The Youth’s Instructor


December 2, 1897

Love the Test of Discipleship

Part 1.


“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.” God has spoken: shall we obey his voice, and cultivate in the soul love for those for whom Christ has given his life? If we would work ill to those for whom Christ has paid the infinite price of his life, we have no fruit of sanctification in our character. If Christ is abiding in the heart, he will be revealed in the character; and in our deportment we shall confess an indwelling Saviour. Let those who claim to be followers of Christ compare their character with God's holy standard. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.... He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” YI December 2, 1897, par. 1

Only those have genuine sanctification who keep the commandments of God. They do not erect a standard of character for themselves; for they know that such a standard would fall short of God's requirement. They take the standard the Lord has given them, and through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, obey the law of God. Jesus has drawn a distinct line between the sanctified and the unsanctified. He says, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.” Every one must bear the test of the law of God; for God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Jesus says: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” YI December 2, 1897, par. 2

Let us take heed that while we confess Christ with our lips, we do not deny him in our actions, and thus lead souls in the way of rebellion. No man can truly confess Christ, unless the spirit of Christ is in him. A man cannot manifest meekness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, unless he possesses these qualities. If we have the mind of Christ, we shall have that love that “suffereth long, and is kind;” that “envieth not;” that “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil: rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” YI December 2, 1897, par. 3

Without love one for another we do not keep the commandments of God, and all our profession is mere pretension, and “as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Whatever is contrary to love, humility, and faith, denies Christ. Although the professor of religion may make professions of love for his brethren, still if love is not in his heart, he cannot diffuse it to those who are about him. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature;” he is “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” “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. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” YI December 2, 1897, par. 4

Mrs. E. G. White