Summary: In a day of easy believism and when it seems so easy for some to profess to be committed Christians, Paul calls us to a complete and unreserved committment to Christ..


"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your

reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." -- Romans 12:1-2

Recently I found this snippet of history in my files."Ivan the Terrible was one of the great rulers of Russia. He was so busy trying to annex territory to his country that he had no time for social life. His

advisors become worried because he had not married. Ivan suggested that they find him a wife and he would accept their recommendation. They

searched far and wide for a girl who was beautiful, intelligent and a

king’s daughter.

They found her in Athens, Greece. Her name was Sophia. She was the daughter of the King of Greece. Ivan asked the King for his daughter’s

hand. The King demanded that Ivan join the Greek Orthodox Church. This he did.He had gone to Greece with five hundred of his best soldiers and when Ivan joined the church they desired to join also. A catechizer outlined the articles of the Orthodox Church creed to every one of them. They gave ready assent to every article except one. One of the articles stated that if they joined the Orthodox Church they could not be professional soldiers. They asked the catechizer to give them time to think the matter over. They pondered the problem, "How can we join the Church and remain in the army at the same time?"

They concocted a plan. When they were to be baptized they marched into the water. The five hundred soldiers were accompanied by five hundred priests. (They were to be baptized by immersion ; how else could a Greek Church baptize them, since they know the true and only meaning of their word, "baptizo"?) Shortly before each priest plunged his candidate under, each solder grabbed for his sword and lifted it up in air. Each one was baptized; except for his fighting arm and a gleaming sword that jutted out of the water. Those who witnessed the mass baptism spectacle said they saw five hundred dry arms and five hundred glittering swords sticking out of

the water. It seems the he soldiers had come up with a compromise. ’’We will join the church with our bodies, but we will allow our fighting arm to

remain in the possession of the state.’"

The application of this little historical episode to our theme is self-evident. In his Roman letter Paul gives a Clear Call For a Complete Committal To Christ by all who call themselves brothers in Christ. But it seems that in our day many are not willing to yield themselves completely to Christ.

Evangelist, Angel Martinez, had this to say about conditions forty years ago, "The curse of the hour is the curse of partial surrender. We can never have power with God or with men until we have given ourselves wholly to God. God does not want scraps or leftovers. God doesn’t need much of a

man, but needs all there is of him. The price of spiritual power is complete surrender. Many of us have unbaptized tongues, unbaptized feet, unbaptized imaginations, unbaptized pocketbooks. The appeal to be fully yielded should be overwhelmingly answered by every Christian. Yet Paul was having to beg the church in that day even as we have to beg the church in this hour. The spiritual lethargy of the church is reflected by the use of the word, "beseech." Paul was having to beg the brethren to surrender themselves to

the Lord."

I’m afraid affairs have worsened in the ensuing years. If there has ever been a day in which people need to heed Paul’s Call For A Complete Committal To Christ, today is that day.

Paul speaks to the brothers at Rome about THE CAUSE FOR A COMPLETE COMMITTAL TO CHRIST. He speaks of a Godly motivation for being out and out for Jesus. He says, "I beseech you therefore brethren, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD. .!" I am told the sense of the original language is, "I beg of you . . Please!" When he says, "therefore by," he is making clear reference to the great doctrines of grace; such as salvation, justification, sanctification and glorification, taught in the previous chapters. In view of these great blessings, we should serve the Lord. Because of these tremendous gifts of grace, we should serve the Lord.

His very statement indicated that some could attempt to serve God for the wrong reasons. It would not be uncommon for young people who have been reared in a Godly Christian home to try to serve God merely because they wish to please their parents. Even when they grow older their respect for their parents may be an influence that tends to draw them back to a straight and narrow path when they go astray. Although it is good that

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