God alone can renew the heart

Far more than we do, we need to understand the issues at stake in the conflict in which we are engaged. We need to understand more fully the value of the truths that God has given for this time and the danger of allowing our minds to be diverted from them by the great deceiver.

     The infinite value of the sacrifice required for our redemption reveals the fact that sin is a tremendous evil. Through sin the whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the imagination corrupted. Sin has degraded the faculties of the soul. Temptations from without find an answering chord within the heart, and the feet turn imperceptibly toward evil.

     As the sacrifice in our behalf was complete, so our restoration from the defilement of sin is to be complete. There is no act of wickedness that the law will excuse; there is no unrighteousness that will escape its condemnation. The life of Christ was a perfect fulfillment of every precept of the law. He said; “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” John 15:10. His life is our standard of obedience and service.

     God alone can renew the heart. “It is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for His good pleasure.” But we are bidden: “Work out your own salvation.” Philippians 2:13, 12, A. R. V.

            The Work That Requires Our Thought

     Wrongs cannot be righted, nor can reformations in character be made, by a few feeble, intermittent efforts. Sanctification is the work, not of a day, or of a year, but of a   lifetime. The struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. Without continual effort and constant activity there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor’s crown.

     The strongest evidence of man’s fall from a higher state is the fact that it costs so much to return. The way of return can be gained only by hard fighting, inch by inch, every hour. By a momentary act of will, one may place himself in the power of evil; but it requires more than a momentary act of will to break these fetters and attain to a higher, holier life. The purpose may be formed, the work begun; but its accomplishment will require toil, time, and perseverance, patience and sacrifice.

     Beset with temptations without number, we must resist firmly or be conquered. Should we come to the close of life with our work undone, it would be an eternal loss.

     Paul’s sanctification was the result of a constant conflict with self. He said: “I die daily.” 1 Corinthians 15:31. His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did God’s will, however crucifying to his own nature.

     God leads His people on step by step. The Christian life is a battle and a march. In this warfare there is no release; the effort must be continuous and persevering. It is by unceasing endeavor that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan. Christian integrity must be sought with resistless energy and maintained with a resolute fixedness of purpose.

     No one will be borne upward without stern, persevering effort in his own behalf. All must engage in this warfare for themselves. Individually we are responsible for the issue of the struggle; though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land, they could deliver neither son nor daughter by their righteousness.

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Is adventist church correct in its stand on Jewellery?

When Old testament people used Jewellery then why church is teaching against it.

Jewellery was used in old testament time for two reasons

1. They used it as money

God made all of the gold, silver, and precious jewels in the world, and He intended for them to have a practical use. Since even small amounts of these minerals are so rare and valuable, long ago they began to be used as money. Over time, people began wearing their money in order to impress others with their wealth. When shoppers went to the market to buy an expensive item, they would simply pull off one of their rings or bracelets to pay. After Rebecca had watered the camels for Abraham’s servant, the Bible says that he paid her in this way. “And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold.” Genesis 24:22.When the children of Israel brought an offering to the Lord to build the tabernacle, they used the jewels they had received from the Egyptians. It was their money. “And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the Lord.” Exodus 35:22. (from the article how much jewellery is too much. see below for the link)

2. They wore their pagan Gods as Ornaments.

Remember Jacob asks his family to put away the earrings and strange Gods in their hand. Gen 35:2,4

Women in nature have desire to be beautiful. They desire to wear to Jewels so they appear beautiful. But Bible repeatedly says the true beauty is in the inward Character and not the outward appearance.

John, in the book of Revelation, describes the scarlet woman of sin (symbolising the false church) as “decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.” Revelation 17:4. In contrast, the true church is depicted in Revelation 12:1 as a beautiful woman clothed with the glory of the sun. This woman is called the bride of Christ in Revelation 21:9..

Paul wrote, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9, 10.

Peter wrote in much the same manner, except that he especially addressed Christian women who had unbelieving husbands. “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:1-4.

Through Ezekiel, God symbolised His apostatised people, Judah and Israel, by two harlots named Aholah and Aholibah. His description of their bold ornamentation matched the lewdness of their conduct. “And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments.” Ezekiel 23:40.

 Hosea expresses the same thought when he describes the hypocrisy of Israel. Again, the unfaithfulness was well dramatised by a decorated woman. “And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.” Hosea 2:13.

What about wedding ring?

History gives us a very clear picture of the relationship between early church apostasy and the introduction of the wedding ring. The famous Catholic Cardinal, John Henry Newman, described it in 1845 in his monumental book Development of Christian Doctrine, p. 373: “Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward adornments to which they had been accustomed in their own. It is not necessary to go into a subject which the diligence of Protestant writers has made familiar to most of us. The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints … incense … candles … holy water … processions … the ring in marriage, turning to the east, images at a later date … are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.”

In the book Testimonies to Ministers, page 161, Ellen White makes the following statement on the practice of wearing a wedding ring (it was written to American missionaries in Australiawho were beginning to wear the wedding ring with the excuse that it would increase their influence with the Australians):

 “I feel deeply over this leavening process which seems to be going on among us, in the conformity to custom and fashion. not one penny should be spent for the circle of gold to testify that we are married. In countries where the custom is imperative, we have no burden to condemn those who have their marriage ring; let them wear it if they can do so conscientiously: but let not our missionaries feel that the wearing of the ring will increase their influence one jot or tittle.”

Wearing a wedding ring is called a “leavening process” that the prophet “felt deeply over.”

When we make decisons on wearing Jewels let us not rely on what we think or how we feel. Let all the decisions have a solid foundation of what would Jesus do or What is the principle underlying this or Thus saith the Lord. There is much safety in that.

Also read: http://www.amazingfacts.org/FreeStuff/OnlineLibrary/tabid/106/ctl/ViewMedia/mid/447/IID/23/LNG/en/SC/R/Default.aspx?7=Jewelry:-How-Much-is-Too-Much?