The Bible Speaks
“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 Cor. 5:14-15
A house church in China meets at 2:00 in the morning with dimly lit lamps, softly singing hymns. They meet at peril of discovery, imprisonment and confiscation of Bible portions they cherish as prized treasures. Christians in Muslim countries share the gospel with neighbors and hand out New Testaments wondering if someone they speak to will turn them in for crimes against the Quran. A middle class family in America gives large portions of their income, which could go to family vacations, home improvements and a second car, to help missionaries in India, whom they will never meet, tell fellow Indians about Christ. Why do these, and so many more, risk their lives or give up their monies? It’s because of the love of Christ. Their actions are controlled by someone who gave up far more for them.
The Apostle Paul wrote today’s text and understood better than most what it meant to make sacrifices for a higher cause. When Paul entered into missionary service he faced peril and persecution at every turn. In the chapter preceding our text, he mentions that he was “constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:11). Nonetheless, he persevered and spread the church of the Lord Jesus Christ far and wide. What kept him going? What drove him to pay such a high price to serve the Lord? The love of Christ! As he wrote to the Corinthians in his second letter, he had thought about what Jesus had done for him and “concluded” that living for himself was no longer an option. He had been given life itself; saved from eternal death and a punishment he deserved, by someone who didn’t deserve to be punished. He died for ALL so that they who live (by turning from sin and believing in Jesus) might no longer live for themselves. Everyone who comes to faith in Christ owes Him a life debt. If they truly understand what He has done for them, they will WANT to live their lives in His service. His great love for them compels them to do so.
How about you? Have you been saved from sin and hell by Christ? Do you know you will spend eternity in a heaven you don’t deserve but is reserved for you by the One who died on your behalf? If so, are you still living for yourself or for Him who died to give you life? The Bible speaks of a love that drives us to cease from the selfish life and live for the Savior. On this Easter Sunday, why not change whom you are living for and find real life in service to Christ Jesus? It is by dying to self that you will truly live.
The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor of Turner’s Chapel.