“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (15) 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.” 2 Corinthians 5.14-15
We are often quick to reference v. 14 above, reminding ourselves that “the love of Christ constrains us …” But if we stop before we reach v. 15, we miss a major truth that Paul is seeking to convey. Here is that truth, broken down in segments for us to think about: (1) He (Christ) died for all, (2) we should NOT live unto (or for) ourselves, but (3) unto him (Christ) who died for us. Here is a fresh call to surrender and obedience. Some may think that I write about this far too much, but I believe that until we understand SURRENDER and OBEDIENCE, we have very little understanding of the life God wants us to live.
Since the “love of Christ constrains (compels) us, then Christ’s death in our place qualifies Him to ask something from us. That SOMETHING is a two-fold challenge: we must not live unto (or for) ourselves. And we must live for him (Christ) who died for us and rose again to seal His power over death, hell,and the grave. If I am going to NOT live for myself, then I must SURRENDER to the One for Whom I WILL live. That one is Christ. Surrender may SEEM like too strong a word to describe what God wants. But allow me to suggest that the ONLY way I am capable of OBEYING the Holy Spirit is to SURRENDER to His TOTAL control. Surrender takes away every other option and the corresponding next step for us is to obey Him completely. We must never view obedience as simply a matter of “duty”, but rather a matter of absolute “joy.” Joy abounds in my life when I realize that I am living EVERY MOMENT in the presence of the God who created me, redeemed me, and chooses to interact with me EVERY DAY. Complete SURRENDER and absolute OBEDIENCE lead to overwhelming JOY and who among us does not want that? Just my thoughts …