We're making big changes. Please try out the beta site at beta.ccel.org and send us feedback. Thank you!
« Prev 2 Corinthians 5:15 Next »

THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 5 - Verse 15

Verse 15. And that he died for all, etc. This verse is designed still farther to explain the reasons of the conduct of the apostle. He had not lived for himself. He had not lived to amass wealth, or to enjoy pleasure, or to obtain a reputation. He had lived a life of self-denial and of toil; and he here states the reason why he had done it. It was because he felt that the great purpose of the death of the Redeemer was to secure this result. To that Saviour, therefore, who died for all, he consecrated his talents and his time, and sought in every way possible to promote his glory.

That they which live. They who are true Christians; who are made alive unto God as the result of the dying love of the Redeemer. Sinners are dead in sins. Christians are alive to the worth of the soul, the presence of God, the importance of religion, the solemnities of eternity; i.e., they act and feel as if these things had a real existence, and as if they should exert a constant influence upon the heart and life. It is observable that Paul makes a distinction here between those for whom Christ died and those who actually "live;" thus demonstrating that there may be many for whom he died who do not live to God, or who are not savingly benefited by his death. The atonement was for all, but only apart are actually made alive to God, Multitudes reject it; but the fact that he died for all, that he tasted death for every man, that he not only died for the elect but for all others, that his benevolence was so great as to embrace the whole human family in the design of his death, is a reason why they who are actually made alive to God should consecrate themselves entirely to his service. The fact that he died for all erinted such unbounded and infinite benevolence, that it should induce us who are actually benefited by his death, and who have any just views of it, to devote all that we have to his service.

Should not henceforth live unto themselves. Should not seek our own ease and pleasure; should not make it our great object to promote our own interest; but should make it the grand purpose of our lives to promote his honour, and to advance his cause. This is a vital principle in religion; and it is exceedingly important to know what is meant by living to ourselves, and whether we do it. It is done in the following, and perhaps in some other ways:

(1.) When men seek pleasure, gain, or reputation, as the controlling principle of their lives.

(2.) When they are regardless of the rights of others, and sacrifice all the claims which others have on them in order to secure the advancement of their own purposes and ends.

(3.) When they are regardless of the wants of others, and turn a deaf ear to all the appeals which charity makes to them, and have no time to give to serve them, and no money to spare to alleviate their wants; and especially when they turn a deaf ear to the appeals which are made for the diffusion of the gospel to the benighted and perishing.

(4.) When their main purpose is the aggrandizement of their own families —for their families are but a diffusion of self. And

(5.) when they seek their own salvation only from selfish motives, and not from a desire to honour God. Multitudes are selfish even in their religion; and the main purpose which they have in view is to promote their own objects, and not the honour of the Master whom they profess to serve. They seek and profess religion only because they desire to escape from wrath, and to obtain the happiness of heaven, and not from any love to the Redeemer, or any desire to honour him. Or they seek to build up the interests of their own church and party, and all their zeal is expended on that, and that alone, without any real desire to honour the Saviour. Or though in the church, they are still selfish and live wholly to themselves. They live for fashion, for gain, for reputation. They practise no self-denial; they make no effort to advance the cause of God the Saviour.

But unto him, etc. Unto the Lord Jesus Christ. To live to him is the opposite to living unto ourselves. It is to seek his honour; to feel that we belong to him; that all our time and talents—all our strength of intellect and body—all the avails of our skill and toil—all belong to him, and should be employed in his service. If we have talents by which we can influence other minds, they should be employed to honour the Saviour. If we have skill, or strength to labour, by which we can make money, we should feel that it all belongs to him, and should be employed in his service. If we have property, we should feel that it is his, and that he has a claim upon it all, and that it should be honestly consecrated to his cause. And if we are endowed with a spirit of enterprise, and are fitted by nature to encounter perils in distant and barbarous climes, as Paul was, we should feel like him that we are bound to devote all entirely to his service, and to the promotion of his cause. A servant, a slave, does not live to himself, but to his master. His person, his time, his limbs, his talents, and the avails of his industry are not regarded as his own. He is judged incapable of holding any property which is not at the disposal of his master. If he has strength, it is his master's. If he has skill, the avails of it are his master's. If he is an ingenious mechanic, or labours in any department; if he is amiable, kind, gentle, and faithful, and adapted to be useful in an eminent degree, it is regarded as all the property of his master. He is bound to go where his master chooses; to execute the task which he assigns; to deny himself at his master's will; and to come and lay the avails of all his toil and skill at his master's feet. He is regarded as having been purchased with money; and the purchase-money is supposed to give a right to his time, his talents, his services, and his soul. Such as the slave is supposed to become by purchase, and by the operation of human laws, the Christian becomes by the purchase of the Son of God, and by the voluntary recognition of him as the Master, and as having a right to all that we have and are. To him all belongs; and all should be employed in endeavouring to promote his glory, and in advancing his cause.

Which died for them, and rose again. Paul here states the grounds of the obligation under which he felt himself placed, to live not unto himself but unto Christ.

(1.) The first is, the fact that Christ had died for him, and for all his people. The effect of that death was the same as a purchase. It was a purchase. See Barnes "1 Co 6:20"

See Barnes "1 Co 7:23".

Comp. 1 Pe 1:18,19.

(2.) The second is, that he had risen again from the dead. To this fact Paul traced all his hopes of eternal life, and of the resurrection from the dead. See Ro 4:25. As we have the hope of the resurrection from the dead only from the fact that he rose; as he has "brought life and immortality to light," and hath in this way "abolished death," (2 Ti 1:10;) as all the prospect of entering a world where there is no death and no grave is to be traced to the resurrection of the Saviour, so we are bound by every obligation of gratitude to devote ourselves without any reserve to him. To him, and him alone, should we live; and in his cause our lives should be, as Paul's was, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in his sight.

{a} "that they which" Ro 14:7-9; 1 Co 6:19,20

« Prev 2 Corinthians 5:15 Next »



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |