Sunday, January 11, 2009

We're different because of love

2 Corinthians 5:14
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

I Just recently spoke on these verses at the Juvenile Jail, at first because i had to follow up someone else who's not usually there (not very structured), well the little time i had last week to clean up what was said and try to nail this verse wasn't enough. In those cases i almost always return to those same verses to so that the message WILL be clear.
In light of returning, I find this MOST fruitful among preachers who do this. Albert Martin is a person who does this, he will plan (perhaps a series) and focus most of his attention and what he wants to get across to his hearers, YET (note this) if he doesn't keep to his 'time schedule' then he will extend his series so that you still get the meat you need. I think ministers unfairly to themselves and especially to their hearers make themselves SLAVES to their time-plan and rather then preach through a book or series longer they will just CUT out things (I can't count how many times i wish a ministers either kept on preaching or continued the next week because you felt it was rushed and consequently fruitless) where do men learn these things?
Anyways this is one of those verses that i just love to use in evangelism, because it's a wonderfully exclusive verse. It's plain, it's direct and it really hits the heart of true conversion.
I attempted to get the minds of the youth rolling, by drilling them over and over again as to WHY Jesus died for sinners: in light of these verses. "uh for our sins?!" Typical lazy answers. Yet this verse makes it plain that at the core of every person, they fall into only one of two categories: Those who are living for themselves and those who are living for Christ. This is very illustrative of the reality of an daily relationship with Christ. Yet specifically a daily relationship that is submissive to the Rule of Christ.
The difference separating the lost and religious man from the truly saved man is that the TRUE Christian is "COMPELLED" by love, the Love of CHRIST constrains him. The TRUE believer WANTS to serve Christ. The religious man, the religious church-kid HAS to (look like) serve Christ. One truly fights against sin and the other bitterly trys to stop sinning.
Of course it's also easy to recognize in these verses and important to stress to lost people, that they CANNOT make themselves 'love' Christ. I used the example of a man that gets married (perhaps because he got the woman pregnant and feels obligated to 'do the right thing') and he gets married because he feels he 'has' to, he puts a roof over their head because he 'has' to, he watches the children because he 'has' to, and yet what will happen in time? Eventually he'll grow incredibly bitter and in some way abusive or he'll reach a point where he stops feeling like he 'has' to and then HE LEAVES!! Like the foolish person who talks of 'falling in' love.
THis is the picture of the false convert, time will eventually show where the motivation is truly at, and he will fall away. One Christian artist made the point that if you say 'i tasted and it wasn't good to me' then you NEVER truly tasted because if you taste then you WILL see that the Lord is good! The believer on the other hand will only grow in his desire to serve His Lord and that not because he grows more 'afraid' (which is just self-preservation) but he will grow in his love for the LORD and his knowledge of God's love for him.


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