September 13th, 2022 – Tuesday Afternoon
“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” ~2 Corinthians 5:14-15
The power and glory of the Gospel is put on display in this passage for all the world to see. Last time we focused on the first part of verse 14; today, let us take a look at the section as a whole.
The love of Christ that controls believers is seen in how Christ died for all – taking the sin and shame of mankind, as well as the righteous wrath of God, upon Himself – the propitation (perfect atoning sacrifice) for sin. Jesus didn’t stay dead, though; rather, He rose again – also on behalf of those for whom He died. Understand, the weight of Christ’s death and resurrection apply to those who trust in Him: It is not just the penalty of sin that was defeated at the cross and in the empty tomb, but the entire complex – shame, guilt, stain, and power. Those of us who are in Christ are dead to sin (“therefore all died”); we are free from its power and stain as we abide in Him!
The story doesn’t end there, however; as the passage states, “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves…” We who are in Christ have been given a new lease on life, but it is not to be used for ourselves, our passions, our desires, etc.; instead, we are to “live…for Him who died and rose again” on our behalf. This ties back into the beginning of this section: The love of Christ truly impels us and urges us on to a life of godliness, holiness, and love since we have been set free from sin and death through Christ’s death and resurrection. We were once dead in our sin, but now we are dead to sin; we were once the [physically] living [spiritually] dead, but now we are alive in every way for the glory of God because of God’s love in Christ!
Beloved, let us love Him who loves us and live for Him who died and rose again on our behalf! One moment at a time: One thought, one word, one action – submitted to His Spirit, impelled by His love…drinking deeply from the fountain of living water and being filled up with the fullness of God.
Oh, how wonderful and sweet is the all-surpassing love of Christ! Do you know it?