The love of Christ controls us…
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Why does the love of Christ control the Christian? He died for me so that I would die. He rose so that I would be reborn and live for Him, so that He could present me holy and blameless before His Father. The love of Christ must control the Christian. The word here for control means to guide, constrain or press together. Think of a ship entering a narrow canal. The ship has only one way to go, it cannot turn to the right or left, it must go straight on. In the same way our love to Christ must control us. It should guide our actions, words and thoughts. If my love for Christ doesn’t affect the way I think or act, then my love for Christ is weak and quite useless.
To be under the influence of Christ. To account everything as loss for the sake of knowing Him. To have a total worldview change and separate ourselves from the world.
I think I can give three or four answers from this chapter:
- Looking for a future home
- That is, being enthralled with the glory of our future reward and knowing that eternal life is to know God.
- Living, but not for myself
- That is, being convinced that the things of this life are dung and useless compared to Christ.
- Walking by faith, not sight
- That is, being focused on the things that are unseen yet eternal, instead of the things that are seen, yet temporary.
- Begging others
- That is, being gripped with the truth that those who are outside of Christ have not died to themselves, are not new creations and will perish eternally without the benefit of the work of Christ in their life.
For some reason, us Christian folk tend to equate worldliness with some sort of outward appearance. People say that certain musical genres are worldly, certain clothes are worldly. I’ve had people call my dear wife worldly because of her nose-ring. I beg you all to understand one very simple and important thing. Worldliness is a mindset, worldview and heart condition. Worldiness has NOTHING to do with fashion, certain musical instruments or nose-rings. Worldliness is demonstrated in the things that I hold dear. If I love this world I am worldly. Being separate from the world does not mean to abandon the culture you grew up in or are associated with. It means valuing Christ above the things of this world. When the church does not understand this, she misses out on the big picture and ceases to walk by faith.
Focus on what’s real. Focus on the important things.