I recently preached a three part mini-series on “Christ-Centered Sanctification.” The burden of the series is that conservative-minded Christians might retain a zeal for growth, or progress in the Christian life, but lose their love for Jesus. Without love to Christ, all our works and efforts become wood, hay, and stubble.
I don’t have the room in this post to go into detail about the sermon series, but I did discover a couple of quotes from the Puritan Thomas Vincent that I thought would be encouraging to anyone, whether they heard the sermons or not.
“The life of Christianity consists in our love to Christ. Without love to Christ we are as much without spiritual life as a carcass is without physical life.” That statement summarizes everything I wanted to say in the series. Vincent goes on to explain why love to Christ is so important:
“Christ knows the influence which love to Him has. He knows it engages all the other affections. He knows that if He has peoples’ love, their desires will be chiefly after Him. Their delights will be chiefly in Him. Their hopes and expectations will be chiefly from Him. Their hatred, fear, grief, and anger will be directed at sin as it is offensive to Him. He knows that love will engage and employ for Him all the powers and faculties of their souls. Their thoughts will be brought into captivity and obedience to Him. Their minds will be employed in seeking out truths about Him; their memories will be receptacles to retain them. Their consciences will be His faithful deputies. Their wills will choose and refuse according to His direction and pleasure. . . . Their eyes will see for Him, their ears hear for Him, their hands work for Him, their feet walk for Him. All their gifts and talents will be at His disposal.”
This quote from Vincent shows how a person’s heart commitments and chief delights determine everything about that person. Ask yourself, “What is the state of my love for Christ?” Nothing can be more relevant than the answer to that question.