2 Corinthians 5:14-15 - For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that One has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.
You need no experiment and research to prove the power of Christ. As soon as you are His, as soon as you kneel before Him and pray this ancient prayer, "Lord, if You will, You can make me clean" (Luke 5:12b), and immediately, as if in echo, the answer comes, "I will; be clean" (Luke 5:13b), you have the testimony of His power in your own life. You can know that before the bar of justice your Savior points to you and pleads with divine power: "Father, I was wounded for his transgressions; I was bruised for her iniquities."
At this heavenly declaration, you can then exult: "But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:1b-2). Now you know that with the burden of your sin removed, Jesus answers every prayer for the strengthening of your faith, guiding your life according to His divine and higher knowledge.
When the Savior calls you to follow Him, He leads His children in paths of righteousness for His name's sake (see Matthew 4:19, Psalm 23:3). If you try to lead a cleaner, better, truer life, if you want to break the chains of drunkenness, escape the slavery of hidden sins and gnawing vices, ask Him for strength. It was He who said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5b).
And this is the confidence you can have—that believers everywhere lay hold of by the Holy Spirit's faith-giving love at work in their lives—that one day when you face that dark specter which disrupts all human happiness—the death of a loved one or the pending demise of your own life—you can know by faith in the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29b) that you will be saved.
Reader, listener, I have laid before you the great love of Jesus Christ. God will not force this salvation upon you. You can resist the Savior and repel His love. You can reject Him and forfeit the blessings that could be purchased only by His holy blood. But you cannot, from this moment on, say that you have never heard of the love of Christ and the invitation to come unto Him for forgiveness, for eternal life, and for true happiness.
May God's Spirit of grace and mercy lead you into all truth.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, may we embrace—and not resist—Your Son You sent to save us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From "Clear-Cut Conviction," a sermon from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, founder and first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Have you ever had someone be your advocate when you really needed it? Care to share?
2. How does the love of Christ control us?
3. Is there someone you know who could use you as an advocate?
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