The love of Christ is unmatched

Published 9:12 am Friday, November 29, 2019

Paul said, “For the love of Christ compels us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14 NKJV). But what does it mean to be compelled by the love of Christ? Paul is discussing the driving force in his life. We are to love and thus serve God with our heart, mind and soul. The driving force is the love of Christ for us. There is no immediate physical force but rather a simple guiding or urging to live in an acceptable way. The impulses that drive men to live as a Christian is the love of Christ. His love manifested towards us should be so immense that it demands a response as complete and radical as His love for us. It is this force that enables Christians to serve God with heart, mind and soul.

If someone gave their life for you, would you be thankful, knowing that without their intervention you would be dead? This is Paul’s conclusion in 2 Corinthians 5. In verses 9-11, Paul says that his desire is to please God and lead others to do the same. In the case of Jesus, He died so we could live forever. Jesus saved our life. This being true we should live for Him. If we do, then we can say we are compelled by the love of Christ. We must know the love of Christ; that it can be a compelling force in our lives, this is Paul’s conclusion in Ephesians 3:14-19. But, how can we know the love of Christ?

We can know the love of Christ through the Scriptures. It is in the scriptures that we learn that Christ loves us and showed that love by what He gave up and did for us on the Cross of Calvary (1 Peter 2:24, Eph. 5:2). Paul’s knowledge of the sacrifice of Christ allowed him to say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). See also (Rom. 5:8, 1 John 3:16). Christ died for us because He loved us.

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We can know the love of Christ because he gave us the Word of God (John 17:8; 14; 17). Knowing He gave us the Word that contains the saving message of God compels us to love Him. In this message from God we learn that we can become the sons of God (John 1:12-13), if we are willing to be born again by the water and the spirit.

This birth is a spiritual birth accomplished by hearing God’s word (Romans 10:17, 1 Peter 1:23), believing that He is the Christ (Romans 10:16), repenting of our sins (Acts 2:38, 3:19), confessing that Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 10:32) and being buried with Christ in baptism (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-4, 1 Peter 3:21).

How has the love of Christ affected you? Truly understanding the love of Christ should compel us to live for Him and Him alone. It should compel us to follow his Word and only His Word. If we are willing to do so we can become conquerors through Him who loved us.

Is the love of Christ the driving force in your life? Is it His love that compels you or are you influenced by some other force?

(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)