One of my dear friends, who has long been in Christian ministry, told me that she and her husband have changed the way they present the gospel. Their daughter had believed in Jesus as a child and had long called him Savior, but she has dated her salvation to the day when, as an adult, she surrendered the Lordship of her life to Jesus.
What is salvation? Is it not forgiveness and the way into an everlasting relationship with the Lord of Heaven, the Savior God, through the redemptive work of his son, the Lord Jesus Christ? What is it we need forgiveness for? Is it not the breaking of the first commandment – you shall have no other Gods before me? Do we not break that law every time, as rebellious children, we say to God, I am the boss of me? Is that attitude not evidence self is God?
I am currently reading Watchman Nee’s book, The Normal Christian Life. In it he writes, “How good it is to have the consciousness that we belong to the Lord and are not our own! There is nothing more precious in the world. It is that which brings the awareness of his continual presence, and the reason is obvious. I must first have the sense of God’s possession of me before I can have the sense of his presence with me. When once his ownership is established, then I dare do nothing in my own interests, for I am his exclusive property…The trouble with many Christians today is that they have an insufficient idea of what God is asking of them…Do you not know that God is asking of you your very life? …Not until we take the place of a servant can he take his place as Lord.”
Jesus said that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whosoever believed in him might have everlasting life. (John 3;16)
Are we too familiar with the word believe? Do we use it glibly? If God is God, then I am not my own Lord. I can say I believe Jesus Christ is God, but I deny my own espoused belief every time I choose my way, instead of his. I think the result of genuine belief is death, my own life nailed to the cross with Jesus, as I yield all rights to the One who gave his life for my salvation.
When Jesus said we must be born again to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3), didn’t he mean this glorious exchange – my death for his resurrected life in me – my life for his?