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Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1

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    Chapter 27—God's Love

    God Is Love—“God is love” (1 John 4:16). His nature, His law, is love. It ever has been; it ever will be. “The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15), whose “ways are everlasting” (Habakkuk 3:6), changeth not. With Him “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).1MCP 247.1

    Every manifestation of creative power is an expression of infinite love. The sovereignty of God involves fullness of blessing to all created beings....1MCP 247.2

    The history of the great conflict between good and evil, from the time it first began in heaven to the final overthrow of rebellion and the total eradication of sin, is also a demonstration of God's unchanging love.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 33 (1890).1MCP 247.3

    God's Love Demonstrated in Nature—Nature and revelation alike testify of God's love. Our Father in heaven is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of their marvelous adaptation to the needs and happiness, not only of man but of all living creatures. The sunshine and the rain, that gladden and refresh the earth, the hills and seas and plains, all speak to us of the Creator's love. It is God who supplies the daily needs of all His creatures....1MCP 247.4

    “God is love” is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass. The lovely birds making the air vocal with their happy songs, the delicately tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air, the lofty trees of the forest with their rich foliage of living green—all testify to the tender, fatherly care of our God and to His desire to make His children happy.—Steps to Christ, 9, 10 (1892).1MCP 248.1

    Commandments Based on Principle of Love—The precepts of the Decalogue are adapted to all mankind, and they were given for the instruction and government of all. Ten precepts, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, cover the duty of man to God and to his fellowman; and all [are] based upon the great fundamental principle of love.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 305 (1890).1MCP 248.2

    Jesus and the Law of Sympathetic Love—The law of God was changeless in its character, and therefore Christ gave Himself a sacrifice in behalf of fallen man, and Adam lost Eden and was placed with all his posterity upon probation.1MCP 248.3

    Had the law of God been changed in one precept since the expulsion of Satan from heaven, he would have gained on earth after his fall that which he could not gain in heaven before his fall. He would have received all that he asked for. We know that he did not.... The law ... remains unalterable as the throne of God, and the salvation of every soul is determined by obedience or disobedience....1MCP 248.4

    Jesus, by the law of sympathetic love, bore our sins, took our punishment, and drank the cup of the wrath of God apportioned to the transgressor.... He bore the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice for us, that we might have life, eternal life. Will we bear the cross for Jesus?— Letter 110, 1896 (KH 289.)1MCP 248.5

    Sensitive, Loving Nature of Christ—His life, from its beginning to its close, was one of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Upon the cross of Calvary He made the great sacrifice of Himself in behalf of all men that the whole world might have salvation if they would. Christ was hid in God, and God stood revealed to the world in the character of His Son....1MCP 249.1

    Love for a lost world was manifested every day, in every act of His life. Those who are imbued by His spirit will work in the same lines as those in which Christ worked. In Christ the light and love of God were manifested in human nature. No human being has ever possessed so sensitive a nature as did the sinless, Holy One of God, who stood as head and representative of what humanity may become through the imparting of the divine nature.—The Youth's Instructor, August 16, 1894. (That I May Know Him, 288.)1MCP 249.2

    God's Love a Living Spring—The love of God is something more than a mere negation; it is a positive and active principle, a living spring, ever flowing to bless others. If the love of Christ dwells in us, we shall not only cherish no hatred toward our fellows, but we shall seek in every way to manifest love toward them.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 58 (1896).1MCP 249.3

    Universe Expresses God's Love—Would that everyone could rightly estimate the precious gift our heavenly Father has made to our world. The disciples felt that they could not express the love of Christ. They could only say, “Herein is love.” The entire universe gives expression to this love and to God's unbounded benevolence.1MCP 249.4

    God might have sent His Son into the world to condemn the world. But amazing grace! Christ came to save, not to destroy. The apostles never touched this theme without their hearts glowing with the inspiration of the matchless love of the Saviour. The apostle John cannot find words to express his feelings. He exclaims, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not” (1 John 3:1). How much the Father loved us we can never compute. There is no standard with which to compare it.—Letter 27, 1901 1MCP 249.5

    Satan Responsible for Conception of a Harsh, Stern God—Satan led men to conceive of God as a being whose chief attribute is stern justice—one who is a severe judge, a harsh, exacting creditor. He pictured the Creator as a being who is watching with jealous eye to discern the errors and mistakes of men that He may visit judgments upon them. It was to remove this dark shadow, by revealing to the world the infinite love of God, that Jesus came to live among men.—Steps to Christ, 11 (1892).1MCP 250.1

    Love Between the Father and the Son a Type—However much a shepherd may love his sheep, he loves his sons and daughters more. Jesus is not only our shepherd; He is our “everlasting Father.” And He says, “I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father” (John 10:14, RV). What a statement is this!—the only-begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be “the man that is my fellow” (Zechariah 13:7)—the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!—The Desire of Ages, 483 (1898).1MCP 250.2

    God loves the followers of Christ as He loves His only-begotten Son.—Manuscript 67, 1894.1MCP 250.3

    Christ's Love Is a Vitalizing, Healing Energy—The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part—the brain, the heart, the nerves—it touches with healing. By it the highest energies of the being are roused to activity. It frees the soul from the guilt and sorrow, the anxiety and care, that crush the life-forces. With it come serenity and composure. It implants in the soul joy that nothing earthly can destroy—joy in the Holy Spirit—health-giving, life-giving joy.—The Ministry of Healing, 115 (1905).1MCP 250.4

    Reviewing God's Love—Thank God for the bright pictures which He has presented to us. Let us group together the blessed assurances of His love that we may look upon them continually: The Son of God leaving His Father's throne, clothing His divinity with humanity, that He might rescue man from the power of Satan; His triumph in our behalf, opening heaven to men, revealing to human vision the presence chamber where the Deity unveils His glory; the fallen race uplifted from the pit of ruin into which sin had plunged it, and brought again into connection with the infinite God, and having endured the divine test through faith in our Redeemer, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and exalted to His throne—these are the pictures which God would have us contemplate.—Steps to Christ, 118 (1892).1MCP 251.1

    Love Makes Our Heaven—It is the love of Christ that makes our heaven. But when we seek to tell of this love, language fails us. We think of His life on earth, of His sacrifice for us; we think of His work in heaven as our advocate, of the mansions He is preparing for those who love Him; and we can but exclaim, “Oh, the heights and depths of the love of Christ!” As we linger beneath the cross, we gain a faint conception of the love of God, and we say, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). But in our contemplation of Christ, we are only lingering round the edge of a love that is measureless. His love is like a vast ocean, without bottom or shore.—The Review and Herald, May 6, 1902.1MCP 251.2

    God's Love Infinite, Exhaustless—All the paternal love which has come down from generation to generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but as a tiny rill to the boundless ocean when compared with the infinite, exhaustless love of God. Tongue cannot utter it; pen cannot portray it. You may meditate upon it every day of your life; you may search the Scriptures diligently in order to understand it; you may summon every power and capability that God has given you, in the endeavor to comprehend the love and compassion of the heavenly Father; and yet there is an infinity beyond. You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more.—Testimonies for the Church 5:740 (1889).1MCP 251.3

    God's Love Progressive—The years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character.—The Great Controversy, 678 (1911).1MCP 252.1

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