2 Corinthians 5:11-15
- The first motive for soul winning that the Apostle gives to us is “the fear of the Lord” (v.11). “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord…”
By “the fear of the Lord,” the Apostle does not mean the divine terror of an angry Judge, which the unsaved will experience when they stand before the Lord. No, no, here the Apostle speaks of that reverential awe. He speaks of the fear that the Lord, by His own person, produces in the Christian—a godly fear, a worshipful fear toward God. This fear is a pious reverence that Paul had of Christ as His divine assessor and future judge.
- The second motive is for the glory of God and good of the church or concern for people (v.13). “For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.”
To be “beside ourselves” literally means to be out of one’s mind. Paul says, “Oh no, I’m not crazy. I am in full possession of my mental faculties.”But this is the world’s conclusion about those who are dogmatic and zealous about the truth. Both Jesus and John were accused of possessing a demon (John 8:48; 7:20; 8:52; 10:20). After Paul gave his dramatic testimony before King Agrippa, the Roman governor Festus “…said in a loud voice, ‘Paul you are out of your mind! Your learning is driving you mad’” (Acts 26:24). But Paul said, no, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth” (v.25). The issue for Paul was not about what people thought of him. His motivation was to be pleasing to God for the sake of the church. Is this the case with you?
- The third motive for soul winning is the love of Christ (vv.14-15). “For the love of Christ controls us…”
The Apostle says that the love of Christ led him to conclude, “…that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” One died—all died: This speaks of the Christian’s union with Christ.
One died—all die: This speaks of the Christian’s imitation of Christ.
One died—all live: This speaks of the Christian’s devotion to Christ. Only a risen Savior has the power to communicate His saving grace to those for whom He died. And, my friends, what the New Testament seeks to teach us by the resurrection is that the same Jesus who died is loose and at large in the world, working, rescuing, saving all whom He died to save.