Greetings MOL Family!
We’re told that the gospel is a wonderful simplifier of life’s problems. As we go through our online studies and classes, it would be well for us to consider that each of them (every gospel sermon) is devoted to the question of solving problems.
Problems? Meet The Great Problem Solver
But, there are two big reasons why I’m anxious to study with you the science of solving problems. One is, because I suppose every one of us have some problems; and if you don’t, you’re unusual. Perhaps the larger reason is that God has called every one of us to be a problem solver for other people. That’s what Joseph did in Egypt, didn’t he? He solved problems all his life down there; sometimes he didn’t get much appreciation for it, but in the end, it worked out a glorious destiny.
Daniel was a problem solver in Babylon, wasn’t he? Yes, how wonderfully God used that young man and all through his life. We’re told that what Joseph and Daniel were to the people of their time, you and I are called to be to the people of our time.
And so, let me ask you: Do you know of any time in the history of the world where there were so many problems to be solved? And, so little light on the subject. Men are looking anywhere and everywhere, except the right place to get their problems solved.
God intends that if you come to a Seventh-day Adventist sanitarium, you’ll get your problems solved. God intends that if you come to a Seventh-day Adventist school, you’ll get your problems solved. He intends that if you come to a Seventh-day Adventist church, you’ll get your problems solved. Another time I’d like to study that with you. Those are three different doors to the same room. If you really get in the door, you’ll find yourself in the same place whether you came in through the sanitarium, or the school, or the church.
You come into the circle of light where the glorious rays from the Most Holy Place are shining down upon the Remnant people of God. And those who are really in that circle of light are rejoicing because the Great Problem Solver has done something for them. He has given them the answer to the great questions of life.
Love, Labor, and Law
Now, with that as a little background, let’s just review what we learned in our last few lessons. You remember that I pointed out that the Eden life that God gave our first parents in the beginning, is going to be given to His people again in the earth made new. But that in between, He wants us to enter into it as much as possible; as closely as possible, we are to copy that pattern. I brought to you from inspiration, the three things, the three institutions which are still here for us, that came down from Eden.
What was the first? The Sabbath; the second, the family or the home; the third, the garden – the things of nature both cultivated and in the wild state, whether for food or for pleasure. Now we have these three things: the Sabbath, the family, and the garden.
It’s certainly something to contemplate how little of any of these the wicked world has. Do they have any Sabbath? No, the devil pulled that away. Do they have much home life? To many of them, home is a word that if it is a memory, that’s all it is, a memory – broken homes, divided homes, no homes. And gardens? The nearest a lot of people get to the garden is an occasional vacation, or a trip to the supermarket.
But you and I are called to enter into the larger joys of closer contact with God, in knowing the blessings of His Sabbath; the joy of a happy, united, Christian home; and the joy of fellowship with Him, not only in seeing on Sabbath the wonders of creation, but in uniting with God in labor during the six days of the week. It was that that we studied in our previous lessons, you remember.
Today, I want to study another triangle with you; which, if we accept, will enable us to get the most out of the Eden life, as represented in the Sabbath, the family, and the garden. And, unless we learn this triangle we’re going to study, none of these – the Sabbath, or the family, or the garden – can do very much for us or mean very much to us.
In studying the triangle that I want to give you, there are three texts. The first is John 14:15. Now the triangle is in this text. While you’re putting down in your notes (and I hope you’re taking notes) John 14:15, put down Romans 13:10, the triangle is in that text, too. The third text is John 13:17. This gives the wonderful result of following the 3 parts of the triangle.
If ye love me, keep My commandments. – John 14:15
In living the Eden life, we need three things – motive, plan, and the actual carrying out of the plan. If we have that, then we will have the joy of the Eden life. Now, what is the motive that Jesus puts before us here? Love. Is that the Christian’s motive? Was that Adam’s motive in Eden? Will that be our motive in the earth made new? Can we have it now?
Paul says the love of Christ does what? Constrains us, not restrains us. Perhaps it does restrain us from some wicked thing; that is not what Paul is talking about at all. Constrain doesn’t mean to restrain. It means to impale, to propel, to compel. In other words, it makes us do things. I see a four-wheeled vehicle going along the highway. Suppose I should say to you, “What do you suppose makes that move?” What would you think if somebody would say, “Oh, I don’t think anything makes it move; it just goes.” Everybody knows there’s something under the hood, or in the back with some of these little cars. Somewhere or another in connection with those wheels there is what? There is motive power. When it’s in a car we call it a motor. When it’s in a man we call it a motive. It means the same thing. It makes it go.
Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” So, the motive is what? Love. That was the motive in Eden. That’s the motive in Heaven. That’ll be the motive all through eternity. And it’s the motive in those who are living the Eden life. Without that motive, friends, all the Sabbath, and all the family, and all the garden that you can bring together will be devoid of life and joy. You must have that motive – love.
Thank God, we can have it, friends. Heaven is full of it, and running over. And the great purpose of Jesus in the mediatorial work, in the Most Holy Place, is to receive from His Father that light, that glory, which is love; and to shed it down upon us. We can have oh so much, if we’ll just open our hearts to where the blessing comes from.
When I was a little boy, I used to go to Sabbath School and they taught me a little song, “’Tis Love That Makes Us Happy”. Have any of you ever heard it?
’Tis love that makes us happy,
’Tis love that smoothes the way;
It helps us mind, it makes us kind
To others every day.
God is love; we’re His little children;
God is love; we would be like Him.
’Tis love that makes us happy,
’Tis love that smoothes the way;
It helps us mind, it makes us kind
To others every day.
The way to be happy then is to have what? Love. And if you want to be happier have what? More love. That’s it, that’s the Eden life. That’s heaven on earth. That’s it, friend. If you have love – real love, true love – you want to do something.
Somebody was telling me about a little girl who was heard to say something like this: She said to her mother one morning after breakfast: “Oh, mommy, I just love you so much. Oh, I just love you so much.” And then Mother said, “Well darling, I’m so glad, because mother, right now, needs her little girl to help wash the dishes.” Then the little girl said, “But mommy, I don’t love you that way.” Do you remember how James puts it?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:18
Real love wants to do something. And that brings us to a second part of the triangle, and that is labor – doing something. Did Adam have labor in the garden? Oh yes. The Lord put him there to dress it and to keep it. And just as love brings us joy, labor brings us joy. Is that right?
What do you suppose the third side of the triangle is? Do we need anything else besides love and labor? Yes, we need law. If you love me keep my what? Commandments. If I really love my Lord, I not only want to labor for Him, but in laboring for Him I want to do the thing He wants me to do. Is that right? This is so important. That’s what law is. Law is the expression of God’s will. Law is Heaven telling us what will please our Lord.
Was Adam under law in the Garden of Eden? Oh, yes. Did God have a plan for that garden? Yes. Adam was put there in the garden to dress it and to what? Keep it. Let us read this and see if you agree with it: Adam was put there to dress it and to change it; to dress it and improve it; to make things crooked that were straight; and straight that were winding. Is that it? He was put there to dress it and to what? Keep it. That’s the same word that’s used in the Sabbath commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”
You hear people sometimes say, “Well, I keep every day.” Well, we ought to keep every day. If we’re living the Eden life we will keep every day. But keep means to preserve something in its original state – in the state in which it’s given to us. Is that right? Yes, that’s right.
Suppose I have a little friend, wearing a green dress, and I say to her, “Now, I want you to watch carefully and keep your dress white all day.” Can she do it? No. Why not? Why, it isn’t white, it’s green. Now she can keep it clean, but she can’t keep it white, because it’s what? Green.
Now, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – we can keep them as God gave them to us; working days, days for labor, you see. So, we can keep Sunday every week, when it comes to it. We ought to be good Sunday keepers, and Monday keepers, and Tuesday keepers, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Do you see? Labor, working with God through the week, is cooperating with Him to keep things the way He made them. I think it would be nice if we would study how to do that in every phase of our life. What do you say, friend? Yes. It would preserve us from some of the strange fashions of this age.
But now, back here to this matter of law. Adam was placed under law, wasn’t he? Are the angels in Heaven under law? Do they like it? The ones that stayed do. Adam and Eve were hardly aware of it until the serpent said, “Oh, you can’t do everything the way you want to, can you?” And, you know, there are little serpents and children of serpents around today, suggesting that you and I are not really free, and therefore can’t be happy. Isn’t it strange, friends, that the way to prove we’re free is to do what the devil says instead of what God says? That the way to prove we’re free is to be the slaves of satan instead of the servants of God? Isn’t that a strange thing? Of course, it’s a deception.
Now, do you see all three of these sides of the triangle in our little verse? “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” Is the motive there? What is it? Love. Is the labor there? Keep. Is the law there? The commandments.
Next week, we will look at the other two verses that highlight our lesson on love, labor, and law – to solve the problems of life and live the Eden life. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.
Thank you, MOL For another great lesson in understanding the scriptures. I love the topic of the triangle. It reminds me of God the Father, our Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Keeping the commandments is the one I focused on. In doing so, there is Love and Labor. Because you have to Love them in order to Labor for them. That’s the only way to Keep them.
Until our next communion!
:) Enjoy this day the Lord has made!
Amen. So very true! And thank you for your participating, Bro. K. God bless you!!!