(2 Corinthians 5:13-15)
The concept of these couple scriptures saying that the love of Christ controls us is both fascinating and powerful.
One of the basic desires people have is the desire to be in control. You hear it in everyday conversations as well as in the media. People talk about things getting out of control, wanting to get things under control and so on. Media commentators, and in particular the political opposition parties speak about how the government is out of control, politicians out of control, situations spiraling out of control and so on.
Having control and being in control is a big thing for people, which is why this particular scripture is so fascinating because it points to the need for us to relinquish control and to be controlled by someone else. Specifically, to be under the control of the love of Christ.
Out of Control
This world as we know it is out of control. No man is in control of the things of this world and no man can truly control the things going on in this world.
Even within a person’s own life and sphere of influence, control is tenuous at best and uncontrollable at worst. We live in a world that lacks control.
If you watch the news or current affairs programs on any night of the week, you will almost always see someone complaining about how the government or some agency or arm of the government, should “do something” about a situation. Whether it is law and order, traffic control, discrimination, terrorism, the devaluation of the currency, high fuel and commodity prices, foreign ownership, family violence, abortion, gangs, profiteering by big business, or any other topic you can think of, there will be someone saying, “The government needs to fix this!”
What they are really saying is that some situation is out of control and needs to be brought under control.
But can these things be brought under control in a real and lasting way? Can control be brought back so that people are not taking advantage of or suffering due to these and other out of control situations?
In short, the answer is…No, they cannot. And I will explain why they cannot be brought effectively under control in the systems that operate in this world.
Ruler Of This World
The first thing we must remember is that what we see in the physical world around us is not all that exists. There is also an invisible spiritual realm, and the true power that guides this world comes from the spiritual realm.
Now, the problem is that in the spiritual realm there are two opposing forces: Good and Evil. On the good side of the equation, we have God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the forces of good who are with them. Opposing them are the devil or Satan and his hordes of demons.
Knowing this, and knowing that the true power in this world is ruled by and guided from the spiritual realm, we must understand where the control of the world is coming from. Is the ruler of this world from the side of the Good or from the side of the Evil in the spiritual realm?
The bad news is that it is the Evil side of the spiritual realm who rule this world. It is the devil, Satan himself, who is the ruler of this world, and this explains why the world is in turmoil. It is the reason why the world as we know it is full of evil and is out of control. Consider the following scriptures as evidence of the power the devil has over this world.
Jesus actually referred to the devil in a few scriptures as being, “The ruler of this world,” as in the following verse.
30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. (John 14:30-31)
We see also when Jesus was led up into the wilderness and fasted forty days and forty nights, the devil tempted Christ in many ways. One of those temptations was to tempt Jesus with the power, authority, wealth and riches of this world as we see here.
5 And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'” (Luke 4:5-8)
All of the kingdoms with their power, authority, and riches have been delivered into the hands of Satan, and note that he said, “…I give it to whom I will.” And how can a person gain access to the riches and glories of this world? The devil said to Jesus that it would all be given to Christ if He would worship Satan.
The devil offers rewards those who choose to reject God and worship the devil instead. But the offers come with a catch. They are offers that bind and are temporary. They do not offer freedom or eternity. They are not offers of peace and those who seek what Satan has to offer are not satisfied but are driven by greed, lust for more power, hedonism, and so on to want more and take more, often at the expense of their fellow man.
To worship Satan to get the things of this world is not a good thing and leads ultimately to death and destruction. And I am not talking about those devil worshippers who dance half naked around fires, wearing horns and carrying on with blood sacrifices as they are often portrayed in books, film and the media. Any person who does not follow God and seek His ways through faith is, in fact, a devil worshipper. As Jesus said,
“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
There is no grey area when it comes to who we worship. Jesus made it quite clear. Every person is either with Jesus or against him. And if a person is against Christ, then that person is a worshipper of the devil and is under the control of the devil.
But it does not have to remain that way, for God has given mankind the ability to choose his master. We can choose to reject Satan and all he stands for and choose to follow Christ.
The Love Of Christ Controls Us
When a person chooses to reject Satan and to seek the ways of God, a process is begun. The walk towards righteousness commences as that person repents and turns to Christ to learn how to walk in the ways of God.
As they walk they learn about grace, forgiveness, faith, compassion, mercy, and love. And in learning these things they learn about the nature of God.
But God through Jesus Christ has gone even further. Not only can we learn about the nature of God, but by the working of the Holy Spirit in us, we are able to be transformed into the nature of God. We are able to have God’s nature implanted into us so that we are not tossed to and fro by the wiles of this world.
The nature of God is the nature of love for God is love. And when we understand the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in us, we can see how the love of Christ controls us. Recall the scripture that says:
”…hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
When God’s love has been poured into our hearts through receiving the Holy Spirit, and when we are walking in the Spirit daily and walking in love with the Lord, we are truly being led by the love of God and the love of Christ controls us. We are no longer following the evil ways of this world, but we reject all evil and seek the things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. We do not fear what may happen in this world because we know that even though the devil may be the ruler of this world, it is God who is in control of the final outcome and it is His plans that will come to fruition, not the evil designs of the devil.
So let the love of Christ control you and seek the ways of God. Seek the working of the Holy Spirit and receive the Holy Spirit so that the love of God will be liberally poured into your heart enabling you to walk in the ways of God.
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