The Signs of the Times


September 22, 1890

Love is the Fulfilling of the Law


“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” ST September 22, 1890, par. 1

To love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves is to keep the first four and the last six commandments. God has given to man a large field in which he may work; and in doing the work appointed him of God, man will not lift up himself, but will exalt Christ. He will cherish love for God, and love for his brethren, and for all men. Love will soon die out of the heart if it is left without cultivation; we can only keep divine love in the soul by doing the words of the Master. Are there not many claiming to keep the commandments who are living in transgression of the sacred precepts? We cannot keep the law of God unless we give to our Creator and Redeemer our undivided affection. It is impossible to keep the last six commandments unless we keep the first four. ST September 22, 1890, par. 2

John says: “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” “We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” ST September 22, 1890, par. 3

Are we obeying the words of Christ, or are we following the impulses of our own depraved hearts? Do we have a clear conscience that we are doing our whole duty to our God in the line of raising joyful thanksgiving and praise for his constant care and love? We must cultivate the precious traits of character that abound in Jesus in all their divine fullness. We must daily learn in the school of Christ, and practice the graces of his spirit, till our lives shall shed the divine fragrance of his life. We shall be representatives of Christ if we are thoughtful of others, ministering to their necessities. ST September 22, 1890, par. 4

When we come into close sympathy with Jesus, he will impart his love, and this will flow out in loving acts, in tender compassion to others. When we fail to love God supremely, we surely fail to love our neighbor as ourselves. When you love God with all your heart, might, mind, soul, and strength, you will be as a living stream in the desert to all around you. There will be no expressed doubts, no sowing of tares in your suggestions. You will not rest satisfied with a meager experience. You will say with Paul: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” ST September 22, 1890, par. 5

There is no standing still in the Christian life. The follower of Jesus sees ever before him higher things to be attained, and he will not be satisfied with a low standard. There is great danger in being satisfied, in not pressing forward for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Why is it that so many are content with a limited knowledge of Christ? Why do not all professed Christians strive earnestly for growth in knowledge and experience, that they may grow up into Christ, even to the full stature of men and women in him? It is painfully evident that many have ceased to advance heavenward. There is no growth in Christian character; they are but dwarfs in their religious life. When you see such persons, you long to open before them the value of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. You desire to inspire them with spiritual vigor that they may grow. You do what you can to open before them the privileges and opportunities of the gospel; you urge them to have faith and love and hope, and yet when you meet them in a year's time, you are pained to see the same listless spirit, the same stunted growth. They say the same things as before; there is no new idea in their testimonies, no fresh feature in their experience. ST September 22, 1890, par. 6

Again you set before them the prize of the high calling of God. They assent to all you say, declare that they are benefited, but the next year you meet them with sadness, for you see that they indeed can say, “I have not attained;” and yet they would not go further and say, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” It is evident that they are not convicted of sin, nor converted to God. They have not responded to the drawing power of Christ. Like Nicodemus, the Holy Spirit must move upon them, and they must be born again. The truth must be received into good and honest hearts, before light can shine forth to the world in clear, distinct rays. Every follower of Christ is required to let his light shine forth to the world. But when they fail to gather increased light from the Sun of Righteousness, how can they diffuse light to others? ST September 22, 1890, par. 7

Why cannot the followers of Christ understand that they are to be taught, disciplined, and trained—that they are to learn obedience by the things which they suffer? Why is it that we do not have more love for Jesus? more love for the truth? “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward.” ST September 22, 1890, par. 8

In the truth, Jesus is unfolded in all his matchless loveliness; but of what advantage will be our knowledge of truth, if it does not lead us to Jesus, if it does not increase our knowledge of him and our love for him? As soon as you surrender your whole heart to God, you will render self-denying, cheerful obedience. God requires that we shall be found in him, not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ. When, with grateful appreciation of his love, we open the door of our heart to Jesus, saying, “Come in,” the heavenly Guest is with us. When we love Jesus, we love all whom Jesus loves. ST September 22, 1890, par. 9