Text: 2 Corinthians 5:11-13

The “terror” (i.e. fear, phobos) of the Lord in v.11 refers to a godly, reverential fear of God in the light of one’s knowledge of Him. It differs from the ungodly fear of the devils, for though the devils tremble before God (Jas. 2:19), yet they would continue in their rebellion against God. Similarly, ungodly fear leads the unrepentant to persist in their wicked ways in the hardness of their hearts despite trembling from their impending doom.

On the other hand, godly fear leads one to an appreciation, respect and loving submission to one’s responsibilities before the Lord. There is an awareness that one day he must account of all his ways before a God who is his Master and King. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:28-29)

It is with this in mind that Paul seeks to “persuade” men. What is Paul trying to persuade “men” about? Some think that it refers to the gospel (Branes). However, in the light of the context, it is likely to do with the integrity of Paul’s ministry. Paul was therefore claiming that he strove to be above board in everything that he did because he knew he was accountable to God.

Alas, there were those who claim that Paul is beside himself (i.e. mad) in the ministry. This is the common accusation laid upon preachers when hearers take offence at the faithful preaching of God’s Word. Jesus testified that “a prophet hath no honour in his own country.” (Jn.4:44) Are you guilty of the same?

Nevertheless, Paul in the integrity of his heart (c.f. Psalm 78:72) declared that all he did was for God’s glory and the welfare of the saints. Godly men are often misunderstood. So long as our motive is pure, we need not be downhearted. Only fear God and not man.

THOUGHT: Fear God and not man.
PRAYER: Help me serve in godly fear, O Lord.


Text: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

The “love of Christ” here refers to Christ’s love for men. This love is manifested in Christ coming to this world to die for our sins. He need not have done so for all men are worthy of eternal death, yet in His love He willingly submitted to the will of the Father to die on the Cross of Calvary.
This is love most amazing, most divine! 

Since Christ was the sinless Lamb of God and the Second Adam, His death on the cross was sufficient to pay for the sins of all mankind. Those who believe in Christ are thus identified in His death and resurrection. They now have a new life in Christ (c.f. Rom 6:1-11).

Having been saved by the grace of God, Paul now is “constrained” (sunechō) by Christ’s love. This love controls, governs and impels Paul to live a life of full surrender unto Christ. It is the love of Christ that motivates Paul in his service for Christ, and so it must be also for us. “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 Jn. 4:19)

Spurgeon aptly comments, “The life of the saved man must never be lived for himself; he is false to his profession if it is so. He must henceforth live as earnestly for God as, aforetime in his unregeneracy, he lived for himself, for he now has a new life which is not his own, to do with it as he pleases, but it belongs entirely to him who purchased it with his own most precious blood.”

What motivates us in our service for Christ? Is it for fame, power, prestige or gain? These were the motivations of Paul’s accusers, but this must not be so with us. Let our motivation for serving Christ be the love of Christ, that we may do all things for the glory of God alone. We can do none other after what Christ has done for us.

Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
(Isaac Watts)

THOUGHT: What is my motivation for service?
PRAYER: Help me to love Thee with my all, for Christ first loved me.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew