Man has no right to the name of Christian unless he will become Christlike in words, in spirit, and in action. To be a Christian means culture after the divine character of Christ. That mind which was in Christ Jesus cannot be correctly represented by untrained powers, which result in an unfurnished mind. The untrained powers of those who claim to be followers of Christ dishonor him who has paid the price for their redemption. A narrow mind and dwarfed character cannot meet the mind of God. Passion manifested by a professed Christian is a denial of Christ; it gives victory to Satan, and enthrones him in the heart. Such a man gives testimony to the world that Satan has more power over him than has Christ. His words, spirit, and character testify that the molding and fashioning hand of Satan is upon him, making of him a vessel that will dishonor God.
The physical, mental, and moral powers are the endowments of God, and are to be appreciated and cultivated. We are here on probation, in training for the higher life. All heaven is waiting to co-operate with those who will be subordinate to the ways and will of God. God gives grace, and he expects all to use it. He supplies the power if the human mind feels any need or any disposition to receive. He never asks us to do anything without supplying the grace and power to do that very thing. All his biddings are enablings.
… In Christ there was a subjection of the human to the divine. He clothed his divinity with humanity, and placed his own person under obedience to divinity. Satan had tempted Adam and Eve to believe that they should be as gods. Christ requires that humanity shall obey divinity. In his humanity, Christ was obedient to all his Father’s commandments.
Christ has expressed his love for man in that he has given his life for the ransom of the world. And this love is to measure the love that his disciples shall ever manifest for one another. “These things have I spoken unto you,” he says, “that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,”–disciples of Him who laid down his life for them whom he loved. “Ye are my friends,” he says, “if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.”
This chapter is simple in its illustrations, and is one that all may understand. Christ is ever seeking to present before his followers the privileges that are offered to sinful, feeble humanity. He would teach them that only through him can it be restored to healthful growth. We are to bear in mind that the branches in the True Vine are the believers who are brought into oneness by connection with the Vine.
– The Review and Herald, November 9, 1897