“Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5.
Often the question arises, Why, then, are there so many, claiming to believe God’s word, in whom there is not seen a reformation in words, in spirit, and in character? Why are there so many who cannot bear opposition to their purposes and plans, who manifest an unholy temper, and whose words are harsh, overbearing, and passionate? There is seen in their lives the same love of self, the same selfish indulgence, the same temper, and hasty speech, that is seen in the life of the worldling. There is the same sensitive pride, the same yielding to natural inclination, the same perversity of character as if the truth were wholly unknown to them. The reason is that they are not converted. They have not hidden the leaven of truth in the heart. It has not had the opportunity to do its work. Their natural and cultivated tendencies to evil have not been submitted to its transforming power. Their lives reveal the absence of the grace of Christ, an unbelief in His power to transform the character. –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 99.
As long as individuals are content with a theory of truth, and are yet lacking in the daily operation of the Spirit of God upon the heart, which is manifested in the outward transformation of character, they are cutting themselves off from the qualification that would fit them for greater efficiency in the Master’s work. Those who are devoid of the Holy Spirit cannot be faithful watchmen upon the walls of Zion. –Selected Messages, book 2, p. 56.