Conquering Love of Christ
Upon close examination there is only one way to explain the
dramatic changes and resultant attitudes and motivations of the Jewish rabbi, Saul of
Tarsus. He was a conquered man. He was in his own words, a servant of Christ Jesus .
. . and set apart for the gospel of God. The most powerful, transforming force in
his life was an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
He was in love with the risen Lord Jesus Christ whom he had met on
the road to Damascus. He was a changed man. No longer was he striving to please God and
earn salvation by striving to do good works. He was now resting in the finished saving
work of God in Christ on the cross.
Paul wrote, Nevertheless
knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ
Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in
Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be
justified (Galatians 2:16).
Martin Luther had no peace with God even though he desperately wanted
to please God. The harder Martin worked at earning peace with God, the more elusive that
sense of acceptance became for him. He actually came to the place where he hated God
because of the impossible standards he thought God imposed on sinful depraved man.
One day while he was studying Romans 1:16-17, God spoke to him with
the deep convicting truth of His Word. The righteous person will live by
faith. God opened his eyes to the saving fact that the righteousness he so longed to
have cannot be earned, merited, or gained by mans virtue, but is a righteousness of
God, freely given to all who will by faith receive it.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God
for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the
righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, But the righteous man shall live by faith
We do not have any righteousness of our own to bring to God because
we are bankrupt sinners. We receive Gods righteousness, not through any works of our
own, but by faith alone in the finished work of Christ.
When we put our faith in Christ, we take God at His word and believe
what He says about us and His saving grace in Christ.
Luther said, I had no love for that holy and just God who
punished sinners. I was filled with secret anger against Him. I hated Him. . . . But when
I learned how the justification of the sinner proceeds from the free mercy of our Lord
through faith, then I felt born again like anew man.
Luther, like Paul, discovered that Christianity is Jesus Christ.
Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? Does He occupy
your thoughts? Is He the center of your attention? Do you speak often of
Do you love Jesus? Do you love Him with all your heart? Do you love
Him with all your being? There is nothing like being conquered by His love. It lifts you
out of the shallow and selfish, constantly shifting ebbs and flows of cultural
sands in our day. May our very person, like the man in Christ, be filled
with more and more of Him who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20)
because You are not your own; you were bought at a price (1 Cor. 6:20).
Paul was in love with Christ, and that is the only way you can
explain him. He had been conquered and captivated by the living Lord Jesus Christ. I
believe with all my heart that when He has conquered our hearts, we will love Him the same
way and then and only then will our contemporaries say of us, There is a man, or
there is a woman, or there is a young person in Christ.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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