And if ye be Christ's - Or, as several good MSS. read, If ye be one in Christ. If ye have all received justification through his blood, and the mind that was in him, then are ye Abraham's seed; ye are that real, spiritual posterity of Abraham, that other seed, to whom the promises were made; and then heirs, according to that promise, being fitted for the rest that remains for the people of God, that heavenly inheritance which was typified by the earthly Canaan, even to the Jews.
The covenant did not state merely, ye shall be circumcised, and observe all the rites and ceremonies of the law; but, ye shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. This condition, which was the very soul of the covenant, was universally broken by that people. Need they wonder, therefore, that God has cast then off? Jesus alone can restore them, and him they continue to reject. To us the new covenant says the same things: Ye shall love the Lord, etc.; if we do not so, we also shall be cut off. Take heed, lest he who did not spare the natural branches, spare not thee; therefore, make a profitable use of the goodness and severity of God.
And if ye be Christ‘s - If you belong to the Messiah, and are interested in his work.
Then are ye Abraham‘s seed - The promise made to Abraham related to the Messiah. It was a promise that in him all should be blessed. Abraham believed in that Messiah, and was distinguished for his faith in him who was to come. If they believed in Christ, therefore, they showed that they were the spiritual descendants of Abraham. No matter whether they were Jews or Gentiles; whether they had been circumcised or not, they had the same spirit which he evinced, and were interested in the promises made to him.
And heirs according to the promise - See Romans 8:17. Are heirs of God. You inherit the blessings promised to Abraham, and partake of the felicity to which he looked forward. You have become truly heirs of God, and this is in accordance with the promise made to Abraham. It is not by the obedience of the Law; it is by faith - in the same way that Abraham possessed the blessing; an arrangement before the giving of the Law, and therefore one that may include all, whether Jews or Gentiles. All are on a level; and all are alike the children of God, and in the same manner, and on the same terms that Abraham was.
The success attending the preaching of the gospel aroused the anger of the Jews anew. From every quarter were coming accounts of the spread of the new doctrine by which Jews were released from the observance of the rites of the ceremonial law and Gentiles were admitted to equal privileges with the Jews as children of Abraham. Paul, in his preaching at Corinth, presented the same arguments which he urged so forcibly in his epistles. His emphatic statement, “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision” (Colossians 3:11), was regarded by his enemies as daring blasphemy, and they determined that his voice should be silenced. AA 390.1
Upon receiving warning of the plot, Paul decided to go around by way of Macedonia. His plan to reach Jerusalem in time for the Passover services had to be given up, but he hoped to be there at Pentecost. AA 390.2
Accompanying Paul and Luke were “Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.” Paul had with him a large sum of money from the Gentile churches, which he purposed to place in the hands of the brethren in charge of the work in Judea; and because of this he made arrangements for these representative brethren from various contributing churches, to accompany him to Jerusalem. AA 390.3Read in context »
Christianity makes a strong bond of union between master and slave, king and subject, the gospel minister and the degraded sinner who has found in Christ cleansing from sin. They have been washed in the same blood, quickened by the same Spirit; and they are made one in Christ Jesus. AA 460.1
The gospel has ever achieved its greatest success among the humbler classes. “Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” 1 Corinthians 1:26. It could not be expected that Paul, a poor and friendless prisoner, would be able to gain the attention of the wealthy and titled classes of Roman citizens. To them vice presented all its glittering allurements and held them willing captives. But from among the toilworn, want-stricken victims of their oppression, even from among the poor slaves, many gladly listened to the words of Paul and in the faith of Christ found a hope and peace that cheered them under the hardships of their lot. AA 461.1Read in context »
Let parents make every possible effort to send their children to the school that will soon open in Melbourne; for through this very means, it may be that members of your own family will be qualified of the Lord to become workers in His cause. There are many openings for missionaries in Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of the sea. And it will not be possible to supply laborers from America to fill all the many openings. Workers must be educated in these fields, who can take up the work, and go forth as light-bearers to the dark places of these lands. Not many can go to America to obtain an education; and even if they could go, it might not be best for them, or for the advancement of the work. The Lord would have schools established in this country to educate workers, to give character to the work of present truth in these new fields, and to awaken an interest in unbelievers. He would have you make a center for education in your own country, where students of promise may be educated in practical branches, and in the truths of the Bible, that they may be prepared to work in these lands, rescuing souls from the bondage of Satan. Teachers may come from America, until the work is fairly established, and by this means a new bond of union may be formed between America and Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of the sea. FE 203.1
There are youth in these countries whom God has graciously endowed with mental ability; but in order to do their best work, their powers must be properly directed. They should use their God-given talents for the attainment of high scholarship, becoming workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, wise unto salvation. This talent needs developing, and since a school is about to be established here, it certainly is not wisdom to send pupils at so great expense to America. The work is to be done here. This is missionary ground, and every individual who is thought worthy of the education that our American schools could give, should obtain an education right here on the ground of their future labors. Those who have ability can be trained here so that they can put their knowledge into practical use at the earliest opportunity, and become agents in the hands of the Lord for the dissemination of light and truth. FE 204.1
But were none of these responsibilities laid upon you, were there no missionary fields to enter, it would yet be necessary that your children should be educated. Whatever business parents might think suitable for their children, whether they desired them to become manufacturers, agriculturists, mechanics, or to follow some professional calling, they would reap great advantages from the discipline of an education. Your children should have an opportunity to study the Bible in the school. They need to be thoroughly furnished with the reasons of our faith, to understand the Scriptures for themselves. Through understanding the truths of the Bible, they will be better fitted to fill positions of trust. They will be fortified against the temptations that will beset them on the right hand and on the left. But if they are thoroughly instructed and consecrated, they may be called, as was Daniel, to fill important responsibilities. Daniel was a faithful statesman in the courts of Babylon; for he feared, loved, and trusted God; and in time of temptation and peril he was preserved by the power of God. We read that God gave Daniel wisdom, and endowed him with understanding. FE 204.2Read in context »
As these words were spoken, deep feeling was manifested. Some offered themselves as missionaries, while others sat in silence, apparently taking no interest in the subject. 7T 225.1
Then the words were spoken: “The South is a most unpromising field; but how changed would it be from what it is now if, after the colored people had been released from slavery, men and women had worked for them as Christians ought to work, teaching them how to care for themselves!” 7T 225.2
The condition of the colored people in the South is no more disheartening than was the condition of the world when Christ left heaven to come to its aid. He saw humanity sunken in wretchedness and sinfulness. He knew that men and women were depraved and degraded, and that they cherished the most loathsome vices. Angels marveled that Christ should undertake what seemed to them a hopeless task. They marveled that God could tolerate a race so sinful. They could see no room for love. But “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. 7T 225.3Read in context »