What’s In It For Me? (Part 2)
Last issue we asked the question: ‘What’s in it for me?’ Some may object that presenting the benefits of being a Christian panders to man’s innate selfishness. However, the Lord acknowledges that we have a love for ourselves. We are to love our neighbour as ourselves. It is given to us of God to seek out that which is for our greatest good.
Tragically, sin has blinded us from knowing what that is and where to find it. No man seeks God. But, by grace, when we seek God, we find Christ, and when we take Christ we gain in every way that truly matters, finding all that is truly good for us.
In 1 Corinthians 1:30 we noted that Christ is made unto us: wisdom – the remedy for the ignorance that marks our sinful state; and righteousness – the guilty become righteous before God as by faith, they receive Christ’s righteousness. But there is more.
1. Sanctification. In Christ, the sinner is released from the power of sin and is set apart by God from sin for holy service (1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:11). This ‘once and for all’ act is essential if we are to be useful in the Lord’s service. But beyond a ‘setting apart’, sanctification is the work of God whereby we are renewed morally and progressively. In Christ, the power of sin is broken and we live less to sin and more to righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:1-6, 17-18) God grants us the power to live upright lives, which, though imperfect, please Him.
2. Redemption. In Christ, the sinner is delivered from the presence of sin. The term redemption is often used to describe our freedom from sin through the payment of the price in full. The saved are the redeemed of God. But here the meaning is more specific as the terms develop. Christ is all in all to the believer. They see Him as the wisdom of God. They trust in Him as their righteousness. They are sanctified in Him. But one day they will finally be redeemed or glorified in Christ. ‘Redemption’ is used that way in Romans 8:23 and Ephesians 1:14. Paul expresses the desire of all true believers for this deliverance (Romans 7:24). We hate that our hearts hanker after the world, that our mouths speak so unkindly, that our eyes covet, our minds believe lies, and so on. To know that our redemption is guaranteed in Christ is a glorious truth.
Reader, seek Christ for ‘They lose nothing who gain Christ.’
Dr Stephen Pollock.