from Spurgeon's sermon, "LOVE'S LOGIC"
"We love him because he first loved us." - 1 John 4:19.
God's love is evidently prior to ours: "He first loved us."
It is also clear enough from the text that God's love is the
cause of ours, for "We love him because he first loved us."
Therefore, going back to old time, or rather before all time,
when we find God loving us with an everlasting love, we gather
that the reason of his choice is not because we loved him,
but because he willed to love us.
His reasons, and he had reasons (for we read of the counsel of
his will), are known to himself; but they are not to be found in
any inherent goodness in us, or which was foreseen to be in us.
We were chosen simply because he will have mercy on whom
he will have mercy-- he loved us because he would love us.
The 'gift of his dear Son', which was a close consequence of his
choice of his people, was too great a sacrifice on God's part to
have been drawn from him by any goodness in the creature.
It was not possible for the highest piety to have deserved so vast
a boon as the gift of the Only-begotten; it was not possible for
anything in man to have merited the incarnation and the passion
and death of the Redeemer. Our redemption, like our election,
springs from the spontaneous self-originating love of God.
And our 'regeneration', in which we are made actual partakers of
the divine blessings in Jesus Christ, was not of us, nor by us.
We were not converted because we were already inclined that way,
neither were we regenerated because some good thing was in us by
nature; but we owe our new birth entirely to his potent love,
which dealt with us effectually, turning us from death to life,
from darkness to light, and from the alienation of our mind and
the enmity of our spirit into that delightful path of love,
in which we are now traveling to the skies.
As believers on Christ's name we "were born, not of blood, nor
of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
The sum and substance of the text is that God's uncaused love,
springing up within himself, has been the sole means of bringing
us into the condition of loving him.
The ocean love of God, so broad that even the wing of imagination
could not traverse it, sends forth its treasures of the rain of
grace, which drop upon our hearts, which are as the pastures of the
wilderness; they make our hearts to overflow, and in streams of
gratitude the life imparted flows back again to God.
All good things are of You, Great God; Your goodness creates our
good; Your infinite love to us draws forth our love to You.