“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.” (2 Corinthians 5:14–15, KJV)
In 1985, a pop group named “Huey Lewis and the News” released a single titled “The Power of Love.” If you watched the movie, “Back to the Future,” you will remember the catchy tune. It became the band’s first number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. As the song suggests, its lyrics highlight the mysterious power of love. In the last chorus of the song, we see these lyrics.
It don’t take money and it don’t take fame
Don’t need no credit card to ride this train
Tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel
You won’t feel nothin’ ’til you feel
You feel the power
Just feel the power of love
That’s the power
That’s the power of love
Yes, this song depicts love between people, a somewhat mysterious emotion or attraction. Yet as weak and imperfect as human love can be it still is quite powerful.
In 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Paul speaks of an infinitely greater power of love. It is the power of Christ’s love. As previously mentioned, while Paul endured much affliction in the gospel ministry he never gave up. In this letter, we see many reasons for this. Here he wrote of another, the power of Christ’s love. Paul stated that “the love of Christ constraineth us.” The verb “constraineth,” sunecho, means to hold together (Strong G49125). It is also translated in the New Testament referring to the exercise of a constraining influence. The ESV translates it as “control.” The NIV and the HCSB translates it as “compels.” The NSRV as “urges us on.”
Paul went on to describe the awesome demonstration of this great love seen in Jesus. It was demonstrated in His death on the cross for us. Jesus stated it like this, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, KJV). Paul had experienced this love of Christ when he came to saving faith. He realized the depth of his sin and the infinite magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice. He realized that he, like all of us, still fell infinitely short of perfection and that Christ’s sacrifice covered all his imperfections. The power of love!
This power of love changed Paul’ s life. It has changed the lives of every true believer. It was the power that motivated Paul, that caused him to carry on despite the tremendous hardships he endured. It kept him together with the Lord and His mission.
Sometimes we can grow cold. It is an unfortunate fact. There are many reasons for this. One is that our first love has grown cold. This was the problem at the church in Ephesus as mentioned in the book of Revelation (Rev 2:4). Yet, this love can be rekindled if you are a true believer. Spend some time contemplating the love of Christ extended to you. With all your past sins and present imperfections, He still loves you immensely. He loves you! His love is a tremendous power that will keep us together and moving on the right track in this great gospel mission.