“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Thus it is seen that the law of Christ is self-sacrifice to serve others; the spending of self to help others.
And so it is written in another place: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
And again: “Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.”
And this because “even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” Rom. 15:1-3.
Again: this law is expressed thus: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves.” Phil. 2:3. When each esteems the other better than himself, it becomes a pleasure to serve the other: it is more of a pleasure to serve the other, by helping him, than it is to serve self.
So in truth each can please himself more, in pleasing his neighbor for his good, by serving and helping him, than he can in seeking to please himself by serving only himself. This is the true Christian joy; because it was “for the joy that was set before him” that Christ “endured the cross, despising the shame” and the reproach which must be, and which were, endured to deliver us from our shame and reproach.
Therefore, again this law of Christ is expressed in the words: “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Phil. 2:4.
And that all may know for certain that this is precisely the law of Christ, and that the observance of it is therefore the keeping of all the law of God, —yea, even the keeping of all the law and the prophets, —Jesus himself spoke for all mankind this law of Christ. And here are the words: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matt. 7:12.
Notice, it is not, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do” that to yourself. Nor is it to have them do that to you; but it is “do ye even so to them.”
Thus the knowledge of this law of Christ is the easiest of all knowledge to attain, and the observance of this law is the easiest of all observances, to him who really has the heart to do it. To know what the law of Christ is, all that is required is that I shall simply think of what I would have any man do to me. In this transaction, at this particular moment, what would I choose that that man should do to me, if I were in his place, and all these circumstances applied to me? And whatsoever that may be, I know that that is the thing that it is right for me to do to him just at that moment, in that particular transaction, and in those circumstances. And since it is always perfectly easy for any man to know what he would that another should do to him in given circumstances, it is thus easy for him to know, at any moment, just what is the law of Christ; just what is the law of God; just what is “the whole duty of man.”
And just as easy as it is to know it, just so easy it is to do it, when I have the heart to do it; when I have Christ before me, instead of myself; and when I have his law in my heart, instead of my own self-seeking. But it is plain that this requires the utter emptying of self, and the appearing of Christ in the life; because none of this is the way of self: self will never go that way. That is the way of unselfishness; that is the way of the crucifixion of self; the utter death of self, and the living of Christ.
Therefore immediately following the word, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man on the things of others,” the sum of all is written: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but emptied himself, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:5-8.
Certainly it is true that without the mind of Christ no man can fulfill the law of Christ. Then wherever there is a lack of fulfilling the law of Christ, a lack of esteeming others better than ourselves, a lack of looking on the things of others, it is evident that the cause of the failure is in not having the mind of Christ. And the remedy is to receive and to retain the mind of Christ.
If this law of Christ were fulfilled daily by individuals, by the managers of our Conferences and our institutions, the loud cry of the Third Angel’s Message would shortly fill the earth, the gospel of the kingdom would speedily be preached to all the world, and very soon the end would come. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
[Advent Review and Sabbath Herald | October 23, 1900]