Nashville, Tenn. 12/03/2009 11:00 AM GMT (WooEB)
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Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, "Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, than all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for the One who died for them and was raised." These verses serve as the foundational text for "Compelled by Love," a small group study based upon the like-titled book written by Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, and Philip Nation, director of ministry development for LifeWay Research.
According to the study's introduction, "Compelled by Love" is designed to help Christians understand what it means to "live a biblical love."
"It’s about a love that’s built on sacrifice, that’s compelled into mission, that’s living a life that shapes and changes culture around us," explained Stetzer during a recent "Inside LifeWay" podcast. "It’s the kind of love we think [of as] embodied by Jesus."
Stetzer pointed out, however, that a recent LifeWay Research study found that about 80 percent of unchurched people think Christianity today is more about "organized religion than loving God and loving people." He said that statistic indicates Christians have some work to do in order to accomplish Jesus’ commandments to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself."
Being "compelled by love" means accepting the charge to be an ambassador for Christ, Nation said. "We think so much of habits as those things we need to let loose of, but there comes a point in the life of a believer when we need to be habitually loving, habitually holy, habitually on mission rather than it being the exception to our lives."
For more from Stetzer and Nation, including an explanation of the word "compelled" and more details about what it means to live "missional" lives, listen to the "Inside LifeWay" podcast at LifeWay.com/insidelifeway.