Summary: Christianity as a lifestyle, a relationship with Jesus; exists, is one of surrender. And this is the concept – Christian Surrender that I would like to look at biblically this morning. What does it mean to be surrendered to Christ?
THE MARTYR’S OATH
The Action Of Surrender
INTRODUCTION: This morning, we continue our series of the Martyr’s Oath. Christianity as a lifestyle, a relationship with Jesus; exists, is one of surrender. And this is the concept – Christian Surrender that I would like to look at biblically this morning. What does it mean to be surrendered to Christ? Surrender does not just happen, if it did, many figures in both the Old and New Testament would have had vastly different lives, had they been surrendered to Jesus and God the Father. So, as time permits, lets look at surrender.
I GOD’S SOVEREIGN ACTIVITY – 9:16-18
Romans 9:16-18 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
Romans 9:16-18 (MSG)Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy. 17 The same point was made when God said to Pharaoh, "I picked you as a bit player in this drama of my salvation power." 18 All we’re saying is that God has the first word, initiating the action in which we play our part for good or ill.
Romans 9:16-18 (YLT) so, then--not of him who is willing, nor of him who is running, but of God who is doing kindness: 17 for the Writing saith to Pharaoh--`For this very thing I did raise thee up, that I might shew in thee My power, and that My name might be declared in all the land;’ 18 so, then, to whom He willeth, He doth kindness, and to whom He willeth, He doth harden.
A God’s Activity is unaffected by my WILLINGNESS
1 We live in an action/reaction world
a We expect things we do to elicit a response
b We expect a reaction to our activity
1 Prime example are “shock jock” radio personalities
2 The fact that we accept awards, and commendations is based on our belief and desire for reaction.
2 God does not base His activity on my willingness
a What I am willing or not willing to do is not the foundation for God’s activity
B God’s activity is unaffected by my EFFORT
1 We tend to get this wrong
2 We often do something, or start to do something and ask God to bless it
3 Correctly, we should ask God first what He would have us to do, rather than guess that we have it right.
C God’s activity is affected by His mercy
1 God’s activity is in spite of our weakness
2 God’s activity is in spite of our failure
3 God’s mercy is often on those who we do not expect
4 Pride causes us to misunderstand God’s plan and our part in it
D The illustration of God’s Sovereignty With Pharaoh
1 God’s purpose was
a Reveal his Power
b Spread His Fame
2 God’s Purpose was accomplished Through Pharaoh
a God allowed Pharaoh to appear when He did
b Pharaoh was evil regardless of his position (he would have been evil no matter who he was)
c Pharaoh had a unique opportunity to hear the Word of God from Moses
d Pharaoh hardened his own heart first – His hard heart came from him not God
e God judged his hard heart and permitted it to remain
f God used Pharaoh’s activity and attitude for His good!
GOD’S ACTIVITIES ARE NOT ARBITRARY, THEY ARE SOVEREIGN. GOD’S ACTIVITIES ARE PURPOSEFUL, THOUGHT THEY MAY NOT BE OUR PURPOSES.
WE ACT FOR OUR OWN GOALS. GOD ACTS FOR HIS GOALS – Every Knee and Every Tongue
II MAN’S FAULTY THINKING – 9:19-20
Romans 9:19-20 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ’Why did you make me like this?’"
Romans 9:19-20 (MSG) 19 Are you going to object, "So how can God blame us for anything since he’s in charge of everything? If the big decisions are already made, what say do we have in it?" 20 Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, "Why did you shape me like this?"
Romans 9:19-20 (YLT) 19 Thou wilt say, then, to me, `Why yet doth He find fault? for His counsel who hath resisted?’ 20 nay, but, O man, who art thou that art answering again to God? shall the thing formed say to Him who did form it, Why me didst thou make thus?