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Devotional - week of September 2, 2007


NO LONGER SELFISH

 

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.  2 Corinthians 5:14-15

 

 

Paul is referring to Jesus’ death as the last Adam in verse 14, when he said “… if one died for all, then all died …” That is, Jesus died as the head of the spiritual race. Therefore, when we entered His race, we were spiritually crucified. In that sense, we died when Jesus died.

 

Verse 15 adds that it is our dying with Jesus that allows us to be free from living for ourselves that we might live for Jesus.

 

All believers are saints. God set us apart for His possession and then brought us to salvation at which time we became saints—ones set apart for God. In writing that because of our death with Christ, we were enabled to live for Christ and not for ourselves; Paul is saying that we are able to live as saints.

 

That is good news. Paul wrote in Romans 6:21 that we are ashamed of the things we did while we were slaves to sin. Much of our living as slaves to sin was and is living for ourselves. We rejoice to know that we can experience our death with Jesus and be freed from living for ourselves and doing things that we are ashamed of.

 

In addition, being free from living for ourselves fills us with joy because we are free to live for Jesus. We have had a passion to live not for ourselves but for Jesus—and often we have failed. Because we died with Jesus, we can actually live for Him.

 

Living for Jesus is not our doing things for Jesus. Living for Jesus is permitting God the Father and God the Son to live through us just as Jesus permitted the Father to live through Him. John 5:19 is one of several verses where Jesus testified that the Father lived through Him.

 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner”.

 

Our quality of life and fruitfulness for God take a giant step forward when we live as Jesus did.