When you read through 2 Corinthians 5, you see four passages that will help you determine the answer to this question, “Unto whom are you living?” Are you living unto yourself or are you living unto God? You can tell by the answers to these four questions.
Are you groaning to be absent from this body? – 2 Cor 5:1-8 – Paul said we should be willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. While we are at home in this body we are absent from the Lord. When you’re living for the Lord, you are ready to be with him now.
Many Christians are groaning to stay in this body. They are not ready to be with the Lord in heaven. They are quite comfortable in this life enjoying the daily benefits from the Lord. A shopkeeper lived above his store. A sign above the entrance to his store read, “Residence above.” Our lives should read the same.
Others are afraid to die; afraid to go through death to be with the Lord. A little girl lived near the cemetery and, after sunset, had to walk from town, through the cemetery, to get home. Someone asked her, “Aren’t you afraid to walk through the cemetery?” She replied, “No. My home is just on the other side.” You have no reason to fear death.
Are you doing things to be accepted of God? 2 Cor 5:9-13 – many Christians are conflicted in their lives because they want to be accepted of men, on the one hand, and to be accepted of the Lord, on the other. In the end, they find themselves living for themselves and doing things to be seen of men rather than to please God. You and I will face the judgment seat of Christ. When we are truly living for God, we are concerned with only one thing, doing those things that please God. Is that how you are living your life?
Are you living life in the new man? 2 Cor 5:14-17 – living the eternal life of Christ and living the temporal life of your flesh are mutually exclusive. You know that because for us to walk in the newness of life, the old man has to be crucified. When you are living for God, you are not trying to make this life better down here. You are living, instead, the abundant life of Christ. People who are living for themselves have no idea of the glorious benefits of Christ’s peace, comfort, joy, love, direction, strength, provision, contentment, wisdom, and so forth. They are too consumed with their own lives to experience any of these qualities of eternal life. Is that how you are living your life?
Are you an ambassador for Christ? 2 Cor 5:18-21. When you get saved God wants you to be his ambassador to minister the word of reconciliation to those for whom Christ died. When you are living for yourself, you don’t minister the word of reconciliation to others. You keep it to yourself. When you are living for God, you gladly tell others, in Christ’s stead, to be reconciled to God. Are you living your life as an ambassador for Christ?
Conclusion: when you have answered these four questions you will know immediately whether you have been living for yourself or for God. If you are living for yourself, stop. Instead, start living the way that Paul showed us in 2 Cor 5. Groan to be absent from this body. Do those things that are acceptable to God. Live the eternal life of Jesus Christ in the new man. And be an ambassador for Christ.