Love can make you do a lot of things.
get up in the middle of the night to clean the bed of one of your sick children…
wear matching shirts with the girl you like…
sleep in that cramped hospital chair that supposedly turns into a bed…
spend money on things that you don’t care a bit about…
If you’ve ever had children / grandchildren, ever been married, ever had a significant boyfriend / girlfriend, then you know what it’s like to be compelled by love.
And, it works in reverse too. Not only are we compelled to certain things because we love somebody, we are compelled because they love us. Because someone loves you, you hang the ugly picture up, wear the clothes you hate, try the food that smells awful.
We know what it is to be compelled by love and Paul understood that it works the same way with God’s love for us.
Paul has been reminding us of our distinction as Christians. The Bible says we don’t belong here and long for a heavenly dwelling. In fact we were made to leave the body and be with the Lord. We aim to please God whether home or away. And, we will receive what is due whether good or evil.
Our experience of God’s love in the gospel is a driving force. It frees us and drives us.
Driven by the experience that:
* We deserve judgment (v11). So knowing the fear of God, we persuade others (v11). What we are is known to one another and to God. So, if we seem crazy, that’s for God. If we seem to be in our right minds, that’s for you (v12-13).
* Christ died for all (v14-15).
Compelled by love because of what we know (v14-15)
God’s love “controls” us because we know:
Jesus died for all
That they might live for him
Paul is dealing with a very important theological concept: imputation. At its base, this is just a crediting. It is not that because Jesus died, we all fall over dead. It is that when we place faith in Jesus, His death for sin is credited to us as if we had died for our sins. But, the story doesn’t end there. He also credited His resurrection to us (15).
This imputation / crediting of life and death to us changes the way we see things.
* People are more than flesh (v16).
In other words, we recognize that people aren’t bodies who happen to have souls; they are souls who happen to have bodies.
* God offers a clean start (v17-18).
Those in Christ are made new
* God works through us (v18-20). Reconciled and reconciling the world.
Gospel offer (v21)
Behold now is the day (6.1-2).
As Paul lays out these broad differences, understand they are not optional. There is a chain of causality: Christ died; We live for Him; We view people differently; He has given us ministry. It is not that some become ambassadors and some don’t. We serve because we’re saved.
Messages in this series
Messages by Greg Taylor