Paul has figured out what he has to do no matter what happens to him in this world and he is willing to “work hard” to share that message with everyone possible. As we can see by reading 2 Corinthians Paul does this by explaining who Christ is and what He did for all of us. When we believe this and accept it we can start with our transformation and our new lives.
Verses 14-15 say, “Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” When we believe that Christ has died for us we can really live for Him. Warren Wiersbe wrote this in one of his commentaries. “Because we have died with Christ, we can overcome sin; and because we live with Christ, we can bear fruit for God’s glory.” (It is a reference from Romans chapter 7 verse 4.)
Look at this reminder Paul gives us in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God trough Christ.” Through Christ is important for us to understand. It is not in our own strength it is us dying to self and God transforming our lives to live like Christ. The gift is free; God gives it to all mankind so we have a way home. When we open our hearts and realize this, our lives change and we desire to work hard to show we appreciate His gift.
We shouldn’t accept this gift and say, oh well I tried or as long as I believe I’m good. We should be so excited that we know the Lord that we do all we can to live like He did. Look at what Paul says in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 1, “As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.” We must continue to grow and learn opening our hearts to change and let the Spirit lead us in our new life.
Maybe we have heard people say; God doesn’t want us to be perfect, He wants us to keep trying. I say when we surrender our hearts we are focused and when we are focused we can mature and when we mature we do less and less for ourselves and more and more for God. We won’t be perfect but we will be clawing and fighting to do our best in all situations and our testimony will really make an impact in this world for the kingdom of God. Paul shares in chapter 6 verses 8-10, “We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us imposters. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not yet been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” To me this is living for Christ. It is not about what we have because of Christ, it is who we are because of Christ, and that is a new creation.
I want to learn and grow so I don’t sin and I share for others to see and when I do mess up I ask for forgiveness and keep working to continue to change so people see the truth in me and they see someone different. We must live differently with the power of the Spirit so when we accept the marvelous gift we don’t ignore it. Amen