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Jan 28, 2017
Crowded to Serve Christ
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"Crowded To Serving Christ"

January 29, 2017

Pastor /Teacher Roger J. Redmond

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

"Understanding the Love of Christ is the Motivation for Serving Him"

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then

were all dead: Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

The natural man is not controlled by the Love of Christ.  The natural man, the unsaved man, does not know the Love of Christ.  Acting in the love of Christ is not the natural conduct of the unsaved man,  it is however the way of the new man.

Definition of Constraineth from Webster's 1828 dictionary:

CONSTRAIN, verb transitive [Latin , to strain, to bind. See Strain.] In a general sense, to strain; to press; to urge; to drive; to exert force, physical or moral, either in urging to action or in restraining it. Hence,

1. To compel or force; to urge with irresistible power, or with a power sufficient to produce the effect.

The spirit within me constraineth me. Job 32:18.

For the love of Christ constraineth us. 2 Corinthians 5:14.

" To produce in opposition to nature;"  That is why you cannot imitate the Christian life.   

"The idea is not urging or driving, but shutting up to one line and purpose, as in a narrow, walled road."

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 3, p. 320). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

"This illustrates the basic meaning of synechō, which is ‘to press together, constrain’. It is the pressure applied not so much to control as to cause action. It is motivational rather than directional force."

Kruse, C. G. (1987). 2 Corinthians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 8, p. 120). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

A.  You may seek to copy some of the external fruits produced by knowing Christ but you cannot copy the internal witness of the Holy Spirit. The new man is a gift of God.  It is the condition of the heart after the new birth  Eph. 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.; Col.3:10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

B.  You cannot know Christ from the outside - You can't see in with the natural eye - He is precious only to those who believe. 1Pe. 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

I like to say, It is the gift of God, the indwelling Holy Spirit, His life that is imparted to us the moment we believe on Christ as our Saviour.  Supporting verses for understanding , Eph.  1:13-14  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. It is this new life/ nature that cannot sin, 1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

With the understanding of Christ's love for us, as shown in His death for all, that is the motivating power of our life. The result of that constraining love allows you to see others as Christ sees them,  people for whom He died.

C.  Paul saw something, a truth, in the love of Christ that had great influence over him.  The fact that Christ died for all is not some myth, fairy tale, some good thing  to believe; but a historical fact and more importantly a biblical fact that reveals the Love of Christ.  It is a truth of the Gospel: 2 Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

"..because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:"

Number one: Receiving the personal love of Christ, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:" 2 Cor. 5:14. "....We thus judge..." That mean you are to conclude, determine, If Christ die for all, then He personally died for you, ".... that if one died for all, then were all dead:" All mankind is dead in trespass and sins, Eph. 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Eph.2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Gal. 2:21 " I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." If one did not die for all then all are not dead"

Number two: Understanding the personal provision of Christ.  We are to judge, come to understand, that in the death of Christ (our God given substitute) we have the gift of salvation, Roman 6:23.

To believe God is our responsibility, "We thus judge" meaning we have come to a conclusion - a settled truth as we consider the provision of Christ.   All that Christ did, His entire purpose for coming into the world, included and blessed all of mankind. Col. 2:13  "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" Therefore, "....that if one died for all, then were all dead:" not just dead in sins but now all included in Christ. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor.15:22. When Christ died on the cross we died with Him. Gal 3:13  "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" In His death on the cross He bore our curse for us.

Christ died instead of us dying.  That is expressed when He said on the cross,  "..My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Matthew 27:46. Separated from the Father because He took our sin, 2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. It is the Father who made Him sin, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6. Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

"If Christ did not die instead of the ‘all’, then the ‘all’ cannot be said to have died"

Kruse, C. G. (1987). 2 Corinthians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 8, p. 121). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

It is no longer an "if."  Christ did die for all, therefore, all had their sins paid for in Christ and therefore  all are dead in Christ.  The reason of condemnation is unbelief,  "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18. His dying is just the same as if they all died. 

Number three:  The Love of Christ is a daily Experience. The Greek verb is in the present tense - The love of Christ is always pressing us, motivating us.  It is not our love for Him that motivates us but it is understanding His love for us.  It is the fact one die for all and that means He died for me.

Poem "I  saw one hanging on a tree"

"I saw one hanging on a tree in agony and blood;

He fixed His languid eyes on me

As near His cross I stood.Oh, can it be,

up on a tree the Saviour died for me?

My soul is thrilled, My heart is filled,

To think He died for me!"

Number four: The Love of Christ has transforming power, 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 Cor. 5:15.  Transforms from living for self to living for Christ.  The power is seeing what Christ has done for us.  It is Christ's love for us that motivates us to live unto Him.

The Love of Christ brings pressure on us, "The Love of Christ constraineth presses upon us.  It shut us up to serve Christ; it crowds us to live for Him. His love is always a present force, not something far off or way back.

It is the effect of the Love of Christ that pressed on Paul and motivated him to serve Christ.  When Paul saw that "One died for all then all are dead", he understood there was no goodness in him that demanded such love. It was the great character of our LORD and Saviour that gave such love.  Paul understood that Christ was his Saviour and that He died for him and in Christ's death is salvation.

The Love of Christ presses us to continue serving Him. There is nothing to compare with the Love of Christ.  We love Him and desire to live for Him because of great love for us, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20. All who name the name of Christ are not servants of Him, For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. Phil. 2:21.  As Paul came to the end of his life, he said "I have fought a good fight.  I have finished my course."

What was the source of Paul's motivation?  It was what he saw in the Love of Christ: being constrained by the Love of Christ.  2 Tim. 4:6-10. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

"If One(Christ)did not die for all (mankind) then all are not dead." In the death of Christ God the Father included all of mankind in the work of Christ, 1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Heb_2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

In Christ dying on the cross, He died for all the world and thus His death counted as your death which death is demanded as payment for your sin. 1Pe_2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

"We thus judge": Must determine in your mind if you are willing to trust Him for Eternal Life, 2 Timothy 1:12.

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