"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" (John 17:23).
He loveth us because he loved Christ. Therefore it is said: Eph. 1:6, 'He hath made us accepted in the beloved.' The elect are made lovely, and fit to be accepted by God, only by Jesus Christ; accepted both in our state and actions as we are reconciled to him; and all that we do is taken in good part for Christ's sake, who was sent and intrusted bv the Father to procure this favour for us, and did all which was necessary to obtain it. The ground of all that love God beareth to us is for Christ's sake. There is indeed an antecedent love showed in giving us to Christ, and Christ to us: John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son--That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' The first cause of Christ's love to us was obedience to the Father; the Son loved us, because the Father required it; though afterwards God loved us because Christ merited it. All consequent benefits are procured by the merit of Christ.