Let’s read 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of Christ compels us; because we judge thus, that if One died for all, then 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 rose again” (NKJV). In these precious verses we have Paul revealing the force behind his devotion to Christ. In a word, he was energized by “the love of Christ,” the love that led Christ to take his place on the cross where He died so that sinners might live.

In verse 14 we read, “…if One died for all, then all died.” What does this mean? The word “all” is referring to “all men.” The moment Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, his act of disobedience plunged the whole human race into a place of condemnation and “spiritual death.” Every one born into this world is born, according to Ephesians 2:1, “dead in trespasses and sins.” “Dead”, as used here, means “separation”; our sins separate us from a holy and righteous God. But Christ “died for all.” He was willing to come into this world to rescue us from spiritual death and the only way He could do this was to take the punishment our sins deserved. Romans 6:23 declares, “The wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Christ, in love for you and me, went down into the place of death to set us free from the penalty of sin and to offer us the gift of eternal life.

Verse 15 tells us again that “He died for all,” but then it goes on to say, “that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” Who are “those who live?” It refers to those who have put their trust in Christ and WHO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. Scripture is crystal-clear that God offers eternal life to “all men” through the death of Christ, but it is conditioned upon faith in Christ. Consider Romans 3:22 which reads, “Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe” (NKJV). God’s salvation is offered “to all,” but it’s only effective “on all who believe.” Have you ever seen yourself as a sinner, dead in trespasses and sins? If you have, then you can put your faith in Jesus Christ as the One who died for YOU, and the moment you believe on Christ you will receive the gift of eternal life. John 5:24 assures the believer, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed from death unto life.” Because you believe, you will no longer be “spiritually dead,” for you will have “passed from death unto life.” In possessing eternal life you will be in the glorious company of “those who live.” Then, and only then, will the love of Christ compel you to no longer live here on earth to please yourself, but to live for Him Who died for you and rose again! (158.7) (DO)