Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 41, 1898

The Measure of God’s Love


March 16, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 84.

How many are seeking earthly treasures; and they fancy that if they have them they will be as if in Paradise. But if they had the treasures that are in Paradise, they would not be at rest. Their minds are constantly troubled. They think that if they could obtain their desires, they would have peace. But these longing souls forget that they carry the disturber of this peace with them, and it has become part of their existence. If they would seek for the peace Christ came to give, they would find rest. He declared, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” [John 14:27.] 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 1

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye love me ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I. ... If ye love me, keep my commandments. ... He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. ... If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.” [Verses 28, 15, 21, 23, 24.] 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 2

This is an expression of the love of God for fallen man. By these words our Saviour places in our hands a line enabling us to sound something of the depths of His infinite love, and know the sincerity of our love for Him. But the finite mind cannot comprehend this love in all its depth and magnitude. The cross of Christ is invested with a wonderful attraction and unlimited power, for in the suffering connected with the crucifixion scene, God’s love becomes more and more impressive as we behold it. As we study the trial and sufferings of Christ, the terrible character of sin is so distressing to our senses that we cry out for the Lord to take away our sins. As we become capable of enduring this sight of Christ’s sufferings, we continue to look, and we see more and more clearly His love in every phase of what He endured. 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 3

More than this, the Creator Himself, the Omnipotent God, was in travail. His love exceeds the love of an earthly father. It can only be measured by the power and strength of His elevated character proportionate to His power was His infinite compassion for fallen man and His desire to restore in them His moral homage. The high and holy One, who inhabiteth eternity, was travailing in the greatness of His power and in His immeasurable love to rescue fallen man—fallen from what? Adam fell from his loyalty through disobedience to the commandments of God. Thus he opened the floodgates of woe upon our world. His posterity perpetuated his sin while they found fault with their first parents. 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 4

The depth to which man fell justified the employment of great means to procure a ransom. Man could never rescue and restore himself. Therefore divine benevolence was exercised to redeem those who had fallen from their high and elevated connection with God. Only by an immeasurable sacrifice, the gift of God’s beloved Son, could the ransom be obtained. Christ took the sinner’s place; the guiltless suffered for the guilty. 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 5

In this was no sacrifice made by the Father? Abraham was permitted in his own experience to know something about this great sacrifice. He is called the father of the faithful, because he carried out in heart purpose the fearful test, as fully as if he has by his own hand taken the life of his son. And God the Father accepted the death of His Son to save a guilty, rebellious race. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 6

Without this sacrifice, all that remained for the human race was death in their sins. But by giving His life for the life of the world, Christ bridged the gulf that sin had made, joining this sin-cursed earth to the universe of heaven as a province. God chose this world to be the theater of His mighty work of grace. While the sentence of condemnation was suspended over it because of the rebellion of its inhabitants, while the clouds of wrath were accumulating because of the transgression of the law of God, a mysterious voice was heard in heaven, “Lo, I come ... to do thy will, O God.” [Hebrews 10:7.] Our Substitute and Surety came from heaven declaring that He had brought with Him the vast and inestimable donation of eternal life. Pardon is offered to all who will return their allegiance to the law of God. 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 7

But there are those who refuse to accept a “Thus saith the Lord.” They will not reverence and respect His law. They make rigorous human enactments in opposition to a “Thus saith the Lord,” and by precept and example lead men, women, and children into sin. They exalt human enactments above the divine law. But the condemnation and wrath of God is suspended over the disobedient. The clouds of God’s justice are gathering. The material of destruction has been piled up for ages; and still apostasy, rebellion, and disloyalty against God is continually increasing. The remnant people of God, who keep His commandments will understand the word spoken by Daniel, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” [Daniel 12:10.] 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 8

Satan has called this world his territory. Here his seat is, and he holds in allegiance to himself all who refuse to keep God’s commandments, who reject a plain, “Thus saith the Lord.” They stand under the enemy’s banner, for there are but two parties in the world. All rank either under the banner of the obedient or under the banner of the disobedient. 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 9

Jesus is now sending His message to a fallen world. He delights to take apparently hopeless material, those through whom Satan has worked, and make them the subjects of His grace. He rejoices to deliver them from the wrath which is to fall upon the disobedient. He has committed Himself to the work of our redemption. He resolved that He would spare nothing however costly, withhold nothing however dear, which would restore the moral image of God in man. And He holds in store gift upon gift, watching for the proper channel through which He can communicate the treasures of eternal life. 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 10

Why is not more grace and power given to the church? The Lord made the richest gift He could make in giving His only begotten Son to the world. But man, by his own choice, has severed himself from the life of God. His mind and soul are so bound up in Satan’s plan that he is palsied. He is incapable of appreciating, appropriating, or imparting the elements of a divine life. A connection with the deceiver, who was so long in the heavenly courts, makes him ingenious to pervert ever blessing tended to him, and to employ these blessings as weapons against God. Therefore the Lord cannot venture to bestow upon man the blessing that He otherwise would. 13LtMs, Ms 41, 1898, par. 11