“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” – John 15:9
Charles Spurgeon believed that “In the love of Christ we find our best joy.” He also knew, from experience, that while “The pastures of the Great Shepherd are wide” the “sweetest grasses grow close to [Jesus’s] pierced feet.” While God had an abundance of grace, comfort, and consolation to give, Spurgeon found that “The love of Jesus is the centre of salvation.” Indeed, the “love of Christ” was the “sweetest, fullest, and most profitable” subject which a “preacher can bring before his people.”
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon declared “Let us unquestioningly believe that Jesus loves us.” Here Spurgeon emphasized as a matter of first importance that “if we are indeed in him, he loves us infinitely.”
First, Spurgeon rejoiced that Christ “chose us in love.” Here he confidently cited Deuteronomy 7, where God says to Israel: “The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you.” Spurgeon relished this Scripture, and celebrated that “Election is based upon affection, and that affection is its own fountain.” Indeed, “The whole system of divine love springs from the love of God, and from nothing else. Jesus loves us because he is love.”
Second, Spurgeon remembered that “so great was the love of our Lord that he became man for love of us.” He reminded his congregation that “[Jesus] took our nature, that so he might be able to do for us, and suffer for us, what else he could not have done and suffered.” And in sharing our nature and suffering Christ “established a nearer union and sweeter fellowship with his beloved church than could otherwise have existed.” Reflecting with amazement, Spurgeon exclaimed, “Think what that love must have been which brought the Lord of glory from the highest heaven to become the Man of sorrows for our sakes!”
In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon exhorted his people, saying “Let us meditate continually upon the love of Christ.” Here Spurgeon focused his people’s attention on the many facets of the diamond of Christ’s love. First, he reminded them that Christ’s love is “ancient and venerable, tried and proved.” He recounted how Christ “loved you when you were not,” “when you were,” and when you “were not what you should be.” Indeed, Christ “loved you so as to suffer and to die.” What incredible love indeed!
Second, Spurgeon reminded his congregation that “his love to you has been most free.” Christ’s love was both “unbought” and “unsought.” Spurgeon asked his congregation, “What is there in you that could have won his love?” While some might say that “love is blind” Christ Jesus “saw our iniquities, and then he cast them into the depths of the sea.” Indeed, Christ’s love was not blind love it was redemptive love.
Reflecting on these, and other points, Spurgeon exclaimed “God grant us grace to meditate much upon this love of Jesus Christ to us paralleled only by the Father’s love to him; and meditating may we become content to have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings, that we may partake in his glory!”
In the third, and final, section of his sermon, Spurgeon charged his congregation, saying “Let us experience and admire the power which this love has over us.” Here Spurgeon explained that “I desire to retire altogether, that Jesus only may rule in your mind and heart in the fulness of his power.” He urgently desired that his congregation would set their attentions and affections entirely upon Christ.
Spurgeon confirmed that “The love of Christ received into the heart acts as catholicon.” He noted that while “The old doctors searched for many a day to find a universal remedy. They sought in vain; yet here we have it. Christ is all medicine for all ailments.” Indeed, the love of Christ even had the power to conquer pride. Spurgeon asserted that “let the love of Christ be believed in and felt in your hearts, and it will humble you. Proud self goes out when sweet love comes in.”
Truly the love of Christ is supreme. It has a “melting influence” softening hard hearts. It is the best for “consoling…mourning hearts!” But “The love of Jesus” also “has a cleansing and sanctifying power.” Spurgeon’s instructions were simple: “To kill the love of sin live in the love of Christ.” Finally, it is the love of Christ that “inflames men with a true zeal for God” and which “fills believers with delight.” In every way the love of Christ is best, even powerful enough to create a “Paradise in a prison, and a heaven in heaviness.”
Why you should take up and read:
Charles Spurgeon believed that “In the love of Christ we find our best joy.” He also knew that the “love of Christ” was the “sweetest, fullest, and most profitable” subject which a “preacher can bring before his people.” In this sermon, Spurgeon provided priceless meditations on the love of Christ. For those wanting to savour Christ’s love all the more please take up and read.
Here is the link to the Sermon of the Week:https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/love-at-its-utmost#flipbook/
Phillip Ort serves as the Director of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City while studying in The Residency Ph.D. program.