Tag Archives: The Dying Love of Christ

“The great love of Jesus” by Charles Spurgeon

“Jesus has loved His own people from of old. A most blessed fact! He has loved them eternally. There never a time when He did not love them.

His love is positively dateless: before the heavens and earth were made, and the stars were first touched with the torch of flame, Jesus had received His people from His Father, and written their names on His heart.

‘Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.’ Jesus, before all the world, set the crown of His peculiar love upon those whom He foreordained unto His glory.

This love of His is infinite. Jesus does not love His own with a little of His love, nor regard them with some small degree of affection, but He says, ‘As the Father hath loved me, even so have I loved you,’ and the Father’s love to the Son is inconceivably great, since they are one in essence, ineffably one.

The Father cannot but love the Son infinitely, neither doth the Son ever love His people less than with all His heart. It is an affection which no angelic mind could measure, inconceivable, unknown.

Jesus loved His people with a foresight of what they would be. Love is blind, they say, but not the Saviour’s love. He knew that ‘his own’ would fall in Adam; He knew that as they lived personally each one would become a sinner; He understood that they would be hard to reclaim and difficult to retain, even after they had been reclaimed; He saw every sin that they would commit in the glass of the future, for from His prescient eye nothing can be hidden.

And yet He loved His own over the head of all their sins, and their revoltings, and their shortcomings. Hence we see that He bears towards them an affection which cannot be changed, for nothing can occur which He has not foreseen, nothing therefore which has not already been taken into calculation in the matter of His choice.

No new circumstance can shed unexpected light upon the case. No startling and unforeseen event can become an argument for a change. Hence Jesus’ love is full of immutability. There are no ups and downs in the love of Christ towards His people.

On their highest Tabors He loves them, but equally as well in their Gethsemanes. When they wander like lost sheep His great love goes after them, and when they come back with broken hearts His great love restores them.

By day, by night, in sickness, in sorrow, in poverty, in famine, in prison, in the hour of death, that silver stream of love ripples at their side, never stayed, never diminished. Forever is the sea of divine grace at its flood; this sun never sets; this fountain never pauses.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Faithfulness of Jesus,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 14 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1868), 270-271.

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“Look to Jesus” by Jonathan Edwards

“In all your way let your eye be to Jesus who is gone to heaven as your Forerunner.

Look to Him; behold His glory there in heaven to stir you up the more earnestly to be there.

Look to Him, and observe His example. Consider how by patient continuance in well-doing, and in patient enduring of great sufferings, He went before to heaven.

Look to Him, and trust in His mediation, in His blood, with which He has entered into the holiest of all, as the price of heaven.

Trust to His intercession in heaven before God.

Trust to His strength by His Spirit sent from heaven to enable you to press on and surmount the difficulties which are in the way to heaven.

Trust in His promises of heaven to those who love and follow Him, whom He has confirmed by entering into heaven Himself as your Head and Representative and Forerunner.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 395.

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“Heaven is a world of love” by Jonathan Edwards

“The God of love dwells in heaven. Heaven is the palace, or presence-chamber, of the Supreme Being who is both the cause and source of all holy love.

God, indeed, with respect to His essence is everywhere. He fills heaven and earth. But yet He is said on some accounts more especially to be in some places rather than others.

He was said of old to dwell in the land of Israel above all other lands, and in Jerusalem above all other cities in that land, and in the temple above all other houses in that city, and in the holy of holies above all other apartments in that temple, and on the mercy seat over the ark above all other places in the holy of holies.

But heaven is His dwelling place above all other places in the universe.

Those places in which He was said to dwell of old were all but types of this. Heaven is a part of the creation which God has built for this end, to be the place of His glorious presence.

And it is His abode forever. Here He will dwell and gloriously manifest Himself to eternity.

And this renders heaven a world of love; for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light.

And therefore the glorious presence of God in heaven fills heaven with love, as the sun placed in the midst of the hemisphere in a clear day fills the world with light.

The Apostle tells us that God is love, 1 John 4:8. And therefore seeing He is an infinite Being, it follows that He is an infinite fountain of love.

Seeing He is an all-sufficient Being, it follows that He is a full and overflowing and an inexhaustible fountain of love.

Seeing He is an unchangeable and eternal Being, He is an unchangeable and eternal source of love.

There even in heaven dwells that God from whom every stream of holy love, yea, every drop that is or ever was proceeds.

There dwells God the Father, and so the Son, who are united in infinitely dear and incomprehensible mutual love.

There dwells God the Father, who is the Father of mercies, and so the Father of love, who so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life [John 3:16].

There dwells Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of peace and love, who so loved the world that He shed His blood, and poured out His soul unto death for it.

There dwells the Mediator, by whom all God’s love is expressed to the saints, by whom the fruits of it have been purchased, and through whom they are communicated, and through whom love is imparted to the hearts of all the church.

There Christ dwells in both His natures, His human and divine, sitting with the Father in the same throne.

There is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of divine love, in whom the very essence of God, as it were, all flows out or is breathed forth in love, and by whose immediate influence all holy love is shed abroad in the hearts of all the church [cf. Romans 5:5].

There in heaven this fountain of love, this eternal three in one, is set open without any obstacle to hinder access to it.

There this glorious God is manifested and shines forth in full glory, in beams of love.

There the fountain overflows in streams and rivers of love and delight, enough for all to drink at, and to swim in, yea, so as to overflow the world as it were with a deluge of love.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 369-370.

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“The gospel and envy” by Jonathan Edwards

“The gospel scheme, all of it from beginning to end, tends to the contrary of this spirit of envy. The Christian form of doctrine doth abundantly hold forth those things which militate against a spirit of envy.

The things which they teach us of God are exceedingly contrary to it.

For there we are taught how far God was from grudging us the most exceeding honor and blessedness, and how He has grudged us nothing as too much to be done for us, and nothing as too great and too good to be given us.

He hath not grudged us His only begotten Son, that which was most precious and most dear of all to Himself.

For what was dearer to God than His only begotten, dearly beloved Son? He hath not grudged us the highest honor and blessedness in union with Him.

The doctrines of the gospel teach us how far Jesus Christ was from grudging us anything which He could do for or give to us.

He did not grudge us a life spent in labor and suffering.

He did not grudge us His own precious blood.

He hath not grudged us a sitting with Him on His throne in heaven, and being partakers with Him of that heavenly kingdom and glory which the Father hath given Him, and sitting with Him on thrones judging the world, though we deserve to be had in infinite contempt and abhorrence by Him.

The Christian scheme of doctrine teaches us how Christ came into the world to deliver us from the fruits of Satan’s envy towards us.

The devil being miserable himself envied mankind that happiness which they had, and could not bear to see our first parents in their happy state in Eden, and therefore exerted himself to the utmost to ruin them, and accomplished it.

The gospel teaches how Christ came into the world to destroy the works of the devil, and deliver us from that misery into which his envy has brought us.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 224.

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“The wonderful love of God” by Jonathan Edwards

“The work of redemption, which the gospel declares unto us, above all things affords motives to love. For that work was the most glorious and wonderful work of love ever seen or thought of. Love is the principal thing which the gospel reveals in God and Christ.

The gospel brings to light the love between the Father and the Son, and declares how that love has been manifested in mercy and how that Christ is God’s beloved Son in whom He is well pleased.

And there we have the effects of God’s love to His Son set before us in appointing Him to the honor of a mediatorial kingdom, in appointing Him to be the Lord and Judge of the world, in appointing that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father.

There is revealed the love which Christ has to the Father, and the wonderful fruits of that love, as particularly His doing such great things, and suffering such great things in obedience to the Father, and for the honor of the Father’s justice, authority and law.

There it is revealed how the Father and the Son are one in love, that we might be induced in like manner to be one with them, and with one another, agreeable to Christ’s prayer, John 17:21–23:

‘That they all may be one; as thou Father art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.’

The gospel teaches us the doctrine of the eternal electing love of God, and reveals how God loved those that are redeemed by Christ before the foundation of the world, and how He then gave them to the Son, and the Son loved them as His own.

The gospel reveals the wonderful love of God the Father to poor sinful, miserable men, in giving Christ not only to love them while in the world, but to love them to the end.

And all this love is spoken of as bestowed on us while we were wanderers, outcasts, worthless, guilty, and even enemies. The gospel reveals such love as nothing else reveals. John 15:13, ‘Greater love hath no man than this.’

Romans 5:7–8, ‘Scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’

God and Christ in the gospel revelation appear as clothed with love, as being as it were on a throne of mercy and grace, a seat of love encompassed about with pleasant beams of love. Love is the light and glory which are about the throne on which God sits.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 143-145.

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“What is it that makes you desirous to go to Mount Zion?” by John Bunyan

“Then Prudence began to ask Christian some questions. ‘Do you ever think of the country you came from?’

‘Yes,’ Christian replied, ‘but with much shame and detestation. Honestly, if I had pleasant thoughts about the country from which I have come, I might have taken the opportunity to return; but I desire a better country, one that is heavenly.’

Prudence asked further, ‘Do you not still carry some of the baggage from the place you escaped?’

‘Yes, but against my will. I still have within me some of the carnal thoughts that all my countrymen, as well as myself, were delighted with. Now all those things cause me to grieve. If I could master my own heart, I would choose never to think of those things again, but when I try only to think about those things that are best, those things that are the worst creep back into my mind and behavior.’

‘Don’t you find that sometimes you can defeat those evil things that at other times seem to defeat you?’ Prudence suggested.

Christian answered, ‘Yes, it happens occasionally. They are golden hours that I treasure.’

‘Can you remember the means by which you’re able occasionally to defeat the evil desires and thoughts that assail you?’

Christian said, ‘Yes. When I think about what I experienced at the cross, that will do it. When I look at the embroidered coat, that will do it. When I read the scroll that I carry in my coat, that will do it. And when my thoughts turn to the place to which I am going, that will do it.’

Prudence inquired, ‘And what is it that makes you desirous to go to Mount Zion?’

Christian replied, ‘Why, it is there that I hope to see alive my Savior who hung dead on the cross. It is there that I hope to be rid of all those things that to this day are an annoyance to me. They say that in that place there is no death, and I will dwell there with the company that I like best. For, to tell you the truth, I love Him because He eased me of my burden. I am weary of my inward sickness. I desire to be where I will die no more, with a company that will continually cry, Holy, holy, holy!'”

–John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come, Ed. C.J. Lovik (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 76-77.

 

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“Hearing this made me love Him even more” by John Bunyan

“Now I saw in my dream that they sat talking together until supper was ready. So when all was prepared and ready, they sat down to eat.

Now the table was furnished with savory foods and with wine that was well refined, and all their conversation at the table was about the Lord of the hill. They spoke with reverence about what He had done and why He did what He did and the reason He built that house.

And by the things they said, I perceived that He had been a great warrior. He had fought with and slain ‘him that had the power of death,’ but not without great danger to Himself.

Hearing this made me love Him even more.

They said, and I believe (as said Christian), that He did it with the loss of much blood. But what made it most glorious and gracious was that He did it all out of pure love to His country.

And besides, some of the household said they had spoken with Him since He died on the cross; and they have attested that they heard it from His own lips that there is nowhere to be found, no matter how far one might travel, anyone who had a greater love for poor pilgrims than He.

They, moreover, gave an instance of what they heard Him say, which was that He had stripped Himself of His glory that He might do this for the poor.

They also heard Him say and affirm ‘that He would not dwell in the mountain of Zion alone.’ They said also that He had made many pilgrims into princes, even though by nature they were born beggars, and their original dwelling had been the dunghill.”

–John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come, Ed. C.J. Lovik (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 80.

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