Chapter 47: Ministry

January 23, 2008

“It is faith that connects us with heaven, and brings us strength for coping with the power of darkness. In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong. But many feel that they lack faith, and therefore they remain away from Christ. Let those souls, in their helpless unworthiness, cast themselves upon the mercy of their compassionate Saviour. Look not to self, but to Christ. He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. Faith comes by the word of God. Then grasp His promise, ‘The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.’ John 6:37. Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’ You can never perish while you do this–never.” DA458

I am hesitant to try and comment because this passage is so complete and beautiful already, so instead of trying to add to it I’ll make 3 belief statements in response.

1. I believe that God’s plan of redemption includes saving us from sinful traits in our life now. In other words, Jesus did not die on the cross so that we should have to continue living in sin. Ellen White affirms that this can only be a reality in Christ through faith. Again, being saved from sin now is a function of being in Christ and is through faith, not grit. This understanding must come first and never be replaced to make any real headway towards living in a righteousness that is not our own. I believe that many Christians try very hard to live correctly, but are trapped by sinful character traits that only conversion can handle. Such efforts may keep one from seeing the kingdom of heaven and delay their rebirth. I pray for continued conversion in my own life that I may function in Christ through faith.

2. I believe that faith is biblically wedded to the Word of God, a connection that is described clearly page by page in scripture. It is why John starts out his Gospel with a major teaching on the Word that was with God and has become flesh. The same teaching begins Genesis, I John, Hebrews, and Revelation. The concept surfaces repetitively in the Psalms and the books of the prophets. Understanding the Word-faith connection has been pivotal to my spiritual growth and the growth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church starting in 1888. This truth leads to a powerful understanding of righteousness which is key to the plan of redemption both for the individual and for the bride of Christ. I believe that this is the message that will spread to the world in preparation of the second coming of Christ.

3. I believe that there is a poorness of spirit, a brokenness, that is perfectly matched to the saving power of Christ. It is  a weakness unlike others because it draws our focus beyond ourselves to God’s strength, and to this poor spirit His Spirit speaks. It is the lesson of every trial. We truly are blessed to be poor in spirit and by be promised the kingdom of heaven. This is the spirit which Ellen White is so sure will never perish. What a glorious reality.

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One Response to “Chapter 47: Ministry”

  1. Dan Goble said

    Seth what can I say. I truly appriciate your view on this end time message. We are studying this right now at New Haven in KC. You have stuck on the very things that I am struggling with. The problem I have is I can not get over the fact that it is not me I can not do it. I need to pray to be convicted to read His word. like you said that is the conection. I do not know if I know you I am Aubreys father. Keep up the good work Dan

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