Living and Serving according to
God’s Economy concerning the Church –Week 7
The Pattern of the Apostle Paul
2 Cor. 5:14-15
14 For the love of Christ constrains us because we have judged this, that One died for all, therefore all died;
15 And He died for all that those who live may no longer live to themselves but to Him who died for them and has been raised.
2 Cor. 5:17, 20
17 So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new.
20 On behalf of Christ then we are ambassadors, as God entreats you through us; we beseech you on behalf of Christ, Be reconciled to God.
6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held, so that we serve in newness of spirit and not in oldness of letter.
4 That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
24 But they who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and its lusts.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
The apostle Paul was an ambassador of Christ. An ambassador is one who represents the highest authority…The highest authority in this universe is God, and God has given all authority in heaven and on earth to Christ (Matt. 28:18). God has appointed Christ to be the King of kings and the Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14). Today Jesus is the Christ, the Lord of all, the highest authority. For this highest authority there is the need of some ambassadors on this earth who are qualified to represent Him. The Lord’s ministry is not a matter of merely being a preacher or a teacher but of being one who is authorized with the heavenly authority, representing the highest authority in the whole universe. (CWWL, 1967, vol. 2, “An Autobiography of a Person in the Spirit,” p. 171)
As an ambassador of Christ, Paul realized that whatever was within him, whatever he was, and whatever he had was mortal (2 Cor. 5:4)…Our wisdom is mortal, and our ability is mortal. Whatever we can do,…we are, and…we have is going to die. This is why we should not have any trust in what we are…We are mortal beings, but God has wrought into us something which is eternal, something which will never die, something which will last forever. Because we have received the Lord Jesus and He lives in us, we possess His eternal divinity. Eventually,…mortality will be swallowed up by the divine life [v. 4].
Since I realize that I have Christ as the eternal life within me, I have to endeavor with an ambition to please Him all the time (v. 9). If we are going to be an ambassador of Christ, there must be one day in this whole universe in which we make a decision, calling the heavens and the earth to be the witnesses, that we are now absolutely for Christ, that we have only one ambition—to please Christ. God has wrought Himself as the eternal life into us so that we should not live by ourselves but by this life. Now we have to be ambitious to please Him.
Paul was a person who lived to the Lord (v. 15). Another item which equips us to be the ambassadors of Christ is the constraining love of Christ. We must be persons carried away by the love of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 Paul tells us that the dying love of Christ is like the rushing of great waters toward us, impelling us to live to Him beyond our own control. To be constrained is similar to being carried away by a tide of water. The love of Christ is as strong as a tide of water which overcomes us and carries us away. We need to be flooded by the love of Christ. We need to be constrained by His love so that we have no choice. We should be able to say, “I have no other way to go. I have to love the Lord because His love has constrained me. What can I do?”…We all have to be constrained by the love of Christ in such a way.
I must confess that I have prayed day by day for years that the Lord would show me His love so that I could be constrained by the love of Christ. I prayed in this way: “Lord, constrain me with Your love. O Lord, flood me with Your love.”…The young saints among us need to realize that although they love the Lord today, they are still at the crossroads of their Christian experience. There are many directions for them to choose, to take. They may have many choices, but once they are flooded by the love of Christ, they lose all the choices.
A person who is an ambassador of Christ…does not know people according to the flesh but according to Christ in the spirit. You should never consider anything or try to know a person by the outward appearance according to the flesh but always according to Christ in the spirit. (CWWL, 1967, vol. 2, “An Autobiography of a Person in the Spirit,” pp. 172-174)
Further Reading: CWWL, 1967, vol. 2, “An Autobiography of a Person in the Spirit,” ch. 6; Life-study of 2 Corinthians, msgs. 13-14, 25, 29
Truth Pursuit of Romans
© Living Stream Ministry, 2023, used by permission