Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

April 24, 1893

Obedience the Fruit of Love

By Mrs. E. G. White

We should contemplate the love of Jesus, his mission and his work in reference to us as individuals. We are to say, Jesus so loved me that he gave his own life to save me. The Father loves me, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It becomes us to ascertain upon what terms Christ promises the gift of eternal life. I answer, It is upon our faith. We must have faith in the promises. Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye who love me know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” “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.” John 14:12-17, 21.

“He that hath my commandments” means he that hath light upon what constitutes the commandments of God, and will not disobey his commandments, although it might seem an advantage to do so. “If a man love me, he will keep my words [my commandments]; 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.” If it were not possible for us to keep the commandments of God, we should all be lost. But under the Abrahamic covenant, the covenant of grace, every provision for salvation has been made. “By grace ye are saved.” “For as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.”

John writes to the children of God, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.” And what is sin?—“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” And if any man sin, he need not give up his hope in Christ. He need not say it is of no use longer to attempt to keep the commandments of God; for this would be placing himself wholly on Satan's ground. Satan follows you with his temptations, in order that he may persuade you to yield and sin; and when you sin, then he tells you it is of no use for you to try, and you might just as well announce yourself an open transgressor of the law of God, for you cannot keep his commandments. In the name and strength given of God we may be obedient to all his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous. We are happy in doing them. “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.”

The Lord would not leave the enemy any opportunity to perplex the soul or to becloud the mind as to the commandments of which he is speaking. It is the commandments which he made when the foundations of the earth were laid, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Away back in the world's history, before there were any people distinguished as Jews, he laid the foundations of his law, when he laid the foundations of the world. “The old commandment is the word which ye heard from the beginning.” John, the beloved disciple, as mouthpiece for God, gives the inspired message, and it comes echoing down the lines, from age to age, to our time. Thank God, we are not left in mist and confusion in regard to the commandments.

We are required to keep the commandments of God, and to demonstrate before the heavenly worlds that we are obedient children, loyal and true to the government of God. We may not expect the world, which is under the power and dominion of Satan, to obey God and keep his commandments. There are but two classes in our world, the obedient and the disobedient, the holy and the unholy. When our transgressions were laid upon Jesus, he was numbered among the unholy on the sinner's account. He became our substitute, our surety, before the Father and all the heavenly angels. By imputing the sins of the world to Jesus, he became the sinner in our stead, and the curse due to our sins came upon him. It becomes us to contemplate Christ's life of humiliation and his agonizing death; for he was treated as the sinner deserves to be treated. He came to our world, clothing his divinity with humanity, to bear the test and proving of God. By his example of perfect obedience in his human nature, he teaches us that men may be obedient.

And the apostle writes, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” It is here plainly revealed that whosoever believeth in Jesus Christ becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Let divinity and humanity cooperate, and fallen man may be more than conqueror through Christ Jesus.

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