couple things that I think are kind of ironic this morning. Um first and foremost, somehow I got the early morning time slot with a bunch of teenagers who were out late last night, having fun and I feel like that’s easily the toughest time slot in the group. But um, that’s okay. The ironic thing about that is that those of you that know me well, have heard me say this before. Um, I I am not a motivator. I don’t see myself as someone that should be a motivator. In fact, I think it’s a mistake for leaders to really position themselves as motivators and part of why that is, is going to come out here in a little bit because a big part of what we’re going to cover in our scripture today is the fact that the love of christ compels us and if you understand all the theological truths, that really undergird that you’re going to be in a better place than someone who has a lot of great hype videos. Okay, so here’s what I want to say to start with, like as a football coach, these guys can tell you, you know, I am not the pregame speech guy, Like I’m the head football coach, but that’s not how I see myself. I addressed the team about an hour before the game with some basic theological truth that should support all that we’re doing and get us excited to compete for the glory of the Lord. But right before the game, we do this big for lack of a better term high prayer, which what is a high prayer. I feel kind of weird even using that phrase, but we do this thing. It’s more like a chance, but it’s kind of a prayer because that’s who we are. And I do. I lead that guys. No, no. In fact I if it’s happening over here are assistant coach cold work, which if you know him at all, you know, he’s the guy for the job, He’s over there doing it with everybody, they’re all huddled up, it’s loud and fun. I stand over by this garage door that comes out of our weight room where everybody exits and I’m just ready to open the door when they’re done and fist bump people and say enjoy it, have fun. Um, love you. You know those kind of things. I am not a hype guy and, and, and I think it’s important for you to just sort of see that I’m not here when we talk about the love of christ motivating us, compelling us. I’m not here to be over the top. You remember me um with this with this topic, I’m I’m here to show you that the deepest truths of the universe should compel you and control you to be God’s ambassadors and live for his glory. So I’m going to read our text and what’s going to ultimately happen is that we’re going to read through Second Corinthians 56 through 62. But we’re really gonna park ourselves on 5 14 and 15 because that’s where everything sort of hinges. That’s the heart of what we’ve got here. And so after we read, I’ll pray and then we’ll really unpack this. So let’s get started. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must or for we must all appear before the judge judgment seat of christ so that each one may receive what is due for him or do for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God. And I hope it is known also to your conscience. We’re not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you cause to boast about us so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart for if we are beside ourselves, it is for God. If we are in our right mind, it is for you, for the love of christ controls us. That’s the first phase we’re going to really hang on to today because we have concluded this that one has died for all, therefore all have died and he died for all that. Those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised from now on. Therefore we regard no one according to the flesh, even though we once regarded christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away. Behold the new has come all this is from God who through christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation that is in christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for christ God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of christ. Be reconciled to God for our sake. He made him to be sin. Who knew no sin so that in him we might have the righteousness of God working together with him. Then we appeal to you not to receive the Grace of God in vain. For he says in a favorable time, I listened to you and a day of salvation, I have helped you behold now is the favorable time. Behold now is the day of Salvation. Let’s pray. And then we’ll really get rolling here, father. We pray that we would just come to the logical conclusion that once we’ve truly received the free gift of salvation through faith, alone in christ alone through him becoming sin for us, so that he could pay the wrath that we deserve. That. Once we’ve done that, Lord, we ought to be, we should be, we we are controlled and compelled, motivated by christ’s love for us and that should drive us out not to do things for ourselves that should compel us and motivate us to never give up and never grow weary as we go out and serve as ambassadors for you, Lord representing you in all that we do 24 73 65. So I pray that today, your word would help us understand the deep theological truths that undergird why we should live for you and be compelled by the love of christ and all that we do. It’s in his name that we pray amen. All right. So I’d like to start today with some observations and then a big warning. Okay, I think and I fear and frankly I know the american church today is filled with a lot of what you might call nominal christians and they have this nominal perspective on jesus and intentionally or unintentionally whether they’re doing it on purpose or whether they just sort of don’t get it yet. They really make jesus out to be far less than he is. So here’s some here’s some examples of what I mean. They make him out to be a wise sage on the stage who is the ultimate preacher but nothing really more than that. They make them out to be a wise guide on the side who is the ultimate counselor, the perfect and ultimate dr Phil if you will as dr Phil still irrelevant like I always check on that kind of is he just getting old and yeah that stinks because that means the same thing about me but um so you know I don’t know who the cool counselor four p.m. T. V. Show person is these days but the ultimate version of that they just want help. Okay we also make him to be the ultimate get out of hell for free card. Like it’s not really about discovering who the creator of the universe is and what he’s really done for you and living for the glory of that creator who saved you through christ. It’s more about just avoiding hell at the end of this. And then the last thing I think we often do and this one’s, this one’s kind of snarky and a little bit maybe off putting but we often turn jesus into the giant santa claus in the sky like we just want to be able to turn to him and ask for a really sweet stuff and get it you know and we, we mix this combination of things together and and it’s this really dangerous way to perceive christ because you’re not seeing him for who he really is. It’s this sort of man made self help, gospel prosperity gospel version. And the irony is that jesus is these things, but so much more, I mean Jesus is wisdom and has great counseling for you, Jesus is our guiding counsellor. Jesus does provide the grace to escape hell. He also provides all you need in this life and in the life to come so that you can spend an eternity in a perfect relationship with him and the father and the Holy Spirit, he’s all those things, but he’s so much more and so much of the american church is just sort of leaving that so much more aside and they just want someone to help them keep rocking it in this life and dominating for themselves, not humbly submitting and living for the glory of God. Our sinful nature wants to limit, Jesus wants to kind of make sure he remains nothing more than a mere counselor or giver of great gifts because if he’s merely our helper, we remain our own ultimate authority. That’s really what’s at, what’s going on here, We don’t want to submit to that. And so it’s easy to sort of make him enough to keep us happy, but not enough to be the boss. Sin causes us to really see ourselves as the star of the production. We don’t want to be anything but the lead role who gets the awards and as a result, we want jesus to sort of merely be the director kind of behind the scenes, making sure nothing gets too out of control so we can look good. And I think that’s really a scary place to be. And this is where I want to go some from some observations about what’s going on in the american church in which you might be tempted to fall into to a warning about the type of teaching and leading you submit yourself to. So the temptation to paint a portrait of jesus um as our secret weapon for success is incredibly strong. And that’s why you see so many supposed christian preachers and teachers fall into the trap of endorsing a nominal view, a minimal view of who christ is, and they make him nothing more than the ultimate self help tool. Before we kind of get further into that warning, let’s just ask ourselves why, why is that so tempting? Well that the answer is pretty simple. I mean, first of all, it’s everything we just talked about, You get to be your own boss and we all kind of like that and it’s hard to be humble and submit to christ, but also because preaching and teaching is self help. Gospel draws in the crowds. Okay. I know the ultimate power. Who can make all your dreams come true? Yeah, I would like to come here that talk, that would be nice. Okay. Except for that’s not what the bible says about God and about jesus at all in terms of him just making your dreams come true. There’s spain to be had and money to be made in the self help gospel. And so it’s really, really tempting to make jesus these simple little things so that we can put him in the corner nice and neat for ourselves and live our lives according to our own ambitions and desires. So here’s my warning. If you ever find yourself getting caught up in a church or a preacher or any sort of leader who’s sort of pedaling nothing more than this flimsy man centered self help gospel. You need to run get away from that. That is false teaching. It will lead you to the pit of hell and there is, there is no place for it, jesus is our counselor in our guide and loves us and wants to help us through every single moment. But if that’s all we have him as, as just some sort of self help guru, we are missing the point and you might miss the whole Gospel as well and never really submit to him as the payment for your sins that you need and can’t do anything to make yourself right with God apart from him. And if ever you need a refresher on um how that story of the Gospel goes all the way through and you don’t have a lot of time re listen to tom ripples talk last night, that was about as smooth of about 40 minutes summarization of the way the Gospel traces through the scriptures as you’re going to find. And that is what jesus is really all about. So anyone, anytime anyone begins to lead your heart down a path towards making you the star of the show, you’re really playing with fire and I want to really continue to warn you on that one of Satan’s greatest strategies, I think in America is to create as many almost christians as possible and they’re almost in the sense that they read the bible, they go to church, but they embrace a whole bunch of these almost true teachings I’ve been talking about. They never are really confronted with their sin, God’s ultimate authority over their lives, there need to repent and believe in the true jesus christ and they’re really never given the opportunity to know the depths of christ’s love for them because they are taught a whole bunch of things that are almost true about christ, but it’s not the full truth. And so they’re falling short. So when our sin perverts our view of jesus, in this way we fall, we fail to see and to submit to the reality that jesus is our ultimate and perfect profit defining what is right and wrong and teaching us everything, everything we need to know for this life and the life to come. We we failed to see him as the ultimate and perfect priest who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice doing for us what we could not do for ourselves, and we fail to see him as the ultimate and perfect king who has undeniable authority over our lives and to whom we will be held accountable. So, our text today in 2nd Corinthians, um and this almost christian sort of teaching might have been a big part of what Paul was pushing back against Almost 2000 years ago in the city of Corinth. It seems like, as you read through this letter, that teachers and preachers were pushing this sort of almost gospel or this false, easy to believe gospel or this self help gospel, and they were proclaiming that Paul was teaching a false gospel. And so a big chunk of what’s going on here in 2nd Corinthians is Paul, um making an attempt to build up his credibility and say, I’m not here for my own ambition, I’m not here for my own fame or for money, I’m here to preach christ crucified, and if you would hear any other version of this, it is wrong. So, Second Corinthians, in many regards, as one giant defense of the integrity and legitimacy of Paul’s message and his and his team of the message. He and his team of evangelists were teaching and preaching. So I’m just gonna read you a few verses just just leading up to where we’re going to stop today. That really bring that out like paul again and again, is saying we are motivated by the Gospel. Were motivated by christ’s love for us. That’s what we’re about. So Second Corinthians 1 12 for our boast, is this the testimony of our conscience that we have believed in the world with with simplicity and Godly sincerity, Not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God and supremely so toward you. Second Corinthians 2 17, this is Paul just making his case for what he’s preaching for. We are not like so many peddlers of God’s word, but as many, but as men of sincere sincerity as commissioned by God in the sight of God, We speak in christ second Corinthians 35 and six. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything is coming from us, but are sufficiency is from God who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant. Not of the letter, but of the Spirit for the letter kill kills, but the Spirit gives life two more of these. I just want to keep hammering home this letter. He’s defending his legitimacy as a preacher and teacher of the words. Second Corinthians four too. But we have denounced disgraceful on hard underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word. But by the open statement of the truth, we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. He’s almost bragging. But at the same time he’s like, no, I’m only I’m only saying I’m legit. If you can if I can stand before God and say what I’m saying before him, and you recognize that it’s true, based on God’s word. Second Corinthians 5 9, last one here. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please God. He’s about pleasing God. Yeah. So in our text this morning, especially 5, 14 and 15, we’re going to see that Paul is basically saying, look at my motives. If this is true about my motives, that’s proof that me and my team can be trusted and are preaching the true gospel. So here’s here’s my goal for you guys today, as we work through these couple of verses. My goal today is that you and I will see that the gospel is the reason to die to self and live for christ that christ love for you is the perfect motivator compelling you to live as his ambassador. And that it’s your And I also hope that you would see that it’s your motives that truly matter to God. It’s what you’re really all about deep inside that make all the difference for the Lord. So in our text today, this is what paul means. When he says, the love of christ controls us, he’s assuring the Corinthians that everything he teaches flows from the love of christ that his motives are pure and he can be trusted as a result of that. And so the question I want to put before you as we jump into this text is can you be trusted for the same reasons by others, motives determine integrity, motives, determined integrity. Our main text reads like this for the love of christ controls us because we have concluded this, that one has died for all, therefore all have died and he died for all that. Those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised. So let me just go back to the pregame prayer that I kind of am a part of, but not exactly. Okay. That is fun. It is a cornerstone of our pregame routine. We’re not getting rid of it anytime soon. In fact, we hope to keep building on it and making that an exciting part of what we’re doing. But if that’s what motivates you to go play on friday night for us, we’re in deep dark, serious trouble because that’s gonna do, you know, kind of good on third and long when the game is on the line. Okay. And the same is true about life. If a conference like this kind of gets you on that spiritual high and it motivates you and this is what’s compelling, you won’t be. But the end of august before you’re back to normal, what you have to see is that in God’s word, there are like I’ve said before theological truths that are incredibly deep straight from the creator of the universe, who sent his son to be your savior, that should keep you at a 100% max motivation level 24 73 65. And you need to recognize when you’re not feeling that something’s wrong and you need to step away and get be in prayer, being God’s word, being fellowship with people who know you well and can maybe identify some of those things and those struggles are real. Let me tell you as an activities director at a school coming off everything we’ve been through as a, as a planet as as mankind over the last 18, 19 months, I kind of hit rock bottom mid May and I was struggling and we had to, you know, and I had to really step my wife to know, and I really had to step back and say, what are we going to do to regroup here? How are we gonna get back on the right track? I haven’t done any kind of speaking or teaching very much um for a while just to regroup and re strengthen. So I just I just say that too as a way of encouraging you, like you gotta, you gotta daily being the word and in prayer and connecting to the truth, we’re gonna study right here. So Paul has basically, like I said saying Corinthians is like 13 chapters defending your integrity As a true apostle, that’s what he’s doing the whole time. And it can come off as a little self serving. So this second Corinthians 5, 14 and 15 is this this beautiful, well phrased, perfectly phrased chunk of scripture. That’s like it’s I’m not self serving at all. I’m all about jesus and his love is what compels me and controls me and pushes me forward. So when the verses leading up to our text this morning, paul sets the stage for the Corinthians in in five verse 11, he says, therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others, but what we are is known to God. And I hope it is known to you, or it is also known, I’m sorry. And I hope it is known also to your conscience. He’s saying, we desire to persuade others and the people that read this, I hope they are persuaded by arguments and that’s what we’re really all about. And it’s not about personal gain or the opinion of man, it’s about persuading others to follow the one true christ second Corinthians 5 12. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you cause to boast about us so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. So paul’s defense of himself here turns toward providing the church and corns with the response to those who are bragging about false teachers. One of things about false teachers is they’ve got to kind of build up their own mojo for lack of better term, they got to kind of build it up and make it seem like, hey, we’re doing really great things and they are going to promote that stuff. They’re gonna try to measure and quantify it, put it in front of you a lot, like a traditional marketing scheme, uh for for somebody that’s hitting you with a sales pitch. And paul is saying that’s not what we’re all about. It’s not about those outward appearances, it’s about the inward change of the heart. Second Corinthians 5 13, for if we are beside ourselves, it’s for God, if we are in our right mind, it’s for you, possibly saying if you think we’re over the zealous because we live to serve God, then you’re right, and you need to understand that we are teaching and preaching the word of God. We should be fanatical, being fanatical. Being a little crazy as the world would measure. It means you’re probably about on the right track, okay. And that’s convicting for me. Every time I think about that thought, because I probably blend in too much with the world and hopefully it’s convicting for you too. And then he also says in this phrase he’s saying, you know if we’re if we’re calm and to the point and sort of leading you step by step through something and you sort of think to yourself, they’re kind of flat, like they’re not, why aren’t they more excited? They’re slowing down so you can understand not because there’s a lack of excitement in their heart, not because they’re not thrilled to be teaching and sharing the ultimate truths of the universe with you. Let’s look at this, raise the love of christ controls us. In Chapter five or 14, we’ve kind of set the stage here, paul has set the stage. We’ve re reviewed it. Mm And now for now paul proclaims that christ love for him is what motivates him. Remember what I want you to see today, is that christ love for you is the perfect motivator compelling you to live as his ambassador and for his glory and all that he does. So four verse 14, we kind of break it into like four chunks. So here’s our first chunk for the love of christ controls us something really important. If you read fast and you don’t slow down here, you can get this backwards. We’re not talking about our love for christ, because is our love for christ perfect every day. No right. We have our ups and downs, we’re human, we’re sinners living in a fallen world. If you’re a believer in christ, you are redeemed and you’re a new creation as well talk about but you’re still you’re going to struggle with loving christ the way you ought to every day. What we’re talking about here is christ’s love for us because christ’s love for us never falters. It is perfect in every way all the time. No matter what is happening, it is exactly what it should be all the time and it’s exactly what you need all the time. One of my favorite places to go for this is romans 8 38 and 39 for I am sure that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers know things nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God. In christ jesus, our Lord, that’s the love we’re talking about today. That’s the love that by the power of the Holy Spirit. Once we’ve received christ as our Savior is available to us and when we don’t feel it, when when we are compelled in the way paul is describing here, that’s when we got to step back and evaluate and ask for God’s help and ask for the help of strong believers. You trust a little bit more on the fact that the believers love for christ is subject to high and low. As you go back to romans seven. Again, this is all written by paul inspired by the Holy Spirit versus 7 24 and 25. He just I love this. This is a good section. If ever you’re like man, I just I’m a failure kind of what tom was talking about last night. All your past sins are coming back and haunting you. Just remember paul had that problem too. Wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death. Thanks be to God through jesus christ our Lord. So then so then I myself served the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I served the law of sin. I mean, he just admits like, man, my love for God. It’s not what it should be all the time. And if paul is thinking that way, there’s I mean, you don’t want to use that as an excuse to be a slacker in your relationship with christ. But it’s kind of encouraging and provides a little bit of comfort, right? That if paul struggling man, it’s normal to struggle here. Okay, it’s not gonna be a struggle in the next life, but it will be here. Okay, now, this is where you know, I keep saying, this is where it hinges. Well, this is where we really see, this is really the turning point. This word controls in the S. V. You might have a little bit different word in chapter or verse 14, but some other ones that you might have compels. If you’re old school, you might have constraints. If you’re super old school bible, probably none of you are. It might say constrained with I’ve seen ruled by I’ve seen a lot of things there. Okay. Here’s some other interesting places. The same Greek word is used, but because of the way English works, it translates differently, but it teaches us quite a bit about what’s being said here, Philippians 123 and 24. Again, paul, I am hard pressed between the two. My desire to depart and be with christ or my desire is to depart and be with christ for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. The words hard pressed in, Philippians 1 23 and 24 are the same word as controls or compels in 5 14. Here, in second Corinthians, kind of, What does that tell you? Right? Like there’s this element of the word that is almost sounds limiting, right? It presses in and keeps us between the guard rails. That’s kind of the best analogy. I think I’ve come across as far as this hard pressed word. So you’re on the road. Um, I grew up in colorado, lots of mountain roads and um, there’s railings on a lot of them, Right? So that if you do something dumb because no offense because you’re a flatlander, like most of you all are, you don’t go off the edge. Okay. Those are there for the flatlanders. The Coloradans don’t need those if you if you know what I’m talking about. But those guard rails are there to keep you where you need to be okay. And you could say that the love of christ hard presses us. It keeps us on the guard rails, which means a couple things one it’s controlling you, it should be what’s motivating you, that’s what really hitting home. But also it’s in a specific direction on a specific path, right? The path that is narrow, not the one that’s wide and going everywhere that tells you, it compels you to do things to be ambassadors to live for his glory and all that you’re doing. You could say that the christ love presses in on the free will believe on the free will of believers and motivates them to live for his glory. Here’s another interesting use of the word it says in acts 18 5 when Silas and timothy arrived from Macedonia paul was occupied with the word testifying to the jews that the christ or that christ was jesus occupied is the same word pretty interesting. Christ love fills the believer and lives in the believer and motivates the believer. It occupies our thoughts that occupy, occupies that part of our brain that is making choices and has free will. It keeps us on the guard rails, it controls us, it compels us. It motivates us, john Macarthur once said it means a pressure that causes action. I might like that one the best. He’s pretty smart happens when you preach through the whole new testament in your career. Random side fact, that’s wild. I cannot imagine accomplishing that. Okay. Um, but uh and not just any action, right? Make sure you understand this. The guardrail thing helps us understand. Like it’s not just anything. He’s not compelling you to do anything. He’s compelling you to do God glorifying things, being his ambassador all day every day and whatever you do. So that was part one Of this four chunk thing that we’re going to really break down. Let’s get into the next part two because we have concluded this, that’s all the further. I’m going to get what I got there. 12345 words. That’s all further. We’re going okay. So why does the love of christ control us? This is where we really, I’ve been alluding to. Like there’s these deep theological things that really undergird what we’re doing and this is this is where we really start to go super deep. Because when you start asking the question, well why why why should the love of christ compel me? Why should I do what mom and dad say? That’s that’s one that’s awesome. Right. Well the good news is unlike your parents. God never says because I said so. Okay. He’s always got a why that not only is it pretty pretty legit, it is the definition of legit, like it is a real reason for why you ought to be this way. So why does the love of christ control as well? He’s basically saying here, I’m about to transition and explain to you exactly why the love of christ should control you. And the reason is really big and it completely transforms you and it will just change your life when you first understand it and it continues to change your life to one degree of of sanctification to another. As you grow in the Lord Second Corinthians 5 14, this is now like C or Part three. That one has died for all. Here’s the first reason why one has died for all. Pastor tom did an amazing job outlining the religious economy, you might say, of the Israelites last night, right? Thousands and thousands of animals were slaughtered and sacrifice for the sins of the people. But those sacrifices had no ability to permanently take away since hebrews 10 4 through seven. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when christ came into the world, he said, sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me and burnt offerings and sin offerings, you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, behold I have come to do your will O God. As it is written of me in the scroll of the book, christ is the perfect and ultimate sacrificed sacrifice offered by the perfect an ultimate priest. Did christ live a perfect life? Easy answer. Show me your awake. Did you live a perfect life? Okay, nod your head. Good. I think too often we look at his perfect life is like the perfect example. And it is I mean to be clear like it’s the perfect example but he didn’t live a perfect life to just give us a perfect example. That’s not really the point at all. It’s good for us and we can look to it that way. But he lived a perfect life so that when he got so that when the time came according to God’s will, he could offer himself as the perfect sacrifice. That’s why his life was perfect. His life was perfect so that in his body he was the perfect sacrifice and his life was perfect. So that spiritually speaking he was the perfect priest and he could then offer himself on the cross for our sins as the perfect sacrifice. That would pay the price for all sins that have ever been committed in the past that were being committed right then and there would be committed in the future. All of those got paid for in one instance because the perfect priest offered himself as the perfect sacrifice. That’s really important to understand paul is saying one died for all and that’s why his love should control us Galatians 3 13 and 14, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written cursed is everyone who hangs who is hanged on a tree so that in christ jesus, the blessings Mhm of Abraham might come to the gentiles so that we might receive the promised spirit through faith. Mhm Christ substituted himself on the cross romans 57 and eight for one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die. But God shows his love for us and that while we were still sinners, christ died for us. So as believers, this is what paul is saying. This is the reason. As believers, we are hard pressed were controlled, were occupied by the love of christ because we have concluded that christ substituted himself for us on his cross. And he did this while we were still sinners. When we think of the perfect holy sinless life of christ, our first thought should be. Thank you, jesus for becoming what none of us could become on behalf of ourselves. Remember here paul is making a case for hey, my motives are legit. Listen to me. Trust me. I’m not one of these guys that’s pushing the so called word of God for for fame or fortune or for whatever motive I might have. And so we need to be preaching the gospel and being christ’s ambassadors for the same reason because the love of christ controls us and compels us because he’s died for us. Okay, back in your bibles. Look at verse 14 here, the fourth part of Chapter 14 that we want to talk about simply says therefore all have died believers have died in christ one of the blessings. Uh, I want to be careful. So I I grew up not really going to church, went sometimes in the church. I went to did not preach the gospel well, uh, at all. Um, and so one of the blessings of that is that when I became a believer at age 17, um, that reality of dying to who I was, it’s really pretty crystal clear in my head because I was old enough to really perceive this line in the sand this moment in time. Okay. Alive to myself that died in christ like I I know that moment and many of you as I look around the room, I know enough of you well enough to know that you’ve probably grown up in a christian home and maybe you don’t have that line in the sand and maybe I haven’t quite experienced that, but that doesn’t mean that you as a believer have not died in christ and I just I mentioned that because I want you to understand that there’s a certain amount of dying to self and then living to christ for christ that that should be crystal clear in your mind. Even if it was this progression as you grew up in the word in a christian home or if you’re more like me, there was this moment where it’s like, yep, that’s it. I am, I have received christ as my savior and everything has changed. Yeah, all who believe in christ as their savior have died. Look just a little bit further down, three verses down in second Corinthians 5 17 paul says therefore if anyone is in christ, he is a new creation. So I don’t know what your journey was or if you’ve even received christ as your savior, but you are a new creation once you have and you should have that sense of like, yeah, there was the old me and now there’s the meat in christ, that’s a new creation. The old has passed away behold the new has come. Everyone who has recognized their sin have repented from their sin and have by faith in christ life, death and resurrection received God’s grace and have died and are now a new creation. And so if you’re kind of wrestling with, I don’t know if I’m a new creation man, Talk to somebody about that, Talk to someone, you trust someone that knows the word well, walk through that. Maybe that’s a, that’s a point of just learning and growth. Maybe you’re gonna realize for the first time I truly need to receive christ as my savior. I’ve never trusted him as, as the only one who can make me right with the Lord. But what does it even mean that believers have died? Um, what does that even look like? Um, what does it look like to die to self and to really be a new creation? Well you need to be born again, right, Jesus said in john 33 through seven, jesus answered him truly truly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to him, how can a man be born when he is old, Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? One of those times were like dude are you dense? But also we do that all the time. Don’t be thinking you’re smarter than this guy, jesus answered truly truly I say to you unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. So like I said for me there is a moment in time, Wow, I died to self, I was born again. I can I can I can March 31, 1999. I can tell you that some of you it’s this progression. Both stories are about God’s glory. No one’s story is better than anyone else’s. I’m just saying you need to understand if you don’t have this reality in your heart that you have died in christ and been born again, we might need to have some gospel clarity type of conversations and perhaps it’s time to receive christ for the first time. Here’s another thing you need, you need to crucify the flesh. Put the death of sinful spiritual masters that are controlling your life were really bad about this in America. There’s a book I haven’t read yet that I think is titled acceptable sins. I’m gonna look at brad brad’s, read everything on the planet respectable sins so close, so far, respectable sins in America. He knew by the way, just a little plug for brad coming. He’s one of the smartest guys. I know you guys, you guys will enjoy him and when he comes up next. But uh, respectable since in America, we’ve made so many things like, okay you can do that, that’s not that bad and I haven’t read the book but even the title convicted me, you know what I’m saying? Like wow yeah I’ve made some things respectable based on my own ideas, not based on God telling me to deny myself, kill things that would lead me astray from jesus Galatians 5 24 and those who belong to christ, jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. You’ve got to deny yourself. Matthew 16 24 and 25 then Jesus told his disciples that anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me for whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. And then you’re called to live for Christ Galatians 220 I have been crucified with Christ it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. So the love of christ compels us to live a holy life that is glorifying to God because we have died to self and we’re living for christ when we hold, when we when we truly are starting to live holy lives compelled by the love of christ two things happen. God is glorified and we enjoy him infinitely more. Remember tom Rempel last night saying one of satan’s biggest schemes that he runs with people who have received christ as their savior is to try to rob them of their joy in being saved in this life that resonated with me. I needed to hear that like I gotta have more joy as I follow christ because that’s the best way to experience this life. And it’s the best way to get prepped for the next life, which is the ultimate life that lasts forever. No matter how the world might try to go against and contradict I’m about to say God’s word shows again again that this is true to die to self and live to christ is the most joyful, happy God glorifying way to live. I’d say I believe that about 50% of the time, by the way I act, you know what I mean? Like half my day, I’m probably not thinking that way, at least to know my wife might be like that was generous. Uh you know like it’s not easy. It’s not easy guys. I’m not up here saying I gotta figure out, I’m up here saying there are deep truths that God’s word reveals for us, that you need to get better understanding and progressing in and hopefully get to where you’re better than 50%. Okay Second Corinthians 5 15, I’m going long, but you guys seem to be tracking with me, so I’m gonna keep going here, if you got, if you start fading, I’ll call it today, but as long as I’m getting eye contact with people rolling. Okay Second Corinthians 5 15 and he died for all that, those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised believers live for christ. This was a big, big paradigm shift for me that didn’t come for many years after I was saved. Um you don’t know all the details, but I just didn’t really get good discipleship early on in my walk with christ and it’s kind of on my own and and so reorienting your whole perspective on the universe doesn’t happen real fast, sometimes when you’re all by yourself and and so I, this was huge, like I’m called to live for christ, not just sort of live according to rules and regulations and laws and be super fundamental and legalistic kind of like Pastor Rempel mentioned last night, okay, um the first thing we need to do with this little passage here is make sure we get all the pronouns correct, right? There’s a lot of he’s and days and him, so let’s get that right one way, you could read this, so you understand exactly what’s going on and christ died for all that believers in christ might no longer live for themselves, but for christ who were the sake of mankind died on the cross and was raised. So this is that powerful call to die to cross to self and live for christ. And remember we’re working on why should we be compelled by the love of christ? Well it’s because we we should we should be born again, we should be dying to self romans 61 through four. What shall we say then? Are we to continue to sin? That grace may abound by no means. How can we, how can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into christ jesus were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death in order that just as christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we too might walk in newness of life. So I’ve got a few verses to kind of think about what is this newness of life. If we if everybody in the room just started living these three verses out all day, every day would be pretty amazing. We could impact the whole city in a hurry. Do everything to the glory of God. First Corinthians 10 31. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God serve the Lord and everything that you do knowing your inheritance awaits you, colossians 3 23 and 24. Whatever you do work hardly as for the Lord and not for men knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the inheritance as your award. You are serving the Lord christ One more verse that we could really cling to and it would change our lives if we just lived out these three verses do everything in the name of jesus, Giving thanks to God the Father through jesus Colossians 3 17. And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord, Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him. So the gospel is a call to repent and believe because it is through faith alone, in christ alone, that we can receive salvation. And even though we’re not trying to earn our way into heaven, the logical lifelong response to the gospel is to live a life that preaches to the world. I live for the glory of God, not because I’m trying to earn my spot in heaven, but because christ has already secured my spot for me, let’s do that one more time. That’s super important. Your life should be preaching to the world that I live for the glory of God, not because I am trying to earn my spot in heaven, but because christ has already secured my spot for me and to kind of bring this back. If that’s what your life is preaching, then your motives are pure and true. And you are compelled by the love of christ and you can be trusted. And that’s what paul is trying to stay here to the church in Corinth, listen to my instruction, take them seriously. They are from the Lord, I am compelled by the love of christ. This is the true gospel. I’m teaching you things that matter now and forever and are the ultimate most important things you can learn, trust me and it all comes back to his motives and being compelled by the love of christ. One more kind of big point and then I’ll wrap it up, You gotta clean and I’m gonna make this pretty quick. You got to cling to the past, present and future, grace in your life so that you really understand how christ’s love is working in your heart and compelling you. What I mean by that is that most of what’s unpacked here in this particular verse is about past grace. It’s about what Jesus did almost 2000 years ago on the cross. But we experienced that grace in the present, right? The sins I’ve already committed in my mind today or outwardly are forgiven in the present. The sins I’m going to commit in the future are forgiven already because of what was done 2000 years ago. But there’s also God’s just he’s just gracious enough to give us another breath to give us another heartbeat to give us what we need today in order to serve him and live for him as we’re compelled by the spirit and compelled by the love of christ God is gracious in ways that we just take for granted here in America, we are able to provide so much for ourselves, right? And so as a result we fail to see that at any moment God could make something happen that ends um your family’s ability to get a meal every day. Your family’s ability to have a shelter and a home. Those things can come and go way faster than we realize and we often take them for granted. And so if you’re really going to understand how the love of christ compels you, you’ve got to see that moment by moment, you are experiencing grace upon grace upon grace upon grace and it happened in the past, it’s happening in the present and it will happen in the future and there should be a part of us to that’s looking forward to heaven and all that. We do. If the love of crisis compelling us, I’m gonna live right now with a huge focus on being prepped and ready for that and enjoying that forever. Yeah, when we come back and just hit this again, motives determine integrity. That’s really what we’re all about. Okay, that’s what we really want to take from this. Like paul, it’s what motivates us. That proves our integrity and legitimacy as believers in christ. If it’s all about you and it’s all about your ambition, you gotta ask yourself, am I truly a believer or is jesus just sort of this little thing on the side, the ultimate self help guru that I’ve turned him into. We are at our best in this life. When the love of christ occupies us, compels us, controls us, keeps us between the guard rails. The motivating power of the love of christ can only be fully understood when you appreciate the depths of that past, present and future. Grace live in that moment by moment. See how the love of christ is compelling you couple more things. The more we learn to submit to God’s will and be controlled by the love of christ, the more God will be glorified, the more God will be glorified in our lives and the more we will enjoy God in and through whatever circumstances he brings into our lives. Remember it’s about glorifying him, it’s about enjoying him. It’s about not letting satan rob you of the joy and the freedom that comes and being a christian. And then I will just finish with this and pray for it. For us. Do your motives determine your integrity and thus compel you to be christ’s ambassadors in all that you do. Let’s pray. And then well, go on Father. We’re so thankful that your love compels us. We’re so thankful that your word uh, and versus like these just step by step unpack the deepest realities of the universe so that we can step back and say, wow lord, we should, we should worship and follow and live for you in ways that we can’t even hardly imagine. And so I pray that we would just grow deeper in that that’s something about your word today. And the love of christ compelling us and the holy spirit working in us would just um, be a fresh start or uh, the catalyst for great growth and development. And I pray that we would just embrace these things and make a difference for the gospel, for your glory here in Lincoln and in our families and in the people we know and beyond your son’s. Let me pray Amen.