Gracefully Truthful


Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

14 For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion, that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.

The Original Intent

1) Paul writes, “the love of Christ compels us”. How does this kind of motivation differ from others? (verse 14)

One way to dig deeper into an author’s meaning is to study what their writings in other biblical books. Let’s look at other letters from Paul!

In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote, “I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” (Romans 10:2) Paul was referring to the Jews who passionately, but tragically, followed their traditions without a true understanding of God. Their “devotion” for God led them to violence and hate even to the point of persecuting Christians in the early church.

How can Paul testify about this? He had first-hand experience as a persecutor! “For you have heard about my former way of life in Judaism: I intensely persecuted God’s church and tried to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many contemporaries among my people, because I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.” (Galatians 1:13-14)

But, in this passage, Paul says “the love of Christ compels us”. The Greek here could mean two different things (and perhaps both!). It could mean Christ’s love shown on the cross for us (Romans 5:8) and/or it could mean our love for Christ. Either way, Paul uses this to describe how our motivation changes when we become a “new creation” in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The Everyday Application

1) Paul writes, “the love of Christ compels us”. How does this kind of motivation differ from others? (verse 14)

Think about the last time you bought someone a gift. If it was for a coworker, you might have felt an obligation to contribute to a group gift. If it was for a loved one in your life, you may have spent weeks determining the perfect gift.

Which scenario do you enjoy more? Obligation or love?

Most of us would probably say we want to love Christ (Matthew 22:36-40), but how many of us would say we are compelled by love like Paul’s passion represents? If we are really honest with ourselves, our answer might be that we want to love Christ like Paul’s example, but, there’s a going on for us.

Maybe you feel as if you don’t have enough time or energy to get involved with one more thing. Extravagant love feels too heavy. Let’s keep digging!

The Original Intent

2) What does it mean to no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ? (verse 15)

Paul wrote in the letter to the Galatians describing how his old self had died and a new creation was birthed by the Spirit of God, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Again, he reiterates this same reality he had experienced when teaching and encouraging the Colossian believers, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:3-4)

Paul’s words describe the transformation made evident in genuine Christ-follower’s lives as they are marked by the very presence of Christ.

How is this radical transformation made known to others? Love.

Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

The Everyday Application

2) What does it mean to no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ? (verse 15)

Let’s take a moment to adjust our mindset. Often, when we approach anything connected to the Christian life or ministry, we view it as an item on a “to do” list. The “list” of performances seem to get longer when adding in prayer time, worship, Bible study, or fasting!

Living for Christ, according to the Bible, is not behavioral modification, rather, it is an identity. As we live a life that honors Christ, His love will be reflected to the world around us because of His own Spirit at work in us! (Matthew 5:16) Developing our identity in Christ takes time, but it’s worth it! The first step is to pray and ask God’s help and wisdom! (James 1:5) Bring to the Lord an honest, humble heart that asks how we can best reflect Christ as we live out our roles as women.

Whether you are mom, sister, daughter, wife, friend, co-worker or something else, you were made to reflect the kind of love Jesus evidenced when He sacrificed Himself on the cross for us to pay the penalty for sin we never could. As we seek to love like Jesus with humble hearts, the Holy Spirit will guide us to see Jesus more clearly through Scripture and experience Him more deeply as we study His Word with other believers and worship Him together.

The Original Intent

3) How does this passage deepen our understanding of a right motivation to share the gospel? (verses 14-15)

Paul reminds us in this passage that the love of Christ, shown through His death and resurrection as He paid the death penalty for us, is the key to His mission. “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

It is Christ’s sacrificial example that motivated Paul to offer his own life as a sacrifice for the gospel. Paul wrote, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses.” (Ephesians 2:4-5) God’s great love brought Paul from death to life, and His love is still holding out that same offer to each of us.

Paul suffered beatings, imprisonment, hunger, and danger for the gospel; for the love of Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 11:16-27) He did this so others would “comprehend… what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love” and find salvation in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 3:18)

Jesus’ love on display fueled Paul; what fuels you?

The Everyday Application

3) How does this passage deepen our understanding of a right motivation to share the gospel? (verses 14-15)

In verse 14, Paul writes, “the love of Christ compels us”. Let’s pause for a moment and consider the depth of this kind of love. “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) That’s amazing love! We live in a world that is starving and desperate for love and forgiveness like only Jesus offers. When we surrender to His Spirit, His own love is made manifest in us!

How has the love of Christ made a difference in your life? Pray and give thanks! Ask Him how you can use your story to encourage someone in your life.

“Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:19)

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