Sabbath, December 9, 2006
“The principles of the gospel cannot be disconnected from any department of practical life. Every line of Christian experience and labor is to be a representation of the life of Christ…
“It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 384.
THE PRACTICAL RESULTS OF A CHANGED MIND
1. What counsel would we heed if we had a clear conception of our human nature? How will a Christian think of himself?
Romans 12:3, 10 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith… Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
“Every good impulse or aspiration is the gift of God; faith receives from God the life that alone can produce true growth and efficiency… “Faith that enables us to receive God’s gifts is itself a gift, of which some measure is imparted to every human being. It grows as exercised in appropriating the word of God.” –Education, pp. 253, 254.
“The habit of petty criticism should not be indulged, for it perplexes and confuses minds, and shrouds in mystery the things that are most plain and simple. If there is that love among brethren which will lead them to esteem others better than themselves, there will be a giving up of their own ways and wishes to others. It is our duty to study, daily and hourly, how we may answer the prayer of Christ, that His disciples may be one, as He and the Father are one. Precious lessons may be learned by keeping our Saviour’s prayer before the mind, and by acting ”–Gospel Workers, p. 447.
2. As what will the true Christian consider himself among like-minded believers?
Romans 12:4,5 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
1 Corinthians 12:21, 26 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you… And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
CORRECT USE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
3. What should be our attitude in the use of our various gifts?
Romans 12:6-8 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
“God’s servants are to work together, blending in kindly, courteous order, ‘in honor preferring one another.’ Romans 12:10. There is to be no unkind criticism, no pulling to pieces of another’s work; and there are to be no separate parties. Every man to whom the Lord has entrusted a message has his specific work.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 275.
4. What intention does God have in lending His gifts to us?
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
EXERCISE BROTHERLY LOVE
5. How should this affect our relationship with others?
Romans 12:10, 15 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another … Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
“You need to cultivate love and affection for your parents and for your brothers and sisters. ‘Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 224.
6. Who is the Lord of heaven and earth? To whom has He entrusted the government of the world in which we live?
Daniel 2:20, 21 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his? And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
“We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its ”–The Acts of the Apostles, p. 69.
7. How will those who oppose the government be considered?
Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
“We are not required to defy authorities. Our words, whether spoken or written, should be carefully considered, lest we place ourselves on record as uttering that which would make us appear antagonistic to law and order. We are not to say or do anything that would unnecessarily close up our way.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 69.
“We have men placed over us for rulers, and laws to govern the people. Were it not for these laws, the condition of the world would be worse than it is now. Some of these laws are good, others are bad. The bad have been increasing, and we are yet to be brought into strait places. But God will sustain His people in being firm and living up to the principles of His word. When the laws of men conflict with the word and law of God, we are to obey the latter, whatever the consequences may be.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 201, 202.
• Do I only speak of love among the brethren, or do I practice it toward every church member?
• Do I consider myself more advanced in spiritual life than others?
• Permit each word in Romans 12:1, 2, to work within you.