The humble, self-denying life of our divine Lord we are to keep constantly in view

6 min


 

“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. CH 43.1

We are not our own. We have been purchased with a dear price, even the sufferings and death of the Son of God. If we could understand this and fully realize it, we would feel a great responsibility resting upon us to keep ourselves in the very best condition of health, that we might render to God perfect service. But when we take any course which expends our vitality, decreases our strength, or beclouds the intellect, we sin against God. In pursuing this course we are not glorifying Him in our bodies and spirits which are His, but are committing a great wrong in His sight. CH 43.2

Has Jesus given Himself for us?Has a dear price been paid to redeem us? And is it so, that we are not our own? Is it true that all the powers of our being, our bodies, our spirits, all that we have, and all we are, belong to God? It certainly is. And when we realize this, what obligation does it lay us under to God to preserve ourselves in that condition that we may honor Him upon the earth in our bodies and in our spirits which are His? CH 43.3

The Reward of Holiness

We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us; it is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are nearing the judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who, escorted by a retinue of holy angels, is to appear in the clouds of heaven to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our character, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. Those who have preserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy, will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects, and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is nowthat this work is to be accomplished for us…. CH 43.4

We are now in God’s workshop.Many of us are rough stones from the quarry. But as we lay hold upon the truth of God, its influence affects us.It elevates us and removes from us every imperfection and sin, of whatever nature. Thus we are prepared to see the King in His beauty and finally to unite with the pure and heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. It is here that this work is to be accomplished for us, here that our bodies and spirits are to be fitted for immortality. CH 44.1

The Work of Sanctification

We are in a world that is opposed to righteousness and purity of character and to a growth in grace.Wherever we look, we see corruption and defilement, deformity and sin.And what is the work that we are to undertake here just previous to receiving immortality? It is to preserve our bodies holy, our spirits pure, that we may stand forth unstained amid the corruptions teeming around us in these last days.And if this work is accomplished, we need to engage in it at once, heartily and understandingly. Selfishness should not come in here to influence us. The Spirit of God should have perfect control of us, influencing us in all our actions. If we have a right hold on Heaven, a right hold of the power that is from above, we shall feel the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God upon our hearts. CH 44.2

When we have tried to present the health reform to our brethren and sisters, and have spoken to them of the importance of eating and drinking and doing all that they do to the glory of God, many by their actions have said, “It is nobody’s business whether I eat this or that.Whatever we do, we are to bear the consequences ourselves.” Dear friends, you are greatly mistaken.You are not the only sufferers from a wrong course. The society you are in bears the consequences of your wrongs, in a great degree, as well as yourselves. CH 45.1

If you suffer from your intemperance in eating or drinking, we that are around you or associated with you are also affected by your infirmities. We have to suffer on account of your wrong course. If it has an influence to lessen your powers of mind or body, we feel it when in your society and are affected by it. If, instead of having a buoyancy of spirit, you are gloomy, you cast a shadow upon the spirits of all around you. If we are sad and depressed and in trouble, you could, if in a right condition of health, have a clear brain to show us the way out, and speak a comforting word to us.But if your brain is so benumbed by your wrong course of living that you cannot give us the right counsel, do we not meet with a loss? Does not your influence seriously affect us?We may have a good degree of confidence in our own judgment, yet we want to have counselors; for “in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14. CH 45.2

We desire that our course should look consistent to those we love, and we wish to seek their counsel and have them able to give it with a clear brain. But what care we for your judgment if your brain nerve power has been taxed to the utmost, and the vitality withdrawn from the brain to take care of the improper food placed in your stomachs, or of an enormous quantity of even healthful food?What care we for the judgment of such persons? They see through a mass of undigested food. Therefore your course of living affects us. It is impossible for you to pursue any wrong course without causing others to suffer. CH 46.1

The Christian Race

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.Those who engaged in running the race to obtain that laurel which was considered a special honor were temperate in all things, so that their muscles, their brains, and every part of them might be in the very best condition to run. If they were not temperate in all things, they would not have that elasticity that they would have if they were. If temperate, they could run that race more successfully; they were more sure of receiving the crown. CH 46.2

But notwithstanding all their temperance, all their efforts to subject themselves to a careful diet in order to be in the best condition, those who ran the earthly race only ran a venture. They might do the very best they could, and yet after all not receive the token of honor; for another might be a little in advance of them and take the prize. Only one received the prize. But in the heavenly race we can all run, and all receive the prize. There is no uncertainty, no risk, in the matter.We must put on the heavenly graces, and, with the eye directed upward to the crown of immortality, keep the Pattern ever before us. He was a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief. The humble, self-denying life of our divine Lord we are to keep constantly in view. And then as we seek to imitate Him, keeping our eye upon the mark of the prize, we can run this race with certainty, knowing that if we do the very best we can, we shall certainly secure the prize. CH 47.1

Men would subject themselves to self-denial and discipline in order to run and obtain a corruptible crown, one that would perish in a day and which was only a token of honor from mortals here. But we are to run the race, at the end of which is a crown of immortality and everlasting life. Yes, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will be awarded to us as the prize when the race is run. “We,” says the apostle, “an incorruptible.” CH 47.2

And if those who engaged in this race here upon the earth for a temporal crown, could be temperate in all things, cannot we, who have in view an incorruptible crown, an eternal weight of glory, and a life which measures with the life of God?When we have this great inducement before us, cannot we “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith”? Hebrews 12:1, 2. He has pointed out the way for us and marked it all along by His own footsteps. It is the path that He traveled, and we may, with Him, experience the self-denial and the suffering, and walk in this pathway imprinted by His own blood. CH 48.1

 

CH: Counsels On Health By Ellen G White

 


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