If Any Man Be In Christ
Sermon shared by Jerry Shirley
Summary: We may age and get old on the outside, but we can grow ever younger and more alive on the inside...if we are IN CHRIST! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Audience: General adults
For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart [2Cor. 5:12].
In other words, we're not trying to win a popularity contest, but to tell the truth. If we do say that, we are not commending ourselves. I am always afraid of the soft-soap type of thing we hear today. There is so much today that goes the way of psychology, how to become a well-adjusted human being. May I say to you that if you are without Christ, it is not a psychological adjustment that you need. You are a hell-doomed sinner, and you are on the way to hell. What you need is Christ!
It may not make me popular to say this to you, but it is the Word of God. We don't commend ourselves to you. We don't want you to glory in us. The important thing for us to do is to declare the whole counsel of God. Our motivation to get out the Word of God is a recognition of God's judgment. That is the thing that would arouse many a sleepy church member today.
Missionaries come and tell about the needs out yonder. May I say that there is a real need in this land of ours. The United States is one of the greatest mission fields today. People in our land are on the way to hell. You rub shoulders with them every day.
For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause [2Cor. 5:13].
Paul says that the people may think he is crazy. That is all right. He is doing this for God. Or some people may think he is sober -- well, it is for their sakes that he is sober.
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again [2Cor. 5:14-15].
"Constraineth us" is a phrase that has been misunderstood. The thought has been that the love of Christ restricts us or straps us down. That is not the meaning of the word that Paul is using here. He says it is the love of Christ that is pushing us out. It is the love of Christ that is motivating us. It is the love of Christ that causes us to give out the Word of God. The love of Christ constrains us.
"Because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead." It was this that sent Paul out to the ends of the earth with the message of the gospel. Mankind is under the sentence of death. When Adam was in the Garden of Eden, he was our
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