On Sunday mornings throughout this last summer, we’ve been giving our attention to Christ’s commandment in John 13:34-35:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
What does this teach us at the outset, but that a salvation which leads to this must be of God, and must be wrought in us by his power? Such a comely grace can never grow out of our fallen nature. Shall such a clean thing as this be brought out of an unclean? This glorious salvation unto pure love must be grasped by faith, and wrought in us by the operation of the Spirit of God. If we consider salvation to be a little thing, we bring it, as it were, within the sphere of human possibility, but if we set it forth in its true proportions as involving the possession of a pure, loving, elevated state of heart, then we perceive that it is a divine wonder. When we estimate the renewed nature aright we cry, “This is the finger of God,” and right gladly do we then subscribe to Jonah’s creed, “Salvation is of the Lord.” If charity be in any man and abound, God must have the glory of it; for assuredly it was never attained by mere natural effort, but must have been bestowed by that same hand which made the heavens. So then, brethren, I shall hope when I conclude to leave upon your minds the impression of your need of the grace of God for the attainment of love. I would not discourage you, but I would have you feel how great a labour lies before you, and how impossible it will be unless you are girt with a strength beyond your own. This shall be your solace that if it cannot be the outcome of your own effort, yet “the fruit of the Spirit is love,” and the Spirit is ready and willing to bear fruit in us also.
Growing with you,