Committed to Christ
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh…” – Romans 8:12
We struggle with the idea of loyalty. Commitment is not a word we readily embrace in this day and age. To be committed to something means to seal oneself to another person or group or ideology. It means that no matter what occurs, or what is said, you are dedicated to the pledge you have made. As we have done with so many words, we have taken the word commitment and re-defined it to match our modern lifestyle.
A high-school recruit might make a verbal commitment to play football for one college now, but until he signs his letter of intent it is understood that he can cancel that commitment at any time. A politician will stand in front of a rally full of constituents and pledge his loyalty to their cause, but everyone understands his commitment might change under the pressure of his party or financial supporters. A husband or wife might swear their loyalty to one another in a lavishly expensive ceremony, but in many cases the bills for the wedding last longer than the commitment itself. As soon as the happiness runs out, both parties understand that it is acceptable to end the commitment. Commitment no longer means “an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action,” but instead means “a temporary promise that is contingent upon one’s personal satisfaction.”
The problem occurs when we apply this new definition of commitment to our Christianity. Our commitment to Christ can ill afford to be construed in this manner, and yet I fear that many of us today have this “commitment-lite” approach in mind when we consider our relationship with God. We are fine with calling ourselves Christians, we are OK with some church attendance, and we are even good with putting in the occasional “fiver” in the offering plate, but the moment any of that conflicts with our personal comfort and happiness we feel we have the right to opt out of our commitment. We never saw it as binding anyway.
Yet, when we honestly look at Scripture we find no version of our idea of commitment. There is no “commitment-lite” when it comes to Christianity. It is all or nothing. Paul writes to the church “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Sprit is life and peace” (Romans 8: 5-6). Notice the choices we are given are diametrically opposed to one another. In other words, according to Paul, it is impossible to be committed to both our flesh and the things of the Spirit. We must choose one or the other, and, in that same passage, Paul makes our choice abundantly clear. He writes, “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8: 12-13).
According to Paul, we as Christians are debtors, we owe our lives and loyalty to someone, but we are not debtors to the flesh. Our loyalty, our commitment, cannot be to ourselves and our own personal desires and quests. We have been bought by Christ and as such our loyalty should belong to Him and Him alone. As Tim Keller writes, “Sin grows when we think we deserve something from God, or life. Godliness grows when we remember we are debtors to God, throughout life.” May we re-evaluate our commitment to Christ and set our minds anew on the things of the Spirit.
NEWS AND NOTES:
I want to say thank you to everyone who helped in our Resurrection Week services. Whether you prepared lamb and Charoseth, or you helped serve communion at Worship at the Cross, or you volunteered your vocal and instrumental talents to any of these services – whatever you contributed was appreciated. From the Welcome Team to the Sound and Light Team, we have a tremendous group of volunteers at Rose of Sharon Baptist and I am grateful for each of you.
April 15, 2018 – Preschool Sunday and Wheels Fun Park – Join us in welcoming our ROS Preschool families to our worship service on this special Sunday. Our Preschoolers and Kids Praise groups will combine to offer up several musical selections, and at noon we will travel to Wheels Fun Park to continue the fun. Tickets for the fun park will be $5.00 per person and proceeds will benefit the Exchange Family Center of Durham. See a representative in the Connection Center for more details.
April 27, 2018 – Secret Church with David Platt – We are happy to once again offer this incredible worship opportunity to Rose of Sharon Baptist. We will meet together at 6:00pm and will spend 5 hours together in deep study of the Word of God, led via video by David Platt. If you’ve never participated in Secret Church before let me highly encourage you to do so. Every participant will receive a workbook to keep and you can sign up today in the Connection Center.
April 29, 2018 – Kingdom Celebration – We will travel to Sunrise Church in Chapel Hill to join with other brothers and sisters in the area for an incredible night of multi-ethnic worship. Make sure and mark your calendars and plan to invite someone to come with you. Our bus departs at 5:00 pm and the service will start at 6:00 pm followed by a free Fellowship Supper.
In His Service,