The Apostle Paul knew both the terror and love of Christ. Those two attributes of Jesus are gospel truths that need to be understood if we are serious about living lives for the glory of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not just a message of forgiveness and assurance of everlasting life in heaven with our Glorious Bridegroom Jesus. The gospel of Jesus Christ is also a message of what has been called the exchanged life. Because Jesus laid down His life and gave Himself for us, we are now called to lay down our lives and give ourselves up for Him.
When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, after presenting them with an incredible discourse on the doctrines of salvation and sanctification, he brought his theology down to this. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1)
Paul’s detractors accused him of being insane for living the way that he did. To the unsaved person, a person living for Jesus Christ is considered crazy. God does not call every person in the body of Christ to the ministry that He called Paul to, but He does call everybody in the body of Christ to live the radical exchanged life that Paul is talking about in our study this morning. God calls us to live sacrificially for Him, because He knows the emptiness of living for self. The emptiest person in the world is the person who is living for the trinity of the flesh – me, myself and I. The most satisfied person in the world is the person who is living for Jesus Christ and His will, regardless of their vocation in life or marital status.