2 Corinthians 5:15
And that he died for all, that they which live should not from now on live to themselves, but to him which died for them…
As a new creature (ver. 17), he who is in Christ takes a new view of almost all the objects by which he is surrounded. The eyes of his understanding being enlightened, he sees them in new light, and that a true light. He gets a new view of sin, of Christ, of time, of this world, of himself, and, lastly, of his fellow-men. Henceforth he knows no man after the flesh.
I. WE SEE THE WORTH OF OUR OWN SOULS, AND THAT THE SOULS OF OTHERS ARE OF EQUAL WORTH. The father realises that his children have souls, which, like his own, will exist for ever. The mother, as she rocks her infant to rest on her bosom, knows that the heart which has begun to beat in that little frame will not find rest till it is laid on the breast of Jesus. We are not surrounded by the mere creatures of a day, but by responsible and undying men, whose souls shalt exist as long as God Himself.
II. WE SEE THAT AS BY NATURE WE ARE UNDER THE SENTENCE OF CONDEMNATION, SO OTHERS ARE UNDER THE SAME SENTENCE. When is it that we think most of an earthly friend, and are most deeply interested in his welfare? Is it when he is known to be in safety, or is it not rather when he is in peril? When is it that the wife thinks most of the husband, and the sister feels the deepest interest in the brother? Is it not when laid on a bed of distress, or when fighting with the billows of death? It was to seek and save that which was lost that Christ left the bosom of the Father and came to this cold world, and died amidst the agonies of the Cross. Those who have the same mind in them which was also in Christ Jesus will hasten to be fellow-workers with Him in saving souls from death.
III. AS HAVING ATTAINED THE ENJOYMENT OF CHRIST'S PEACE, WE SEEK THAT OTHERS MAY SHARE IT WITH US. As long as we were without Christ and Christ's peace, we did not know the value of them, and so could not be expected heartily to recommend them to others. But when we have "tasted that the Lord is good," then we can enlarge upon our own experience, and we feel that if we were but the instruments of communicating that peace to others, we would be conveying a greater amount of good than by the largest temporal benefits.
IV. WHEN WE LOVE CHRIST OURSELVES, THEN OUR HEARTS ARE DRAWN TOWARDS THOSE WHO, LIKE US, LOVE THE LORD JESUS. Man is, in his very nature, a social being. It is this principle abused which congregates the wicked. It is the same attraction, now sanctified, which brings together the children of God. And how often has it happened that, when holding sacred converse with one another, Jesus Himself has joined us, as He did the two disciples on the road to Emmaus?
V. THESE VIEWS AND MOTIVES WILL IMPEL THOSE WHO ARE SWAYED BY THEM TO DO GOOD AS GOD MAY GIVE THEE OPPORTUNITY. All genuine religion begins within, but while it begins within, it does not end there; it begins within only as all streams commence in some mountain where are their heaven-fed fountains; but it flows out like the stream, and carries with it a refreshing and fertilising influence. Watering, in this way, the objects immediately around them, Christian faith and zeal will flow towards more distant objects, towards the world at large. The prayer will be that, beginning at Jerusalem — that is, at home — the gospel be preached to every creature. Conclusion: From this survey we see —
1. What is the grand function of the organised Church; it is to proclaim the way, sustain the truth, and propagate the life.
2. The grand aim of Church ordinances. We are to secure, in regard to them, that they be in thorough accordance with the Word of God, and that they be employed to edify the Church, and not for the purpose of gratifying the senses or stimulating the imagination.
3. What is the style of preaching most fitted to advance the kingdom of God? It is preaching founded on Scripture, that speaks of Christ, and speaks to all — to rich and poor, to rich and barbarian, to old and young. It is a great evil in our community, the separation of rich and poor, especially in our great cities. But it is vastly greater when it is permitted to enter the house of God, which is meant to counteract and soften the severances of the world.
(J. McCosh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.