2017 2nd Quarter
Lesson 5, April 15-21, Living for God
Thursday, April 27
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” KJV, 1 Peter 4:7, 8, emphasis added.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” KJV, Ephesians 5:8-13, emphasis added.
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” ESV, Ephesians 5:11.
“We are authorized to hold in the same estimation as did the beloved disciple those who claim to abide in Christ while living in transgression of God’s law. There exist in these last days evils similar to those that threatened the prosperity of the early church; and the teachings of the apostle John on these points should be carefully heeded. ‘You must have charity,’ is the cry heard everywhere, especially from those who profess sanctification. But true charity is too pure to cover an unconfessed sin. While we are to love the souls for whom Christ died, we are to make no compromise with evil. We are not to unite with the rebellious and call this charity. God requires His people in this age of the world to stand for the right as unflinchingly as did John in opposition to soul-destroying errors.” (Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, 554, 555, emphasis added.)
“These persons [Elders Bennett and Bellings (sic) who had been Millerites but were now teaching Holy Flesh sanctification], who made such lofty professions, were calculated to deceive the unwary. They had much to say of love and charity covering a multitude of sins. I could not unite with their views and feelings; but felt that they were wielding a terrible power for evil. I wished to escape from their presence as soon as possible.
“Elder Bennett, in speaking of faith, said, ‘All we have to do is to believe, and whatever we ask of God will be given us.’
“Elder White suggested that there were conditions specified. ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ Said he, ‘Your theory of faith must have a foundation; it is as empty as a flour-barrel with both heads out. True charity never covers up unrepented and unconfessed sins. She only drops her mantle over the faults that are confessed and renounced. True charity is a very delicate personage, never setting her pure foot outside of Bible truth.’ As soon as the views of these people were crossed, they manifested a stubborn, self-righteous spirit that rejected all instruction. Though professing great humiliation they were boastful in their sophistry of sanctification, and resisted all appeals to reason. We felt that all our efforts to convince them of their error were useless, as they took the position they were not learners but teachers.” (Ellen White, Life Sketches of James and Ellen G. White 1880, 208, 209, emphasis added.)
“In the work of reform to be carried forward today, there is need of men who, like Ezra and Nehemiah, will not palliate or excuse sin, nor shrink from vindicating the honor of God. Those upon whom rests the burden of this work will not hold their peace when wrong is done, neither will they cover evil with a cloak of false charity. They will remember that God is no respecter of persons, and that severity to a few may prove mercy to many. They will remember also that in the one who rebukes evil the spirit of Christ should ever be revealed.” (Ellen White, Prophets and Kings, 675, emphasis added.)
“Christ Himself did not suppress one word of truth, but He spoke it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact, and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, that refused to receive Him, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They rejected Him, the Saviour, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness, and sorrow so deep that it broke His heart. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He always bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with tenderest regard to every member of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save.” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, 353, emphasis added.)
“In the work of soul-winning, great tact and wisdom are needed. The Saviour never suppressed the truth, but He uttered it always in love. In His intercourse with others, He exercised the greatest tact, and He was always kind and thoughtful. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave unnecessary pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He never made truth cruel, but ever manifested a deep tenderness for humanity. Every soul was precious in His sight. He bore Himself with divine dignity; yet He bowed with the tenderest compassion and regard to every member of the family of God. He saw in all, souls whom it was His mission to save.” (Ellen White, Gospel Workers, 117, emphasis added.)