2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
The apostle Paul started his ministry strongly and ended faithfully when Nero ordered his execution for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Time and again, Paul faced persecution, opposition, disappointment, and severe tribulation in the service of the Lord Jesus. Yet, his attitude was “None of these things move me” (Acts 20:24), “for me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21), and “I press on” (Philippians 3:14).
When one understands the amount of trials and struggles Paul underwent for Christ, one must wonder: what was Paul’s motivation in serving Christ? In the verse above, we can see what Paul’s motivation was.
Paul remembered that he was dead in sin
“If one died for all, then were all dead”
The truth is that if the Lord Jesus died for all, then it is true that we were all spiritually dead. Paul knew that he was spiritually dead in sin, not deserving the mercies and grace of God. Paul calls himself the chief of sinners, a blasphemer, a murderer and an injurious person. He spent his time not only opposing the Lord Jesus but also yielding to the pride of his flesh in killing many Christians. Paul remembered that he was in the clutches of sin and on his way to a devil’s hell. This was bad news for Paul.
Paul also remembered that Christ died for Him and rose again
“Him which died for them, and rose again.”
Paul remembered passionately that the Saviour died not only for all, but the Lord Jesus died for Him personally. He was not looking for Christ but the Lord Jesus was looking for him on the road to Damascus. With a blinding light and words which only Paul could hear, the Lord Jesus reached down, and spoke to Paul, who responded with believing faith. His life was changed and His attitude towards the Saviour was transformed. Paul served Christ because he remembered that Christ died for him and rose again. The Lord’s entire life was lived for the people He loved. Everything He did in His life and the words of life He said and ministry was for someone who needed Him. Paul remembered that Christ died for Him, denied Himself for Paul’s sake and then, for Paul’s eternal life, rose again.
Paul realised that it was the love of Christ
Why did the Lord Jesus do this? Paul realised that the underlying reason of Christ in the cross, the crucifixion and the condemnation the Lord Jesus’ great love for him (“The love of Christ…”) This love belongs to, and was manifested in, Christ when the Lord Jesus gave up His life, shed His blood and died for Paul. Paul repentantly and logically responded by faith and loved Christ in return for such wondrous love.
Believer in Christ, do you serve the Lord Jesus at all? What gifts of love and service do you bring to our loving Saviour? After all that He has done for us, do we not have something that we can give to Christ in return gratefully? Why do we serve the Lord Jesus, why do we bring gifts to Christ and why do we give up things for Him? Is not the only viable Biblical reason because of what the Lord Jesus loved us so much?
Love came down for us, and rose for up, so that they which live (spiritually), should not from now on live for themselves but live for Christ!
What are you living for, dear Christian? Living for the Lord Jesus is the only reason for living in this world for a Christian. Nothing else and no other motivation benefits this great love shown to us.
“Lord thy love for me motivates me to do all for you. May my life of service from now on be an expression of my sincere love for you. And may I like Paul, never withhold anything from you, because you deserve the praise and honour due to His name.”
Evangelist-Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church