“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 ESV).
Can you say this? Is this true of you? Have you, are you dying to self and living for Jesus? Has the love of Christ shown in His perfect life, sacrificial wrath-absorbing death, and death-defeating resurrection so grabbed a hold of your heart that your entire life has been changed? The truth of these two verses is at the heart of repentance; the love of Christ, especially the love of Christ seen in the gospel, when seen rightly, so moves us that it controls us, it compels us to lay down our selfish ways and instead live for Jesus with all our might… That is, if we have truly come to know and experience the love of Christ.
God’s Word tells us, “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:2 ESV). In Ephesians 3:19 we’re told that the love of Christ is so rich and amazing that it surpasses knowledge. And this makes sense because Jesus is God; He is the Christ, our Savior, and He is the Lord our God… He is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. So His love for us is God’s love for us… the eternal God of the universe. As Romans 8:39 alludes to, the love of God and the love of Christ are one and the same thing: the love we see in the gospel is the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV). And Christ is God the Son; so in the gospel we see a truly marvelous an eternal love that surpasses knowledge, because there we see that the infinitely glorious God of the universe lived, died, and rose again to save sinners like us.
Grasping this love changes everything. Writing about his own experience of coming to see the truth of God’s love in Christ, Charles Wesley said, “Long my imprisoned spirit lay,fast bound in sin and nature’s night.Thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light. My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God shouldst die for me?” This amazing love should control our lives…
I am nothing; Christ is all!