USAC CONVOCATION BIBLE STUDY LESSON
Thursday, July 30, 2015
2 Corinthians 5:11-16
3. (5:13) Minister: the glory of God and needs of the people compel the minister. One of the charges
against Paul was that he was beside himself (exestemen), that he was mad, insane, out of his mind. It
means to act in an extreme, abnormally, unlike what others act. Paul was charged with being a fool for
Note that he accepts the charge as true. But he says it is true for two reasons:
1. Paul was a fool for God’s glory.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is
in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s
(1 Corinthians 6:20).
“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of
our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:12).
“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability
which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion
for ever and ever” (1 Peter 4:11).
2. Paul was a fool for the sake of the people—to meet their needs.
“For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the
flesh” (Romans 9:3).
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved”
“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to men, that I might by
all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain”
(1 Corinthians 9:24).
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are
behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Philippians 3:13).
“Wherefore I put in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of
hands” (2Timothy 1:16).
“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34).
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can
work” (John 9:4).
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good,
and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
4. (5:14-16) Christ, Love of; Death—Minister, Justification: the love of Christ compels the minister.
The word “constrain” (sunechei) means to press, to hold together, to hold fast. The love of Christ presses,
compels, and stirs Paul to hold fast to the ministry. The love of Christ is the great thing that constrains Paul
to minister. Note that Paul does not say he is driven to minister because of…
the great teaching of Christ
the great example of Christ
the great ministry of Christ
the great life of Christ
All of these areas of the Lord’s life are important, critically so, but they are not the foundation of our salvation
and ministry. The foundation of the believer’s life is the love of Christ.
The love of Christ is seen in three acts.
1. Christ died that all persons might die in Him. In the Greek this verse says:
2. “One died for all” (heis huper panton apethanen).
3. “Therefore, all died” (ara hoi pantes apethanon).
Note the exact words: “One died for all; therefore, all died.” Paul is saying…
—that Jesus Christ died for all men; therefore all men died when He died
—that since Christ died for all, then it follows that all men died in Him
—that all men were represented in Christ when He died
—that all men are counted as having died when Christ died
—that Jesus Christ died the ideal death, the death that stands for all men
Of course, this is simply saying the same thing in different ways so that we can more easily grasp exactly
what Paul is saying. But note: the word “all” is not teaching universal salvation, that is, that every human is
being saved by the death of Christ. This passage has to be kept in context with the rest of Scripture; therefore
“all” means all who are redeemed by faith in the death of Christ.
Very similar stated, when a person believes that Jesus Christ died for him, God takes that person’s faith
and counts it as his death in Christ.
God counts him as having died in Christ
God credits him as having already died in Christ
God credits the death of Christ to him so that he never has to die.
Another way to say the same thing is this: God takes the person’s faith…
—and identifies the person with the death of Christ
—and accepts the death of Christ as the death of the person
Although these statements may help some to more clearly understand what Paul is saying, there is no
clearer statement than the one stated in Scripture: “Christ died for all; therefore, all died [in Him].” The
death of Jesus Christ was representative death for all. His death stands as the death for all men. No person
has to ever die. All he has to do is believe that Jesus died for him, and God will take his belief and count it
as his having already died in Christ. (See note, Justification—Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:11 for more
The point is this: it is the glorious love of Christ that constrains Paul to stick to the ministry and to serve
the Lord so faithfully.
2. Christ died that all men might live for Him. Two significant facts are stressed.
a. Christ died that men might not live for themselves. Most persons are self-centered, focusing most of
their thoughts and efforts upon meeting their own needs, upon satisfying themselves through…
A person must take care of himself, but he is not to live for himself. Christ died so that we would not live
b. Christ died that we might live for Him. This is made abundantly clear in Scripture.
—Christ died to bring us near to God.
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,
being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Pt.3:18).
—Christ died that we might live unto righteousness.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live
unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
—Christ died to purify us so that we would be zealous to do good works.
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from the iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar
people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
—Christ died so that we would serve him as Lord.
“For to this end Christ both died , and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and
living” (Romans 14:9).
Note: Christ not only died, He also rose from the dead. The minister does not serve a dead Savior, but a
3. Christ died to create a new man: a man that no longer judges after the flesh. Combine v.17 with this
verse and the point is clearly seen. Christ died so that we would no longer judge men after the flesh, no
longer judge men to be only fleshly, human, earthly beings. Men are also spiritual beings who are to exist
forever. Christ died so that all men could be made into new creatures and into new men. Note that Christ
once lived in this world and was known to be in the flesh, but he is no longer known to be upon the earth.
He has risen from the dead and is with the Father, and he shall be with him eternally.
This is the very reason He died and rose again: that man’s spirit could be created anew and man could live
forever. Therefore, men are no longer to be looked upon as being “in the flesh,” but as being in the spirit.
They are to be brought to Christ so that they can be made into new creatures.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all
things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created
him” (Colossians 3:10).
1. Does Christ’s dying motivate you to be extremely committed to Him?
2. At times do you find yourself focusing on obtaining for your personal gain or pleasure?
3. Does the love of Christ in your heart inspire you to a deeper commitment to Him?
4. Personally, what are some ways you can dedicate your life to God for His extreme sacrifice of dying
5. Now that you are a new creature in Christ, what are some ways you can demonstrate your commitment?
6. When faced with adversity and attacks from believers and non-believers, do you have a mind to remain
committed to Christ or do you waiver under pressure?