Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 17, 1893

Sermon/The Law and the Love of God. Pavilion, 8:00 p.m.

Napier, New Zealand

March 26, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in CG 208; 1MCP 26; TMK 108; 5BC 1083; 6BC 1105; 7BC 922; 3MR 424. +Note

Luke 10:21-25. [This is] the most important question ever presented to human minds; from the youngest to the oldest we want to know this. What does Jesus say? He lets him answer himself. Vs. 26. Love God with one quarter of [the] heart and [the] rest given to [the] world? No. Verses 27, 28. Live and have life that runs parallel with [the] life of Jehovah. Vs. 29. He presents man, wounded and bruised, as his neighbor. Verses 30, 31, 32. These are men in responsible positions, [but with] no pity. Verses 33, 34, 35. What does it mean to love God with all the heart, and thy neighbor as thyself? The two great arms—love to God, and love to our neighbor. To hold God supremely. And [the] last six commandments, love to our fellow man. Thank God that the first four commandments are not put after [the] last six, because when we love God supremely we have the mind of Christ. John 3:16. Here is [the] love of God to man, and love of man for God. There is not one of you that loves God unless you love your neighbor. Why? Because he is the purchase of the blood of Christ. There is love for sinners. We would not any more enclose ourselves in four walls, and shut ourselves away from the suffering. It takes more than four walls to make us happy. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 1

Just as soon as the mother loves Jesus, she wants to train her children for Him. You can train the disposition <of children> much more than you think you can <from their earliest years.> That precious name of Jesus should be a household word. Parents will not, <under any circumstances, if they are led and taught of God,> plan to complain and differ, they will <sense their responsibility that> they are teachers. They have no right to neglect <this> their God-given responsibility. They are to know that God has a law, to be respected and obeyed in the home life as verily as in church capacity. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 2

We do not claim we can, as Christians, pass those things by and cry peace to the disobedient. God’s law is no less binding now than when Adam and Eve were on trial in the garden of Eden; and we are more responsible than Adam and Eve, because we have the record of their history [as they passed] over the ground. We see them in happiness and obedience; we see them in their life of disobedience. Eve believed the words of the tempter and not of God. The enemy began to bear false witness against God and in regard to evil. That tree, he declared, to be good; it would make them wise. Just as though God [of] heaven would keep from them what was for their good. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 3

God gave them fruit of every description; but He wanted them to know that He was the proprietor. When they partook, they disobeyed the word of God, and became transgressors, and when God came to visit them in the garden, Him whom they used to welcome when they saw Him approach, they hid from His face. When God said, “Adam where art thou?” and after Adam replies, He tells him, You have been eating of the tree of knowledge. [Genesis 3:9-11.] Did God leave him then? No. No, God gave them a star of hope to illuminate the dark future. And the first gospel sermon was preached by God Himself. Genesis 3:15. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 4

Satan cannot touch the mind or intellect unless we yield it to him. John 3:16. Excuse sins as though we had no power to overcome them? How readily would God have given Adam and Eve power, if they had gone to Him. We may say how weak they were, but we have their example, and it is repeated over and over again. And what is required to save man? To abolish the law of God? No. Not one jot or tittle of the law of God has been changed. If the law could have been changed, then Jesus need not have died. God’s law was immutable, and changeless as His throne. He would not leave men free to continue in transgression. Because man was lost he must be ransomed with a price. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 5

The incarnate Son of God, laid aside His royal robe, that humanity might touch humanity, and that divinity might lay hold upon divinity. When [Jesus was] a babe in Bethlehem, Satan was upon His track. Christ came because Satan had things as he pleased. Jesus came into our world to throw it back into favor with God. The transgression of Adam and Eve separated our world from the continent of heaven. Jesus Christ throws back the world into favor with God. He stood between the sinner and God, and the Father comes with a holy retinue of angels and accepts the sacrifice. He looks upon the cross of Calvary. O that cross—what does it mean? [The] law of God has been transgressed, and [the] sinner [is] in trouble with the Father. The apostle Paul taught, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Acts 20:21.] There are no moral qualities in law to save. Christ came to leave us an example, and has given us probation. Trial took place with the second head, second Adam. Everything was pending on the part of Jesus Christ. He received baptism from John. And He offered His prayer to heaven notwithstanding the hellish shadow that Satan cast. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 6

Christ’s prayer cleaves through the hellish shadow of Satan and enters heaven. And from the Father comes the representation of a dove of burnished gold, which is the Holy Spirit of God, and settles and enshrouds Christ, and they hear the voice saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:16, 17.] You read this over and over again in a careless manner; but it means everything to you and me. God has accepted Him as our representative and head. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 7

Then Satan leads Him into the wilderness. After His long fast Satan tempts Him and said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” “But he answered and said, It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:3, 4.] Satan failed there. Why do we not use “It is written”? Why do we not preach Jesus Christ instead of lauding some great man? See Matthew 4:5, 6. Why did he not repeat, “To keep thee in all thy ways”? [Psalm 91:11.] Christ was to work no miracle in His own behalf. His work was to relieve the suffering; why humanity came here to touch humanity. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 8

God shows us that when it is necessary, He will work in our behalf. Christ passed over the ground where Adam fell. Satan had to carry Christ back. Jesus would not place Himself in peril to please the devil. But how many today can stand a dare? When God says not to do a thing, you had better not do it. Ambition is taking [the] world captive. We read in the papers of robbery, and almost every conceivable crime because of ambition to excel. Matthew 4:8, 9. Divinity flashed through humanity, and Jesus says to Satan, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” [Verse 10.] Just so it will be with us. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 9

I have tested, and I know whereof I speak. For eleven months I could not sleep nights. I prayed to be relieved. Relief did not come but I had light in the Lord by night and by day. I know wherein my strength lies. I thought of Christ a great deal in this time. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” [Verse 10.] Do we do it? Where is the line between the loyal and true, and the disloyal and untrue? We cannot afford to heed the assertions of men as did the Jews. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 10

The commandments of God are no less binding today than when [Adam and Eve were] placed in the garden of Eden. Christ resisted the enemy on the three great temptations. When Christ was fainting on the field of battle, and apparently dying, He was watched by not only Satan and his host merely, but worlds not fallen watched the conflict, and Satan left the field a conquered foe. Of Christ it is said, “I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me.” [Isaiah 63:3.] God has angels today just as well as then. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 11

Christ said that He came to do the “will of the Father which sent me.” [John 5:30.] Christ has borne the test in our behalf. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 12

One may say, If I were wealthy what I would do for the cause. How do you know that you could stand the test? Your inquiry should be, Is it well with my soul? Christ has conquered, he has made the way open. We must overcome through the merits of Jesus Christ. 1 John 2:1. How thankful I am for this. Christ came because Satan’s power was so great. Ephesians 2:2. The Majesty of heaven came to bear the test in our behalf. He redeemed Adam’s disgraceful failure. With His divine arm He grasped the throne of the Infinite One. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 13

Jacob said because of his sin that he had separated himself from God and heaven; but God did not forget him. He gives him a dream. He sees a ladder of shining brightness. The base of the ladder is firmly planted on the earth, and [the] topmost round enters the throne of God. Angels are above it, and shining in their brightness on every round of that ladder. The angels are descending on that shining ladder. He says, This is the gate of heaven to my soul, he tells the Lord. Genesis 28:16-22. God has angels whose whole work is to draw those who shall be heirs of salvation. Whenever one takes a step toward Jesus, Jesus is taking steps [toward him]. The angels’ work is to keep back the powers of Satan. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 14

It is the privilege of every one to be a partaker of the divine nature and keep God’s law. Christ paid the debt when He hung upon Calvary’s cross in His death and crucifixion. Christ, by His death on the cross, exalted the law. He could no more abolish the law than He could abolish Himself. We want to be found obedient to the law of God. Do you think we would see the crimes and murders which make men entirely overlook the laws of nature if men kept the law of God? What makes men worship tobacco? It is taking the underpinning out of their house, and Satan knows it. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 15

It is impossible for man to change the institution of the Sabbath. It may be looked upon as trifling to keep the [Sabbath, but] when God laid the foundations of the earth He laid the foundations of the Sabbath. He rested on the Sabbath and sanctified it and pronounced it holy, to be kept through a thousand generations. They were to keep it for a sign to a thousand generations, and by that time we shall be in the city of God. This is worth your thinking about. We cannot be sanctified through error. We have an open Bible. Where is your foundation for Sunday? God says, “I change not” “nor alter the thing that has gone out of my lips.” [Malachi 3:6; Psalm 89:34.] 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 16

We want to understand what Jesus is to us. This battle is in view of the whole universe of heaven. As Christ bowed on the sods of Gethsemane, the destiny of a lost world was balanced. Listen to His prayer. “Not my will but thine be done.” [Luke 22:42.] His bloody drops moistened the sods of Gethsemane. His visage was more marred than the sons of men. It was then He said, “Could you not watch with me one hour?” [Matthew 26:40.] The Son of God betrayed by Judas. They mocked Him and ill treated Him in every way. We sometimes think we have a hard time if we should be ill treated by those to whom we carry the words of God, to those who are not like the noble Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily to [see] whether these things were so. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 17

We are told to come out from the unclean and be the sons and daughters of God. What shall we do? God has one standard and we should keep it. He worked six days, and rested on the seventh. That is His memorial of creation, and if you move it to another day you destroy its significance. It is for us to keep in memory His creative work, and every shrub and flower reminds us of His work. I want to stand the test of God and bow in allegiance to heaven. Is not the penalty of sin death? It is best for someone to be right even if in the minority. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 18

Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, and for our sakes He became poor, and I ask you, Are you working on Christ’s side of the question? I want you to open your eyes and say, “Open thou mine eyes that I may see wondrous things out of thy law.” [Psalm 119:18.] We want to glorify the Lord God of heaven, and serve Him. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 19

It was not convenient for the Son of God to suffer, but it was expedient for us that He did suffer. He takes every sin away, and puts [on us] His robe of righteousness, woven in the loom of heaven, and not one thread of humanity in it, and covers us. We should be the happiest people on the face of the earth, and not begging pardon of the world for being Christians. We are adopted into the heavenly family, and we shall inherit the mansions prepared for those who are obedient. Upon the heads of the humble and obedient He will place crowns, and they will touch their golden harps and make heaven’s arches ring with their songs of redeeming love. 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 20

“Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them which love him.” [1 Corinthians 2:9.] 8LtMs, Ms 17, 1893, par. 21