The Signs of the Times


February 22, 1899

The Measure of God's Love


“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father; for My Father is greater than I.” “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.... 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.” ST February 22, 1899, par. 1

This is an expression of God's love for fallen man. By these words our Saviour places in our hands a line enabling us to sound something of the depths of His infinite love, and prove the sincerity of our love for Him. The finite mind can not comprehend this love in all its depth and magnitude. As we study the sufferings of Christ, the results of sin are so distressing to us that we cry out to the Lord to take away our sins. As we continue to look, we become more capable of enduring the sight of what Christ suffered, and we realize more and more clearly His love for us. The cross of Christ is invested with a wonderful attraction and unlimited power; for in the suffering connected with the crucifixion scene, God's love becomes to us more and more impressive. ST February 22, 1899, par. 2

Through disobedience to God's command Adam fell from his loyalty. Thus he opened the flood-gates of woe upon our world. His posterity perpetuated his sin, while they found fault with their first parents. The depth to which men fell justified the employment of great means to procure a ransom. God saw that man could never rescue and restore himself. Therefore He exercised His divine benevolence to the fullest extent to redeem those who had lost their connection with Him. He “so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God's love exceeds the love of an earthly father. It can be measured only by the power and strength of His character. Proportionate to His power was His infinite compassion for fallen men, and His desire to restore in them His image. The high and holy One, who inhabiteth eternity, travailed in the greatness of His power and in His immeasurable love to rescue fallen man. ST February 22, 1899, par. 3

Only by the gift of God's Son could the ransom of the human race be obtained. Without this sacrifice, all that remained for man was death in his sins. But by giving His life for the life of the world, Christ bridged the gulf that sin had made, joining this sin-cursed earth to the universe of heaven as a province. God chose this world to be the theater of His mighty work of grace. While the sentence of condemnation was suspended over it because of the rebellion of its inhabitants, while the clouds of wrath were accumulating because of transgression of God's law, a strange and mysterious voice was heard in heaven: “Lo, I come ... to do Thy will, O God.” “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared me.” ST February 22, 1899, par. 4

“The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old,” Christ says. “When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment; when He appointed the foundations of the earth; then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” But the only-begotten Son of God humbled Himself to come to this earth. He took the sinner's place; the guiltless suffered for the guilty. This was the hiding of His glory. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death.” ST February 22, 1899, par. 5

God accepted the death of His Son to save a rebellious race. But in this was there no sacrifice made by the Father? The Creator Himself, the Omnipotent God, suffered with His Son. Abraham was permitted to know something of the meaning of this great sacrifice. He is called the father of the faithful, because he carried out in heart purpose the fearful test, as fully as if he had by his own hand taken the life of his son. ST February 22, 1899, par. 6

Our Substitute and Surety came from heaven, declaring that He had brought with Him the vast and inestimable donation of eternal life. Pardon is offered to all who will return to their allegiance to the law of God. But Satan has called this world his territory. Here his seat is, and he holds in allegiance to himself all who refuse to keep God's commandments, who reject a plain. “Thus saith the Lord.” There are but two parties in this world. All rank either under the banner of the obedient or the banner of the disobedient. Those who have given their allegiance to Satan make rigorous human enactments, in opposition to God's commands, and by precept and example strive to lead their fellow-beings into sin. They exalt the laws of men above the divine law. Over them the condemnation of God is suspended. The clouds of His justice are gathering. The material of destruction has been piling up for ages; and apostasy, rebellion, and disloyalty are continually increasing. The remnant people of God will understand the word spoken by Daniel, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.’ ST February 22, 1899, par. 7

The Lord made the richest gift He could make in giving His only-begotten Son to the world. Why then are not more grace and power given to the church? Man by his own choice has severed himself from God. His mind and soul are so bound up in Satan's plans that he is palsied. He is incapable of appreciating, appropriating, or imparting the elements of divine life. A connection with the deceiver, who was so long in the heavenly courts, makes him ingenious to pervert the blessings given him, and to employ them as weapons against God. Therefore the Lord can not venture to bestow upon man the blessings that He otherwise would. ST February 22, 1899, par. 8

Jesus is now sending His message to a fallen world. He delights to take apparently hopeless material, those through whom Satan has worked, and make them the subjects of His grace. He rejoices to deliver them from the wrath that is to fall upon the disobedient. He has committed Himself to the work of our redemption. He resolved that He would spare nothing, however costly, withhold nothing, however dear, which would restore the moral image of God in man. And He holds in store gift upon gift, waiting for the proper channels through which He can communicate the treasures of eternal life. ST February 22, 1899, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White