Sermon #1644                            Miscellaneous Sermons


     Title:           “So Have I Loved You

     Text:           John 15:9

     Subject:      Christ’s Love for His People

     Date:          Sunday Morning — January 22, 2005

     Tape #        Y-87a

     Reading:    John 15:1-27



I can think of nothing more miserable on this earth than living with the thought, with the firm persuasion, that no one loves you, or even cares about you.


But I can think of nothing more joyful than the knowledge of Christ’s love for me. It is my soul’s delight to contemplate it. Think of it. — “The Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me!” Truly…


“I stand amazed in the presence

Of Jesus, the Nazarene,

And wonder how He could love me,

A sinner, condemned, unclean!”




“O love surpassing knowledge,

O grace so full and free!

I know that Jesus loves me

And that's enough for me!


O wonderful salvation

From sin Christ set me free

I feel the sweet assurance

And that's enough for me!


O blood of Christ so precious

Poured out at Calvary

I feel its cleansing power

And that's enough for me!”


Today, I want to talk to you about the great, immeasurable, incomprehensible love of Christ for our souls, as he declares it I John 15:9.


(John 15:9)  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.


Here are pastures in which the Great Shepherd has made me to lie down. What sweet rest I have found in this blessed assurance of his love. — “As the Father hath loved me,” the Son of God says to this poor sinner, “so have I loved you.”


The love of Christ is the great cause of our redemption and salvation. It is, as Spurgeon put it, “as the sun in the midst of the heavens of Grace.” May God the Holy Spirit enable us to plunge into these deep waters, and drink, and drink, and drink, until our souls are satiated and overflowing. — “As the Father hath loved me so have I loved you.” I want to know, and I want you to know “the love of Christ that passeth knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:14-19).


(Ephesians 3:14-19)  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (16) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.


I am in waters over my head today. There is such depth and mystery in the love of Christ that it simply cannot be comprehended, much less explained. All we can do is taste it, experience it, believe it, and rejoice in it. Oh, that we may experience it more fully! Blessed Savior, bring us into your banqueting house this hour, let us see the banner of your love and rejoice, as we drink from this blessed fountain. — “Thy love is better than wine!


Come, O Holy Spirit, come! Come this day upon us. Take the things of Christ and show them to us by your grace. Show us, now, our Savior’s love!


Proposition: I want you to see and be assured of this one thing, — Every sinner who trusts Christ is loved by him, even as he is loved by God the Father!


(John 15:9)  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.


Believe It


The first thing I want to say to you about the love of Christ is this: — “Believe it!” Oh, may God enable us to believe it. May he give us grace and faith to believe it unquestioningly. If we trust the Son of God as our Savior, we have every reason to believe that which he here declares to us.


(John 15:9)  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.


He loves us infinitely! Others like to talk about his love as a general, meaningless love of benevolence toward all men. But our Savior here speaks to his own, and says, — “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.” He here assures us of his peculiar, distinct, and distinguishing love for his own elect, to whom he says in verse 16, — “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.


If we are in him, as the branches are in the vine, we are the objects of the Savior’s peculiar love. He speaks to us as his Church, as his choice Bride, and to each one personally, and says, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.”


Does the Son of God speak thus to you? Are those words addressed to me? Have we taken hold of Christ by faith? Has he saved us by his grace? Do we draw life from him? Is he our hope, our joy, our all? If he is, these words are spoken to us. With his own lips and here in his Word, our Savior takes us into his arms and whispers in our ears, as a man does the wife he adores, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.”


That he truly loves us, we may confidently believe. Though we might and do rightfully conclude that he loves us, when we begin to see what he has done for us, our Savior does not leave it as a matter to be inferred. No. He speaks the words. — “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.” Let me never doubt his words. They were spoken in the solemn night of his agony and recorded here in the Book of God.


The Parallel


As if to confirm his love to us and seal it to our hearts, that we may be absolutely assured of it and know something of its indescribable greatness, our Savior draws a parallel to his love. He does not say


·         I love you as a man love a woman.

·         I love you as a mother loves her child.


He says, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.” Would you dare doubt the love of the Father to his Son? I know you would not do so. The Father’s love for his Son is one of those unquestionable things we can never dream of questioning. Now, listen. — Our blessed Savior would have us place his love for us in the same category with the Father’s love for him! He would have us be just as confident of the one as of the other. How does the Father love the Son?


God the  Father loves his darling Son, as one with himself. The Father and the Son are, with the Holy Spirit, one God, one in an eternal, essential, indestructible union. As such, the Father loves the Son with a boundless, immeasurable love. The Lord Jesus loves us just that way, as one with himself, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, boundlessly and immeasurably! That is exactly how the Holy Spirit describes his love for us in Ephesians 5:23-32.


(Ephesians 5:23-32)  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.


Think about that, and be assured of your Savior’s love!


Because of his love for Christ, the Father chose him as his Servant — “Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth” (Isa. 42:1). So it is that our Savior loves us, with an everlasting, eternal love. Because he loved us, he chose us to be his own. Do you remember how he puts it in the seventh chapter of Deuteronomy?


(Deuteronomy 7:6-8)  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. (7) The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: (8) But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.


He loved you because he loved you! Divine election flows from the fountain of God’s everlasting love. It was in love that he predestinated us unto eternal life and accepted us in the Beloved (Eph. 1:3-6).


O my brother, my sister, hear this and rejoice. — The Son of God loved you before the world began, just all because he would love you! He loved you in order that he might manifest his love to you. He loved you in order that you might be conformed unto his image, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren and that you might forever be one with him in his glory, heir of God and joint-heir with himself!


Now, hold on to your seat. This may shock you; but it will be a blessed shocking. — The Father loves his Son as one who is worthy of his love, as one in whom his soul delights. And our Lord Jesus loves us as a people worthy of his love, made worthy by his love, as a people in whom his soul delights (Col. 1:12; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 6:11).


(Colossians 1:12)  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.


(Romans 8:29-30)  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


(1 Corinthians 6:11-13)  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.


Because of His Love


Because of his great love, having chosen us in love, so great was the love of our Lord that he became a Man, became one with us, that we might be one with him! He, who “counted it not robbery to be equal with God,” became a Man that he might execute his eternal purposes of love toward us. It is written, — “For this cause shall a man leave his father and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.”


That is what Christ did for us. — He left his Father that he might become one flesh with his chosen Bride. He took our nature so that he might be able to do for us and suffer for us what, otherwise, he could not have done and suffered. By taking upon himself our nature, the Lord of Glory established a nearer and sweeter union with His beloved Bride than could otherwise have existed. If He had never become the Babe of Bethlehem and the Man of Nazareth, how could he have been made in all points like unto his brethren? What love must be that brought the Lord of Glory from the highest Heaven to become the Man of Sorrows for our sakes!


Having become a Man for us, the Lord Jesus died as our Substitute, in our room and stead, under the fury of God’s holy wrath, because of love. — “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (v. 13). The laying down of his is the proof of love. He died for us voluntarily, in all the pain, shame, and ignominy of sin, being made sin for us, forsaken of God and cursed, because he loved us! Behold how he loved us! Blessed Savior, let me never doubt your great love for me! He died, “the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.”


It was because of his great love for us that the Son of God gave us life by the power of his grace. Read Ezekiel 16 again. There you will see the condition we were in when he came to us in “the time of love.”

·         Deserted

·         Cast Out

·         Filthy

·         Dead

·         Without One to Pity


There we were, lost, helpless, ruined, dead, and no one cared. But he cared. Our Savior came to us and drew us by effectual, irresistible love to himself (Jer. 31:3).


(Ezekiel 16:1-6)  Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, (3) And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. (4) And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. (5) None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. (6) And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.


(Ezekiel 16:8-10)  Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. (9) Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. (10) I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.


(Ezekiel 16:14)  And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.


Because of his great love for us, the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s darling Son, has…

·         Forgiven us, blotting out all our iniquities!

·         Justified us!

·         Sanctified us!

·         Kept us!


As I look back upon my own life, I am filled with adoring gratitude and thanksgiving. Surely, goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life! When all the days of my life are threaded on time’s string, what a bracelet of mercies they make! What shall I say of my Lord’s love? If I liken it for height to the mountains, I see Alps piled on Alps. “Your mercy, O God, is in the heavens.” If I compare it to depth the sea, I am again lost in wonder. I can only cry, “O the depth!” Let us not doubt his great love. He has proved it beyond sufficiency. Has he not? Let us, then, be ravished with his love!


Because of his love for us, our Savior has made us one with himself. Who can describe this union of love and grace. It is inexpressible. We are married to him, joined to him, cemented to him, grafted in him, built upon him, members of his body, one with him in a living, loving, lasting union! — He has made us to be identical with himself!


‘Twixt Jesus and the chosen race

Subsists a bond of sovereign grace,

That hell, with its infernal train,

Shall ne’er dissolve nor rend in vain


Hail! sacred union, firm and strong,

How great the grace, how sweet the song,

That worms of earth should ever be

One with incarnate Deity!


One in the tomb, one when He rose,

One when He triumphed o’er His foes,

One when in heaven He took His seat,

While seraphs sang all hell’s defeat.


This sacred tie forbids their fears,

For all He is or has is theirs;

With Him, their Head, they stand or fall,

Their life, their surety, and their all.”


·         The righteousness our Surety is our righteousness!

·         His obedience is our obedience!

·         His death is our death!

·         His life is our life!

·         His future is our future!

·         His glory is our glory!


This is love, indeed! Our Savior says, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you!” — “Who shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?” This eternal oneness is the security both of Grace and Glory to our souls. The saints of God around the throne are not more fully loved than we are; and they have no stronger reason to be assured of our Savior’s love than we do.


What more can I say? What more can he say? — “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you!

·         Personally!

·         Freely!

·         Eternally!

·         Intimately!

·         Immutably! — Without Beginning — Without End — Without Change!

·         Completely! — With complete complacency, satisfaction, and delight.

·         Faithfully!

·         Immeasurably!

·         Amazingly!


Continue In


Now, look at the last line of our text, and I will send you home. Our Savior says, to you and me, — “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” I take that to mean, ever abide in the confident awareness of my love, never doubt it, never call it into question! Continue in the Savior’s love, and you will find his love to be…



(John 15:9)  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.


(Romans 5:8)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


(1 John 4:9-10)  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (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.