Tag Archives: The Love of God

“These words will support thee” by John Bunyan

“Is the love of God and of Christ so great? Let us then labour to improve it to the utmost for our advantage, against all the hindrances of faith. To what purpose else is it revealed, made mention of, and commended to us?

We are environed with many enemies, and faith in the love of God and of Christ, is our only succour and shelter. Wherefore our duty and wisdom and privilege is, to improve this love for our own advantage.

Improve it against daily infirmities, improve it against the wiles of the devil. Improve it against the threats, rage, death, and destruction, that the men of this world continually with their terror set before you.

But how must that be done? Why, set this love and the safety that is in it, before thine eyes; and behold it while these things make their assaults upon thee. These words, the faith of this, ‘God loves me,’ will support thee in the midst of what dangers may assault thee.

And this is that which is meant, when we are exhorted to rejoice in the Lord (Phil 3:1), to make our boast in the Lord (Psa 44:8); to triumph in Christ (2 Cor 2:14); and to set the Lord always before our face (Psa 16:8). For he that can do this thing steadfastly, cannot be overcome.

For in God there is more than can be in the world, either to help or hinder; wherefore if God be my helper, if God loves me, if Christ be my redeemer, and has bestowed His love that passeth knowledge upon me, who can be against me? (Heb 13:6, Rom 8:31)

And if they be against me, what disadvantage reap I thereby; since even all this also, worketh for my good? This is improving the love of God and of Christ for my advantage.”

–John Bunyan, All Love’s Excelling: The Saint’s Knowledge of Christ’s Love(Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1692/1998), 119-120.

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“At the cost of His life” by Martin Luther

“By the fact that Christ is Priest He turns God into our Father, and Himself into our Lord. If I regard Him as Priest, then I know that He does nothing but sit in heaven above as our Mercy Seat and there intercedes for us before the Father without ceasing, pleads on our behalf, and says the best for us.

This is the greatest comfort that can come to a human being, and no sweeter sermon can be preached to the human heart. This He has proved in the Gospel by everything He says and does. For He does nothing but serve and help people and offer Himself to everybody.

In addition, in order to atone for us, He burdens Himself at the cost of His life and blood with all the wrath which we have deserved. Is it possible to preach anything more comforting than this to troubled consciences?”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 552, pp. 190-191. Luther was commenting on Gen. 14:17-24.

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“He sent Him into our misery” by Martin Luther

“God so loved us as to be willing to pay the price of His only, dearest Child. Him He sent into our misery, hell, and death, and let Him drain these to the dregs. This is the way to be saved.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 550, p. 189. Luther was commenting on John 3:16.

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“Knowing God as our Father” by Michael Reeves

“Knowing God as our Father not only wonderfully gladdens our view of Him; it also gives the deepest comfort and joy. The honor of it is stupefying. To be the child of some rich king would be nice; but to be the beloved of the emperor of the universe is beyond words.

Clearly the salvation of this God is better even than forgiveness, and certainly more secure. Other gods might offer forgiveness, but this God welcomes and embraces us as His children, never to send us away.

He does not offer some kind of ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ relationship whereby I have to try and keep myself in His favor by behaving impeccably. No, ‘to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God’ (Jn 1:12)– and so with security to enjoy His love forever.

Think of just who the Son is: He is the one eternally and utterly loved by His Father; the Father would not ever moderate or renounce His love for His Son– and the Son comes to share that, as the Father wanted. Because Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers (Heb 2:11), His Father is not ashamed to be known as ours (Heb 11:16).

Nothing could give greater confidence and delight in approaching the heavenly throne of grace. ‘How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’ (1 Jn 3:1).”

–Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012), 76-77.

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“The task of all Christian scholarship” by John Piper

“The task of all Christian scholarship– not just biblical studies– is to study reality as a manifestation of God’s glory, to speak and write about it with accuracy, and to savor the beauty of God in it, and to make it serve the good of man.It is an abdication of scholarship when Christians do academic work with little reference to God.

If all the universe and everything in it exist by the design of an infinite, personal God, to make His manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God’s glory is not scholarship but insurrection.”

–John Piper, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 21.

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“Don’t abandon thinking” by John Piper

“If we were to succeed in raising a generation of people who give up serious, faithful, coherent thinking, we will have raised a generation incapable of reading the Bible. Reading is thinking. Either we do it carefully and accurately or we do it carelessly and inaccurately.

The problem with those who debunk the gift of thinking as a way of knowing God is that they do not spell out clearly what the alternative is. The reason is that there isn’t one. If we abandon thinking, we abandon the Bible, and if we abandon the Bible we abandon God.

The Holy Spirit has not promised a shortcut to the knowledge of God. He inspired the prophets and apostles to write in a book what He showed them and told them. In more than one place, He even said explicitly that reading the book is the God-appointed way of knowing the mysteries of God (cf. Ephesians 3:3-4).

Reading is the way we are able to think the thoughts of Paul and thus know the mystery of God. It is therefore futile counsel to tell the church that thinking is worthless. There is no reading without thinking. And there is no reading carefully and faithfully and coherently without thinking carefully and faithfully and coherently.

The remedy for barren intellectualism is not anti-intellectualism, but humble, faithful, prayerful, Spirit-dependent, rigorous thinking.”

–John Piper, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 123.

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“The Father’s love” by John Owen

“Assure yourself, there is nothing more acceptable unto the Father than for us to keep up our hearts unto Him as the eternal fountain of all that rich grace which flows out to sinners in the blood of Jesus.

This will be exceeding effectual to endear your soul unto God, to cause you to delight in Him, and to make your abode with Him.

Many saints have no greater burden in their lives than that their hearts do not come clearly and fully up, constantly to delight and rejoice in God—that there is still an unwillingness of spirit unto close walking with Him. What is at the bottom of this distemper?

Is it not their unskillfulness in or neglect of this duty, even of holding communion with the Father in love? So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more. Every other discovery of God, without this, will but make the soul fly from Him.

But if the heart be once much taken up with this the eminency of the Father’s love, it cannot choose but be overpowered, conquered, and endeared unto Him. This, if anything, will work upon us to make our abode with Him.

If the love of a father will not make a child delight in him, what will? Exercise your thoughts upon this very thing, the eternal, free, and fruitful love of the Father, and see if your hearts be not wrought upon to delight in Him.

I dare boldly say: believers will find it as thriving a course as ever they pitched on in their lives. Sit down a little at the fountain, and you will quickly have a further discovery of the sweetness of the streams.

You who have run from Him, will not be able, after a while, to keep at a distance for a moment.”

–John Owen, Communion with the Triune God, Eds. Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1657/2007), 127-128.

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