2 Corinthians 5:14

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2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby Aaron » Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:05 pm

Does any one have any experience with the first part of the verse? The love of Christ controls, compels, constrains us? I am catching glimpses of this in my time alone with God that this should be at least part of what makes up my motivation for serving and being obedient to him and it seems to be a powerful, consuming, controlling, joyful thing. Has anyone else had experiences with God when reading his word or in spending time with him about this idea of being controlled or compelled by his love for us?
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else" - C.S. Lewis
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby Jesus Raves » Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:34 pm

TWO CORINTHIANS! TWO CORINTHIANS!

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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:56 am

Does love really seem like a controlling thing to you?

Of course, love is certainly capable of dictating your actions. You can do things out of love. But what I am having a hard time understanding is this feeling that love is controlling force. I have certainly encountered in stories and films where people are controlling and claim it is motivated by love, but I have a hard time crediting this. That doesn't seem like love to me at all. Doing things out of love would be choosing to do them not being forced or made to do them.

I suppose I can understand how someone might think or feel something like this. One of the things love motivates us to do is make commitments. Then I can understand that being true to such a commitment can require discipline and forcing yourself to do things. But it really isn't right to say that love is forcing you to do anything in that case. A commitment is simply a long term choice. So in holding true to a commitment the only one controlling you is you yourself.
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby kuwano » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:51 pm

Aaron wrote:Does any one have any experience with the first part of the verse? The love of Christ controls, compels, constrains us? I am catching glimpses of this in my time alone with God that this should be at least part of what makes up my motivation for serving and being obedient to him and it seems to be a powerful, consuming, controlling, joyful thing. Has anyone else had experiences with God when reading his word or in spending time with him about this idea of being controlled or compelled by his love for us?


Hi Aaron - yeah I know what you mean. For me it comes and goes - generally there is a sense of God's presence as I read the word and pray or in a Church service. But there are times when the sense of God's presence and Christ's love becomes so intense that I agree you can only really describe it as something that controls, compels us and constrains us. Not in an oppressive way but just being overwhelmed by his love and care and knowing the only real response to such love is to want to love like that too - all be it in a very imperfect way.

For me, these times are often when he is preparing me for something new in my life, or when I've come through a difficult time, but sometimes its just out of nowhere. I remember one time I was just attending a service as normal and the sermon was on Mark 10 about Jesus servanthood - the sermon was not anything out of the ordinary but it just overwhelmed me how humble Jesus is and how proud I am. His love compelled me to want to be different - sadly I'm not that much different but sometimes we need those wake up moments.

I think DL Moody once described just walking down the road one day he was so overwhelmed with the presence of God that he asked him to stop because it was just too much. I can't say I've had that experience but there are times when I've tasted at least a little of that.
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:25 pm

What kuwano says makes me wonder if this experience is a matter of different drives being at war within you. When the good forces (such as your experience with God's love) wins then it goes against the forces of habit and sinful desire. In this case, it might seem like the good forces are controlling you. Certainly your old/sinful self will see things that way. So I guess what I am saying is that this perception of the sinful self is actually wrong. It is really sin that binds and controls while it is the love of God which sets us free.
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby Stacie Cook » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:39 am

As I am reading this verse and surrounding verses, is it implying that the love of Christ becomes instinctual for us? Is it talking somewhat about how we will be in heaven? The first part of this chapter is talking about heaven.
As kuwano mentioned, I have experienced this when making a major decision and knowing it is what God wants me to do.
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby kuwano » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:35 pm

Yeah I agree Mitch explains it well - that when we really taste the glory of God we see Christ as he is and want to live out the freedom that is only in him. For example, when I first became a believer when my eyes were opened - Christ was so real the only natural thing to do was to turn to him and live for him. In the same way when my children were born I couldn't do anything but love them and want to give my all for them. Its the natural freedom and joy of seeing life as it really is and what we were called to be and not distracted into other paths where we think life and joy can be found but where there is only death and despair.

I agree with Stacie too that ultimately this is part of the eternal life (John 17:3) - of knowing the Father and Christ who he has sent - which we know now in part but will fully know in the new heaven and new earth.
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby Aaron » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:29 am

kuwano wrote:Hi Aaron - yeah I know what you mean. For me it comes and goes - generally there is a sense of God's presence as I read the word and pray or in a Church service. But there are times when the sense of God's presence and Christ's love becomes so intense that I agree you can only really describe it as something that controls, compels us and constrains us. Not in an oppressive way but just being overwhelmed by his love and care and knowing the only real response to such love is to want to love like that too - all be it in a very imperfect way.

For me, these times are often when he is preparing me for something new in my life, or when I've come through a difficult time, but sometimes its just out of nowhere. I remember one time I was just attending a service as normal and the sermon was on Mark 10 about Jesus servanthood - the sermon was not anything out of the ordinary but it just overwhelmed me how humble Jesus is and how proud I am. His love compelled me to want to be different - sadly I'm not that much different but sometimes we need those wake up moments.

Yes, exactly. I was sitting in church last Sunday and the pastor mentioned Easter coming up toward the end of his sermon and I started day dreaming and got this scene in my mind of Jesus hanging on the cross and then this soldier who was dressed as I imagine a Roman soldier to be then, but he was from the future and knew what Jesus was doing on that cross and the soldier ignoring everyone else around went before Jesus and kneeled before his King dying on the cross for his sin to save him and I was overcome by that image. God wins people over with his love, God wins the absolute surrender, allegiance, devotion of his children not by some incredible feat of power, but by becoming a human baby and a servant and died on the cross for his people to save them from their sins. It seems so paradoxical to gain all authority and all power by doing what Jesus did, yet when I catch a glimpse of it the rebelliousness of my flesh, the stubborn disobedience in my heart cannot stand in the presence of his unfailing, inconceivable love, it is as though like Mitch says I am set free from myself and I can fully jump into that wonderful, beautiful love. I am his.

And I was thinking that my service to him here on this earth ought to be motivated out of this love, not from a feeling of duty, but out of the overflowing of his love and I wondered what others thought of that.
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else" - C.S. Lewis
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby Aaron » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:40 am

mitchellmckain wrote:What kuwano says makes me wonder if this experience is a matter of different drives being at war within you. When the good forces (such as your experience with God's love) wins then it goes against the forces of habit and sinful desire. In this case, it might seem like the good forces are controlling you. Certainly your old/sinful self will see things that way. So I guess what I am saying is that this perception of the sinful self is actually wrong. It is really sin that binds and controls while it is the love of God which sets us free.

Yes, I agree, this is what I was trying to say.
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else" - C.S. Lewis
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby Aaron » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:44 am

Stacie Cook wrote:As I am reading this verse and surrounding verses, is it implying that the love of Christ becomes instinctual for us? Is it talking somewhat about how we will be in heaven? The first part of this chapter is talking about heaven.
As kuwano mentioned, I have experienced this when making a major decision and knowing it is what God wants me to do.

I imagine it to be fully realized in heaven, though as I said I wonder if it could also be something which motivates us and compels and constrains (I like this word, it is as though we only choose to focus and spend time on the things in life which are profitable for God's kingdom, kind of like how a parent is constrained by their children, they don't just go out and do whatever they want) us here on earth now.
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else" - C.S. Lewis
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby mitchellmckain » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:29 pm

So why is it that evil/sin enslaves while good/God liberates us? Why isn't it just a choice between which controls you? It is because at its root, evil/sin represents the forces of destruction and good/God represents the forces of creation. Destruction has only one ultimate destination in nothingness -- the future it points us towards is one of increasingly narrower prospects. Creation, on the other hand, is an infinite horizon which can go anywhere. Evil and the self-destructive habits of sin tear us down and makes us less than we were, while good builds us up and makes us more. Not only do bad habits diminish our potential and awareness, but they actually reduce and damage our free will. The aim of God and the good habits which He encourages increase our potential, expand our awareness, and adds to our choices and freedom of will. This really is a choice between life and death.

For this reason I like to contrast these two images.

1. Surrounded by darkness there is one source of light above you in Christ.
2. On and infinite plain there is bright light in all directions, but at your feet there are dark cracks in the ground which you must avoid.

The first is the image which much of Christianity tends to paint, with evil in all directions except for one. In such a view it is difficult to see where the freedom is. I am not saying this image is entirely wrong. It is accurate until you climb out of the darkness and see the bigger picture.
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Re: 2 Corinthians 5:14

Postby Aaron » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:47 am

mitchellmckain wrote:So why is it that evil/sin enslaves while good/God liberates us? Why isn't it just a choice between which controls you? It is because at its root, evil/sin represents the forces of destruction and good/God represents the forces of creation. Destruction has only one ultimate destination in nothingness -- the future it points us towards is one of increasingly narrower prospects. Creation, on the other hand, is an infinite horizon which can go anywhere. Evil and the self-destructive habits of sin tear us down and makes us less than we were, while good builds us up and makes us more. Not only do bad habits diminish our potential and awareness, but they actually reduce and damage our free will. The aim of God and the good habits which He encourages increase our potential, expand our awareness, and adds to our choices and freedom of will. This really is a choice between life and death.

For this reason I like to contrast these two images.

1. Surrounded by darkness there is one source of light above you in Christ.
2. On and infinite plain there is bright light in all directions, but at your feet there are dark cracks in the ground which you must avoid.

The first is the image which much of Christianity tends to paint, with evil in all directions except for one. In such a view it is difficult to see where the freedom is. I am not saying this image is entirely wrong. It is accurate until you climb out of the darkness and see the bigger picture.

Yep. The darkness has the quality of being deceptive -- just think of the ramifications of that alone.
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else" - C.S. Lewis
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