That which more especially distinguishes God’s people from the popular religious bodies is not their profession alone, but their exemplary characters and their principles of unselfish love. The powerful, purifying influence of the Spirit of God upon the heart, carried out in words and works, separates them from the world and designates them as God’s peculiar people. The character and disposition of Christ’s followers will be like their Master’s. He is the pattern, the holy and perfect example given for Christians to imitate. His true followers will love their brethren and be in harmony with them. They will love their neighbors as Christ has given them example and will make any sacrifice if they can by so doing persuade souls to leave their sins and be converted to the truth.
The truth, deeply rooted in the hearts of believers, will spring up and bear fruit unto righteousness. There words and works are the channels through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. Special blessings and privileges are for those who love the truth and walk according to the light they have received. If they neglect to do this, their light will become darkness. When the people of God become self-sufficient, the Lord leaves them to their own wisdom. Mercy and truth are promised to the humble in heart, the obedient and faithful.
E. G. White, Testimonies For The Church, vol. 3, pp. 58, 59
“The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.” Psalm 97:1, 2
The law of love is the foundation of God’s government, and the service of love the only service acceptable to Heaven. God has granted freedom of will to all, endowed men with capacity to appreciate His character, and therefore with ability to love Him and to choose His service. So long as created beings worshiped God they were in harmony throughout the universe. While love to God was supreme, love to others abounded. As there was no transgression of the law, which is the transcript of God’s character, no note of discord jarred the celestial harmonies.
But known unto God are all His works, and from eternal ages the covenant of grace (unmerited favor) existed in the mind of God. It is called the everlasting covenant, for the plan of salvation was not conceived after the fall of man, but it was that which was “kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested, and …made known unto all the nations…” Romans 16:25, 26, R.V.
Before Him who ruleth in the heavens the mysteries of the past and future are alike outspread, and God sees beyond the woe and darkness and ruin that sin has wrought, the outworking of His purpose of love and blessing. Though clouds and darkness are round about Him, yet righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne… Through the plan of salvation a larger purpose is to be wrought out even than the salvation of man and the redemption of the earth. Through the revelation of the character of God in Christ, the beneficence of the divine government would be manifested before the universe, the charge of Satan refuted, the nature and result of sin made plain, and the perpetuity of the law fully demonstrated.’
Then the extermination of sin will vindicate God’s love and establish His honor before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law.
E. G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 366