07 To Love as I Have Loved You

By John Thiel, Marriage Seminar, Study 7, Audio: To Love as I Have Loved You

When it comes to restoring the marriage institution, God’s remnant people are to be identified by the correct ingredient of the subject of marriage. Marriage has to do with love. We are to love as Christ has loved us as Jesus said it in John;

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Did you notice a credential is identified of Christ’s disciples? The church on earth looks for all kinds of credentials that it is accepted of God. Here are the credentials. The church that is God’s church loves one another as Jesus loved them. Not just loves one another. By this shall all men know as this is a new dimension to love. The Spirit of Prophecy verily identifies this as a credential, or the credential.

Love was the element in which Christ moved and walked and worked. He came to embrace the world in the arms of His love. . . . {SD 147.2}

We are to follow the example set by Christ, and make Him our pattern, until we shall have the same love for others as He has manifested for us. He seeks to impress us with this profound lesson of love. . . . If your hearts have been given to selfishness, let Christ imbue you with His love. He desires that we shall love Him fully, and encourages, yes, even commands, that we shall love others as He has given us an example. He has made love the badge of our discipleship. . . . . . {SD 147.3}

So many people in the world have badges by which they are identified. Christ’s disciples have love as the badge of their discipleship.

This is the measurement to which you are to reach,– “Love one another; as I have loved you.” What height, what depth and breadth of love! This love is not simply to embrace a few favorites, it is to reach to the lowliest and humblest of God’s creatures. {SD 147.3}

He has made love, his love the badge of our discipleship.

Those who are Christians indeed will be branches of the true vine, and will bear the same fruit as the vine. They will act in harmony, in Christian fellowship. They will not wear political badges, but the badge of Christ. {FE 475.3}

There is church politics and people wear the badges of their particular organisations but Gods church wears the badge of love, not just love, the love that Christ had. That is Gods church in the last days. Let us explore this love by which a marriage can be restored and Gods remnant people are credential. If we want to restore the marriage institution, the credential of Gods church must be there.

To be children of God, members of the royal family, means more than many suppose. Those who are accounted by God as His children will reveal Christlike love for one another. They will live and work for one object,–the proper representation of Christ to the world. By their love and unity they will show to the world that they bear the divine credentials. By the nobility of love and self-denial, they will show those around them that they are true followers of the Saviour. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” . . . {SD 293.3}

The most powerful evidence a man can give that he has been born again and is a new man in Christ Jesus, is the manifestation of love for his brethren, the doing of Christlike deeds. This is the most wonderful witness that can be borne in favor of Christianity, and will win souls to the truth. . . . {SD 293.4}

Do we want to win souls to the truth? Then it must be a love that is a completely different dimension than what people are used to. To be members together in Christ and restorers of paths to dwell in, we need to understand and be partakers of the divine nature. When you are born again, you have died to the old life and you have become a new man. What is that new man?  We will see precisely why the love that Jesus had is the badge.

2 Peter 1:4 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.

What are we to be partakers of what? The divine nature.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

The truly born again Christian receives the divine nature which is Gods nature. God is love. If you want to define love, true love, it’s God. God is the definition of love.

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 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:

How do we get the divine nature? By the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. We are to behold him and we will be changed. As you behold him in the research of God’s word, you will discover in him the divine nature and power. The knowledge of Jesus, the experience of Jesus in our life by the study of God’s word, by that discovery, the divine love will be imparted. Our natural man cannot love as Christ loved us. We cannot. Have a good look at that love that is God.

Do You Match With This Love?

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Do you see someone doing something wrong to you and it makes you suffer? Are you kind in return? Are you kind when someone treads on your corns in terms of relationships? The love of God suffers long, it doesn’t complain and it is kind in return. Do you do that? It’s not natural. There is not the slightest way to parade itself but we have a desire to parade ourselves. It doesn’t behave unseemly, it seeks not her own. There is no desire to have what I want. Are you easily provoked? When someone annoys you? Do you rejoice in iniquity?

People get turned on to hear some juicy story around them. If you bear something, do you complain about it? How many times do we complain about another’s faults? It beareth all things, it believes all things. You’ve been told an outright lie and you say I can’t believe that. Are we to believe someone when they are lying? Yes we are. Love hopes and endures all things. This is God. We have just looked at Gods character and we are not naturally predisposed to that whatsoever.

How Only Do We Love?

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

Jesus was so kind and long suffering and he did all these things that touched our hearts and because I am egocentric, I will love that situation, I will love for the way I’m being treated if I’m treated nicely. If I’m not treated nicely do I love by nature? The love we have been reading is not our response. If someone is horrible or lying to me and destroying my peace by their actions towards me, I do not have that kind of quality.  It is constantly a chaffing experience but God loves us like that. It is a totally unselfish love but we have a love that is selfish. This is the selfish love we have.

Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

If I can save someone I love dearly because is a good man, I may die for him.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

God loves these ugly creatures that so despicably treated him, turned against him and spat him in the face. He loved them. That is what Jesus says, that you love as I have loved you. That is the badge of the true church.

We Are Enemies and Alienated

Colossians 1:19 For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Who was he reconciling to himself? Enemies. By the blood of his cross he sought to reconcile all to himself. He loved us so that while we were yet enemies and alienated from him, he went along and did the entire story of salvation in that he made himself at one with his enemies. This is his love.

A Chain

The love of Christ is a golden chain that binds finite, human beings who believe in Jesus Christ to the Infinite God. The love that the Lord has for His children passeth knowledge. No science can define or explain it. No human wisdom can fathom it. {OHC 173.2}

To believe someone who is lying is something. That is a golden chain. A chain. What do you do with a chain? It is a chain that you use in respect into one trying to help another. Do you not try to attach it to two? One links to the other. Two objects are attached to the chain so the chain can be used to pull. The integral part of God is that chain. It is him. That is inseparably attached to him. From God Jesus is lowered, that is the chain. It is attached to God and it’s lowered to the human race. We are alienated and unattached to the chain. We don’t have the chain attached to us. We are in the bottom of the pit. We are mangled by disappointments and the roots of bitterness. We are in a state of hopeless destruction at the bottom of the pit. The chain of love is dangling in front of us.

When we see the length of the chain that was let down for us, when we understand something of the infinite sacrifice that Christ has made in our behalf, the heart is melted with tenderness and contrition. {SC 35.4}

I am in a deplorable condition. The law of God has shown me how hopelessly sinful I am. When one ray of light shines and makes manifest all the ugliness of my life and reveals how sinful I am, when I see the chain of God’s love dangling down to the bottom of the pit where Jesus was at the atonement at the cross, the cross was there. I can’t even reach my hand up. It comes and dangles right in front of me.

The Length of the Chain from God to Me

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

He didn’t just take our sins, he became sin. How long is the chain from God to the alienated condition? The chain was made to be sin at the bottom of the chain so we might be made the righteousness of God in him. I am a body of sin and I can’t help myself. I see my weakness and I am hopelessly incapable of changing. Jesus comes down and is made to be the sin I am. What for? So I might be made the righteousness of God in him. See the contrast of legalism?

He clothed himself in our filthy garments, that we might wear the spotless robe of his righteousness, which was woven in the loom of heaven. {ST, May 30, 1895 par. 4}

He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet He prayed, and that often with strong crying and tears. He prayed for His disciples and for Himself, thus identifying Himself with our needs, our weaknesses, and our failings, which are so common with humanity. He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from His Father. {AG 167.3}

As I behold this chain in front of me, what will I do in this death struggle? What does man do? He clutches a straw hoping he can save himself. The people who know they are spiritually drowning and the dangling chain is front of them will hold on. Jesus sent forth his disciples as what? Fishers of men? You put down the fishing line and it dangles in front of the fishes mouth and what does it do? It gulps it. The line, the chain is God’s love which I don’t have. As it dangles in front of me, I grab it like a fish.

Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

If you take that chain, that golden chain and you attach yourself to it, it is Christ in you like the fish that swallowed the hook. Now it’s in you and you comprehend this and you are filled with what? With the divine nature. It’s in you. That is why we need to know and study the beautiful promises. We need to study all these things and they need to become part of me so that the love I’m not is part of me. I’m now part of the divine nature. The chain connected to God is connected to me. Now that it is attached to the one who has taken it, every other sinner, in the company that has done the same thing, what do you think happens? Place that in a marriage relationship. The married couple both swallow the divine nature, the chain. What have you got? A common denominator in each one.

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

The love that was unselfish that we only attain by first loving that he loved us, we will do what Jesus did to everyone around us. We will be prepared unselfish as Jesus was. There is now a common denominator in all who are part of that company who have died as Jesus died and rose with him. That is the process by which the divine nature is inside. Now it’s inside of you and I we function together and the God in one and the God in the other is connected to God. The chain of love, what is written about that?

Is There Room for Divorce?

Is Christ divided?–No. Christ abiding in the soul will not quarrel with Christ in another soul. We must learn to bear with the peculiarities of those around us. If our will is under the control of Christ’s will, how can we be at variance with our brethren? If we are at variance, we may know that it is because self needs to be crucified. He whom Christ makes free is free indeed. We are not complete in Christ unless we love one another as Christ has loved us. When we do this, as Christ has given us commandment, we shall give evidence that we are complete in Him. {TDG 262.5}

You apply this to God’s final church. Every member has God’s love in them because they have Jesus Christ in them. These members cannot quarrel with one another. It is impossibility. If they are people who are married, is there any suggestion of divorce and remarriage? It is an impossibility. Even to have a declaration in my profession of faith that I divorce, I’m not going to marry another, it doesn’t even fit. It is a total oxymoron. To even suggest that this sort of statement must be expressed that is so occupied. It doesn’t make sense. In a marriage of a church that is so occupied, there is no hint towards divorcing from each other. When Christ is in one and the other, marriage will be restored.

The Golden Chain

Selfishness and pride hinder the pure love that unites us in spirit with Jesus Christ. If this love is truly cultivated, finite will blend with finite, and all will center in the Infinite. Humanity will unite with humanity, and all will be bound up with the heart of Infinite Love. Sanctified love for one another is sacred. In this great work Christian love for one another–far higher, more constant, more courteous, more unselfish, than has been seen–preserves Christian tenderness, Christian benevolence, and politeness, and enfolds the human brotherhood in the embrace of God, acknowledging the dignity with which God has invested the rights of man. {OHC 173.3}

Is not marriage supposed to be sacred? 1 Corinthians comes a reality when this sinks in.

We should carefully consider what is our relation to God and to one another. We are continually sinning against God, but His mercy still follows us; in love He bears with our perversities, our neglect, our ingratitude, our disobedience. He never becomes impatient with us. We insult His mercy, grieve His Holy Spirit, and do Him dishonor before men and angels, and yet His compassions fail not. The thought of God’s long-suffering to us should make us forbearing to one another. How patiently should we bear with the faults and errors of our brethren when we remember how great our own failings in the sight of God are? How can we pray to our heavenly Father, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12) if we are . . . exacting in our treatment of others? {TMK 181.2}

God never becomes impatient with us, do you? It reveals all the precious elements that will be demonstrated in Gods church that is wrapped up with the nature of God.

The golden chain of love, binding the hearts of the believers in unity, in bonds of fellowship and love, and in oneness with Christ and the Father, makes the connection perfect and bears to the world a testimony of the power of Christianity that cannot be controverted. . . . {OHC 173.4}

People will say wow this must be Christianity.

Then will selfishness be uprooted and unfaithfulness will not exist. There will not be strife and divisions. There will not be stubbornness in anyone who is bound up with Christ. Not one will act out the stubborn independence of the wayward, impulsive child who drops the hand that is leading him and chooses to stumble on alone and walk in his own ways. {OHC 173.4}

Love is a tender plant, and it must be cultivated and cherished, and the roots of bitterness all have to be plucked up around it in order for it to have room to circulate, {OHC 173.5}

This is the nature of Christ in sinful flesh. In the nature of Christ, in his sinful flesh, he uprooted every aspect of sinful flesh that surrounded it so the love of God could expound in him which it did from baby hood to adult hood.

And then it will bring in under its influence all the powers of the mind, all the heart, so that we shall love God supremely, and our neighbour as ourselves. {OHC 173.5}

It bears to the world something that can’t be controverted in a world of marriage catastrophe. Look at the marriage among this remnant, those who are members of this remnant who are married, look at that love.

The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes it. By it human love is refined and purified, elevated and ennobled. {AH 99.4}

Agape is Christs love. What is human love? Eros and filial. Eros is love of the marriage chamber in a husband and wife relationship. Christs love does not destroy this, it includes it and it refines and purifies it. By it human love is elevating and ennobled.

Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides. God has ordained that there should be perfect love and harmony between those who enter into the marriage relation. {AH 103.4}

If that is the reality that God’s church is to embrace as a badge, we have none of the problems that exist in the other churches around us. To be among this remnant, is there any need of stipulation in regards divorce and remarriage? It makes no sense. There needs to be no stipulation. 1 Corinthians 7 is self-evident.

1 Corinthians 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.

That is the simple declaration and within or without of marriage there is a deep contentment, the love of God. The love of Jesus is so satisfying and so precious that there is no desire to seek sympathy from anyone around.

The Relation of this to the Church Triumphant

The love of Christ renders the church as the church triumphant.

The truth of God is not designed merely to deal with errors and vices. . . . The truth is designed to sanctify the receiver, to fashion and mold the entire man, externally as well as internally, by abasing pride and disposing his heart to be kind and amiable and condescending. Yes, the religion of Christ is a system of the truest politeness, and its triumphs are complete when a world may look on a people professing Godliness with a united front, believers showing habitual tenderness of feeling and kindness of deportment and sincere regard for the reputation of each other. {OHC 237.4}

That is the triumph. The church triumphant wears the badge and that is what we are meant to be concentrating on.

The life of Christ was a life charged with a divine message of the love of God, and He longed intensely to impart this love to others in rich measure. Compassion beamed from His countenance, and His conduct was characterized by grace, humility, truth, and love. Every member of His church militant must manifest the same qualities, if He would join the church triumphant. {FE 179.3}

If we want to join the church triumphant this is our mind exercise.

The love of Christ is so broad, so full of glory, that in comparison to it, everything that men esteem as great, dwindles into insignificance. When we obtain a view of it, we exclaim, O the depth of the riches of the love that God bestowed upon men in the gift of His only-begotten Son! {FE 179.3}

When we seek for appropriate language in which to describe the love of God, we find words too tame, too weak, too far beneath the theme, and we lay down our pen and say, “No, it cannot be described.” We can only do as did the beloved disciple, and say, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” In attempting any description of this love, we feel that we are as infants lisping their first words. Silently we may adore; for silence in this matter is the only eloquence. This love is past all language to describe. It is the mystery of God in the flesh, God in Christ, and divinity in humanity. Christ bowed down in unparalleled humility, that in His exaltation to the throne of God, He might also exalt those who believe in Him, to a seat with Him upon His throne. All who look upon Jesus in faith that the wounds and bruises that sin has made will be healed in Him, shall be made whole. {FE 179.4}

This is the church that needs to exist now. I propose to you go forward and exercise this and cultivate it and uproot everything that doesn’t harmonise with it in ourselves towards each other and we may be members of the church triumphant. This must be embraced otherwise we are just like every other church.

Amen.

Further reading:  https://sabbathsermons.com/category/marriage-2/

 

Posted on July 11, 2010, in Marriage, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You\’re the grateest! JMHO

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