All Loves Excelling
All Loves Excelling is John Bunyan's sermon on Ephesians 3:17-18, 'That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.'
It was first titled 'The Saints' Knowledge of Christs Love' and is worthy of being ranked alongside Sibbes and deals with a much neglected subject area.
From The Forward:
This is a new edition of John Bunyan's treatise on Ephesians 3:17-18 which he himself prepared for the press. It is taken from the second volume of Bunyan's works (George Offor edition) which was re-published in 1991.
The text remains largely unaltered but slight adjustments have been made in order to accommodate the arrangement of the material into chapters. Even these divisions, however, correspond to Bunyan's own layout of his material.
The subject matter of this work which was first preached, is greatly needed today. On the one hand, experiences of the Spirit are being claimed from which the glory of the redeemer and the wonder of his love are quite absent, while on the other, an almost total attention to the understanding and practising of scripture truth is having the effect of marginalising the experiential element in true, spiritual knowledge.
Bunyan's description of Christs' love to believers and how they ought to know it, cuts in both the above-mentioned directions. From some 440 Bible references he shows how knowing Christs' love is the message of Scripture and also the essence of heaven, partly possessed and expressed on earth.
Those who know it are rich beyond measure and they are the people who 'sweeten the churches and bring glory to God and to religion'.
About John Bunyan:
John Bunyan (1628-1688) was born at Elstow, England, about a mile from Bedford, and became one of the most influential authors of the seventeenth century. Few writers in history have left such a wealth of Christ-centered writings.
Bunyan's moving conversion is recorded in his Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. While walking the streets of Bedford, Bunyan heard "three or four poor women" sitting at a door, "talking about the new birth, the work of God in their hearts, and the way by which they were convinced of their miserable state by nature.
They told how God had visited their souls with His love in Christ Jesus, and with what words and promises they had been refreshed, comforted, and supported against the temptations of the devil. From these godly women Bunyan learned to despise sin and to hunger for the Savior. Later, while passing into the fields, he recounts, "This sentence fell upon my soul, 'Thy righteousness is in heaven'... for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, today, and forever." Then "his chains fell off," and he went home rejoicing.
Calling to Preach and ArrestIn 1655, Bunyan was called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bunyan was arrested November 12, 1660, for preaching without the approval of the Anglican Church. He was charged with "teaching men to worship God contrary to the law" and was in jail more than twelve years.
His most well-known work, The Pilgrim's Progress, was written while in the Bedford jail. During Bunyan's lifetime there were 100,000 copies circulated in the British isles, besides several editions in North America. It has been continuously in print since its first printing.
Bunyan's remarkable imagery was firmly rooted in the biblical doctrines of man's fall, grace, imputation, justification, and the atonement.
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About the Author
John Bunyan (1628-1688) started out as an itinerant worker and a soldier. When he began to have religious experiences, he joined a Christian fellowship and soon began preaching. His discussions with the followers of George Fox inspired his first book, Some Gospel Truths Opened, published in 1656. In 1660, he was arrested while preaching. During twelve years of imprisonment in the county jail, he wrote several works, including Profitable Meditations, Praying in the Spirit, The Holy City, and Grace Abounding. He was released after the Declaration of Indulgence of 1672, under which he became a licensed preacher and pastor of the church to which he belonged; but in 1673 the Declaration was canceled, and Bunyan was sent back to prison for six months. During this time he wrote his most famous work, the epic Christian allegory The Pilgrim's Progress. His defined religious outlook is balanced in his writing by an almost modern realism and psychological insight.
Bob Souer is a full-time professional storyteller, voice actor, and AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator. He has narrated broadcast and nonbroadcast projects for corporations and ministries across North America. His voice has been heard on PBS, the History Channel, the Military Channel, and many other networks. He has also narrated radio and television programs for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, D. James Kennedy Ministries, SIM, and Compassion International.