Motivated by Christ’s Love

KEY VERSE: “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” —II Corinthians 5:18

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: II Corinthians 5:11-21

THE MINISTRY OF the Apostle Paul accomplished much valuable service to God, particularly because it was motivated by his Christ-like love. He was instrumental in establishing the Church at Corinth, and because of this these brethren were especially precious to him. The first letter he wrote to them included admonishments; they had begun to develop the wrong spirit, and showed evidences of carnality. So they would not misunderstand, he spoke plainly to them in this second letter. He said, “Out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.”—II Cor. 2:4

The Church at Corinth had the same foes to face as do all Christians, namely, the world, the flesh, and the devil. How could the Apostle Paul motivate them to fight harder against these? One way was to remind them of the love that Jesus had for all mankind which made him willing to die for them. So, too, he reminds them and us that this same love should urge all to faithfulness.—II Cor. 5:14

The knowledge of God’s wonderful plan of reconciliation should be inspiring to all the Lord’s people. It is an emphatic reminder of God’s love and Christ’s love for us and the world. Those who are blessed with a knowledge of his plan in the present time—the Gospel Age—should be motivated to do as Jesus did, and lay down their lives for their brethren. Paul said: “He (Jesus] died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”—vs. 15

As the plan of God unfolds to those called by God in this age, they are able to see that a class is being invited to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, and these, by consecrating their lives to God, are begotten by his Holy Spirit, and become New Creatures. “If any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (vs. 17) No longer are we to look upon one another from the human viewpoint, but should recognize that this miraculous development taking place in each of us is so that we may join Jesus in being ministers of reconciliation, and eventually assist in bringing all the world into harmony with God.

Earlier in this fifth chapter of II Corinthians, Paul tells of the heavenly hope that these ‘called out’ ones have. He explains how, at present, we have this earthly body (a tabernacle—a tent) which, upon being ‘taken down’ will be replaced with a spiritual body, “eternal in the heavens.” The receiving of the Holy Spirit by each consecrated Christian is a guarantee to him that this will occur, but not until the work of the present age is accomplished. The Corinthian Church had to continue fighting against its foes, always keeping in mind this heavenly hope, being motivated by Christ’s love, and training to be ministers of reconciliation. Paul alludes to them as “ambassadors for Christ.” (vs. 20) They do not belong to this “present evil world” (Gal. 1:4), but rather are God’s spokesmen for his program of reconciliation with the world.

This wonderful program of reconciliation is God’s plan, which starts with those selected out of this world as a people for his name, and extends to all the world of mankind, as the former become ministers of God for reconciliation. The entire program is motivated by love. The love of God first gave his Only Begotten Son to be our Redeemer. God hath made Jesus “to be sin (a sin-offering] for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (II Cor. 5:21) The love of God made possible the selection of these to be ministers of reconciliation. Finally, this love makes possible the reconciliation of the entire world of mankind.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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