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I am not my own man. H/C.1

27/12/2016

Lord’s Day 1: I Am Not My Own Man.

Text Romans 8.
There is great comfort for the believer in this life, and when it comes to an end, there is the assurance of eternal life in Christ. Here’s why…

1. You don’t own yourself!
Aren’t we independent lives? Free thinkers? Yet see the result of ‘free thinking’ in Judges, where every man did what was right in his own eyes. But why aren’t we free to do what we want, behave as we want, say what we want, believe what we want? It is because we have been BOUGHT! We were slaves to sin and to the devil, until our faithful Saviour, Jesus bought us!

  • He paid a great price for me. 1 Peter 1:18-19 It was through his death on the cross that we are redeemed. Not through our works, or our religion, or even our decision. It is at the cross that we are saved. Note the implications of this. Jesus did it, not me. It is an historical fact. It is already accomplished. There is nothing we can add to it. It is OBJECTIVE TRUTH, not subjective experience.
  • He fully satisfied for all my sins. The price was enough. Nothing more is owed. In Christ’s death on the cross, all the requirements of the Law of God have been met and fully satisfied. It is accomplished and there is sufficiency in the death of Christ for every sin, committed by every sinner in every age. How capacious is that atoning work, how fulsome, how complete. 1 John 1:7
  • He redeemed me from all the power of the devil. Consider that statement for a moment. The devil, our adversary is real, and his mission is to lead us in rebellion against God and to drag us down into the lake of fire with him and his demons. In Christ our enemy is defeated, and the believer is released from the grip of his power, ALL His power! 1 John 3:8
  • Christ’s work has a truly comprehensive effect. We belong to him, in…
    1. Body and soul. How will this knowledge affect us?
    2. Life and death. What great comfort this brings us. All through life, we belong to him, and when death comes to us, we are still being held in his hands, we are still his!

So you see, the Christian faith always runs contrary to popular belief. The modern world takes comfort in its possessions, in its achievements, in its accoutrements, its things, it’s stuff. Comfort is found in moving up the social ladder, gaining more self esteem, getting ahead, a bigger car, a better home, a good education, so that we can rest in what is ours, in what we own. The Christian faith debunks all of that as worthless. Our comfort comes from the fact that we own nothing, not even our own selves. We belong to Jesus. 

2. You can’t keep yourself from falling!
It is good that we don’t have to. John 6:39 Think for a moment of the great preserving power of the Lord Jesus.

  • It is very intimate. Not a hair can fall from our heads but he knows it. Matthew 10:29-30 He has a personal knowledge of each of us.
  • It is very inclusive. It is not just the preservation of my personal being, but the so organising of all the events of my life that everything works together for my spiritual good and wellbeing. This is a difficult consideration to understand sometimes… Romans 8:28.

God preserves those who are His, and keeps them safe until they arrive in heaven. This does not mean that they will be free from pain or sorrow or death. It means that their soul is kept in his care, until we find true peace and eternal bliss in his presence.

3. You won’t have any confidence in yourself.
Given the facts above, that we have a faithful Saviour in Jesus, who has redeemed us and bought us for Himself, and who preserves our soul in life and death, you can see that we will not be basing our future or our hopes upon ourselves, our own abilities or supposed strengths, but wholly and completely upon Him. We will trust him. Here’s how and why…

  1. How we trust Him. We could not do this in our own strength, it would be so so contrary to our sinful human nature. We would want to trust ourselves. So God grants to us His Holy Spirit to indwell us, and regenerate us. It is the Holy Spirit who makes us heartily willing and ready from this very day forward to live unto him. Romans 8:1.
  2. Why we trust Him. Because in focussing upon the objective work of Christ upon the Cross, and realising that he has paid such a great price to redeem us, and knowing that he preserves us, we will come to an assurance of faith and a joyful acceptance of eternal life in Him. Romans 8:16 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. Ephesians 1:13-14

The basis of Christian assurance then, is not resting on what I have done at all, but in what Christ did for me! On an historical reality, rather than on a dubious spirituality. I know that I am saved, and I know that I am going to heaven because of Jesus, not at all because of me.
So as we begin our exploration of the historic Christian faith this year, from the very first day we affirm that it is a Christocentric faith, it’s all about Jesus. Let us fix our eyes upon Him. Hebrews 12:1-2

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