Is it complete surrender possible?
This afternoon I happened to listen to a sermon. I didn’t catch it in its entirety, but heard the ending. The ending of a sermon in many churches is when soft, hypnotic music starts playing, and the preacher / motivational speaker / leader becomes louder, sounding more impassioned with each breath.
Today was standard fair; stand up, bow your head, say a prayer, submitting your life to Christ. As I said – standard fair. This time the speaker said, “If you are still having difficulties in life, perhaps you haven’t surrendered enough? You need to surrender your whole heart, and life!”
Say what? What sort of hope is that? Is it even possible to surrender everything?
The short answer is, “No!”
Before I go on, let me make this one comment. I love the old hymn, “I Surrender All.” I enjoy singing it in church, at home, anywhere. In church I usually announce a disclaimer, saying that this is an impossible thing to do.
You see, if it takes our surrendering to get right with God, we will never, ever get to that state. Believers, after all, still possess a rebellious sin nature, that, without being checked, will sin. And, by will sin, I mean 100% possibility.
There are two things a Christian can be sure of:
1. He will sin (1 John 1:9)
2. He will die (unless raptured by the Lord!)
The remedy for this sin is not surrender, or even submitting to the Lordship of Christ. The remedy is faith! Yes, you read that right. F-A-I-T-H. The problem with this simple answer is that many people look at faith as an abstract thing, which cannot be defined.
Let’s look at Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. – Colossians 2:6-7
You see, salvation came by faith, in receiving Jesus Christ as Lord. The object of faith is not faith, but in Christ. Therefore, if you have received Him by faith (in Him), you do not have to surrender to Him, but walk through faith in Him.
“When the going gets tough the tough get going,” says the old saying. Yet, the reality of it is that when the going gets tough the tough LOOK to Him.
The Gospel message is not you surrendering your life. That is bad news indeed, because of your sinful nature, and inability to do so. The Gospel message is indeed GOOD NEWS! Jesus Christ gave Himself, willingly, for you! Believe it!
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: – Galatians 1:4
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. – 1 Timothy 2:5-6