Question & Answer Part 14

Is daily surrender of the will to Jesus the key to understanding and living the gospel of Jesus Christ and if so why is it?

Jesus gave the answer to the first part of this question in His night interview with a Jewish Pharisee named Nicodemus. Here is how the conversation went:

3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:1-7 (Emphasis supplied).

Jesus said here that the key to seeing (understanding) and entering (living out the principles) of the kingdom of God is in being born again of the Spirit and not the flesh. Notice Nicodemus’ response to Jesus’ answer:

3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

Amazingly Jesus’ answer only confused Nicodemus even though he was a spiritual leader and teacher of God’s chosen people: It confused him because he, like many Christians today, did not understand the gospel of the cross of Jesus Christ expressed I Corinthians 1:17&18:

1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God

The apostle Paul tells us here that one cannot preach the gospel without preaching the cross because the preaching of the cross is the key to possessing the power of God. To fully understand why Paul said this we must look at what He wrote in Galatians 2:20&21 where He said:

2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. 

The purpose of the cross is to make it possible for sinners to say, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

The phrase, not I but Christ lives in me, is the essence of the gospel: It is Jesus living in us that makes it possible for us to preach and live the gospel. Without Him we can do absolutely nothing for the kingdom of God (see John 15:1-8).

So to the question:

Is daily surrender of the will to Jesus the key to understanding and living the gospel of Jesus Christ and if so why is it?

My answer is yes, daily surrender of the will to Jesus is the key to understanding and living the gospel because daily surrender of the will gives Jesus the right to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (see parts 11-13 of this series).

The reason I have been hammering this point home over and over in many different ways is because the vast majority of Christians of every faith have yet to experience the power, the peace and the rest that Jesus brings when we stop trying to be good and start surrendering all to the one who is good. I stress daily surrender over and over because the only way to work out our salvation is to allow Jesus to work in us both to will and to do of God’s good pleasure (see Philippians 2:12&13).

Therefore I, like the apostle Paul, am determined to preach nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified because I want your faith to be strengthen daily by the power of God rather than weakened by the fleshly wisdom of man (see I Corinthians 2:2&5). I count everything that we have been depending on other than Jesus to be nothing but dung so that we might learn to depend on Jesus and Jesus alone (see Philippians 3:7-15). I preach the cross of Christ because I know that Christ in us is our only hope of living the glorious life we were created to live: A life that is capable of experiencing the fullness of joy and happiness that God gives right here on earth as well as throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity in heaven (see Mark 10:28-31 & Colossians 2:8-10). This is why the apostle Paul said:

1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;  1:26 [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:  1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:  1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

So I will summarize my answer by saying:

The reason I say that daily surrender of the will to Jesus is the only way we can fully understand and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ is because daily surrender is the only way we can take up our cross daily and be born again of the Spirit and not the flesh. This is why Jesus said:

3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:1-7 (Emphasis supplied).

This ends the series entitled, Question & Answer. However, I will continue to answer your questions from time to time. So continue to send them in to this email address: gjackson0319@gmail.com.

Next week I will start a 3 part series on how daily surrender can make: Marriage happier, Divorce a blessing and the Single Life fulfilling. It will be entitled: COMPLETE IN JESUS. You don’t want to miss it. Until then I leave you with this God inspired quote:

By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: “Dead in trespasses and sins;” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint”; “no soundness in it.” We are held fast in the snare of Satan; “taken captive by him at his will.” Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26. God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.     The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holinessThe Faith I Live By, page 87 paragraph 3&4 (Emphasis supplied).