1667. ‘Love and I’ A Mystery

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No. 1667-28:361. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, July 2, 1882, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 5/30/2013*5/30/2013

I have declared your name to them, and will declare it: so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. {Joh 17:26}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1378, “Righteous Father Known and Loved, The” 1369}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1667, “ ‘Love and I’ — A Mystery” 1668}
   Exposition on Joh 17:1-18:9 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2616, “Christ’s Care of His Disciples” 2617 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17:1-18:9 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3151, “Lord’s Supper, Simple But Sublime, The” 3152 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17:15-26 Mt 26:36-46 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2376, “ ‘I Will,’ Yet, ‘Not as I Will’ ” 2377 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2331, “Christ’s Pastoral Prayer for His People” 2332 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2355, “Christ’s Negative and Positive Prayer” 2356 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2449, “Rule and Reward of Serving Christ, The” 2450 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2483, “Object of Christ’s Death, The” 2484 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2821, “Until He Find It” 2822 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3280, “Christ’s Prayer and Plea” 3282 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 17 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3499, “Bliss of the Glorified, The” 3501 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 32; Joh 17 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3456, “Peace Be To You” 3458 @@ "Exposition"}

1. For several Sunday mornings my mind has been directed into subjects which I might appropriately call the deep things of God. I think I have never felt my own incompetence more fully than in trying to handle such subjects. It is a soil into which one may dig and dig as deep as ever you wish, and still never exhaust the golden nuggets which lie within it. I am, however, comforted by this fact, that these subjects are so fruitful that even we who can only scratch their surface shall still get a harvest from them. I read once of the plains of India, that they were so fertile that you only had to tickle them with a hoe and they laughed with plenty, and surely such a text as this may be described as equally fruitful, even under our feeble husbandry. Pearls lie on the surface here as well as in the depths. We only have to search its surface, and stir the soil a little, and we shall be astonished at the plenitude of spiritual wealth which lies before us. Oh, that the Spirit of God may help us to enjoy the blessed truths which are contained here! Here is the priceless treasure, but it lies hidden until he reveals it to us.

2. You see, this text is taken out of our Lord’s last prayer with his disciples. He as good as said, “I am about to leave you, I am about to die for you; and for a while you will not see me; but now, before we separate, let us pray.” It is one of those impulses that you have felt yourselves. When you have been about to part from those you love, to leave them perhaps in danger and difficulty, you have felt you could do no less than say, “Let us draw near to God.” Your heart found no way of expressing itself at all so fitting, so congenial, so satisfactory as to draw near to the great Father and spread the case before him. Now, a prayer from such a one as Jesus, our Lord and Master; a prayer in such a company, with the eleven whom he had chosen, and who had consorted with him from the beginning; a prayer under such circumstances, when he was just on the brink of the brook of Kidron, and was about to cross that gloomy stream and go up to Calvary, and there lay down his life — such a prayer as this, so living, earnest, loving, and divine, deserves the most studious meditations of all believers. I invite you to bring your best thoughts and skill here for the navigation of this sea. It is not a creek or bay, but the main ocean itself. We cannot hope to fathom its depths. This is true of any sentence of this matchless prayer; but for me the work of exposition becomes unusually heavy, because my text is the close and climax of this marvellous supplication: it is the central mystery of all. In the lowest depth there is even a lower depth, and this verse is one of those depths which still exceed the rest. Oh, how much we need the Spirit of God. Pray for his bedewing: pray that his balmy influences may descend upon us richly now.

3. You will observe that the last word of our Lord’s prayer is concerning love. This is the last petition which he offers, “That the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” He reaches no greater height than this, namely, that his people are filled with the Father’s love. How could he rise higher? For this is to be filled with all the fulness of God, since God is love, and he who loves dwells in God and God in him. What importance ought you and I to attach to the grace of love! How highly we should esteem what Jesus makes the crown-jewel of all. If we have faith, let us not be satisfied unless our faith works by love and purifies the soul. Let us not be content indeed until the love of Christ is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us. Well did the poet say,

   Only love to us be given,
   Lord, we ask no other heaven;

for indeed there is no other heaven below, and scarcely is there any other heaven above than to reach to the fulness of perfect love. For this is the climax of the prayer of the Son of David, in praying “that the love with which you have loved me may be in them.” What a subject! The highest that even our Lord Jesus reached in his noblest prayer. Again with groanings my heart cries, “Holy Spirit, help.”

4. I shall this morning try to speak first upon the food of love, or what love lives on; secondly, upon the love itself, what kind of love it is; and then, thirdly, upon the companion of love. “That the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

5. I. First, THE FOOD OF LOVE for God.

6. What is it? It is knowledge. “I have made known to them your name, and will make it known.” We cannot love a God whom we do not know: a measure of knowledge is necessary for affection. However lovely God may be, a man blind of soul cannot perceive him, and therefore is not touched by his loveliness. Only when the eyes are opened to behold the loveliness of God will the heart go out towards God who is so desirable an object for the affections. Brethren, we must know in order to believe; we must know in order to hope; and we must especially know in order to love. Hence the great desirableness that you should know the Lord, and his great love which surpasses knowledge. You cannot reciprocate love which you have never known, even as a man cannot derive strength from food which he has not eaten. Until first of all the love of God has come into your heart, and you have been made a partaker of it, you cannot rejoice in it or return it. Therefore our Lord took care to feed his disciples’ hearts upon the Father’s name. He laboured to make the Father known to them. This is one of his great efforts with them, and he is grieved when he sees their ignorance, and has to say to one of them, “Have I been so long a time with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; and why do you then say, ‘Show us the Father?’ ” Study much, then, the word of God: be diligent in turning the pages of Scripture and in hearing God’s true ministers, so that the flame of love within your hearts may be revived by the fuel of holy knowledge which you place upon it. Pile on the logs of sandalwood, and let the perfumed fires burn before the Lord. Heap on the handfuls of frankincense and sweet odours of sacred knowledge, so that on the altar of your heart there may always be burning the sacred flame of love for God in Christ Jesus.

7. The knowledge here spoken of is a knowledge which Jesus gave them. “I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. And I have declared your name to them, and will declare it.” Oh beloved, it is not knowledge that you and I pick up as a matter of book-learning that will ever bring out our love for the Father: it is knowledge given to us by Christ through his Spirit. It is not only knowledge communicated by the preacher which will bless you; for however much he may be taught by God himself, he cannot preach to the heart unless the blessed Spirit of God comes and takes from the things that are spoken, and reveals them and makes them obvious to each individual heart, so that as a result it knows the Lord. Jesus said, “Oh righteous Father, the world has not known you,” and you and I would have been in the same condition, strangers to God, without God and without hope in the world, if the Spirit of God had not taken from divine things and applied them to our souls so that we are made to know them. Every living word of knowledge is the work of the living God. If you only know what you have found out for yourself, or picked up by your own industry apart from Jesus, you know nothing properly: it must be by the direct and distinct teaching of God the Holy Spirit that you must learn to profit. Only Jesus Christ can reveal the Father. He himself said, “No man comes to the Father but by me.” He who does not know Christ does not know the Father; but when Jesus Christ reveals him, ah! then we do know him after a special, personal, particular, inward knowledge. This knowledge brings with it a life and a love with which the soul is not puffed up, but built up. By such knowledge we grow up into him in all things who is our head, being taught by the Son of God.

8. This knowledge, dear friends, comes to us gradually. The text indicates this. “I have declared your name to them, and will declare it.” As if, though they knew the Father, there was far more to know and the Lord Jesus was resolved to teach them more. Are you growing in knowledge, my brothers and sisters? My labour is lost if you are not growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I hope you know much more about God than you did twenty years ago when you first came to him. That little knowledge which you received by grace when you found “life in a look at the Crucified One” has saved you; but in these subsequent years you have added to your faith knowledge, and to your knowledge experience; you have gone on to know more deeply what you knew before, and to know the details of what you seemed to know in general at first. You have come to look into things as well as upon things — a look at Christ saves; but oh, it is the look into Christ that wins the heart’s love and holds it firmly and binds us to him as with fetters of gold. We ought every day to be adding something to this inestimably precious supply, that as we are known by God so we may know God, and become transformed by it from glory to glory through his Spirit.

9. Are you not thankful for this blessed word of the Lord Jesus: “I will declare it”: “I will make it known?” He did do so at his resurrection, when he taught his people things they did not know before; but he did so much more after he had ascended up on high when the Spirit of God was given. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your memory, whatever I have said to you.” And now today in the hearts of his people he is daily teaching us something that we do not know. All our experience tends that way. When the Spirit of God blesses an affliction to us, it is one of the Saviour’s illuminated books out of which we learn something more about the Father’s name, and consequently come to love him better: for that is the thing Christ intends. He would make so well known the Father, that the love with which the Father has loved him may be in us, and that he himself may be in us.

10. This knowledge distinguishes us from the world. It is the mark by which the elect are revealed. In the sixth verse of this chapter our Lord says: “I have revealed your name to the men whom you gave to me out of the world: they were yours, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word.” The world does not know the Father, and cannot know him, for it remains in the darkness and death of sin. Judge yourselves therefore by this sure test, and let the love which grows out of gracious knowledge be a sign for good to you.

11. Now let me try to show you what the Saviour meant when he said, “I have declared your name to them, and will declare.” This knowledge which fosters love is knowledge of the name of God. What does he mean by “Your name.” Now, I do not think I should preach an unprofitable sermon if I were to stop with the context and say that the “name” meant here is especially the name used in the twenty-fifth verse: “Oh righteous Father, the world has not known you.” This is the name which we most need to know — “righteous Father.” Observe the exceptional combination here. Righteous, and yet a Father. “Righteous”: to us poor sinners that is a word of terror when we first hear it. “Father,” — oh, how sweet. That is a word of good cheer even to us prodigals; but we are afraid to lay hold on it, for our sins arise, and conscience protests that God must be righteous, and punish sin. Our joy begins when we see the two united: “righteous Father,” — a Father full of love, and nothing but love, for his people, and yet righteous as a Judge, as righteous as if he were no Father. Dealing out his righteousness with stern severity as the Judge of all the earth must do, and yet a Father at the same time. I protest that I never did love God at all, nor could I embrace him in my affections, until I understood how he could be just and still the justifier of him who believes in Jesus: how, in a word, he could be the “righteous Father.” That satisfied my conscience and my heart at the same time, for my conscience said, “It is good, God has not put away sin without a sacrifice, and has not winked at sin nor waived his justice in order to indulge his mercy, but he remains just as he ever was — the same thrice-holy God who will by no means spare the guilty.” He has laid the punishment of our sins upon Christ; he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. And he has done all this so that he might act to us as a Father, and save his own children from the result of their transgressions. He has given his only-begotten Son to die in our place so that many sons might be brought to glory through him. It is at the cross we understand this riddle. Here we see the righteous Father. But the world will not learn it, and a large part of the professing church, which is nothing better than the world wrongfully named with Christ’s name, will not learn it. They do anything they can to get away from atonement: love without righteousness is their idol. Substitution is a word that is hard for the world to spell: they cannot tolerate it. That Christ should suffer in the place of the guilty, and bear that we might never bear the Father’s righteous wrath, — they cannot endure this. Many pretend to keep the atonement, and yet they tear the heart out of it. They profess to believe in the gospel, but it is a gospel without the blood of the atonement; and a bloodless gospel is a lifeless gospel, a dead gospel, and a damning gospel. Let those take heed who cannot see God as a righteous Father, for they are numbered among the world who do not know him. “These have known you,” says our Lord. These who have been taught by Christ, and these alone, come to find as much joy in the word “righteous” as in the word “Father”; and blending the two together they feel an intense love for the “righteous Father,” and their hearts rejoice in a holy gospel, a message of mercy consistent with justice, a covenant salvation ordered in all things and sure, because it does no violence to law and does not bind the hands of justice. Beloved, if this revelation of the atoning blood does not make your heart love Jesus, and love the Father, it is because you are not in him; but if you know this secret concerning how righteousness and peace have kissed each other, you know the name that wins the affection of believers to God. My own heart is glad and rejoices every hour because I find rest in substitution, safety in the vindication of the law, and bliss in the glory of the divine character.

   Lo! in the grace that rescued man
   His brightest form of glory shines!
   Here, on the cross, ’tis fairest drawn
   In precious blood and crimson lines.
   Here I behold his inmost heart,
   Where grace and vengeance strangely join,
   Piercing his Son with sharpest smart,
   To make the purchased pleasure mine.
   Oh, the sweet wonders of that cross,
   Where God the Saviour loved and died!
   Her noblest life my spirit draws
   From his dear wounds and bleeding sides.

12. Still, I would take the word “name” in a wider sense. “I have declared your name to them,” which means “your character.” The word “name” is used as a kind of summary of all the attributes of God. All these attributes are well adapted to win the love of all regenerate spirits. Just think for a minute.

13. God is holy. To a holy mind there is nothing in the world, there is nothing in heaven more beautiful than holiness. We read about the beauties of holiness; for to a soul that is purified, holiness is superlatively lovely. Now, beauty wins love, and consequently when Jesus Christ makes known his holy Father, and shows us in his life and in his death the holiness of the Ever-Blessed, then our heart is won to the Father. “Oh,” you say, “but holiness does not always win love.” No, not the love of the defiled hearts that cannot appreciate it; but those who are pure in heart, and can see God, no sooner behold his holiness than they are enamoured by it, and their souls at once delight in their Lord.

14. Moreover, we learn from our Lord Jesus that God is good. “There is no one good but one: that is God.” How inexpressibly good he is! There is no goodness but what comes from God. His name, “God,” is only short for “good,” and all the good things that we receive in this life, and for the life to come, are only enlargements of his blessed name. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” Blessings enjoyed by us are streams that flow from the fountain-head of God’s infinite goodness towards the sons of men. A man cannot help loving God when once he knows him to be good, for all men love what they apprehend to be good for them. A man says, “Gold is good; rest is good; fame is good”; and therefore he seeks after these things, and when he comes to know that God is good, oh, then his spirit closely follows after him. He cannot help but love what he is persuaded is in the highest sense good. The soul that knows the name of the Lord rejoices at the very mention of him.

15. To sinners like ourselves perhaps the next word may have more sweetness. God is merciful; he is always ready to forgive. Notice how the prophet says, “Who is a God like you, passing by transgression?” He does not say, “Who is a man like to you?” for no one among our race can for a moment be compared with him; but even if the gods of the heathen were gods, none of them could be compared to the Lord for mercy. Now, when a man knows that he has offended, and yet the person offended readily and freely forgives, why, it wins his love. If he is a right hearted man he cries, “I cannot offend again one who so generously casts all my offences behind his back.” The mercy of God is such a love-winning attribute that, as I told you the other Sunday, twenty-six times in a single psalm the ancient church sang, “His mercy endures for ever.” Free grace and pardoning love consciously known in the soul will win your hearts to God for ever, so that you shall be his willing servants as long as you have any being.

16. But then there is a still higher word. God is love, and there is something about love which always wins love. When love puts on her own golden armour, and bares her sword bright with her own unselfishness, she goes on conquering and to conquer. Let a man once apprehend that God is love, that this is God’s very essence, and he must at once love God. I do not mean merely “apprehend” that God is love in the cold intellect; but when this heart begins to glow and burn with that divine revelation, then immediately the spirit is joined to the Lord, and rests with delight in the great Father of spirits. Love knits and binds. Oh to feel more of its uniting power.

17. So I have shown you the manna which love feeds on, the nectar which it drinks. Everything in God is lovely, and there is no trait in his character that is other than lovely. All the lovelinesses that can be conceived of are heaped up in God without the slightest mixture of adulteration. He is love altogether, wholly, and emphatically. Oh, surely our Lord and Master was wise when he fed his people’s love upon such food as this.

18. II. Brethren, we have as yet only been standing at the furnace mouth: let us now enter into the devouring flame while we speak, in the second place, upon THE LOVE ITSELF.

19. Observe, first, what this love is not. “I have declared your name to them, and will declare it, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them.” Notice that the prayer is not that the Father’s love may be set upon them, or moved towards them. God does not love us because we know him, for he loved us before we knew him, even as Paul speaks of “His great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins.” Jesus has not come to set his Father’s love upon the chosen. Oh, no; he did not even die with that object, for the Father’s love was upon the chosen from everlasting. “The Father himself loves you” was always true. Christ did not die to make his Father loving, but because his Father is loving: the atoning blood is the outflow of the very heart of God towards us. So do not make any mistake. Our Lord does not speak of the divine love in itself, but in us. This is not the eternal love of God towards us about which we are now reading, but that love in us. We are inwardly to feel the love which proceeds from the Father, and so to have it in us. We are to have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us. It is to be recognised by us, felt in us, made the subject of inward joy; this is what our Lord wishes to produce, that the love of God may be in us, dwelling in our hearts, a welcome guest, the sovereign of our souls.

20. And this love is of a very particular kind. Let me read the verse again: “That the love with which you have loved me may be in them.” It is God’s own love in us. The love of the Father towards Jesus springs up like a crystal fountain, and then the sparkling drops fall and overflow, as you have seen the fountains do, and we are the cups into which this overflowing love of God towards Christ Jesus flows, and flows until we too are full. The inward love so much desired for us by our Lord is no emotion of nature, no attachment proceeding from the unregenerate will, but it is the Father’s love transplanted into the soil of these poor hearts, and becoming our love for Jesus, as we shall have to show in the next point. But is this not a wonderful thing, — that God’s own love for Jesus should reside in our hearts? And yet it is so. The love with which we love Christ, notice that, is God’s love for Christ: “That the love with which you have loved me may be in them.” All true love, such as the Father delights in and accepts from our hands, is nothing but his own love, which has come streaming down from his own heart into our renewed minds.

21. But what can this mean? I must ask you to observe that it includes within itself four precious things.

22. First, the text means that our Lord Jesus Christ desires us to have a distinct recognition of the Father’s love for him. He wants the love with which the Father loves him to be felt in us, so that we may say, “Yes, I know the Father loved him, for I, who am such a poor, unworthy, and foolish creature, still love him; and, oh, how his Father must love him.” I love him! Indeed, by his grace, it would be a blessed thing to die for him; but if I love him, oh, how must his Father love him who can see all his beauty, and can appreciate every distinct part of loveliness that is in him! God never loved anything as he loves Christ, except his people, and they have had to be lifted up to that position by the love which the Father has for his Son. For, first and foremost, the Father and the Son are one: they are one in essence. The Saviour has been with the Father from the beginning, and his delight has been with him, even as the Father testified, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Oh, try to feel, if you can, the love of the Father for his Son, or else you will not love the Father as you should for the amazing sacrifice which he made in giving Jesus to us. Think what it cost him to tear his Well-Beloved from his bosom and send him down below to be “despised and rejected.” Think what it cost him to nail him up to that cross, and then forsake him and hide his face from him, because he had laid all our sins upon him. Oh, the love he must have had for us to have made his Best Beloved to become a curse for us, as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” I want you to get this right into your souls, dear friends. Do not hold it as a dry doctrine, but let it touch your heart. Let it flow into your heart like a boiling stream, until your whole souls become like Icelandic geysers, which boil and bubble up and send their steam aloft into the clouds. Oh, to have the soul filled with the love of the Father towards him who is altogether lovely.

23. Now, go a step further and deeper. Our text bears a further reading. Remember that you are to have in your heart a sense of the Father’s love for you, and to remember that it is precisely the same love with which he loves his Son. “That the love with which you have loved me may be in them.” Oh, wonder of wonders, I feel more inclined to sit down and meditate upon it than to stand up and talk about it! The love with which he loved his Son — such is his love for all his chosen ones. Can you believe it, that you should be the object of God’s delight, even as Christ is, because you are in Christ; that you should be the object of the Father’s love us truly as Christ is, because he sees you to be part and parcel of the mystical body of his well-beloved Son? Do not tell me that God the Father does not love you as well as he does Christ: the point can be settled by the grandest matter of fact that ever was. When there was a choice between Christ and his people who should die of the two, the Father freely delivered up his own Son so that we might live through him. Oh, what a meeting there must have been of the seas of love that day, when God’s great love for us came rolling in like a glorious spring-tide, {a} and his love for his Son came rolling in at the same time. If they had met and come into collision, we cannot imagine the result; but when they both came in rolling together in one mighty torrent, what a stream of love was there! The Lord Jesus sank so that we might swim, he sank so that we might rise and now we are borne onward for ever by the mighty sweep of infinite love into an everlasting blessedness which tongues and lips can never fully proclaim. Oh, be ravished with this. Be carried away with it; be in ecstasy by love so amazing, so divine: the Father loves you even as he loves his Son; he loves all his redeemed after the same manner and kind.

24. But now this goes to a third meaning, and that is that we are to give back a reflection of this love, and to love Jesus as the Father loves him. A dear old friend speaking to me the other day in a rapturous tone said, “I love Jesus as the Father loves him.” This is true; not equally, but like. Is this not a blessed thought? I said, “Oh friend, that is a strong thing to say!” “Ah,” he said, “but not stronger than Jesus would have it when he prays that ‘the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’ ” His people love Christ as the Father loves him, — in the same way, though from lack of capacity they cannot reach to the same immeasurable force of love. Oh, to throw back on Christ his Father’s love. The Father is the sun and we are the moon, but the moonlight is the same light as the sunlight. We can see a difference because reflection robs the light of much of its heat and its brilliance, but it is the same light. The moon does not have a ray of light except what came from the sun, and we do not have a live coal of love for Christ except what came from the Father. We are like the moon, shining by reflected light, but Jesus loves the moonlight of our love and rejoices in it. Let us give him all of it: let us always try to be like the full moon, and let us not dwindle down to a mere ring of love, or a crescent of affection; let us render no half-moon love; let us not be half dark and cold, but let us shine on Christ with all the light we can possibly reflect of his Father’s love, saying in our very soul,

   My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
   For thee all the follies of sin I resign.

25. And then, fourthly, this love of the Father in us is to go beaming from us to all around. When we get the love with which the Father loves the Son into our hearts, then it is to go out towards all the chosen seed. He who loves him who begat also loves those who are begotten by him. Indeed, and your love is to go out to all the sons of men, seeking their good for God’s glory, so that they may be brought in to know the same Saviour in whom we rejoice. Oh, if the love of the Father for Christ once enters into a man’s soul it will change him; it will sway him with the noblest passion; it will make him a zealot for Christ; it will cast out his selfishness; it will change him into the image of Christ, and prepare him to dwell in heaven where love is perfected.

26. So I conclude this second point by saying that this indwelling of the Father’s love in us has the most blessed results. It has an expulsive result. As soon as it ever gets into the heart it says to all love of sin, “Get out; there is no room for you here.” When the light enters in, the darkness receives its immediate eviction notice; the night is gone as soon as the dawn appears. It has also a repulsive power with which it repels the assaults of sin. Just as though a man snatched the sun out of the heaven and makes a round shield with it, and holds it in the very face of the prince of darkness, and blinds him with the light, so the love of God the Father repels the enemy. It girds the soul with the armour of light. It repels the devil, the love of the world, the love of sin, and all outward temptations. And then what an impulsive power it has. Get the love of Christ into you, and it is as when an engine receives fire and steam, and so obtains the force which drives it. Then you have strengthening, then you have motive power, then you are urged on to this and that heroic deed which, apart from this sublime love, you never would have thought of. You can live for Christ, you can suffer for Christ, you can die for Christ, when once the Father’s love for him has taken full possession of your spirit. And, oh, how elevating it is. How it lifts a man up above self and sin; how it makes him seek the things that are above! How purifying it is; and how happy it makes the subject of its influence. If you are unhappy you need more of the love of God. “Oh,” you say, “I need a larger income.” Nonsense. A man is not made happy by money. You will do very well in poverty if you have enough of the love of God. Oh, but if your soul is filled with the love of God your spirit will be ready to dance at the very sound of his name. You murmur and repine at providence because the fire of your love is burning low. Come, get the ashes together; pray the Spirit of God to blow upon them: beg him to bring fresh fuel of holy knowledge, until your soul becomes like Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace, heated seven times hotter. This is the kind of love we should have towards Christ. No blessing can excel it. Oh, Saviour, let your prayer be fulfilled in me and in all your dear people this morning, and may the love with which the Father has loved you be in us.

27. III. Thirdly, here is THE COMPANION OF LOVE. “I in them.” Look at the text for a minute and just grasp those two words. Here is “love” and “I” — love and Christ come together. Oh, blessed guests! “Love and I,” says Christ; as if he felt he never had a companion that suited him better. “Love” and “I”: Jesus is always at home where love is reigning. When love lives in his people’s hearts, Jesus lives there too. Does Jesus, then, live in the hearts of his people? Yes; wherever there is the love of the Father shed abroad in them he must be there. We have his own word for it, and we are sure that Jesus knows where he is.

28. We are sure that where love is he is; for, first, where there is love there is life, and where there is life there is Christ, for he himself says, “I am the life.” There is no true life in the believer’s soul that is isolated from Christ. We are sure of that; so that where there is love there is life, and where there is life there is Christ. Again, where there is the love of God in the heart there is the Holy Spirit; but wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is Christ, for the Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative; and it is in that sense that he tells us, “Lo, I am with you always,” namely, because the Spirit is come to be always with us. So where there is love there is the Spirit of God, and where there is the Spirit of God there is Christ. So it is always “Love and I.”

29. Furthermore, where there is love there is faith, for faith works by love, and there never was true love for Christ apart from faith; but where there is faith there is always Christ, for if there is faith in him he has been received into the soul. Jesus is always near to that faith which has himself for its foundation and resting-place. Where there is love there is faith, where there is faith there is Christ, and so it is “love and I.”

30. Indeed, but where there is the Father’s love towards Christ in the heart God himself is there. I am sure of that, for God is love. So if there is love within us there must be God, and where God is there Christ is, for he says, “I and my Father are one.” So you see where there is love there must be Jesus Christ, for these reasons and for many others besides.

31. “I in them.” Yes, if I were commanded to preach for seven years from these three words only, I should never exhaust the text, I am quite certain. I might exhaust you by my dullness, and exhaust myself by labour to proclaim the sacred secret, but I would never exhaust the text. “I in them.” It is the most blessed word I know of. You, beloved, need not go abroad to find the Lord Jesus Christ. Where does he live? He lives within you. “I in them.” As soon as you ever pray you are sure he hears you, because he is within you. He is not knocking at your door: he has entered into you, and there he dwells, and will go out no more for ever.

32. What a blessed sense of power this gives to us. “I in them.” Then it is no more “I” in weakness, but, since Jesus dwells in me, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” “I in them.” It is the glory of the believer that Christ dwells in him. “To you who believe he is precious.”

33. Hence we gather the security of the believer. Brother, if Christ is in me, and I am overcome, Christ is conquered too, for he is in me. “I in them.” I cannot comprehend the doctrine of believers falling from grace. If Christ has once entered into them, will he not remain with them? Paul says, “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” To that persuasion I set my hand and seal. Well, then, if Christ is in us, whatever happens to us will happen to him. We shall be losers if we do not get to heaven; but so will he be, for he is in us, and so is a partaker of our condition. If it is an indissoluble union — and so he declares it is — “I in them,” then his destiny and ours are linked together; and if he wins the victory we conquer in him: if he sits at the right hand of God we shall sit at the right hand of God with him, for he is in us.

34. I do not know what more to say, not because I have nothing more, but because I do not know which to bring forward out of a thousand precious things; but I leave the subject with you. Go home, and live in the power of this blessed text. Go home, and be as happy as you can be to live, and if you get a little happier that will not harm you, for then you will be in heaven. Keep up unbroken joy in the Lord. It is not “I in them” for Sundays, and away on Mondays; “I in them” when they sit in the Tabernacle, and out of them when they reach home. No; “I in them,” and that for ever and for ever. Go and rejoice. Show this blind world that you have a happiness which as much outshines theirs as the sun outshines the sparks which fly from the chimney and die. Go out with joy and be led out with peace; let the mountains and the hills break out before you into singing.

      All that remains for me
      Is but to love and sing,
   And wait until the angels come,
      To bear me to the King.

“Oh, but I have my troubles.” I know you have your troubles, but they are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in you, nor even with your present glory. I feel as if I could not think about troubles, nor sins, nor anything else when I once behold the love of God for me. When I feel my love for Christ, which is only God’s love for Christ, burning within my soul, then I glory in tribulation, for the power of God shall be revealed in me through these afflictions. “I in them.” May God bless you with the knowledge of this mystery, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Joh 17]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Lord’s Day — Sweet Rest” 917}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — ‘Who Loved Me, And Gave Himself For Me’ ” 797}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — ‘When Wilt Thou Come?’ ” 766}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3564, “Publications” 3566 @@ "Soul-Winning Sermons"}


{a} Spring-Tide: A tide occurring on the days shortly after the new and full moon, in which the high water level reaches its maximum. OED.

Public Worship, The Lord’s Day
917 — Sweet Rest
1 My Lord, my love, was crucified,
      He all the pains did bear;
   But in the sweetness of his rest
      He makes his servants share.
2 How sweetly rest thy saints above
      Which in thy bosom lie!
   The church below doth rest in hope
      Of that felicity.
3 Welcome and dear unto my soul
      Are there sweet feasts of love;
   But what a Sabbath shall I keep
      When I shall rest above!]
4 I bless thy wise and wondrous love,
      Which binds us to be free;
   Which makes us leave our earthly snares,
      That we may come to thee!
5 I come, I wait, I hear, I pray!
      Thy footsteps, Lord, I trace!
   I sing to think this is the way
      Unto my Saviour’s face!
                        John Mason, 1683.


The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
797 — “Who Loved Me, And Gave Himself For Me” <8.8.6.>
1 Oh Love divine, how sweet thou art!
   When shall I find my willing heart
      All taken up by thee?
   I thirst, I faint, I die to prove
   The greatness of redeeming love,
      The love of Christ to me!
2 Stronger his love than death or hell;
   Its riches are unsearchable:
      The first-born sons of light
   Desire in vain its depths to see;
   They cannot reach the mystery,
      The length, and breadth, and height.
3 God only knows the love of God:
   Oh that it now were shed abroad
      In this poor stony heart;
   For love I sigh, for love I pine:
   This only portion, Lord, be mine,
      Be mine this better part.
4 Oh that I could for ever sit
   With Mary at the Master’s feet;
      Be this my happy choice:
   My only care, delight, and bliss,
   My joy, my heaven on earth, be this,
      To hear the Bridegroom’s voice.
                        Charles Wesley, 1746.


The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
766 — “When Wilt Thou Come?”
1 When wilt thou come unto me, Lord?
      Oh come, my Lord most dear!
   Come near, come nearer, nearer still,
      I’m blest when thou art near.
2 When wilt thou come unto me, Lord?
      I languish for the sight;
   Ten thousand suns when thou art hid,
      Are shades instead of light.
3 When wilt thou come unto me, Lord?
      Until thou dost appear,
   I count each moment for a day,
      Each minute for a year.
4 There’s no such thing as pleasure here,
      My Jesus is my all;
   As thou dost shine or disappear,
      My pleasures rise or fall.
5 Come, spread thy savour on my frame,
      No sweetness is so sweet;
   Till I get up to sing thy name,
      Where all thy singers meet.
                     Thomas Shepherd, 1692.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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