2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 7, February 11-17, The Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit
Tuesday, February 14
“Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.” KJV, Romans 14:16-18, emphasis added.
“Who are the subjects of the kingdom of God?—all those who do His will. They have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The members of Christ’s kingdom are the sons of God, partners in His great firm. The elect of God are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a holy nation, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. They are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are living stones, a royal priesthood. They are in copartnership with Jesus Christ. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth….” (Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 422, emphasis added.)
“The Lord calls for minutemen, men who will be prepared to speak words in season and out of season that will arrest the attention and convict the heart. The kingdom of God consisteth not in outward show. Light will not be received by following selfish plans, but by looking unto Jesus, following Christ’s leadings, not the suppositions of men. The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. It often happens that circumstances arise which demand prompt action. And sometimes precious opportunities have been lost because of delay. The one who should have acted promptly felt that he must first consult with some one who was far away and who was unacquainted with the true conditions. Much time has thus been lost in asking advice and counsel from men who were not in a position to give wise counsel. Let all God’s workers be guided by the word of truth which points out their duty, following implicitly the directions Christ has given.” (Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 497, 498, emphasis added.)
“Half-hearted Christians obscure the glory of God, misinterpret piety, and cause men to receive false ideas as to what constitutes vital godliness. Others think that they, also, can be Christians and yet consult their own tastes and make provision for the flesh, if these false-hearted professors can do so. On many a professed Christian’s banner the motto is written, ‘You can serve God and please self,—you can serve God and mammon.’ They profess to be wise virgins, but not having the oil grace in their vessels with their lamps, they shed forth no light to the glory of God and for the salvation of men. They seek to do what the world’s Redeemer said was impossible to do; he has declared, ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ Those who profess to be Christians, but do not follow in the footsteps of Christ, make of none effect his words, and obscure the plan of salvation. By their spirit and deportment they virtually say, ‘Jesus, in your day you did not understand as well as we do in our day, that man can serve God and mammon.’ These professors of religion claim to keep the law of God, but they do not keep it. O, what would the standard of true manhood have become had it been left in the hands of man! God has lifted his own standard,—the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus; and the experience that follows complete surrender to God, is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Everything that man touches with unholy hands and unsanctified intellect, even the gospel of truth, becomes, by the contact, contaminated. Man puts confidence in man, and makes flesh his arm, but all the work of man is of the earth, earthy.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, August 19, 1890, emphasis added.)