“You were bought with a price…”
Most of us, if not all, have read what I call “bumper sticker philosophy” proudly displayed on the back of many vehicles we end up behind at a stoplight. Some of them are hilarious, while others are just plain dumb. Sorry, I know I’m not being polite or gracious but I often wonder why people display their IQ on the back of their car, like; “If it feels good do it!” I wonder how they would feel if I ran into the back of their car with my mine and told them it made me feel really good to do it?
One bumper sticker that I have seen over the years is, “Freedom isn’t free!” It is usually accompanied by our flag or a serviceman. Perhaps the owner wishes to conjure up some sort of patriotic feeling in the drivers that see the sticker. I know for myself; I do understand this philosophical tidbit and I don’t make light of it. With great freedom comes sacrifice. If you are not sure about this, I would suggest visiting any of our nation’s national cemeteries. Over the years I have visited many of them, and I can tell you first hand that they are a sober reminder of how much our personal freedom has cost this country.
As I look at my Christian experience, I sometimes forget or take for granted what it cost God to allow me the freedom to choose how I will live today. As a firm believer in the Sovereignty of God, I am aware of His complete control and authority. He alone has the absolute right to do all things according to His good pleasure. R.C Sproul writes, “There is not one piece of cosmic dust that is outside the scope of God’s sovereign providence.” But at the same time, I don’t believe God has taken away man’s ability to make choices. Do I understand the freedom of man and God’s sovereignty? Absolutely not! And as I have stated often, I am probably in good company when it comes to my lack of understanding on this topic.
But what I do understand, is that God has given believers great freedom in Jesus Christ, but at a great price. First Corinthians 6:20 says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”(NKJV) The New Living Translation puts it this way, “For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Any way you translate this verse one thing is certain, for God to free us from our sins and give us freedom in Christ, it was at a price that superseded the worth of the recipient. To give His Son in our place, the price is too high, especially when you consider what we do after we come to the saving knowledge of Christ… still sinning, will sin, keep on sinning.
Now it would be trite for me to say, “God knows all about me being a sinner, and His Son was the price He was willing to pay in order to bring me freedom in Christ.” Just typing this thought is bothersome to me. To me, it speaks of a cavalier attitude one has toward personal salvation and the lack of sensitivity that come from a heart of gratitude. The grand apostle tells his readers that our redemption came at a price none of us could pay. We not only fall short of God’s glory because of our sin, we fall really short in our ability to pay off the debt we owe Him when He bought us out of the slave market of sin (redemption).
WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO… As I consider the price of my salvation and my freedom in Christ, I know there is nothing I can do to pay God back. If I were able to keep track of all the things I do that are right and put them up against all the things I do wrong, all the ways I fall short of God’s glory, I could never come up with a payment plan to satisfy the price that Jesus paid on the cross for my sins. Yet, Paul tells his readers, “Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit.” How do we do that? What are the steps we can take to accomplish such a monumental task? Let me answer these questions with a question; Who do you belong to, now that you have been bought with a “high price?”
YOU ARE NOT AS FREE AS YOU THINK YOU ARE… The fact is God bought you and you must honor Him with your life. It is not enough to know and recite the fact that Jesus paid a high price for your salvation. Even demons know who Jesus is and they tremble (James 2:19). To glorify God always takes action. We are to be doers of the word not just hearers, lest we deceive ourselves (James 1:22). If I am bought with Jesus’ blood, I am not as free as I think I am. I have gone from being mastered by my sinfulness to having Jesus as my new Master.
BUT YOUR FREEDOM IS EVEN BETTER THAN YOU THINK… Oh what freedom we can enjoy once we understand what we are actually free to do. Let me quote fromthe aPuritan writer from the book, “The Valley of Vision.”
“Help me not only to receive Him but to walk in Him, depend upon Him, commune with Him, be conformed to Him, follow Him, imperfect, but still pressing forward, not complaining of labour, but valuing rest, not murmuring under trials, but thankful for my state.”
Freedom in Christ tells me that I am free to be completely dependent on Himfor my walk, for my conformity to the image of Christ, free to take His trail, and that might very well lead to trials. I am free to be a laborer for Christ without complaint, and free to live with a quiet spirit in a state of gratitude. Oh, what freedom we have in Christ.
This is Pastor Pat FROM BEHIND THE PEN—wishing you Joy in Jesus!