At the end of yesterday’s post, I addressed the question, “Is He worthy of my self-abandonment?” Today, in part two, I’d like to begin with the same thought. Is Christ worthy of our total devotion? Is He precious enough to us that we would give up everything for Him?
Raising The Dead –
In his book, Radical, David Platt presents this story:
An old preaching professor used to take his students to a cemetery every semester. Standing on the perimeter overlooking scores of headstones, he would ask his students in all sincerity to speak over the graves and call people from the ground to rise up and live. With some embarrassment and an awkward chuckle or two, they would try it. Of course, one by one they would fail. The professor would then look at his students and remind them of a core truth in the gospel: people are spiritually dead, just as these corpses in the cemetery were physically dead, and only words from God can bring them to spiritual life.
I can’t think of a better example to remind us that without God, we are absolutely helpless. This is who we are as fallen human beings. The Bible tells us that we are dead in sin. And who, being dead, can bring himself back to life? And so, the gospel confronts each of us with the reality of our crippled situation. Without a Savior, we are literally stuck in our sin.
Who? Me?! –
But of course, we don’t like to think of ourselves as sinners. Instead, we strive after self-improvement. In our minds, we have this picture of a “good” person and as long as we can check off x, y, and z, then we may rest securely within the title of exceptional. And so, Christianity simply becomes a self-help program to help us journey from “bad” to “good.”
Is this the gospel? Certainly not! We cannot completely ignore what the Bible says about our condition. We are enemies of God, dead in our sin, and in our present state we are not even able to see that we need life, let alone induce that life ourselves. Therefore, we are wholly dependent upon God to take action in our lives and do something that we could never do.
So Is He Worth It? –
Pondering it through the lens of this truth, the question of whether Christ is worthy of our total abandonment almost seems a silly one. If He has loved us enough to take us from death to life – an action we could never perform on our own – then we are fully indebted to Him.
And yet, we were not redeemed through a simple snap of the fingers or a single word. While God is loving, He is also just, so He could not merely allow the punishment that we deserved to go unnoticed. That punishment was the wrath of God and separation from Him – two things that His perfect Son had never experienced, had done nothing to deserve, and yet took upon Himself for the sake of our salvation. In fact, Hebrews¹ tells us that Christ took our punishment with joy, knowing that He was redeeming us from our helpless state.
A Response –
Such an action requires a response. But what should that response be? How do we reply to this amazing love? What can we say in return? Can we simply pray a prayer and continue to live our lives in our own way? Absolutely not! This isn’t a simple, one-time act of walking down the aisle, signing a card, praying a prayer, or “accepting” Jesus. This is a life-style – a full-time commitment to our Lord. Because He deserves nothing less than our complete and total devotion.
So now ask yourself the question, “Is He worthy of my self-abandonment?”