Loving Jesus Christ – PT.3

Loving Jesus Christ – PT.3

Editor’s Note: Mrs. L.L. Hamilton vividly recalled that first sermon of John A. Broadus in years to follow: “There stood ,,, a slightly built, dark haired youth … who spoke as I never heard man speak before of our gracious Savior. There was something in his manner very entreating, very touching, very convincing … I well remember the impression made upon me by its charming simplicity. He had made comprehendible, even to the mind of a child, great Bible truths.”

Jesus Christ is the pure example of perfect goodness. We all love goodness. Even men who are not trying to be good love goodness, even men who pretend to be worse than they are, in their hearts love goodness. But all the goodness we see besides his is mingled with imperfection, and we cannot but perceive it at times. Here is perfect goodness. Oh, how the truest sentiments of admiration ought to go out toward one, who, in human form, has been exposed to human temptations, but yielded to no temptations, and remained perfectly good. This is why we should love him!

Even though these things should bring us to love Jesus Christ, I aim’ afraid that of themselves alone they never would. For after all they do not represent his great work in this world, his great relation to mankind. Jesus Christ is not simply the world’s great teacher and the world’s noblest example of purity and goodness, but far above this, Jesus Christ is a Savior. His name Jesus meant “Jehovah saves.” It was given him because he should save his people from their sins. “He came to seek and to save that which was lost.” He died that men might live. “He ever liveth to intercede for them that come to God through him,” that for his sake their souls may be saved. He is a Savior. Alas! Are there any here today who care nothing about salvation, who take no interest in the idea?

I remember visiting the British Museum and standing one day in the Etruscan room, crowded with specimens of Etruscan and early Greek pottery, which were charming to anyone who has the least love for art or the slightest tincture of classical learning’s. Presently two young men of rough appearance came to the door, and looked in, and one of them said to the other, “Tom, what would you give for all these old dishes in here?” The other replied, “Hum! I wouldn’t give two pence for the whole lot.” He saw no beauty in them that he should admire. You remember what the prophet said would be true concerning the great one. “We saw no beauty in him that we should admire him,” that was to come, and alas! how true it is even today.

If a young man in the fullness of life and strength, and careless of everything but the pleasures of the passing moment, had come along this afternoon, driving out from the park and passed West Twenty-third Street, perhaps the last idea that would have occurred to him would be that the street is rather famous for physicians. What would he care about physicians? But let there be a sudden accident, a sudden overturning of the carriage, a limb broken, and someone coming to lift him up, then his first question would be, “Is there a good doctor close by? Can you get him quick?” So if people begin to see something of their sinfulness, and to care something for their salvation, then Jesus Christ, the Savior of men, becomes an object of interest and love.

Ah! my friends, why should we shrink from looking at that fact of our sinfulness? Is it wise for a sick man to go step by step to destruction when there is a remedy that might save him? I know it seems extravagant, but there are those here today who have had moments when they felt their whole being poisoned by sin, and their whole life blasted, who have struggled to lift themselves up above and trample down temptation until they have been despairing and humiliated and disgusted with themselves. If any such despairers will turn their looks away from themselves to Jesus Christ the Savior of sinners and give themselves to the one task of serving him asking that they may know and do his will, leaving it to him by his grace to make them what they ought to be, then they will begin truly to love him. O soul of man, who shall give account of yourself to your God? Oh, that you would see yourself a sinful being: that you would address yourself to the Savior and learn to love him as your Savior and your God.

When in beginning thus to love him, we set ourselves to doing his will, every act of obedience reacts upon the love which prompts them. When, because he bids us do it, we come and go down into baptismal waters, and rise meaning for his sake to walk in newness of life, how it helps us to love him. How many here can remember the thrill of delight and the new strength with which they found themselves doing this simple thing in obedience to his command? When they gathered around the simple bread and wine and took it as a simple reminder of his dying love, doing this in remembrance of him, they have loved him more because they were acting out their love in accordance with his commandments. If that is true in ceremonies, it should be true in life, in the actual deeds of real life. Whatever we do and whatever we refrain from doing for his sake and by his help, it shall react to make us love him more.

Be continued tomorrow

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