“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
“Pray without ceasing.” I Thessalonians 5:17
Some profess Christianity year after year, and in some things appear to serve God, and yet they are far from him. They give lose rein to appetite and passion, and follow their own unsanctified inclinations, loving pleasure and the applause of men more than God or his truth. But God reads the secrets of the heart. Base thoughts lead to base actions. Self-righteousness, pride, and licentiousness are far-reaching, deep, and almost universal. These are the sins for which God destroyed the inhabitants of the old world by a flood of water, and they are corrupting the churches in these last days. They are the hidden rocks upon which are wrecked thousands and tens of thousands who profess godliness. Only those who are closely connected with God will escape the devices of Satan and the prevailing moral corruption of this age.
The character is revealed by the works, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the tendency of the habitual words and acts. Those who would put God out of their knowledge will show a want of principle. Every man will show which master he is serving with the strength of his intellect, his skill, and his ability. The servant of Christ will watch unto prayer; he will be devoted , humble, meek and lowly of heart, seeking to know and do the will of God. Whereas he was once the servant of sin, he has, through the grace of God, become transformed in mind and character. He will love the day of Christ’s appearing; for he will be able to say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:7
E. G. White, Signs Of The Times, March 27, 1884
Those who are defective in character, in conduct, in habits and practices, are to take heed to counsel and reproof. This world is God’s workshop, and every stone that can be used in the heavenly temple must be hewed and polished, until it is a tried and precious stone, fitted for its place in the Lord’s building. But if we refuse to be trained and disciplined, we shall be as stones that will not be hewed and polished, and that are cast aside at last as useless.
It may be that much work needs to be done in your character building, that you are a rough stone which must be squared and polished before it can fill a place in God’s temple. You need not be surprised if with hammer and chisel God cuts away the sharp corners of your character, until you are prepared to fill the place He has for you. No human being can accomplish this work. Only by God can it be done. And be assured that He will not strike one useless blow. His every blow is struck in love, for your eternal happiness. He knows your infirmities, and works to restore, not to destroy.
E. G. White, Child Guidance, p. 168
Christ does not acknowledge any caste, color, or grade as necessary to become a subject of His kingdom. Admittance to His kingdom does not depend upon wealth or a superior heredity. But those who are born of the Spirit are the subjects of His kingdom. Spiritual character is that which will be recognized by Christ. His kingdom is not of this world. His subjects are those who are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And this grace is given them of God. Christ does not find His subjects fitted for His kingdom, but He qualifies them by His divine power. Those who have been dead in trespasses and sins are quickened to spiritual life. The faculties which God has given them for holy purposes are refined, purified, and exalted, and they are led to form characters after the divine similitude…
By beholding Jesus, by obeying His requirements, they increase in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. Thus they become changed into His image from character to character until they are distinguished from the world, and it can be written of them: “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” I Peter 2:9, 10
E. G White, God’s Amazing Grace, p. 52