The Review and Herald

441/1902

June 5, 1888

Love One Another

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.” These words are not the words of man, but the words of our Redeemer; and how important it is that we fulfill the instruction that he has given! There is nothing that can so weaken the influence of the church, as the lack of love. Christ says, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” If we are to meet opposition from our enemies, who are represented as wolves, let us be careful that we do not manifest the same spirit among ourselves. The enemy well knows that if we do not have love one for another, he can gain his object, and wound and weaken the church, by causing differences among brethren. He can lead them to surmise evil, to speak evil, to accuse, condemn, and hate one another. In this way the cause of God is brought into dishonor, the name of Christ is reproached, and untold harm is done to the souls of men. RH June 5, 1888, par. 1

How careful we should be, that our words and actions are all in harmony with the sacred truth that God has committed to us! The people of the world are looking to us, to see what our faith is doing for our characters and lives. They are watching to see if it is having a sanctifying effect on our hearts, if we are becoming changed into the likeness of Christ. They are ready to discover every defect in our lives, every inconsistency in our actions. Let us give them no occasion to reproach our faith. RH June 5, 1888, par. 2

It is not the opposition of the world that will most endanger us; it is the evil cherished right in our midst that works our most grievous disaster. It is the unconsecrated lives of half-hearted professors that retard the work of the truth, and bring darkness upon the church of God. RH June 5, 1888, par. 3

There is no surer way of weakening ourselves in spiritual things, than to be envious, suspicious of one another, full of fault-finding and evil surmising. “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” RH June 5, 1888, par. 4

God would have us individually come into that position where he can bestow his love upon us. He has placed a high value upon man, and has redeemed us by the sacrifice of his only begotten Son, and we are to see in our fellow-man the purchase of the blood of Christ. If we have this love one for another, we shall be growing in love for God and the truth. We have been pained at heart to see how little love is cherished in our midst. Love is a plant of heavenly origin, and if we would have it flourish in our hearts, we must cultivate it daily. Mildness, gentleness, long suffering, not being easily provoked, bearing all things, enduring all things,—these are the fruits upon the precious tree of love. RH June 5, 1888, par. 5

When you are associated together, be guarded in your words. Let your conversation be of such a nature that you will have no need of repentance. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” If the love of the truth is in your heart, you will talk of the truth. You will talk of the blessed hope that you have in Jesus. If you have love in your heart, you will seek to establish and build up your brother in the most holy faith. If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of your friend or brother, do not encourage this evil-speaking. It is the work of the enemy. Kindly remind the speaker that the word of God forbids that kind of conversation. We are to empty the heart of everything that defiles the soul temple, that Christ may dwell within. Our Redeemer has told us how we may reveal him to the world. If we cherish his Spirit, if we manifest his love to others, if we guard one another's interests, if we are kind, patient, forbearing, the world will have an evidence by the fruits we bear, that we are the children of God. It is the unity in the church that enables it to exert a conscious influence upon unbelievers and worldlings. RH June 5, 1888, par. 6

The church of Christ is spoken of as a holy temple. Says the apostle, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.” All the followers of Christ are represented as stones in the temple of God. Every stone, large or small, must be a living stone, emitting light and fitting into the place assigned it in the building of God. How thankful we should be that a way has been opened whereby we may each have a place in the spiritual temple! Will you, my brethren and sisters, think of these things, study them, talk of them? It is just in proportion as we appreciate these things that we will become strong in the service of God, and so be enabled to comply with his requirements, and to be doers of the words of Christ. RH June 5, 1888, par. 7

God does not want us to place ourselves upon the judgment-seat, and judge each other. But how frequently this is done! Oh! how careful we should be lest we judge our brother. We are assured that as we judge, we shall be judged; that as we mete to others, it shall be measured to us again. Christ has said: “I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” In view of this, let your words be of such a character that they will meet the approval of God. When we see errors in others, let us remember that we have faults graver, perhaps, in the sight of God, than the fault we condemn in our brother. Instead of publishing his defects, ask God to bless him, and to help him to overcome his error. Christ will approve of this spirit and action, and will open the way for you to speak a word of wisdom that will impart strength and help to him who is weak in the faith. RH June 5, 1888, par. 8

The work of building one another up in the most holy faith is a blessed work; but the work of tearing down is a work full of bitterness and sorrow. Christ identifies himself with his suffering children; for he says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” If all would carry out the instruction given by Christ, what love and unity would exist among his followers! Every heart has its own sorrows and disappointments, and we should seek to lighten one another's burdens by manifesting the love of Jesus to those around us. If our conversation were upon heaven and heavenly things, evil-speaking would soon cease to have any attraction for us. We would not then be placing our feet on the enemy's dangerous ground. We would not then be entering into temptation, or falling under the power of the evil one. RH June 5, 1888, par. 9

Instead of finding fault with others, let us be critical with ourselves. The question with each one of us should be, Is my heart right before God? Will this course of action glorify my Father which is in heaven? If you have cherished a wrong spirit, let it be banished from the soul. It is your duty to eradicate from your heart everything that is of a defiling nature; every root of bitterness should be plucked up, lest others be contaminated by its baleful influence. Do not allow one poisonous plant to remain in the soil of your heart. Root it out this very hour, and plant in its stead the plant of love. Let Jesus be enshrined in the soul. RH June 5, 1888, par. 10

Christ is our example. He went about doing good. He lived to bless others. Love beautified and ennobled all his actions, and we are commanded to follow in his steps. Let us remember that God sent his only begotten Son to this world of sorrow, to “redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Let us seek to comply with the requirement of God, and fulfill his law. “Love is the fulfilling of the law,” and He who died that we might live, has given us this commandment, that we should love one another as he has loved us; and the world will know that we are his disciples, if we have this love one for another. RH June 5, 1888, par. 11