We, as Jesus followers, are called to reflect God’s love in this world. We are to live lives of love, as imitators of God. We are to do everything in love and live in the unity of love with other Christ followers.
In the Scandalous Love series, we have highlighted the vital truth “God is love” and sought to clarify what that means when we imagine God. This weekend Greg Boyd pointed out that we, as Jesus followers, are called to reflect God’s love in this world. We are to live lives of love, as imitators of God. We are to do everything in love and live in the unity of love with other Christ followers. This often leads people to ask the questions “How can I get more love?” or “How can I become more loving?” However, there is a problem with the assumption of these questions: they focus on the self, as if the source of love is within us. In contrast, Greg pointed out that in and of ourselves, we are like a black hole, consuming everything around us for the sake of ourselves. Because of this, we try to do love with others through a contract relationship defined by self-protection and evaluation of the other. God, on the other hand, is over-flowing love and that love flows into our lives so that we can freely give love to others, without self-protection and without other evaluation.
This leads us to the primary passage of the week from 2 Corinthians. There we learn that love compels us to live for Christ. Greg unpacked this verse so that we can understand the reason for the compelling nature of love. First, “one died for all, therefore all have died.” God’s love is not dependent upon whether or not we want it, acknowledge it or even receive it. It is just a fact that Christ died for all in love. Second, “we are convinced” of the fact that Christ died for all. If we want to change our actions and become more loving, then we start with what we believe and then that will impact how we live. Changing our actions does not come by reciting a certain prayer formula, reading specific books or developing a specific discipline. It depends on the reality of seeing ourselves as dead and therefore we can freely love because Christ first loved us.
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.