Reformation Pt. 1 – The Work of God

“The work of God in the earth presents, from age to age, a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church in former ages has lessons of great value for our own time.

No truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His servants on earth in the great movements for the carrying forward of the work of salvation. Men are instruments in the hand of God, employed by Him to accomplish His purposes of grace and mercy. Each has his part to act; to each is granted a measure of light, adapted to the necessities of his time, and sufficient to enable him to perform the work which God has given him to do. But no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name.”

The Great Controversy, p. 343 par. 1-2 {GC 343.1 – 343.2}

I want to look more closely at these two paragraphs, and compare them with the Bible to better understand the work of God.

As mentioned in the first paragraph above, what can history tell us about the work of God?

It says that the work of God is similar “from age to age” in every reform movement. What does it mean when you have something that is repetitive and happens in a similar way each time? It is a pattern.

Why should we study this pattern in our past history?

Well, if it is a pattern, that means similar things will happen again as history unfolds in our own time and in the future. If we understand the pattern, we can recognize the work of God in our own lives as well as in the larger picture of the church and the world.

One other main point about the work of God is that God deals the same with men no matter where they are in time. In Malachi 3:6 God says,

“For I am the Lord, I change not…”

We can expect the same from God in all ages. So a study of how He has dealt with men in the past will show us what to expect from God in our life and in our time.

The second paragraph above talks more specifically about what the work of God is. Here it is again,

“No truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His servants on earth in the great movements for the carrying forward of the work of salvation. Men are instruments in the hand of God, employed by Him to accomplish His purposes of grace and mercy. Each has his part to act; to each is granted a measure of light, adapted to the necessities of his time, and sufficient to enable him to perform the work which God has given him to do. But no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name.”

The Great Controversy, p. 343 par. 2 {GC 343.2}

Notice the main points in this paragraph about the work of God:

Note: I have included Bible texts which affirm these points.

  • God does this work with the help of the Holy Spirit

John 16:7-8 to reprove of sin, righteousness, and judgment

  • The Holy Spirit directs God’s servants on earth in this work

Luke 11:13, John 7:39 Holy Spirit is a gift from God to believers

John 14:26 to teach all things

Nehemiah 9:20 spirit to instruct

Ephesians 1:13 hear, believe, then receive Holy Spirit

  • The work is understood by the light provided

2 Peter 1:19 light is prophetic word

Psalm 119:105 God’s word is a light

Psalm 119:130 God’s word gives light and understanding

John 17:17 God’s word is truth

1 John 5:6 Spirit is truth (therefore brings the light of truth)

Proverbs 4:18 path of just is as a light (example of the righteous brings light)

  • The work is the work of salvation according to God’s great plan of redemption

John 6:28-35 to believe on Christ, the Bread of life

Jeremiah 51:10 and Isaiah 46:13 to bring forth righteousness in those who believe

  • The work God gives to men includes giving a message

Psalm 119:172 bring forth righteousness by teaching God’s Word

Prov. 12:17 speak truth, show righteousness

A branch of study related to the work of God is the latter rain. It is interesting to me that God gives us a visual image or metaphor of His Word and work being like the rain. There are many verses to study about this, but here are just a few to show how His work is likened to rain. Hopefully a later blog can be devoted to this topic.

Joel 2:23 If you look in the Bible margin for this verse, it says that the concept of the Hebrew words for former rain and moderately is “teacher of righteousness” “unto righteousness”

Hosea 6:3 He (Christ) comes as spiritual rain

Isaiah 55:10-11 God’s Word as rain

Another particularly interesting study to do is about the pattern of the work of God through the Holy Spirit. My next blog article will discuss this pattern in more detail.

Click here to read it. Reformation Pt. 2 – The Pattern

 

References

Bible, King James Version

Quotes taken from the Ellen G. White Writings, Comprehensive Research Edition 2008 CD

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One thought on “Reformation Pt. 1 – The Work of God

  1. Pingback: Reformation Pt. 2 – The Pattern |

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