Love Service


“The question is often asked. Why do you keep the commandments of God? Did not Jesus come to abolish the law? The Son of God gave the law, and was it given only to be abolished? Did Jesus leave the royal courts of heaven to die upon the cross of Calvary, in order that he might give the world license to break the law? Is there reason in this? Was the wonderful, costly process that the Father and his dear Son underwent, only to abolish the law, and give men perfect freedom to trample it in the dust?--No, no. The Lord's standard of righteousness remains as firm as his eternal throne. It is his holy law, and because not one precept of this law could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition, the Father consented to give his only begotten Son to die. To abolish the law?--No; but to save the sinner. The cross of Calvary is the unanswerable argument as to the perpetuity of the law of Jehovah. When the great Teacher gave his sermon on the mount, showing the immutability of the law of God, he was expounding the law that he himself gave.       

     Satan had so beclouded the understanding of even the chosen people of God, that in their separation from God they could not discern sacred things. The prophecies were made so indistinct, that truth, precious above gold, or silver, or precious stones, was buried beneath a mass of rubbish, and its glorious character was hidden from view. The precious Sabbath given at the creation of the world lost its true significance. The rubbish of human inventions, maxims, and traditions hid its true character. Said Christ, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."     

     Jesus Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. He established the sacrificial offerings which typified himself. The whole system of types and symbols was one compacted prophecy of the gospel, a presentation of Christianity. Christ presented to the multitude of Jews and Gentiles of all nations the real original truths connected with his kingdom, which had been buried out of sight. He sought to clear away the mist and fog of their false, long-cherished ideas in regard to his mission and his kingdom. They supposed it was a temporal, earthly kingdom; but he showed them its spiritual and eternal nature. He unfolded before them the far-reaching principles of the law of God; commandment after commandment he opened before them in its true spiritual bearing, and showed the extent of the requirements of God's precepts. They are not only to direct conduct, but to control the heart. The lessons given by Christ were so different from anything to which the people had listened from the scribes and Pharisees, that they were astonished at his doctrines. He did not present labored, intricate arguments that buried with exactions the commandments of God, so that no one could ever hope to keep them. Jesus, the great Teacher, laid open in the simplest language, the great moral truths, clothing them with freshness and power.     

     The scribes and Pharisees that were listening to his words, thought in their hearts that he was making of no account the law of God. But as if Jesus had read their hearts as an open book, there fell upon their startled ears these words: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." The heavenly intelligences look upon the human agents, and estimate their value according to the respect and reverence they manifest toward the great moral standard of righteousness--the holy law of God. And Jesus added, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." With what excuse could we meet the great Lawgiver over his broken law when the Redeemer has so plainly stated its importance. The righteousness of the Pharisees consisted mainly in a form of ceremonies. They complicated the plain and simple precepts, and made them a rigorous burden of exactions, while they neglected and contradicted the vital principles and spirit of the law. This error, fatal to the soul, Christ in his sermon on the mount sought to correct. The Pharisees in their false ideas as to what constituted the keeping of the commandments of God, cherished malice and revenge; but Christ taught that all malice must be expelled from the soul. The evil done to us by another must remain unresented, unavenged. He who was an enemy was to be loved, because God loved the sinner when he was his enemy. Jesus taught, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Here are the principles of true Christianity, and he presented these principles in no hesitating manner, but taught them as one having authority. They must be imitators of God, pure and holy and undefiled by the maxims and traditions of men. These principles were too holy to be corrupted by the inventions of man.   

     No man can serve two masters.

 RH, March 21, 1893