What’s In It For Me?
What’s in it for me?’ is a question that shows the carnality of the natural man. ‘If I do this, what do I get in return?’ Such a mind-set undergirds the question the unconverted may ask: ‘Why would I want to be a Christian?’ We must answer the question faithfully, considering the Word of God. Despite the false teaching of some, following Christ does not bring guaranteed health, wealth and prosperity. When someone becomes a Christian, he gets a cross to bear and becomes the object of the hatred of the world (Matthew 16:24, John 15: 18+19). There is a cost to be counted in following Christ
Yet, we may also respond to the question by stating that trusting in Christ brings everything any sinner could ever need. The Bible is plain in the encouragements it presents to the sinner. When we take Christ, we gain everything. The benefits of becoming a Christian are beyond measure, no matter the cost. Paul encourages the believers in Corinth: ‘But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.’ (1 Corinthians 1:30) The believer, by faith, is in a living union with the Saviour. The Saviour is everything we need. In Him we have these blessings which summarise the benefits of being a Christian.
Wisdom. By nature, we are marked by spiritual foolishness. Though we may have a high IQ we see the gospel as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18). Study 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 and you will discover that Christ is the revelation of the wisdom of God. In and of ourselves we cannot grasp the benefits of the gospel (v9). We cannot understand the spiritual (v14). But, in Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit we come to see the wisdom of God in Christ. We come to see our sin and we come to see the Saviour as our only Lord and redeemer. We gain true wisdom as we take Christ.
Righteousness. Paul tells us ‘there is none righteous, no, not one’ (Romans 3:10). By nature and practice all mankind is guilty before God. Thus, to be right before God we need a perfect righteousness. We cannot provide that. God has provided a righteousness that is not our own. Christ is that righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6). He lived a life of perfect and complete obedience to the law of God, fulfilling all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). He takes our sin on His body to the tree and when we take Christ we receive His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 10:4).
The Christian message offers Christ to the sinner and every benefit comes with Him. We’ll see more next issue but for now, very simply, take Christ and know the greatest gain! Samuel Rutherford wrote: ‘They lose nothing who gain Christ.’
Dr. Stephen Pollock.
‘The lawyer can deliver his client but from strife, the physician can deliver his patient but from sickness, the master can deliver his servant but from bondage, but the Lord delivereth us from all.’
Henry Smith, quoted in A Puritan Golden Treasury