The Review and Herald

869/1902

February 23, 1897

Let Us Love One Another

EGW

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one 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. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.... And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” (See further 1 John 4:18-21.) RH February 23, 1897, par. 1

It is the expression of God's love for us that makes us care for one another. When the Lord Jesus dwells in our hearts, we think the thoughts of God, and do the works of God. How can I find language to express the deep, earnest interest I have for our people? I am filled with yearning of soul that those who have accepted present truth should realize that they are to be sanctified through the truth; otherwise they lie against the truth. God is the author and finisher of our faith. Notwithstanding our varying types of character, we are brought into church capacity through the profession of our faith. Christ is the head of the church; and if those whose names are on the church record do not belong to Jesus, the invisible Head, they are like the fruitless branch of the vine, and are taken away. If one is really a fruitful branch, he will make it manifest by bearing fruit, giving evidence of his absolute allegiance to Christ. He will have a spiritual connection with God. Faith and love constitute the gold of character, and will be ever working on the Lord's side to unite and harmonize the members of Christ's body. RH February 23, 1897, par. 2

Name, position, or wealth will not weigh one jot in the scale with God. Men and women are admitted to the church who do it no honor. But however poor, whatever the rank, tribe, or nationality, all are to be heartily received on their confession of faith, if you have evidence that the grace of God, which brings salvation, has wrought upon the heart. All who are sons or daughters of God will deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. All who take their position on the Lord's side will, as branches of the True Vine, receive nourishment, and will be stimulated by the vine to bear like fruit. They will be in co-operation with God, according to their ability exercising themselves unto godliness by walking in newness of life, which is daily repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. RH February 23, 1897, par. 3

This faith in Christ is demonstrated by works; it produces a transformation of character through the effectual working of God's Holy Spirit. Selfishness and pride, with all their force, will make a stand against anything that would show them to be sinful. But all who shall endure as seeing him who is invisible, will have to lie very low at the foot of the cross. Contrition of soul will mark the experience of every one who has received the grace of Christ. RH February 23, 1897, par. 4

Let us hear the testimony of God upon this subject: “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” This is precisely the condition of those who have not a vital connection with Christ. They seem to be ever working at cross-purposes with God, and are so full of jealousy, evil surmising, discord, and strife—Satanic attributes—that they are constantly lying against the truth; they are not doers of the words of Christ. Yet many church-members are in this very position. They dwell, as it were, in the salt land, in a parched wilderness. RH February 23, 1897, par. 5

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drouth, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” This is the evidence that souls are connected with God. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place.” Therefore we are to reverence the Lord God, and walk carefully and tremblingly before him. For our comfort and encouragement he adds that notwithstanding his high and holy position, he dwells “with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” In this wonderful statement from our Heavenly Father, all may learn what their character will be if they are indeed in vital connection with God. RH February 23, 1897, par. 6

Can one be a co-worker with God, and not work as God works? Will the poor, sinful agent take it upon himself to pronounce sentence against any one, however humble, with whom God dwells because he is cherishing the spirit of contrition? Do those who claim to be branches of the Living Vine bear fruit like unto the parent stock? Unless they fall upon the rock Christ Jesus, and are broken,—unless there is a thorough conversion of soul, body, and spirit,—they give evidence that they are not working in Christ's lines, and are not obedient to his commandments. Faith and love and trust in God are needed in the church. Jesus says: “If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” When they have plucked out the eye and cut off the hand,—surrendered the attributes which Satan has inspired,—then they will be tender and pitiful; for the love of Christ will constrain them. RH February 23, 1897, par. 7

Satan will seek earnestly to intercept every ray of light coming from the throne of God, and will place his own darkness for light. It is he who prompts the keen criticism, the Satanic accusing. But it is the love of Jesus cherished in the soul that will overcome every opposing force. It places the man wholly on the side of Christ; for it brings him into harmony with the principles of the law of God. O, what a change takes place! the boughs that receive nourishment from the root bear rich clusters of fruit. When one is thus united to Christ, how will he praise God that his eyes have been anointed with heavenly eye salve to discern his poverty, his nakedness! In humble faith he can declare: He has opened mine eyes, he has changed my heart. He has conquered the stubbornness of my will, and his grace has conformed me to his will, that I may become a fruit-bearing branch of the True Vine. He has brought me back to my allegiance, not only to be an advocate of the law, but a doer of its precepts. RH February 23, 1897, par. 8

O, let us all determine to crucify self and to imitate God! We are to express in our own lives the holiness of God, showing his forbearance, his tenderness, his compassion and love, and thus communicate his attributes. Then we shall no longer judge from the sight of the eye or the hearing of the ear. We shall bear in mind that we are yoked up with Christ, to draw with him, and to do the greatest possible amount of good. Our work may not be appreciated; we may be misjudged, falsified, and mistreated by those who claim to be Christians; but we are to look to Christ and follow him. Christians are to walk even as he walked. They are to have the mind of Christ, to possess that faith which works by love and purifies the soul. RH February 23, 1897, par. 9

He who is conformed to the image of Christ will possess his grace, and will help to strengthen every brother in the faith. No harsh or bitter words that discourage the soul will fall from his lips. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way.... Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” RH February 23, 1897, par. 10

Here is a work which you are authorized to have an earnest zeal to accomplish. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (See Isaiah 59:1, 2.) All who have a vital connection with God are guided by his counsel. United in church capacity, they give themselves to do Christ's work. If we will open the door to Jesus, he will come in and abide with us; our strength will always be reinforced by his actual representative, the Holy Spirit. RH February 23, 1897, par. 11

But whenever the church unites with it a man who is without earnestness and sanctified moral purpose, it has a hindrance that weakens moral power, and turns souls away from faith and love and trust in God. Whenever anything is encountered that is contrary to his mind, such a one will reveal his true spirit. In councils he does unlawful acts, pronounces unjust sentences; and through his influence, decisions are made that are entirely contrary to God's will and ways. Thus he proves himself disloyal to God. He has neglected to follow the rules which Christ has given, and he works according to the principles of the world. If others sit by and let these things pass, God charges the sin upon them also. It is a duty to keep our offices of publication pure, that there shall be no conniving to do injustice in business transactions. RH February 23, 1897, par. 12

He who loves God and his fellow men as he loves himself will practise no robbery toward God or man. All who live out the law of God will on all occasions maintain the strictest integrity. If men are in living communion with the only true God, they will have the presence of a living Saviour. Such men will be a blessing to the church. Christians who cherish love toward their brethren, and manifest confidence in them, greatly strengthen them. We are to be complete in him who gave his life for us. RH February 23, 1897, par. 13