By: Carole L. Haines
14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 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.
16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)
Mercy, grace, forgiveness; truths that bring relief to our souls in our moments of sin. But do we extend this to others in their moments of sin? My heart went straight to this set of verses this morning when I woke up. Two things happened yesterday that illuminated my need to extend grace to others, to saturate myself in it, and to journey deeper with God into the recesses of my own heart and soul. Heavy topic, I know, but so needed by us all.
“For the Love of Christ Controls us”…or does it? The meaning of control here is threefold; compel, constrain and control. The Love of Christ is to compel me to act lovingly when wronged, to constrain me from responding wickedly when wronged and to control carefully my interactions with people. I am to learn to relate to them as Jesus does, present tense, as He relates to them right now.
Each of us has things that set us off, bring “the beast” out in us. One of mine is rude drivers. People who tailgate, speed, cut you off. I say horrible things when this happens. It is a habitual sin that God is dealing deeply with me about. I lost it yesterday big time, when a honkin’ truck tried to cut me off. The conviction I felt was not immediate either, I felt justified in yelling out at them, until the Holy Spirit brought God’s truth to my mind.
How I see you, how you see me, as believers. This is so crucial in the Body of Christ. We need to extend so much grace to each other. You may see me lose it one day, but that doesn’t mean you get to throw me away. I may see you in a brighter light, flaws glaring, imperfections shining through, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge you.
“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7, vs 3)
Specks and Logs people, it’s all about specks and logs. I’ve got so many logs in my own eyes, I have no time to be looking at anybody else’s specks.
The Apostle Paul reminds us of how we are to view each other in the Body of Christ in the Scripture from 2 Corinthians 5, quoted above.
16 “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
The word, “recognize” is crucial here. It means, “to have regard for, pay attention to, understand or perceive.” I am no longer to relate to a believer in any other way but as a Redeemed brother or sister in Christ. Another Bible Version puts it this way.
“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.” (vs.16 NLT)
There is so much more to glean from these verses. I am going to expand on this tomorrow. That’s enough to chew on for one day. Be Blessed, Precious Believers, Be Blessed in Jesus. See you tomorrow.