And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…
His love was antecedent to His shedding His blood, and our being washed in it. Love renders any work delightful.
I. PROPOSITIONS FOR EXPLAINING IT.
1. The Father's appointing Him to be a sacrifice, doth not impair His own willingness in undertaking. The Father is said to send Him and deliver Him (John 3:34; Romans 8:32). The Father is said to deliver Him, because the first motion of redemption is supposed to arise from the will and motion of the Father; yet the love of Christ was the spring of all mediatory actions, and His taking our nature on Him; and therefore He is no less said to give Himself, than the Father is said to give Him to us and for us. His engagement was an act of choice, liberty, and affection.
2. The necessity of His death impeacheth not the voluntariness of it. Many things are voluntary which yet are necessary; there are voluntary necessities. God is necessarily yet voluntarily holy.
II. WHEREIN THIS VOLUNTARINESS OF CHRIST'S DEATH APPEARS.
1. He willingly offered Himself in the first counsel about redemption to stand in our stead.
2. The whole course of His life manifests this willingness. His will stood right to this point of the compass all His life. Many enter the lists with difficulties out of ignorance, but the willingness of our Saviour cannot be ascribed either to ignorance or forgetfulness.
III. WHY THIS VOLUNTARINESS WAS NECESSARY.
1. On the part of the sacrifice itself. He was above any obligation to that work He so freely undertook for us. Nor could He be overruled to anything against His own consent.
2. Necessary on the part of justice.
3. Necessary in regard of acceptation. Christ's consent was as necessary as God's order. In vain had we hoped for the benefit of a forced redemption.
1. The way of redemption by a sacrifice was necessary.
2. The death of Christ for us was most just on the part of God. Christ did willingly submit to, God might justly charge upon Him as a due debt.
3. How wonderful was the love of Christ!
4. How willingly then should we part with our sins for Christ, and do our duty to Him!
(S. Charnock, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.