No longer

… and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.           2 Corinthians 5:15

Please read and/or listen to 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 again today. This verse reminds me of why I have been saved and, in many ways, why Jesus died for me. Paul is speaking to believers here. His use of the word “all” does not mean a universal salvation, that the death of Jesus brings salvation to every person; rather, it is referring to all who are saved through the death of Christ by believing in him and seeking the forgiveness that his death on the cross makes possible. The death of Jesus on the cross is sufficient to cover every sin of every person who ever has or ever will live. However, it is only efficacious for those who truly believe and are born again. For all those who are truly saved, there is a call to a different lifestyle and focus. They are to live no longer for themselves. They are to live for Christ. This is what moved Paul to write that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Consider this amazing truth today. Jesus did not save you from sin so that you could continue to lead a self-focused, sin-filled life! He saved you so that you would no longer live in your prideful, autonomous rebellion, but rather, in submission to the One who saved you. He died to set you free from sin and its bondage and the control that it has over you. You have been set free and empowered to live differently. This is not a new message from God. Psalm 105:42-45 allows us to see the reason that God released the nation from Egypt—so that they may obey and keep the laws and precepts. How can you live even more for the one who died for your sake?