2 Corinthians 5:14, 15 - Love & Living for Christ.

2Co.5:14, 15: Love & Living for Christ.

2 Cor 5:14 (KJV)  For the love of Christ constraineth us; 
because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 
2 Cor 5:15 (KJV)  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 Cor 5:14 (NIV)  For Christ's love compels us, because we are 
convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 
2 Cor 5:15 (NIV)  And he died for all, that those who live 
should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and 
was raised again. 

2 Cor 5:14 (NRSV)  For the love of Christ urges us on, because 
we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have 
2 Cor 5:15 (NRSV) And he died for all, so that those who live 
might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was 
raised for them. 

2 Cor 5:14 (NAB)  For the love of Christ impels us, once we have 
come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have 
2 Cor 5:15 (NAB)  He indeed died for all, so that those who live 
might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake 
died and was raised.  

2 Cor 5:14 (NJB)  For the love of Christ overwhelms us when we 
consider that if one man died for all, then all have died;  
2 Cor 5:15 (NJB)  his purpose in dying for all humanity was that 
those who live should live not any more for themselves, but for him 
who died and was raised to life.  

2 Cor 5:14 (TEV)  We are ruled by the love of Christ, now that 
we recognize that one man died for everyone, which means that they 
all share in his death. 
2 Cor 5:15 (TEV)  He died for all, so that those who live should 
no longer live for themselves, but only for him who died and was 
raised to life for their sake.  

2 Cor 5:14 (NCV)  The love of Christ controls us, because we 
know that One died for all, so all have died. 
2 Cor 5:15 (NCV)  Christ died for all so that those who live 
would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was 
raised from the dead so that they would live for him. 

2 Cor 5:14 (NLT) Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love 
controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also 
believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. 
2 Cor 5:15 (NLT) He died for everyone so that those who receive 
his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they 
will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them. 

2 Cor 5:14 (EAV)  For the love of Christ controls and urges and 
impels us because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One 
died for all, then all died; 
2 Cor 5:15 (EAV)  And He died for all, so that all those who 
live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him 
Who died and was raised again for their sake. 

2 Cor 5:14 (TLB)  Whatever we do, it is certainly not for our 
own profit but because Christ's love controls us now. Since we 
believe that Christ died for all of us, we should also believe that we 
have died to the old life we used to live. 
2 Cor 5:15 (TLB) He died for all so that all who live--having 
received eternal life from him--might live no longer for themselves, to 
please themselves, but to spend their lives pleasing Christ who died 
and rose again for them.  


These two verses need to be read and studied together:

As RSV shows, verse 15 in Greek begins with the word [And]. This 
connecting word serves to introduce an elaboration of the final words of 
verse 14.... Note that Barclay begins the verse with "So...." (UBS 
Translator Handbook Series) 


Constraineth. "to hold together," "to hold fast," "to urge," "to 
impel," "to control." He who chooses to be guided by the love of Christ 
will not turn aside from the path of duty, whether to the right hand 
or to the left, but will, like Paul, press forward in the Lord's 
work, undaunted and with singleness of mind. The love of Christ keeps 
the believer safely in the strait and narrow way. [SDA Commentary] 

The verb here has a wide range of meanings in Greek, but the 
basic meanings may be grouped under the idea of restraint or 
compulsion (NIV "compels"), or general control (RSV, TEV, REB, FrCL). (UBS 
Translator Handbook Series) 

Constraineth us -- compresses with irresistible power all our 
energies into one channel (, (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown 

The Greek word here means "to hold fast." In other words, the 
love of Christ was constraining them to certain courses of action. 
They knew that Jesus, out of his great love, had given up his life 
for their sakes. (The Life Application Commentary Series) 



Grammatically this may be either Christ's love for us or our 
love for Christ. Nearly all interpreters, however, choose the first 
option, "Christ's love". (UBS Translator Handbook Series) 

In the context the genitive in the phrase ("the love of Christ") 
is less likely to be objective ("our love for Christ") than 
subjective ("the love Christ showed"), though some commentators and 
grammarians believe that both senses are intended. [Expositors Bible 

Christ's love for us (and possibly it may also mean our love for 
Christ) controls us; i.e., keeps us within bounds. [Ryrie SB] 

The controlling power of Paul's life was the love of Christ. 
This does not mean Paul's love for Christ, although certainly that 
was there. It means rather the love Christ had for Paul. The apostle 
was so overwhelmed by Jesus' love for him that to serve and honor 
Christ became the controlling motive of his life. This love that led 
Christ to the cross to die for sinners. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

Although nothing but the love of Christ can be an adequate 
controlling power in the life, it is true that our love for Him is also 
vital. But Christ's love for us is ever the dominant factor--"we love 
him, because he first loved us". [SDA Commentary] 

It is the love Christ has for us and has expressed on Calvary, 
rather than our love for Christ that exerts compelling force in the 
Christian's life..... Christ's love has unleashed a force within us that 
cannot be denied. That love is transforming in character, and most 
surely will renew the believer. [Victor Bible Background Commentary] 

The connectives here drive home Paul's meaning. Why does 
Christ's love compel us? Because that love found expression in His dying 
for "all" (here, clearly all believers). Therefore the believer, in 
union with Jesus, died as well, and in union with Jesus was raised to 
new life (Rom. 6:1-14)... Paul's point is that through the death of 
Jesus and our union with Him, God intends to so work in our lives that 
we will come to the place where Paul now is--a place where we live 
for Jesus rather than for ourselves!.... What a vital truth for us 
to keep in mind.... Through His great love a power has been 
introduced within us that will move us as it moved Paul to "no longer live 
for [ourselves] but for Him who died for [us] and was raised again" 
(5:15). [Victor Bible Background Commentary] 


We should no longer live to please ourselves; we should spend 
our lives pleasing Christ, who died for us and rose from the grave. 
[Life Application SB] 

A powerful theological argument. Christ died for all. He died 
for us in order that we who live should stop living for ourselves, 
and begin to live for Him. That is, God's purpose in the Cross was 
to change us, and change the focus of our lives. [Victor Teacher's 

Paul tells us that Christ died not just to forgive our sins, but 
to transform us. He died, "that those who live should no longer 
live for themselves but for Him who died for them." [The 365-Day 
Devotional Commentary] 

Basic to understanding the thought of verses 14 and 15 is Paul's 
idea of the union of the believer with Christ. Though Paul does not 
state here in these two verses that believers are "in Christ" in the 
sense of being "in union with Christ," this concept lies behind the 
thought expressed in these two verses. (UBS Translator Handbook Series) 

"Dying" with Christ should lead, to "living for Christ" (v. 15). 
Paul is not speaking of all men without exception but of "those who 
live" in union with the resurrected Christ. While all men died 
potentially when the Man who represented them all died, not all were raised 
when he rose. But for those who rose with Christ to walk "in newness 
of life" (Rom 6:4; Col 3:1, 2), slavery to sin and self has ended 
while devotion to Christ and his church has begun (cf. Rom 6:6, 11). 
The outcome of Christian self-denial is a Christ-centered life 
filled with concern for others. [Expositors Bible Commentary] 

This is what Christ designed, that those who live, who are made 
alive unto God by means of his death, should live to him that died for 
them, and rose again for their sakes also, and that they should not 
live to themselves, v. 15. Note, We should not make ourselves, but 
Christ, the end of our living and actions: and it was one end of 
Christ's death to cure us of this self-love, and to excite us always to 
act under the commanding influence of his love. A Christian's life 
should be consecrated to Christ; and then do we live as we ought to 
live when we live to Christ, who died for us. (Matthew Henry's 

All those who by faith entered into the benefits of Christ's 
sacrifice (and now live spiritually) should respond by living selflessly 
and being involved in that ministry of reconciliation. They should 
no longer live for themselves but for Him. [Bible Knowledge 

Christ's love, which had converted Paul, now compelled him (cf. 
1 John 3:16). [Bible Knowledge Commentary] 

"The love Christ showed for us compels us to love and serve him 
[Expositors Bible Commentary] 

The emphasis here is the complete reorientation of the life from 
self to God. The new life bears witness to the transforming power of 
the Holy Spirit. The heart's warmest affections and best energies 
are given to Christ, in the small things of life as well as in the 
great. The life brings forth the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23) 
and reflects the soul's delight in doing the will of God (Ps. 1:2; 
119:97). Love to God and to one's fellow men becomes life's controlling 
motive, and the glory of God is the end of all thought and action. Such 
a life becomes more and more sensitive to sin, more conscious of 
its own need, and more ready to depend upon the grace of Christ. 
[SDA Commentary] 

We should not make ourselves, but Christ, the end of our living 
and actions. A Christian's life should be devoted to Christ. Alas, 
how many show the worthlessness of their professed faith and love, 
by living to themselves and to the world! [Matthew Henry 

Paul makes a distinction here between those for whom Christ died 
and those who actually "live," thus demonstrating that there may be 
many for whom he died who do not live to God, or who are not savingly 
benefitted by his death. The atonement was for all, but only a part are 
actually made alive to God. Multitudes reject it; but the fact that he 
died for all; that he tasted death for every man, that he not only 
died for the elect but for all others, that his benevolence was so 
great as to embrace the whole human family in the design of his death, 
is a reason why they who are actually made alive to God should 
consecrate themselves entirely to his service. The fact that he died for 
all evinced such unbounded and infinite benevolence that it should 
induce us who are actually benefitted by his death, and who have any 
just views of it, to devote all that we have to his service. (Barnes' 

Multitudes are selfish even in their religion; and the main 
purpose which they have in view, is to promote their own objects, and 
not the honor of the Master whom they profess to serve. They seek 
and profess religion only because they desire to escape from wrath, 
and to obtain the happiness of heaven, and not from any love to the 
Redeemer or any desire to honor him, Or they seek to build up the 
interests of their own church and party, and all their zeal is expended on 
that and that alone, without any real desire to honor the Saviour. Or 
though in the church, they are still selfish, and live wholly to 
themselves. They live for fashion, for gain, for reputation. They practice 
no self-denial; they make no effort; to advance the cause of God 
the Saviour. (Barnes' Notes) 

In the expression [those who live], the verb "to live" may refer 
to physical life only, but [those] refers to those who have the 
newness of spiritual life. (UBS Translator Handbook Series) 

Christ died as a representative of the human race. God made Him 
a sin offering for us that we might live for Him and not for 
ourselves. Atonement is potentially universal, available to all people. It 
becomes an active reality only in the lives of those who commit 
themselves to Christ. [Disciple SB] 

Jesus died for the salvation of all. Believers receive that 
salvation and forsake self-centered living for Christ-centered living. 
[Disciple SB] 

Why did He die? That we might live through Him (1 John 4:9); 
that we might live with Him (1 Thes. 5:10); and that we might live 
for Him (2 Cor. 5:15). There can be no selfishness in the heart of 
the Christian who understands the love of Christ. [Wiersbe 
Expository Outlines] 

Christ died so that his followers could live; they die to sin 
and self that they might live for God to whom they belong. 
[Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary] 

Those who by faith would become united with him, his death was 
their death to sin and self, so that they now live in and with the 
resurrected Christ (v. 15). [NIV SB] 

Not only did the death of Christ provide an atonement for sin, 
and thereby deliver repentant sinners from the second death (see 
Rev. 20:5, 14), it also made possible their dying to the depraved, 
unregenerate nature and their rising to walk in newness of life [SDA 

Because Christ was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, to 
die for all, those who believe in Jesus should be willing to abandon 
their old, selfish ways in order to live for Christ (Rom 6:6-14; Gal 
2:20; Col 2:20). Like Paul, we should no longer live to please 
ourselves. We should die to ourselves and live for Christ, who is alive 
today and interceding with God on our behalf (Rom 6:22). (The Life 
Application Commentary Series) 

Our Saviour is ever working for us. He has ascended on high and 
pleads in behalf of the purchase of His blood. He pleads before His 
Father the agonies of the crucifixion. He raises His wounded hands and 
intercedes for His church, that they may be kept from falling under 
If our perceptions could be quickened to take in this wonderful 
work of our Saviour for our salvation, love, deep and ardent, would 
burn in our hearts. Our apathy and cold indifference would then alarm 
us. Entire devotion and benevolence, prompted by grateful love, will 
impart to the smallest offering, the willing sacrifice, a divine 
fragrance, making the gift of priceless value. 3T396-7 

If men could be led to consider the amazing sacrifice made by 
the Majesty of heaven, selfishness would be banished from their 
hearts. MH500-2 

How much owest thou unto my Lord? Has he ever done anything for 
thee? Has he forgiven thy sins? Has he covered thee with a robe of 
righteousness? Has he set thy feet upon a rock? Has he established thy goings? 
Has he prepared heaven for thee? Has he prepared thee for heaven? 
Has he written thy name in his book of life? Has he given thee 
countless blessings? Has he laid up for thee a store of mercies, which eye 
hath not seen nor ear heard? Then do something for Jesus worthy of 
his love. Give not a mere wordy offering to a dying Redeemer. How 
will you feel when your Master comes, if you have to confess that you 
did nothing for him, but kept your love shut up, like a stagnant 
pool, neither flowing forth to his poor or to his work. Out on such 
love as that! What do men think of a love which never shows itself in 
action? Why, they say, "Open rebuke is better than secret love." Who 
will accept a love so weak that it does not actuate you to a single 
deed of self-denial, of generosity, of heroism, or zeal! Think how he 
has loved you, and given himself for you! Do you know the power of 
that love? Then let it be like a rushing mighty wind to your soul to 
sweep out the clouds of your worldliness, and clear away the mists of 
sin. "For Christ's sake" be this the tongue of fire that shall sit 
upon you: "for Christ's sake" be this the divine rapture, the 
heavenly afflatus to bear you aloft from earth, the divine spirit that 
shall make you bold as lions and swift as eagles in your Lord's 
service. Love should give wings to the feet of service, and strength to 
the arms of labour. Fixed on God with a constancy that is not to be 
shaken, resolute to honour him with a determination that is not to be 
turned aside, and pressing on with an ardour never to be wearied, let 
us manifest the constraints of love to Jesus. May the divine 
loadstone draw us heavenward towards itself. Charles H Spurgeon 



Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will 
be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.  [In His 
Time; My Utmost For His Highest re Eph.1:7] 

As God so loved the world as to give his Son for it, and as 
Christ so loved the world as to pour out his life for it, so we, 
influenced by the very same love, desire to spend and be spent for the 
glory of God, and the salvation of immortal souls. (Adam Clarke 

Only love for the Lord will move anyone to truly follow Him. 
[Victor Bible Reader's Companion] 

There is only one thing that will really bring about change in a 
believer's life, and move him or her toward Christlikeness. That is the 
love that Christ Himself pours into the heart in which He dwells. 
[Victor Teacher's Commentary] 

Jesus did not come to men with commands and threatenings, but 
with love that is without a parallel. Love begets love; and thus the 
love of Christ displayed upon the cross woos and wins the sinner, and 
binds him, repenting, to the cross, believing and adoring the 
matchless depths of a Saviour's love. RH03-04-75 

The love of Christ in the heart is what is needed. Self is in 
need of being crucified. When self is submerged in Christ, true love 
springs forth spontaneously. It is not an emotion or an impulse, but a 
decision of a sanctified will. It consists not in feeling, but in the 
transformation of the whole heart, soul, and character, which is dead to self 
and alive unto God. Our Lord and Saviour asks us to give ourselves 
to Him. Surrendering self to God is all He requires, giving 
ourselves to Him to be employed as He sees fit. Until we come to this 
point of surrender, we shall not work happily, usefully, or 
successfully anywhere. 6BC1100,1 

You are to be imbued with such love for Christ that you will 
yield to Him your whole affections, surrendering your life to Him who 
gave His life for you. Imbued with the love of Christ, you are to be 
constrained to perform acts of unselfish service until such acts become your 
life practice. CH633 

To live to him is the opposite to living unto ourselves. It is 
to seek his honor; to feel that we belong to him; that all our time 
and talents; all our strength of intellect and body; all the avails 
of our skill and toil, all belong to him, and should be employed in 
his service..... To him, and him alone should we live; and in his 
cause our lives should be, as Paul's was, a living sacrifice, holy and 
acceptable in his sight. (Barnes' Notes) 


Jesus Died For You Can't You Live For Him [Baseball Cap]

One of the worst things desperate pastors and parents do is turn 
to inadequate motivators of spiritual growth. Some say "you must" 
and try to force growth. Some say "you should" in hope that guilt 
will move the reluctant. Some say "you can," and try to create a 
willingness to try. 
Paul said, "Jesus loves you." And he counted on an awakening 
response of love for Jesus to move others to want to grow and change. 
Keep on telling others, "Jesus loves you, and I love you too." 
Love is the unseen reality that motivates spiritual growth and 
change. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

However discouraging things may be, if Christ is in the heart, 
believers will be compelled by love to grow. And growth will transform the 
stumbling, unspiritual men and women of today into tomorrow's saints. [The 
365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

George Mueller, at more than ninety years of age, in an address 
to ministers and other Christian workers, said, "I was converted in 
November 1825, but I didn't come to the point of total surrender of my 
heart until four years later, in July 1829. It was then I realized my 
love for money, prominence, position, power, and worldly pleasure was 
gone. God, and He alone, became my all in all. In Him I found 
everything I needed, and I desired nothing else. By God's grace, my 
understanding of His sufficiency has remained to this day, making me an 
exceedingly happy man. It has led me to care only about the things of God. 
And so, dear believers, I kindly ask if you have totally surrendered 
your heart to God, or is there something in your life you refuse to 
release, in spite of God's call? [Streams in the Desert by Cowman]