But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you.
There are some charges which cannot be advanced without exciting the strongest feelings, such as cowardice and falsehood. And yet there are graver charges which excite no emotion, or, if perchance the conscience be aroused to the sense of their truth, anodynes are applied and men return to recklessness and indifference. It was so with the Jews and the allegation of the text, and it is so to-day. Observe —
I. THAT THE LOVE OF GOD IS THE PRINCIPLE WHICH OUGHT TO ACTUATE ALL HIS INTELLIGENT CREATURES.
1. Deuteronomy 6:1-6 six times repeated and confirmed by Jesus Christ.
2. God's revelations of His character and proceedings, show the reasonableness of this command, for they show His love for the purpose of making us happy. Contemplate —
(2) The scheme of grace.
3. This should lead us to recognize His claim upon our love.
II. THAT THERE ARE MULTITUDES OF THE HUMAN RACE WHO ARE DESTITUTE OF THE LOVE OF GOD.
1. This is proved from Scripture. How multiplied are the charges against men that they forsook God, departed from, hated, denied Him! Christ said, "They have both seen and hated Me and My Father," and Paul, that they are "haters of God."
2. This will always be the case where men are left to the influence of their own minds without the counteracting principle of Divine grace.
3. This accounted for by man's fall, which introduced in the human mind a dislike to God and His commandments (Romans 8:7, 8).
III. THAT THERE ARE SIGNS BY WHICH THE ABSENCE OF THE LOVE OF GOD MAY BE DETECTED.
1. A rejection of the Divine testimony respecting the Person and work of the Son (see the whole context).
2. The infraction of the judicial or moral commandments of the law (John 14:21, etc.).
3. Inordinate desires for and pursuit after worldly gain (Matthew 6:24; Matthew 19:16, etc.; 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4).
4. Destitution of true practical kindness towards other men (1 John 3:14, etc.; 1 John 4:7,12,19).
IV. THAT THOSE WHO ARE DESTITUTE OF THIS LOVE ARE LIVING IN AN AWFUL STATE WITH REGARD TO THEIR ETERNAL INTERESTS. The absence of the love of God —
1. Abandons man to the dominion of those passions whose uniform tendency is the production of abasement and sorrow.
2. Excludes men from the favour of God and exposes them to future punishment.
Parallel VersesKJV: But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.