Ownership is the Only Issue

OWNERSHIP IS THE ONLY ISSUE

You do not own yourself, someone or some circumstance owns you emotionally, owns your time, controls your future and conforms you to an image that is not really your own. You are owned by the person your bitter at, you’re owned by the persons you have sex with, your owned by the peers you want to be accepted by, you’re owned by your boss’s expectations, etcetera. How does being owned by God affect all these things and what does His ownership look like?

You own me right now if I am motivated to acquire your approval. You own me if I am trying to meet your expectations. If I need you to like me I will only speak only those things that will tickle your ears and in that way you own me.

We are as a human race so arrogant when we think we are in control or independent individuals. The joke is on us who believe that, such a person is delusional.

I only want to touch on a few illustrations of these points then we will conclude with our walk in Christ.

Your time: your boss directs your time usage while under his authority, play around with it and he can fire you.

Col 3:22-25 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

Your children and family demand your time and energy, neglect them and you will not only be judged later when you have grown wiser for then they will have no use or time for you, and that will rob you of any joy you sought at their expense.

1 Tim 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Eph 5:15-16 Walk in Wisdom See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Your past sin: Unresolved issues of the past, conscious sin not confessed or dealt with is a weight tied around your neck and if you work hard to justify it or deny it will lead to a hardening heart: you could become what the Bible calls a person with a seared conscience and you end up utterly lost. Prov 8:36 Rom 1:28

“A moral choice has been made that must be repented of before God. God alone can give cleansing for sin. More than that, He alone can give the power to live a new life through Christ’s indwelling Spirit. All of the understanding in the world will not provide the power to change one’s behaviour: A new moral choice is demanded. And if the choice is made without recognizing one’s obligation to God and without accepting His remedy, then the result will either be failure to make lasting change, or, what is even worse, outward success that produces self-righteousness.” DAVE HUNT

Ezek 18:31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? NIV (Ezek 18:27-28) Isa 55:7

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

Your past history: Many people are held to the past experiences that so easily rob them of joy today; can’t let go the hurts and trauma of the past. To these people the verse God declares is not real:

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation ; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

“My guilt is ended when I repent, when I stop admitting and begin confessing. Am I blaming any of my [parents]forebears for my present condition? Then my punishment will go on till I blame them no more. Am I blaming the circumstances in which I live? Then my punishment will go on till I stop blaming my circumstances. As long as I have any remnant of an idea that I can be cleared in any other way than by God through the Redemption, my punishment will go on. The instant I stop blaming everything but myself, and acquit God of injustice to me, my recognition of Him begins. [1]

Gal 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. NIV

Bitterness can own you: ‘Are you sorely treated by the world? Blame mankind in their wilful choices, blame the enemy of our souls, or the fractured natural realm, but God does not personally treat anyone this way. By a negative response to offenders you become bound to them. But God would have you free and only owned by Him.’ [2] God has power to heal you from other people’s hurtful actions and words so that you, as his child, will be free in Christ and strong.

Jesus Christ was not a victim of circumstance, though circumstance sought to victimise Him. A victim allows their character to be robbed and possible destroyed by circumstance. Our soul in Christ need not be affected that way, on the contrary, by right biblical response; our character is actually increased!

No matter how adverse the circumstance or relationship nothing can thwart God’s purpose for us in Christ (Ro 8:31-39). The only thing that would diminish the purpose of God is our believing and following lies and wilful choices of sin. [3]

Many do not feel totally forgiven by God. Do you feel fully forgiven by God? If you don’t, it must be one of three reasons: 1. Unbelief in the total cleansing Christ accomplished for you at the cross; you may not be a real child of God through faith. 2. The unconfessed knowledge of sin in your life (the fruit of guilt hides the face of God). 3. Or you do not feel forgiven because you are receiving the discipline of the Lord because of unforgiveness to others – the fruit of bitterness blocks grace.’ From 1 forgiveness

Each sexual relationship owns a part of your soul that you can never get back in this earthly life. Sexual sin is a separate category of its own as attested in 1 Corinthians:

1 Cor 6:15-16 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”

17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Virginity has the most profound significance in the design of God and its reservation for married partnership is the key to this great mystery Paul mentions in Eph 6:30-32. There becomes less soul to share with a true love that may come into your life; this type of sensual love progressively binds you to slavery often expressed through an insatiable need for more to fill the ever increasing void – pornography, prostitution, exploitation, pedophilia.

“The man left to himself will be arrogant, and use the ruling of the curse to his advantage and to her hurt. He will regard her as separate. His sexuality will seek to use hers – for himself. He will hide his fallen nakedness so that she cannot know him. For her part she will desire him, i.e. seek to have him, even to rule him, and will exploit his sexuality, hiding within her own so that mutuality does not exist, but there is a warring of the genders, each sinfully hiding from the other but seeking to exploit the other.” [4]

These acts are in essence robbing each person of the joy God intended couples experience in total virgin unity – spirit, souls, and body – within the confines of the marriage bed. [5] God will judge each and every person who practices and encourages others to break this most significant commandment of life. [6]

Now there is healing through repentance/ confession and God can make something beautiful of what is left, but there is a consequence that cannot be erased.

Addictions own you: ‘Today every aberration of human emotion is considered a disease, every human bound to any habit detrimental to happiness is considered a disease. Alcohol, drugs, gluttony, gambling, pornography – from sex to coffee needs are now medically listed as disease disorders.

ADDICTION IS NOT A DISEASE! If it is to be considered a disease at all then it must be accepted as a self-imposed disease. Addiction (biological dependency, mental conditioning) is created through initial sinful choices which soon imprisons you as it becomes increasingly more habit forming with the result that it destroys the liberating fruit of life!

James 1:13-16 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. (NAS)’ [7]

There is freedom to choose which side we will be on [good or evil] but no freedom to negotiate the results of the choice . . . .By the mercy of God…[the gospel message] announces the good news of redemption accomplished in mercy; it commands all men everywhere to repent and … to surrender to the terms of grace by believing on Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. We must all choose whether we will obey the gospel or turn away in unbelief . . . .Our choice is our own, but the consequences of the choice have already been determined by the sovereign will of God, and from this there is no appeal. [8]

Dan 4:35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” NIV

Job 23:13 “But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does.

Job 9:4 His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?

[Job 9:4 God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?]

The peers you want to be accepted by: To be a member of a social group or clique you must conform to their culture of expectations and behaviour.

1 Cor 15:33 Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals. (ASV)

If a devout Christian wants to have a relationship with an unbeliever or an un-surrendered Christian more than a relationship with God, the devout Christian must lower standards before the other person feels comfortable. Almost always, it is the devout Christian that loses, because the other person will not change to the better if the Christian lowers their standard to win him/her; that person will even begin to despise the Believer’s beliefs as the individual compromises.

“a marvellous description of what happens to one who discovers the true wisdom of righteousness as a gift from God, one who walks with God in fear of God.

“First, it will make that person a unique human being. One of the follies of life is to try to imitate somebody else. The media constantly bombard us with subtle invitations to look like, dress like, or talk like some popular idol. If you succeed in that, of course, you will be nothing but a cheap imitation of another person. The glory of the Good News is that when you become a new creature in Jesus Christ, you will be unique. There will be no one else like you. You will become more and more like Christ [in attitude], but unlike everyone else in personality. You will become uniquely yourself. You will not be a cheap copy, a cheap imitation, but an original from the Spirit of God.” [9]

Not your own image: Your response to life, culture, peer pressure, fear, and even pride of being different from anyone else is mere reaction to external events. Even rebellion against other peoples’ influence is a reaction against the establishment and expectations of others. Your moulded by the desire to be different from others, but your focus is on other peoples opinions.

‘The primary focus of the Scriptural teaching is that the grace we receive is to have us. become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world of lust. In spite of sinfulness Christians have received grace through Christ, and, as a result thosewhom He foreknew He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His son

What is the image of Christ that we are being conformed to, the manner of His activities, His personality and character, or is it Christ’s attitudes that we are being conformed to?

It is attitudes, His mindset that is the issue; character is a bi-product of our faith in ‘that image’. The purpose of discipleship is not to produce carbon copies but to encourage individuals to reach the full capacity of what God wants them to be individually.’ [10]

To repeat a quote from R.C. Stedman:

“The glory of the Good News is that when you become a new creature in Jesus Christ, you will be unique. There will be no one else like you. You will become more and more like Christ [in attitude], but unlike everyone else in personality. You will become uniquely yourself. You will not be a cheap copy, a cheap imitation, but an original from the Spirit of God.” [11]

“SIN will take you FURTHER than you want to go. SIN will KEEP you longer than you want to stay. SIN will COST you more than you want to pay.” author unknown

WILLINGLY OWNED BY GOD

Here is what we are to aspire to in contrast of the ownerships mentioned before; this makes us unique in contrast to the world. How can some Christians who faced martyrdom have a peace about them that cannot be explained? It is not a person’s personality (though in some cases that is so), mostly it is the power of Christ. For example see Jeremiah that often depressed prophet with a difficult ministry to people who would not hear:

Lam 3:17-33

17 I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.

18 So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.

20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him.

32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.

33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men. NIV

Job in the midst of his affliction says:

Job 19:25-27 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

OR the Apostles in Acts 5:40-42

And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Here are a few verses in the New Testament that convey ownership:

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

2 Peter 2:19 “You aren’t saved by being good,” they say, “so you might as well be bad. Do what you like; be free.” But these very teachers who offer this “freedom” from law are themselves slaves to sin and destruction. For a man is a slave to whatever controls him. TLB

1 Cor 7:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

We become people who are proactive rather than reactive. We, being motivated by divine power, become active lovers of people and servants of a gracious Christ, who has us be more than victorious in Christ, and unique individuals with one cause to be thankful to a God who has set us more free than other human being can be ever be.

WE BECOME FREE TO LOVE PEOPLE FREELY AND NOT FOR WHAT WE WANT OR NEED FROM THEM.

Never sell yourselves; prefer and retain your liberty now that ye have acquired it.

(from Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Paul could say with praise:

2 Tim 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,

When Christ owns us through repentance from our own authority and the foolish sinful thinking in which there is no life, then we are empowered by God’s love to us and through us.

2 Cor 5:14-17

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! NIV

In spite of this Jesus says with absolute surety:

God frees you to be you, for your personality to blossom by working out sin from your soul through surrender to His Lordship in your life.

John 8:34-36

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed .

God does not manufacture clones. He is most creative. What can he do with your willing heart?

God gives us the resources and empowerment through our faith in His ability.

It Involves Man’s Will; The Father Draws, Not Drags

“The Father does not drag. The Father draws. He bids the soul to come in gentle ways. He will have a man come willingly to Christ, or else He will not have him come at all. Is it anything which tramples on our freedom? It is just the appeal to all that is within us of that spectacle of redeeming love. We are not forced to Christ by what we see. We are only appealed to by that wondrous spectacle. It puts to shame all that is bad in us. It woos and wins all that is best in us. It is not something that will flash in splendor and overpower a man into belief.” Morisson

When saved, the believer’s eyes are open to the fact, through the Word, that he has nothing one can prove to God, and he rests from dead works, [12] and is only left with a yearning to live a life pleasing to God in light of His marvellous gift. Adherence to the law of love is the expected response of thanksgiving, and it is the way we should walk in light of the new creation we have become by an act of God in our hearts.

There is no time to go into more detail of these ownership truths today. This message is only a menu of the banquet God has in store for you should you repent and surrender to his Lordship at all costs. However, know that no start of this journey of being free indeed in Christ will ever begin until you take His words seriously:

Matt 16:24-25 Take Up the Cross and Follow Him (Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:23-26) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me . For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Isa 57:15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly .

What do you and I need according to Scripture?

WE NEED FORGIVENESS (which we do not deserve). I need to recognize my need of mercy in light of my lostness, not help to improve my shortcomings.

WE NEED THE ULTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (who has every right to ignore us). We need to recognize God’s graciousness because of His goodness, not obligation to our needs.

WE NEED A NEW LIFE (for our lives without God is not worth living). All we have lived prior to salvation is to be discarded as worthless. We are not to see God as a superior means of achieving our self motivated goals of the self life.

WE NEED HOPE FOR OUR FUTURE (aside from Christ there is a hopeless eternity). We need to recognize God’s gift of a future not His obligation because we are created in His image.

 


[1] Chambers, Oswald, Conformed to His Image, (United Kingdom: Marshall Morgan & Scott) c1950.

[2] from 1Forgiveness

[3] “He gives place – literally claim or practical ground – to Satan’s activity in his life. Giving way willfully to practice sins of the flesh gives occasion for Satan to have his way in a believer’s life. Although all legal claim of Satan affecting our eternity was cancelled at the cross, a believer’s willful indulgence in fleshly sins gives the enemy a place or a claim to afflict to a degree to which he will be quick to exploit.” MARK I. BUBECK. SATAN IS JUSTIFIED IN HIS ATTACK RELATED TO THE SCOPE OF WILLFUL SIN AND IGNORANCE WHEN THE CHRISTIAN SHIFTS HIS ALLEGIANCE TO SATAN’S DOMAIN. GOD ALLOWS THIS AFFLICTION TO BE PERFORMED BY SATAN TO CHASTEN THE CHRISTIAN – 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim:1:20; 1 Cor 11:28-32; Heb 12:5-11..

[4] God’s Glory, Man’s Sexuality, Geoffry Bingham, New Creations Publications (Australia) pg. 117 see also 150

[5] Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Heb 13:4

[6] 1Thes 4:1-8 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.(KJV)

[7] From xpersonal notes Health

[8] A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

[9] Is that All There is to Life; Ray C. Stedman; Discovery House Publishers; p 105f

[10] From Tomk’s Philosophy of ministry

[11] Is that All There is to Life; Ray C. Stedman; Discovery House Publishers; p 105f

[12] For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Eph 2:8, 9; Heb 6:1

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