Paul declares his entire Life to belong to Christ and lived for Him
2 Corinthians 5:12-15 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. KJV
Paul having wakened these Corinthian believers and us up to the absolute sureness of our One on one appointment with our Lord Jesus Christ at His Judgment Seat and the concern that should bring about to every believer to examine our lives thoroughly, he now appeals to their knowledge of his life lived before them declaring that he has no need to prove anything to them because his very life lived completely dedicated to Christ Jesus is all the proof necessary. Paul’s life was not one lived to amass wealth or to gain fame or popularity with men but it was entirely lived for Jesus Christ as he wrote to the Galatian believers these words when telling them to count any man preaching a different gospel to be an accursed man, he wrote, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). However, the false apostles that came to the Corinthian believers justified themselves to these Corinthian believers as true apostles by their appearance or prosopon meaning the appearance one presents by his wealth or property, or his rank and status in the community according to their outward circumstances or external condition.
Paul was maligned and bad mouthed by these false apostles to these Corinthian believers because he did not live an outwardly lavish lifestyle that exuded wealth and prosperity. Paul’s purposes and motivations were never to gain temporal worldly things in order to authenticate his Apostleship but instead as he declared in the beginning of this second letter his aim was and would always be, to be found pleasing to Jesus Christ our Lord, as he wrote these words to them confirming this very point, “For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you” (2 Corinthians 1:12). Paul’s focus, attention, and concern was never only what was evident in his outward life but he was always analyzing, scrutinizing, and examining his inner man or his conscience, so that he would be found well-pleasing to Christ Jesus our Lord who made the inside as well as the outside (Luke 11:37-40). Paul was not a perfect man and never in any of his epistles or letters put forth or gave the impression that he was, as he has declared himself with these words to brother Timothy, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Paul here writes of himself saying “I am” and this verb “am” is a first person singular present indicative meaning he speaks of himself being as such in the present tense as an objective fact, even at the time of the penning of this letter and not declaring this condition to be only in the past, although he is a new creation in Christ Jesus our Lord and will never be dominated or held in dominion by his old nature again. Paul was so much more concerned with his inner man or conscience or the real Paul that he wrote this when he was being held prisoner and standing before Governor Felix presenting his case, “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16). Paul’s life was lived to please Christ Jesus (understanding His terror) and that is why he warned men because he was always conscience of the judgment to come for all men, unlike the false apostles who were more concerned with outward appearances. Therefore, Paul declares that if he is regarded as someone who appears to be insane or unstable mentally, then it is for the will of God because God understands Paul completely because it is God who works in Paul and all true believers to accomplish His Will (Philippians 2:13).
It is also a fact that Paul, these Corinthian believers, and us are strangers and aliens in this world now as Christ Jesus our Lord has made us according to the great love for which He loves us and Paul declares that it is Christ love for him that constraineth or sunecho meaning holds him together and compels him to be steadfast in his occupation of doing the will of God from the heart living his entire life for Jesus Christ because of that love that necessitates him to live a life well pleasing to our Lord as he anticipates that One on one appointment. It is Christ death on the Cross that is pleasing to God the Father satisfying the penalty of every man’s sin against Him and it is only and purely through us believing in our hearts (Romans 10:9-10) that Christ death was for us that Paul, the Corinthian believers, and us can be resurrected from our spiritual death and spend eternity in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ avoiding eternal death. Finally, Paul’s conclusion to all of this is simple and that is that since Christ loved us so much by dying in our place and loves us so much by living in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, then there is but one and only logical conclusion and that is for us to live the remainder of our earthly life or sojourn responding to His Love for us and to us with our reciprocal love to Him and for Him with our lives every day as it is written here by the Apostle John with these words, “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:4-6).
“It was of small importance in Paul’s eyes what his critics thought of him. He desired only to please his supreme Lord, whether he lived or died, was considered cold and staid or hot and impassioned. He was overmastered by his love of Christ. This may have been the sense of Christ’s love to his unworthy self, or the emotion that burned in his soul toward Christ, or the very love of Christ received into his heart, as a tiny creek on the shore receives the pulse of the ocean tide.” F. B. Meyer
“Paul’s life was one of constant spiritual warfare, persecution, trials, and test, yet it was his ever present awareness of Christ love for him that moved him through every battle zone in victory as he fervently wanted to live a life well pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ always examining the condition of his inner man or conscience anticipating his appearance before Christ Judgment Seat.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…