Posted by: dhkrause | February 4, 2018

The Compelling Love of Christ

2 Corinthians 5_14-15

Jesus declared that He came to serve, and to “give His life as a ransom for many.”  In so doing, He was the ultimate example of what He asks us to be –a servant of all.  (Mark 10:44-45) His love is supremely revealed in John 3:16.  His love compels us to live our lives in gratitude for all He has done for us.  By faith in Him we become “a new creation”, ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors for Him. (2 Cor. 5:14-15, 17, 20)

Jesus describes how best to follow Him in John 15:12, “Love each other as I have loved you.”  By loving one another as He loves us, we express the essence of who God is, for “God is love”. (1 John 4:8)  He enables us to “love one another fervently with a pure heart”.  (1 Peter 1:22, 4:8)  Jesus describes the ultimate unity of believers when he prays “that they may be one just as We are one”.  (John 17:22)

The disciples had been competing for the most glorious placements near Jesus, when He explained to them what it means great in God’s kingdom.

Mark 10 (NKJV)
43  … “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

John 3_16 (4) 

The love of God for the whole world is revealed in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Paul writes that “the love of Christ compels us”, knowing that He died that we might have eternal life.  We are redeemed by faith in Him and what He has done for us, and should now live in continual love and gratitude for Him.

2 Corinthians 5 (NKJV)
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Being reconciled to God through Christ, we see others with a new perspective of love. We are “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  God has “committed to us the work of reconciliation”.  Now “we are ambassadors for Christ”, who took the burden of our sins upon Himself, “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5_17 (2)

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus taught on friendship and love, and He set the supreme example by laying down His life for all who believe in Him.  He says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” …You are my friends if you do what I command. … This is my command: Love each other.”

John 15 (NKJV)
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

By loving one another as Jesus loves us we express the essence of who God is, for “God is love”.

1 John 4_8

1 John 4 (NKJV)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Peter describes how God is calling us to “love one another fervently with a pure heart”, and to use all of our gifts for God’s glory.

1 Peter 1 (NKJV)
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.

1 Peter 4 (NKJV)
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 133_1

 John 17_22

David declares in Psalm 133:1,Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!” 
Jesus describes the ultimate unity of believers when he prays regarding His followers “that they may be one just as We are one”.  This is the supreme fulfillment of His compelling love.

John 17 (NKJV)
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 2/3/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
https://onlythebible.com/Backgrounds/2-Corinthians-5.14-15.html?id=ZGgvVVJ5ME43RVByTWJVeGlxUW5KZz09
https://www.redbubble.com/people/jlporiginals/works/26204034-breathtaking-john-3-16-sunrise-scripture?p=scarf
https://soundfaith.com/sermon-preaching-ideas/topics/creation-renewal
https://raisedtowalk.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/love-1-john-4_8.png
http://mindyhopman.com/2017/03/17/oneness-christ-community/
https://cccooperagency.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/thanksgiving-parade/

 


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