And I will put my Spirit within you - To keep the heart of flesh alive, the feeling heart still sensible, the loving heart still happy. I will put my Spirit, the great principle of light, life, and love, within you, to actuate the new spirit, and to influence the new affections and passions; that the animal spirit may not become brutish, that the mental powers become not foolish. I will put my Spirit within you, so that as the new spirit may influence the new heart, so will My Spirit influence Your new spirit, that each may have a proper mover; and then all will be pure, regular, and harmonious, when passion is influenced by reason, and reason by the Holy Ghost.
And the cause shall be evidenced by the effects; for I will cause you to walk in my statutes - not only to believe and reverence my appointments relative to what I command you to perform; but ye shall walk in them, your conduct shall be regulated by them. "And ye shall keep my judgments;" whatsoever I enjoin you to avoid. And ye shall do them - ye shall not only avoid every appearance of evil, but keep all my ordinances and commandments unblamably.
Here is the salvation that God promises to give to restored Israel; and here is the salvation that is the birthright of every Christian believer: the complete destruction of all sin in the soul, and the complete renewal of the heart; no sin having any place within, and no unrighteousness having any place without.
"But where are they that are thus saved?"
Ans. Wherever true Christians are to be found.
"But I know many true Christians that have not this salvation, but daily mourn over their evil hearts?"
Ans. They may be sincere, but they are not true Christians; i.e., such as are saved from their sins; the true Christians are those who are filled with the nature and Spirit of Christ. But I will ask a question in my turn:
"Do those you mention think it a virtue to be always mourning over their impurities?" Most certainly. Then it is a pity they were not better instructed. It is right they should mourn while they feel an impure heart; but why do they not apply to that blood which cleanses from all unrighteousness, and to that Spirit which cleanses the very thoughts of the heart by his inspiration? Many employ that time in brooding and mourning over their impure hearts, which should be spent in prayer and faith before God, that their impurities might be washed away. In what a state of nonage are many members of the Christian Church!
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 500.2Read in context »
“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 107.3Read in context »
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 174.3Read in context »
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 407.3Read in context »
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.Read in context »