All to Jesus, I Surrender
It's a wonderful song and I don't want to do anything to prevent anyone from singing it. Let us look today at what it means to surrender everything to Jesus. In a way, surrender to Jesus is a decision; in another way, it isn't. See Philippians 2: 5-13. You can call Him Lord now, or you can call him Lord later. At some point, you will.
What kind of Lord would He be? I remember an incident 34 years ago at Christmas time. I was at the Kings, my future parents-in-law, when they were living in Huntsville. Ray was driving the tractor, pulling a low-boy tractor out in the pasture. By some unspoken cue, although he had been facing forward driving and I had been riding on the back of the lowboy trailer facing aft, we simultaneously turned and looked at each other. The question on each of our faces was: what would it be like to be in the same family with this person? Well, what would it be like to be in the family with Jesus?
1. A meek and compassionate savior. Matthew 11: 28-30.
2. A savior that wants you to be saved and looks for the best in you. John 10: 7-15.
3. A savior that gave up everything in Heaven to come here to be your teacher and your sacrifice.
4. A savior that would keep you cleansed of all sin. Note the number of times in the New Testament that before Jesus healed someone, he forgave them their sins. It's like he said about what and who to fear: Matthew 10: 28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
What does it mean to surrender to this savior?
First of all, we surrender our wills in the way in which we become one of his. Hear (Romans 10: 17), believe (Mark 16: 16), repent (Acts 2: 38) of our sins, confess Jesus as Lord (Matt. 10: 32, 33), and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2: 38, Acts 22: 16). If we have really surrendered, we are not going to get into petty arguments about sprinkling or pouring. The New Testament baptism was always immersion (Philip and the Ethiopian went down into the water, Acts 8: 38). Baptism is a burial (Romans 6: 1-14) and we don't bury people by sprinkling a little dirt on their heads. Becoming a Christian also signals a big change in the way we live our lives. Christianity is about changed lives. See Romans 12: 1, 2. In return for this, Christians live lives of no condemnation. Romans 8: 1.
Song: All of Self, and None of Thee.
It's hard at time to keep self rooted out of the Christian. Even the Christian
man Paul exclaimed
"Oh wretched man that I am!" (See Romans 7: 24, then verses 18-25) in exasperation with the fleshly desires that were within him but the higher calling that he had in Christ Jesus. There are some things that God wants us to put to death, mortify: Colossians 3: 5-14. Let's look at the things that need surrendering.
1. Fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire. All of these are trademarks of the world. The thing that makes sex wrong is the absence of the marriage relationship. There is carnal knowledge of people that we are not supposed to have if we are not married to them. And God's pattern for man is one man for one woman as long as they both shall live. See Matthew 19: 3-9. Solomon may have had 700 wives and 300 concubines, but he wasn't right for doing so. Abraham may have had more than one wife, but it wasn't what God wanted, and the world still has strife today over the jealousies that came out of that situation 4000 years ago. Some idols to tear down: there is way too much pornography in our world. What used to be un-sellable or sold under the counter at the drug store is now on billboards along the interstate highway. Some of the catalogs on women's wear that come without a cover through the mail to the women folk and your house and at mine, frankly would make the Playboy subscription of the 1960s obsolete. It's on the internet. It's on Entertainment Tonight at 6: 30 in the evening on the television set. And we wonder why we have 1.6 million illegitimate babies a year in this country. We wonder why Pope County has over a 50 percent divorce rate, and the nation a 43% one. Sex is held up too high as the new god. Surrender it!
2. Covetousness, which is idolatry. In the 60s some worried that with the welfare society that was emerging, most people would stop working for a living. Boy have we made a correction. Both the high school kids and the college kids work so many hours a week to buy a car, buy a stereo, take a spring break trip, etc that they don't have time for studies. It's not that their teachers aren't teaching! But it's hard for minds that have a 30 to 40 hour per week job to absorb much world history or geometry. Contrast to Paul who said in Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." We need to stop working so hard in our effort to keep up with the Joneses. They're worn out too!
3. Anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from our mouths (Col. 3: 8). Story of the feather pillow and the gossip. Remember the due process for Christians in Matthew 18. First take it up with the person; then 2 or 3 witnesses; then the church. All too often, we start at step three. This makes for confusion, at the very least. Surrender the tongue! Speak things that uplift and edify each other.
4. Fleshly lusts such as overeating, getting drunk, using illicit drugs. Our bodies are the temple of the living God, and the Holy Spirit lives within us. I Cor. 3: 16,17; I Cor. 6: 19, 20.
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