Sermon 3398. Love's Great Reason

(No. 3398)




"We love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19.

This is the point where all genuine Christians meet. They can all say, without exception, "We love Him." They do not agreein doctrine-it is a pity, but I suppose that as long as we are in this body, we shall, none of us, see all the Truths of Godat once, and each man, seeing only a portion of the Truth, is most likely to think that what he does not see is not true-whereasit may be just as important as that which he is able to perceive. Well, well, amidst a thousand controversies between Calvinismand Arminianism, and all the forms that various systems have taken with regard to this, and that, and the other, still, allthe elect of God, being quickened by Divine Grace, unite in this one declaration, "Whatever we do not believe, we do loveHim." There are great diversities of experience, as well as of doctrine. Some are down in the gloom and some never seem toleave the cellars of the Lord's house-they have deep spiritual exercises, they doubt, they fear, they tremble and are afraid.Others climb up to the very roof of the Palace Beautiful and look abroad upon the fair scene around. Their feet are used todancing with spiritual delight and their hearts sing sweetly before the Lord. Theirs is an experience of communion ratherthan of corruption. They have been with Jesus and their faces are made to shine with His company. Perhaps if I told my experience,it might differ from yours from an experimental point of view-in that we might stand wide as the poles asunder-but if we arein Christ, we can, each of us, say with equal truth and intensity, "We love Him." There we join hands! Whatever we have notfelt, tasted, or known, we do love Him!

And you will notice, too, in this short expression that there is a force, a power in it, principally derived from the factof the Personality of this love. "We love Hm." You know, to love an, "it," is hard work. It seems contrary to the nature andall the instincts of love. Love always seeks a living person to grasp. But when it is put, "we love Him," it reads so naturallythat we feel that we can love, through the force of the Divine Nature within us, with all the vitality and intensity of ourgodliness!

We can love Him-that blessed Son of God, that condescending One, that sacrificing, dying Lamb-that ascended, reigning, comingSavior, towards whom our hearts are drawn out. "We love Him." Depend upon it, we must have more preaching about the Personof Christ and our hearts must assume more and more a trustfulness and affection towards Him. A merely doctrinal religion ispretty sure to degenerate into bigotry. An experimental religion will sooner or later sink into gloom. Understand what I mean.I am not speaking either against doctrine or experience. On the contrary, I would say all I could in favor of both-and theydo enter into all men's lives who live near to Christ-but still make either the one or the other the great master-thought,brood over either of them, contend for them, live for them, throw your whole force into them and you may degenerate! But whenyou live as unto Him. When He is the Truth that you believe in. When He is the Way that you tread. When He is the Life thatyou experience and when the doctrine and practice and experience all meet in Him as lines in a center-then you shall not bedegraded, you shall not degenerate-but you shall rise! You shall go from glory to glory, being changed by the Presence ofthe Lord. "We love Him," then.

But I must make one observation before I plunge into the text, namely, that in order to love this blessed Person, being aPerson, it is clear to everyone who thinks, that there must, first of all, have been some acquaintance with Him and then somedeep conviction concerning His excellency. We cannot love whom we do not know or esteem. If we know nothing about Christ,have no understanding of Him, have not in any degree occupied our minds with Him, we may talk about love to Him, but it willbe mere talk. And after we have known Christ, by the reading or hearing of the Word, blessed to us by His Holy Spirit, itwill be necessary for us to be brought into an admiring confidence in Him, believingthat He is the altogether lovely, thechief among ten thousand, worthy of all our reliance, worthy of all our adoration and service! Then it is, when knowledgehas produced faith, that faith gives birth to love!

I make this remark because I have sometimes noticed that in addressing Sunday school children, it is not uncommon to tellthem that the way to be saved is to love Jesus, which is not true. The way to be saved for man, woman, or child is to trustJesus for the pardon of sin-and then, trusting Jesus, love comes as a fruit! Love is by no means the root. Faith, alone, occupiesthat place. And I think I have heard young persons, too, talking always about the question, "Do I love the Lord or no?"-avery proper question, but it is not the first, but the second! The question that should always come first is, "Do I trustthe Lord or no? Do I rest entirely in what He has done for me? Am I depending upon Him for eternal life and salvation?" Ifthat first question is answered, the second will not long remain a matter of doubt! But if you begin with the second, andneglect the first, you may involve yourselves in very serious consequences. The great Gospel precept is not, "Love Christ,"but, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved"-not that love is less than faith, but that love, though, perhaps,first in point of excellence in some respects, comes second in point of order-and that faith is first to be looked to in thesoul and then love will inevitably and necessarily follow.

But now to come to the text. I shall treat the first part of the sentence as the great general confession of the whole Church-"Welove Him." And the second first part of the sentence as the most glorious reason for that love-"because He first loved us."I am not going to preach this evening, but only to stir you up about these points.


Now, if you are a child of God, you will say, or if you do not say it, it will be true, "We love Him." As sure as ever youhave passed from darkness to light, whether you are an Episcopalian, or a Presbyterian, or a Baptist, or whatever you maybe, you will agree with this utterance of the one mouth of the one Church! We all, without exception, who have believed inHim, love Him.

But how do we love Him? We love Him, first, not at all as we ought to love Him. We confess that much with shame-and not atall as we wish to love Him. Our conception of what is due to Christ is, no doubt, very short of what is due to Him, but wefall short even of our own conception! I am afraid that many of us are like the children at school who have a good, fair copyset them at the top of the page, and the next line is written to imitate the copy, and the next imitates the imitation ofthe copy and as it gets to the bottom of the page-alas, poor writing-how unlike it is to the perfect copy at the top! So whatis due to Christ stands at the top-what I believe about Christ in my best moments stands next. What I actually give to Christcomes next to that-and then far down the page, how badly do I write and how far do I fall short of what my love knows I oughtto give Him!-

"Yes, I love You and adore, Oh, for Grace to love You more!"

Now, remember, we never make ourselves love Christ more by flogging ourselves for not loving Him more. We come to love thosebetter whom we love by knowingthem better, not by talking to ourselves about the duty of loving them, for love and duty, somehowor other, do not work well together. I mean that to talk of love being squeezed and pressed out by duty is not at all congruous.Love is like the generous first drops of the honeycomb-the virgin honey which drips spontaneously because the comb is fullto bursting. Such is true, genuine love. If you want to love Christ more, think more of Him, think more of what you have receivedfrom Him. Study His Character more in the Word of God. Draw more often near to Him in prayer. Live more in holy fellowshipwith Him. These are the logs that shall make that oven blaze. This is the secret fuel that shall make our soul on fire withlove to Jesus! We do not love Him as we ought, nor as we wish.

But for all that, in the next place, we do really love Him. The devil tells us we do not, but when it comes to close quarters,we can turn to One who knows better than the devil, and we can say, "Lord, You know all things, You know that I love You."What a mercy it is that Jesus Christ does not believe our actions, for they very often say, "Jesus, we do not love You." ButHe reads our hearts, and our hearts still beat with this, "Oh, my God! In my very soul I do love Christ, and if it were possibleI would never sin against Him! Oh, wretched man that I am, that I should live so contrary to my true life and that the thingthat I would, I do not, and what I would not, that I do, for I find this law in my members, bringing me into captivity. ForI have tasted of freedom and am, indeed, free, and will not be the servant of any, but will be the espoused one, the freeespoused one of Christ Jesus my Lord." Yes, we do really love Him!

And we also, if we are saints at all, love Him practically. We delight and that is the true standard and gauge of the man-inthat in which he delights. We delight in His service, in His company, in His friends. There is nothing-I feelsure some ofus can say this without egotism-there is nothing that makes our soul feel so full of bliss as when we have opportunities ofglorifying the name of Jesus Christ! And if we had the offer of all the kingdoms of the world, and but a grain of glory putinto our hand that we might give to Christ-we would sooner have it than all the wealth of the Indies and all the royaltiesof all the empires! To glorify Christ is a lasting treasure which shall abide with us when the world is on a-blaze. To teachone little child the name of Jesus. To bring the tear into its little eyes about the dying Lord is better and sweeter workto us than statesmanship, itself, could be if it were dissociated from Him-

"Is there a lamb among Your flock,

I would disdain to feed?

Is there a foe before whose face,

I'd fear Your cause to plead?" Some of you are very busy preaching for my Lord and I know that when you are preaching, yourmain desire is that He may be extolled in your hearers' hearts. Do you not pine and sigh after this? Would you not give upall the graces of oratory, and talk in the most vulgar style, if necessary, if you could win one soul for Him? I know youwould, my Brothers, for this is every true minister's desire! And you, too, who have been standing in the streets today, preachingat the corners, I hope-no, I feel it must be so with you if you are His at all-that you spoke out of love to His dear nameand when you would have preferred to have been silent, it was love that unloosened that tongue of yours! Do you not wish youcould speak better? Do you not wish you could command attention better? And it is all for Him, for His dear sake that youmight paint Him better before the eyes of men! And you, dear teachers in the classes, you who have been engaged in the Sundayschool, if you are right at all, and I trust you are, you have been teaching because you wanted to make Him famous and tolet Him see of the travail of His soul. And you who cannot come to the school, but have been praying for your children andtalking with them, you who have been dropping your pence into the box and have each been trying to do your share of somethingfor the Master-well, if His life is in your hearts and His blood is sprinkled on you, you can say that you desire to do allthis as a practical evidence that you so love Him! All the works that you have done today, done in His Spirit, have been arepetition of this verse, "We love Him."

Now, will you do the same in your ordinary lives, for in this I fear we sometimes fail? As a servant, live as one who lovesJesus! As a master, as a workman, as a merchant, as a man of retirement and property, still let this be the guide of yoursteps, the order of your life, the model by which you shape your conversation, "We love Him." Let every breath prove it! Letevery heaving of the lungs, every motion of the tongue and of the hand, prove the great and blessed reality of the fact thatwe love Him!

Brothers and Sisters, we can go a step further. I trust we love Jesus Christ not only really and practically, but we loveHim supremely. That point has often vexed good hearts. They have said, "I cannot say that I love Jesus Christ better thanfather, or mother, or husband, or wife, or child." No, you cannot say it, and there are a great many things we cannot say,which it were better not for us to say, which would be immodest for us to say, but they may be true for all that! They whoare beautiful, talk not of their beauty, and those who love most are usually the most diffident about their love. Now, youcannot contrast loves, the one to another, as you can contrast five to eight and say which may be the greater. It is not anarithmetical problem, but I will put it to the proof with you in this way-if you had to lose that dear husband, or else loseJesus Christ, what would you do? Why, it does not take two minutes to consider! You would not put them in the scale togetherfor a single second! He stands out of sight, above all husbands and dearest wives! We cannot consider Him in such a relationas that. Or, put it thus-if you had to give up your hope of Heaven and your interest in Christ tonight, or to lose all thatyou have-what would you do? Why, I think you would not need to go into that little chamber to calculate. "No," you say, "allthat I have, why it is so little! It is a thing of care to me, and if it were not, if I had more, as I would be very gladto have that I might give up more, I would put it all away and say, 'Lord, I have left all that I might follow You. But inleaving it, I did but gain a greater consciousness of Your love to me and a far greater and deeper enjoyment of that love.'"

Sometimes, however, some of you young people get an opportunity of showing which you love best-whether you do love Jesus betterthan all things else, or not. In the case of marriage, that test often comes. And ah, how lamentable is the fact that manya young Sister, and many a Brother, too, will break through Christ's law, "Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers."I know this is a perplexing and solemn point, mark you. You do, in fact, give Christ up when you take that ungodly man! Andyou, young man, when you seek after that Christless woman, you deny your

Lord and Master-as far as you can do it, you deny Him and give Him up for the sake of earthly pleasures! For such an act asthat, your conscience may well prick you, and if you are, indeed, the Lord's servant, the rod will follow you, and in yourhousehold the Lord's hand will go out against you as long as you live. You there came to the test and could not stand it!But I hope there are many, many here who could say, "Yes, with everything that beauty could present to attract my heart, andall that wealth could lay at my feet to win my regard. With all that honor could put before me to dazzle my desires, I feelthat I must obey my Lord and Master. I must be a chaste virgin unto Him, and give myself to Christ and to Him alone." We loveChrist, Brothers and Sisters-I trust we do supremely!

"We love Him," also, always. The love of a Believer to Christ is not a thing of Sundays, nor of public meetings and PrayerMeetings. "We love Him"-it is the utterance of the man sitting at the desk penning a letter, or standing in the market sellinghis corn, or on the exchange, dealing in his shares and stocks. "We love Him." Our love is not a spasm. It is not a mere emotion,a thing of excitement. It does not, like the Salamander, live in the fire, but then die when the fire dies out. "We love Him,"soberly, steadily, constantly, persistently, after a real and serious, and business-like spirit. "We love Him"-it is intertwistedwith our daily life! It is part of our inmost being! It flows in the blood, it breathes in the lungs, it is everywhere aboutus and we could as soon cease to exist as to cease to be lovers of Christ. I mean, of course, if we are, indeed, the savedsons of God. We love Him, then, constantly.

And yet another thing, dearly Beloved-we love Him increasingly. We do not always think so, but it is true, if we are rightwith God. We love Him more than ever. When we are first converted we think we shall love Jesus Christ a great deal more thanwe really prove to do, and much of that love, afterwards, departs, but it is only the superficial and half-fictitious lovethat vanishes.

Look! Mary is lighting the fire and as the straw or paper takes light at the bottom, what a great blaze there is! No sooneris the match put to it than the flames rush up the chimney. But come again in half an hour-why, there is not half the blaze,nor any crackling, nor noise! But is there less heat? Why, see, the coals have caught and the whole grate has become one glowingmass of fire! There is not half the blaze and the crackling, but there is more real, solid heat. And so is it with the growingBeliever! At the first, there is much of excitement, much of novelty, but afterwards there is the steady, calm warmth of aglowing soul! I can only say, Brothers and Sisters, that if we do not love Christ, growingly, we ought to do so. He is Onethat grows upon Believers. The more they know Him, the better they must love Him. The longer is their experience of His faithfulness,His fullness, His freeness, His goodness and greatness, the deeper, and firmer, and broader, and higher ought to be theirlove of Him! And I trust that it is so.

And another thing-we love Him and we are not ashamed to love Him-and we are not ashamed to confess it and we do not blushto bear the shame which may come to us after the avowal. Ah, perhaps I am addressing some here-I do not know where they are-wholove my Lord, but they have never said so. Oh, you that are on the rock, in the secret places of the stair, come forth andlet Him hear your voice, for that voice is sweet to Him, and your face is comely in His eyes. Oh, be not ashamed to confessthat you love Him! There is nothing in it of which to be ashamed. It might make an angel proud to be permitted to love Christand to declare His love. Ashamed of saying that I love Him? No! Let the earth hear it and let it rage! Let Hell hear it andlet it boil over with fury! Yet is He such an One that as I cry, "I love Him," I feel it to be the grandest, greatest statementthat Divine Grace can enable us to make! Yes, never, in any circumstances make this a thing to be shy about, but avow it inyour actions and declare it by your public profession, "We love Him!"

Brothers and Sisters, we bless God that the day is coming when we shall love Him best of all This tenement of our body isfalling away by degrees. These fetters of the flesh are rusting off. We shall soon be free and when the emancipated spiritshall see Him without a veil to hide Him, then shall our love to Him be perfected! Or if He comes before our death arrives,we shall see Him as He is and shall be like He-and then, too, shall our love rise to its transcendent maturity! It is a mercythat while other loves die like lilies, broken at the stalk, or fall like rosebuds when they burst and are fullblown, ourlove to Christ shall go on forever and forever increasing! And when Heaven and earth shall pass away, immortal love, eternallove, shall still abide! As long as God exists, the love of God shall be shed abroad in us and our hearts shall continuallylove Him in return.

I might pause here to say-if it is true that you love Him, dear Brothers and Sisters-love His people better, love His poorbetter, love His cause better, love His Truth better, love poor blood-bought sinners better, love the assemblies of His saintsbetter, love His Word better, keep His commandments better, draw nearer to Him, aim to be more like He! May these practicalTruths, though unspoken by me, yet be lived out in your conversation. But now for the second head. We can only afford a fewminutes upon it, but it is a subject which might well occupy eternity in our meditation-


"We love Him-because He first loved us." It is personal, again, you see, personal again. "We"-"Him"-two persons-and here isthe reason for it-"because He first loved us"-persons again! We do not love Christ because the minister preached, or we receivedhis doctrines, or because we can understand that such-and-such things are in our Lord's teachings. The reason for the lovesprings from Himself, as it goes out after Himself. It is because of something that He did and something that He said, priorto anything that He did. "We love Him because He first l oved us." Love is the cause of love! He loves-we love. We love secondand after Him because He loves first and before us. He first. Now, that is an experimental Truth of God. We know that He lovedus before we loved Him. Just look back on your life before conversion. He loved you then. What made you love Him at all? Itwas because you were told that He loved you and you believed it. Law and terrors never made you love Him-they hardened you.It was a sense of blood-bought pardon that dissolved you and you saw the love of Christ in that pardon! And so, you couldnot help loving Him in return. This is no novelty-this is no mere theory-it is a great Truth of God! I pray you turn it over.Jesus loved you when you lived carelessly, when you neglected His Word, when the knee was unbent in prayer. Ah, He loved someof you when you were in the dancing saloon, when you were in the playhouse-yes, even when you were in the brothel! He lovedyou when you stood at Hell's gate and drank damnation at every draught! He loved you when you could not have been worse orfurther from Him than you were! Marvelous, O Christ, is Your strange love! What love is this that shone on us when we werethe serfs and slaves of Satan, the dishwashers in the kitchen of iniquity? When nothing was too hard for some of us to doif we might but sin-and yet He loved us! And others there were of us who were as bad as this-proud, hypocritical, rotten-heartedprofessors who were boasting of our own self-righteousness, as proud as Lucifer, when there was not even a good thing in us-andyet we were loved with His great love, wherewith He loved us even when we were dead in trespass and in sins! Blessed be Hisname!

Now, that is a matter of experience, and it is also a matter of our firm belief and joyous confidence that Jesus loved usbeforethat-in that tremendous day, the center of the two eternities, the end of one dispensation and the beginning of thenext-that day in which the sun was darkened and yet for the first time began to shine, that day in which the earth did shakeand Heaven was established-that day in which the dead arose and the thoughts of men were discovered-in that day when He, theappointed Substitute, went up to Calvary with all the sins of all His people upon Him, piled like a tremendous world-when,like another Atlas, He bore that overwhelming load upon His shoulders and afterwards heaved the whole infinite weight intoforgetfulness! In that day He gave the supreme proof of His love to us. Look at those eyes red with weeping-see how He loves!Look at those cheeks defiled with the filthy spit and bruised where the fists of the scoffers struck Him! See how He loved!Look to that dear head still scarred with the jagged wounds of the crown of thorns! Look to that matchless mouth and thattongue so parched. Look to the whole face, so marred as to be sorrow's dwelling place. Look to the whole body so utterly agonized,tortured and languishing. Look to the tender gracious hands-those crimson fountains tell the tale! Look at the feet-thosescarlet rivulets declare how deep is His love! Yes, look to His side, sliced open by the soldier's spear-that precious streamof blood and water declares with double and indisputable force that Jesus loves! And we were not born then-we were not here!He loved us first.

But this grand old Book bids us go farther back than that day! He loved us when, in the Garden, our first parents spoiledus all and a promise was given that He should come to bruise the serpent's head. Yes, when yonder mountains were infants,when the gray old world and its ruins that speak of ages were as yet but newly formed, yes, and before that-before the sun'sgreat flame was lit by the Divine torch, before stars began to whirl in their all but boundless revo-lutions-when time wasnot, when there was no day but the Ancient of Days and He dwelt alone, the Infinite Jehovah- even then, Jesus loved His people!His prescient eyes had seen them. His Sovereign choice had separated them. His distinguishing Grace had discriminated themand His eternal purpose had decreed them to be His forever and ever! He loved us first.

Well, if this is not a good reason for loving Him, where could such reason be found? He first loved us. Oh, cold hearts! Oh,slabs of marble! Oh, blocks of granite! Oh, icebergs! If we melt not now, when will we melt? He loved us first! That gloriousthought like fire rushes through and through and through our very deepest nature and refines it, and sets us all on a glow.We must love Him because He first loved us!

Words fail me to speak about that love of His. It was a love so condescending that He stooped from Heaven to reach us, laidaside the royalties of Glory and took upon Himself the infirmities of earth! It was a love so lasting that the ageshave neverdimmed it, nor lessened it by so much as a single atom. It was a love so enduring that the ten thousand provocations of ourunbelief and of our sin have never quenched it! Many waters could not quench it, neither could the floods drown it. It wasa love so generous that Jesus gave us all! He gave us even His Father and His God, for did He not say, "My Father and yourFather, My God and your God"? He gave us and He gives us this day Himself! He gives us communion with Himself. He gives usHis blood to wash us. He gives us His righteousness to clothe us. He gives us His life for our example, His Throne for ourrest at the last. Oh, generous Love, nothing do You withhold! You reserve nothing for Yourself! You give all to the belovedobject. It was a love that was quite disinterested. Jesus had nothing to gain. The gain was ours. It was a love most self-sacrificing.His sufferings, how intense! His griefs, how terrible! And all for His sweet love of us who were His enemies!

I would I had a seraph's tongue but for one moment-a tongue of flame with which to speak of my Master! As I cannot have this,I must be content to say that this ocean of Christ's love is one that is not to be measured. Plunge into it! Ask that youmay be swallowed up in it! Pray that it may baptize you, that you may be lost in its overwhelming floods and that henceforthfor you to live may be Christ and to die may be gain! Brothers and Sisters, the Lord's love is over you, and in you, and inthe power of His quickening Spirit may you live through another week! And when we come together again, may our hearts retainsome of the glow of the affection which I trust we have felt burning within our hearts tonight. To His name be praise! Amen.


Verse 26. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities. Our weaknesses, our insufficiencies, our inabilities-the Spiritof God comes to be a Helper to the children of God!

26. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought We do not know our own infirmities. Perhaps we think that we are strongwhile we are exceedingly weak. The Spirit of God spies out the infirmities and puts the help where the strength is required."We know not what we should pray for as we ought."

26. But the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groans which cannot be uttered Those great things in prayer thatwe cannot ask for, which can never be expressed in human language, the Holy Spirit translates into groans. And so we are madeto groan when we cannot speak-and those groans bring us blessings which words cannot compass. Have you been into your prayerchamber lately, pleading with God, and have you felt as if you could not pray? We often pray best when we think that we arepraying worst! When there is the most anguish, sighing and crying in prayer, there is most of the very essence of prayer.

27. And He who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints accordingto the will of God The Spirit knows what we need. God knows what the Spirit is asking for-and so our prayer makes the completeround and God sends us the blessing!

28. And we know-We know-we are sure of it.

28. That all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Weknow this for we have proved it in our own experience. "All things work." There is nothing inactive in the Providence of God."All things work together." There is a unity in Providence. God sets one thing over against another. Blessed be the name ofGod, all things work together for good! The purpose of God to His people is good and only good-and though this or that mightbe injurious-yet, all put together, they work for good to those who love God. Come, my Soul, do you love God? Can you saytonight, "You know all things. You know that I love You"? All things work together for your good! Not only shall they work,but they are working-they work for your good now! And learn another sweet lesson. You are one of those whom God calls accordingto the sweet purpose of His electing love, for so it stands-they that love God are the same as those who are called accordingto His purpose! If you love God, God loves you. Your love to God, poor and faint though it is, is the assured token that Heloves you with an everlasting love and, therefore, with bands of loving kindness has He drawn you.

29. For whom He did foreknow. That is, look upon with pleasure and delight from before all worlds. Whom He did love and callto be His own. Christ is the Man, the archetype. He is not to be a lone Man. It is not good for man to be alone, not evenfor the Man! And there are to be other men called by God's Grace who are to be made like He, who are tobe His Brothers andSisters. These, whom God foreknew, with fore-love He has ordained, determined and predestinated to be made like His Son.

29-30. He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the First-Born among many brethren.Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called. Not with the common call with which He calls other men, but with thespecial call! The hen, when she is about in the yard, keeps on calling, but when she wants her own little ones to come andrun beneath her wings, then she has a special cluck for them and they know it-and they come and run and hide beneath her.

30. And whom He called, them He also justified. He regarded them as just. He made them just through the blood and righteousnessof Jesus Christ.

30. And whom He justified, them He also glorified. There is no break in this chain. The foreknown are predestinated, the predestinatedare called, the called are justified, the justified are glorified. It is a wondrous chain! He that gets a hold of it anywherehas a hold of the whole of it, for this Scripture cannot be broken! If you are called by Grace into the fellowship of eternallife, you shall be justified and glorified!

31. What shall we then say to these things?! do not know what we can say. Wonders of Grace, mountains of mercy, mercy withoutlimit-what shall we say to these things? This, at least we, can say-

31. If God is for us, who can be against us? A great many can be against us, but we reckon them as nothing at all if God isfor us!

32. He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?Therecan be no end to the bounty of God after He has given His Son. He that has given the jewel of the universe, the very eye ofHeaven-will He not give to us all else really needed-and give freely, too?

33-35. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christthat died, yes, rather who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God who also makes intercession for us. Who shallseparate us from the love of Christ? Dear children of God, feed on these words! They are like wafers made with honey, likecold waters from the Rock! Eat, drink and be filled. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"

35. Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?Well, these things have beentried. As it is written, "For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." In Paul'sday they were being hunted to the death by the thousands and tens of thousands. Were they separated from Christ's love? Theenemy grew tired of persecution before the saints were wearied by it! You remember how, in the days of the Roman Empire, theChristians came to the judgment seat and confessed Christ even when they were not sought after-as if tempting their enemiesto throw them to the lions, or put them to death! They were destitute of all fear and though Emperors were worse than brutes,these Christians defied them, outbraved them, vanquished them! They could not put down the Christians.

36-39. As it is written, For Your sake we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter No, inall these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, norangels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height nor depth, nor any other creatureshall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.