The Signs of the Times



January 13, 1909

“Herein Is Love”


Christ was not only an expression of the Father's love, but a channel to convey the love of God to men. Christ loved us, and gave Himself for us. He gave His life that He might bring salvation to perishing sinners. Man could not satisfy the claims of justice; no human hand could apply the atoning blood and cleanse the heart from sin. Christ alone, by clothing His divinity with humanity, could reach mankind and bring it near to God. ST January 13, 1909, par. 1

And “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In the compassionate life of Christ we behold the character of the Father. “He that hath seen Me,” Christ declares, “hath seen the Father.” ST January 13, 1909, par. 2

God does not love us because Christ died for us, but it was because He loved us that He gave Christ as a ransom for our sins. Satan has represented God as selfish and oppressive, as claiming all, and giving nothing, as requiring the service of His creatures for His own glory, and making no sacrifice for their good. But the gift of Christ reveals the Father's heart. It testifies that the thoughts of God toward us are “thoughts of peace, and not of evil.” It declares that while God's hatred of sin is strong as death, His love for the sinner is stronger than death. Having undertaken our redemption, He will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work. ST January 13, 1909, par. 3

No truth essential to our salvation is withheld, no miracle of mercy is neglected, no divine agency is left unemployed. Favor is heaped upon favor, gift upon gift. The whole treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save. Having collected the riches of the universe, and laid open the resources of infinite power, He gives them all into the hands of Christ, and says, All these are for man. Use these gifts to convince him that there is no love greater than Mine in earth or heaven. His greatest happiness will be found in loving Me. ST January 13, 1909, par. 4

When Christ came to the time of His great trial, His thoughts were not for Himself, but for the disciples whom He was to leave in the world to meet its trials and conflicts. “Little children,” He said to them, “yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go ye can not come: so now I say to you. 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 for another.” ST January 13, 1909, par. 5

The Demonstration of His Love

“As I have loved you,” the Saviour said. The fulness of that love was yet to be more fully demonstrated in His sufferings and cruel death at the hands of men who hated Him because His piety and grace revealed their own great lack. To the disciples this commandment was new; for they had not loved one another as Christ had loved them. He saw that new ideas and impulses must control them; that new principles must be practised by them; through His life and death they were to receive a new conception of love. The command to love one another had a new meaning in the light of His self-sacrifice. The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. During every hour of Christ's sojourn upon the earth, the love of God was flowing from Him in irrepressible streams. All who are imbued with His Spirit will love as He loved. The very principle that actuated Christ will actuate them in all their dealings one with another. ST January 13, 1909, par. 6

This love is the evidence of their discipleship. “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples,” said Jesus, “if ye have love one to another.” When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the human heart. ST January 13, 1909, par. 7

Love Begets Love

God and Christ alone know what the souls of men have cost. For our sakes the Son of God became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich with eternal riches. His love has bought for us immeasurable grace. “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,” that we “with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,” may be “changed into the same image, from glory to glory.” ST January 13, 1909, par. 8

It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We can not come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us. We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good. ST January 13, 1909, par. 9

Tho now He has ascended to the presence of God, and shares the throne of the universe, Jesus has lost none of His compassionate nature. Today the same tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the woes of humanity. Today the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. “And they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world. The Saviour would have passed through the agony of Calvary, that one might be saved in His kingdom. He will never abandon one for whom He has died. Unless His followers choose to leave Him, He will hold them fast. ST January 13, 1909, par. 10

Because we are the gift of His Father, and the reward of His work, Jesus loves us. He loves us as His children. Reader, He loves you. Heaven itself can bestow nothing greater, nothing better. Therefore trust. ST January 13, 1909, par. 11