When Jesus Christ gave up His life for us, He not only gave His life for us, but to us as well. Most of us focus on the fact that He died for us because it is an incredible truth. Without this glorious offering, where would we be? As Christians, we should remember His death, we should remember all that He left in Heaven in order to live a life here on earth, we should remember the things that He went through in order to give us salvation, something that we did not even deserve. But we shouldn’t stop there. Our salvation does not stop after we receive it. We continue living a Christian life. We continue bettering ourselves. We continue to seek Him out. Similarity, we can’t stop at His death and resurrection and say, “He died for us, the end.” We must remember the reasons why He died. Not only to save us from Hell but to give us the strength that we need in order to go on and live a powerful Christian life. He died for us, and He gave His life to us. He gave the spirit of God. He gave us the ability to be friends with God for the very first time.
He didn’t die for us and give His life to us in order for us to continue living like we are unbelievers. He didn’t die for us and give His life to us in order for us to treat others horribly, in order for us to neglect the Bible, neglect our prayer life, or refuse to share the gospel with others. He did not make so great a sacrifice so that we live a life of weakness.
We may claim that we are unable to stop giving into temptation, and yes, it is true that we will never stop sinning until we are in Heaven, but we are “saved, saved, saved.” Saved from the punishment of sin, the wages of sin is death. Saved from the power of sin, we are given all of the resources necessary through Jesus in order to refuse temptation. To be saved from the presence of sin in eternity. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. While God may allow us to go through certain temptations, and Satan certainly attacks us nonstop at times, He never allows us to go through a temptation that is too strong for us because we have Christ Jesus, and nothing is too strong for Him. We sin based on our own sinful flesh, but we know that Jesus Christ lends us the power that we need in order to say no and to yield to Him completely.
Yield. That is my word for the year. We could also use the word surrender.
Yielding/surrendering, that’s the key. We are offered a great life, given the opportunity to live in a Christlike manner, but we have to give everything else that we have ever had to God. Paul made a list of things that he was once proud of before he was saved. He had a great list. He was an incredible man, followed the law perfectly, was someone that most of us would aspire to be when we look at his list. He went as far as to say that he was blameless when it came to the world and how it looked at him. But those things that he had…he considered them dung after he met Christ. He surrendered everything that he once loved, everything that he once prided himself on, and considered them a loss. And he gave himself to God. He yielded, and he lived a life that all Christians should look up to. Paul pressed toward the mark and encouraged us all to do the same, to live a life of holiness. How did he do that? How did he manage to live such a life? How did he manage to make such a Godly impact in so many places? Think of it! He has been in Heaven for so many years, yet still encourages us and inspires us in the year of 2017. Don’t we want a life like Paul? Or better yet, like Jesus?
So, what holds us back from living it?
“It is a blessing for us that, as sin lives, and the flesh lives, and the devil lives, so Jesus lives. It is also a blessing that, whatever strength these may have to ruin us, Jesus has still greater power to save us.”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
Jesus still has the power that we need. When we’re saved, we are given His power. Everything that He has, He offers to us freely. His strength, His grace, His hope, His love, everything. Yet most Christians still live a pathetic life – don’t get mad, I’m talking to myself here – and use lame excuses on why they just can’t do better.
Christian, you can do better.
Whatever you are doing now, you can do ten times more. We will never be perfect, but that should only inspire us to keep doing more. As Paul said, “I press toward the mark!” We should never stop running the race, never stop trying to get closer to Christ! We have no excuse because we have a great Savior!
If you are saved…what have you done with Christ? Not just for Him, but what have you done with Him? What have you done with the things that He has given you? What have you done with your spiritual gifts? What have you done with your salvation? Are you being a difference maker because of Him? We have won Christ, just like Paul, and He has won the battle for us. He takes every area of our life and lets it wither away as my Pastor said in this sermon. Again, are we yielding? Have we surrendered? Because until then, nothing great will happen. But when we do, it opens an incredible door for us.
But with Him…Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
What is stopping you from living the life that Christ wants you to live?
“I’ve found a way, through the blood, past the veil
To the Holy of Holies with God.
There by His power over sin I prevail,
I can walk in the path that He trod.
There in the presence of Jesus I stand,
Glorified Son at the Father’s right hand,
There I can plead, I can claim, I can have,
All that He purchased for me.”