“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.”
2 Corinthians 5:14
There is a false Christianity that focuses solely on the Judeo-Christian ethic and prizes moral virtue above all. Moral virtue is a good, but it is not the heart of Christianity. This false Christianity is not bloody. It does not emphasize, or maybe even recognize, the atonement whereby Jesus died a sacrificial and substitutionary death for sinners like ME. In this false Christianity, love is a way to categorize the really good people. It has a hierarchy. It is prideful.
But in real, bloody, atonement centered gospel Christianity, love is gratitude. Love is deep. It is raw. It has no hierarchy or pride, but is humble. Love is an equalizer, because it is responsive. It controls us because it is primarily the love of Christ for us. This controlling love then propels us to love others, not for the sake of love itself, but for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Paul, the human author of 2 Corinthians, knew his sin. He knew his need. He knew his Savior. And he LOVED his Savior with the kind of passionate love that controlled him…because the Savior first loved him. The reality of this love changed the way Paul looked at, and loved others. How about us? What controls us? May it be the love of Christ!