The Review and Herald

1781/1902

January 16, 1913

Unselfish Service the Law of Heaven

EGW

Love, the basis of creation and of redemption, is the basis of true education. This is made plain in the law that God has given as the guide of life. The first and great commandment is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Mark 12:30, 31. To love him, the infinite, the omniscient one, with the whole strength and mind and heart, means the highest development of every power. It means that in the whole being—the body, the mind, as well as the soul—the image of God is to be restored. RH January 16, 1913, par. 1

Like the first is the second commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The law of love calls for the devotion of body, mind, and soul to the service of God and our fellow men. And this service, while making us a blessing to others, brings the greatest blessing to ourselves. Unselfishness underlies all true development. Through unselfish service we receive the highest culture of every faculty. RH January 16, 1913, par. 2

Lucifer in heaven desired to be first in power and authority; he wanted to be God, to have the rulership of heaven; and to this end he won many of the angels to his side. When with his rebel host he was cast out from the courts of God, the work of rebellion and self-seeking was continued on earth. Through the temptation to self-indulgence and ambition, Satan accomplished the fall of our first parents; and from that time to the present the gratification of human ambition and the indulgence of selfish hopes and desires have proved the ruin of mankind. RH January 16, 1913, par. 3

Under God, Adam was to stand at the head of the earthly family, to maintain the principles of the heavenly family. This would have brought peace and happiness. But the law that none “liveth to himself” Satan was determined to oppose. He desired to live for self. He sought to make himself a center of influence. It was this that had incited rebellion in heaven, and it was man's acceptance of this principle that brought sin on earth. When Adam sinned, man broke away from the heaven-ordained center. A demon became the central power in the world. Where God's throne should have been, Satan placed his throne. The world laid its homage, as a willing offering, at the feet of the enemy. RH January 16, 1913, par. 4

The transgression of God's law brought woe and death in its train. Through disobedience man's powers were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love. His nature became so weakened that it was impossible for him to resist the power of evil; and the tempter saw being fulfilled his purpose to thwart the divine plan of man's creation, and fill the earth with misery and desolation. Men had chosen a ruler who chained them to his car as captives. RH January 16, 1913, par. 5

The Remedy

Looking upon man, God saw his desperate rebellion, and he devised a remedy. Christ was his gift to the world for man's reconcilement. The Son of God was appointed to come to this earth to take humanity, and by his own example be a great educating power among men. His experience in man's behalf was to enable men to resist Satan's power. He came to mold character and to give mental power, to shed abroad the beams of true education, that the true aim of life might not be lost sight of. The sons of men had had a practical knowledge of evil; Christ came to the world to show them that he had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations. RH January 16, 1913, par. 6

Christ's life on earth teaches that to obtain the higher education does not mean to gain popularity, to secure worldly advantage, to have all the temporal wants abundantly supplied, and to be honored by the titled and wealthy of earth. The Prince of life left the heavenly courts, laid off his royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed his divinity with humanity. He suffered the inconveniences of poverty, that he might discern the needs of the poor,—he who by his divine power could supply the needs of a hungry multitude. Not to wear the gorgeous robes of the high priest, not to possess the riches of the Gentiles, did he come to this earth, but to minister to the suffering and the needy. His life rebukes all self-seeking. As he went about doing good, he made plain the character of God's law and the nature of his service. RH January 16, 1913, par. 7

Christ might have opened to men the deepest truths of science. He might have unlocked mysteries that have required many centuries of toil and study to penetrate. He might have made suggestions in scientific lines that till the close of time would have afforded food for thought and stimulus for invention. But he did not do this. He said nothing to gratify curiosity or to stimulate selfish ambition. He did not deal in abstract theories, but in that which is essential to the development of character, that which will enlarge man's capacity for knowing God, and increase his power to do good. RH January 16, 1913, par. 8

Instead of directing the people to study men's theories about God, his word, or his works, Christ taught them to behold him as manifested in his works, in his word, and by his providences. He brought their minds in contact with the mind of the Infinite. He unfolded principles that struck at the root of selfishness. RH January 16, 1913, par. 9

Those who are ignorant of education as it was taught and exemplified in the life of Christ are ignorant of what constitutes the higher education. His life of humiliation and death of shame paid the redemption price for every soul. He gave himself for the uplifting of the fallen and the sinful. Can we imagine an education higher than that to be gained in cooperation with him? RH January 16, 1913, par. 10

To every one Christ gives the command, Go work today in my vineyard for the glory of my name. Represent before a world laden with corruption the blessedness of true education. The weary, the heavy-laden, the broken-hearted, the perplexed—point them to Christ, the source of all strength, all life, all hope. To teachers the word is spoken, Be faithful minutemen. Seek for the higher education, for entire conformity to the will of God. You will surely reap the reward that comes from its reception. As you place yourselves where you can be recipients of the blessing of God, the name of the Lord will be magnified through you. RH January 16, 1913, par. 11

Not lip-service, not profession, but a humble, devoted life, is that for which God is seeking. Teachers and students are to know by experience what it means to live consecrated lives, which reveal the sacred principles that are the basis of Christian character. Those who give themselves to learn the way and will of God are receiving the highest education that it is possible for mortals to receive. They are building their experience not on the sophistries of the world, but upon principles that are eternal. RH January 16, 1913, par. 12

It is the privilege of every student to take the life and teachings of Christ as his daily study. Christian education means the acceptance, in sentiment and principle, of the teachings of the Saviour. It includes a daily, conscientious walking in the footsteps of Christ, who consented to come to the world in the form of humanity that he might give to the human race a power that they could gain by no other means. What was that power?—The power to take the teachings of Christ and follow them to the letter. In his resistance of evil and his labor for others, Christ gave to men an example of the highest education. RH January 16, 1913, par. 13

He revealed God to his disciples in a way that wrought in their hearts a special work, such as he has long been urging us to allow him to do in our hearts. There are many who in dwelling so largely on theory have lost sight of the living power of the Saviour's example. They have lost sight of him as the self-denying, humble worker. What they need is to behold Jesus. Daily they need the fresh revealing of his presence. They need to follow more closely his example of self-renunciation and sacrifice. RH January 16, 1913, par. 14

We need the experience that Paul had when he wrote: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. RH January 16, 1913, par. 15

The kingdom of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is the very highest education. It is the key that opens the portals of the heavenly city. This knowledge it is God's purpose that all who put on Christ shall possess. RH January 16, 1913, par. 16