I encourage you to consider what the body of Christ looks like when rightly controlled
The New Testament is loaded with descriptions of rightly controlled attitudes for the children of God. Paul’s teaching in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 fuels rightly controlled attitudes, which is a challenge for the entire body of Christ. “For the love of Christ controls (compels) us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
Notice what ignites passion in a life for Christ. It’s NOT your love for Jesus. No, it’s “the love of Christ” directed toward we sinners, that’s the bullseye here. Christian’s need to remember, that of themselves, they were naturally disinterested in Jesus Christ.
Your relationship with Jesus is completely built upon the love Christ had for you while you were still distanced from Him in unbelief. It was God who initiated the relationship by showing “his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). In fact, “in love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
There’s no deterring God
The Lord did not wait for you to show interest in Him, or until you were living a good enough life to qualify for His love. He didn’t wait to see if you would develop sufficient faith which would enable Him to join with you in a journey towards God. NO, he acted “according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11) in order to move you to respond to His love for you (Eph 1:7; 2:8-9; 2Ti 2:25).
Notice how Paul explains that it is Christ’s love which controls and compels him in the Christian life. Why? Because Paul had “concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died” (2Co 5:14). Paul was gripped by the enormity of what it meant when Jesus Christ died and was resurrected for his sin.
Thought provoking belief
Paul thought it through, which is a great place to start. Christ died not only for Paul’s sin, but for the sin of all. Every person who would ever believe in Jesus death as God’s judgement for their own sin; that’s who Jesus died for. That’s a staggering number of sinful people Jesus was punished for. There’s no fluffy thinking or marshmallow belief here.
The result, Paul argues, is those who believe in Jesus “no longer live for themselves” (2Co 5:15a). Here’s the authenticity of a person’s faith. Christ looks to see if your appreciation is real enough to move you to obedience. This negative expression of genuine faith is refusal to live for self. The cost of your salvation to Christ is intended to transform your entire reason for living. So compelling is the sacrificial love of Jesus, that a sinner becomes motivated to stop living for self.
Consequently, the believer intentionally thinks and behaves “for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2Co 5:15b). This positive expression of genuine faith is intentional living for Christ. Living for Jesus is not an optional extra. Christ is your life, not self, not popularity, and not accumulation of wealth, but Christ (Col 3:4). It’s your living for Christ which testifies of the authentic gospel transformation within you. No pretending here. It’s either all for Christ or not at all. There’s no room for compromise or half-heartedness with Christ as Lord.
Today, encourage another Christian to consider what the body of Christ looks like when rightly controlled.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.baybiblefellowship.co.nz