Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 9, 1899

God’s Purpose for His People


February 8, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 21.

The love expressed by God in giving Jesus for the salvation of the human family is a subject that few can comprehend. This sacrifice shows us the value placed by God upon the human soul. The low, cheap estimate our brethren place upon each other is painful to my soul. I tried this morning to present the great responsibility resting upon us. As those who are dealing in sacred things, we should make prayer a necessity, and should daily exercise faith and receive forgiveness of sins. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 1

The necessity of the Holy Spirit working in the heart should be realized by all. Unless this Spirit is accepted and cherished as the representative of Christ, whose work it is to renew and sanctify the entire being, the momentous truths which have been entrusted to us will lose their power on mind and character. Many today are in this position. They refuse to enter into right relation with God, as doers of His Word. They do not see the necessity for this. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 2

Every teacher of the Scriptures is to be a doer of the Word, which, if obeyed, will make man wise unto salvation. Those who claim to know and teach the truth, yet who do not live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, cannot be laborers together with God. If they do not receive and follow the light, they walk away from the truth, and bring in the practices and opinions of self. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 3

O what a wonderful teacher Christ was! His lessons were uttered in the language of independent goodness, and if, by beholding, we become changed into His likeness, we shall see His face. He came to enlighten the world by His wisdom, by the shining of His righteousness. It is His desire to commit divine instruction to faithful stewards who will both teach and practice, who will live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Holy purposes make the truth a power which will sanctify the receiver. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 4

Christ declares, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] Again Christ declares, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 5

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call ye not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.” [John 15:9-17.] 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 6

This love goes beyond the expression of the commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” [Leviticus 19:18.] Here men are required to love one another as Christ has loved them. The disciples did not then comprehend the significance of these words. They knew not the high, unselfish character of heavenly love. But after Christ had, by His death on the cross, demonstrated His love for them, they understood His word. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 7

This heaven-born love is not selfish and changeable. It is not a love dependent on human praise. The heart of him who drinks the blood of the Son of God, overflows with a holy love for God and for those for whom Christ died. He does not love his fellow creatures because they love and please him, because they appreciate his merit and rightly estimate his value, but because they are Christ’s purchased heritage. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 8

The want of genuine faith and love is the lack of the church today. Our Christian experience is imperfect because we do not love as Christ has loved us. If we are filled with admiration for self, if we measure others by ourselves, how can we understand the Scriptures? What comprehension can we have of that faith which works by love and purifies the soul? 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 9

What fullness is expressed in the words, “I am the light of the world.” “I am the Bread of Life.” “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” “I am the Good Shepherd.” “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” [John 8:12; 6:35; 14:16; 10:11, 10.] This life is what we must have, and we must have it more abundantly. God will breathe this life into every soul that dies to self and lives to Christ. But entire self-renunciation is required. Unless this takes place, we carry with us the evil that destroys our happiness. But when self is crucified, Christ lives in us, and the power of the Spirit attends our efforts. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 10

I wish we could be what God would have us—all light in the Lord. We need to reach a higher standard, but we can never do this until self is laid on the altar, until we let the Holy Spirit control us, molding and fashioning us according to the divine similitude. Truth must be taken into the life; then our words will testify that Christ’s spirit is working through us. God lives and reigns in us, and we bear witness to the truth. Draw nigh to God. Learn from the Great Teacher. Surrender all to God. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 11

We must daily consecrate ourselves to God’s service. We must come to God in faith. If we have accumulated suppositions and imaginary difficulties, which keep us from a perfect union with our brethren, let us at once begin to remove the obstacles. We need to humble ourselves before God. It is self that we have first to do with. Criticize the heart closely. Search it to see what hinders the free access of God’s Spirit. We must receive the Holy Ghost. Then we shall have power to prevail with God. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 12

A mere assent to truth is not enough. Daily we must live the truth. We must shut ourselves in with God, surrendering all to Him. To listen to the great and grand truths of the Word is not enough. We must ask ourselves the question, Does Christ dwell in my heart by faith? He alone can show us our necessity and reveal the dignity and glory of the truth. At the altar of self-sacrifice—the appointed place of meeting between God and the soul—we receive from the hand of God the celestial torch which searches the heart, revealing its great need of an abiding Christ. 14LtMs, Ms 9, 1899, par. 13