Living Your Commitment

MEMORY SELECTION: “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and Increasing in the knowledge of God.” —Colossians 1:10

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Colossians 1:9-20

THE commitment that we make as disciples of Christ is a very serious matter. It is not only a commitment that controls our life now, but it is an agreement to serve the Heavenly Father and his beneficent purposes for eternity. The commitment that we make was pictured by Jesus in his baptism. Mark 10:35-40 tells of James and John coming to Jesus to ask for special favors in the kingdom. One desired to sit on the right hand and the other on the left of the Master. “But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (vs. 38) They answered Jesus that they could. Then Jesus stated: “Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of: and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.” The cup that James and John were invited to drink of is a symbolic cup which pictures all the experiences that were permitted to come to Jesus during the three and one-half years of his ministry. These experiences were those incidents where he suffered evil while doing good—being misunderstood, mocked, and blasphemed, and eventually suffering death. All these experiences came upon him as the result of his intense activity in carrying out the Heavenly Father’s will for him. The baptism referred to in this text was not his water baptism; but rather, it pictured the complete surrender of his own will, his earthly possessions, aims, ambitions, and desires—the complete surrender of his humanity. His only hope for a future life was that the Heavenly Father would resurrect him from death.

This same cup and baptism is the lot of each prospective member of the church down through the Gospel Age. Jesus said, in Luke 14:26,27: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” In these texts Jesus is putting in perspective the love for God that is required of all who will be his disciples. The word “hate” could be better translated “love less.” In other words, the disciples’ love for the Heavenly Father and his principles cannot be superseded by love for any other thing, not even love for their own life. And by the illustration of bearing the cross, Jesus indicates that the disciple must be willing to suffer and die. In short, the disciple must be willing to walk in the footsteps of the Master.

The Apostle Paul, in Romans 6:3-5, expresses the same thought with respect to the consecrated Christian’s commitment to participate in the suffering and death of the Forerunner, Christ Jesus. And in Romans 12:1,2, the apostle states: “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.”

In this text the apostle addresses his remarks to the consecrated brethren in the church at Rome. He is urging them to fulfill the commitment they had made to suffer and die with the Lord. In order that their sacrifice might be acceptable, he reminds them that they have been justified by the blood of Christ and therefore are holy and acceptable. Giving up all of this, he states, is their reasonable service, in view of what has been done for them and what is promised for them in the future if they are faithful.

In the next verse he reminds the brethren that, while the sacrifice is going on, there is a secondary work that should be accomplished. This is the renewing of the mind, in order to eradicate worldly thoughts and establish in their place spiritual thoughts.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |