Christian Love by J.C. Ryle

"Love is rightly called "the Queen of Christian graces." J.C. Ryle CHRISTIAN LOVE! LOVING YOUR ENEMIES, IF WE LOVE A PERSON

"Love is rightly called "the Queen of Christian graces." J.C. Ryle CHRISTIAN LOVE! LOVING YOUR ENEMIES, IF WE LOVE A PERSON


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BY J.C. RYLE<br />

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He that loveth not knoweth not God;<br />

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for God is love. ~1 John 4:8






BY<br />

REV. J.C. RYLE<br />

1878<br />

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John Charles <strong>Ryle</strong> was born at Macclesfield and was educated at Eton and at<br />

Christ Church, Oxford. He was a fine athlete who rowed and played Cricket<br />

for Oxford, where he took a first class degree in Greats and was offered a<br />

college fellowship (teaching position) which he declined. The son of a wealthy<br />

banker, he was destined for a career in politics before answering a call to<br />

ordained ministry.<br />

He was spiritually awakened in 1838 while hearing Ephesians 2 read in<br />

church. He was ordained <strong>by</strong> Bishop Sumner at Winchester in 1842. After<br />

holding a curacy at Exbury in Hampshire, he became rector of St Thomas's,<br />

Winchester (1843), rector of Helmingham, Suffolk (1844), vicar of<br />

Stradbroke (1861), honorary canon of Norwich (1872), and dean of Salisbury<br />

(1880). In 1880, at age 64, he became the first bishop of Liverpool, at the<br />

recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. He retired in 1900 at<br />

age 83 and died later the same year.<br />

<strong>Ryle</strong> was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of<br />

Ritualism. Among his longer works are <strong>Christian</strong> Leaders of the Eighteenth<br />

Century (1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols, 1856-69) and<br />

Principles for Churchmen (1884).<br />

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THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and<br />

have not love, I have become a sounding brass, or a clanging symbol.<br />

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,<br />

and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove<br />

mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all<br />

my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,<br />

and have not love, it profits me nothing.<br />

<strong>Love</strong> is patient, and is kind; love does not envy. <strong>Love</strong> doesn’t<br />

brag, is not proud, does not behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek<br />

its own way, is not easily provoked, takes no account of evil, doesn’t<br />

rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things,<br />

believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. <strong>Love</strong> never<br />

fails: but where there are prophecies, they shall fail; where there are<br />

various languages, they shall cease; where there is knowledge, it shall<br />

vanish away.<br />

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that<br />

which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.<br />

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I<br />

thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish<br />

things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:<br />

now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.<br />

And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of<br />

these is LOVE.—I COR 13.<br />

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IF WE LOVE A PERSON … 33<br />

SCRIPTURES … 38<br />

RESOURCES … 45<br />

Page 6<br />

The Loving Heart of an Actual Living Christ - Audiobook<br />



"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of<br />

these is love!" 1 Corinthians 13:13<br />

"The end of the commandment is love." 1 Timothy 1:5<br />

<strong>Love</strong> is rightly called "the Queen of <strong>Christian</strong> graces." It is a grace<br />

which all people profess to admire. It seems a plain practical thing<br />

which everybody can understand. It is none of "those troublesome<br />

doctrinal points" about which <strong>Christian</strong>s are disagreed. Thousands, I<br />

suspect, would not be ashamed to tell you that they knew nothing<br />

about justification or regeneration, about the work of Christ or the<br />

Holy Spirit. But nobody, I believe, would like to say that he knew<br />

nothing about "love!" If men possess nothing else in religion, they<br />

always flatter themselves that they possess "love."<br />

A few plain thoughts about love may not be without use. There are<br />

false notions abroad about it which require to be dispelled. There are<br />

mistakes about it which require to be rectified. In my admiration of<br />

love, I yield to none. But I am bold to say that in many minds, the<br />

whole subject seems completely misunderstood.<br />

I. Let me show, firstly, the place which the Bible gives to love.<br />

II. Let me show, secondly, what the love of the Bible really is.<br />

III. Let me show, thirdly, where true love comes from.<br />

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IV. Let me show, lastly, why love is "the greatest" of the graces.<br />

I ask the best attention of my readers to the subject. My heart's desire<br />

and prayer to God is, that the growth of love may be promoted in this<br />

sin-burdened world. In nothing does the fallen condition of man<br />

show itself so strongly, as in the scarcity of <strong>Christian</strong> love. There is<br />

little faith on earth, little hope, little knowledge of Divine things.<br />

But nothing, after all, is so scarce as real love!<br />

I. Let me show the PLACE which the Bible gives to love.<br />

I begin with this point in order to establish the immense practical<br />

importance of my subject. I do not forget that there are many highflying<br />

<strong>Christian</strong>s in this present day, who almost refuse to look at<br />

anything practical in <strong>Christian</strong>ity. They can talk of nothing but two<br />

or three favorite doctrines. Now I want to remind my readers that the<br />

Bible contains much about practice as well as about doctrine, and<br />

that one thing to which it attaches great weight, is "love."<br />

I turn to the New Testament, and ask men to observe what it says<br />

about love. In all religious inquiries there is nothing like letting the<br />

Scripture speak for itself. There is no surer way of finding out truth,<br />

than the old way of turning to plain texts. Texts were our Lord's<br />

weapons, both in answering Satan, and in arguing with the Jews.<br />

Texts are the guides we must never be ashamed to refer to in the<br />

present day. "What do the Scriptures say? What is written? How do<br />

you read?"<br />

Let us hear what Paul says to the Corinthians: "If I speak in the<br />

tongues of men and of angels, but have not love--I am only a<br />

resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy<br />

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and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith<br />

that can move mountains, but have not love--I am nothing. If I give<br />

all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but<br />

have not love--I gain nothing!" 1 Corinthians 13:1-3<br />

Let us hear what Paul says to the Colossians: "Above all these things<br />

put on love, which is the bond of perfectness." Colossians 3:14.<br />

Let us hear what Paul says to Timothy: "The end of the<br />

commandment is love out of a pure heart" 1 Timothy 1:5.<br />

Let us hear what Peter says: "Above all things, have fervent love<br />

among yourselves: for love shall cover the multitude of sins.”<br />

1 Peter 4:8.<br />

Let us hear what our Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, "A new<br />

command I give you: <strong>Love</strong> one another. As I have loved you, so you<br />

must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my<br />

disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34, 35.<br />

Above all, let us read our Lord's account of the last judgment, and<br />

mark that lack of love will condemn millions. "Then He will say to<br />

those on the left: Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the<br />

eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels! For I was hungry<br />

and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me<br />

nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in; I was<br />

naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not<br />

take care of Me." Matthew 25:41-43.<br />

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Let us hear what Paul says to the Romans: "Owe no man anything--<br />

but to love another: for he who loves another has fulfilled the law."<br />

Romans 13:9.<br />

Let us hear what Paul says to the Ephesians: “And walk in love, as<br />

Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and<br />

a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.” Ephesians 5:2.<br />

Let us hear what John says: "Beloved, let us love one another, because<br />

love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and<br />

knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because<br />

God is love." 1 John 4:7, 8.<br />

I shall make no comment upon these texts. I think it better to place<br />

them before my readers in their naked simplicity, and to let them<br />

speak for themselves. If anyone is disposed to think the subject of<br />

this paper a matter of light importance, I will only ask him to look at<br />

these texts, and to think again. He who would take down "love" from<br />

the high and holy place which it occupies in the Bible, and treat it as<br />

a matter of secondary consequence, must settle his account with<br />

God's Word. I certainly shall not waste time in arguing with him.<br />

To my own mind, the evidence of these texts appears clear, plain,<br />

and incontrovertible. They show the immense importance of love, as<br />

one of the "things that accompany salvation." They prove that it has a<br />

right to demand the serious attention of all who call themselves<br />

<strong>Christian</strong>s, and that those who despise the subject are only exposing<br />

their own ignorance of Scripture.<br />

II. Let me show, secondly, WHAT the love of the Bible really is.<br />

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I think it of great importance to have clear views on this point. It is<br />

precisely here that mistakes about love begin. Thousands delude<br />

themselves with the idea that they have "love," when they have not,<br />

from downright ignorance of Scripture. Their love is not the love<br />

described in the Bible.<br />

(a) The love of the Bible does not consist in giving to the poor. It is a<br />

common delusion to suppose that it does. Yet Paul tells us plainly,<br />

that a man may "bestow all his goods to feed the poor "1 Corinthians 13:8<br />

-and not have love! That a charitable man will "remember the poor,"<br />

there can be no question. Galatians 2:10. That he will do all he can to<br />

assist them, relieve them, and lighten their burdens--I do not for a<br />

moment deny. All I say is, that this does not make up "love." It is easy<br />

to spend a fortune in giving away money, and soup, and milk, and<br />

and bread, and coals, and blankets, and clothing--and yet to be<br />

utterly destitute of Bible love!<br />

(b) The love of the Bible does not consist in never disapproving anybody's<br />

conduct. Here is another very common delusion! Thousands pride<br />

themselves on never condemning others, or calling them wrong,<br />

whatever they may do. They convert the precept of our Lord, "do not<br />

judge," into an excuse for having no unfavorable opinion at all of<br />

anybody! They pervert His prohibition of rash and censorious<br />

judgments, into a prohibition of all judgment whatever.<br />

Your neighbor may be a drunkard, a liar, and a violent man. Never<br />

mind! "It is not love," they tell you, "to pronounce him, wrong!" You<br />

are to believe that he has a good heart at the bottom! This idea of<br />

love is, unhappily, a very common one. It is full of mischief. To throw<br />

a veil over sin, and to refuse to call things <strong>by</strong> their right names, to<br />

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talk of "hearts" being good, when "lives" are flatly wrong, to shut our<br />

eyes against wickedness, and say smooth things of immorality--this<br />

is not Scriptural love!<br />

(c) The love of the Bible does not consist in never disapproving anybody's<br />

religious opinions. Here is another most serious and growing delusion.<br />

There are many who pride themselves on never pronouncing others<br />

mistaken, whatever views they may hold. Your neighbor may be an<br />

Atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Roman Catholic, or a Mormonite, a Deist,<br />

or a Skeptic, a mere Formalist, or a thorough Antinomian. But the<br />

"love" of many says that you have no right to think him wrong! "If he<br />

is sincere, it is uncharitable to think unfavorably of his spiritual<br />

condition!"<br />

From such love--may I ever be delivered!<br />

At this rate, the Apostles were wrong in going out to preach to the<br />

Gentiles!<br />

At this rate, there is no use in missions!<br />

At this rate, we had better close our Bibles, and shut up our churches!<br />

At this rate, everybody is right--and nobody is wrong!<br />

At this rate, everybody is going to Heaven--and nobody is going to<br />

Hell!<br />

Such love is a monstrous caricature! To say that all are equally right<br />

in their opinions--though their opinions flatly contradict one<br />

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another; to say that all are equally in the way to Heaven--though<br />

their doctrinal sentiments are as opposite as black and white--this is<br />

not Scriptural love. <strong>Love</strong> like this, pours contempt on the Bible, and<br />

talks as if God had not given us a written standard of truth. <strong>Love</strong> like<br />

this, confuses all our notions of Heaven, and would fill it with a<br />

discordant inharmonious rabble. True love does not think everybody<br />

right in doctrine. True love cries, "Do not believe every spirit, but test<br />

the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false<br />

prophets have gone out into the world!" 1 John 4:1. "If anyone comes to<br />

you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your<br />

house or welcome him!" 2 John 1:10<br />

I leave the negative side of the question here. I have dwelt upon it at<br />

some length because of the days in which we live and the strange<br />

notions which abound. Let me now turn to the positive side. Having<br />

shown what love is not, let me now show what it is.<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> love is that "love," which Paul places first among those<br />

fruits which the Spirit causes to be brought forth in the heart of a<br />

believer. "The fruit of the Spirit is love." Galatians 5:22.<br />

<strong>Love</strong> to God, such as Adam had before the fall, is its first feature. He<br />

who has love, desires to love God with heart, and soul and mind, and<br />

strength.<br />

<strong>Love</strong> to man is its second feature. He who has <strong>Christian</strong> love, desires<br />

to love his neighbor as himself.<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> love will show itself in a believer's doings. It will make him<br />

ready to do kind acts to everyone within his reach, "both to their<br />

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odies and souls. It will not let him be content with soft words and<br />

kind wishes. It will make him diligent in doing all that lies in his<br />

power to lessen the sorrow and increase the happiness of others.<br />

Like his Master, he will care more for ministering than for being<br />

ministered to, and will look for nothing in return. Like his Master's<br />

great apostle, he will very willingly "spend and be spent" for others,<br />

even though they repay him with hatred, and not with love. True love<br />

does not want wages. Its work is its reward.<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> love will show itself in a believer's readiness to bear evil<br />

as well as to do good. It will make him . . .<br />

patient under provocation,<br />

forgiving when injured,<br />

meek when unjustly attacked,<br />

quiet when slandered.<br />

It will make him bear much and forbear much, put up with much<br />

and look over much, submit often and deny himself often--all for<br />

the sake of peace. It will make him put a strong bit on his temper,<br />

and a strong bridle on his tongue.<br />

True love is not always asking, "What are my rights? Am I treated as I<br />

deserve?" but, "How can I best promote peace? How can I do that<br />

which is most edifying to others?"<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> love will show itself in the general spirit and demeanor of<br />

a believer. It will make him kind, unselfish, good-natured, goodtempered,<br />

and considerate for others. It will make him gentle,<br />

affable, and courteous, in all the daily relations of private life. It will<br />

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make him thoughtful for others' comfort, tender for others' feelings,<br />

and more anxious to give pleasure than to receive.<br />

True love never envies others when they prosper, nor rejoices in the<br />

calamities of others when they are in trouble. At all times, it will<br />

believe, and hope, and try to put a good construction on others'<br />

actions. And even at the worst, it will be full of pity, mercy, and<br />

compassion.<br />

Would we like to know where the true Pattern of love like this can be<br />

found? We have only to look at the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, as<br />

described in the Gospels, and we shall see it perfectly exemplified.<br />

<strong>Love</strong> shone forth in all His doings. His daily life was an incessant<br />

"going about" doing good. <strong>Love</strong> shone forth in all His bearing. He was<br />

continually hated, persecuted, slandered, misrepresented. But He<br />

patiently endured it all. No angry word ever fell from His lips. No illtemper<br />

ever appeared in His demeanor. "When they hurled their<br />

insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no<br />

threats." 1 Peter 2:23. <strong>Love</strong> shone forth in all His spirit and<br />

deportment. The law of kindness was ever on His lips. Among weak<br />

and ignorant disciples, among sick and sorrowful petitioners for<br />

help and relief, among publicans and sinners, among Pharisees and<br />

Sadducees--He was always one and the same--kind and patient to all.<br />

And yet, be it remembered, our blessed Master never flattered<br />

sinners, or connived at sin. He never shrank from exposing<br />

wickedness in its true colors, or from rebuking those who would<br />

cleave to it. He never hesitated to denounce false doctrine, <strong>by</strong><br />

whoever it might be held, or to exhibit false practice in its true<br />

colors, and the certain end to which it tends. He called things <strong>by</strong> their<br />

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ight names. He spoke as freely of Hell and the fire that is never<br />

quenched, as of Heaven and the kingdom of glory. He has left on<br />

record an everlasting proof that perfect love does not require us to<br />

approve everybody's life or opinions, and that it is quite possible to<br />

condemn false doctrine and wicked practice--and yet to be full of<br />

love at the same time.<br />

I have now set before my readers the true nature of <strong>Christian</strong> love. I<br />

have given a slight and very brief account of what it is not, and what<br />

it is. I cannot pass on without suggesting two practical thoughts,<br />

which press home on my mind with weighty force, and I hope may<br />

press home on others.<br />

Think, for a moment, how deplorably little love there is upon earth!<br />

How conspicuous is the absence of true love among professing<br />

<strong>Christian</strong>s! I speak not of heathen now, I speak of professing<br />

<strong>Christian</strong>s! What angry tempers, what passions, what selfishness,<br />

what bitter tongues--are to be found in private families! What<br />

strifes, what quarrels, what spitefulness, what malice, what revenge,<br />

what envy between neighbors and fellow-parishioners! What<br />

jealousies and contentions between Churchmen and Dissenters,<br />

Calvinists and Arminians, High Churchmen and Low Churchmen!<br />

"Where is love?" we may well ask, "Where is love? Where is the mind<br />

of Christ?"--when we look at the spirit which reigns in the world. No<br />

wonder that Christ's cause stands still, and infidelity abounds--when<br />

men's hearts know so little of love! Surely, we may well say, "When<br />

the Son of man comes, shall He find love upon earth?"<br />

Think, for another thing, what a happy world this would be--if there<br />

was more love. It is the lack of love which causes half the misery<br />

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which there is upon earth. Sickness, and death, and poverty, will not<br />

account for more than half the sorrows. The rest come from illtemper,<br />

ill-nature, strifes, quarrels, lawsuits, malice, envy, revenge,<br />

frauds, violence, wars, and the like. It would be one great step<br />

towards doubling the happiness of mankind, and halving their<br />

sorrows--if all men and women were full of Scriptural love.<br />

III. Let me show, thirdly--where the love of the Bible comes from.<br />

<strong>Love</strong>, such as I have described, is certainly not natural to man.<br />

Naturally, we are all more or less selfish, envious, ill-tempered,<br />

spiteful, ill-natured, and unkind! We have only to observe children,<br />

when left to themselves, to see the proof of this. Let boys and girls<br />

grow up without proper training and education--and you will not see<br />

one of them possessing <strong>Christian</strong> love! Mark how some of them<br />

think first of themselves, and their own comfort and advantage!<br />

Mark how others are full of pride, passion, and evil tempers! How<br />

can we account for it? There is but one reply. The natural heart<br />

knows nothing of true love.<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> love will never be found except in a heart prepared <strong>by</strong> the<br />

Holy Spirit. It is a tender plant, and will never grow except in one<br />

soil. You may as well expect grapes on thorns, or figs on thistles--as<br />

look for love when the heart is not right.<br />

The heart in which love grows, is a heart changed, renewed, and<br />

transformed <strong>by</strong> the Holy Spirit. The image and likeness of God,<br />

which Adam lost at the fall, has been restored to it, however feeble<br />

and imperfect the restoration may appear. It is a "partaker of the<br />

Divine nature," <strong>by</strong> union with Christ and sonship to God; and one of<br />

the first features of that nature is love. 2Peter 1:4<br />

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Such a heart is deeply convinced of sin--hates it, flees from it, and<br />

fights with it from day to day. And one of the prime motions of sin<br />

which it daily labors to overcome, is selfishness and lack of love.<br />

Such a heart is deeply sensible of its mighty debt to our Lord Jesus<br />

Christ. It feels continually that it owes to Him who died for us on the<br />

cross, all its present comfort, hope, and peace. How can it show forth<br />

its gratitude? What can it render to its Redeemer? If it can do<br />

nothing else, it strives to be like Him, to drink into His spirit, to walk<br />

in His footsteps, and, like Him--to be full of love. "The love of Christ<br />

shed abroad in the heart <strong>by</strong> the Holy Spirit" is the surest fountain of<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> love. <strong>Love</strong> will produce love.<br />

I ask my reader's special attention to this point. It is one of great<br />

importance in the present day. There are many who profess to<br />

admire love--while they care nothing about vital <strong>Christian</strong>ity. They<br />

like some of the fruits and results of the Gospel--but not the root<br />

from which these fruits alone can grow, or the doctrines with which<br />

they are inseparably connected.<br />

Hundreds will praise love--who hate to be told of man's corruption,<br />

of the blood of Christ, and of the inward work of the Holy Spirit.<br />

Many a parent would like his children to grow up unselfish and good<br />

tempered--who would not be much pleased if conversion, and<br />

repentance, and faith, were pressed home on their attention.<br />

Now I desire to protest against this notion, that you can have the<br />

fruits of <strong>Christian</strong>ity, without the roots--that you can produce<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> tempers, without teaching <strong>Christian</strong> doctrines--that you<br />

can have love which will wear and endure, without grace in the heart.<br />

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I grant, most freely, that every now and then one sees a person who<br />

seems very charitable and amiable, without any distinctive <strong>Christian</strong><br />

religion. But such cases are so rare and remarkable, that, like<br />

exceptions--they only prove the truth of the general rule. And often,<br />

too often, it may be feared in such cases the love is only apparent,<br />

and in private it completely fails. I firmly believe, as a general rule,<br />

you will not find such love as the Bible describes, except in the soil of<br />

a heart thoroughly imbued with Bible religion. Holy practice will not<br />

flourish without sound doctrine. What God has joined together, it is<br />

useless to expect to have separate.<br />

The delusion which I am trying to combat, is helped forward to a<br />

most mischievous degree <strong>by</strong> the vast majority of novels, romances,<br />

and tales of fiction. Who does not know that the heroes and heroines<br />

of these works are constantly described as patterns of perfection?<br />

They are always doing the right thing, saying the right thing, and<br />

showing the right temper! They are always kind, and amiable, and<br />

unselfish, and forgiving! And yet you never hear a word about their<br />

religion! In short, to judge <strong>by</strong> the generality of works of fiction, it is<br />

possible to have . . .<br />

excellent practical religion--without doctrine,<br />

the fruits of the Spirit--without the grace of the Spirit,<br />

and the mind of Christ--without union with Christ!<br />

Here, in short, is the great danger of reading most novels, romances,<br />

and works of fiction. The greater part of them give a false or<br />

incorrect view of human nature. They paint their model men and<br />

women as they ought to be, and not as they really are. The readers of<br />

such writings get their minds filled with wrong conceptions of what<br />

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the world is. Their notions of mankind become visionary and unreal.<br />

They are constantly looking for men and women such as they never<br />

meet--and expecting what they never find.<br />

Let me entreat my readers, once for all, to draw their ideas of human<br />

nature from the Bible, and not from novels. Settle it down in your<br />

mind, that there cannot be true love without a heart renewed <strong>by</strong><br />

grace. A certain degree of kindness, courtesy, amiability, good<br />

nature--may undoubtedly be seen in many who have no vital<br />

religion. But the glorious plant of Bible love, in all its fullness and<br />

perfection, will never be found without union with Christ, and the<br />

work of the Holy Spirit. Teach this to your children, if you have any.<br />

Hold it up in schools, if you are connected with any. Lift up love.<br />

Make much of love. Give place to none in exalting the grace of<br />

kindness, love, good nature, unselfishness, good temper.<br />

But never, never forget, that there is but one school in which these<br />

things can be thoroughly learned--and that is the school of Christ.<br />

Real love comes down from above. True love is the fruit of the Spirit.<br />

He who would have it--must sit at Christ's feet, and learn of Him.<br />

IV. Let me show, lastly--why love is called the "greatest" of the<br />

graces.<br />

The words of Paul, on this subject, are distinct and unmistakable. He<br />

winds up his wonderful chapter on love in the following manner:<br />

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest<br />

of these is love!" 1 Corinthians 13:13<br />

This expression is very remarkable. Of all the writers in the New<br />

Page 20

Testament, none, certainly, exalts "faith" so highly as Paul. The<br />

Epistles to the Romans and Galatians abound in sentences showing<br />

its vast importance. By faith, the sinner lays hold on Christ and is<br />

saved. Through faith, we are justified, and have peace with God. Yet<br />

here the same Paul speaks of something which is even greater than<br />

faith! He puts before us the three leading <strong>Christian</strong> graces, and<br />

pronounces the following judgment on them, "The greatest is love!"<br />

Such a sentence from such a writer demands special attention. What<br />

are we to understand, when we hear of love being greater than faith<br />

and hope?<br />

We are not to suppose, for a moment, that love can atone for our sins,<br />

or make our peace with God. Nothing can do that for us, but the<br />

blood of Christ; and nothing can give us a saving interest in Christ's<br />

blood, but faith. It is Scriptural ignorance not to know this. The office<br />

of justifying and joining the soul to Christ, belongs to faith alone.<br />

Our love, and all our other graces, are all more or less imperfect, and<br />

could not stand the severity of God's judgment. When we have done<br />

all--we are "unprofitable servants." Luke 17:10.<br />

We are not to suppose that <strong>Christian</strong> love can exist independently of<br />

faith. Paul did not intend to set up one grace in rivalry to the other.<br />

He did not mean that one man might have faith, another hope, and<br />

another love--and that the best of these, was the man who had love.<br />

The three graces are inseparably joined together. Where there is<br />

faith, there will always be love; and where there is love, there will be<br />

faith. Sun and light, fire and heat, ice and cold, are not more<br />

intimately united than faith and love!<br />

The reasons why love is called the greatest of the three graces,<br />

Page 21

appear to me plain and simple. Let me show what they are.<br />

(a) <strong>Love</strong> is called the greatest of graces, because it is the one in which<br />

there is some likeness between the believer and his God. God has no<br />

need of faith. He is dependent on no one. There is none superior to<br />

Him in whom He must trust. God has no need of hope. To Him all<br />

things are certain, whether past, present, or to come. But "God is<br />

love" and the more love His people have--the more similar they are<br />

to their Father in Heaven.<br />

(b) <strong>Love</strong>, for another thing, is called the greatest of the graces,<br />

because it is most useful to others. Faith and hope, beyond doubt,<br />

however precious, have special reference to a believer's own private<br />

individual benefit. Faith unites the soul to Christ, brings peace with<br />

God, and opens the way to Heaven. Hope fills the soul with cheerful<br />

expectation of things to come, and, amid the many discouragements<br />

of things seen, comforts with visions of the things unseen.<br />

But love is pre-eminently the grace which makes a man useful. It is<br />

the spring of good works and kindnesses. It is the root of missions,<br />

schools, and hospitals. <strong>Love</strong> made apostles spend and be spent for<br />

souls. <strong>Love</strong> raises up workers for Christ, and keeps them working.<br />

<strong>Love</strong> smooths quarrels, and stops strife--and in this sense, "covers a<br />

multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8. <strong>Love</strong> adorns <strong>Christian</strong>ity, and<br />

recommends it to the world. A man may have real faith, and feel it--<br />

and yet his faith may be invisible to others. But a man's love cannot<br />

be hidden.<br />

(c) <strong>Love</strong>, in the last place, is the greatest of the graces, because it is<br />

the one which endures the longest. In fact, it will never die. Faith will<br />

Page 22

one day be swallowed up in sight--and hope in certainty. Their office<br />

will be useless in the morning of the resurrection; and, like old<br />

almanacs, they will be laid aside. But love will live on through the<br />

endless ages of eternity! Heaven will be the abode of love. The<br />

inhabitants of Heaven will be full of love. One common feeling will<br />

be in all their hearts, and that will be love.<br />

I leave this part of my subject here, and pass on to a CONCLUSION.<br />

On each of the three points of comparison I have just named,<br />

between love and the other graces, it would be easy to enlarge. But<br />

time and space both forbid me to do so. If I have said enough to<br />

guard men against mistakes about the right meaning, of the<br />

greatness of love--I am content. <strong>Love</strong>, be it ever remembered, cannot<br />

justify and put away our sins. It is neither Christ, nor faith.<br />

But love makes us somewhat like God.<br />

<strong>Love</strong> is of mighty use to the world.<br />

<strong>Love</strong> will live and flourish when faith's work is done.<br />

Surely, in these points of view--love well deserves the crown!<br />

(1) And now let me ask every one into whose hands this paper may<br />

come a simple question. Let me press home on your conscience the<br />

whole subject of this paper. Do you know anything of the grace of<br />

which I have been speaking? Do you have <strong>Christian</strong> love?<br />

The strong language of the Apostle Paul must surely convince you<br />

that the inquiry is not one that ought to be lightly put aside. The<br />

grace, without which that holy man could say, "I am nothing," the<br />

grace which the Lord Jesus says expressly is the great mark of being<br />

His disciple--such a grace as this, demands the serious consideration<br />

of every one who is in earnest about the salvation of his soul. It<br />

Page 23

should set him thinking, "How does this affect me? Do I have<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> love?"<br />

You have some knowledge, it may be, of religion. You know the<br />

difference between true and false doctrine. You can, perhaps, even<br />

quote texts, and defend the opinions you hold. But, remember the<br />

knowledge which is barren of practical results in life and temper--is<br />

a useless possession! The words of the Apostle are very plain: "If I<br />

can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge--but have not love, I am<br />

nothing!" 1 Corinthians 13:3.<br />

You think you have faith, perhaps. You trust you are one of God's<br />

elect, and rest in that. But surely you should remember that there is a<br />

faith of devils, which is utterly unprofitable--and that the faith of<br />

God's elect is a "faith which works <strong>by</strong> love." It was when Paul<br />

remembered the "love" of the Thessalonians, as well as their faith<br />

and hope, that he said, "I know your election of God." 1 Thessalonians 1:4.<br />

Look at your own daily life, both at home and abroad, and consider<br />

what place <strong>Christian</strong> love has in it. What is your temper? What are<br />

your ways of behaving toward all around you in your own family?<br />

What is your manner of speaking, especially in seasons of vexation<br />

and provocation? Where is your good-nature, your courtesy, your<br />

patience, your meekness, your gentleness, your forbearance? Where<br />

are your practical actions of love in your dealing with others? What<br />

do you know of the mind of Him who "went about doing good"--who<br />

loved all, though specially His disciples--who returned good for evil,<br />

and kindness for hatred, and had a heart wide enough to feel for all?<br />

Page 24

What would you do in Heaven, I wonder, if you got there without<br />

love? What comfort could you have in an abode where love was the<br />

law, and selfishness and ill-nature completely shut out? Alas! I fear<br />

that Heaven would be no place for an uncharitable and ill-tempered<br />

man! A little boy said, "If grandfather goes to Heaven--I hope my<br />

brother and I will not go there." "Why do you say that?" he was asked.<br />

He replied, "If he sees us there, I am sure he will say, as he does<br />

now--'What are these boys doing here? Get them get out of the way!'<br />

He does not like to see us on earth, and I suppose he would not like to<br />

see us in Heaven!"<br />

Give yourself no rest, until you know something <strong>by</strong> experience of<br />

real <strong>Christian</strong> love. Go and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of<br />

heart, and ask Him to teach you how to love. Ask the Lord Jesus to put<br />

His Spirit within you, to take away the old heart, to give you a new<br />

nature, to make you know something of His mind. Cry to Him night<br />

and day for grace, and give Him no rest until you feel something of<br />

what I have been describing in this paper. Happy indeed will your<br />

life be, when you really understand "walking in love."<br />

(2) But I do not forget that I am writing to some who are not ignorant<br />

of the love of Scripture, and who long to feel more of it every year. I<br />

will give you two simple words of exhortation. They are these:<br />

Practice love diligently. It is one of those graces, above all, which<br />

grow <strong>by</strong> constant exercise. Strive more and more to carry it into<br />

every little detail of daily life. Watch over your own tongue and<br />

temper throughout every hour of the day, and especially in your<br />

dealings with children and spouse. Remember the character of the<br />

excellent woman: "In her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26<br />

Page 25

Remember the words of Paul: "Let ALL your things be done with<br />

love." (1 Corinthians 16:14.) <strong>Love</strong> should be seen in little things, as well<br />

as in great ones.<br />

Remember, not least, the words of Peter: "Have fervent love among<br />

yourselves;" not a love which just keeps alight, but a burning shining<br />

fire, which all around can see! 1 Peter 4:8. It may cost pains and<br />

trouble to keep these things in mind. There may be little<br />

encouragement from the example of others. But persevere. <strong>Love</strong> like<br />

this brings its own reward!<br />

Finally,<br />

Press it continually on your children. Tell them the great duty of<br />

kindness, helpfulness, and considerateness, one for another.<br />

Remind them constantly that kindness, good nature, and good<br />

temper, are among the first evidences which Christ requires in<br />

children. If they cannot know much, or explain doctrines--they can<br />

understand love. A child's religion is worth very little if it only<br />

consists in repeating texts and hymns. As useful as they are, they are<br />

often . . .<br />

learned without thought,<br />

remembered without feeling,<br />

repeated without consideration of their meaning,<br />

and forgotten when childhood is gone!<br />

By all means let children be taught texts and hymns; but let not such<br />

teaching be made everything in their religion. Teach them to keep<br />

their tempers, to be kind one to another, to be unselfish, goodnatured,<br />

obliging, patient, gentle, forgiving. Tell them never to<br />

Page 26

forget to their dying day, if they live as long as Methuselah, that<br />

without love, the Holy Spirit says, "we are nothing." Tell them "above<br />

all things--to put on love, which is the bond of perfectness."<br />

Colos. 3:14.<br />

Loving Your Enemies Audio book:<br />

https://youtu.be/wZexhDJGV2k<br />

Page 27


"But I say unto you that hear, love your enemies, do good to them<br />

who hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them who<br />

despitefully use you." Luke 6:27,28<br />

The teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, in these verses, is confined to<br />

one great subject. That subject is <strong>Christian</strong> love and charity. Charity,<br />

which is the grand characteristic of the Gospel, the bond of<br />

perfectness, without which a man is nothing in God's sight, is here<br />

fully expounded and strongly enforced. Well would it have been for<br />

the Church of Christ if its Master's precept in this passage had been<br />

more carefully studied and more diligently observed.<br />

In the first place, our Lord explains the nature and extent of<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> charity. The disciples might ask, Whom are we to love? He<br />

bids them, "love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless<br />

them that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you."<br />

Their love was to be like his own toward sinners--unselfish,<br />

disinterested, and uninfluenced <strong>by</strong> any hope of return. What was to<br />

be the manner of this love? the disciples might ask. It was to be selfsacrificing<br />

and self-denying. "Unto him that smites you on the one<br />

cheek, offer also the other." "He that takes away your cloak, forbid not<br />

to take your coat also." They were to give up much and endure much<br />

for the sake of showing kindness and avoiding strife. They were to<br />

forego even their rights and submit to wrong rather than awaken<br />

angry passions and create quarrels. In this they were to be like their<br />

Master--long-suffering, meek, and lowly of heart. Our Lord<br />

Page 28

condemns everything like a revengeful, pugnacious, litigious, or<br />

quarrelsome spirit. He enjoins forbearance, patience, and longsuffering<br />

under injuries and insults. He would have us concede<br />

much, submit to much, and put up with much rather than cause<br />

strife. He would have us endure much inconvenience and loss, and<br />

even sacrifice some of our just rights rather than have any<br />

contention.<br />

In the second place, our Lord lays down a golden principle for the<br />

settlement of doubtful cases. He knew well that there will always be<br />

occasions when the line of duty toward our neighbor is not clearly<br />

defined. He knew how much self-interest and private feelings will<br />

sometimes dim our perceptions of right and wrong. He supplies us<br />

with a precept for our guidance, in all such cases, of infinite wisdom.<br />

It is a precept which even infidels have been compelled to admire:<br />

"As you would that men should do to you, do you also to them<br />

likewise." To do to others as they do to us and return evil for evil is<br />

the standard of the heathen. To behave to others as we should like<br />

others to behave to us, whatever their actual behavior may be, this<br />

should be the mark at which the <strong>Christian</strong> should aim. This is to walk<br />

in the steps of our blessed Savior. If he had dealt with the world as<br />

the world dealt with him, we should all have been ruined forever in<br />

hell.<br />

In the third place, our Lord points out to his disciples the necessity<br />

of their having a higher standard of duty to their neighbor than the<br />

children of this world. He reminds them that to love those who love<br />

them and do good to those who do good to them and lend to those of<br />

whom they hope to receive, is to act no better than "the sinner" who<br />

knows nothing of the Gospel. The <strong>Christian</strong> must be altogether<br />

Page 29

another style of man. His feelings of love and his deeds of kindness<br />

must be like his Master's--free and gratuitous. He must let men see<br />

that he loves others from higher principles than the ungodly do, and<br />

that his charity is not confined to those from whom he hopes to get<br />

something in return. Anybody can show kindness and charity when<br />

he hopes to gain something <strong>by</strong> it. But such charity should never<br />

content a <strong>Christian</strong>. The man who is content with it ought to<br />

remember that his practice does not rise an inch above the level of<br />

an old Roman or Greek idolater.<br />

In the fourth place, our Lord shows his disciples that in discharging<br />

their duty to their neighbors they should look to the example of God.<br />

If they called themselves "children of the Highest," they should<br />

consider that their Father is "kind to the unthankful and the evil,"<br />

and they should learn from him to be merciful, even as he is<br />

merciful. The extent of God's unacknowledged mercies to men can<br />

never be reckoned up. Every year he pours benefits on millions who<br />

do not honor the hand from which they come or thank the giver of<br />

them. Yet every year these benefits are continued. "Seed time and<br />

harvest, summer and winter, never cease." His mercy endures<br />

forever. His loving kindness is unwearied. His compassions fail not.<br />

So ought it to be with all who profess themselves to be his children.<br />

Thanklessness and ingratitude should not make them slack their<br />

hands from works of love and mercy. Like their Father in heaven,<br />

they should never be tired of doing good.<br />

In the last place, our Lord assures his disciples that the practice of<br />

the high standard of charity he recommends shall bring its own<br />

reward. "Judge not," he says, "and you shall not be judged; condemn<br />

not, and you shall not be condemned; forgive, and you shall be<br />

Page 30

forgiven; give, and it shall be given unto you." And he concludes with<br />

the broad assertion, "With the same measure that you mete withal,<br />

shall it be measured to you again." The general meaning of these<br />

words appears to be that no man shall ever be a loser, in the long<br />

run, <strong>by</strong> deeds of self-denying charity and patient long-suffering<br />

love. At times he may seem to get nothing <strong>by</strong> his conduct. He may<br />

appear to reap nothing but ridicule, contempt, and injury. His<br />

kindness may sometimes tempt men to impose on him. His patience<br />

and forbearance may be abused. But at the last he will always be<br />

found a gainer, and often, very often, a gainer in this life; certainly,<br />

most certainly, a gainer in the life to come.<br />

Such is the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ about charity. Few of his<br />

sayings are so deeply heart-searching as those we have now been<br />

considering. Few passages in the Bible are so truly humbling as these<br />

eleven verses.<br />

How little of the type of charity which our Lord recommends is to be<br />

seen either in the world or in the Church! How common is an angry<br />

passionate spirit, a morbid sensitiveness about what is called honor,<br />

and a readiness to quarrel on the least occasion! How seldom we see<br />

men and women who love their enemies and do good hoping for<br />

nothing again, and bless those that curse them, and are kind to the<br />

unthankful and evil. Truly we are reminded here of our Lord's<br />

words, "Narrow is the way which leads unto life, and few there be<br />

that find it."<br />

How happy the world would be if Christ's precepts were strictly<br />

obeyed. The chief causes of half the sorrows of mankind are<br />

selfishness, strife, unkindness, and lack of charity. Never was there a<br />

Page 31

greater mistake than to suppose that vital <strong>Christian</strong>ity interferes<br />

with human happiness. It is not having too much religion but too<br />

little that makes people gloomy, wretched, and miserable. Wherever<br />

Christ is best known and obeyed, there will always be found most<br />

real joy and peace.<br />

Would we know<br />

anything <strong>by</strong><br />

experience of this<br />

blessed grace of<br />

charity? Then let us<br />

seek to be joined to<br />

Christ <strong>by</strong> faith and<br />

to be taught and<br />

sanctified <strong>by</strong> his<br />

Spirit. Let us<br />

understand that<br />

real, genuine, selfdenying<br />

love will<br />

never grow from<br />

any roots but faith<br />

in Christ's<br />

atonement and a<br />

heart renewed <strong>by</strong><br />

the Holy Ghost. We<br />

shall never make<br />

men love one another unless we teach as St. Paul taught, "Walk in<br />

love as Christ has loved us." Teaching love on any other principle is,<br />

as a general rule, labor in vain.<br />

Page 32


“If we love a person, we like to think about him. We do not need to<br />

be reminded of him. We do not forget his name, or his appearance,<br />

or his character, or his opinions, or his tastes, or his position, or his<br />

occupation. He comes up before our mind’s eye many a time in the<br />

day. Though perhaps far distant, he is often present in our thoughts.<br />

Well, it is just so between the true <strong>Christian</strong> and Christ! Christ<br />

“dwells in his heart,” and is thought of more or less every day. Ephes.<br />

3:17. The true <strong>Christian</strong> does not need to be reminded that he has a<br />

crucified Master. He often thinks of Him. He never forgets that He<br />

has a day, a cause, and a people, and that of His people he is one.<br />

Affection is the real secret of a good memory in religion. No worldly<br />

man can think much about Christ, unless Christ is pressed upon his<br />

notice, because he has no affection for Him. The true <strong>Christian</strong> has<br />

thoughts about Christ every day that he lives, for this one simple<br />

reason, that he loves Him.<br />

If we love a person, we like to hear about him. We find a pleasure in<br />

listening to those who speak of him. We feel an interest in any report<br />

which others make of him. We are all attention when others talk<br />

about him, and describe his ways, his sayings, his doings, and his<br />

plans. Some may hear him mentioned with utter indifference, but<br />

our own hearts bound within us at the very sound of his name. Well,<br />

it is just so between the true <strong>Christian</strong> and Christ! The true <strong>Christian</strong><br />

delights to hear something about his Master. He likes those sermons<br />

best which are full of Christ. He enjoys that society most in which<br />

people talk of the things which are Christ’s. I have read of an old<br />

Welsh believer, who used to walk several miles every Sunday to hear<br />

Page 33

an English clergyman preach, though she did not understand a word<br />

of English. She was asked why she did so. She replied, that this<br />

clergyman named the name of Christ so often in his sermons, that it<br />

did her good. She loved even the name of her Savior.<br />

If we love a person, we like to read about him. What intense<br />

pleasure a letter from an absent husband gives to a wife, or a letter<br />

from an absent son to his mother. Others may see little worth notice<br />

in the letter. They can scarcely take the trouble to read it through.<br />

But those who love the writer see something in the letter which no<br />

one else can. They carry it about with them as a treasure. They read it<br />

over and over again. Well, it is just so between the true <strong>Christian</strong> and<br />

Christ! The true <strong>Christian</strong> delights to read the Scriptures, because<br />

they tell him about his beloved Saviour. It is no wearisome task with<br />

him to read them. He rarely needs reminding to take his Bible with<br />

him when he goes a journey. He cannot be happy without it. And why<br />

is all this? It is because the Scriptures testify of Him whom his soul<br />

loves, even Christ.<br />

If we love a person, we like to please him. We are glad to consult his<br />

tastes and opinions, to act upon his advice, and do the things which<br />

he approves. We even deny ourselves to meet his wishes, abstain<br />

from things which we know he dislikes, and learn things to which we<br />

are not naturally inclined, because we think it will give him pleasure.<br />

Well, it is just so between the true <strong>Christian</strong> and Christ! The true<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> studies to please Him, <strong>by</strong> being holy both in body and<br />

spirit. Show him anything in his daily practice that Christ hates, and<br />

he will give it up. Show him anything that Christ delights in, and he<br />

will follow after it. He does not murmur at Christ’s requirements, as<br />

being too strict and severe, as the children of the world do. To him<br />

Page 34

Christ’s commandments are not grievous, and Christ’s burden is<br />

light. And why is all this? Simply because he loves Him.<br />

If we love a person, we like his friends. We are favorably inclined to<br />

them, even before we know them. We are drawn to them <strong>by</strong> the<br />

common tie of common love to one and the same person. When we<br />

meet them we do not feel that we are altogether strangers. There is a<br />

bond of union between us. They love the person that we love, and<br />

that alone is an introduction. Well, it is just so between the true<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> and Christ! The true <strong>Christian</strong> regards all Christ’s friends<br />

as his friends, members of the same body, children of the same<br />

family, soldiers in the same army, travelers to the same home. When<br />

he meets them, he feels as if he had long known them. He is more at<br />

home with them in a few minutes, than he is with many worldly<br />

people after an acquaintance of several years. And what is the secret<br />

of all this? It is simply affection to the same Savior, and love to the<br />

same Lord.<br />

If we love a person, we are jealous about his name and honor. We<br />

do not like to hear him spoken against, without speaking up for him<br />

and defending him. We feel bound to maintain his interests, and his<br />

reputation. We regard the person who treats him ill with almost as<br />

much disfavor as if he had ill-treated us. Well, it is just so between<br />

the true <strong>Christian</strong> and Christ! The true <strong>Christian</strong> regards with a<br />

godly jealousy all efforts to disparage his Master’s word, or name, or<br />

Church, or day. He will confess Him before princes, if need be, and<br />

be sensitive of the least dishonor put upon Him. He will not hold his<br />

peace, and suffer his Master’s cause to be put to shame, without<br />

testifying against it. And why is all this? Simply because he loves<br />

Him.<br />

Page 35

If we love a person, we like to talk to him. We tell him all our<br />

thoughts, and pour out all our heart to him. We find no difficulty in<br />

discovering subjects of conversation. However silent and reserved<br />

we may be to others. we find it easy to talk to a much-loved friend.<br />

However often we may meet, we are never at a loss for matter to talk<br />

about. We have always much to say, much to ask about, much to<br />

describe, much to communicate. Well, it is just so between the true<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> and Christ! The true <strong>Christian</strong> finds no difficulty in<br />

speaking to his Savior. Every day he has something to tell Him, and<br />

he is not happy unless he tells it. He speaks to Him in prayer every<br />

morning and night. He tells Him his wants and desires, his feelings<br />

and his fears. He asks counsel of Him in difficulty. He asks comfort<br />

of Him in trouble. He cannot help it He must converse with his<br />

Savior continually, or he would faint <strong>by</strong> the way. And why is this?<br />

Simply because he loves Him.<br />

Finally, if we love a person, we like to be always with him.<br />

Thinking, and hearing, and reading, and occasionally talking are all<br />

well in their way. But when we really love people we want something<br />

more. We long to be always in their company. We wish to be<br />

continually in their society, and to hold communion with them<br />

without interruption or farewell. Well, it is just so between the true<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> and Christ! The heart of a true <strong>Christian</strong> longs for that<br />

blessed day when he will see his Master fare to face, and go out no<br />

more. He longs to have done with sinning, and repenting, and<br />

believing, and to begin that endless life when he shall see as he has<br />

been seen, and sin no more. He has found it sweet to live <strong>by</strong> faith,<br />

and he feels it will be sweeter still to live <strong>by</strong> sight. He has found it<br />

pleasant to hear of Christ, and talk of Christ, and read of Christ.<br />

How much more pleasant will it be to see Christ with his own eyes,<br />

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and never to leave him any more! “Better,” he feels, “is the sight of<br />

the eyes than the wandering of the desire.” Eccles. 6:9. And why is all<br />

this? Simply because he loves Him.”<br />

–J.C. <strong>Ryle</strong>, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots<br />

(London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), 348-352<br />

Page 37


<br />

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that<br />

whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”<br />

John 3:16<br />

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s<br />

friends.” John 15:13<br />

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a<br />

multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8<br />

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were<br />

still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8<br />

“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to<br />

anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15<br />

“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14<br />

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: <strong>Love</strong> each other. Just<br />

as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one<br />

another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John<br />

13:34-35<br />

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear<br />

has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in<br />

love. We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19<br />

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of<br />

these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13<br />

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15<br />

Page 38

“Above all, be loving. This ties everything together<br />

perfectly.” Colossians 3:14<br />

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.<br />

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever<br />

does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8<br />

“Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.” Proverbs 10:12<br />

“<strong>Love</strong> must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be<br />

devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above<br />

yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10<br />

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of<br />

adversity.” Proverbs 17:17<br />

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take<br />

great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice<br />

over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17<br />

“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord<br />

require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly<br />

with your God.” Micah 6:8<br />

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one<br />

another in love.” Ephesians 4:2<br />

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died<br />

for all, and therefore all died.” 2 Corinthians 5:14<br />

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without<br />

expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be<br />

great…" Luke 6:35<br />

Page 39

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave<br />

himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25<br />

“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to<br />

anger and abounding in love…” Nehemiah 9:17<br />

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his<br />

wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the<br />

hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9<br />

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and<br />

sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.<br />

Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the<br />

whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘<strong>Love</strong> your<br />

neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:13-14<br />

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,<br />

goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23<br />

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who<br />

loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8<br />

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the<br />

skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice<br />

like the great deep.” Psalm 36:5-6<br />

“Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us<br />

as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2<br />

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in<br />

the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there<br />

is nothing in him to make him stumble.” 1 John 2:9-10<br />

Page 40

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should<br />

be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1<br />

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for<br />

us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone<br />

has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity<br />

on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not<br />

love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”1 John 3:16-18<br />

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and<br />

only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love:<br />

not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an<br />

atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we<br />

also ought to love one another. ” 1 John 4:9-11<br />

“His banner over me is love.” Song of Songs 2:4<br />

“The commandments…are summed up in the one command, ‘<strong>Love</strong><br />

your neighbor as you love yourself.’ If you love others, you will never<br />

do them wrong, to love, then, is to obey the whole Law.” Romans<br />

13:9-10<br />

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love<br />

is as strong as death…Many waters cannot quench love; rivers<br />

cannot wash it away.” Song of Songs 8:6-7<br />

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ<br />

lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live <strong>by</strong> faith in the Son of God,<br />

who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20<br />

“I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established<br />

your faithfulness in heaven itself.” Psalm 89:2<br />

“The earth is filled with your love, O Lord…” Psalm 119:64<br />

Page 41

“You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so<br />

now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and<br />

sisters. <strong>Love</strong> each other deeply with all your heart.” 1 Peter 1:22<br />

“Jesus replied: ‘<strong>Love</strong> the Lord your God with all your heart and with<br />

all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest<br />

commandment. And the second is like it: ‘<strong>Love</strong> your neighbor as<br />

yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39<br />

“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who<br />

loved us. For I am convinced that neither death or life, neither<br />

angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any<br />

powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,<br />

will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus<br />

our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39<br />

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of<br />

love, and of self-discipline.” 1 Timothy 1:7<br />

“Show proper respect to everyone: <strong>Love</strong> the brotherhood of<br />

believers, fear God, honor the king.” 1 Peter 2:17<br />

“But be very careful…to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his<br />

ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him<br />

with all your heart and all your soul.” Joshua 22:5<br />

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my<br />

unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace<br />

be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10<br />

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your<br />

neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor<br />

and a good name in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:3-4<br />

Page 42

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each<br />

other…” 1 Thes. 3:12<br />

“<strong>Love</strong> is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is<br />

not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily<br />

angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. <strong>Love</strong> does not delight in evil<br />

but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always<br />

hopes, always perseveres. <strong>Love</strong> never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7<br />

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one<br />

another in love,… Ephesians 4:2<br />

Having purified your souls <strong>by</strong> your obedience to the truth for a<br />

sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.<br />

1 Peter 1:22<br />

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever<br />

loves has been born of God and knows God… John 4:7<br />

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and<br />

hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, <strong>Love</strong> your enemies and pray for<br />

those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who<br />

is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good,<br />

and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those<br />

who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax<br />

collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what<br />

more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the<br />

same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is<br />

perfect… Matthew 5:43-48<br />

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves<br />

me. And he who loves me will be loved <strong>by</strong> my Father, and I will love<br />

him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him,<br />

Page 43

“Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the<br />

world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my<br />

word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and<br />

make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep<br />

my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s<br />

who sent me… John 14:21-24<br />

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If<br />

you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have<br />

kept my Father’s<br />

commandments and<br />

abide in his love.<br />

These things I have<br />

spoken to you, that<br />

my joy may be in you,<br />

and that your joy may<br />

be full. “This is my<br />

commandment, that<br />

you love one another<br />

as I have loved you.<br />

Greater love has no<br />

one than this, that<br />

someone lay down his<br />

life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command<br />

you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know<br />

what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I<br />

have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not<br />

choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and<br />

bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask<br />

the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I<br />

command you, so that you will love one another…John 15:9-17<br />

Page 44

CHRISTIAN LOVE! <strong>by</strong> J.C. <strong>Ryle</strong> and other complimentary online<br />

<strong>Christian</strong> resources provided <strong>by</strong>: CTL.Today<br />

J.C. <strong>Ryle</strong> eBooks: https://www.smore.com/1zv5m<br />

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J.C. RYLE PLAY LIST: https://bit.ly/2PAM2aF<br />

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