will feel such a drawing near to Christ, that he will desire to work in His lines. He cannot, dare not, let Satan control his spirit and poisonous miasma surround his soul. Everything will be placed one side that will corrupt his influence, because it opposes the will of God and endangers the souls of the precious sheep and lambs; and he is required to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Wherever God has, in providence, placed us, He will keep us; as our day our strength shall be. FE 264.1

Whoever shall give way to his natural feelings and impulses makes himself weak and untrustworthy, for he is a channel through which Satan can communicate to taint and corrupt many souls, and these unholy fits that control the person unnerve him, and shame and confusion are the sure result. The spirit of Jesus Christ ever has a renewing, restoring power upon the soul that has felt its own weakness and fled to the unchanging One who can give grace and power to resist evil. Our Redeemer had a broad comprehensive humanity. His heart was ever touched with the known helplessness of the little child that is subject to rough usage; for He loved children. The feeblest cry of human suffering never reached His ear in vain. And everyone who assumes the responsibility of instructing the youth will meet obdurate hearts, perverse dispositions, and his work is to co-operate with God in restoring the moral image of God in every child. Jesus, precious Jesus,—a whole fountain of love was in His soul. Those who instruct the children should be men and women of principle. FE 264.2

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Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 100.1

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26. AG 100.1

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 280.4

Every obstacle, every internal foe, only increases your need of Christ. He came to take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh. Look to Him for special grace to overcome your peculiar faults. When assailed by temptation, steadfastly resist the evil promptings; say to your soul, “How can I dishonor my Redeemer? I have given myself to Christ; I cannot do the works of Satan.” Cry to the dear Saviour for help to sacrifice every idol, and to put away every darling sin. Let the eye of faith see Jesus standing before the Father's throne, presenting His wounded hands as He pleads for you. Believe that strength comes to you through your precious Saviour. LHU 280.4

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Ellen G. White
Medical Ministry, 40

Our physicians need a deeper insight into the evangelistic work that God expects them to do. Let them remember that if they do not work for the healing of the soul as well as for the healing of the body, they are not following the example of the great Medical Missionary. Let them study the word of God diligently, that they may be familiar with its promises and may be able, in tenderness and love, to point sinners to the Great Healer. It was to bring spiritual as well as physical healing to the sick that our sanitariums were established. MM 40.1

The physician is to be a constant receiver of the grace of Christ. He is to remember that the God-fearing physician is authorized to regard himself as a laborer together with God. The Saviour is willing to help all who call upon Him for wisdom and clearness of thought. And who needs wisdom and clearness of thought more than the physician, upon whose decision so much depends? MM 40.2

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 95.1

A New Heart Means a New Mind—The words “A new heart will I give you” mean, “A new mind will I give you.” This change of heart is always attended by a clear conception of Christian duty, an understanding of truth. The clearness of our views of truth will be proportionate to our understanding of the Word of God. He who gives the Scriptures close, prayerful attention will gain clear comprehension and sound judgment, as if in turning to God he had reached a higher grade of intelligence.—The Review and Herald, November 10, 1904. 1MCP 95.1

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 24

The Bible in My Life

Being born again ... by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23 ML 24.1

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 261

Sanctifying Power of the Truth

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17 ML 261.1

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 159.1

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26. OHC 159.1

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 208.7

Truth that is in the heart is not a cold, dead letter.... There is fullness of joy in the truth. There is a nobleness in the life of the human agent who lives and works under the vivifying influence of the truth. Truth is sacred and divine. It is stronger and more powerful than anything else in the formation of a character after the likeness of Christ. When it is cherished in the heart, the love of Christ is preferred to the love of any human being. This is Christianity. Thus truth—pure, unadulterated truth—occupies the citadel of the being. This is the life of God in the soul. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Ezekiel 36:26. OHC 208.7

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 111.4

Truth is sacred, divine. It is stronger and more powerful than anything else in the formation of a character after the likeness of Christ. In it there is fullness of joy. When it is cherished in the heart, the love of Christ is preferred to the love of any human being. This is Christianity. This is the love of God in the soul. Thus pure, unadulterated truth occupies the citadel of the being. The words are fulfilled, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” There is a nobleness in the life of the one who lives and works under the vivifying influence of the truth.... RC 111.4

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 217.3

All, high or low, if they are unconverted, are on one common platform. Men may turn from one doctrine to another. This is being done, and will be done.... Yet they may know nothing of the meaning of the words, “A new heart also will I give you.” Accepting new theories, and uniting with a church, do not bring new life to anyone, even though the church with which he unites may be established on the true foundation. Connection with a church does not take the place of conversion. To subscribe the name to a church creed is not of the least value to anyone if the heart is not truly changed. RC 217.3

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 303.4

To be pardoned in the way that Christ pardons is not only to be forgiven, but to be renewed in the spirit of our mind. The Lord says, “A new heart will I give unto thee.” The image of Christ is to be stamped upon the very mind, and heart, and soul. The apostle says, “And we have the mind of Christ.” Without the transforming process which can come alone through divine power, the original propensities to sin are left in the heart in all their strength, to forge new chains, to impose a slavery that can never be broken by human power.... RC 303.4

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 386

When God's people are one in the unity of the Spirit, all of Phariseeism, all of self-righteousness, which was the sin of the Jewish nation, will be expelled from all hearts. The mold of Christ will be upon each individual member of His body, and His people will be new bottles into which He can pour His new wine, and the new wine will not break the bottles. God will make known the mystery which hath been hidden for ages. He will make known what are the “riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) [verses 28, 29 also quoted]. 1SM 386.1

Jesus came to impart to the human soul the Holy Spirit, by which the love of God is shed abroad in the heart; but it is impossible to endow men with the Holy Spirit, who are set in their ideas, whose doctrines are all stereotyped and unchangeable, who are walking after the traditions and commandments of men, as were the Jews in the time of Christ. They were very punctilious in the observances of the church, very rigorous in following their forms, but they were destitute of vitality and religious devotion. They were represented by Christ as like the dry skins which were then used as bottles. The gospel of Christ could not be placed in their hearts; for there was no room to contain it. They could not be the new bottles into which He could pour His new wine. Christ was obliged to seek elsewhere than among the scribes and the Pharisees for bottles for His doctrine of truth and life. He must find men who were willing to have regeneration of heart. He came to give to men new hearts. He said, “A new heart also will I give you.” But the self-righteous of that day and of this day feel no need of having a new heart. Jesus passed by the scribes and the Pharisees, for they felt no need of a Saviour. They were wedded to forms and ceremonies. These services had been instituted by Christ; they had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty; but the Jews had lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms after spiritual life was extinct among them. When they departed from the requirements and commandments of God, they sought to supply the place of that which they had lost, by multiplying their own requirements, and making more rigorous demands than had God; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love and Spirit of God they manifested. Christ said to the people: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:2-7, 23). 1SM 386.2

The remnant church is called to go through an experience similar to that of the Jews; and the True Witness, who walks up and down in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, has a solemn message to bear to His people. He says, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:4, 5). The love of God has been waning in the church, and as a result, the love of self has sprung up into new activity. With the loss of love for God there has come the loss of love for the brethren. The church may meet all the description that is given of the Ephesian church, and yet fail in vital godliness. Of them Jesus said, “I know thy works, and thy labour, 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 laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:2-4). 1SM 387.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 154.1

Goody-goody Religion That Makes Light of Sin—1887—“A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you.” I believe with all my heart that the Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world, and those who have had great light and opportunities and have not improved them, will be the first to be left. They have grieved away the Spirit of God. 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 heart of the individual members, and then we shall see the deep moving of the Spirit of God. Mere forgiveness of sin 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.... 3SM 154.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 190.2

To be pardoned in the way that Christ pardons, is not only to be forgiven, but to be renewed in the spirit of our mind. The Lord says, “A new heart will I give unto thee.” The image of Christ is to be stamped upon the very mind, heart, and soul. The apostle says, “But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Without the transforming process which can come alone through divine power, the original propensities to sin are left in the heart in all their strength, to forge new chains, to impose a slavery that can never be broken by human power. But men can never enter heaven with their old tastes, inclinations, idols, ideas, and theories. Heaven would be no place of joy to them; for everything would be in collision with their tastes, appetites, and inclinations, and painfully opposed to their natural and cultivated traits of character. 3SM 190.2

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 100

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26. SD 100.1

The youth especially stumble over this phrase, “A new heart.” They do not know what it means. They look for a special change to take place in their feelings. This they term conversion. Over this error thousands have stumbled to ruin, not understanding the expression, “Ye must be born again.” ... When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being. To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ. To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives. What is the sign of a new heart?—a changed life. There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride.7The Youth's Instructor, September 26, 1901. SD 100.2

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 243

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalm 85:10. SD 243.1

Justice and Mercy stood apart, in opposition to each other, separated by a wide gulf. The Lord our Redeemer clothed His divinity with humanity, and wrought out in behalf of man a character that was without spot or blemish. He planted His cross midway between heaven and earth, and made it the object of attraction which reached both ways, drawing both Justice and Mercy across the gulf.... There it saw One equal with God bearing the penalty for all injustice and sin. With perfect satisfaction Justice bowed in reverence at the cross, saying, It is enough. SD 243.2

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Ellen G. White
Steps to Christ, 49

As your conscience has been quickened by the Holy Spirit, you have seen something of the evil of sin, of its power, its guilt, its woe; and you look upon it with abhorrence. You feel that sin has separated you from God, that you are in bondage to the power of evil. The more you struggle to escape, the more you realize your helplessness. Your motives are impure; your heart is unclean. You see that your life has been filled with selfishness and sin. You long to be forgiven, to be cleansed, to be set free. Harmony with God, likeness to Him—what can you do to obtain it? SC 49.1

It is peace that you need—Heaven's forgiveness and peace and love in the soul. Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot procure it, wisdom cannot attain to it; you can never hope, by your own efforts, to secure it. But God offers it to you as a gift, “without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1. It is yours if you will but reach out your hand and grasp it. The Lord says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Ezekiel 36:26. SC 49.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 189

Natural and acquired endowments are all gifts of God and need to be constantly held under the control of His Spirit, of His divine, sanctifying power. You need to feel most deeply your lack of experience in this work and put forth earnest endeavor to acquire needed knowledge and wisdom, that you may use every faculty of body and mind in such a way as to glorify God. 7T 189.1

“A new heart also will I give you.” Christ must dwell in your hearts, as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power. On this subject we cannot be too urgent. While truth must be our panoply, our convictions need to be strengthened by the living sympathies that characterized the life of Christ. If the truth, living truth, is not exemplified in the character, no man can stand. There is only one power that can either make us steadfast or keep us so—the grace of God, in truth. He who confides in aught else is already tottering, ready to fall. 7T 189.2

The Lord desires you to rely on Him. Make the most of every opportunity to come to the light. If you remain apart from the holy influences that come from God, how can you discern spiritual things? 7T 189.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 152

Christ is our example, our inspiration, our exceeding great reward. “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9. God is the Master Builder, but man has a part to act. He is to co-operate with God. “We are laborers together with God.” Verse 9. Never forget the words: “together with God.” “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13. The miracle-working power of Christ's grace is revealed in the creation in man of a new heart, a higher life, a holier enthusiasm. God says: A new heart also will I give you.” Ezekiel 36:26. Is not this, the renewal of man, the greatest miracle that can be performed? What cannot the human agent do who by faith takes hold of the divine power? 9T 152.1

*****

Remember that in working with Christ as your personal Saviour lies your strength and your victory. This is the part all are to act. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He declares: “Without Me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. And the repentant, believing soul responds: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. To those who do this comes the assurance: “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” John 1:12. 9T 152.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 328

Lessons need to be learned by all who shall step into places where they are to be proved and tested by God, to see whether they shall be registered day by day as faithful and true stewards of God's entrusted talents. Have they shown that they have the fear of God before them, whether they are dealing with superiors, inferiors, or equals? They need to cherish the truth as an abiding principle, that it may sanctify the soul. The creating, transforming power of God's Holy Spirit will make them copartners with Jesus Christ. Yoked up with Christ, they can be more than conquerors through Him. TM 328.1

The man who is fully sensible that he is in the service of Jesus Christ, will aspire for the friendship of God. He will lie low before God, that he may be nothing, and God everything. Such a man is a copartner with Christ, fitted to preside over a state conference. If he proves himself circumspect, he is prepared for any position, according to his experience and qualifications. Let the churches understand that such man is to be trusted and sustained. They may go to him and talk with him. Such a man will never feel sufficient to carry the work, even of a state conference, without the constant grace which God will give. He will not choose to do the work and bear the responsibility alone. Through wise management, he will have the tact to recognize talent in others. He will use those who have this talent, and help them, while they help to share his burdens. TM 328.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 369

Surely one entrusted with the religious interests of the people should not be ignorant of truth so important for them to understand as the condition of entrance into the kingdom of heaven. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee,” continued Jesus, “we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” TM 369.1

This lesson to Nicodemus I present as highly applicable to those who are today in responsible positions as rulers in Israel, and whose voices are often heard in council giving evidence of the same spirit that Nicodemus possessed. Will the lesson given to the chief ruler have the same influence upon their heart and life? Nicodemus was converted as the result of this interview. The words of Christ are spoken just as verily to presidents of conferences, elders of churches, and those occupying official positions in our institutions, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “A new heart also will I give you.” TM 369.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 129.6

One of the most earnest prayers in the Inspired Word is, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10); and from One who loved us and gave His life for us comes the great and important assurance, “A new heart also will I give you” (Ezekiel 36:26).3 TMK 129.6

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 108.5

Regeneration is the only path by which we can reach the holy city. It is narrow and the gate by which we enter is strait, but along it we are to lead men and women and children, teaching them that in order to be saved, they must have a new heart and a new spirit. The old hereditary traits of character are to be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed. All deception, all falsifying, all evil-speaking must be put away. The new life, which makes men and women Christlike, is to be lived. We are, as it were, to swim against the current of evil. TDG 108.5

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 500

Who are laborers together with Christ in this blessed medical missionary work? Who have learned the lessons of the Master and know how to deal skillfully with souls for whom Christ has died? We need, oh, so much! physicians for the soul who have been educated in the school of Christ and who can work in Christ's lines. Our work is to gain a knowledge of Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. We are to interest the people in subjects that concern the health of the body as well as the health of the soul. Believers have a decided message to bear to prepare the way for the kingdom of God. CH 500.1

The great questions of Bible truth are to enter into the very heart of society, to convert and reform men and women, bringing them to see the great need of preparing for the mansions that Christ declared He would prepare for all who love Him. When the Holy Spirit shall do its office work, hearts of stone will become hearts of flesh, and Satan will not work through them to counteract the work that Christ came to earth to do. CH 500.2

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 107

“And now also,” said the prophet, “the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God's law, they were not His people. DA 107.1

Under his heart-searching words, his hearers were convicted. They came to him with the inquiry, “What shall we do then?” He answered, “He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.” And he warned the publicans against injustice, and the soldiers against violence. DA 107.2

All who became the subjects of Christ's kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives. They would minister to the needy, and bring their offerings to God. They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of virtue and compassion. So the followers of Christ will give evidence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen. Otherwise they are like the chaff that is given to the fire. DA 107.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 174

There was no excuse for the blindness of Israel in regard to the work of regeneration. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah had written, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” David had prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” And through Ezekiel the promise had been given, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes.” Isaiah 64:6; Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:26, 27. DA 174.1

Nicodemus had read these scriptures with a clouded mind; but he now began to comprehend their meaning. He saw that the most rigid obedience to the mere letter of the law as applied to the outward life could entitle no man to enter the kingdom of heaven. In the estimation of men, his life had been just and honorable; but in the presence of Christ he felt that his heart was unclean, and his life unholy. DA 174.2

Nicodemus was being drawn to Christ. As the Saviour explained to him concerning the new birth, he longed to have this change wrought in himself. By what means could it be accomplished? Jesus answered the unspoken question: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” DA 174.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 407

When the message of truth is presented in our day, there are many who, like the Jews, cry, Show us a sign. Work us a miracle. Christ wrought no miracle at the demand of the Pharisees. He wrought no miracle in the wilderness in answer to Satan's insinuations. He does not impart to us power to vindicate ourselves or to satisfy the demands of unbelief and pride. But the gospel is not without a sign of its divine origin. Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart; it is implanted by the grace of God. When one who has been controlled by a stubborn, wayward will is set free, and yields himself wholeheartedly to the drawing of God's heavenly agencies, a miracle is wrought; so also when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. Every time a soul is converted, and learns to love God and keep His commandments, the promise of God is fulfilled, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Ezekiel 36:26. The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle. In the preaching of the word of God, the sign that should be manifest now and always is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to make the word a regenerating power to those that hear. This is God's witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son. DA 407.1

Those who desired a sign from Jesus had so hardened their hearts in unbelief that they did not discern in His character the likeness of God. They would not see that His mission was in fulfillment of the Scriptures. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31. No sign that could be given in heaven or earth would benefit them. DA 407.2

Jesus “sighed deeply in His spirit,” and, turning from the group of cavilers, re-entered the boat with His disciples. In sorrowful silence they again crossed the lake. They did not, however, return to the place they had left, but directed their course toward Bethsaida, near where the five thousand had been fed. Upon reaching the farther side, Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” The Jews had been accustomed since the days of Moses to put away leaven from their houses at the Passover season, and they had thus been taught to regard it as a type of sin. Yet the disciples failed to understand Jesus. In their sudden departure from Magdala they had forgotten to take bread, and they had with them only one loaf. To this circumstance they understood Christ to refer, warning them not to buy bread of a Pharisee or a Sadducee. Their lack of faith and spiritual insight had often led them to similar misconception of His words. Now Jesus reproved them for thinking that He who had fed thousands with a few fishes and barley loaves could in that solemn warning have referred merely to temporal food. There was danger that the crafty reasoning of the Pharisees and the Sadducees would leaven His disciples with unbelief, causing them to think lightly of the works of Christ. DA 407.3

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 8

Throughout all time the words that Christ spoke from the mount of Beatitudes will retain their power. Every sentence is a jewel from the treasure house of truth. The principles enunciated in this discourse are for all ages and for all classes of men. With divine energy, Christ expressed His faith and hope as He pointed out class after class as blessed because of having formed righteous characters. Living the life of the Life-giver, through faith in Him, everyone can reach the standard held up in His words. MB viii.1

E.G.W.

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