‘In a love that cannot cease, I am His…’
‘I am His’. Every believer in Jesus may say it. And with full assurance. ‘I am the Lord’s’. Humblingly and astonishingly we may also say that he is ours. To the Christian, God is not just the Lord but my Lord. But it is of the bond by which we have become his of which I want to speak.
His by creative right.
We touch here on something that is true of all people. When David writes in Psalm 24 of the earth being ‘the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it’ (verse 1), his reference is to an ownership that is the LORD’s by creation. It was he who made the dust from which he afterwards made the first man. It was he who from this man then made the woman who became his wife. And it is he who has given life to all their innumerable offspring. David praises God because he is fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). Balk at it and deny it as people may, we are all the possession of another. God owns us (and all we have as well), and it is in the sin of our hearts that we refuse to acknowledge that and live as if we belonged to no-one but ourselves.
His by costly purchase.
‘You are not your own’, says Paul to the believers in Corinth; ‘you were bought at a price’ (1 Cor. 6:19-20). And what a price! Christ gave his very life that we who were already God’s by creation might become his in a new and special way. We are in the realm of redemption here. By virtue of our fall in Adam we put ourselves into the hands of other and very wicked powers. We became slaves both to sin and to Satan. But Christ shed his blood in order to free us from that slavery. We are now God’s by costly purchase – his ransomed people. And Paul lays it on the line as far as what that’s to mean for us: ‘Therefore honor God with your body’ (1 Cor. 6:20) – a call to sexual purity.
His by covenant bond.
Ever, in entering into covenant with people, God pledges himself to be their God. The bond by which they may call him their own is forged by covenant. So it was under the Old Covenant. So still under the New. ‘I will be their God’, he says (Jer. 31:33). But that is only one part of the promise. The other is that ‘they will be my people’ (Jer. 31:33). The bond is gloriously mutual. He is ours. We are his. And what priceless blessings are ours by virtue of that bond! All of us know him, from the least of us to the greatest. We now love and keep His law because he has written it on our hearts. Through Christ he has wholly forgiven our sins. And he has placed in us his fear so that we will not turn away from him.
His by accepted commitment.
Think what it means to come to Christ; to believe in him. There is so much more to it than the empty hand stretched out for salvation. To truly come to Christ is to commit ourselves unreservedly to him. Yes for eternal life. But also to be his loyal servants and subjects. He who is Lord is going to be our Lord – from this day forward and forever. But will he accept us? Always! It is his own promise. No-one who comes to him will ever be driven away (John 6:37). We become his when we put our trust in him. His by an accepted commitment.
By a four-fold cord then we are the Lord’s. Nor is he ashamed of his possession. Anything but! Prizes every one of us. Wouldn’t part with us for anything. Regards us as his inheritance. Counts himself rich in having us. Looks forward to us being with him. And will delight in us forever. Isn’t grace amazing?
David Campbell is pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Living in the World 6 November 2020
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When coming to consider plagues throughout history and some Christian responses, it is appropriate to begin with this extract from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer: O Almighty God, who in thy wrath did send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in […]