Living The Gospel


“God gives to every man his work, and with the imparted commission he gives to his messengers a measure of power proportionate to their faith. He is constantly unfolding to the heart the riches of his grace. Light will shine forth in clear rays from those who receive light from the word of God. Converted messengers are needed, to give the words of the Most High to the people.     

     The teacher of the truth must practice the truth he communicates to the people, else his labor will be in vain. Those who support the truth, not only by argument, but in their lives, range themselves on the side of righteousness. By a converted life they give evidence that they bear a solemn message of warning, which is a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. When men are really converted, controversy and debate will be ended. The plain, searching truth will be proclaimed by lips touched with a live coal from the altar of God.     

     The true minister of the gospel will not stand before the people to speak smooth words; to cry, Peace and safety. He realizes the dangers that threaten the soul, and he presents the truth as it is in Jesus. The truth comes from his lips clear, plain, and decided, as if he fully believed the words spoken to be a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. He knows that he has the Spirit and power of God, and his words awaken the consciences of his hearers.     

     The lessons given by the greatest Teacher the world has ever known were given in plain, simple language. Christ's words were explicit and direct. His instruction was given line upon line, precept upon precept. Christ reproached his disciples with their slowness of comprehension. Why did they not understand his lessons?--Because his words did not agree with what they had been taught, or with their hopes and expectations. Christ tried to impress his disciples that he had left in their possession truths of which they did not realize the value.     

     The Old Testament is the ground where the seeds of practical godliness were first sown. This was repeated in Christ's words to his disciples. We have yet to learn that the whole Jewish economy is a compacted prophecy of the gospel. It is the gospel in figures. From the pillar of cloud, Christ presented man's duty to God and to his fellow men. His words to his appointed agencies, both in the Old Testament and in the New, point out plainly the Christian virtues. Through all his teaching he scattered the precious grains of truth. All will find these to be as precious pearls, rich in value, if they will practice the principles laid down.     

     We have the truth. Shall we not practice it? Selfishness is the great evil that makes of none effect the preaching of the cross of Christ. Preach the word. Do not drown the voice of Christ by your own interpretation of the Scriptures. Do not make the word of God mean what he never meant it to mean. Make a practical application of the truth. Urge the truth home with sanctified assurance and directness, presenting the high standard God sets before his people. Truth must become truth to the receiver to all intents and purposes. It must be stamped upon the heart. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." This is the service that God requires. Nothing short of this is pure and undefiled religion. The heart is the citadel of the being; and until that is wholly on the Lord's side, the enemy will gain constant victories over us by his subtle temptations.   

     If the life is given into its control, the power of the truth is unlimited. The thoughts are brought into captivity to Christ. From the treasure of the heart are brought forth appropriate and fitting words. Especially will our words be guarded. Writing to Timothy, Paul says: "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."     

     The Holy Spirit must work on the hearts of the teachers of God's word, that they may give the truth to the people in the clear, pure way that Christ himself gave the truth. He revealed it, not only in his words, but in his life. If God's messengers realize the necessity of the Holy Spirit's working, this Spirit will speak through them to the hearers, who will understand the meaning of the truth spoken.”  

RH, February 21, 1899