The Unity of God's Work

FEATURES: The Unity of God's Work

The author collected quotations about different types of evangelistic works

President, River Plate College, Argentina

The Lord has left His people a great task to be carried out: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19); and to do this, He sent His Holy Spirit to aid man. The Holy Spirit, working at that time and still working today, gave different gifts to mankind "to profit withal" and "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith." 1 Cor. 12:7; Eph. 4:12, 13. Paul, in his epistle to the Ephesians, listed apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers; but in his first letter to the Corinthians he cited wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, and tongues and their interpretation. "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." 1 Cor. 12:11.

No one should feel that the gift that he has or the work in which he is engaged is inferior to other gifts or assigned tasks. Neither should any take it upon himself to classify his own work as superior to all others. Everybody has his own ability and a task to be carried out.

"Every branch of the work of God is to have recognition. . . . Ephesians 4:11, 12 ... shows that there are to be different workers, different instrumentalities. Each has a different work. No one is required to lay hold of another's work, and, though untrained, try to do it. ... Do not be so intent upon the work you are doing in one portion of the Lord's vineyard that you cannot appreciate the work that others are doing in other parts of the vineyard." Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 170, 171.

"It is not numerous institutions, large buildings, or great display that God requires, but the harmonious action of a peculiar people, a people chosen by God and precious. Every man is to stand in his lot and place, thinking, speaking, and acting in harmony with the Spirit of God. Then, and not till then, will the work be a complete, symmetrical whole." Ibid., vol. 6, p. 293.

"God is leading a people. . . . Through the diversity of the gifts and governments that He has placed in the church, they will all come to the unity of the faith." Ibid., vol. 3, p. 446.

"One worker may be a ready speaker; another a ready writer; another may have the gift of sincere,earnest, fervent prayer; another the gift of singing; another may have special power to explain the word of God with clearness. And each gift is to become a power for God, because He works with the laborer. . . . The Lord desires His chosen servants to learn how to unite together in harmonious effort." -Ibid., vol. 9, pp. 144, 145.

In connection with this it is interesting to observe what the Spirit of prophecy says about the different types of work that the Lord uses to save souls. It will be observed that each is classified as important, a chosen instrument of the Lord, but none is indicated as more important than others within the Lord's vineyard.

The Ministry and Evangelism

"The highest of all work is ministry in its various lines, and it should be kept before the youth that there is no work more blessed of God than that of the gospel ministry." Ibid. vol. 6, p. 411.

It will be observed that not only is the ministry a branch of the work but it has "various lines." There are ministers in every department of the Lord's work. "A man can have no greater honor than to be accepted by God as an able minister of the gospel." Acts of the Apostles, p. 328.

Concerning the ministry from the pulpit, through preaching, the Spirit of prophecy refers to it as "Christ's appointed means of instructing His people, and therefore always to be highly prized. . . . The minister is riot infallible, but God has honored him by making him His messenger." Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 298.

And in another place it states that "the Lord designs that the presentation of this message shall be the highest, greatest work carried on in the world at this time." Ibid., vol. 6, p. 11.

Medical Missionary Work

Very intimately related to the ministerial work is the medical work.

"Medical missionaries who labor in evangelistic lines are doing a work of as high an order as are their ministerial fellow workers." Ibid., vol. 7, p. 112.

"The medical missionary work is the gospel in illustration." Ibid., vol. 6, p. 241.

"The Christian physician should regard his work as exalted as that of the ministry. He bears a double responsibility, for in him are combined the qualifications of both physician and gospel minister. His is a grand, a sacred, and a very necessary work. The physician and the minister should realize that they are engaged in the same work. They should labor in perfect harmony." Ibid., vol. 7, p. 111.

Colporteur Work

The minister, the medical worker, and the gospel colporteur are all linked together by God as follows:

"Genuine medical missionary work is bound up with the ministry, and the canvassing work is to be a part both of the medical missionary work and of the ministry." Ibid., vol. 6, p. 323.

"If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting our publications before the public, thus leading them to search the Scriptures. . . . Everyone is not fitted for this work." Ibid., vol. 4, p. 390.

The word "if" eliminates the idea that this work is superior to all others, yet it is very important. It is "God's means of reaching many that would not otherwise be impressed with the truth. The work is a good one, the object high and elevating." Ibid., vol. 5, p. 405.

Home Missionary Work

In speaking of this phase of His work the Lord says:

"One of the most effective ways in which light can be communicated is by private, personal effort." Ibid., vol. 6, p. 428.

"God expects personal service from everyone lo whom He has entrusted a knowledge of the truth for this time. . . . There are many ways in which church members may give the message to those around them." "Eternity alone will reveal how far- reaching such a line of labor can be." Ibid., vol. 9, pp. 30, 36.

Sabbath School Work

Of the Sabbath school work the Spirit of prophecy says:

"This is one of the important branches of the work, and should not be left to chance, or to haphazard management." Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, p. '12.

"The Sabbath-school work is important, and all who are interested in the truth should endeavor to make it prosperous." Ibid., p. 109.

Other declarations concerning this work are:

"The Sabbath-school should be one of the greatest instrumentalities, and the most effectual, in bringing souls to Christ." Ibid., p. 20.

"[It] possesses marvelous power, and is adapted to doing a great work." Ibid., p. 29.

Missionary Volunteer Work

The work in behalf of the young people, of education, and of the Christian home is intimately related. Of the work for the young people the Lord says, "To train the young to become true soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most noble work ever given to man." Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 166.

For the leadership of this department the following instruction was given: "Let the overseers of the church devise plans whereby young men and women may be trained to put to use their entrusted talents." Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 435.

Educational Work

Much has been said of the importance of the educational work within the church.

"There is no work more important than the education of our youth." Counsels to Parents, Teach ers, and Students, p. 46.

"Nothing is of greater importance than the education of our children and young people." Ibid., p. 165."It is the nicest work ever assumed by men and women to deal with youthful minds." Ibid., p. 73.

"No work ever undertaken by man requires greater care and skill than the proper training and education of youth and children." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 57.

Parent and Child Educational Work

Of the work of the Home Commission it is said:

"This work of education the Infinite One has counted so important that messengers from His throne have been sent to a mother . . . and to instruct a father concerning the education of a promised son. Never will education accomplish all that it might and should accomplish until the importance of the parents' work is fully recognized, and they receive a training for its sacred responsibilities." Education, p. 276.

The Lord considers the work of the various institutions as important in carrying the gospel to the world.

Publishing Houses

"Our publishing work was established by the direction of God and under His special supervision." Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 138.

Seventh-day Adventists are to give the most solemn and fearful warnings ever sent by God to men, "and in the accomplishment of this work our publishing houses are among the most effective agencies." Ibid.

Sanitariums and Clinics

"The Lord will give to our sanitariums whose work is already established an opportunity to cooperate with Him in assisting newly established plants. Every new institution is to be regarded as a sister helper in the great work of proclaiming the third angel's message." Ibid., p. 59.

Health-Food Factories

"The health-food business is one of the Lord's own instrumentalities to supply a necessity." Ibid., p. 114.

Colleges

"Of all institutions in our world the school is the most important." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 226.

"Our schools are the Lord's special instrumental ity to fit the children and youth for missionary work." Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Stu dents, p. 149.

"When I was shown by the angel of God that an institution should be established for the education of our youth I saw that it would be one of the greatest means ordained of God for the salvation of souls." Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 419.

"I wish I could find language to express the importance of our college. All should feel that it is one of God's instrumentalities to make Himself known to man." Ibid., p. 425.

Administrators

Of the leadership in the various phases of church work the Spirit of prophecy says:

"The Lord God of heaven has chosen experienced men to bear responsibilities in His cause. These men are to have special influence." Ibid., vol. 9, p. 264.

"Those who occupy positions of trust in the work of God should ever bear in mind that these positions involve great responsibility." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 260.

Of businessmen in the church work it is said:

"Business managers are needed . . . who will correctly represent Jesus and the plan of salvation. ... To labor for God and for the salvation of souls is the highest and noblest calling that men ever had or ever can have. The losses and gains in this business are of great importance; for the results do not end with this life but reach over into eternity." Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 410, 411.

Now, to summarize these counsels, we dis cover that "the different lines of our work are but parts of one great whole. They have one center." Ibid., vol. 6, p. 235.

Each phase of the Lord's work is important as long as it strives for the salvation of souls. Each worker, in his corner, is an important link in the chain that connects this lost world to heaven.

"Let every man look well to his own work, making sure that it is complete, without spot or wrinkle to mar its perfection. Then leave it with God to say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.' Matthew 25:23." Ibid., vol. 8, p. 171.

 

 

 

 


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President, River Plate College, Argentina

September 1951

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