Christ's Love
Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…

But how doth it appear that Christ loves us?

1. By amorous expressions. Read His love songs and see how affectionately He sets out the beauty of His beloved (Song of Solomon 4:1, 3, etc.).

2. By His thoughts. Thoughts and affections are mutual causes one of another. Thoughts give life to affection, and affection begets thoughts. Christ's thoughts of us are many and high. He had thoughts of love to us from eternity, and we were never one moment out of His mind since then (Isaiah 49:15).

3. But this flame, where it is, cannot be confined to the breast and thoughts, but will break forth into action. And so does the love of Christ appear to us, by what He has done for us. He has made us rich, fair, honourable, potent, yea, one with Himself.

4. The love of Christ appears by what He has given us; His love tokens. Whatever we have, for being or well-being, spring from His love. Take a survey of heaven and earth, and all things therein; and whatever upon sure grounds appears good, ask it confidently of Christ; His love will not deny it. But we are not yet come to the height of Christ's love. These unspeakable, inconceivable, unsearchable favours are but streams or drops of love; Christ has given us the fountain, the ocean: these are but sparks and beams; He has given us the sun, the element of love. The love of Christ gives us interest in the glorious Trinity. And now, what is there in heaven and earth that the love of Christ has not made ours?

5. Take an estimate of the love of Christ from His sufferings. Consider how and what He suffers by us, with us, for us.

(1)  His love makes Him patiently suffer many things by us.

(2)  This love makes Him willing to suffer with us. "In all our afflictions He is afflicted."

(3)  His love made Him willing to suffer for us.But further, to set out this love of Christ, consider some properties by which the Spirit describes it.

1. Christ loves us freely. He loved us when we had neither love nor beauty to attract His affections.

2. It is unchangeable (John 13:1). No act of unkindness or disloyalty of ours can nonplus it.

3. It is an incomprehensible love (Ephesians 3:19).

1. Consider whom he loves. How unfit, unworthy, unlovely.

(1) How impotent! Man can do nothing to engage or deserve love, nothing to please or honour such a lover; and was so considered when Christ had intentions of love, therefore it is admirable.

(2) How poor! No such poverty as man's.

(3) How deformed! Poverty alone cannot hinder love, especially if there be beauty; but who can love deformity?

(4) How hated! Not only hateful, but hated; hated of all. Who would love him whom none loves, who has no friends, who can meet with none in the world but enemies? The whole creation is at enmity with man. He cannot meet any creature, but harbours a secret hatred, and would be ready to manifest it at God's command. What a wonder that Christ will love that which all hate!

(5) What enmity! Man is not only hateful and hated, but a hater of Christ, with such a hatred as would exclude all love from the breast of any creature; a hatred so extensive, that he hates Christ and all that is His, all that is like Him; all His offices, especially that which is most glorious, His royal office; keeps Christ out of His throne as to himself, and would do it in others.

(6) How pre-engaged to his deadly enemies, sin and Satan. Who will love one for a wife who is contracted to another, given her heart and self into his possession, and has long continued so? Such is a man's state, married to sin, in league with Satan, and brings forth fruit, not unto God, but unto them. Here is the wonder of Christ's love, that it does fix upon the worst of creatures, man, yea, and upon the worst of men in some respects.

(7) How powerful. "All power is given to Him in heaven and earth" (Matthew 28:18), that as Mediator; but as God, He is coequal with His Father, and so omnipotent.

(8) How absolute. The sovereignty of Christ makes His love a wonder.

2. How Christ loves man.

(1) Christ loves men more than the best of men love one another.

(2) Christ loves man more than man loves himself. The love of Christ is more than self-love in man; therefore it is wonderful.

(3) Christ loves man more than He loves the angels, in divers respects. It is evident in that distinction His love has made betwixt both fallen by sin. Not one of the fallen angels have, or ever shall taste of His love; but innumerable companies of men are restored to His favour.

(4) Christ loves man more than heaven and earth, more than the kingdom of heaven, more than all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of both, more than the whole world.

(5) Christ loves man as Himself, in some respects more. Christ loves man more than Himself, as man. I do not say Christ as God, or absolutely; but as man, and in some respects. He advances them to the like state with himself, so far as man is capable. He bestows upon them all things that Himself hath, so far as they are communicable. The same natures. He consists of Divine and human, and so does man in some sense. That Christ might be like them, He took human nature; that they might be like Him, He communicates the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Not that it is altogether the same, but that it most resembles it. Did not Christ get much glory by the work of redemption? Was not this the most glorious administration that ever the world was witness of? Yes. Yet the glory the Son of God got hereby was an inconsiderable advantage to Him, compared with the benefits thereby purchased for man. The Son of God had lost nothing if He had wanted this; this did not add any degree of glory to that which He enjoyed from eternity. He was infinitely glorious before the foundation of the world, and nothing can be added to that which is infinite.

(D. Clarkson, 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.

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