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All Spiritual Blessings in Christ

All the spiritual blessings wherewith the Church is enriched are in and by Christ. The apostle instances some of the choicest (Eph. 1:3). Our election is by him (Eph 1:4). Our adoption is by him (Eph 1:5). Our redemption and remission of sins are both through him. All the gracious transactions between God and his people are through Christ. God loves us through Christ; he hears our prayers through Christ; he forgives us all our sins through Christ. Through Christ he justifies us; through Christ he sanctifies us; through Christ he upholds us; through Christ he perfects us. All his relations to us are through Christ; all we have is from Christ; all we expect to have hangs upon him. He is the golden hinge upon which all our salvation turns.

—Charles H. Spurgeon citing Ralph Robinson
My Sermon Notes (Passmore and Alabaster, 1884)

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God’s Electing Love Eternal in its Foundation

The love of God to His saints is not only from eternity in its being, but in its foundation; i.e. the love of God to His saints has not its foundation in anything temporal.

There are some that will allow that the love of God to the saints in its being is from eternity, but not in its foundation; but hold that it has its foundation in God’s foresight of that which is temporal, as particularly in the foresight of their holiness and good works. They suppose that the saints’ faith, and repentance, and obedience is the foundation of God’s love to them, and that God loves the saints from eternity no otherwise than as he foresees that they will in time believe, and repent, and live holy lives. So that though they allow the love itself in its being to be eternal, yet assert that ’tis the foresight of something temporal that is the foundation of it. But the love of God to His saints has not its foundation in anything temporal.

The ground of the love is eternal as the love itself.

He doesn’t love them from eternity, because he foresees that they will believe, and repent, and the like. The ground of His eternal love is not to be sought for in the saints, but in God’s own heart; that God loves the saints is from Himself, and not from them. His love is a free and sovereign love, and is from His own sovereign good pleasure, as we are taught. “According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children [by Jesus Christ] to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:4–5). The love of God towards His people is self-moved. “The Lord did not set His love  upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you” (Deuteronomy 7:7–8).

The faith and holiness of the saints is so far from being the foundation of the eternal love of God that ’tis the fruit of it.

God has loved them from all eternity, and that is the reason that he has given them faith and holiness, and has brought them home to Himself truly to believe in, and love, and fear, and serve God; as in the verse of the text, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

—Jonathan Edwards
“The Everlasting Love of God,” Sermons and Discourses, 1734-1738, 478–479.

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We Never Sent to Him

We never sent to him; he sent to us. Suppose that, after we had all sinned, we had fallen on our knees, and cried importunately, “Oh, Father, forgive us!” Suppose that day after day we had been, with many piteous tears and cries, supplicating and entreating forgiveness of God. It would be great love then that he should devise a way of pardoning us. But no; it was the very reverse. God sent an ambassador of peace to us; we sent no embassage to him. Man turned his back on God, and went farther and farther from him, and never thought of turning his face toward his best Friend. It is not man that turns beggar to God for salvation; it is, if I may dare to say it, as though the Eternal God himself did beg of his creatures to be saved. Jesus Christ has not come into the world to be sought for, but to seek that which is lost. It all begins with him. Unsought, unbidden by the object of his compassion, Jesus came into the world.

—Charles H. Spurgeon
The Metropolitan Tabernacle, “Herein Is Love,” Sermon 2448.

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Quotes

God’s Election Is Love

God in election set his love upon those whom he elected. Rom. 9:13. “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Jer. 31:3. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saving, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” 1 John 4:19. “We love him because he first loved us.”

A God of infinite goodness and benevolence loves those that have no excellency to move or attract it: the love of men is consequent upon some loveliness in the object, but the love of God is antecedent to, and the cause of it.

Believers were from all eternity beloved both by the Father and the Son. The eternal love of the Father appears in that he from all eternity contrived a way for their salvation, and chose Jesus Christ to be their Redeemer, and laid help upon him. It is a fruit of this electing love that God sent his Son into the world to die, it was to redeem those whom he so loved. 1 John 4:10. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” It is a fruit of the eternal, electing love of Jesus Christ, that he was willing to come into the world, and die for sinners, and that he actually came and died.

Gal. 2:20. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” And so conversion, and glorification, and all that is done for a believer from the first to the last, is a fruit of electing love.

—Jonathan Edwards

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Quotes

Because He Loved Us

If you ask, why He made so much ado about a worthless creature, raised out of the dust of the ground at first, and had now disordered himself, and could be of no use to Him? We have an answer at hand, because He loved us. If you continue to ask, but why did He love us? We have no other answer but because He loved us; for beyond the first rise of things we cannot go.

—Thomas Manton