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Love to Christ a Test of Our Relation to God.

Love to Christ a Test of Our Relation to God.

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John viii. 42. Jesus said unto them, Jf God uere your Father,
ye would love me.

John viii. 42. Jesus said unto them, Jf God uere your Father,
ye would love me.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 26, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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LOVE TO CHRIST A TEST OF OUR RELATIO TO GOD. BY REV. CHARLES SIMEO, M.A. John viii. 42. Jesus said unto them, Jf God uere your Father, ye would love me. IF experience did not convince us, we could scarcely believe that presumption should be so rooted in the heart of man as we find it is. That it should exist, not only without any grounds, but in opposition to the strongest possible evidence, and be held fast with a pertinacity which nothing can shake, is truly surprising. Yet so it is : men believe that God is their Father, though not one feature of his image is found upon them, and their resemblance to Satan is complete. The Jews accounted themselves children of God merely because of their carnal de- scent from Abraham, his friend : and when our Lord endeavoured to shew them, from their works, that they 814.1 TEST OF SPIRITUAL RELATIO TO GOD. 83 thev could have no spiritual relation either to Abra- ham or to God, they could not so much as understand his words; so strange and incomprehensible did his distinctions appear. But, as he had just before shewn them that their works disproved their relation to Abraham, so now he appeals to their works as unde- niable evidences that they M^ere not children ot God ; '* If God were your Father, ye would love me. In'discoursing on these words, we shall, I. Consider the test here proposed—
Our Lord is proving that his obstinate opponents neither were, nor could be, children of God: and he ffives them a test whereby they may try themselves. ow this test was the most easy, and most certain, that could be imagined : for if they were children of God, 1 . They would have in themselves a disposition to . love — TGod is love ; and all his children bear his image, espe- cially in this particular. However vile they may have been in their unregenerate state, " living in malice and envy, hate- ful and hating one another," by regeneration then- evil dispo- sitions are mortified, and a spirit of humility and love be- comes the governing principle of their souls. This change is universal : it is the leading feature by which every Child of God is known. The want of it, whatever else we may possess, infallibly proves us children of the wicked one. « Thoucrh we should know all the mysteries ot our holy re- ligion, and have a faith that can remove mountains, and give afi our goods to feed the poor, and even give our bodies to be burnt for Christ, if we had not the principle of love in our hearts, we should be only as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals."] 2. They would Jind in Christ whatever was suited to conciUate their regard — [This our Lord particularly specifies. He had " pro- ceeded and come forth from God," in a way in which no creature ever had ^ He was the Messenger of the Lord of Hosts: he had not come of his own mind, like thefiilse prophets but was sent from God; as his credentials abundantly testified. or was he doins his own will, but the will of Him that sent him : »The terms here used, being never used in reference to any other
person, are supposed to denote his eternal generation. But though there is ground for the remark, we would not lay much stress upon it. 84 JOH, VIII. 42. [814. him : nor did he seek his own glory, but the glory of Him that sent him. Seeing then that he was the Father's Messen- ger to them ; that he was come not only to reveal the way of salvation to them, but to obtain salvation for them, by bearing their sins in his own body on the tree ; seeing that in the pro- secution of this work he had displayed such unerring wis- dom, such indefatigable diligence, such invincible patience, such almighty power, and such unbounded love; could they do otherwise than love him, if they were children of God ? Could they be blind to so much excellence, and insensible of so much kindness, if God were their Father ? Impossible. It could not be that God should leave his own children so much under the power of the devil, as to reject the mercy he had prepared for them, and destroy the Messenger whom he had sent to redeem them.] That we may see more clearly the suitableness of this test, we will, II. Compare it with other tests which men devise for themselves — Every man has some ground on which he builds his hopes, and some test whereby he tries his title to heaven. This test varies according to the attain- ments which each person has made, or thinks he has made, in religion; every one fixing his own standard, and so drawing the line as to include himself within the number of God's elect. They are children of God, because, 1 . They have committed no gross sin — [Be it so : they have kept within the bounds which the

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