Are you Convinced?
Are you Convinced?
Words of Faith 10-10-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 Corinthians 5
 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So Paul underwent all kinds of terrible difficulty, turmoil and persecution. People thought he was nuts but he kept taking it on the chin and persevering. Why would Paul live that way?
Paul was compelled by the love of Christ. He had been so gripped by the love of Jesus that nothing could stop him and he was convinced that nothing could stop the love of Jesus. As he wrote to the Roman believers: "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (8:38-39).
Paul was compelled by the way of Christ. Jesus willingly became incarnate and followed the path of obedience to the cross dying for all. Jesus' earthly family had said that He was out of His mind. By faith Paul was identified with Jesus in His death and resurrection. And Paul lived with the same selfless abandon the Lord had. Christ's love, which had converted him, now compelled him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers (1 John 3:16).
Why? Because we are convinced of this one truth. Christ died for all and therefore all died. There is no life outside of Christ. Jesus is not one option on the buffet or religious alternatives. Not only that, He died for all. Paul did not ponder issues of who might be "elect" because such questions are not resolvable. Christ died for all so Paul proclaimed that truth to all who would listen. Those who are similarly convinced should no longer live for themselves for Him who died for them and was raised again.
The bottom line question is really simple. Are you convinced? Do you believe it? Do you believe that Christ died for all and that there is no life outside of Christ? Or are you still living "for themselves" as Paul put it?
Lord God, I realize that You did not send Your Son to die just for me, though You would have. Your Gospel is for all who will listen. Give me a heart for the lost. Give me a passion to share the Good News and invite people to come and know You. In Jesus' Name.