The Acceptableness of Christ's Death
Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…

The sacrifice of Christ was acceptable to God and efficacious for men.


1. God was not absolutely bound to accept it for us. He might have rejected every sacrifice but that of the offender.

2. As the acceptation of it depended upon the will of the Lawgiver and Rector, so the acceptableness of it depended upon the will of the Redeemer. The merit of His death depended not upon His mere dying, or upon the penal part in that death, but upon His willing obedience in it, in conjunction with the dignity of His person; without this, He might have breathed out His soul without being a victim.


1. God took pleasure in the designment and expectation of it.

2. The highest perfections of God's nature had a peculiar glory from this sacrifice. All His perfections, not discovered before to the sons of men, are glorified punctually according to His intentions and resolves for their discovery. Not a tittle of His nature which was to be made known to the sons of men, but is unveiled in this sacrifice to their view in a greater glory than the creatures were able to exhibit Him.

3. Compare this sacrifice with the evil for which He was sacrificed, and which had invaded the rights of God, and the sweet savour of it will appear, as also the efficacy of it.

4. It is so acceptable to God, that it is sufficient sacrifice for all, if all would accept of it, and by a fixed faith plead it.

5. The effects of this sacrifice show the acceptableness of it to God. As the effect of Adam's disobedience demonstrates the blackness and strength of his sin, so the fruit of this sacrifice evidenceth the efficacy of it.What was it that rendered this sacrifice acceptable to God, and efficacious for us?

1. The dignity of His person.

2. As the dignity of the person, so the purity of the sacrifice renders it fragrant to God, and efficacious for us.

3. The graces exercised in this sacrifice rendered it fragrant in the account of God.

(1) His obedience.

(2) His humility (Philippians 2:8).

(3) His faith. This resolution of trust He brought with Him, and this resolution He kept — "I will put my trust in Him" (Hebrews 2:13), cited out of Psalm 18:2.

(4) In regard of the full compensation made to God by this sacrifice, and the equivalency of it to all the demands of God. His obedience was fully answerable to the law: His active answered the perceptive part, and His passive the penalty.

(5) In regard of the glory Christ by His sacrifice brought to God. The glory of God was that which He aimed at, and that which He perfected. Needs must that be fragrant to God that accomplished the triumph of all His attributes.


1. If this sacrifice be acceptable to God, it is then a perfect oblation.

2. All popish doctrines of satisfaction, and all resting upon our own righteousness and inherent graces, are to be abandoned.

3. It is a desperate thing to refuse this sacrifice, which is so sweet to God.

(1) It is a great sin.

(2) It will end into a great misery.

4. It administers matter of comfort to the believer. It is a comfort to a diseased hospital that a physician is chosen and accepted by the governors that is able to cure every disease; it is no less a comfort to a guilty soul that there is a sacrifice sufficient to expiate every sin.

(1) If once acceptable to God, then it is forever acceptable; if once sweet, it is always sweet. God cannot be deceived in His estimations, nor change His value of it, nor can the sacrifice ever become noisome.

(2) From this ariseth pardon of sin.

(3) Hence, then, there can be no condemnation to them that are in Christ.

(4) Here is a sufficient ground for peace of conscience. This only can give a repose to our spirits, turn our fears into hopes, and our sorrows into songs.

(5) Here is a full ground of expectation of all necessary blessings. Let those that believe, continually apply and plead it.

(S. Charnock, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

WEB: Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

Christ's Sacrifice, a Sweet-Smelling Savour
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