LOVE THE ESSENCE OF DIVINE LAW.
--MARCH 24, ROM. 13:8-14.--
Golden Text--"Abstain from all appearance of evil."--1 Thes. 5:22.
VERSES 8-10need no comment. The truth of the statement, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law," is obvious to all. Love delights to bless, and against its pure and benevolent instincts there is no law. It recognizes the rights and liberties and proper relationship to God and fellow men of every individual, and in no sense interferes with those inalienable privileges of any of God's intelligent creatures; but rather delights in the largest development and most rapid progress of every individual. It is noble, generous, free, frank, unselfish, kind, tender-hearted, pitiful, helpful and true.
This noble benevolence, Paul says, we owe to every man.--"Owe no man any thing but to love one another." This debt we owe, not only to our brethren in Christ, but also to our brethren of the human family. Originally God created man in his own image, and though that image has been sadly defaced in all, he has planned to restore it, and himself so loved the world, even while they were yet sinners, that he redeemed them at great cost. And if God so loved the world, then we also should love them with the same benevolence, kindness and tender compassion; and if we love God and have our hearts filled with his spirit we will delight to do so.
Verses 11-13remind us of the near approach of the day of Christ when virtue will meet its just reward, and when sin and selfishness will be exposed in all their horrid deformity. Therefore, the Apostle urges, we should put on the armor of light, that we may stand approved in that day.
Verse 14. Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ--put on his loving, generous, noble, pure spirit: study and copy his life, which was an illustration of the perfect law of God; [R1789 : page 75] and, while so doing, ignore so completely the desires of the old nature as to make no provision for fulfilling them, thus manifesting the singleness and fixedness of the purpose to follow him.
The Golden Text is a plain and timely precept to all
who would live godly--"Abstain from all appearance of
evil." It would not be consistent with righteousness to do
otherwise than abstain from the appearance of evil, as well
as from the evil itself. If we love righteousness and hate
iniquity we will hate the very appearance of evil ourselves,
and will shun the appearance as we would shun the thing
itself. We will shun it, not only because we desire to have
others think well of us, but because we love purity and
delight in moral excellence.
[R1789 : page 75]
Golden Text--"Take my yoke upon you and learn of me."-- Matt. 11:29.
We trust that all our readers who have been studiously pursuing the lessons of this quarter have indeed taken upon them the yoke of Christ, and that they have been learning of him, not only in an intellectual way, but also through the medium of the heart. Not until we have taken the Lord into our daily life as our living, personal companion and confidential friend and counselor and comforter and guide, as well as our Redeemer and Lord, can we fully learn of him those precious lessons which give to his disciples a joy which the world can neither give nor take away.
May this intimate communion and fellowship with Christ impart to us each more and more of his own spirit, so that the world may take knowledge of us, as they have of others (Acts 4:13), that we have been with Jesus; and let the prayer of each be,
"Lord Jesus, make thyself to me
A living, bright reality!
More real to faith's vision keen,
Than any earthly object seen;
More dear, more intimately nigh,
Than e'en the sweetest earthly tie."