Lesson 12 -- fourth quarter 2004
November 21, 2004
© Copyright 2004, Christian Light Publications
Probing Your Own Heart
What motivates you for living with the lost all around you?
How well do you know and communicate the Gospel message?
Building on Some Foundational Concepts
The fate of the unsaved should motivate us.
"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Corinthians 5:11). The Lord most assuredly will bring unfathomable eternal terror, judgment, and justice crashing down on the heads of the unsaved. They will suffer unspeakable agony in every dimension of their being. When the Christian's knowledge of this impending doom fades, so does his compulsion to persuade the lost.
God's love must work in our hearts first.
We need the love of Christ to effectively live and communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "For the love of Christ constraineth us" (2 Corinthians 5:14). Until this is so, our words will ring with the heart and meaning of jangling metal: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (1 Corinthians 13:1).
Our lives are not our own to live for ourselves.
We know that Jesus died for all. Those who accept the redemption effected by His death also accept this reality: "they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them" (2 Corinthians 5:15). They no longer have a life -- nor a body, nor time, nor energy, nor resources, nor interest -- to live for themselves. Right? Right!
We represent God's interests here on planet Earth.
Being new creatures who have received new for old, having been reconciled to God, and bearing the world of reconciliation, "we are ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).
Questions and Responses
How do I not live for myself any longer?
The first step, of course, is to surrender to Jesus as Lord and Savior, confessing your sin to Him in full repentance and acceptance of His death for you. In doing so, you also believe that "they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves" (2 Corinthians 5:15). Hence the question -- How do I not live for myself any longer?
The short answer really is quite short: Live for Jesus! The following verses bring out difference facets of the diamond of Christian living.
"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit...to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:5,6).
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).
"I am crucified with Christ...Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).
"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Romans 6:13).
"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" (Romans 12:1).
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus..." (Colossians 3:17).
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation" (1 Peter 1:15).
"Now the God of peace...Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 13:20,21).
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
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