That is, the infinite love of Christ in dying for us, constraineth us to live unto him, and do the utmost services for him. Some understand it passively, for the love that Christ beareth us; others take it actively, for that love which we bear to him. Now this love is said to constrain. Some think it a metaphor from a woman in travail, that strives to be delivered of her burden; others, that it signifies to have one bound, and so much under power, that he cannot move without leave. The expression denotes the absolute empire which the love of Christ had over him, ruling all the inclinations of the heart, and the actions of his life. It signifies the sweet violence and force of love, by which the soul is overpowered, and cannot say nay; it does wholly possess us, rule and command us, keep us in its power, and makes us do whatever it would have us do.
Learn hence, That the love of Christ has such a constraining power, and obliging force and efficacy upon the soul, that it inclines it to a willing performance of all duties, though attended with the greatest difficulties and dangers. Love is the spring of action, 'tis a forcible and compelling, 'tis an invicible, unconquerable affection: and it has such an influence from the consideration of what Christ is in himself, and of what he has done for us, and designed for us.