Christ Works From Within
Men will never be truly temperate until the grace of Christ is an abiding principle in the heart. . . . Circumstances cannot work reform. Christianity proposes a reformation in the heart. What Christ works within, will be worked out under the dictation of a converted intellect. The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed, and always will fail.—Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 35.
Power of Self-Control Must be Regained
One of the most deplorable effects of the original apostasy was the loss of man’s power of self-control. Only as this power is regained, can there be real progress.
The body is the only medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here means the surrender to evil of the whole being. The tendencies of our physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death.
The body is to be brought into subjection. The higher powers of the being are to rule. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in our lives.—The Ministry of Healing, pages 129, 130.
Futility of Attempts to Stop by Degrees
Shall those who have had more opportunities and much precious light, who enjoy the advantages of education, make the plea that they cannot cut away from unhealthful practices? Why do not those who have excellent reasoning powers reason from cause to effect? Why do they not advocate reform by planting their feet firmly on principle, determined not to taste alcoholic drink or to use tobacco? These are poisons, and their use is a violation of God’s Law. Some say, when an effort is made to enlighten them on this point, I will leave off by degrees. But Satan laughs at all such decisions. He says, They are secure in my power. I have no fear of them on that ground.
But he knows that he has no power over the man who, when sinners entice him, has moral courage to say “No” squarely and positively. Such a one has dismissed the companionship of the devil, and as long as he holds to Jesus Christ, he is safe. He stands where heavenly angels can connect with him, giving him moral power to overcome.— Manuscript 86, 1897.
A Hard Battle, But God Will Help
Do you use tobacco or intoxicating liquor? Cast them from you; for they becloud your faculties. To give up the use of these things will mean a hard battle, but God will help you to fight this battle. Ask Him for grace to overcome, and then believe that He will give it to you, because He loves you. Do not allow worldly companions to draw you away from your allegiance to Christ. Rather let your mind be drawn from these companions to Christ. Tell them that you are seeking for heavenly treasure. You are not your own; you have been bought with a price, even the life of the Son of God, and you are to glorify God in your body and in your spirit, for they are His.— Letter 226, 1903. . . .
Conversion the Secret of Victory
The indulgence of unnatural appetite, whether for tea, coffee, tobacco, or liquor, is intemperance, and is at war with the laws of life and health. By using these forbidden articles a condition of things is created in the system which the Creator never designed. This indulgence in any of the members of the human family is sin. . . . Suffering, disease, and death are the sure penalty of indulgence.—Evangelism, page 266. . . .
Christ gave His life to purchase redemption for the sinner. The world’s Redeemer knew that indulgence of appetite was bringing physical debility and deadening the perceptive faculties so that sacred and eternal things could not be discerned. He knew that self-indulgence was perverting the moral powers, and that man’s great need was conversion,—in heart and mind and soul, from the life of self-indulgence to one of self-denial and self-sacrifice.—Medical Ministry, page 264. . . .
Victory Assured Through Christ’s Sinless Life
The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity, and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us “partakers of the divine nature,” and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.
The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the Word of God. By trusting in God’s promises, He received power to obey God’s commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. . . .—The Ministry of Healing, pages 179–182.
When men who have indulged in wrong habits and sinful practices yield to the power of divine truth, the application of that truth to the heart revives the moral powers, which had seemed to be paralyzed. The receiver possesses stronger, clearer understanding than before he riveted his soul to the eternal Rock. Even his physical health improves by the realization of his security in Christ. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is of itself health and strength.— Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, page 13.
Reprinted from Temperance, 102–108.