Very well stated…
“It is always pleasing to God for His saints to imitate Him, in His latest revelation of Himself. Our characters should conform to the truth we teach. The marvelous message of the ultimate reconciliation of all to God is the most powerful incentive to peace. We look upon all our enemies as potential friends. We welcome and anticipate the time when all enmity and every difference will vanish, and it is bound to have a soothing and salutary effect on our present conduct, in the measure in which it has gripped our hearts.
But that is future. A still more potent truth is God’s present attitude toward mankind. Only those who have peace with God are reconciled to Him, nevertheless He is conciliated to all mankind. The estrangement between man and his Creator is a one-sided enmity. It is all on man’s side. God is not at all at war with mankind. Alas that this great truth should be most denied by those who seek to preach the gospel, and picture Him as a distant, angry god, who must be sought, who must be implored, who must be entreated for the smallest favor! Can any course more effectively conceal the grace He displays in seeking and beseeching the sinner to be conciliated to Him?
Great as is God’s grace in the gospel, how excessively redundant is its outflow to those who have received the conciliation and are reconciled! We are to imitate Him, not merely in our attitude to His enemies, but more especially toward those whom He has taken to be His friends. Here is where we all fail. Here is where we all place limits on His favor.
The highest evidence of a close communion with God is not a haughty holding of the truth and a separation from all who do not see it as we do. We are to endeavor to correctly partition the word of truth, but we are also to endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the tie of peace. Truth, too often, has been held in hate. Truth in love is the key to the approval of God and to the hearts of His saints…
…But truth, in love, has a power difficult to resist.
Truth, in love, is sometimes silent, for fear of offending. It is often grieved, but does not retaliate. Above all it does not, like Peter, cut off the ears of those who oppose, for it is patiently waiting for the time when the ears will be healed, not hurt.”