2 Corinthians 5:14
For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
I. TAKE SOME ACCOUNT OF CHRIST'S LOVE TO US, WHICH IS THE FOUNDATION AND CAUSE OF OUR LOVE TO HIM. Notice the instances of His love hinted at.
1. That Christ died for us (John 15:13; Romans 5:6).
2. That He rose again. This was designed for our advantage (Romans 4:25). As His suffering and death were for the payment of our debt, so His resurrection was in order to our discharge. He arose and went to heaven, there to appear in the presence of God for us, and to prepare a place there for His followers.
3. That He died and rose again that we might live; that is, that we might be acquitted from our guilt, delivered from, condemnation, be renewed to a spiritual life of holiness, and be raised at last to heaven.
II. OUR LOVE TO CHRIST WHICH IS THE FRUIT OF HIS LOVE TO US. Christ will own none for His friends who love Him not (1 Corinthians 16:22; Luke 14:26; Matthew 10:37).
III. THE GENUINE AND POWERFUL EFFECT OF THIS LOVE. It will constrain us to live unto Him, which implies —
1. Obedience to His will (John 14:15, 21, 23). This obedience must be —
(1) Willing and hearty obedience. Not like that of slaves to a tyrant, where the only motive to obey is fear of punishment. Of this sort is all the obedience which wicked men pay to Christ.
(2) Sincere and universal to all Christ's commandments, without any exception. I do not mean that it will be perfect; but yet true love will not knowingly allow of any defect in obedience.
(3) Like its principle, constant and persevering. We shall not obey Him by fits and starts. Obedience may possibly admit of some interruptions, but it will never be laid aside.
2. Zealous for His interest and honour. Here it will be proper to consider —
(1) The nature of zeal for Christ. Zeal is the natural fervour of the mind when it is very earnest in any pursuit. Sometimes it is a very bad thing; but when it is under the influence of Divine grace, and directed to a right object, it is then exceeding good (Galatians 4:18). Christ Himself was a pattern to us of holy zeal (John 2:17). Let the same mind be in Us which was also in Jesus Christ — particularly(a) Grief and resentment at any injuries which are done to His honour. A warm love to Christ will make His honour and interest as dear to us as our own.
(b) Courage in Christ's cause, as Christ's zeal for His Father's honour inspired Him with courage to drive out the profaners of the Temple. Such was the zeal of the apostles (Acts 4:19, 20; Acts 21:13).
(c) Diligence in using all proper means to gain over subjects to Christ's kingdom and converts to His gospel.
(d) Joy in the advancement of His kingdom and interest.
(2) Motives and reasons for this zeal. Consider —
(a) How zealous Christ has been and is for you and your interest. He died for you.
(b) How little all you can do for Christ will amount unto, and what a mean and poor requital it will be for His love.
(c) How zealous the devil and his agents are against Christ, and to hinder the advancement of His kingdom, and should not we be at least as zealous to promote it?
(d) How Christ will nobly requite your zeal for Him another day (Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8).
Parallel VersesKJV: For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
WEB: For the love of Christ constrains us; because we judge thus, that one died for all, therefore all died.