Is this what I signed up for?
Your response to the gospel is.......
Your response to the gospel is.......
We know the gospel message. we know it is about God and His Son doing everything for our eternal salvation through the cross and the Resurrection of Jesus......
but doesn’t the gospel also demand our response? in our era, we call it a prayer of salvation or sinners prayer, but is that it? if I say a prayer, am I somehow in? and that’s it? it’s all done?
Scripture tells us what the gospel requires for a response. let’s look at the book and we will see that.....
this verse contrasts a persons desire towards their own life, their value of Christ, and their posture towards death. it is found in each gospel and may sound a bit different from account to account so let’s read each account.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
a very sobering verse.... a very powerful one. let’s break it down. and we can’t read scripture in a vacuum, or out if context so we need to look around our verse at the verses that surround it to get the context of this one.
in the verses that surround this text,
we usually see a theme of surrender by taking up his cross daily, which could even mean to the point of death, but usually means surrendering daily, our will for His will......
we do also see Jesus speaking about His own death....in Johns gospel 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Jesus is alluding to His death on the cross and what it would do. And this picture of the cross gives us the image of His surrender.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
we see words of discipleship in words like following Jesus, denying oneself and coming after Jesus.
we see the struggle of value, of what one values more in verses like if a man gains the whole world yet loses his soul.
this verse in particular causes us to look at ourselves, and peer into our hearts to see where we land in regards to how we value our life in light of Jesus.
Tell me Christian, I am curious. did the one who shared the gospel with you, and led you to the Lord, also share with you the position it placed you in?
I believe many today are dismayed at the free gift of God and the offer of salvation by just a prayer spoken, and they should be because it is so much more than that.
Our lives are changed forever by the reality of what it means to be a Christian.
Paul states it in many books but Romans hits it very well.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
in this verse, we see a spiritual reality that we show through a physical picture of baptism. a newness of life that we walk in.
In the reality of salvation, we come to the place of realizing that our life is connected to His.....in which when He died, it dealt with the old self because our old self was joined with Him. Joined in His death also means we are joined in His life since He rose from death. we have resurrection power living on the inside of us. we have a knowing that Jesus death causes us to not look at death in the way we used to. death now has lost it’s sting, because it is not an end but a beginning to a heavenly life.
while I was sick.
death reveals itself as a door to heaven and the full presence of God. When we know we are saved, we are not afraid of death.
I see why Paul so wanted to depart from here. He wasn’t afraid, but he knew what glory it would be.
the other aspect of salvation that we must recognize is that we are not our own. In our country we are individuals, everything might scream that we are our own, and that we have our own choice, our own way, our own desires, but God made it clear through Christ, we have been bought, and with a great price.
for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.
When we look at all that salvation consists of, we see that our salvation was certainly the work of God, but it also demands a response from us, a response of agreement. this agreement is receiving what God has done, and recognizing the position that we are put in. We are now His, not our own to do what we want or desire.
We are now in a place to surrender our everything to Him. look at how Jesus puts it as someone who might be thinking of salvation.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
counting the cost of coming to Christ and what that means for life after. it is a scale of putting everything we are, everything we have, and will ever have, and putting Christ on the other side, and seeing what weighs out more in our hearts. the passage finishes with this in 33.
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Jesus knows what He is asking......He is asking for your complete life. Do you know what He is asking of you? What is your life?
weigh it out in your own heart? maybe someone is here today that said a prayer, that thought because I said a prayer, that I am in the club, I have my ticket to heaven, and my life doesn’t really need to change all that much. the problem is.....
scripture doesn’t support that. scripture supports a radical change, a new life vs old life change. It says if you don’t lay it all down, then your saying in essence, your stuff is more important than your God. and that is an insult to the Creator, that created your stuff!
We can look at conversions in scripture, they were changed lives. we can look at the message preached in scripture, like Peters message in which leads people to repent. that is exactly what Jesus is saying as well.
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
So for salvation and our walk with God to be active and living.....for it to be a real salvation....we will be living a repentant life. we will be turning from our will to the will of God in this ongoing, continual way, because we like sheep seem to lose our way often.
turning from self to Jesus. and this, I believe, is a continual experience for the rest of our lives. not a one time event.
as for the christian discussion of once saved always saved or the idea that someone could lose their salvation? I would encourage you to study your bible. the one thing we can know for sure is that God knows who is saved.
What comes up for me here is the christian discussion of once saved always saved or the idea that someone could lose their salvation? we might look at someones life and hear that they said a prayer when they were a kid, but lived like hell for their entire life.....were they ever saved?
I would encourage you to study your bible.
Scripture shows us that salvation changes a person. but I am not here to judge someones salvation.....
the one thing we can know for sure is that God knows who is saved.
Each one of us,
if we have been taught what salvation is,
meaning we believe we sinned against God,
Jesus took that very sin of ours onto Himself and took the death for our sin,
and has given us the Holy Spirit to live in us,
what it really has done is created a relationship with Jesus where we have surrendered to Him and He becomes King in our hearts, our own will comes off the throne.
we are His, not our own.
in a way, scripture makes salvation sound like a continuous experience. we have been saved, we are being saved and we will be saved.
look up He saved us past tense
for those of us who are being saved present tense
shall we be saved future tense
What if we look at our salvation in light of Gods word.
let’s walk in a way where we don’t rely on a prayer said years past, but on our walk with Jesus right now, listening to Him, surrendering to Him and allowing His Spirit to have the steering wheel in our lives.
that is the way of assurance in our salvation. Our relationship to Jesus being right.
let’s walk in a way where we don’t rely on a prayer said years past, but on our walk with Jesus right now, listening to Him, surrendering to Him and allowing His Spirit to have the steering wheel in our lives. that is the way of assurance in our salvation. Our relationship to Jesus being right.
How is your walk with Him today? Are you listening to Him? or have you been distant? the bible tells us today is the day of salvation. we can repent now, we can turn to Him and follow Him now. what is in your life that is showing itself as in the way. that is between you and Christ? anything? that is what to turn from. God wants us connected with Him with nothing in the way. that is also where the greatest joy is found.
we can’t forget, Jesus has given us resurrection life within us. He has made a way for us to be right with our heavenly Father! forever!