What is the Gospel? (Part 4)
NOTE to Leaders: This is for you, but also to pass along to men who might be encouraged to think about salvation in this light.
Adrian Rogers, the famous Baptist pastor, once went on a mission trip to Romania. Over the course of two weeks he bonded with his interpreter, but hadn’t learned much about his thoughts. So toward the end of the trip he asked, “Tell me, what do you think of American Christians?”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” came the strange reply. This, of course, only made Dr. Rogers more curious, so he began to press him for an answer.
After several attempts he finally said, “Why won’t you tell me? I really want to know.”
Finally, the interpreter capitulated. “Well, okay then, but you’re not going to like my answer. I don’t think you Americans understand what Christianity is all about. Back in the 1960s you began to use the word ‘commitment’ to describe your relationship with Christ. However, any time a word comes into usage, another word goes into disuse.”
He continued, “Until the 1960s you Americans talked about surrender to Christ. Surrender means giving up control, turning over all to the Master Jesus. By changing to the word ‘commitment’ your relationship with Christ has become something you do, therefore you are able to keep control. Surrender means giving up all rights to one’s self. You Americans don’t like to do that so, instead, you make a commitment.”
The Act of Surrender
Have you truly surrendered—not just committed—your life to Jesus Christ? Surrender is not taking control of ourselves to be better Christians. Rather, it is utterly giving up all rights to ourselves in humble reliance on the grace, love, and mercy of our good God.
This is the foundation of happiness.
If you are not sure, you can be. Tell God about your desire to yield control of your life to him in humble surrender. Repent of your sins. Invite Jesus Christ to take up residence in your heart and mind. He will give you new life. You will be born again.
You may want to put these thoughts into a prayer of your own words or, if you feel more comfortable, you can pray the following prayer. . .
Lord Jesus, I have very little enjoyment or peace in my life. That’s because I have never really surrendered my life to you. I have only known enough about you to be disappointed. You are the one who has answers to the questions I have about life. I know that I must be born again, but I have wanted to be in control. I have been a sinful man, and I am sorry. I want to change. I know there is nothing I can do to be worthy, but you love me as I am. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank you for offering to be my Good Shepherd, to give me the everlasting life, and to keep anything from snatching me out of your hand. I surrender my life to you. Amen.
Your brother in the battle,