Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

December 23, 1897

The New Commandment

Part 2.

Christ has set an exalted standard, to which men may attain by overcoming as he overcame. He desires us to be partakers of his divine nature, that he may present to the Father those whom he has given him, as more than conquerors through him that loved us. This view of the matter places us under an accountability to minister for our fellow men, even as Christ ministers. He shows his love by ministry. The word of God is surrounded by an atmosphere of inspired love. But this word is dimly comprehended and feebly appreciated. During every hour of the Saviour's sojourn upon earth, the love of God was flowing from him, repeating its gift in irrepressible streams. Every hindrance he received in his work of revealing God's love, every obstruction placed in his way, every talent that was not used to advance the work of God, inflicted a wound on Christ, and strengthened Satan's kingdom. Even so, by cherishing malice and hatred in our hearts toward those who have been bought with an infinite price, we may crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

As his disciples, Christ says to us, “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 to another.” These are the credentials that Christ's followers bear, showing to the world that they are true disciples. By their unity and love for one another, they reveal to the world the love wherewith Christ has loved them. God would have us cherish love for one another, that he may be glorified in us. Love like Christ's will bear the stress of circumstances. It will never abate nor change. As he loved us, even so are we to love one another.

Religion is founded upon love to God, which also leads us to love one another. It is full of gratitude, humility, long-suffering. It is self-sacrificing, forbearing, merciful, and forgiving. It sanctifies the whole life, and extends its influence over others. Those who love God cannot harbor hatred or envy. When the heavenly principle of eternal love fills the heart, it will flow out to others, not merely because favors are received of them, but because love is the principle of action, and modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and elevates the affections. This love is not contracted, so as merely to include “me and mine,” but is as broad as the world and as high as heaven. It is in harmony with that of the angel workers. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the entire life, and sheds a refining influence on all around. Possessing it, we cannot but be happy, let fortune smile or frown. And if we love God with all the heart, we must love his children also. This love is the Spirit of God. It is the heavenly adorning that gives true nobility and dignity to the soul, and assimilates our life to that of the Master.

The value of the cross of Calvary can only be seen and estimated by men and women who love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. Just as far as we enter into the spirit of Christ's ministry, so far shall we be able to fathom the depths of his love. If we are imbued with his Spirit, we shall find greater and still greater incentives to love as he loved. We shall no longer live for selfish purposes. The words of Paul will be true in us. “I live,” he writes, “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.” The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” And when Christ lives in us, we shall minister to others for his sake.

Mrs. E. G. White

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