Have you been following my reviews of Ellen G. White’s Steps to Christ?
If yes, you don’t want to miss this penultimate review.
Now, we’ll be looking at chapters 9 and 10 of Steps to Christ. And you’ll find out what makes them even more powerful than the first eight.
The truth is: E. G. White was a Christian who believed in the Bible alone.
She was a female writer and author who focused on the Bible.
And she emphasized the need for every Christian to lean on Christ. As the only way to grow and succeed in a busy, distracted world.
Without wasting any more time, let’s dive into chapters 9 and 10 of Steps to Christ.
Chapter 9: The Work and the Life
In chapter 9 of Steps to Christ, Ellen G. White explains the value of sharing our faith with others.
As a Christian, you must shine your light on others. Especially since you’ve received Christ’s light.
One thing many of us forget is the need to live the Christian life in our daily lives.
We sometimes believe that our faith is tied to prayer meetings. And weekend church services.
But what matters is how we reach out to others at work, school, or play.
How often do you make people feel loved and happy to be alive?
Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has indeed got the entire world on the hot seat.
But is really nothing you can do to extend a hand of love? Of faith? Of hope?
Sometime last month, I asked the Lord to bless my family with a family in the neighborhood who we could reach out to.
My husband and I had been following the COCID-19 news. And we’d read reports of people contributing millions and billions to nations around the world.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that I could also give something to someone around my home.
And in a few hours, my prayer was answered.
We got in touch with a family who barely had food in their home. And had no way of buying any supplies.
Without leaving our home, we contacted one of the stores in the area. And made our order.
For me, that was our little way of reaching out to someone during the pandemic.
That was sharing my faith. Without traveling a thousand miles. And God blessed us for it. That same day!
Let’s look at what Ellen G. White says about ‘the Work and the Life’ in Steps to Christ.
Don’t Hide Your Light
“When the love of Christ is enshrined in the heart, like sweet fragrance it cannot be hidden.”
In chapter 9 of Steps to Christ, E.G. White uses the imagery of flowers and a spring to explain how the Christian life influences others. When you accept Christ, you’ll desire to uplift others.
You’ll be sympathetic to others. More than that, you’ll express empathy and love toward everyone God created.
No racial discrimination. No partiality.
Ellen White further describes the life of Christ as one of sacrifice and reaching out to others. “Self and self-interest had no part in His labor.”
You just can’t afford to live for yourself alone.
“No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart.”
When you’ve experienced the love and goodness of Christ, you’ll be eager to tell someone about it.
More than that, you’ll want to show them how they can experience the same light.
For instance, I train people who want to take the IELTS test. And in 2019, I had the most referrals.
How did this happen?
Two of the doctors I taught had taken the test four to five times before they met me.
But by God’s grace, I trained them successfully. They took the test. And they had their desired IELTS band score. Read their IELTS reviews here.
And that was the beginning of everything.
They kept on recommending me to other doctors. My cup got full and running over.
What’s my point?
In Ellen G. White’s words, “And the effort to bless others will react in blessings upon ourselves.”
When we bring hope to others, we’ll receive “the highest honor.”
Being a Christian is Being Selfless
Your name is your identity. And whether or not you like your name, you’re known for it. That’s what matters.
As a Christian, your identity is “selfless.” In Steps to Christ Ellen White calls this “unselfish ministry.”
Choosing to partner with God to broadcast salvation and hope is a big business. It takes going off the regular path. And standing apart from the crowd.
Back in his day, Jesus pulled a great crowd. Those who needed him.
But among those who saw him as a threat, he was a rival. An intruder. An outlaw.
But that didn’t make him any lower than who he was.
The same applies to you.
E.G. White says on page 82 of Steps to Christ, “If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in the divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness.”
And this means doing the work with all your heart. Selflessly.
Otherwise, you’ll lose your identity.
Imagine if you were just a Christian by name. Just a church-goer. No witnessing. No sharing your faith.
Just praying for your needs and those of your immediate family.
Would you grow?
In chapter 9 of Steps to Christ, Ellen White compares the Christian life to exercise. “Strength comes by exercise; activity is the very condition of life.”
As a copywriter, I get to write on several niches, but mainly education.
The point here is:
Passive Christians just eat for themselves. And gain so “much weight.”
Ellen G. White calls this, “degeneration and decay.”
Should You Travel a Thousand Miles to Share Your Faith?
In addition to the earlier point, Ellen White believes the Christian life depends on activity.
A more interesting description is what you’ll find on page 83:
“A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up in Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had.”
Now, you’re probably wondering:
No. You don’t have to leave your home or neighborhood.
Ellen White suggests, “We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ.”
She again adds, “We can do this in the home circle, in the church, among those with whom we associate, and with whom we do business.”
This is exactly why I’m taking advantage of my copywriting brand – to reach out to you.
She also quotes 1 Corinthians 7:24 to emphasize the point about spreading the word to those you associate with.
“The businessman may conduct his business in a way that will glorify his Master because of his fidelity. If he is a true follower of Christ he will carry his religion into everything that is done and reveal to men the spirit of Christ.”
“The mechanic may be a diligent and faithful representative of Him who toiled in the lowly walks of life among the hills of Galilee.”
Share Your Faith in Your Field
Irrespective of your profession or career, seize the day. Take the opportunity to share your faith. Don’t wait for a special moment.
“You are not to wait for great occasions or to expect extraordinary abilities before you go to work for God.”
“You need not have a thought of what the world will think of you.”
I know that feeling. Where you feel ‘what are they going to say? Won’t they avoid me?’
Let me share my truth with you.
I often believe people will cringe when I share my faith.
But what I’ve always found is: I gain more attention when I share my faith than when I share anything else.
I still marvel at how this happens.
But I know it must be God. Because he works in mysterious ways.
In closing chapter 9 of Steps to Christ, Ellen G. White says, “the humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others.”
You may not feel like you “are doing any special good.”
And you may never know “the blessed results” “until the day of final reward.”
Also, you may not “feel or know that” you are “doing anything great.”
Don’t even stress your head about whether that person will give their life to Christ eventually.
You only have to “go forward quietly”. And your “life will not be in vain.”
Chapter 10: A Knowledge of God
How did you come to know God?
Through nature? His Word? Someone’s testimony? A life-changing experience?
Or something else?
Ellen White tells us in Chapter 10 of Steps to Christ that the above are some of the ways God reveals himself to us.
“Nature speaks to our sense without ceasing.”
“The trees, the birds, the flowers of the valleys, the hills…were all linked with the words of truth, that His lessons might thus be often recalled to mind, even amid the busy cares of man’s life of toil.”
Sometime in April, I saw a video about how the pandemic has been a blessing to nature and animals.
Sea creatures are procreating peacefully. Various species of birds are equally coming out to sing their sweet tunes.
Even our busy city streets are becoming filled with wandering animals.
Despite how devastating the times are for human beings, some animals are finding their peace.
Ellen White supports this by saying, “No tears are shed that God does not notice. There is no smile that He does not mark.”
What this means in essence is that God knows everything about you. You are never alone.
And if you’ll accept this promise strongly, you’ll stop being anxious or fearful.
Yes, the world is at a crossroads now. But it’s not the end just yet. It isn’t.
So trust your life into God’s hands. Let the anxieties “be left in the hands of God.”
Ellen G. White says He “is not perplexed by the multiplicity of cares, or overwhelmed by their weight.”
The Present World and the World to Come
As you look around you and learn from nature, how do you think about the new heavens and new earth?
I’ve always tried to imagine the streets of gold and the walls of the New Jerusalem.
But I never get the best of my imagination. And it’s okay if you have the same experience.
On page 89 of Steps to Christ, Ellen White quotes 1 Corinthians 2:9 where Paul says, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
So it’s fine if you can’t picture the world to come. Hardly can we even imagine our earth well enough.
Ellen G. White goes a little further to compare poets, naturalists, and Christians.
While the first two can say specific things about seas, hills, and tress, only the Christian “enjoys the beauty of the earth with the highest appreciation, because he recognizes his Father’s handiwork and perceives His love in flower and shrub and tree.”
What’s the point?
Our imagination is limited. So nature can’t give us the full knowledge of God that we need.
What can we turn to?
You can Know God through the Holy Spirit
Another way through which we learn of God is the Holy Spirit.
E. G. White says in Steps to Christ we get to know more about God through “the influence of His Spirit upon the heart.”
This couldn’t be truer.
I’ve had times when I needed guidance to make certain decisions. And I heard certain ‘whispers’ telling me what to do.
It became really frequent. And I knew I was being guided because the results were paying off so well. As God would plan, I believed.
You may hear those whispers too. But you’ve probably not paid much attention to them.
Ellen White encourages us saying, “we may find lessons if our hearts are open to discern them.”
Which means that your hearts need to be open and eager. To know God through His Holy Spirit.
But the best of God comes through His Word. And that’s what I’ll be looking at in the next lines.
Know God Best through His Word
I’ve always believed that books are the best sources of information.
And the same thing applies to the knowledge of God.
Ellen White in chapter 10 of Steps to Christ says God’s word reveals “His character,” “His dealings with men, and the great work of redemption.”
More than this, we get to read the story of other Christians before us.
For instance, we learn about the story of Joseph, Paul, Saul, David, Solomon, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Ruth, Rahab, and Hadassah (Esther) among others.
When we read their stories of faith and change, we learn that they weren’t any different from us.
We struggle with addictions, poor health choices, and peer pressure in our day. Also, we deal with discouragement, pessimism, and temptations.
E. G. White says, “We see how they struggled through discouragements like our own, how they fell under temptation as we have done, and yet took heart again and conquered through the grace of God; and, beholding, we are encouraged in our striving after righteousness.”
Apart from these stories, we get to know more about Christ.
Jesus said of the Bible, “They are they which testify of Me.”
The entire Bible – Old and New testaments – are about Christ, she admits.
“If you would become acquainted with the Saviour, study the Holy Scriptures.”
She further uses Christ’s description of the Word – “the living water” and “the living bread.”
Think about the role that water and bread (food) play in our lives.
Without food and water, it’s impossible to stay alive. Maybe for a few days. But not forever.
In essence, “our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural economy, so in the spiritual economy: it is what we meditate upon that will give tone and strength to our spiritual nature.”
Scholars and Novices Can Know God
Having established the value of God’s Word, let’s talk about those who can learn from it.
There’s the misconception that only the educated can understand God’s Word.
How true is this?
Ellen White in Steps to Christ page 92 says, “The Bible was not written for the scholar alone; on the contrary, it was designed for the common people.”
So whether you have a Ph.D. or a mere diploma, God’s Word is for you.
Studying it will bring you closer to God and His truths.
Moreover, you don’t need to feel like you need to know so much before you can grasp God’s Word.
And you don’t need to depend on anyone to tell you. The Word is open for you.
In this regard, E. G. White states “We should not take the testimony of any man as to what the Scriptures teach, but should study the Words of God for ourselves.”
Why take someone’s words when you can find out the truth for yourself?
“If we allow others to do our thinking, we shall have crippled energies and contracted abilities.”
Besides, “The mind will enlarge if it is employed in tracing out the relation of the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture and spiritual things with spiritual.”
How Studying God’s Word Boosts Your Intellect
When I was a little girl, one of my uncles would say, “If you spend 1 hour reading God’s word, you’ll have a better understanding of your school textbooks even if you spend just 15 minutes with them.”
I always found that difficult to believe.
Because I couldn’t see the connection between my agriculture assignment and the stories of the Bible.
However, over time, I came to see it differently.
- Studying the Bible improves the intellect.
- Your reasoning is sharpened.
- And your mind can think in a broader light.
Ellen White supports this with this statement, “No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible.”
And she advises that you shouldn’t do a “hasty reading.”
Take your time. “Keep your Bible with you.”
Take advantage of any opportunity to learn a new verse and memorize it.
When you study, give “earnest attention” and be “prayerful.”
This doesn’t mean you still won’t struggle to understand some aspects of the Scriptures.
“Some portions of Scripture are indeed too plain to be misunderstood, but there are others whose meaning does not lie on the surface to be seen at a glance.”
Ellen G. White uses the illustration of a miner. A miner digs and digs the earth to find precious metals. If you’d get the hidden truths of God’s Word, dig deeper.
Such truths “are concealed from the view of the careless seeker.”
- “Never should the Bible be studied without prayer.”
- “Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance.”
- “The Spirit of truth is the only effectual teacher of divine truth.”
Don’t study alone. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you.
The Take Home
When I started typing this review, I had no idea it’ll be this long.
I had hoped to review the final five chapters.
But I soon realized that there was so much I needed to share with you.
So I decided to break it here. And take the final three chapters of Steps to Christ in another post.
How do you feel about learning your roles as a Christian?
In Ellen G. White’s words, “Put away all doubts; dismiss your fears.” (page 74)
On the same page, she adds, “If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him that has loved you.”
In all, chapters 9 and 10 of Steps to Christ are a call to duty.
Are you ready to love as Christ loved?
As the world struggles to recover from COVID-19, figure out a way you can play your part. As a Christian.
And rest in God. He’ll keep you!
Don’t forget to share this post. And look out for the final review of Steps to Christ.