No longer live for ourselves but for Christ

2 Corinthians 5--14-15

The Verse of the Day for April 5, 2016 is found in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (Amplified Bible), to which we add verses 16 and 17 to round out the passage:

14 For the love of Christ controls and compels us, because we have concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that all those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for their sake.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a human point of view [according to worldly standards and values]. Though we have known Christ from a human point of view, now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

The passage begins with a reference to “the love of God “which “controls and compels us.” In the King James Version the phrase used is “constrains us,” which is explained as the Middle Eastern custom of expressing an invitation to dine over and over, beyond the customary offer of once or twice but continuing to compel the individuals until they relent and respond to the love demonstrated toward them. Understanding the extent to which Christ loved us, we conclude that because He died for all of us, so we should no longer live for ourselves but that we should live for Him who died and was raised for our sake.

Recognizing what Christ accomplished on our behalf, we no longer regard individuals from a human point of view, even though we have known Christ from such a vantage point; now we do not even know him from a fleshly perspective. Logos Bible Software explains:

“For instance, the outward distinctions of Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, slave or free, learned or unlearned, are lost sight of in the higher life of those who are dead in Christ’s death, and alive with Him in the new life of His resurrection.”

The passage concludes with a reference to “new life in Christ Jesus.” In the New Testament, “new” is translated from kainos, meaning that which is “unaccustomed or unused, not ‘new’ in terms of time, or recent but ‘new’ as to form or quality (sometimes translated “fresh”) The word is used to describe “a new creative act—new creation, a new man” in verse 17:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible):

Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

Listen to a musical rendering of 2 Corinthians 5:17(NIV):

To close our comments, here is another song inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:17

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