Hymn 95 More Christlike

How blessed, how glorious, how joyful to feel
The love Everlasting of sonship a seal.
The love that is perfect, the love that is pure
That we may with patience all things well endure

1 Corinthians 13:13 “Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

In the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians the Apostle Paul has recounted the various “gifts”” of the holy spirit that had been given to the early church for its establishment and development. He closes the chapter with the exhortation, that while esteeming all of these gifts, each member of the church should covet earnestly the superior ones: and then he adds: Corinthians 12:31 “yet show I unto you a more excellent way”- something still better than any of those gifts of the holy spirit.

Amongst the “gifts” of early Apostolic times, prophecy or oratory was one highly commended, and large faith was reckoned as one of the chief of Christian requirements: yet the Apostle declares that if he possessed all of these in their fullest measure, and Love was absent, he would be nothing. Without love we are nothing!

What a wonderful test this is! The Apostle counsels in 2 Corinthians 13:5 [Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.] Let us apply the test to ourselves: Whether we are something or nothing in God’s estimation is to be measured by our love for him, for His brethren, for His cause, for the world in general, and even for our enemies, rather that by our knowledge or fame or oratory.

Every child of God should be actuated by the acquisition and development of the spirit of love, the spirit of the Lord. In proportion as we have the mind of Christ, in that same proportion our love abounds.

There are different kinds of love, however, and the Apostle is here not speaking of general love but of one particular kind, which belongs to God, and to the family of God, the household of faith. Those who possess a love with such characteristics are able to appreciate it, but not able otherwise to explain it – it is of God, God-likeness in the heart, in the tongue, in the hands, in the thoughts – supervising all the human attributes and seeking fully to control them This is the love referred to in our Hymn – THE LOVE THAT IS PERFECT, THE LOVE THAT IS PURE.

Before describing the operation of love the Apostle impresses upon us it’s importance, assuring us that if we already possess the very choicest of the “gifts” and do not also have love, we will still lack the evidence of our being true followers in Christ Jesus.

We should be merely “sounding brass or cymbal” – making a noise, but having no acceptable feeling or virtue in our ourselves in connection with our words. He assures us thus that ability to speak fluently on gospel themes might not be a proof of our relationship to the Lord. If our teachings are not from the heart, prompted by love for the truth, then we are indeed as “sounding brass” or a tinkling cymbal.

Yet we are not to understand that one could have a knowledge of the deep mysteries of God without having been enlightened by the holy spirit of love; “for the deep things of God knoweth no man but by the spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10 but one might lose the spirit before losing the knowledge it brought Him, In the measurement of character, therefore, we are to put love first and to consider it the chief test of our nearness and acceptance to the Lord.

The apostle next takes another line of argument: The Corinthians to whom he was speaking already knew that helping support the poor was commendable; and to impress upon them the importance of having love as the controlling principal of their hearts, the Apostle declares that if he should give all of his goods to feed the poor – keeping nothing back – and yet do this without proper love as the motivating force, it would profit him nothing. He goes further and declares that even if he should become a martyr, and he burned at the stake, it would not bring him the blessed reward sought, unless that martyrdom were prompted by love. We believe these strong statements of the Apostle are meant to show us that all our good deeds, or sacrifices, our knowledge, our teachings are acceptable to the Lord and appreciated by him only to the extent that they may have love behind them. If love enters slightly in them, then they are slightly appreciated, if love enters largely into them, then God appreciates them largely. If they are prompted wholly by love, then God accepts them fully.

If love is only part of the motive behind our conduct, it implies that other motives are active in us, tending to neutralize in the Lord’s esteem even services and sacrifices performed in His name and upon worthy objects. We must be on guard against these neutralizing influences, and earnestly seek to be wholehearted, full of love; that our every service of the Lord and of the brethren and of the truth be from a pure heart, free from pride or personal ambition.

Having given us such a conception of the importance of love, the Apostle proceeds to describe what love is and what it is not – how it operates, and how it does not operate or conduct itself. Let us each make a practical application of this matter to ourselves and inquire within. Have I such love, especially for the household of faith, as leads me to suffer considerable and for a long time and yet to be kind? How quickly do I get offended? If very quickly, it surely indicates that I have very little of the spirit of the Lord. The spirit of the Lord is love. If I am disposed to resent the trifling wrongs of life, if I have the spirit of resentment, if I am disposed to render evil for evil and railing for railing – it marks my deficiency in this greatest of all the graces, so essential to my ultimate passing as an overcomer, to be pleasing to the Lord.

Of our heavenly Father it is said :ile 6:35 “he is kind to the unthankful” Have I this spirit of kindness, his spirit? Am I this kind to even my friends? Have I this mark of love pervading my actions and words and thoughts – that I think of and am considerate of others? Do I feel and manifest kindness toward them in word, in look, in act?

A christian above all others, should be kind, courteous, gentle, in his home, in his place of business, in the church – everywhere, With the child of God this patience and kindness are not merely put on, but on the contrary, they are the fruits of the spirit – the result of having come into fellowship with God, learned of Him, received of his spirit of holiness, the spirit of love.

Have I the love that envieth not? Can I see others proper and rejoice in their prosperity, even when I may be having hard times? This is generosity, the very opposite of jealousy and envy. The root of envy is selfishness: envy will not grow upon the root of love. Love envies not, but rejoices in the prosperity of all that is good.

The Apostle tells us love tends to humility, a love that is not boastful, nor puffed up. Over self-esteem can only lead to trouble. The spirit of the Lord is a spirit of a sound mind, which not only seeks generously to esteem others but also soberly to estimate ones self, and not to be puffed up.

This God – like love we are trying to to develop does not behave itself unseemly, discourteously or impolitely. Politeness is defined as love in trifles. Courtesy is love in little things. The secret of politeness is either a surface polishing or love in the hearts. As Christians we are to have the heart-love, which will prompt us to acts of kindness and courtesy, not only in the household of faith, but also in our homes and in our dealings with the world..

Have I the kind of love that might even be willing to let some of my own rights be sacrificed in the interest of others? – or have I the selfishness which not only demands my own rights on every occasion, but which demands those rights regardless of the convenience, comfort and rights of others? To develop love in this particular, means that we will be on guard against taking any unjust advantage of others, and to prefer rather to suffer a wrong then to do a wrong, – to suffer an injustice than to do an injustice.

Love is not easily provoked. To be easily provoked is to have a bad temper, to get all worked up into a passion where evil looks and evil words and angry feelings are involved. This is wholly contrary to the spirit of love and whoever is on the Lords side and seeking to be pleasing to Him and to be a successful overcoming should carefully guard against this general failing which is so prevalent in our day. The Lords people should all be good tempered. In no way can we better show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light than to the exhibition of the spirit of love in our daily affairs of life.

Love thinketh no evil. The spirit of love is without hatred, malice or strife. It is not looking for faults in others or attributing to them evil motives. The spirit of the world is to get even or to get full restitution when they feel they have been wronged in any way. The spirit of love should be a willingness to forgive and forget when we have been wronged.

Rejoiceth not in iniquity but Rejoiceth in the truth. Just looking at this we might say of course I wouldn’t rejoice in iniquity but there seems to be more to it than that. iniquity is wickedness, but it also includes a lack of justice, unfairness and unrighteousness. We want the principles of right and wrong so firmly in our minds that we would try to be so in harmony with right and so opposed to wrong that we would never encourage a wrong but must condemn it even if the wrong brought advantages to us. We want to be so in accord with right and truth that we would always rejoice in truth and righteousness even if truth were to upset some of our preconceived opinions, or the disadvantage of some of our earthly interests.

The love of God, which the Apostles is here describing as the spirit of the Lords people, is a love which is far above all selfishness, and is based upon fixed principles which should day by day, be more and more distinctly discerned, and always firmly adhered to at any cost.

Love beareth all things. Love resists evil, impurity, sin and everything and anything contrary to love. Love believeth all things and is unwilling to impute evil to another unless forced to do so by indisputable evidence. Love would rather believe good than evil about everybody and takes no pleasure in hearing evil but would resent it.

Love hopes for better days even under unfavorable circumstances and love endureth, that is, it continues to hope for the best in regards to all and to strive for the best and that with perseverance, love is not easily discouraged.

As a disciple of Christ we are in His school, and the great lesson which He is teaching us day by day, and the lesson we must learn thoroughly in all its various features and ramifications, is the lesson of Love. It takes hold upon and relates to all the words and thoughts and doings of our daily lives.

Next the Apostle points out that as love is the most excellent thing, so is it the most enduring. The gift of prophesy would pass away; the value and necessity of speaking with other tongues would cease; and all knowledge of the present time, imperfect as it is, must surely cease; and all knowledge of the present time, imperfect as it is, must surely cease to be valuable when the perfections of the new dispensation are fully ushered in. The very best informed now know only in part; but when perfection shall be obtained during the coming kingdom, all the partial and imperfect conditions will have been superseded, and only the one thing may surely be said to endure and be everlasting, and that one thing is love. With the perfections of the new condition we will see perfectly, know perfectly, understand perfectly.

The gifts which were given to the early church were very suitable to it, as fitted its infantile condition but as it would develop to maturity the value of those “gifts” would diminish, and they would be no more; but higher developments of divine favor were to be expected, faith, hope and love.

All three of these the church of God is to cultivate, and to esteem as fruits of the spirit, far above the gifts of the spirit, and the greatest of these is Love.

Love is also the most enduring, for will not faith practically come to an end when we shall see and know thoroughly? And will not hope practically be at an end when we shall reach the fulfillment of all our hopes and be possessors of the fulness of the promises of our heavenly Father.

Love however will never fail, even as it had no Matthew 18:1-5 [At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.]. Mark 10:13-16 [And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. {15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.Luke 18:15,16 [And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.]

In response to the question of his disciples, as to which of them would be his number one assistant in the kingdom, Jesus called a little child to him and using the child as an example he offered a lesson to his followers, to his disciples then and to all believers who would come after them.

Jesus said in Matt 18:3 “verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and come as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus was teaching you must be changed, from the spirit of the world, the desire for power and authority and replace it with a childlike spirit, with the very qualities that are in the 2nd verse of our hymn. More humble, more simple, more mild.

I remember how simple life was for me when I was a child. AS far as I knew there were only two commandments then. Number one was, “Thou shall not lie.” Number two, “Thou shall not steal.” Later the list grew longer and got a lot harder to keep.

Our Lord used the little child as an example to his disciples; children are meek, they want to learn. They are teachable, simple of heart, truth, free from ambition and rivalry, faithful, trusting, loving, obedient, without guile, indifferent to social distinctions and popular ideas.

However, we are not to understand that Jesus meant that only children would be in the Kingdom. The thought is that all believers should try to develop these childlike qualities.

More trustful, more thankful, more lovely in mind. More Watchful, more prayerful, more loving and kind. Mark 10:15 “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter therein.” The receiving of the kingdom evidently means the receiving of the message of the kingdom for no one can receive a kingdom until the kingdom has come or has been offered.

Thus with the Jewish nation; The offer of the kingdom came at the close of Jesus ministry, when after the manner of the kings of Israel, he rode into Jerusalem upon the ass, thus offering himself as their King. The worldly scribes and Pharisees were too wise to receive Jesus, and plotted for his death. His disciples were as teachable as little children and fully believed the message of God’s Word that there would be a kingdom and the further message that Jesus was the appointed King, who in due time would take his power and reign for the blessing of the world.

This was illustrated when Jesus sat upon the ass. THe multitude crying “Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!”

They treated Jesus as the King. The disciples, accepting fully, as little children doubted nothing. On the other hand the wise scribes and pharisees called out that the multitude must be stopped from shouting. They should be told that Jesus was not the Messiah, they were deceived. But Jesus merely answered that what they had witnessed had been foretold by the Prophet Zechariah 9:9 [Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.], that there must be a shout. And the Lord declared that if the people did not shout the stones would be obliged to cry out, in order that the prophecy might be fulfilled Luke 19:40 [And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.]

It seems remarkable that, after all the Bible has said respecting Messiah’s Kingdom and the work which it is to accomplish in the blessing of Israel and all the families of the earth, so few seem to believe the message, so few seem to be able to receive it as little children. The majority today, like the scribes and pharisees of old are too “wise” to believe in the possibility of the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom. They talk about a one world, perfect government but they can never make it happen, it is not to be a kingdom of men’s making.

Some mistakenly hold that the kingdom of Christ was set up at Pentecost and that he has been reigning ever since. The conditions in the world today and since Pentecost indicate how wrong they are. How strange that some Christians have prayed so long that Gods kingdom would come and rule the world and put down the wicked and exalt the obedient, until finally the divine, will be done on earth completely as it is now done in heaven. They seem to be reciting the “Lords Prayer” without really believing that the kingdom which was offered to Israel, and which they refused is to be established at the second coming of Jesus.

Our Roman Catholic brethren hold still another theory, namely that Messiah’s thousand year reign began in the days of Pope Leo 111, A.D. 800 and that Jesus then established his followers in kingly power and made the pope at Rome his representative who reigns for him. The claim is that Christ has been reigning, now for 1200 years fully and officially represented by the pope.

Neither of these views is satisfactory, and neither is Scriptural. The Word of the Lord is “I will come again and receive you unto myself” His glorious message continued is that his church shall set with him on his throne, a royal priesthood; and then in his day the righteous shall flourish and all evil-doers shall be cut off in the second death.

Many Christians claim they carefully read their Bibles and yet they fail to see that the message of the coming kingdom was “spoken by the mouth of all Gods holy prophets” and is the glorious message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is only the children of God who hear, understand and love the message of the coming Kingdom.

I want the pure wisdom that comes from above
That warns those in danger with tenderest love
I want the sweet spirit of Jesus, my Lord
And perfect accordance with his blessed Word.

THe wisdom from above is the noblest science and the best instruction Psalms 119:130 [The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.]

“We need to be instructed. Light is truth, our instructor is our Lord Jesus, for he is the light.” John 8:12 [Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.] Jesus says to all, “I am the way; I am the truth; I am the life.” We perceive, then, that Christ is the sufficiency which God has provided for us in all respects and first of all Jesus is made unto us wisdom. He gives the necessary knowledge to come to God. This is the first step, for our Lords words are John 14:6 [Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.]

Since God’s dealings with His creatures recognizes their wills, the first step in His dealings with them is to give them knowledge of wisdom. It is for this reason that preaching was the first command of the Gospel Age.

To the worldly minded the preaching of forgiveness on account of faith in the crucified Jesus did not seem a wise course. 1 Corinthians 1:23 [But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;]

TO them it would have seemed better for God to have commanded something to be done by them, to be saved by their own works. But as the Apostle says in 1 Corinthians 1:21 [For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.] The message was only foolishness to the worldly minded.

In his prayer to the Father in John 17:17 our Lord said, [Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.] By the word truth Jesus was referring to the Fathers revealment of His divine plan through the Holy Spirit and the satisfying influence that would come through the knowledge of that truth received into an honest heart.

This sanctification or setting apart is the sweet spirit of Jesus and will continue to progress and operate as long as we allow the truth to have its designed influence in our life.

The first gift of God to our redeemed race was knowledge. Knowledge of the greatness and absolute justice of the God whom we have to do.

This knowledge was prepared for us by the Mosaic Law. One God, the Creator, from everlasting to everlasting with four perfect character attributes, Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power.

The Mosaic Law was a “schoolmaster”, to lead men to Christ. And Christ by his obedience to that law, magnified the law and showed its honorableness, its worthiness; and thus honored God, the author of that law, and showed his character.

Proverbs 4:7 [Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.]

Thus wrote the wise man Solomon, and so all agree: wisdom is necessary at the very beginning of any matter that would result favorably.

Wisdom is craved by the whole world of mankind, and the majority, even while going in the wrong direction claim to be walking in wisdoms ways

How important then, that we discriminate as between true wisdom and that which is so often misnamed wisdom, which is really folly. All who would walk in wisdoms paths should learn that all true wisdom “comes from above” and that any other is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Wisdom from above comes from Jesus and our source of this pure knowledge is written in the Bible, the Word of God.

The wisdom from above tells us the penalty for sin is death Genesis 2:17 [But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.Romans 6:23 [For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.]

Earthly wisdom comes from Satan and is now accepted by nearly the whole population of earth. You won’t really die, they say, the dead are really alive, Genesis 3:4 [And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:] Satan teaches we have an immortal soul, that cannot die and will either spend eternity in bliss or everlasting torment. The Bible declares Ezekiel 18:4 [Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.]

“the soul that sinneth it shall die.”

In order to have a hearing ear for the wisdom that cometh from above, an earnest condition of heart is necessary. We must possess a measure of humility, or we will think of ourselves more highly that we ought to think, and we will fail to see or admit to ourselves, blemishes, unworthiness from the divine standpoint.

We need also to be honest, to be willing to admit, to acknowledge our own weakness, of our sinful and helpless condition that we might appreciate our need of a Savior such as God’s plan has provided for us.

Knowledge of how the entire race of Adam fell from divine favor and from mental moral and physical perfection, through Adam, was also necessary.

Without this knowledge we could not have seen how God could be just in accepting the one life of Christ, as a ransom price for the life of the whole world.

Without knowledge as to what is the penalty for sin, that “the wages of sin is death the penalty for Adam and all in him.” We never should have been able to understand how the death of our Redeemer paid the penalty against Adam and all in him.

Most heartily, therefore, we thank God for the knowledge or wisdom concerning His plan. And we see that this wisdom came to us through Christ: because had it not been for the plan of salvation of which he and his cross are center, it would have been useless to preach because there would have been no salvation to offer.

In every step we take, wisdom is the principle thing and all through our life of consecration, or sanctification, at every step of the journey to the Kingdom of God, we need the wisdom which cometh from above, which the apostle describes in James 3:17 [But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.]

I want to touch lightly the things of this earth;
Esteeming them only of trifling worth;
From sin and its bondage I would be set free
And live my dead Savior, live only for thee.

I can’t imagine that the author of this grand hymn could have had much of an idea of the kind of conditions the Lord’s people would face during their last days.

The word of the Lord through Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy Chapter 3 warned that “in the last days perilous times shall come”, but even this warning falls short of the degraded conditions that we are surrounded with at the present time and that will no doubt continue to crumble. He writes “For men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God”

And brethren today, these are the good guys! All these descriptions of men are now legel and accepted in this society in which we live.

What is right and what is wrong has changed so much in the last few years that parents, children and grand children are all playing under a different set of rules. Laws have been re-interpreted, many sins have been legalized, goodness is mistaken for weakness and we can no longer depend on the courts, the religious leaders, the professors or the teachers to tell us what is right and what is wrong.

How then are we to conduct ourselves in our effort to touch lightly, the things of this earth? Brothers and sisters we must depend entirely on the wisdom from above, the only reliable source of information is the Word of God, The Holy Scriptures.

Study the word carefully, compare the divine instruction with every single feature of the rules and regulations that are acceptable in the world today.

Learn to know right from wrong and you will be set free from sin and its bondage and you will develop the Sweet Spirit of our Lord Jesus.


Brother Detzler