Not purloining - Μη νοσφιζομενους· Neither giving away, privately selling, nor in any way wasting, the master's goods. The word signifies, not only stealing but embezzling another's property; keeping back a part of the price of any commodity sold on the master's account. In Acts 5:2, we translate it, to keep back part of the price; the crime of which Ananias and Sapphira were guilty. It has been remarked that among the heathens this species of fraud was very frequent; and servants were so noted for purloining and embezzling their master's property that fur, which signifies a thief, was commonly used to signify a servant; hence that verse in Virgil, Eclog. iii. 16: -
Quid domini faciant, audent cum talia Fures?
"What may not masters do, when servants (thieves) are so bold?"
On which Servius remarks: Pro Servo Furem posuit, furta enim specialiter servorum sunt. Sic Plautus de servo, Homo es trium literarum, i.e. fur. "He puts fur, a thief, to signify a servant, because servants are commonly thieves. Thus Plautus, speaking of a servant, says: Thou art a man of three letters, i.e. f-u-r, a thief." And Terence denominates a number of servants, munipulus furum, "a bundle of thieves." Eun. 4, 7, 6. The place in Plautus to which Servius refers is in Aulul., act ii. scene iv. in fine: -
- Tun', trium literarum homo,
Me vituperas? F-u-r, etiam fur trifurcifer.
"Dost thou blame me, thou man of three letters?
Thou art a thief, and the most notorious of all knaves."
It was necessary, therefore, that the apostle should be so very particular in his directions to servants, as they were in general thieves almost by profession.
Not purloining - Not to appropriate to themselves what belongs to their masters. The word “purloin” means, literally, to take or carry away for oneself; and would be applied to an approbation to oneself of what pertained to a common stock, or what belonged to one in whose employ we are - as the embezzlement of public funds. Here it means that the servant was not to apply to his own use what belonged to his master; that is, was not to pilfer - a vice to which, as all know, servants, and especially slaves, are particularly exposed; see the word explained in the notes at Acts 5:2.
But showing all good fidelity - In laboring, and in taking care of the property intrusted to them.
That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things - That they may show the fair influence of religion on them, in all respects, making them industrious, honest, kind, and obedient. They were to show that the effect of the religion which they professed was to make them better fitted to discharge the duties of their station in life, however humble; or that its influence on them was desirable in every respect. In this way, they might hope also that the minds of their masters might be reached, and that they might be brought to respect and love the gospel. Hence, learn:
(1) that one in the most humble walk of life may so live as to be an ornament to religion, as well as one favored with more advantages.
(2) that servants may do much good, by so living as to show to all around them that there is a reality in the gospel, and to lead others to love it.
(3) if in this situation of life, it is a duty so to live as to adorn religion, it cannot be less so in more elevated situations. A master should feel the obligation not to be surpassed in religious character by his servant.
The admonition to the Israel of today is, “The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” Resist the enemy; do not be seduced by his flattering inducements and presentations. It is the work of the human agent to be strong, not in his own finite strength, but in the strength of the Lord, in the power of His might.... SD 346.2
Christ has said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” The resolutions you may make in your own finite strength, will be only as ropes of sand; but if you pray in sincerity, surrendering yourself, soul, body, and spirit, unto God, you put on the whole armor of God, and open the soul to the righteousness of Christ; and this alone,—Christ's imputed righteousness,—makes you able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The work of every soul is to resist the enemy in the power and might of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the promise is that the devil shall flee from us. But let all realize that they are in peril, and there is no assurance of safety except as they comply with the conditions of the text. The Lord says, “Draw nigh to God.” How?—By secret, earnest examination of your own heart; by childlike, heart-felt, humble dependence upon God, making known your weakness to Jesus; and by confessing your sins. Thus you may draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.7The Youth's Instructor, February 8, 1894. SD 346.3Read in context »
When ministers adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour, and when physicians reveal in words and works, and in their influence, the healing grace of Christ, when the Saviour is revealed as the One altogether lovely, a great work will be done in behalf of other souls. God calls for truth in the inner sanctuary of the soul, that the whole being may be a representation of the life of Christ.... CH 634.1
I entreat my brethren and sisters who are ministers or physicians, to work out in their lives the precious principles of truth, that others may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus and have learned of Him who is pure and holy and undefiled, without rebuke in a sinful and corrupt generation. Then many will be turned to the Lord through the earnest efforts made in their behalf by those who know the truth. CH 634.2Read in context »
Everyone who names the name of Christ is to adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour by a well-ordered life and a godly conversation, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.... Possessing this, you will have favor both with God and with men. OHC 274.2
Words spoken hastily wound and bruise souls, and the deepest wound is made upon the soul of the speaker. Christ's gift, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, is authoritatively declared by Him who can make no mistake to be of great price. We must each find out its worth for ourselves by seeking it from God. However men may estimate us, if we wear this ornament, we bear the sign of our discipleship with Christ. We are esteemed by the Most High; for the ornament we wear is in His sight of great price. This precious gem is to be sought for.... OHC 274.3
To every soul things will come to provoke, to stir up anger, and if you are not under the full control of God, you will be provoked when these things come. But the meekness of Christ calms the ruffled spirit, controls the tongue, and brings the whole being into subjection to God. Thus we learn how to bear with the censure of others. We shall be misjudged, but the precious ornament of a meek and quiet spirit teaches us how to bear, how to have pity for those who utter hasty, unadvised words. Any unpleasant spirit displayed is sure to arouse the demon of passion in unguarded hearts. Unholy anger need not to be strengthened, but bridled. It is a spark which will set on fire untamed human nature. Avoid speaking words which will stir up strife. Rather suffer wrong than do wrong. God requires every one of His followers, as far as is possible, to live peaceably with all men.... OHC 274.4
We must be Christlike. Let us strive to make our lives what Christ designs them to be, full of the fragrance of love to God and our fellow men, full of Christ's own divine Spirit, full of holy aspirations toward God, rich in the beauty of Christlikeness. OHC 274.5Read in context »
At his second arrest, Paul was seized and hurried away so suddenly that he had no opportunity to gather up his few “books” and “parchments,” or even to take with him his cloak. And now winter was coming on, and he knew that he would suffer with cold in his damp prison cell. He had no money to buy another garment, he knew that his end might come at any moment, and with his usual self-forgetfulness and fear to burden the church, he desired that no expense should be incurred on his account (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 327). 7BC 921.1
16, 17. Paul and Nero Face to Face—Paul and Nero face to face!—the countenance of the monarch bearing the shameful record of the passions that raged within; the countenance of the prisoner telling the story of a heart at peace with God and man. The result of opposite systems of education stood that day contrasted—a life of unbounded self-indulgence and a life of entire self-sacrifice. Here were the representatives of two theories of life—all-absorbing selfishness, which counts nothing too valuable to be sacrificed for momentary gratification, and self-denying endurance, ready to give up life itself, if need be, for the good of others (The Youth's Instructor, July 3, 1902). 7BC 921.2Read in context »
Peter writes to the church: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1T 507.1
The inspired Paul directs Titus to give special instructions to the church of Christ, “that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” He says: “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” 1T 507.2
Peter exhorts the churches to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” “The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” Again he says: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing, than for evil-doing.” 1T 507.3
Are the youth in a position where they can with meekness and fear give an answer to every man that asketh a reason of their hope? I saw that the youth greatly fail of understanding our position. Terrible scenes are just before them, a time of trouble which will test the value of character. Those who have the truth abiding in them will then be developed. Those who have shunned the cross, neglected the word of life, and paid adoration to their own poor selves will be found wanting. They are ensnared by Satan, and will learn too late that they have made a terrible mistake. The pleasures they have sought after prove bitter in the end. Said the angel: “Sacrifice all for God. Self must die. The natural desires and propensities of the unrenewed heart must be subdued.” Flee to the neglected Bible; the words of inspiration are spoken to you; pass them not lightly by. You will meet every word again, to render an account whether you have been a doer of the work, shaping your life according to the holy teachings of God's word. Holiness of heart and life are necessary. All who have taken the name of Christ and have enlisted in His service should be good soldiers of the cross. They should show that they are dead to the world, and that their life is hid with Christ in God. 1T 507.4Read in context »
To the Ephesians he writes: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1T 509.1
God is glorified by songs of praise from a pure heart filled with love and devotion to Him. When consecrated believers assemble, their conversation will not be upon the imperfections of others or savor of murmuring or complaint; charity, or love, the bond of perfectness, will encircle them. Love to God and their fellow men flows out naturally in words of affection, sympathy, and esteem for their brethren. The peace of God rules in their hearts; their words are not vain, empty, and frivolous, but to the comfort and edification of one another. If Christians will obey the instructions given to them by Christ and His inspired apostles, they will adorn the religion of the Bible and save themselves severe trials and much perplexity which they attribute to their afflictions in consequence of believing unpopular truth. This is a sad mistake. Very many of their trials are of their own creating because they depart from the word of God. They yield to the world, place themselves upon the enemy's battlefield, and tempt the devil to tempt them. Those who adhere strictly to the admonitions and instructions of God's word, prayerfully seeking to know and do His righteous will, feel not the petty grievances daily occurring. The gratitude which they feel, and the peace of God ruling within, cause them to make melody in their hearts unto the Lord and by words to make mention of the debt of love and thankfulness due the dear Saviour, who so loved them as to die that they might have life. No one who has an indwelling Saviour will dishonor Him before others by producing strains from a musical instrument which call the mind from God and heaven to light and trifling things. 1T 509.2Read in context »
Oh, this is a cold and selfish world! Your relatives, who should have loved and befriended you for your parents’ sake if not for your own, have shut themselves up in their selfishness, and have no special interest for you. But God will be nearer and dearer to you than any of your earthly relatives can be. He will be your friend and will never leave you. He is a father to the fatherless. His friendship will prove sweet peace to you and will help you to bear your great loss with fortitude. Seek to make God your father, and you will never want a friend. You will be exposed to trials; yet be steadfast, and strive to adorn your profession. You will need grace to stand, but God's pitying eye is upon you. Pray much and earnestly, believing that God will help you. Guard against irritability and petulance, and a spirit of tantalizing. Forbearance is a virtue which you need to encourage. Seek for piety of heart. Be a consistent Christian. Possess a love of purity and humble simplicity, and let these be interwoven with your life. 2T 314.1
By educating yourself to fear God, and to love all around you, yours can be a useful, happy life, and your example can be such as to lead others to choose the humble path of holiness. Have moral courage at all times to do right and to honor your Redeemer. I implore you, dear boy, to seek true holiness. 2T 314.2Read in context »
Blessed is he who heeds the words of eternal life. Guided by “the Spirit of truth,” he will be led into all truth. He will not be loved, honored, and praised by the world; but he will be precious in the sight of heaven. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” 5T 439.1Read in context »
“Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain.” In the East the former rain falls at the sowing time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God's grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. TM 506.1
The latter rain, ripening earth's harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection. TM 506.2
There is to be “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” There must be a constant development of Christian virtue, a constant advancement in Christian experience. This we should seek with intensity of desire, that we may adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour. TM 506.3Read in context »