When we keep our eyes on Jesus, especially the closing scenes of His life, the love of God and the law of God become linked together in our minds. Unless Jesus had loved us beyond our comprehension He would never have gone to the cross. But He would not have needed to go to the cross if there had not been a law that we had broken which would result in our certain death if the death penalty was not paid. Christ died for our sins. 1 Corinthians 15:3.
The question is, what practical effect will such a study and meditation have on those who engage in it? The result will be unity in the church and in Christendom. The roadblock to unity is first of all selfishness of heart and then its practical result—failure to keep the law of God. Notice the inspired counsel on this subject.
“Satan will work to bring in criticism and misstatements, and to lead men to want their own way. There is no safety for any one who retains his selfish habits. God calls upon every soul to take up the work of self-examination. If all will now take up the work God has given them, and be converted in the doing of that work they will grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Satan will make every effort to create disunion, and unless the love of Christ fills the heart there will be divisions. But divisions always dishonor God, and a great deal of time is spent in an effort to set things right, when it ought not to be necessary to spend a moment in this way.” Special Testimonies, Series B, 34, 35.
“Men hang with admiration upon the lips of eloquence while it teaches that the transgressor shall not die, that salvation may be secured without obedience to the law of God. If the professed followers of Christ would accept God’s standard, it would bring them into unity; but so long as human wisdom is exalted above His Holy Word, there will be divisions and dissension. The existing confusion of conflicting creeds and sects is fitly represented by the term ‘Babylon,’ which prophecy (Revelation 14:8; 18:2) applies to the world-loving churches of the last days.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 124.
“The Lord would have His church purified from all contention and strife. Every phase of character is to be in harmony with the character of Jesus Christ. Unity will then be seen as the sure result. Divisions are the fruit of Satan’s work. Those who love God and keep His commandments will ever reveal the meekness and lowliness of Christ, because they have learned in the school of the great Teacher. We need to be worked by the Holy Spirit.” Letter 24, 1900.
“Love to God comprises our duty to God; love to our neighbor, our duty to one another. Mutual love must be cherished at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances. This is the credential which we bear to the world, that God has sent his Son Jesus to die, to bring back the moral image of God in man: ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’ This love cultivated, becomes an abiding principle, and is effectual in rooting out dissensions and divisions among brethren. Where envying and jealousies are cherished, there is every evil work. All this must be cleansed from the soul temple, and then God will work in much greater power for his people. But he cannot do this where those evil things exist; for should God bless, each party would be confirmed in his conviction that he is right and his brother wrong. In the place of love there would be contention over the very blessings bestowed. In the place of acting like Christians, and guarding one another’s interest, there would be a tearing and rending of one another, like brute beasts. Such a spirit is wholly in harmony with Satan, and is in accordance with his mind and purposes, fulfilling his will, doing his pleasure; for he knows the sure result is separation from God. Then he obtains full control over their minds and affections. And while professing to be children of God, they are to all intents and purposes children of the wicked one; for they act out his spirit and do his will. It is mutual strife in the place of mutual love, that if persisted in will prove their common ruin. Professed Christian churches are often ruined by their own unchristian course toward one another.” Review and Herald, June, 28, 1887.