The Review and Herald

1274/1902

July 21, 1903

The Sign of Discipleship

EGW

“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.” RH July 21, 1903, par. 1

“As I have loved you.” The crowning act in the sacrifice of love was yet to come. Soon, in the scenes of the Saviour's betrayal, trial, and crucifixion the disciples were to see the measure of his love. They were to see him hanging on the cross in dying agony, bearing the sins of the world. In this, and in his resurrection and ascension, they were to see a love so broad and deep that all doubt as to the meaning of the new commandment would be swept away. The knowledge of the Saviour's matchless love for them was to bind them heart to heart, preparing the way for the Lord to anoint them with his Spirit. United by this love, they were to go forth to witness with convincing power to the divinity of their Leader. And their Christlike love for one another was to be the sign of their discipleship. RH July 21, 1903, par. 2

How much of this love have we shown for one another? Might we not better begin without delay to love one another as Christ has loved us? Would we not then be a power for good in the world? “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” RH July 21, 1903, par. 3

“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. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” RH July 21, 1903, par. 4

Weakening the Influence of Truth

I wish to speak of some things that have been represented to me as taking place in assemblies of God's people. Some have taken offense at things entirely unworthy of notice, and have dishonored God by giving way to the feelings of the unsubdued heart. They have misinterpreted the truth, and weakened its influence. They have strengthened Satan's kingdom; for church-members who speak words that stir up strife are doing Satan's work much more effectively than his own subjects. RH July 21, 1903, par. 5

O my brethren, why are you so easily irritated? Why do you so readily separate from one another? Do you realize that your hasty words are written in the books of heaven, to receive the same punishment as the words of the profane man? The same spirit that led him to swear led you to speak words that stirred up strife in the assembly of God's people. Remember that by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned. RH July 21, 1903, par. 6

O that those who are proclaiming the most solemn message ever given to the world would realize how greatly their influence is weakened when they are suspicious of their brethren, when they allow angry words to pass their lips! The displeasure of God rests upon every one who speaks harsh, unkind words. Nothing so dishonors the Lord Jesus as a readiness on the part of church-members to take offense when something occurs to displease them. The conversion of unbelievers depends on the distinctness with which Christ is revealed in the lives of believers. When our hearts are filled with love and compassion, when our conduct toward one another is marked by Christlike tenderness and courtesy, then our words will have power to convict souls. RH July 21, 1903, par. 7

“That They All May Be One”

The Holy Spirit is to rest upon God's children. This is the Lord's will and plan. But this can never be until they seek for unity, forgetting self in the desire to extend his kingdom. The Saviour's prayer for his followers is, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. RH July 21, 1903, par. 8

“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” RH July 21, 1903, par. 9

It is the unity of Christ's followers that convinces the world that God has indeed sent his Son to die for sinners, to make them partakers of his perfection, changing the sinful heart, and forming the character after the divine likeness. Christ declares, “There shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” He came to our world to live the life that was to be the pattern for all his children. He came to reveal the love that was to bind them heart to heart. And he made unity the badge of their discipleship. RH July 21, 1903, par. 10

Our Trust

God's people are to be united in the accomplishment of one great work. They are to make a combined effort of consecration. By a tender, respectful regard for one another, they are to cherish the influence that works for the recovery of sinners. As good soldiers of the cross they are to strive to win sinners to loyalty. Righteous principles gain more and more power over the life as their influence is allowed to soften and subdue the natural, untamed disposition. This is the mystery of godliness. RH July 21, 1903, par. 11

We are living in the testing time. God is proving his people, to see who are worthy of admittance into his family. He desires his followers to carry out the instruction contained in the seventeenth chapter of John. The practice of this instruction is to begin in the home. God measures church-members by what they are in the home. When Christ's words are obeyed in the home, the influence extends to the church. Grieve not the Spirit of God from your home by an unchristlike course of action. Work the works of Christ in the home. Then your lamp, burning brightly and clearly, will give light to those in darkness. Have you accepted your trust? Does your light so shine before men that they, seeing your good works, glorify your Heavenly Father? RH July 21, 1903, par. 12

Parents should make the Word of God their study. Their first work should be to interest their children in the holy, uplifting truths of this Word. Then in turn the children will become instruments in the Lord's hands for interesting and instructing others. Thus the truth works with power to win souls to Christ. RH July 21, 1903, par. 13

Enlarging God's Kingdom

Those who accept the truth are pledged by their baptismal vows to live the truth before the world. As soon as men and women come to a knowledge of the truth, they are to use their powers in shedding abroad the light of the glorious gospel of Christ. God wants his people to be light-bearers. As Christians multiply their talents by use, the church becomes the light of the world. RH July 21, 1903, par. 14

A living church is a working church. It is the do-nothing position of those who profess to be converted that robs the church of its vitality. Souls are to be saved, and those who claim to know the truth, yet who do not make any effort to win sinners to Christ, will sooner or later be revealed as spiritual dwarfs. God calls for workers who will unite their varied gifts in laboring for him. His people must show missionary courtesy, missionary hospitality, missionary zeal. He has grace for every worker. RH July 21, 1903, par. 15

God's servants are to make use of every resource for enlarging his kingdom. The apostle Paul, a faithful steward of the grace of God, declares that it is “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth,” that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.” And James says, “Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” Every member of the church is pledged to unite with his brethren in giving the invitation, “Come; for all things are now ready.” Each is to encourage the other in doing a whole-souled work. Earnest invitations will come from a living church. Thirsty souls will be led to the water of life. RH July 21, 1903, par. 16