2 Corinthians 5:11-15
2 Cor 5:11 (KJB)
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
Knowing - Know fully or understand
The terror - Respect, fear, or alarm
Persuade - Convince
Manifest - Show, reveal, or disclose
Following up from verse 10 where Paul speaks about the unsaved appearing before the Judgment Seat of Christ, he states in this verse that he knows fully of the terror of the Lord and that is the reason that Paul continues on trying to convince those hearers of his who are unsaved that they do not want to wind up at the Judgment Seat of Christ because if they wind up there, it is too late for salvation. (Heb 10:31 KJV) It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Paul’s motives in bringing the Gospel was so pure that he was open before God and also disclosed to those Christians in Corinth. Paul had nothing to hide nor did he have a secondary agenda and that is why he could proclaim that his life was an open book before God and men.
2 Cor 5:12 (KJB)
For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
We commend - Recommend
Occasion - Opportunity
Glory (First usage) Boast or Rejoice
Glory - (Second Usage) Object of boasting
Paul here defends his ministry but he states that he is not going to recommend himself to them again as this was not necessary because there were those at Corinth who knew of his integrity. As Paul spoke of persuading men of the terror of the Lord, he had no other reasons at heart than to see people become saved and avoid the final judgment. Paul’s integrity of heart and ministry was allowing the Corinthian Christians an opportunity to boast in the honest ministry of Paul, especially to those who were his detractors. Paul identifies these false teachers as having glory in appearance but not in heart. In other words, there were people in Corinth following these false teachers because of outward appearance but their heart was spiritually dead. The Corinthian Christians could boast in Paul’s heart because it was focused on the salvation of souls. How many today are following preachers because of their outward appearance? The mega-churches draw thousands of people but they do not preach the stinging message of the true Gospel. They are ear tickling gospels which minister to the flesh and keep a person in unsaved bondage. This mindset was in total opposition to the true Gospel which Paul preached and what is preached by true Christians, who are normally removed from mega-churches for being a troublemaker.
2 Cor 5:13 (KJB)
For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
We be beside ourselves - Confused, insane, or amazed
We be sober - Be of sound mind or sensible
Here Paul is answering those who thought that he was mentally unstable. He stated that whether he is insane or of a sound mind it was for the benefit of the Corinthians. In fact, some thought only a religious fanatic would allow himself to suffer so much. Some thought Paul had suffered so much it brought him to the brink of insanity. In fact, when Paul appeared before Festus, Festus had accused him of being mad. (Acts 26:24 KJV) And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. To the world, true Christians who are willing to give everything they have would make them seem like a religious zealot but the unsaved do not understand what commitment to the Lord Jesus is all about. Christ’s commitment to His Father went all the way to the cross, and that is how we are to view our commitment also. (Mark 8:34 KJV) And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. When Jesus made that statement, the cross was an instrument of torture, humiliation, and death, something of which many Christians have suffered through the ages.
2 Cor 5:14 (KJB)
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
Constraineth - Compels or pressures
We know that the Lord Jesus Christ had died for all of His Elect and that ultimate act of love on our behalf has compelled the true believer to continue on in the faith. The essence of the Gospel is in this verse by speaking of the death of Christ. Here the verse teaches us that Christ died for all the Elect, that is, those He came to save. (Mat 1:21 KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Those whom Christ came to save were dead in their sins and as a result of salvation, are now made alive unto God. Now that the Elect are made alive, they must become dead again. They must be dead to the things of the world and dead to themselves, always seeking what the will of the Lord is in their individual lives.
2 Cor 5:15 (KJB)
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.
Here is the essence of the Christian life. From the time a person becomes saved, they are to live for the Lord and not for their own earthly pleasures. As Paul had stated in the first book of Corinthians: (1 Cor 6:19-20 KJV) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? {20} For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. Every Christian must seek the will of God in their life. The word “will” in the Greek carries with it the idea of “purpose.” God has a purpose for every one that He saves. No Christian walks around this world like a spiritual zombie not knowing what their reason of existence is. The reason that so many do not know the will of God in their life is because they either found it and avoided it, or they have never searched for it. Christianity is much more than going to church and reading your paperback modern version. The fact that Christ died for His Elect and rose again on Resurrection Sunday, should compel every true believer to find their niche and get busy doing the will of God for their life. Even if the will of God in your life is writing a check, it is still a strategic part of your Christian walk.