Want to Win? Surrender!
What comes to mind when you read the word “surrender?” Defeat? Giving up? Loss? We don’t like the idea of surrendering; but what if I told you that surrender doesn’t always mean defeat? The truth is that when we surrender our lives to Christ, we actually win in so many ways! In Colossians 2:11-23, we discover the answer to an important question: What happens when I surrender my life to Christ?
Six Ways I Win When I Surrender My Life to Christ (Colossians 2:11-23)
1) Surrendering my life to Christ cleanses me from the sins that plague me. (Col. 2:11-12)
Paul makes clear that as Christ-following Believers, we are not circumcised by human hands, but rather our “whole self” is put away by Christ. When you surrender your life to Jesus and place your faith in Him as Savior and Lord, you undergo a spiritual “circumcision” by putting off the old body of sin and becoming a new creation in Christ. (Rom. 6:6; 2 Cor. 2:17).
The outward sign of the new covenant is not circumcision, but baptism. (Acts 2:38) Water baptism is a beautiful symbol and illustration of the washing away of sin. Surrendering my life to Christ cleanses me of the sins that plague me and it gives me a chance to start a new life in Him under the leadership of His Holy Spirit living in me.
2) Surrendering my life to Christ revives me from death! (Col. 2:13)
Sometimes we need an alarm to wake us up in the morning. If we miss that alarm, we may find ourselves in trouble at work or school. We need that alarm! Jesus saves us from a lot of trouble too. In fact, without Him, we are dead in our sins, desperately in need of being revived. (Eph 1:7; 2:5) The question is: Will you ignore Christ; will you hit snooze; or will you wake up? Don’t stay dead in your sin… Surrendering your life to Christ revives you from hopelessness and death and gives you a new life in Him!
3) Surrendering my life to Christ cancels the biggest debt I’ll ever owe! (Col. 2:14-15)
What is the biggest debt you’ll ever owe? For most of us, it is our mortgage. A lot of folks carry mortgage debt for 30 years or more. For some it is credit card debt. That could take even longer to payoff if you try to do it with minimum payments. But as great as either of those debts might be, they are minuscule compared to the debt you owe for the sins you commit in life. And you can’t pay that off with good deeds, good behavior, charitable giving or even church attendance, though all of those are important spiritual disciplines. (Rom. 6:23).
Jesus has paid our legal indebtedness. Our violations have been nailed to His cross.
If someone offered to pay your mortgage debt or your credit card debt, what would you do? Jump for joy?! Hug that person’s neck?! Break down in tears?! Sure you would! Surrendering your life to Christ cancels the biggest debt you’ll ever owe! What is your response?
4) Surrendering my life to Christ eliminates my need to do more. (Col. 2:16-17)
There were some in the Colossian Church who were wrongly teaching that Believers needed to do more to be saved. They were trying to add to the true message of the Gospel with useless, man-made legalistic ideas. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you must do more to receive salvation. What we do as Believers after we surrender our lives to Christ doesn’t assure our salvation, it reveals it; it reveals our commitment to Christ, our maturity as Believers and our desire to honor Him with our lives. In other words, we serve, we give, we worship, we pray, not to cause our salvation, but because of our salvation. Surrendering my life to Christ eliminates the requirement to do more.
5) Surrendering my life to Christ enables me to connect with Him and to grow with my church. (Col. 2:18-19)
Have you ever been talking to someone on your smart phone and it starts cutting in and out, or worse, the connection drops completely? The Believers in the Colossian Church didn’t have cell phone connection issues, but some in the church were completely disconnected from Christ; their teaching was creating confusion and was causing growth and discipleship in that church to be stunted.
When we surrender our lives to Christ, we are connected with Him and with His Church, which is His body. It is important for us to be a part of a local church family where the Bible is taught, where we are learning, growing and maturing in our relationships with Christ. At Watermark, we are all about that!
6) Surrendering my life to Christ allows God to begin His transforming work in me! (Col. 2:20-23)
I shared 7-8 weeks ago that I was determined to shed some unwanted pandemic pounds. To do that I decided to change my eating habits. I cut out red meat, fried food, sweets, white bread and biscuits. It has worked great and I’m grateful for the results!
But to be clear, while making those choices of what to eat and not eat made me healthier, it didn’t make us “holier”. In the Colossian Church, some were teaching that to be holy or righteous, you had to follow certain rules, including rules about what you eat. That kind of self-denial was supposed to “purge” from sin; but that is not true and it shows a woeful misunderstanding of God’s amazing grace. No amount of austerity can earn salvation or merit the love of God. (Eph. 2:8-9)
Instead, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, transforming us, making us more like Christ. (Rom. 12:2). Are you allowing God to change you?
For much more, click here to listen to: Steadfast: Part 6 - When Surrender Is Not Defeat!