- Bonus Article -
“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.” (II Corinthians 5:14-15)
I want to draw your attention to several statements that are made in II Corinthians 5, and then we’re going to come back to lay some foundational statements. What does living unto him mean? It means more than might be figured into it when you first read it.
The Bible says, “For the love of Christ constraineth us;...” When something constrains me, it means it has a pull on me. It tugs on me. It is drawing me. He said, “For the love of Christ constraineth us;...” but what does it constrain us to do? What is the pull of that love? Which direction is it pulling me? What is it constraining me to do? It says, “...because we thus judge, that if one died for all,...” and that was the Lord Jesus. “...then were all dead:” and He tasted death for every man. The Bible says that before we knew Christ, we were dead in our trespasses and sins. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:” (Ephesians 2:1) He said, “...that if one died for all, then were all dead:”
Then He said this, “And that he died for all,...” But why? “...that they which live should not henceforth...” From now on, “...live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” The Bible says that there was a purpose in what Jesus did. You say, “I know why He died. He died to save people from Hell.” That’s only part of it. Certainly when He died on the cross, He made salvation available, and salvation gives me eternal life. If I have it, I’ll never die and go to Hell.
The Bible tells us in verse 15, “...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.” The purpose of Calvary is not just a fire escape from Hell, but He did it for us to live unto Him that died for us and rose again. When I respond to the love of Christ as I should, it draws me, tugs on me, and has a pull on me, to live unto Him that died for me. We love Him. Why? Because He first loved us. The proof of His love was the sacrifice of Calvary and that love, if we observe it, if we recognize it, it constrains us. It constrains us to live unto Him that died for us and rose again.
The word ‘unto’ means ‘pointed toward and attached to.’ So to live unto Him that died for us is to live pointed toward Him that died for us and attached to Him that died for us. Let me lay the foundation, then we’ll come back to this thought. You know these things, and yet I need to say it for you to pick up on this thought.
In the beginning God created man for Himself and for His pleasure. God did not create man to escape Hell. God created man to walk with Him in the cool of the day and to please Him. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11) For whose pleasure was I created? God’s. For whose pleasure were you created? God’s. I wasn’t created for my pleasure. I was not created for your pleasure. I was created for God’s pleasure. Most people live for their own pleasure, and in some cases they live for someone else’s pleasure, but God doesn’t seem to be in the picture. When God originally created man, He created man for His pleasure. That’s why we were created.
God didn’t create me for the world. In I Corinthians 3:22-23 the Bible says, “The world is yours.” He’s not talking about worldliness and carnal living, but He said that this globe, the planet, the world is yours for you to inhabit, for you to receive its benefits, but He said, “And ye are Christ’s;...” God created the world for me, but He didn’t create me for the world. He created me for Christ. So the world is for my use, but not my abuse. He created the world for me, but He doesn’t want me to get attached to the world. He wants me to realize I wasn’t created for the world. I was created for Christ.
Man was created with spiritual life in the beginning. When Adam and Eve were created, the Bible says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became...” A living body? No man became “...a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) I am a soul. I have a body. The Bible tells us that since God is a Spirit, then He made man spiritual, gave him spirit life because if man didn’t have spirit life, he couldn’t fellowship with God, Who is a Spirit. Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with...” My flesh? No. My spirit. The Holy Spirit of God bears witness with my spirit.
God created man. He breathed into him, just like He breathed life into the Bible, when He breathed the Words. He gave its Words life. When God breathed into that dust, He gave that dust life, but He didn’t just give that dust physical life. He gave that dust spiritual life. God breathed His spirit into Adam in the beginning. Jesus made it clear when He said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) The Bible is Spirit life. The word inspiration means ‘God breathed.’ That is the same breath He put in man in the beginning.
In Genesis 1:2 the Bible says, “...the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In darkness and chaos, the Spirit of God moved and did something supernatural. Genesis 3:8 specifically says that Adam and Eve had been meeting with God on a regular basis. God came like He had done aforetime in the cool of the day. The problem was Adam and Eve had sinned. They were guilty and they were hiding from God and didn’t want to see God because they had sinned.
The reason they had a problem was because when they ate that forbidden fruit, they died spiritually. God warned them that was going to happen. He didn’t leave them without warning, and by the way, He hasn’t left anybody without warning. You know that death is separation. Death is not ceasing to exist. Everybody you’ve ever known who died physically is very much alive somewhere, because they are a never dying soul. Their physical housing lies in a grave, but the real person is somewhere (either Heaven or Hell) depending on what they did with Jesus Christ.
In Genesis 2:17 He said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) When were they going to die? “...in the day that thou eatest thereof...”
When they ate the fruit, did they fall over physically dead? No. Did God lie? No, so He wasn’t talking about physical death. He was talking about their capacity to worship God, their capacity to pray, their capacity to commune with God and bear witness with God’s Spirit. They were going to die spiritually. They lived physically for many years after they ate the forbidden fruit, but they died spiritually immediately. Through Adam, the head of the human family, sin and its consequences were passed on to all humanity.
By the way, I want you to remember that God held Adam responsible. Eve ate the fruit first, didn’t she? She offered it to Adam and he took, but when you come to I Timothy 2:14, the Bible says that Eve was deceived in the transgression. Adam wasn’t. “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
Like it or not, the reason the human race got in this mess is because a man followed his wife instead of leading her. I’m not for women policemen, and I’m not for women in the Senate and the House, and I’m sure not for women in pastoring. I don’t think that has a thing to do with equality. I think it has to do with somebody knowing their God-given role and being thrilled about being and doing what God wants for them. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. The greatest responsibility you have is raising children, rearing them right, developing character, leading them, instilling some values and principles in them, instead of letting the day care have them to make heathens out of them. We’ve got too many career women and too much of this cry for equality, even in our Christian circles. Ladies, you are not to be equal, but to be honored and elevated as the weaker vessel. God held Adam responsible because God made Adam the leader.
In Romans 5:12 He says, “Wherefore, as by one man...” Not by one woman. “...sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon...” Some men? “...all men,...” Why? “...for that all have sinned:” He said that they have all inherited a sin nature through the blood line of Adam. Adam was the one who was responsible, and rather than lead his wife when she had sinned, he partook and allowed her to lead him. God still didn’t hold her responsible. He held Adam responsible for following instead of leading.
All the trouble and sorrow that we have in the human race is the result of that decision that they made in the garden of Eden. I’m talking about every war. I’m talking about every disease. I’m talking about death. I’m saying bitterness and hatred and every sorrowful thing is the result of sin in humanity, and it all began in the garden with one decision that seemed so innocent and turned out to be so tragic. Sin has passed on to all men and death by sin. So all men are sinners by nature. He says in I Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die,...” Everybody born into Adam’s family, the human family that he is the head of, is born in sin.
Sin has a penalty attached to it according to Romans 6:23. The penalty is death. “The wages of sin is death...” If I die in Adam, I die in sin. If I die in sin, God can’t let one sin into Heaven or it would destroy Heaven like it destroyed earth. God is not cruel in not letting sin into Heaven. He is merciful to those who would repent and receive Christ and find the righteousness they couldn’t produce themselves in the person of Christ. He’s going to make sure that the place that’s preserved for them is holy and just and right without sin. According to Revelation 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth,...” Nothing is going in there that would defile it, nothing sinful or filthy.
But the Bible says there is a way I can get in Christ. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Corinthians 15:22) If I get in Christ, then I’m going to be quickened again by the Spirit of God. God’s going to breathe new life into me -- Spirit life. I was dead spiritually because of the sin nature I inherited. God breathed new life into me at salvation. He has also clothed me in the righteousness of Christ and imputed it to my account now that I’m saved. But I have to get out of Adam and in Christ, and I did that by being born again. “...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Verse five says, “...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Finally in verse seven He says, “...Ye must be born again.”
There is only one way into the human family. That’s a physical birth. There is only one way into a Spirit family and that’s a Spirit birth. I don’t need two physical births. I need one physical birth and that puts me in Adam. I need one Spirit birth and that puts me in Christ. When I’m in Adam, his sin is imputed to me. When I’m in Christ, His righteousness is imputed to me. Sin and its consequences are passed on to all humanity at birth, before we practice any good or evil, just on the basis of us belonging to Adam’s family.
God has provided salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ came, lived a perfect life and died as my Substitute. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to minister and give His life a ransom for many. Salvation is provided in Him. God provided salvation, not only to prevent me from going to Hell, but He provided salvation to restore me to a proper relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. He had more in mind than just me escaping Hell. He had more in mind than Adam and Eve just escaping the penalty of sin. He intended to restore them to fellowship with Him as it was planned in the beginning, because fellowship with God was our original purpose.
The Bible tells us about the proper relationship in II Corinthians 5:14 and 15. It says, “For the love of Christ...” That was proven at Calvary. “For the love of Christ constraineth us;...” It pulls and draws us. “...because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:” He died for everybody, because everybody is dead spiritually.
“And that he died for all, that they which live...” Who is it that lives? Is it everybody that’s breathing? First John 5:12 says, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” It’s those of us that have been saved, those in Christ who have spirit life. A lost man can’t have any right relationship with God. He is spiritually dead. The great tragedy is that many of us who have been quickened and are alive, still don’t have the right relationship with Jesus Christ. We don’t have a relationship with God. There is one crowd that can’t have a relationship and there is another crowd that could, but they don’t. One crowd can’t live unto Him, and another crowd by choice or a series of choices does not live unto Him, though they could. That’s a great tragedy. If that be true, then nobody, not even the saved, are fulfilling the purpose for which they were originally created. That’s a tragedy.
He says, “...that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves,...” That’s what the average person does. They live for their pleasure. They live for themselves. They live for their family. They live for money. They live for the gratification of the flesh. They live for the day of retirement.
They’re not living unto Him. They’re living unto themselves, all the things that satisfy them, all the things that they personally are excited about. That’s what they live for. That’s what they live unto. That’s what they’re pointed toward. That’s what they’re attached to. The Bible says when He died He intended that after we have life, once we get saved, we should live unto Him Who died for us and rose again. Who is that? The only One that died for us and rose again is the Lord Jesus. I was intended to live unto Him. When He died, that’s what He had in mind. That was His intention. That’s what the love of Christ is pulling on me to do. The love of Christ is not just to keep me from going to Hell; it’s trying to pull me back into this relationship I was created for. To practice the crucified life is to live unto Him, for we are dead to all else.
Remember now the word ‘unto’ is a word that augments or connects two things. If I’m living unto Him, I am pointed toward Him and attached to Him. That’s the concept that’s carried in the word ‘unto.’ In Romans 14:7-8, we have a reminder. It says, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”
Understand that if you are a saved person, you are God’s by creation and you are God’s by redemption. You have been bought with a price, and therefore you are to glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (I Corinthians 6:19-20) I’ll come back to that statement a little later, but you are the property of God, not only by creation, but also by redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. He owns you two-fold, so we are definitely the Lord’s possession. “...whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” I’m not supposed to live unto myself. I’m supposed to live unto Him to Whom I belong.
Romans 14:9 says, “For to this end Christ both died,...” This statement qualifies God’s motive in Calvary. What was He trying to achieve or what is to be the end result. It’s about me living unto Him. “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” Not that He might be the Saviour of the dead and the living, but that He might be Lord of the dead and the living. His intent in dying on Calvary was that we might live unto Him. To live unto Him is for us to acknowledge His authority in our lives. Someone who is Lord is sovereign. A sovereign has total control and has the final decision in matters that pertain to that life. A sovereign in the country runs the country. A sovereign in my life runs my life. The problem is most of us are sovereign in our own lives. He’s not sovereign. We are not acknowledging Him, and that’s what He had in mind.
In Luke 6:46 He said to some people, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,...” Sovereign, sovereign, final authority. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” He said, “That’s hypocritical. You call me Lord in one breath and in the next breath argue with Me. ‘Lord, I don’t want to... Lord, I want to... Lord, I feel...’” You say He is sovereign in one breath, and then operate as a sovereign outside of His control. So according to Galatians 2:19, the only way I can live unto God is to die to the law, and the law is what deals with sin. The law never did have any saving power; it condemned me as a sinner. He said, “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.” (Galatians 2:19) He said, “I’m not even living just to a set of written oracles; I’m living to the Person that breathed them. I’m not just living to truth; I’m living to the living God, the One that gave the truth.” Self is what gets in control, and I’m going to have to die to self and die to sin and die to the world before I’m ever going to live unto God. Most saved folks aren’t living unto God.
In Titus 2:14 He wraps it up in a nice little package. He says in that text, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” In that text, He tells us what He did, what it cost Him, and why He did it. He gave Himself. The cost was Himself. This is no small thing. He died on Calvary, poured out His life’s blood. What was the reason? He did it for us. What did He have in mind? “...that he might redeem us...” He’s talking about purchasing us. “...redeem us from all iniquity,...” Not just redeem us from Hell, not just redeem us from the result of iniquity, but redeem us from iniquity itself.
We’re excited to be saved from the penalty of sin, but we’re not excited about getting saved from the practice of sin. He redeemed us and He has a process that’s in motion right now to purify us unto Himself. Did you get the terminology there? He redeemed us because there is no way I could get close to Him without redemption, but now that He’s redeemed and purchased me out of the slave market of sin, He’s trying to purify me unto Himself.
The path to God is the path of purification. The way to God is by way of purity. God is purifying me unto Himself, toward Himself, attached to Himself. When that happens, He said there is an outcome. It produces a peculiar people.
The word ‘peculiar’ doesn’t mean weird like we’d use it in this day. If I had to out-weird this society, I don’t know what I’d do. They have so many earrings and studs; they look like their head is pop-riveted together. This generation looks like a cross between a pin-cushion and a bill-board. Where they don’t have a hole punched, they have ink shot into them. Ugly is in. Repulsive is in. When He talks about us being peculiar, He’s talking about something like a peculiar treasure, something that’s rare, a prized possession. He’s trying to make me a prized possession, a peculiar people, a rare treasure. That’s what He’s trying to do to you. He said, “When that comes to pass, it will make me zealous of good works.” I’ll be doing what Jesus would do.
Remember that to live unto Him is to live toward Him and attached to Him, and to live unto Him is to live according to Him. The Bible says, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” (I Peter 4:2) God saved us, not just so we could escape Hell. Remember what He said, “Henceforth, they should live unto Him.” Those that have life, henceforth, from this point forth, are to live unto Him. They are to be pointed toward Him, attached to Him, in accordance with Him.
It says, “...but to the will of God.” First Peter 4:6 says that you and I are to live according to God in the spirit. That’s a small ‘s’ and certainly we’re to live filled with the Holy Spirit, but He’s talking about me living a spiritual life. The only way I can live according to God, Who is a Spirit, is if I live spiritually, or live a spiritual life. Most of us are alive spiritually, but we live a carnal life. But we don’t live according to God the Spirit; we live according to the world in the flesh. We live according to a pagan society and carnality. This has to do with living in harmony with God.
Let me show you what living unto Him means. The Bible says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) How many of you have ever pulled a trailer behind a truck or a car? Maybe it was a lawn mower with a little trailer. If that thing is working like it’s supposed to, when the truck moves the trailer moves. It goes the same direction the truck goes. When the truck stops the trailer stops. When the truck turns, the trailer turns. If the trailer passes the truck, we’ve got problems. If it’s not working in accordance with the truck, we’ve got problems. It’s supposed to be pointed toward and attached to and operating in accordance with the truck. It’s supposed to be following the truck. It’s not supposed to be leading or passing the truck. If the truck goes and the trailer doesn’t, we’ve got a problem. If the truck stops and the trailer doesn’t, is it working in accordance with the truck? Is it in harmony with the truck? No.
Most of God’s people are not living unto Him because to live unto Him means that I’m in harmony with Him. I am in line. I’m pointed toward, attached to, and following, operating in accordance with the leader that I’m pointed toward and attached to. I mean the truck is the leader and the trailer is the follower. If any of that changes, you have major problems.
To live unto Him also means to live in Him, or in His strength, in His power, by His Spirit. In Acts 17:28 it says, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being;...” My life is in Christ. My source of authority is Christ. My power is Christ. He said, “...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18) If He has all power and I’m going to exercise any, I have to get it from Him. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:...” (John 14:6) If I’m going to have any of that, I’ve got to get it from Him because He is the life. He is the source. I can’t get it anywhere else. It isn’t anywhere else. It’s in Him.
What I’m trying to tell you is, if I’m going to live the Christian life, I’m going to have to live it in Christ, by His strength, by His power, on His authority. If I don’t live in submission to Him, yielded to Him, operating in His power, then I’m operating in the flesh. The arm of flesh will fail every time, especially when I’m trying to live a spiritual life, a Christian life. If I don’t live it by His power, I’m not going to live it at all. I’m not capable of living it without Him.
In my own strength, I can live a religious life but not a Christian life. Of course, Muslims have a religious life, don’t they? They justify a lot of things that are unscriptural, don’t they? They do a lot of evil things in the name of God. Of course, their god is not the God of the Bible anyway. Don’t let anybody convince you of that. I don’t care what the liberals say. Allah and Jehovah are not one and the same. Allah, the moon god of Mecca, and Jehovah God, the Creator of the moon, are not the same God.
The Bible says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17) So if I’m operating in Him, I’ll be different. “And all things are of God,...” (II Corinthians 5:18) Why? Because all my life and all my power and all my strength is of God. Everything I’m doing is for God, of God, to God, in God’s power.
Do you know why we don’t have a supernatural Christianity? Because we’re doing a bunch of good religious things in our strength. We’re not living unto Him. We are not living in His power. We’re not operating in His strength. We’re not operating on His authority. We’re doing it on our own. We have good intentions, but we don’t have the power to carry them out.
So that’s to say that He is the source of my life. In John 6:35 Jesus said, “...I am the bread of life:...” That’s sustenance, isn’t it? In John 6:63 He said, “...the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The Bible is Spirit life. He wants to put it in me and give me Spirit life. Romans 8:2 speaks of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. He talks about the Spirit of life. He talks about the Word of Life. He talks about the bread of life. Everything that has to do with life has to come from Him.
Before a baby is born, it’s entire life is dependent on that umbilical cord. If anything hinders that umbilical cord, severs it, knots it, or cuts off what comes through that umbilical cord, that baby’s life is over. That mother is the baby’s source of life. It lives and moves in her and is totally dependent on her. When you and I allow things to sever the cord, our tie with the Source of life, just as surely as that baby can’t survive without the mother, you and I cannot survive without being intricately connected to the Lord Jesus Christ. That baby lives off the mother’s resources. She provides its oxygen and sustenance.
You and I desperately need to be ‘Dependent Baptists’ again. We’ve taken independence a lot farther than the Bible says we should. Hebrews 11 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. What was I made for? I was made to please God. Faith is dependency upon God and expectancy from God to the point that the Word of God is enough. So a guy that’s living by faith is living by the Bible. Somebody that is not living by the Bible is not living by faith. I don’t care what they say. They’re not drawing their power and their authority and their source of life, their strength from God, because they’ve allowed something to sever that tie. They are spiritually withering and dying .
They’re dying spiritually, though they walk about physically and know all the same words they used to know. When people die spiritually, they know what they used to know, but they’re not what they used to be. Somebody who gets backslidden and gets away from God and severs that source of power and authority and life, they still know all they used to know. They’re just not what they used to be. They can still spout off all the same stuff they used to say, but they don’t have the same relationship.
For me to live unto Him has to do with more than just the mechanical or a legal attachment to Him. It has to do with my affection being attached to Him as well. There is not only a legal attachment that took place at salvation. Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ,...” He is my life. Right now, Christ is my life. I’m encompassed in Christ. My life is about Christ. It’s in Christ. It’s for Christ. It’s toward Christ. It is Christ. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Why? Because I’m going to the One that is my life. I’m going to the One that my life is all about.
The Bible says, “...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37) That’s talking about more than a mechanical going through the motions. That’s talking about more than salvation itself, more than me just doing the bare minimum. Love will go a lot farther than fear will. Fear is a powerful force. The only force greater than fear is the power of love. The Bible said that I’m to love Him with all my heart and soul.
By the way, do you remember what He asked Peter in John 21:15-17? Three times He said, “Lovest thou Me?” First He said, “Lovest thou Me more than these?” He didn’t say, “Do you love Me more than Andrew does and do you love Me more than James?” He wasn’t comparing Peter to the other disciples. You say, “What was He talking about then?” He said, “Do you love Me more than these fish? Do you love Me more than these nets and these boats? Do you love Me more than these waters? Do you love Me more than that occupation, that old life that you are so proud of as a fisherman? Do you love Me more than these things?” He said, “If you love Me, walk away from that. Feed My lambs. Feed My sheep.” He said, “If you love Me, let there be an expression of love.”
John 14:15 says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” I’m telling you that there is supposed to be an affection, an attachment that exceeds the legal attachment that took place at salvation. I am legally a child of God according to the Word of God. I am spiritually in the family. That’s settled, but I’m supposed to have an affection. That’s what He was talking about in Colossians 3:1-3. He says, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” He said, “You were dead and He made you alive. Now you’re dead to the world, but you’re living for what you’re suppose to be dead to.” That doesn’t make any sense. He said, “Set your affection on things above,...”
Two people who are married are not only supposed to be legally joined. They are supposed to have an affection toward one another. I don’t think too many of you would be very excited about a relationship that was strictly legal, that was all mechanical, that had no affection. But you could say, “Well, I’m married to her.” “I’m married to him,” but there is no relationship and no affection. There is something wrong with that, folks.
The Bible doesn’t describe a relationship with God that has to do with mere mechanics, or with theatrics, that has to do with just the legal aspect. It’s talking about my affection being toward Him as well as my physical person being pointed toward Him and attached to Him as well as my spirit being joined with His Spirit. My affection is to be to Him.
That’s why He said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world...” (John 2:15) Do you understand that if I am living unto my wife, we are not only legally joined and physically together, but she has all of me? She never has to compete with another woman. If I am living unto God, God doesn’t have to compete with the theatrics of this ungodly world and all the stuff that excites the flesh that’s produced in this ungodly world. The Bible says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (I John 2:15-16)
Married women and married men sever ties with all others. You give yourself to that one, and there is no competition needed. This is settled. It’s a done deal. You have my affection. You don’t have to try to earn it. You don’t have to compete with anybody else for it. When I’m living unto Him, it doesn’t matter what the world is doing or how exciting it looks. God doesn’t have to compete with that. He’s got something better for me. My relationship with Him is better than anything the world could offer, but He doesn’t have to do anything to compete with the world. Why? Because I’m living unto Him. He not only has me legally; my affection is set on Him like a thermostat is set. I love Him with all of my heart.
Then finally to live unto Him means to live for Him and His glory. First Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” For me to live unto Him is for me, in my body and in my spirit, to live for His glory because my body and spirit belong to Him. For me to live unto God is for me to acknowledge His ownership and to live for Him.
Let’s just say I gave you a $100, I put it in your hands. I said, “Here’s how I want you to spend this $100.” Would it be possible for you to misappropriate that money that I put in your hands? Money is buying power. Even though this is my money and I put it in your hands, I sent you on an errand and this is what I want you to do with this power, this money I put in your hand, you would have the potential to be a poor steward, wouldn’t you? You’d have the ability to misuse what I put in your hand. Correct?
God saved us and left us in this world and He said, “I’m giving you power to glorify Me now. What I want you to do with your body and your spirit is to glorify Me. To live unto Me is to live for My glory, to make sure what belongs to Me brings glory to Me.” Do you know what we do? God says, “I want you to go and glorify Me. I want you to do something wholesome. I want you to buy bread and milk with what I gave you.” But we go out and buy cigarettes and beer. God said, “I saved you and gave you eternal life so you’d have power to glorify Me. I want you to use the power I gave you for that end.” We go out and use it to get famous ourselves. We go out and use it to get what we want instead of using it to the glory of our God.
In Matthew 16:23, whenever Peter tried to stop Jesus from going to Calvary, do you remember how He responded to that? He said, “...Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” He said, “What you really savor in life, what you’re really after is the things that appeal to man, not the things that appeal to God. I have to go to Calvary so man can be saved. That’s the will of God.” He said, “What you’re excited about is life and physical health and prosperity and the things that pertain to man. You’re not interested in the will of God, are you, Peter? You don’t savor what I savor. Get thee behind me, Satan. You’re an adversary to the will of God.” The Bible tells me that I’m not to live for my wealth, my pleasure, for sin, self, and the praise of men, but I am to live for the glory of God. Don’t let what appeals to you, and what you like and want put you in opposition as an enemy to the will of God.
Now all that being said, living unto Him will impact you in a very visible way. Living unto Him, living toward Him and attached to Him, living in accordance with Him as a trailer follows a truck, living by Him in His power, in His strength, living affectionately attached to Him, not just physically or spiritually attached, living for Him and His glory, your life and your resources being used for the One that actually allowed you to have them, they’re His and you are to use them for Him -- I’m telling you that will affect you in a visible way.
In Acts 4:13 the Bible talks about a couple of fishermen. It says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they...” The Pharisees is who it is talking about. “...marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been...” To Bible college? No! “...they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Them being in the presence of the Son of God, living unto Him, pointed toward Him, attached to Him, had left some visible marks. It was very apparent to others.
I’m not promoting lifestyle evangelism. I believe in confrontational soulwinning. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) But too many of us have the verbal part down and we’re not living unto the One that we say we represent. His imprint is not on our lives. We don’t have the credibility that we’re supposed to have.
The evangelist and singer, Charles Weigle, on one occasion was in a revival conference in California and there were several speakers in the meeting. One of the famous features out there is the huge, beautiful rose gardens. That’s why they have the Rose Bowl. But Charles Weigle rose early one morning, and decided that he would catch a cab and go to one of those huge rose gardens and just walk through and see its beauty and smell the roses. He spent a couple hours in that rose garden. Then he caught a cab back to the hotel. He got out of the cab at the hotel, walked into the hotel lobby, and met another one of the speakers who was at the desk. He sniffed and said, “I know where you’ve been. You have been in the rose garden.” You know, he couldn’t go there and spend time there without bringing a trace of it back with him.
You and I need to live unto Him in such a way that the sweet fragrance of His person lingers on our lives, so that when we come to the presence of people, they are aware, “I know where you have been.” Not in the rose garden, but in the prayer closet. “I know where you have been.” Unto Him that died and rose again for us. What are you living for? What are you living unto?
The Bible says that when Christ died for us, He had something in particular in mind, not just about a destination, but what our lives are all about in this life. We’re glad we’re going to Heaven when we die, but we’re supposed to live unto Him while we’re here and go into His physical presence when we die.
Is that statement a reality about you? “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” What are you living for, or should I say what are you living unto? That is the key word in this chapter. What are you living toward? What are you attached to? What’s your life all about? Self? Money? Pleasure? People? Prestige? Pride? Power?
Or is it about Him? If it is, you won’t have to work too hard to convince folks. His influence, that holiness, that sweet fragrance of the Lord Jesus will be upon you if you spend your life ‘living unto Him.’
“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.” (II Corinthians 5:14-15)
• From Dr. Corle’s book “The Crucified Life” available at Revival Fires Publishing