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  • Christ’s Love Compels Us

    Posted on July 9th, 2006 Pastor Kevin Draper No comments

    Based On: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

    Christ’s Love Compels Us

    You are looking out the front of your house as a man walks by with a shovel.  He starts walking on your grass and out of your curiosity you walk out to meet him.  As he tries to find just the right spot to push the spade into your yard, I would guess that you would ask, “What are you doing?”  He might answer, “I’m digging a hole.”  Your second question would probably be, “Why?”

    Some of the things the Christian does may seem very strange to the unbeliever and they may ask in their own way, “What are you doing?” and then, “Why are you doing that?”  Even among Christians we may need a reminder about what we are doing and why we are doing it.  Paul, as he writes to the Corinthians, answers these questions.  We see that Christ’s love compels us by his sacrifice for us and also Christ’s love compels us to tell others.

    First of all, why are we motivated to do anything?  Why help someone else? Why not just take care of ourselves and not worry about others?  The reason is that Jesus Christ did not ask those questions.  He served us and thought about us rather than himself.  The apostle Paul says it this way, “We are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”  We know what we deserve for our sin.  The Bible tells us we must be perfect.  If we are not perfect then we deserve the death of hell.  But Jesus Christ suffered the death of hell for all of us and now it is just as if each one of us suffered that death.  His death counts for us.

    Christ’s sacrifice is our motivation for what we do, and Paul says it another way.  “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting man’s sins against them.”  We know what it means to be reconciled.  Two friends have an argument or disagreement and there is discord or even hatred between the two.  Eventually their differences are settled and they become friends again.  They are reconciled.  There was discord and even hatred in our relationship with God, but in this case the problem lies solely with us.  Because of our sin we were enemies of God, but through Christ Jesus God took away our sins.  God no longer counts any of our sin against us, and so he has removed the reason for our broken relationship.  We have been reconciled with God and can now call God our Father.

    Christ’s sacrifice means life and peace for us and Paul describes it in even a third way.  Paul wrote, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  You were on death row.  It was only a matter of time before your life would end and the punishment of eternal death would be carried out for your hateful and adulterous thoughts, for your little lies and unkind words, and for the selfish actions your hands performed instead of serving God.  Jesus came to your cell, opened the door and he didn’t just say, “I am taking your place.  You are free to go.”  The words are even stronger than that.  Paul says, “He made him who had no sin to be sin for us.” Jesus came to your cell and said, “I have become your hateful and adulterous thoughts, I have become your little lies and unkind words.  I have become those selfish actions your hands performed.  I have become your crime – your sins.  God’s wrath against these sins has been poured out on me.  Now you are my perfect life.  You have become my righteousness.  The reward my righteous life deserves is now yours.”

    With the weight of our sin lifted we are a new creation.  We are no longer the person we once were, blinded by our sin and waiting without hope for the end of our life only to suffer more death.  Now we have life.  We have peace with God.  We see that at the end of our earthly life a greater life waits for us.  Our savior has rescued us from certain death by his own death.  Life has been given to us.  Now we no longer live for ourselves but we live for Jesus Christ, the one who gave us our life.

    This is where we see Christ’s love for us.  We see it in his life, death, and resurrection where he paid for our sins and won eternal life for us.  This display of his love compels us.  Think of someone much larger than yourself coming up behind you putting his arms around you, lifting you up and carrying you out the door.  You have been compelled to go out the door.  Christ’s love compels us in the same way, but it compels us to do something we want to do.  Christ’s love compels us to tell others.

    Because of all that Christ has done for us Paul writes, “from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.”  In the past we thought of people in terms of their relationship with ourselves.  How can they help me?  How do they make me feel? But now all that is changed.  We don’t look at people in this worldly way; we now look at people in connection to Christ’s love.  Everyone has a relationship with God, whether he is an enemy or a child of God.  As someone affected by Christ’s love we want to know if they have faith in their savior Jesus Christ.  If they do, wonderful – we help them grow in their relationship with their Savior.  If they do not, we want to tell them about how God has reconciled them to himself.  We know that if they do not know Christ’s love for them, they will suffer the eternal death that all of us deserved.

    Not only do we want to tell others, but God has given us this work to do.  The apostle Paul says that God “gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”  God has given us this ministry, this service that we perform.  We serve others by telling them about the reconciliation God has made between them and himself. 

    The message of reconciliation encompasses everything that we do.  We do not exist here as a congregation simply to make friends and to remain our own little group, but our purpose is to tell others about the peace they have with God – to tell them about Christ’s love and his sacrifice.  The reason we built the new school building is not simply because we need the room or we wanted to make our presence known in the community or to have a better learning environment for our children.  All those things may be true and part of our planning, but the first reason for building the school is to tell others about Jesus.

    This is the work God has given us to do.  He has made us his representatives.  “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”  What a privilege and honor it is to have this important responsibility.  It is a way to say thank you.  And so we tell others about the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for them.  As Paul says, “we implore” them as Christ’s representatives, “be reconciled to God.”

    Now as you live your Christian life and do the things Christians do, when someone asks you, “What are you doing?”  You can tell them, “I am telling others about the sacrifice Jesus made for them.”  If they ask “Why?” you can tell them, “because he died in my place; because he gave me peace with God; because he became my sin and he made me his righteousness.  One day I will enjoy the reward for that righteousness.  I will be in heaven with him.”

    Amen.

     

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