Do you love Jesus? Really love Him? Have you compared yourself to His revealed will to be sure?
Everyone should read this quote, because there are a lot of erroneous ideas out there about “Jesus” and His “love”.
God wants His remnant people to dwell most on the practical duties of religion, not the sentimental love that is free from strict legalities and duties. If this is what is written about the most in the SOP, then why do we hear so many sentiments of “love” without elevating the standard of holiness? We are a deceived, blind, miserable people, because we have been reading and hearing the ideas of men and not God. Let’s get into the Bible and the Testimonies; there we will read what the real Jesus says: “Whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50). Pure Bible religion is Hebraic; it is about doing truth, not the Greek philosophizing of “truth.”
Brother Matteson suggests that it would please the people if I speak less about duty and more in regard to the love of Jesus. But I wish to speak as the Spirit of the Lord shall impress me. The Lord knows best what this people needs. I spoke in the forenoon [Sabbath, October 17] from Isaiah 58. I did not round the corners at all. If this is Brother Matteson’s work, let him do it; but it is not my work. My work is to elevate the standard of piety and true Christian life and urge the people to put away their sins and be sanctified through the truth. I tried to impress them with the necessity of strictly observing the Sabbath according to the commandment. […]
There is a spurious experience that is prevailing now everywhere in regard to the love of Jesus—that we must dwell on the love of Jesus, that faith in Jesus is all we need—but these souls must be instructed that the love of Jesus in the heart will lead to humility of life and obedience to all His commandments. He that saith, I know Him and keepeth not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. The love of Jesus that goes no further than the lips will not save any soul, but be a great delusion.
Those who reject the truth of the Bible do it under a pretense of loving Jesus. Those who love Jesus will reveal that love by being obedient children. They will be doers of the Word and not hearers only. They will not be continually pleading, “All that we have to do is to believe in Jesus.” This is true in the fullest sense, but they do not comprehend, they do not take it in its fullest sense. To believe in Jesus is to take Him as your Redeemer, as your Pattern. All who love Jesus must follow His example. They must connect themselves with Jesus as closely as the branch is connected with the living vine. They are abiding in Jesus, and Jesus is abiding in them, and they are doers of His Word, partakers of His divine nature.
Some who claim to love Jesus are deceivers, and all their religion is lip service. It does not transform the character. It does not reveal the inward working of grace. They do not show that they have ever learned in Christ’s school the lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart. They do not show by life or character that they are wearing Christ’s yoke or lifting Christ’s burdens. They are not reaching the standard given them in God’s Word, but a human standard. Their life is not pure like Christ’s life. They are not being refined and ennobled by His Spirit. The way of truth they have not known, and they are of that number who will say, “Lord, Lord, open unto us. We have taught in the streets. We have done many wonderful works.” But Christ will say of them, “I never knew you. Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity. You were on the side of My great adversary, who transgressed My law. You worked with him to make void the law of God. While you professed to love Me you practiced this deception and led souls away from obedience into the path of transgression. Your claims to love Me were the putting on of the livery of heaven to serve My worst enemy. You identified yourself as among those who were making void My law, and your portion is with the hypocrites and unbelievers.”
— E.G. White, Manuscript 26, 1885