Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

What Is Always Present in a Gospel Changing Life

2 CORINTHIANS 9:10-15 – He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift.”

It is the most important word in the Christian life. It is also the most important practice in the Christian. It determines our effectiveness for Christ; our closeness to Christ; and our conforming to the image of Christ. This word and practice enhances our joy in the Lord. Without it, there is no joy for its absence in the Christian life reveals an unhealthy relationship with Him who is our joy. Finally, this word and practice is always present in a life truly changed by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And before I share the word which is in today’s scripture, the classic illustration of this word and practice in a life is that of the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus when he became a follower of the Lord Jesus. Here is the account and though the word and practice is not explicitly stated, it is clearly seen. As we read it, see if we can recognize it.

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do”(Acts 9:1-6).

What is the response of Saul, soon to be Paul, in his encounter with Jesus? One word–submission. Jesus says to him, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he (Saul), trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” He fell to the ground proclaiming submission to the Lord Jesus for two reasons; he was spiritually awakened to who Jesus is and his personal need of Jesus. And in today’s scripture, go back and find this key word and practice in the Christian life–submission. When we do, pay close attention to what it is linked to–one’s confession of faith in the Gospel of Christ. A confession of faith in Jesus without a life of ongoing submission to Him in all areas of life is a false confession. Jesus is Lord. At salvation. All through the Christian life. Christianity is a call to total submission to the Lordship of Jesus and where there is willful rebellion or refusal to submit to Christ in everything, be concerned. The call of Christ to us is a call of death to self–totally. And in doing so is great joy, peace, and rest as we gladly submit to His authority over our lives.

Submission. The most important word and practice in the Christian life and will always be practiced in a life changed by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.

PRAYER: “Father, may my life reflect true belief in Your Son’s Gospel by a life of ongoing submission to Him.”
QUOTE: “Professing faith in Christ always leads to a life totally surrendered to Christ. There is one Lord-Him.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim