Loving our Lord Jesus Christ sincerely

JP: Some final thoughts on Ephesians and specifically the final verse of Ephesians: “love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity” (Ephesians 6:24).

I Corinthians 16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.”

By Bishop J.C. Ryle. From his book “Holiness”:

“Lovest Thou Me?”

Excerpts:

Hear what St. Paul says to the Ephesians, “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” (Eph. vi. 24.) The Apostle is here sending his good wishes, and declaring his good will to all true Christians. Many of them, no doubt, he had never seen. Many of them in the early Churches, we may be very sure, were weak in faith, and knowledge, and self-denial. How, then, shall he describe them in sending his message? What words can he use which will not discourage the weaker brethren? He chooses a sweeping expression which exactly describes all true Christians under one common name. All had not attained to the same degree, whether in doctrine or practice. But all loved Christ in sincerity.

….

Would you know the secret of this peculiar feeling towards Christ which distinguishes the true Christian? You have it in the words of St. John, “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John iv. 19.) That text, no doubt, applies specially to God the Father. But it is no less true of God the Son.

A true Christian loves Christ for all He has done for him. He has suffered in his stead, and died for him on the cross. He has redeemed him from the guilt, the power, and the consequences of sin, by His blood. He has called him by His Spirit to self-knowledge, repentance, faith, hope, and holiness. He has forgiven all his many sins and blotted them out. He has freed him from the captivity of the world, the flesh, and the devil. He has taken him from the brink of hell, placed him in the narrow way, and set his face toward heaven. He has given him light instead of darkness, peace of conscience instead of uneasiness, hope instead of uncertainty, life instead of death. Can you wonder that the true Christian loves Christ?

And he loves Him besides, for all that He is still doing. He feels that He is daily washing away his many shortcomings and infirmities, and pleading his soul’s cause before God. He is daily supplying all the needs of his soul, and providing him with an hourly provision of mercy and grace. He is daily leading him by His Spirit to a city of habitation, bearing with him when he is weak and ignorant, raising him up when he stumbles and falls, protecting him against his many enemies, preparing an eternal home for him in heaven. Can you wonder that the true Christian loves Christ?

Does the debtor in jail love the friend who unexpectedly and undeservedly pays all his debts, supplies him with fresh capital, and takes him into partnership with himself? Does the prisoner in war love the man who at the risk of his own life breaks through the enemy’s lines, rescues him, and sets him free? Does the drowning sailor love the man who plunges into the sea, dives after him, catches him by the hair of his head, and by a mighty effort saves him from a watery grave? A very child can answer such questions as these. Just in the same way, and upon the same principles, a true Christian loves Jesus Christ.

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