“For the love of Christ controls 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
In today’s passage, Paul continues addressing those in the Corinthian church who undermined his authority and teaching. Their underlying assertion: the apostle was simply out of his mind. Paul reiterated that he could not and would not be beholden to anyone but Christ. Man could not control him with criticisms, doubts, or false accusations. People could think and say what they wanted about him, but Paul lived for an audience of one.
As I write, I can’t help but think of the apostle’s words to the Romans: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Paul lived these words on a daily basis. While those around him settled for mediocrity, idolatry, or material comfort, he sought out what was “good and acceptable and perfect.” Why? Because he was absolutely overwhelmed by Christ’s love for him. Jesus, the son of God, chose to sacrifice himself to atone for the sins of a man who had persecuted, imprisoned, and even murdered his followers. Accepting that grace and forgiveness completely changed the trajectory of Paul’s life. He spent the rest of his earthly days working tirelessly to expand the church he had once tried to destroy.
For Paul, it was impossible to know the abundant love of Christ and not be transformed by it. How could one experience such extravagant grace and then return to normal life? From the moment he recognized Jesus’ sacrifice on his behalf, Paul dedicated himself to sharing the good news and building God’s kingdom on earth. And he called all believers to do the same, not necessarily as missionaries, but as living witnesses. Those who farmed were to farm unto Christ; those who built were to build unto Christ, and the same was true for scribes, parents, teachers, and butchers. As Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Are you doing everything to the glory of God? Are you compelled by the love of Christ rather than forces of this world? Jesus, the perfect Son of God, was willing to endure the cross for you, to take your sins upon himself so that you could be forgiven. May you embrace his transformative love and grace today!
Reflect and Respond:
Are you controlled by the people or things in this world? Ask the Lord how his love and grace can set you free. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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