“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on his name.”
~ John 1:12
Wherever faith is given to the soul to “receive” Christ, there will be mingled with this faith, and blessedly accompanying it, love to the Lord of life and glory; and sometimes we may know the existence of faith when we cannot see it, by discerning the secret workings and actings of love towards that Savior, in whom God has enabled us to believe. There will be, from time to time, in living souls a flowing forth of affection towards Jesus. From time to time, he gives the soul a glimpse of his Person; he shows himself, as the Scripture speaks, “through the lattice;” passing perhaps hastily by, but giving such a transient glimpse of the beauty of his Person, the excellency of his finished work, dying love, and atoning blood as ravishes the heart, and secretly draws forth every affection of the soul, so that there is a following hard after him, and a going out of the desires of the soul towards him. Thus, sometimes as we lie upon our bed, as we are engaged in our business, as we are occupied in our several pursuits of life; or at other times under the word, or reading the Scripture, the Lord is pleased secretly to work in the heart, and there is a melting down at the feet of Jesus, or a secret, soft, gentle going forth of love and affection towards him, whereby the soul prefers him before thousands of gold and silver, and desires nothing so much as the inward manifestations of his love, grace, and blood.
And thus a living soul “receives” Christ; not merely as driven by necessity, but as also drawn by affection. He does not receive Christ, merely as a way of escape from “the wrath to come,” merely as a something to save the soul from “the worm that dies not, and the fire that is not quenched;” but mingled with necessity, sweetly and powerfully combined with it, and intimately and intricately working with it, there is the flowing forth of genuine affection and sincere love, that goes out to him as the only object worthy our heart’s affection, our spirit’s worship, and our soul’s desire. And we cannot say that less than this comes up to the meaning of the Scripture expression—“to receive Christ.”