Our apostle in these words gives a threefold description of a sincere Christian. He describes him,
1. By his inward affection to God and Christ, and that is love; this is shed abroad in his heart.
2. By the action which flows from this affection, namely, obedience to God in keeping his commandment.
3. By the disposition and inclination from which that obedience doth proceed and flow, namely, a delight and cheerfulness in the doing of our duty. His commandments are not grievous; that is, they have nothing in them heavy or burdensome, but every thing that may render them at once both our duty and delight.
Learn hence, 1. That obedience is the most natural and necessary product of love; where love is the governing principle, it rules all the inclinations of the heart and actions of the life.
Learn, 2. That love makes our obedience to God cheerful and constant, delightful and lasting. Love is seated in the will, and that obedience which proceeds from it is out of choice, and purely voluntary. No commandment is grievous that is performed from love, and it makes obedience also constant. That which is forced from impressions of fear is unsteadfast, but that which flows from delight is lasting.
Learn hence, That the service of Christ is a very gracious, a most desirable and delightful service, not to sinners, whose minds the God of this world has blinded, whose consciences are cauterized, who have not only grieved, but quenched the Holy Spirit of God.
But, 1. It is not grievous in itself.
2. Nor is it grievous to a regenerate person: a sound eye never complains of light, but a sore eye is uneasy under it.
The commands of Christ cannot be grievous, because they exact things of us which are agreeable to our reason, suitable to our natures, consonant to our rational desires. We cannot give an instance of any one of the commands of Christ which is in itself grievous; that command of his, To do to others as we would have others do by us, is a dictate of nature as well as the law of Christ.