Who gave himself for us
Not another, or another's, but himself; not merely his own things, but his own self; not the world, and the riches of it, not gold and silver, and such like corruptible things, as the price of redemption; not the cattle on a thousand hills for sacrifice; not men nor angels, but himself; all that belong to him, all that is near and dear, his name, fame, credit, and reputation; his time, strength, and service: all the comforts of life, and life itself; his whole manhood, soul, and body, and that as in union with his divine person; which he gave into the hands of men, and of justice, and to death itself, to be a ransom price of his people, and for a propitiation and sacrifice for their sins, to be paid and offered in their room and stead: not for all mankind, but for many; for us, for all the elect of God, for the church; and who are represented when he gave himself, or died for them, as ungodly, sinners, and enemies: this was a free and voluntary gift, and is an unspeakable one; who can say all that is contained in this word "himself?" it is an instance of the greatest love, of love that passeth knowledge; God, because he could swear by no greater, swore by himself; and Christ, because he could give no greater gift, nor any greater instance of his love, gave himself, for the following ends and purposes:
that he might redeem us from all iniquity:
sin brings into bondage and, slavery, redemption is a deliverance from it; sin binds guilt upon the sinner, and lays him under obligation to punishment, and renders him liable to the curse and condemnation of the law; Christ was made sin, and a curse for his people, that he might redeem them from both, and deliver them from the punishment due to sin; which he has done by bearing it in his own, body on the tree, whereby he has redeemed them from all iniquity, that so it shall not be their ruin, or they come into condemnation on account of it; even from original sin, and from all actual transgressions; from all which his blood cleanses, and his righteousness justifies, and which God, for his sake, freely and fully forgives. Christ was called to this work by his Father, to which he agreed; and the plan of redemption being drawn in the everlasting council, and the whole adjusted and fixed in the covenant of peace; promises and prophecies were given out of it, and in the fulness of time Christ was sent, and came to effect it; and he has obtained eternal redemption for us, through the price of his own blood, which could have never been wrought out by any creature; and wherein all the divine perfections are glorified and is a plenteous and complete one; it includes in it, or connects with it, the blessings of justification, peace, pardon, adoption, and eternal life. It follows as another end of Christ's giving himself, or what is a branch of redemption, or consequent upon it,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works;
all mankind are filthy and unclean by nature, in all the powers and faculties of their souls; nor can they cleanse themselves from their impurity of flesh and spirit, by anything that they can do: Christ has a peculiar people among these, a church whom he loves, and for whom he has given himself, that he might sanctify and cleanse them from their sins; which he has done by shedding his blood for them, and washing them in it, which cleanses from all sin, and he has purified them unto himself, for his own use and service, for his pleasure and delight, and to his glory; that they might be a proper habitation for him now; and that they might be made ready for him, to have the marriage between, him and them consummated; and that they might be presented to himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, and be with him, both in the new Jerusalem state, into which nothing that defiles, or is defiled, enters, and in heaven, to all eternity. Now these people, for whom Christ has given himself, and whom he has redeemed and purifies, are a "peculiar people"; for whom Christ has a peculiar love, in whom he takes a peculiar delight, and to whom he grants peculiar nearness to himself, and bestows peculiar blessings on them, and makes peculiar provisions for them, both for time and eternity; these are Christ's own, his possession, his substance, what he has a special right to by his Father's gift, his own purchase, and the conquest of his grace; and they are a distinct and separate people from all others, in election, redemption, effectual calling, and in Christ's intercession, and will be in the resurrection morn, at the day of judgment, and to all eternity; and they are, as the word also signifies, an excellent and valuable people; they are Christ's portion and inheritance; they are his peculiar treasure, his jewels, whom, as such, he values and takes care of. The Syriac version renders it, "a new people". And they who are redeemed and purified by Christ, through the power of his grace upon them, become a people "zealous of good works"; not in order to their justification and salvation, but in obedience to the will of God, and to testify their subjection and gratitude to him, and for his honour and glory, and for the credit of religion, and the good of men, These not only perform them, but perform them from principles of truth and love, and with a zeal for the glory of God, and the honour of his Gospel; and with an holy emulation of one another, striving to go before, and excel each other in the performance of them.