2Corinthians 5:14-15, “14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again”
This is a kind of message few will say “Amen” to, nevertheless it needs to be sounded more often. I think that many are loosing sight of the reason we serve Christ. While we say and even preach that its not about us but about Him, many of our preaching, worship songs, our actions and even prayers tell a different story. “The Purpose Driven Life” book begins by saying it’s not about us then turns to make it about us. This is why a book like “Your Best Life Now” is very popular. To quote Dr. Michael Horton on now many Christians view Jesus Christ, they view Him as ” …a coach with good game plan to our victory rather than a Savior who already achieved it for us”. God is not a means to any one’s end, He is the glorious end.
The truth that must be preached, He died for all that we now should no longer live for ourselves but for Him. To quote again Dr. Horton on how people view God, “God is used as personal resource rather that known, worshiped and trusted“. There are things that drove Paul to live for God the way he did and none had nothing to do with living his best life now.
When the disciples preached the love of God, they did not preach “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”, no, they preached Christ crucified, Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Anyone who carried his cross knew he was not coming back and so are we. Christ’s loving, substitutionary death motivated and compelled Paul’s service for Him. Paul emphasized the strength of his desire to offer his life to the Lord. Christ demonstration of His love to the point of death was a driving force unto Paul to serve Christ to the point of death. He says, “If One died for all, then all died, and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him, who died for them and rose again”. Christ died for all who died in Him.
As he defended his integrity to the Corinthians, Paul wanted them to know that his old, self-centered life was finished and that he had an all-out desire to live righteously. For all genuine believers, their death in Christ is not only a death to sin, but also a resurrection to a new life of righteousness. And the life of righteousness is not to please self but to please God.
Matthew 16:24-25, “24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
The journey in Christ is a journey of SELF DENIAL and not SELF FULFILLMENT and Paul demonstrates it over and over again. What we ought to ask ourselves as we walk this walk, what drives us to serve Him? Let’s make sure our motive is right, die to self and alive in Him; no longer living for self but for Him and let God exalt us in due season. Blessings Ev