Why is that so? That was the one great need of mankind, that was the thing which
Christ’s redemption came to accomplish: to restore love to this world.
When man sinned, why was it that he sinned? Selfishness triumphed—he sought self
instead of God. And just look! Adam at once begins to accuse the woman of having led him
astray. Love to God had gone, love to man was lost. Look again: of the first two children of
Adam the one becomes a murderer of his brother.
Does not that teach us that sin had robbed the world of love? Ah! what a proof the history
of the world has been of love having been lost! There may have been beautiful examples of
love even among the heathen, but only as a little remnant of what was lost. One of the worst
things sin did for man was to make him selfish, for selfishness cannot love.
The Lord Jesus Christ came down from Heaven as the Son of God’s love. “God so loved
the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). God’s Son came to show what
love is, and He lived a life of love here upon earth in fellowship with His disciples, in compassion
over the poor and miserable, in love even to His enemies, and He died the death of
love. And when He went to Heaven, whom did He send down? The Spirit of love, to come
and banish selfishness and envy and pride, and bring the love of God into the hearts of men.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love.”
And what was the preparation for the promise of the Holy Spirit? You know that
promise as found in the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel. But remember what precedes
in the thirteenth chapter. Before Christ promised the Holy Spirit, He gave a new commandment,
and about that new commandment He said wonderful things. One thing was: “Even
as I have loved you, so love ye one another.” To them His dying love was to be the only law
of their conduct and intercourse with each other. What a message to those fishermen, to
those men full of pride and selfishness! “Learn to love each other,” said Christ, “as I have
loved you.” And by the grace of God they did it. When Pentecost came, they were of one
heart and one soul. Christ did it for them.
And now He calls us to dwell and to walk in love. He demands that though a man hate
you, still you love him. True love cannot be conquered by anything in Heaven or upon the
earth. The more hatred there is, the more love triumphs through it all and shows its true
nature. This is the love that Christ commanded His disciples to exercise.
What more did He say? “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have
love one to another” (John 13:35).
You all know what it is to wear a badge. And Christ said to His disciples in effect: “I
give you a badge, and that badge is love. That is to be your mark. It is the only thing in
Heaven or on earth by which men can know me.”
Do we not begin to fear that love has fled from the earth? That if we were to ask the
world: “Have you seen us wear the badge of love?” the world would say: “No; what we have
heard of the Church of Christ is that there is not a place where there is no quarreling and
separation.” Let us ask God with one heart that we may wear the badge of Jesus’ love. God
is able to give it.