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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
In Second Corinthians 5 there is a phrase which says “the love of Christ constraineth us”. This love refers to Christ’s love for us, not our love for Him. If this were speaking of our love toward Him we would all be in trouble from time to time and nothing would get done for God. If you are truthful you will confess that your love for Him isn’t steady; it goes up and down according to your mood. If all is going well our love flourishes. If trouble and disruption comes then our love may diminish. But thanks be unto God; His love for us never changes, it is constant because He never changes. When I’m up He loves me, when I’m down He loves me. When I am full He loves me and when I am empty He loves me. When I’m encouraged He loves me and when I’m depressed He still loves me. It matters not my mood or my condition, He still loves me! There is nothing I can go through which will change His love for me. Sure, I may do some things which don’t please Him and it may offend Him or disappoint Him, but His love for me will remain the same. This love to us is seen as He went to the cross on our behalf. Over in Romans 5:8 Paul writes “But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. In first John 4:19 John tells us we are to love Him because He first loved us and He loved us unto the end as John 13:1 tells us. When He died on the cross He proved His love to the world; John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” He proved His love to the church as Ephesians tells us in 5:25 “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it”. He also proved His love for individual sinners as Galatians 2:20 says “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. This love constraineth us, it keeps on compelling us forward and only when we realize this great love wherewith He loved us, then day after day it controls us and our actions. We then realize or judge or gage ourselves that if One (and that one was Christ) died for all then all were dead in trespasses and sins. In Romans 5:12 it says “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. Jesus loved us and showed that love for us by dying for us and when you step back and consider that truthfully, you can’t help but love Him. Then that love will compel and encourage you to live for Him. Without loving Him there will be no living for Him. Love brings changes and that is what I want to look at this week.
The first change it creates within us is we will be made new. Verse 17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. Those things we were; the things we did; the places we went, all those things will be done away with and all things will be made new. How can we accomplish that? You can’t but Jesus can because we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. He makes us and molds us if we will be pliable to Him. He is still the Potter and we are still the clay. The old me is dead and the new me is alive and well in Jesus.
How is this change made you may ask? Verse 19 says “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself”. This lowly Man of sorrows, this man acquainted with grief, yes, this man was the incarnate God reconciling a world of lost sinners unto Himself. Looking to Jesus we can receive forgiveness of sins by His grace. We aren’t worthy to receive it and certainly don’t deserve it but He loved us and graces us with His gift of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast”.
Then you see the evidence of that change in verse 15 where Paul writes “And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again”. Change comes into a person when salvation comes to Him. The evidence of this change isn’t found just in your words; words are cheap. The evidence is found in your attitude toward the Lord, others and even toward yourself. You aren’t saved by these things but they will be evident in one who is truly born again and one who loves the Lord. He gave Himself to redeem us and now He owns us and we belong to Him and it is Him first, others second and yourself last. Where there is no evidence of any change there is no evidence of any salvation. When God saved us He put within us a desire for holiness and the only way to attain this holiness is by “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts and that we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ”.
Lastly please note the responsibility after the change from verse 20 as Paul says “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ”. We are to be His representatives in this world. He is in Heaven, so we that are saved are the only representatives He has to show forth to a lost world His great love. We have been reconciled, brought back into favor with God and we have been given a ministry, the responsibility of telling others about the One who has the ability and desire to save them. We haven’t received the ministry of damnation; man is already damned and condemned to spend eternity in the lake of fire but we have the ministry of the grace of God which can save them from that awful place. We don’t work from our resources or abilities but through His. We are to be used to reconcile the world back to God. He is not to be reconciled to us but us unto Him.
Does this love live within you today? This love which makes a new creature with new desires? If not why not trust Jesus Christ as your Savior today, right now, ask Him to enter your life and save you and forgive you of your sins.