Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 04 Sep 2016
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever. So be it.
1 For this reason I make request to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you will give your bodies as a living offering, holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship it is right for you to give him.
George Muller spoke to his ministers and workers before he died, after his 90th birthday. “I was converted in Nov 1825, but I only surrendered fully 4 years later, July 1829. After full surrender the love of money was gone, the love of position was gone, the love of worldly pleasures was gone. God became my portion. I found my all in Him and I wanted nothing else. By God’s grace the Lord made me a happy man, an exceeding happy man. It led me to care only for the things of God.” He said to those about him, “I beseech you that you fully surrender to the Lord and hold nothing back. I used to read things that had nothing to do with the faith, but since God was revealed to me and became my all He became the great treasure of my life.”
Can you truly say as he had said, that there’s nothing you love more than God?
The first point then from our text is that we need to surrender completely and utterly to God the Holy Spirit.
The first verse in chapter 12 starts with ‘therefore’, and the last verse of chapter 11 is the reason. If it says ‘therefore’, there’s a reason that it’s there for. Everything in the past, present and future come from the hand of the Lord Jesus. Everything we have is from Him. All that we possess was created by Him and through Him. Even our enemies exist through Him. All things are made complete in His hand (Col 1:15-17). And for that reason we are begged in chapter 12 to surrender completely, that our bodies are a living sacrifice to Him. Even the way we dress and behave, that all should show that we have completely surrendered all to Him.
A sacrifice is something that has been killed, it’s the end of me and my ways. Where you no longer live for yourself, but only for Him.
In England there was a certain Dr Wilson who surrendered completely to God the Holy Spirit. Before that he was troubled and prayed often that God would use him to save souls. A certain American minister visited him and asked him, Dr Wilson, what does the Holy Spirit mean to you? He gave a standard answer that He is the third person of the Trinity, etc. But the other minister said, I hear your answer but you haven’t answered my question, what does He mean to you? Dr Wilson looked down sadly and answered, “He is nothing to me and I can live fine without Him”. Then he went to another meeting and the preacher explained this verse that the apostle doesn’t say to Whom we must surrender our body. But it’s not the Lord Jesus since He has His own body and also not the Father for He remains in heaven. But the Holy Spirit came to this earth without a body. As he heard that he broke down and went home and surrendered his body to the Holy Spirit, saying that God the Holy Spirit can do with his body whatever He wanted, whether to send him to Africa as a missionary or to be riddled with cancer. The next day he led two medical students to the Lord and from that time the Holy Spirit worked mightily through him and many came to know the Lord Jesus through him till the end of his life. He said that his surrendering his body to the Holy Spirit was more revolutionary than when he came to Christ. Full surrendering of your life means the end of your life. In John 21:18 Jesus says to Peter, “truly I say to you when you were young you went where you wished, but when you become old someone else will lead you even to the place you don’t want to go”.
Have you entered into this life or are you still a Pharisee like Christian? Have you surrendered your body? If so, when?
Full surrender also means all your possessions.
We sing the song, “take my life and let it be”, but do we mean it, and do we live what we sing?
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army was asked why God could use him and he answered that he believed that it was because he fully surrendered to God. His daughter then added that her father also never took back what he had surrendered to God.
The curse of many in Christendom is that they surrender to the Lord but before night falls have taken it back again.
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