The Wine of Heaven

Quotations from the spirit of prophecy.

Charles O. Smith, Former Professor of Religion and Languages, Atlantic Union College

Miracles like that performed at Cana when Jesus first showed forth His heav­enly power, confirming the faith of His disci­ples, are being re-enacted by Him today. In godly Christian homes where loves rules, the faith of the children is likewise confirmed. Speaking of the influence of the devout mother as of infinite worth, the Spirit of prophecy tells us: "Her ministry of love makes the home a Bethel. Christ works with her, turning the common water of life into the wine of heaven." —Gospel Workers, p. 206. In such a home there is true courtesy.

The disparity between Christian courtesy and mere formal etiquette is great indeed. Under trial it becomes most evident. "Courtesy is one of the graces of the Spirit."—Ibid., p. 121. "Christianity will make a man a gentleman." —Ibid., p. 123. Love is the basis of true cour­tesy, and love is of God. "We love, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19 R.S.V.). It is not natural to love others as ourselves, but this God commands us to do. It is Christ's new commandment. It can be kept only as God, through the new covenant of grace, writes the law in our hearts. "The religion of Jesus softens what­ever is hard and rough in the temper, and smooths whatever is rugged and sharp in the manners. It makes the words gentle and the de­meanor winning."—Ibid., p. 122.

Though love is the gift of God, and courtesy one of the graces of the Spirit, the spirit of kindness does not grow of itself. Courtesy is rare and must be cultivated, even among ministers. "They need to cultivate that rare Christian courtesy which would render them kind and considerate toward the souls under their care." —Ibid., p. 382.

One reason for this lack of refinement is the barrier that some conscientious young aspirants to the ministry set up in their minds. They de­spise anything savoring of sham. They are "wearied by the superficial gloss that the world calls refinement."—/bid., p. 93. They would be, in all sincerity and with the best of intentions, their own natural selves. What a grave mistake they are in danger of making! "Not a few of those called to be co-laborers with the Master have failed to learn their trade. .. . They refuse to receive the polish and refinement that Christ desires His children to possess."—Ibid. This polishing and refining process is really one of the most important parts of their education. "It is a lamentable fact that the advancement of the cause is hindered by the dearth of educated laborers."—Ibid. "The most essential, enduring education is that which will develop the nobler qualities, which will encourage a spirit of uni­versal kindliness, leading the youth to think no evil of any one, lest they misjudge motives and misinterpret words and actions."—Ibid., p. 334. We all, older ones as well as youth, should heed this admonition: "Let us learn from Christ how to combine a high sense of purity and integrity with sunniness of disposition."—Ibid., p. 122.

It is true that "the gospel does not encourage the formal politeness current with the world, but the courtesy that springs from real kindness of heart."—Ibid., p. 123. "Genuine courtesy . . • alone is of value with God."—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 196. The fact that there is a coun­terfeit makes it all the more important that the genuine be emphasized. In the very first book written by the messenger of the Lord, our min­isters were warned against letting objectors draw from them harsh words: "Give the objec­tions their weight, then bring forth the light and the power of the truth, and let it outweigh and remove the errors. Thus a good impression will be made. . . . Those who profess to be servants of the living God . . . must possess a kind, courteous spirit."—Early Writings, p. 102.

Christ gave us a worthy example in dealing with sinners. "To such a one, discouraged, sick, tempted, fallen, Jesus would speak words of tenderest pity, words that were needed and could be understood. . . . Though He was a Jew, Jesus mingled freely with the Samaritans. . . . [I-le] treated them with the utmost kindness and courtesy. And while He drew their hearts to Him by the tie of human sympathy, His di­vine grace brought to them the salvation which the Jews rejected."—Gospel Workers, p. 47.

We as ministers of His Word could accom­plish much more if we had more of His spirit! "If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conver­sions to the truth where now there is only one. . . . Why do we not learn of the Saviour every day? Why do we not live in constant commun­ion with Him, so that in our connection with one another we can speak and act kindly and courteously?"—Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 189, 190.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

Charles O. Smith, Former Professor of Religion and Languages, Atlantic Union College

June 1958

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

The Qualifications of Leadership

God uses men to carry on His work on earth. Sacred history is replete with their leadership exploits. In every significant Biblical event there was a bold leader and a given task.

Men to Match My Mountains

In the emphasis on a work to be done throughout the big, wide world there is a risk that the church member and his unique contribution as an individual be overlooked.

With the World Field in a World Task

How the work of the seminary relates to the mission of the world field.

Seminary Extension School in Australia

For the first time an extension school of the Theological Seminary has been held in the Australasian Division.

Making the Sabbath Service Sacred

One of the paramount reasons for ancient Israel's departure from the way of the Lord was their constant inability to distinguish between the sacred and the common.

Nutrition Today

Answers to common questions about nutrition

The Art of Personal Evangelism

Evangelism in its broad aspects includes all efforts designed to bring man to a knowl­edge of, and fellowship with, God.

The Evangelistic Center

Soul winning is the supreme objective of the evangelistic center.

Successive Steps in Decisions

The shepherd should make it as easy and as natural as pos­sible for the sheep to enter the fold.

A Father-in-law Speaks Up

Jethro's advice to exhausted minister's.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)