Controlled and Governed

This is going to be a bit of a ramble…

14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 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. 2Corinthians 5.14-15

When Jesus saves someone, His Spirit comes to dwell in their heart.  As Galatians 2.20 says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”  The life of Christ in that person is not dormant–it is active.  And, as Paul writes, any action that occurs is controlled by the love of Christ (God’s love for me), not for (My love for God), that has come into our hearts.  1John 2 says that this amounts to leading us to walk in the light and imitate Christ.  Seeing as it is Christ doing the “living”, it makes sense that He would be acting like himself in me.  And Jesus lives in me to do the will of God, as He always has, through me (John 4.34, Ephesians 2.10).

It follows then that, those who are genuinely controlled by the love of Christ, having received the gift of salvation, are those who are governed by the Word of God.  For me, thinking otherwise leaves “control” to ambiguous and somewhat directionless.  Thinking out loud here…According to 1John 4.8, God is Love.  A few verses later, we see that love is exemplified most clearly through the sacrifice of Christ.   In his Gospel, John wrote in chapter 1 verse 1 that Jesus is God (who is love) and that He is also called the Word.  This Word became flesh and, according to Hebrews 1, though God spoke many Words up until then, through Jesus’ incarnation He spoke every loving thing He wanted to say (Some might argue that everything God said was not “loving” to those condemned, to which I would respond, even those words do reveal a very real love for His own holiness).

Now Jesus is not some new chapter included in God’s story about saving men, rather, he has always been the point of THE story written to glorify God.  When God created, he planned for Jesus,  When God gave the law to Moses, he taught about Jesus.  When God spoke to prophets in the Old Testament, he spoke of Jesus.  Whether a command, promise, or warning, everything pointed to Jesus.  According to Luke 24.25-27, the entire Old Testament is about Jesus.  This is what Jesus taught and, according to John 14.26, the Holy Spirit comes to point us to Jesus’ teaching.

So whether it is the Old Testament of the New Testament, all of the words of Scripture reveal God, who is love, and Jesus is incarnation of those Words.  Being controlled, constrained, or compelled by the love of Christ then, is more than a passive disposition to do good things.  It is an active obedience to the actual words of Scripture (ALL OF THEM) because w understand they are more than the words of God, they are the Son of God Himself.  Those who are controlled by the love of Christ, are those who are governed by the Word of God.


Author: Sam Ford

Sam Ford is a preacher, planter, and pastor from the Pacific Northwest. He is currently pastoring Restoration Road Church in Snohomish, WA.

One thought on “Controlled and Governed”

  1. A misunderstanding controlled can easily become a excuse. If we are simply controlled by God, than everything we do, or don’t do, is His fault. When we fail to love, it is because He has not stirred the emotions. When we fail to proclaim, it is because He has not compelled us. God becomes the reason that we are not acting Godly. But His Word exists with commands, that becomes a whole new level of control! Good Word!


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