For to me to Live is Christ…
When God gave His Son for the redemption and salvation of repentant sinners, He gave all – giving the only begotten Son as the infinite sacrifice. He gave the world not only the author of faith but also the finisher of faith; not only the Alpha, but also the Omega. He gave fallen humanity Christ “who is all and in all” (Act of Apostles: 245).
Christ who is “all and in all” requires the same willing and sacrificial spirit and service from the sons and daughters of God. This calls, first and foremost, for the total surrender of all that we are as evident in King Ahab’s formulation “My Lord, oh King, according to your saying I am yours and all that I have” (1King 20:4). When one submits “I am yours” this means Jesus becomes One’s Lord and King and one becomes His servant. It means ones’ very being or self belongs to Jesus including thoughts, will, desires, affections, relationships, rights, – all belong to Christ.
When we offer self as total living sacrifice, Paul’s perspective becomes a reality namely, the self is “crucified with Christ”, “not I that lives but Christ that lives”, “for to me to live is Christ…”. With us living for Christ and the latter living in us, we can then surrender all that we have to Christ. The all includes my time, wealth, abilities, accomplishments, reputations etc (Pipim 2006: 24).
The total commitment of all we are and all we have to Christ is possible if we emulate the unquestioning faith and obedience of Abraham. When the sacrifice of all was demanded by God, Abraham by faith offered the sacrifice required of him. Over and above, his was a life of prayer. Wherever he pitched a tent, adjacent to it he would set up an alter, calling all in his encampment to the morning and evening sacrifice. Thus he was conferred the great honour of being the friend of God and the inheritor of faith (James 2:23).
Such is the thrust and premise of ASI! Sharing Christ in the Marketplace requires total surrender of all we are and all we have to the supreme lordship of Jesus Christ. Apart from him we can do nothing. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens and constrains us! For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phi 1:21 KJV).
Look up and live!
Professor Themba Sirayi