“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13 (NASB)
There’s a classic country song by Tracy Lawrence entitled Somebody Who Would Die for You. It’s a song that grabs you by the heart because it poses a profoundly personal idea; would you give your life for the sake of another? As we consider dying for a loved one, the answer comes quick and easy, but how about a stranger? Better yet, how about a wicked, vile murderer? The answer doesn’t come as quick and easy does it? Paul posed this very idea in Romans 5:7 when under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, “For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.” Paul is speaking of Christ Jesus who was not only willing to die, but died for the most wicked, vile sinner of all – namely, the chief of sinners Paul himself.
We often compete with others in various venues, but never would we compete for the title chief of sinners. Yet, the Bible teaches that we are all vile sinners who have fallen short of God’s glory and stand in great need of rescue and restoration. Without hesitation, I admit that I am the chief of sinners. Yes, this pastor is a sinner. I’m saved by the grace of God, but I stand in constant need of that same grace. At the same time, I’m constantly humbled by the truth that God considers me His friend. Why would God love me to the degree that He would send His only Son to die for me? The last chorus of Lawrence’s song brings out this very point: “Your Son died for me; would I be somebody who would die for You?”
As we have seen in our study of Acts, the early church faced constant opposition and persecution because of their bold faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They were committed to the degree of giving their life for the sake of Jesus and His Gospel. They refused to be silenced in proclaiming His Gospel or stopped in advancing His kingdom. When posed with the question, “Would they die for Christ?” They willingly and joyfully answered, “Yes!” How would I answer that question? How would you answer that question?
The Christian life is all about commitment.
It’s about being faithful and determined to keep Christ at the center of our life, which means being ever diligent in refusing to be silenced or stopped. And this is a constant challenge because such threats come from everyday life – keeping our priorities in order. Jesus died for us, so we should be willing to die for Him. Jesus not only commands this level of commitment of us, but He is worthy of receiving this level of commitment from us.
How would we describe our level of commitment to Jesus? A quick analysis would be our involvement in the ministry of the church – our attending, giving, serving, and praying. Does our present involvement in those activities accurately reflect our commitment to Christ? If not, what needs to change?
Loving and Serving Together,
*Article was published in the July edition of The Herald; a monthly publication of Green Hill Baptist Church.