The Love of Christ Seen in His Best Gift
Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…

I. CHRIST GIVING HIMSELF FOR US, IS THE UTMOST WHICH HE COULD DEVOTE TO OUR SERVICE AND TO OUR USE. He does employ, for the use and service of those who trust in Him, all things. He hath all things under His feet, all things that are in heaven and on earth. If Christ see that an angel can serve one of His disciples, He gives some angel a commission to serve that disciple. Here is a case of self being given. Not the purse only; not the hand merely, or the eye, or the ear, in an occasional service; but the whole being. And, in this sense, Christ gives to His disciples Himself. In giving Himself for us, Christ gives us all that pertains to His original nature; the Divine qualities of His nature as the manifested God; His knowledge, His wisdom, His power; all that is involved in His goodness, and He gives the qualities of His woman-born nature, as the Word made flesh. For example, His sympathy. 'Moreover, in giving Himself for us, Christ gives us all that pertains to His position as Lord of all.

II. But, brethren, He gave Himself FOR A SPECIAL PURPOSE — "an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour." He gave Himself for us — what to be? If we only wanted teaching, He would have given Himself as a teacher. If we only wanted leading, He would have given Himself to us as a leader. But a starving man wants something more than instruction about food, or information about digestion, or instruction as to the laws of life and death; and a criminal who is under a capital sentence wants something more than discussions about rewards and punishments, or about human governments and human laws; and if anything is to be done for sinning man, you must do something more than present to him a teacher. If you are sick, you do not send for your medical attendant to give you, at the side of your sick bed, a lecture on anatomy or physiology. You want the medical man to do something for you as well as to say something to you. And Christ gave Himself, not to be my teacher, or nay leader chiefly, but, in the first instance, He offered Himself to be a sacrifice.

III. Now, "herein is love"; not self-love, BUT OUTLOVING LOVE; not the love that is shut up within a man, as wafer in a sealed fountain, but the love that flows forth from a being as water from an open spring. "Herein is love"; not complacent love, the love of delight in another because that being is delightsome, but benevolent love. "Herein is love"; not merited love; but undeserved love. "Herein is love"; not expected love, but surprising love. "Herein is love"; not love of friendship, but mercy, and compassion, and pity. "Herein is love"; not ordinary love, but unequalled love, love to which there is no parallel, and to which there never can be. Brethren, there are just two things more I want to say to you.

1. This love of Christ is our refuge. The heart of Christ is the refuge we need.

2. The love of Christ is our refuge, but this love is also our pattern. We are to love as Jesus loved. I do not wonder at people saying this is impossible. It does seem impossible, and it would be utterly impossible, if we were required to attain to such love at once, but we are to grow into it. If you were unacquainted with the oak, and a full-grown tree were pointed out to you, and if you were then shown an acorn, and were told that out of that little thing would spring forth the monarch of the forest, you would not believe the statement, or you would say, if this happen it certainly will be a miracle,

(S. Martin, D. 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.

The Love of Christ
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