Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 27: "Who is My Neighbour?"
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Many will allow a brother or a neighbor to struggle
unaided under adverse circumstances. Because they profess
to be Christians he may be led to think that in their cold
selfishness they are representing Christ. Because the
Lord's professed servants are not in co-operation with Him,
the love of God, which should flow forth from them, is in
great degree cut off from their fellow men. And a large
revenue of praise and thanksgiving from human hearts and
human lips is prevented from flowing back to God. He is
robbed of the glory due to His holy name. He is robbed
of the souls for whom Christ died, souls whom He longs
to bring into His kingdom to dwell in His presence through
Divine truth exerts little influence upon the world, when
it should exert much influence through our practice. The
mere profession of religion abounds, but it has little weight.
We may claim to be followers of Christ, we may claim to
believe every truth in the word of God; but this will do
our neighbor no good unless our belief is carried into our
daily life. Our profession may be as high as heaven,
but it will save neither ourselves nor our fellow men unless
we are Christians. A right example will do more to benefit
the world than all our profession.
By no selfish practices can the cause of Christ be served.
His cause is the cause of the oppressed and the poor. In [p. 384] the hearts of His professed followers there is need of the
tender sympathy of Christ—a deeper love for those whom
He has so valued as to give His own life for their salvation.
These souls are precious, infinitely more precious than any
other offering we can bring to God. To bend every energy
toward some apparently great work, while we neglect the
needy or turn the stranger from his right, is not a service
that will meet His approval.
The sanctification of the soul by the working of the
Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity.
Gospel religion is Christ in the life—a living, active
principle. It is the grace of Christ revealed in character
and wrought out in good works. The principles of the
gospel cannot be disconnected from any department of
practical life. Every line of Christian experience and labor
is to be a representation of the life of Christ.
Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession,
no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love
for his brother. But we can never come into possession of
this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is
the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in
Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness
of Christian character is attained when the impulse
to help and bless others springs constantly from within—
when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed
in the countenance.
It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to
be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved
us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot
come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with
humanity; for in Him who sits upon the throne of the
universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected
with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the [p. 385] golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and
compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall
not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us.
We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of
others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the
needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing
Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy,
wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others,
there is revealed the working of God's Holy Spirit. In
the depths of heathenism, men who have had no knowledge
of the written law of God, who have never even heard
the name of Christ, have been kind to His servants, protecting
them at the risk of their own lives. Their acts show
the working of a divine power. The Holy Spirit has
implanted the grace of Christ in the heart of the savage,
quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary
to his education. The "Light which lighteth every man
that cometh into the world" (John 1:9), is shining in
his soul; and this light, if heeded, will guide his feet to
the kingdom of God. [p. 386]
The glory of heaven is in lifting up the fallen, comforting
the distressed. And wherever Christ abides in human
hearts, He will be revealed in the same way. Wherever it
acts, the religion of Christ will bless. Wherever it works,
there is brightness.
No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste,
is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All
men are of one family by creation, and all are one through
redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of
partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple, that
every soul may have free access to God. His love is so
broad, so deep, so full, that it penetrates everywhere. It
lifts out of Satan's circle the poor souls who have been
deluded by this deceptions. It places them within reach of
the throne of God, the throne encircled by the rainbow of
In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free.
All are brought nigh by His precious blood. (Gal. 3:28;
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