Spirit: The Test of Discipleship

    "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (II Cor. 5:17). A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the chain of circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. Christ said to Nicodemus, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8). Like the wind, which is invisible, yet the effects of which are plainly seen and felt, is the Spirit of God in its work upon the human heart. That regenerating power, which no human eye can see, begets a new life in the soul; it creates a new being in the image of God.

- follow in his steps, reflect his character, and purify themselves even as he is pure. The things they once hated, they now love; and the things they once loved, they hate. The proud and self-assertive become meek and lowly in heart. The vain and supercilious become serious and unobtrusive. The drunken become sober, and the profligate pure. The vain customs and fashions of the world are laid aside. Christians will seek not the "outward adorning," but "the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit." (I Peter 3:3,4). There is no evidence of genuine repentance, unless it works reformation. If he restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, confess his sins, and love God and his fellow-men, the sinner may be sure that he has passed from death unto life. When as erring, sinful beings we come to Christ and become partakers of his pardoning grace, love springs up in the heart.

Every burden is light; for the yoke that Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure. The path that before seemed shrouded in darkness, becomes bright with beams from the Sun of Righteousness. The loveliness of the character of Christ will be seen in his followers. It was his delight to do the will of God. Love to God, zeal for his glory, was the controlling power in our Saviour's life. Love beautified and ennobled all his actions. Love is of God. The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. It is found only in the heart where Jesus reigns. "We love because he first loved us." (1John 4:19). In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life, and sheds a refining influence on all around.

There are two errors against which the children of God--particularly those who have just come to trust in his grace--especially need to guard. The first, already dwelt upon, is that of looking to their own works, trusting to anything they can do, to bring themselves into harmony with God. He who is trying to become holy by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin. It is the grace of Christ alone, through faith, that can make us holy. The opposite and no less dangerous error is, that belief in Christ releases men from keeping the law of God; that since by faith alone we become partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption.

(source: © Ellen G White; From "Steps To Christ")


Collated Spirit Articles

Growing Up Into Christ (1).

The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life, air, sunshine, and food...more

Growing Up Into Christ (2).

A life in Christ is a life of restfulness...more

Knowledge of God.

Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make himself known to us and to bring us into communion with him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing...more

Growing Up Into Christ (3).

Constantly beholding him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:18)...more

Growing Up Into Christ (4).

They knew that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still...more

The Sinner's Need of Christ (1).

But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God...more

The Sinner's Need of Christ (2).

But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, "I am carnal, sold under sin...more

Repentance (1).

It is only through Christ that we can be brought into harmony with God, with holiness; but how are we to come to Christ?...more

Repentance (2).

Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that his Spirit is moving upon our hearts...more

Repentance (3).

One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct...more

Repentance (4).

Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed...more

The Privilege of Prayer (1).

Jesus himself, while he dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified himself with our needs and weaknesses...more

The Work And The Life (1).

The spirit of Christ's self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades heaven...more

The Work And The Life (2).

We are brought into sympathy with Christ through the fellowship of his sufferings...more

The Work And The Life (3).

We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ...more

Faith and Acceptance (1).

You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God...more

Faith and Acceptance (2).

Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought with a price...more

Faith and Acceptance (3).

But even this parable, tender and touching as it is, comes short of expressing the infinite compassion of the Heavenly Father...more

The Test of Discipleship (1).

Every burden is light; for the yoke that Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure...more

The Test of Discipleship (2).

When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new covenant promise is fulfilled...more

The Test of Discipleship (3).

If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled...more

The Test of Discipleship (4).

Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God...more

Confession (1).

Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life...more

Confession (2).

When sin has deadened the moral perceptions, the wrong-doer does not discern the defects of his character...more

What To Do With Doubt (1).

God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith...more

What To Do With Doubt (2).

There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them...more

Consecration (1).

"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)...more