A DICHOTOMOUS EXPERIENCE
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you." (2 Cor 4:8-12)
Devotion 24 of 34
FOR JESUS' SAKE
" . . . for Jesus' sake . . . " Other versions read, "because of Jesus," BBE "on account of Jesus," DARBY "for the sake of Jesus," NAB and "because we serve Jesus." NLT
This is the second time Paul has used this expression in this chapter, the other being in verse five: "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake" (2 Cor 4:5). This confirms that "we which live" does merely refer to those who have not yet died – those who are alive in the body. Rather, these are the individuals who have died to self and the world, and are now living unto Him who "died for them, and rose again" (2 Cor 5:15). These the ones who have "crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts" (Gal 5:24). They are living their lives "for Jesus' sake." They willingly take the path that is at variance with "this present evil world," doing it "for Jesus' sake." For them, "to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil 1:21).
Because Jesus is at the heart of God's purpose, He is also at the heart of the lives of those who have been reconciled to Him. There is no valid or acceptable life that is lived without a primary regard for the Lord Jesus.
THE STANDARD REVEALED
The standard of life in Christ Jesus was revealed in both the life and doctrine of Paul. He stated his reason for living, and did so in remarkable detail. This is an elaboration of "for Jesus' sake."
"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead" (Phil 3:7-11).
Tomorrow: "PAUL'S DETERMINATIONS"
PRAYER POINT: Father, in the name of Jesus I thank You that there is such a thing as "for Jesus' sake."