Faith which works by love.”
Love is that grace of the Spirit that brings faith into active exercise; and faith, thus brought into exercise, brings every spiritual blessing into the soul. A believer stands by faith; he walks by faith; he overcomes by faith; he lives by faith. Love is therefore a laboring grace-“God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have showed towards His name.” There is nothing indolent in the nature of true love; it is not an inert, sluggish principle: where it dwells in the heart in a healthy and vigorous state, it constrains the believer to live not to himself, but unto Him who loved and gave Himself for him; it awakes the soul to watchfulness, sets it upon the work of frequent self-examination, influences it to prayer, daily walking in the precepts, acts of kindness, benevolence, and charity, all springing from love to God, and flowing in a channel of love to man.
The Holy Spirit distinguishes love as a part of the Christian armor-“Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love.” Without ardent and increasing love to God, the believer is but poorly armed against his numerous spiritual and ever aggressive foes; but what a breastplate and helmet is this in the day of battle! Who can overcome a child of God, whose heart is overflowing with Divine love? What enemy can prevail against him thus armed? He may be, and he is, in himself, nothing but weakness; his foes many and mighty; hemmed in on every side by his spiritual Philistines; and yet, his heart soaring to God in love, longing for His presence, panting for His precepts, desiring, above and beyond all other blessings, Divine conformity! No weapon formed against him shall prosper; every “fiery dart of the adversary” shall be quenched, and he shall “come off more than a conqueror, through Him who has loved him.”
In a word, love is immortal; it is that grace of the Spirit that will never die. This is not so with all the kindred graces: the period will come when they will no more be needed. The day is not far distant, when faith will be turned into sight, and hope will be lost in full fruition; but love will never die; it will live on, and expand the heart, and tune the lip, and inspire the song, through the unceasing ages of eternity. “Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away;” but love never fails; it is an eternal spring, welled in the bosom of Deity: heaven will be its dwelling-place, God its source, the glorified spirit its subject, and eternity its duration. —Copied
“HE BROUGHT HIM TO JESUS”
Yes, salvation is all of grace. It is the Good Shepherd who goes out to seek his sheep. He finds them, and he brings them home. But according to his infinite wisdom and condescending grace, it is our Lord’s good pleasure to employ men in this heavenly work. Andrew was present when John said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” And Andrew beheld him. Immediately, Andrew went and found Simon and told Him “We have found the Christ.” “And he brought him to Jesus.” Andrew could not give Simon faith. He could not show him Christ’s glory. He could not save him. But there was something he could do—he could tell Simon what he had seen. He could tell Simon about Christ. And he could bring Simon to the place where he might meet Christ for himself. You know the result of Andrew’s effort. Simon was converted and he became the mighty spokesman of the early church.
Andrew never preached like Peter did. But had it not been for Andrew’s witness to his brother, Peter would never have preached either. Maybe you can’t preach, but you can be an Andrew. Go and tell men what you have experienced. Tell them about the Christ of God, and then bring them with you to the place where they are most likely to meet Christ for themselves. Bring others with you to the house of God to hear a man preach the gospel of Christ.
I cannot believe that a man has tasted the honey of the gospel if he is content to eat it all by himself. Free grace compels a man to be generous. We do not want to feast on the riches of Christ by ourselves. We want to bring others to our Lord so that they may enjoy his riches with us. You have a tremendous opportunity before you. How many people do you know who are perishing for a lack of knowledge? You have at your disposal tracts, articles, tapes, and your own experience by which you can share the knowledge of Christ and his gospel. Who knows? Maybe God will be pleased to use you to bring another sinner like yourself to a saving knowledge of Christ.
What a glorious prospect! Let it inspire you to begin the work today. Andrew brought Simon to the Savior. Philip brought Nathanael. Who will you bring?