Summary: In this passage Paul emphasizes what should motivate us. We should have right motives for the right message.
INTRODUCTION: What motivates you to service? In this passage Paul emphasizes what should motivate us. We should have right motives for the right message.
I. The Fear of the Lord (v.9-13)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The fear of the Lord should:
A. Direct our aim (9): “Our goal is to please Him.” The wording here means to be lovingly, zealously, devotedly and ambitiously committed to pleasing the Lord.
B. Remind us of our accountability (10): Don’t confuse the judgment seat of Christ for the saved with the great white throne judgment for the lost. We will all give an account of our service as Christians. This will be a place for rewards, recognition, rejoicing and reckoning. God will judge both the saved and lost. As Christians, we should strive to live a life pleasing to Him. That won’t always please those around you. Many will even criticize you or conclude you are out of your mind. Wanting to give a good account is a worthy motive for service. Fear the Lord.
II. The Love of the Lord (v.14-17)
A. Constrains (14-16): “Constrain” = compels, a firm hold that controls. Paul was motivated by both the range and the reason of Christ’s love. He died for all that we might have abundant, eternal life.
B. Creates (17): We are a “new creation”. All sins are forgiven. The “old creation” (archaic) is passing away. We are being transformed to be more like Christ.
III. The Commission of the Lord (v.18-21)
God requires two things of His children. He requires that they be:
A. Administrators (18-19): We are to administer our ministry (18) and His message (19). Now that He has reconciled us to Himself (to bring back together that which has been estranged or separated) we are to help others discover that same experience. God has taken our sins and put them on Christ as if He was the one who committed them and taken Christ’s righteousness and put it on us as if we had never sinned. That’s our ministry and message to the lost world. If they will trust Him He will do the same for them.
B. Ambassadors (20-21): An ambassador is one who carries the terms of peace to another. His responsibility is to simply convey the message. He does not settle down in a foreign land. His job is to beseech (encourage) and implore (plead) for peace. What is our message? See v.21.
CONCLUSION: Let these three things motivate us even as they motivated the apostle.