Fundamentals of Christian Education
By Ellen G. White
Chapter 24 The Science of Salvation the First of Sciences

 










The schools established among us are matters of grave responsibility; for important interests are involved. In a special manner our schools are a spectacle unto angels and to men. A knowledge of science of all kinds is power, and it is in the purpose of God that advanced science shall be taught in our schools as a preparation for the work that is to precede the closing scenes of earth's history. The truth is to go to the remotest bounds of the earth, through agents trained for the work. But while the knowledge of science is a power, the knowledge which Jesus in person came to impart to the world was the knowledge of the gospel. The light of truth was to flash its bright rays into the uttermost parts of the earth, and the acceptance or rejection of the message of God involved the eternal destiny of souls.
 
 

The plan of salvation had its place in the counsels of the Infinite from all eternity. The gospel is the revelation of God's love to men, and means everything that is essential to the happiness and well-being of humanity. The work of God in the earth is of immeasurable importance, and it is Satan's special object to crowd it out of sight and mind, that he may make his specious devices effectual in the destruction of those for whom Christ died. It is his purpose to cause the discoveries of men to be exalted above the wisdom of God. When the mind is engrossed with the conceptions and theories of men to the exclusion of the wisdom of God, it is stamped with idolatry. Science, falsely so called, has been exalted above God, nature above its Maker, and how can God look upon such wisdom?
 
 

In the Bible the whole duty of man is defined. Solomon says, "Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." The will of God is revealed in His written word, and this is the essential knowledge. Human wisdom, familiarity with the languages of different nations, is a help in the missionary work. An understanding of the customs of the people, of the location and time of events, is practical knowledge; for it aids in making the figures of the Bible clear, in bringing out the force of Christ's lessons; but it is not positively necessary to know these things. The wayfaring man may find the pathway cast up for the ransomed to walk in, and there will be no excuse found for any one who perishes through misapprehension of the Scriptures.
 
 

In the Bible every vital principle is declared, every duty made plain, every obligation made evident. The whole duty of man is summed up by the Saviour. He says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. . . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." In the word the plan of salvation is plainly delineated. The gift of eternal life is promised on condition of saving faith in Christ. The drawing power of the Holy Spirit is pointed out as an agent in the work of man's salvation. The rewards of the faithful, the punishment of the guilty, are all laid out in clear lines. The Bible contains the science of salvation for all those who will hear and do the words of Christ.
 
 

The apostle says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." The Bible is its own expositor. One passage will prove to be a key that will unlock other passages, and in this way light will be shed upon the hidden meaning of the word. By comparing different texts treating on the same subject, viewing their bearing on every side, the true meaning of the Scriptures will be made evident.
 


Many think that they must consult commentaries on the Scriptures in order to understand the meaning of the word of God, and we would not take the position that commentaries should not be studied; but it will take much discernment to discover the truth of God under the mass of the words of men. How little has been done by the church as a body professing to believe the Bible, to gather up the scattered jewels of God's word into one perfect chain of truth! The jewels of truth do not lie upon the surface, as many suppose. The master mind in the confederacy of evil is ever at work to keep the truth out of sight, and to bring into full view the opinions of great men. The enemy is doing all in his power to obscure heaven's light through educational processes; for he does not mean that men shall hear the voice of the Lord, saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it."
 
 

The jewels of truth lie scattered over the field of revelation; but they have been buried beneath human traditions, beneath the sayings and commandments of men, and the wisdom from heaven has been practically ignored; for Satan has succeeded in making the world believe that the words and achievements of men are of great consequence. The Lord God, the Creator of the worlds, at infinite cost has given the gospel to the world. Through this divine agent, glad, refreshing springs of heavenly comfort and abiding consolation have been opened for those who will come to the fountain of life. There are veins of truth yet to be discovered; but spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Minds beclouded with evil cannot appreciate the value of the truth as it is in Jesus. When iniquity is cherished, men do not feel the necessity of making diligent effort, with prayer and reflection, to understand what they must know or lose heaven. They have so long been under the shadow of the enemy, that they view the truth as men behold objects through a smoked and imperfect glass; for all things are dark and perverted in their eyes. Their spiritual vision is feeble and untrustworthy; for they look upon the shadow, and turn away from the light.
 
 

But those who profess to believe in Jesus, should ever press to the light. They should daily pray for the light of the Holy Spirit to shine upon the pages of the sacred book, that they may be enabled to comprehend the things of the Spirit of God. We must have implicit trust in God's word, or we are lost. The words of men, however great they may be, are not able to make us perfect, to thoroughly furnish unto all good works. "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." In this text the two agencies in the salvation of man are revealed,--the divine influence, the strong, living faith of those who follow Christ. It is through the sanctification of the Spirit and the belief of the truth, that we become laborers together with God. God waits for the co-operation of His church. He does not design to add a new element of efficiency to His word; He has done His great work in giving His inspiration to the world. The blood of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the divine word, are ours. The object of all this provision of heaven is before us,--the souls for whom Christ died,-- and it depends upon us to lay hold of the promises God has given, and become laborers together with Him; for divine and human agencies must co-operate in this work.
 


The reason that many professed Christians do not have a clear, well-defined experience, is that they do not think it is their privilege to understand what God has spoken through His word. After the resurrection of Jesus, two of His disciples were journeying toward Emmaus, and Jesus joined them. But they did not recognize their Lord, and thought He was some stranger, although "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though He would have gone further. But they constrained Him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And He went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures? . . . Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures." This is the work that we may look to Christ to do for us; for what the Lord has revealed, is for us and our children forever.
 
 

Jesus knew that whatever was presented that was out of harmony with what He came to earth to unfold, was false and delusive. But He said, "Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice." Having stood in the counsels of God, having dwelt in the everlasting heights of the sanctuary, all elements of truth were in Him, and of Him; for He was one with God. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak what we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." "Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."--Review and Herald, Dec. 1, 1891.
 
 






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[Acts of the Apostles] [Child Guidance] [Christ's Object Lessons] [Confrontation] [Counsels on Diet and Foods] [Counsels on Health] [Counsels to Parents] [Counsels on Sabbath School Work] [Counsels on Stewardship] [Counsels to Writers] [Christian Service] [Christian jTemperance] [Desire of Ages] [Education] [Evangelism] [Fundamentals of Christian Education] [For the Glory of God] [Gospel Workers] [Healthful Living] [Last Day Events] [Letters to Young Lovers] [Medical Ministry] [Messages to Young People] [Pastoral Minstry] [Patriarchs and Prophets] [Selected Messages] [Sketches of Christian Experience] [Sketches from the Life of Paul] [Southern Work] [Spirit of Prophecy] [Steps to Christ] [Story of Redemption] [Solemn Appeal] [Temperance] [Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing] [Welfare Ministry]