Summary: This message is basically a message of exhortation for the members of the local church to wholly commit themselves to God in three areas of their lives.
A Challenge To Churchwide Commitment
Text: Ps. 37:5; Prov. 3:5-6
Intro: Though the word commitment does not appear in the Bible, the ideas which the word conveys, are found there numerous times. The verses that we’ve just read are two examples of the idea of commitment found in the Bible.
One of the ideas included in this word is that of entrusting something into another’s care. This is what the Psalmist had in mind when he said, “Commit thy way unto the Lord…” (Ps. 37:5a). The thought of faith is confirmed by the Psalmist’s added encouragement to “…trust also in him…” (Ps. 37:5b).
Another idea involved in the word commitment is that of pledging or obligating one’s self to a particular action. However, this too is based on faith and trust. This is somewhat the thought brought out in Proverbs 3:6, where we are told that we have the obligation of acknowledging the Lord in all our ways (“every aspect of our lives”1).
It is this latter idea that I wish to speak of today. There are some actions that we, as Christians, need to obligate ourselves. As the slogan of one church says, “A great commitment to the great commandment and the Great Commission will create a great church.”2 The particular church, in California, that developed that slogan, grew from seven, in 1980, to over 4000. Could it be, my dear folks, that God would do great things here as we sincerely commit ourselves to Christ? Could we really be on the verge of something great? I believe we could be. But in order to see great things from God, I believe we need to be committed in the following three areas.
Theme: We as a church, must be…
I. COMMITTED TO THE GREAT CHRIST
A. He Is The Christ Who Saved Us.
Col. 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:”
NOTE: Should we not willingly commit our life to the One who died in our place, so that there might be “…no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Rom. 8:1a)? Packer makes the following observation:
Why did the Father will the death of his only beloved Son, and in so painful and shameful a form? Because the Father had “laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). Jesus’ death was vicarious (undergone in our place) and atoning (securing remission of sins for us and reconciliation to God). It was a sacrificial death, fulfilling the principle of atonement taught in connection with the Old Testament sacrifices: “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11).
As the “last Adam,” the second man in history to act on mankind’s behalf, Jesus died a representative death. As a sacrificial victim who put away our sins by undergoing the death penalty that was our due, Jesus died as our substitute. By removing God’s wrath against us for sin, his death was an act of propitiation (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10—“expiation,” signifying that which puts away sin, is only half the meaning). By saving us from slavery to ungodliness and divine retribution for sin, Jesus’ death was an act of redemption (Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). By mediating and making peace between us and God, it was an act of reconciliation (Rom. 5:10-11). It opened the door to our justification (pardon and acceptance) and our adoption (becoming God’s sons and heirs—Rom.5: 1, 9; Gal. 4:4-5).
This happy relationship with our Maker, based on and sealed by blood atonement, is the “New Covenant” of which Jesus spoke in the Upper Room (1 Cor. 11:25; Matt. 26:28).3
B. He Is The Christ Who Secures Us.
John 10:28 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
NOTE: The eternal security of the believer isn’t guaranteed by the believer himself any more than was his salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). God Himself guarantees both salvation and security through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Harry Ironside stated that salvation was like Noah inviting a pagan in his day to place his trust in God’s Word and come in to the ark. Some view salvation like Noah offering to put a peg on the outside of the ark. “If you just hang on through the storm, you’ll be saved.” Salvation is not dependent on our holding on to God, but on our being securely held by and in Christ.4