Salvation Before Surrender

August 18, 2012

Salvation Before Surrender 

            People still debate the question, “What comes first; the chicken or the egg?”  There need not be any debate about whether salvation should precede surrender.  There is a great difference between accepting what God offers us and surrendering our life to him.  We aren’t saved by surrendering ourselves to God.  Our submission to God has to come after we are saved.  We don’t have anything to offer God that would be of any value to him.

We stand condemned before God.  John 3:18 says “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  We bring shame and disgrace on the name of God by thinking that we are good enough in ourselves; that we don’t need the shed blood of God’s Son to save us.  Isaiah 64:6 says “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”  What reason do we have for thinking that God would be pleased with an offering like that?

Some people use the wrong terminology in speaking of their salvation.  It may be that they were saved after a period  of months or years of resisting the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance. To them, it seemed as though they surrendered.  In a sense, they did.  They stopped fighting and recognized their need of God.   It’s a surrender that comes when one is defeated.  It isn’t our surrender that saves us.  If  you think it is, maybe you aren’t saved.  We are saved by Christ’s sacrifice onCalvary.  It’s not by anything good we have done.

The word that is most often used in the Bible in speaking of salvation is “believe.”  John 1:12 says “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  It’s a matter of believing from the heart.  It is an acceptance of two biblical truths:

1.  I was dead in “trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).  We already noted in John 3:18 that we were condemned.

2.  Jesus Christ gave his life on the cross ofCalvaryto pay the penalty for our sins.

Isaiah 53:5-6 says “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised    for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

There does need to be a time when the Christian surrenders his life to God.  That may come at the time of salvation. If so, we need to make it clear that the surrender is not a part of their salvation.  There is what some call “lordship salvation.”  That is the belief that we aren’t saved unless we are also surrendered.  That’s adding something to the finished work of Christ.

The obedient Christian is one who has submitted his will to the will of God.  Romans 12:1-2 speaks of this.  “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.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  If we surrender our will to God he will be free to do what he wants to with our body.

God gives his people what, in the Bible, are called “gifts.”  Romans 12:6-8 lists some examples of gifts.  “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”  Some know what their gift or gifts are before they are saved.  Some don’t find out until after they are saved.  God wants our wills so he can use us.  He may not choose to use what you think is your talent. All God wants is our will.  Don’t offer what you think God could use.  He may not want that. There may be some other talent you have that he wants to use. Part of our life he may use one talent and later on another talent.  God has a plan for your life.  If he has your will he will reveal his plan and enable you to accomplish his purpose through you.


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