Paul’s Footsteps #173

Footsteps #173

Paul makes it clear that his own efforts to be faithful at persuading people of the truth of the Gospel have not been easy. (5:12-15) In fact, even the Corinthians have frequently misread his motives. They had seemed much more impressed with outward leadership skills than with the heart of the leader. Some have even accused him of being insane. To this, he responds, almost humorously in v13, but no matter how they view him, the fear of the Lord keeps him focused on the task of persuading people to accept the Saviour. But there is another motive which is, if possible, even more powerful than the fear of the Lord: The compelling love of Christ. V14: Fear is a strong motive, but love is even stronger! Paul was absolutely convinced that Jesus Christ did the most loving thing possible for one person to do for another– He gave His life for His friends and His enemies. Paul would later say that in Rom.5:7, 8: “Wow! What evidence of love! And it’s that love that Christ demonstrated so amazingly that motivated Paul to constantly persuade lost people regarding their spiritual needs. The Gospel is simple: one died for all. The term “Gospel” is bandied about a lot today. We all know it means “good news.” But “good news of what?” Not simply that God loves us; or that He sent His Son to be born of a virgin; or that believers go to heaven at the resurrection. All of that is good news, for sure. But the Gospel most simply stated is: “one died for all.” The heart of the Gospel is not the birth of the Saviour or His perfect life, or His wonderful teachings. The heart of the Gospel is the fact that He took our place on the Cross. But then Paul says something strange, “One died for all, and therefore all died.” That doesn’t sound like very good news, but it is when we realize that he’s not talking here about eternal death; rather they have “died to themselves,” “died to sin,” or as Gal.2:20 says, “have been crucified with Christ.”  

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