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Free Love


Scripture tells us that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We are not attractive; we are not loveable. God is in no way obligated, nor is there anything in us to entice him, to love us. Yet he does love, freely, of his own will.

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We can no way move him to love us, or to express it. We have not anything of our own to attract his affection. We have nothing of our own that is lovely, nothing that is delightful, nothing desirable. What ever of this nature is in us, it is his, not ours. We have no estate . . . but what he is the owner of; no sweetness of temper, but what he helps us to; no good quality, but what he plants in us; no beauty, but what is lent us by him. And who will love a person that has no loveliness of her own, no beauty at all, but what is borrowed? We may discern how far we are from having anything that may move the Lord to love us, by looking ourselves in the glass . . . we may see our unlovely state therein, Ezek. xvi. 6, instead of rare, fine complexion, and lovely features, all covered with blood and pollution; so far from being amiable, as we were ghastly and loathsome, more fit to be cast out with abhorrence than to be embraced; not only too bad to be loved, but to be pitied; not only without beauty and ornament, but without life; no more in us to move love, than in a dead carcase. Such were we, such the state of our souls; and could the sovereign Lord of the world set his love on such objects as we, having nothing in the world that we can properly call our own, but sin, the most hateful, the most ugly, and loathsome deformity in the eye of God? Oh how free is that love, that would pitch on such objects as we, who had nothing in us fit for love, nothing of our own that could deserve it, nothing that could oblige it, nothing that could any way move or attract it, nothing of our own, but what might sooner have provoked hatred and loathing.

Oh if the Lord had not loved most freely, if his love could not have moved itself, we had never met with it, nor any expression of it. We see hereby the Lord loved us (as he shews mercy), because he would love; we see that wonderful freeness of it exemplified again in us, as it was in Israel, Deut. vii. 7, 8.

—David Clarkson, The Lord the Owner of All Things, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:385.



Posted 2017·12·07 by David Kjos
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