And they that are Christ's - All genuine Christians have crucified the flesh - are so far from obeying its dictates and acting under its influence, that they have crucified their sensual appetites; they have nailed them to the cross of Christ, where they have expired with him; hence, says St. Paul, Romans 6:6, our old man - the flesh, with its affections and lusts, is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. By which we see that God has fully designed to save all who believe in Christ from all sin, whether outward or inward, with all the affections, παθημασι, irregular passions, and lusts, επιθυμιαις, disorderly wishes and desires. All that a man may feel contrary to love and purity; and all that he may desire contrary to moderation and that self-denial peculiar to the Christian character.
And they that are Christ‘s - All who are true Christians.
Have crucified the flesh - The corrupt passions of the soul have been put to death; that is, destroyed. They are as though they were dead, and have no power over us; see the note at Galatians 2:20.
With the affections - Margin, “Passions.” All corrupt desires.
And lusts - See the note at Romans 1:24.
Jesting, joking, and worldly conversation belong to the world. Christians who have the peace of God in their hearts will be cheerful and happy without indulging in lightness or frivolity. While watching unto prayer they will have a serenity and peace which will elevate them above all superfluities. The mystery of godliness, opened to the mind of the minister of Christ, will raise him above earthly and sensual enjoyments. He will be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The communication opened between God and his soul will make him fruitful in the knowledge of God's will and open before him treasures of practical subjects that he can present to the people, which will not cause levity or the semblance of a smile, but will solemnize the mind, touch the heart, and arouse the moral sensibilities to the sacred claims that God has upon the affections and life. Those who labor in word and doctrine should be men of God, pure in heart and life. 3T 241.1
You are in the greatest danger of bringing reproach upon the cause of God. Satan knows your weakness. His angels communicate your weak points to those who are deceived by his lying wonders, and they are already counting you as one of their number. Satan exults to have you pursue an unwise course because you place yourself upon his ground and give him advantage over you. He well knows that the indiscretion of men who advocate the law of God will turn souls from the truth. You have not taken upon your soul the burden of the work and labored carefully and earnestly in private to favorably impress minds in regard to the truth. You too frequently become impatient, irritable, and childish, and make yourself enemies by your abrupt manners. Unless you are on your guard, you prejudice souls against the truth. Unless you are a transformed man, and will carry out in your life the principles of the sacred truths you present in the desk, your labors will amount to but little. 3T 241.2
A weight of responsibility rests upon you. It is the watchman's duty to be ever at his post, watching for souls as one that must give an account. If your mind is diverted from the great work and filled with unholy thoughts; if selfish plans and projects rob of sleep, and in consequence the mental and physical strength is lessened, you sin against your own soul and against God. Your discernment is blunted, and sacred things are placed upon a level with the common. God is dishonored, His cause reproached, and the good work you might have done had you made God your trust is marred. Had you preserved the vigor of your powers to put the strength of your brain and entire being into the important work of God without reserve, you would have realized a much greater work, and it would have been more perfectly done. 3T 242.1Read in context »
When the wife yields her body and mind to the control of her husband, being passive to his will in all things, sacrificing her conscience, her dignity, and even her identity, she loses the opportunity of exerting that mighty influence for good which she should possess to elevate her husband. She could soften his stern nature, and her sanctifying influence could be exerted in a manner to refine and purify, leading him to strive earnestly to govern his passions and be more spiritually minded, that they might be partakers together of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The power of influence can be great to lead the mind to high and noble themes, above the low, sensual indulgences for which the heart unrenewed by grace naturally seeks. If the wife feels that in order to please her husband she must come down to his standard, when animal passion is the principal basis of his love and controls his actions, she displeases God; for she fails to exert a sanctifying influence upon her husband. If she feels that she must submit to his animal passions without a word of remonstrance, she does not understand her duty to him nor to her God.18 AH 127.1
Our Bodies a Purchased Possession—The lower passions have their seat in the body and work through it. The words “flesh” or “fleshly” or “carnal lusts” embrace the lower, corrupt nature; the flesh of itself cannot act contrary to the will of God. We are commanded to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? No; but put to death the temptation to sin. The corrupt thought is to be expelled. Every thought is to be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the soul. The love of God must reign supreme; Christ must occupy an undivided throne. Our bodies are to be regarded as His purchased possession. The members of the body are to become the instruments of righteousness.19 AH 127.2Read in context »
The words which Christ addressed to His disciples were designed for all who should believe on His name: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men.” A profession of godliness without the living principle is as utterly valueless as salt without its saving properties. An unprincipled professed Christian is a byword, a reproach to Christ, a dishonor to His name. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” 2T 443.1
The good works of God's people have a more powerful influence than words. By their virtuous life and unselfish acts the beholder is led to desire the same righteousness which produced so good fruit. He is charmed with that power from God which transforms selfish human beings into the divine image, and God is honored, His name glorified. But the Lord is dishonored and His cause reproached by His people's being in bondage to the world. They are in friendship with the world, the enemies of God. Their only hope of salvation is to separate from the world and zealously maintain their separate, holy, and peculiar character. Oh! why will not God's people comply with the conditions laid down in His word? If they would do this they would not fail to realize the excellent blessings freely given of God to the humble and obedient. 2T 443.2
I was amazed as I beheld the terrible darkness of many of the members of our churches. The lack of true godliness was such that they were bodies of darkness and death, instead of being the light of the world. Many professed to love God, but in works denied Him. They did not love, serve, nor obey Him. Their own selfish interests were primary. With a large number there seemed to be an alarming lack of principle. They were swayed by unconsecrated influence and seemed to have no root in themselves. I inquired what these things meant. Why was there such a destitution of spirituality, so few who had a living experience in religious things? I was referred to the words of the prophet: “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from Me through their idols.” 2T 444.1Read in context »
I have waited anxiously, hoping that God would put His Spirit upon some and use them as instruments of righteousness to awaken and set in order His church. I have almost despaired as I have seen, year after year, a greater departure from that simplicity which God has shown me should characterize the life of His followers. There has been less and less interest in, and devotion to, the cause of God. I ask: Wherein have those who profess confidence in the Testimonies sought to live according to the light given in them? Wherein have they regarded the warnings given? Wherein have they heeded the instructions they have received? 2T 484.1
I saw that great changes must be wrought in the hearts and lives of very many before God can work in them by His power for the salvation of others. They must be renewed after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness. Then the love of the world, the love of self, and every ambition of life calculated to exalt self will be changed by the grace of God and employed in the special work of saving souls for whom Christ died. Humility will take the place of pride, and haughty self-esteem will be exchanged for meekness. Every power of the heart will be controlled by disinterested love for all mankind. Satan, I saw, will arouse when they in earnest commence the work of reformation in themselves. He knows that these persons, if consecrated to God, could prove the strength of His promises and realize a power working with them that the adversary would not be able to gainsay or resist. They would realize the life of God in the soul. 2T 484.2
One family in particular have needed all the benefits they could receive from the reform in diet, yet these very ones have been completely backslidden. Meat and butter have been used by them quite freely, and spices have not been entirely discarded. This family could have received great benefit from a nourishing, well-regulated diet. The head of the family needed plain, nutritious food. His habits were sedentary, and his blood moved sluggishly through the system. He could not, like others, have the benefit of healthful exercise; therefore his food should have been of the right quality and quantity. There has not been in this family the right management in regard to diet; there has been irregularity. There should have been a specified time for each meal, and the food should have been prepared in a simple form and free from grease; but pains should have been taken to have it nutritious, healthful, and inviting. In this family, as also in many others, a special parade has been made for visitors, many dishes prepared and frequently made too rich, so that those seated at the table would be tempted to eat to excess. Then in the absence of company there was a great reaction, a falling off in the preparations brought on the table. The diet was spare and lacked nourishment. It was considered not so much matter “just for ourselves.” The meals were frequently picked up, and the regular time for eating not regarded. Every member of the family was injured by such management. It is a sin for any of our sisters to make such great preparations for visitors, and wrong their own families by a spare diet which will fail to nourish the system. 2T 485.1Read in context »