Wesley: “Love is all in all”

It is almost like the “new religion” we are facing today isn’t really all that new. This is from one of Wesley’s sermons. He was facing the hedonism of his day, and I still contend in a non-juror context, that love is all that you need. Wesley disagreed:

2. A Second objection, nearly related to this, is that love is all in all; that it is “the fulfilling of the law,” “the end of the commandment,” of every commandment of God; that all we do, and all we suffer, if we have not charity or love, profiteth us nothing; and therefore the Apostle directs us to “follow after charity,” and terms this “the more excellent way.”

I answer, It is granted, that the love of God and man, arising from faith unfeigned, is all in all, the fulfilling of the law, the end of every commandment of God. It is true, that without this, whatever we do, whatever we suffer, profits us nothing. But it does not follow, that love is all in such a sense as to supersede either faith or good works. It is “the fulfilling of the law,” not by releasing us from, but by constraining us to obey it. It is “the end of the commandment,” as every commandment leads to and centres in it. It is allowed, that whatever we do or suffer without love, profits us nothing. But withal, whatever we do or suffer in love, though it were only the suffering reproach for Christ, or the giving a cup of cold water in his name, it shall in no wise lose its reward.

John Wesley, Sermons, on Several Occasions (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1999).

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2 Replies to “Wesley: “Love is all in all””

  1. Joel, thank you for a much needed corrective toward the conversation of these days (especially in the batting around of Mr. Wesley). Love requires definition which comes through revelation. It isn’t simply love because I feel it so or call it so. Our loves often come from a disordered heart which needs correction much as a broken limb might need a splint. Anyone who has been a part of the recovery community knows how dangerous the heart can be when disordered. As one of my sponsors reminded me often, sympathy is deadly to the person in recovery.

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