Monday, June 22, 2009

The Love of Christ Compels Us To Benefit

One thing that is important to recognize about this idea of benefit is that it's not an optional way of loving your neighbor. It is loving your neighbor. Being a benefit to people is as optional as the Second Greatest Commandment. And the Second Greatest Commandment is as optional as the Foremost. So I'm not picking an emphasis or a means among many as my motivation for my blogging. If to love is to benefit -- and it is -- it's the only option we've got.

But this shouldn't just be my motivation for blogging. It must be my motivation for everything I do. As a servant of Christ, and as a minister of His Gospel, everything I say, everything I do, everything I am, is to be about benefiting people by presenting Christ to them.

I think that's what Paul had in mind when he wrote 2 Corinthians 5:13ff. Here's a piece:
For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
Having concluded that the Gospel is true -- that the Father benefited us by giving us His Son as a substitute and propitiatory sacrifice for our sin -- Paul says, based on that (we see that in the word For in v. 14; i.e., it is a grounding clause), the love of Christ controls us or compels us to be "beside ourselves...for God," or "of sound mind...for you." The love of God demonstrated in the Gospel drives our love for God. And our love for God drives us to love you, to be a benefit to you. In this case, that's demonstrated by being "of sound mind."

So let us take an inventory of our lives. Let us examine ourselves. Let us go before the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus and cry for Him to search us and know our hearts, to see if there be a hurtful (the opposite of beneficial) way in us. Let's ask Him to reveal to us the ways of our lives in which we are not benefiting people. And let us ask Him that He would transform us into the image of His Son (2Cor 3:18), who benefited all those in His path in everything He said, did, and felt, who loved the Lord God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength, who loved His neighbor as Himself.

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