In the instruction given in our schools, the natural and the spiritual are to be combined. The laws obeyed by the earth reveal the fact that it is under the masterly power of an infinite God. The same principles run through the spiritual and the natural world. Divorce God from the acquisition of knowledge, and you have a lame, one-sided education, dead to all the saving qualities that give true power to man. The Author of nature is the Author of the Bible. Creation and Christianity have one God. God is revealed in nature, and God is revealed in His word. In clear rays the light shines from the sacred page, showing us the living God, as represented in the laws of His government, in the creation of the world, in the heavens that He has garnished. His power is to be recognized as the only means of redeeming the world from the degrading superstitions that are so dishonoring to God and man.
The student who in his school life becomes familiar with the truths of God’s word and feels their transforming power upon his heart will represent the character of Christ to the world in a well-ordered life and a godly conversation. God will do great things for those who will open the heart to His word and let it take possession of the soul temple. The departure from the simplicity of true godliness on the part of students has had an influence to weaken character and lessen mental vigor. Their advancement in the sciences has been retarded, while if they had been like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they would have advanced as he did in all branches of learning upon which they entered. Being pure=minded, they would have become strong-minded. Every intellectual faculty would have been sharpened.
When the Bible is made the guide and counselor, it exerts an ennobling influence upon the mind. Its study more than any other will refine and elevate. It will enlarge the mind of the candid student, endowing it with new impulses and fresh vigor. It will give greater efficiency to the faculties by bringing them in contact with grand, far-reaching truths. If the mind becomes dwarfed and inefficient, it is because it is left to deal with commonplace subjects only. Let the Bible be received as the food of the soul, the best and most effectual means of purifying and strengthening the intellect.
Out of the heart are the issues of life; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the property of the nation, depend upon home influences.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 395-396
No man can serve two masters. Light and darkness are no more opposites than are the service of God and the service of Satan. The prophet Elijah presented the matter in the true light when he fearlessly appealed to apostate Israel: “If the Lord be God, serve him; but if Baal, then serve him.”
Those who give themselves up to the sorcery of Satan, may boast of great benefit received thereby, but does this prove their course to be wise or safe? What if life should be prolonged? What if temporal gain should be secured? Will it pay in the end to disregard the will of God? All such apparent gain will prove at last an irrecoverable loss. We cannot with impunity break down a single barrier which God has erected to guard his people from Satan’s power.
Our only safety is in preserving the ancient landmarks. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Testimony for the Church – No.31, p.195
If we would let our hearts be impressed with the following important words, and ever bear them in mind, we should not so easily fall into temptation; but our words would be few, and well chosen.
“He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”—“Thou God seest me.”
The Review and Herald – February 17, 1853
If the Christian thrives and progresses at all, he must do so amid strangers to God, amid scoffing, subject to ridicule. He must stand upright, like the palm-tree in the desert. The sky may be as brass, the desert sand may beat about the palm-tree’s roots, and pile itself in heaps about its trunk. Yet the tree lives as an evergreen, fresh and vigorous amid the burning desert sands. Remove the sand till you reach the rootlets of the palm tree, and you discover the secret of its life; it strikes down deep beneath the surface, to the secret waters hidden in the earth. Christians indeed may be fitly represented by the palm tree. They are like Enoch; although surrounded with corrupting influences their faith takes hold of the Unseen. They walk with God, deriving strength and grace from him to withstand the moral pollution surrounding them. Like Daniel in the courts of Babylon, they stand pure and uncontaminated; their life is hid with Christ in God. They are virtuous in spirit amid depravity; they are true and loyal, fervent and zealous, while surrounded by infidels, hypocritical professors, godless and worldly men. Their faith and life are hid with Christ in God. Jesus is in them a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Faith, like the rootlets of the palm-tree, penetrates beneath the things which are seen, drawing spiritual nourishment from the fountain of life.
The Review and Herald, January 2, 1897
Interested in an in-depth study of Steps to Christ? The Adventist Learning Community or ALC, is featuring a free course on the book, Steps to Christ led by Pastor Denis Fortin, a pastor at Andrews University. The self-paced course includes activities and quiz questions. The student will also create a journal for chapter reflections.
The ALC, an initiative of the North American Division is a Seventh-day Adventist educational platform designed to provide continuing education courses, teaching courses, ministerial training, and uniquely Adventist content for the church community and beyond. To learn more about the Adventist Learning Community and the Steps to Christ course, click HERE or on the image above.
Uplifting listening for the Sabbath hours. Steps to Christ audiobook courtesy of Audioverse. Click the link below to listen.
Steps to Christ Audiobook