Becoming What We Are- 2Corinthians 5:14-21
The Christian life is esentially a process of becoming what we are. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul tells us that we are righteous in Christ, and because we are righteous we are to live righteously.
The passage we will now examine tells us exactly what this means and how God brings it to pass in our lives. He begins by telling us that “the love of Christ compels us”. The phrase “love” of Christ here could be either His love for us or our love for Him, and probably means both, for what Paul is about to explain would not happen without both. The word compels here is synecho in the Greek, a word used to describe a fear which grabs hold of us and causes us to act in unusual ways. This compulsion occurs because Paul is convinced of something, with convinced here functioning as a synonym for faith, Paul is compelled because of his conviction. What is he convinced of that so compels him? That Christ died for all. This is the ultimate expression of love, becoming our sin so that we may become righteous, and Paul`s conviction of Christ`s love for him is what compels him to love others. In verse 15, Paul tells us why Christ died for all, so that those who live (born again Christians) would live for Him and not for themselves. He showed His love by dying for others, and we show His love by dying to self and living for others. We are convinced that we died with Him and now live for Him, and from that point forward we no longer regard anyone or anything in the same way again. The word “regard” here refers to our understanding, and we no longer understand things the way the world does. Our way of seeing and understanding everything has changed, we now have a change in worldview. All who truly know Christ have a different way of understànding reality, and we do so because we no longer regard Jesus as the world does. He is no longer just a great teacher or a good man but God in the flesh, and our new understanding of Him produces a new understanding of everything else. This change is so radical that we àre literally new creations. The word new here is kainos, new in kind. God does not do a renovation on the old man, He crucifies the old man and creates a new man. The old man has literally vanished (meaning of the Greek here), ànd the new has come, with a new nàture, worldview and purpose in life, now able to love as Christ loved. This concludes Paul”s description of how we became righteous and what it means, of our “new creation”, in our next post we will see how God goes about “helping” us become what we are.