The First Commandment: The Soul(2)

The First Commandment: The Soul’s Redemption

lamb of God
picture courtesy of Pintrest

The apostle Peter would hear none of it. Minutes earlier, he confessed Jesus to be the Christ, the anointed one to save Israel from all her enemies. And now, Jesus told him and the others he would be rejected and killed. The one could not happen if the second came to pass. Peter, so much as told Jesus he was wrong. It wouldn’t and couldn’t happen. In not listening, Peter missed Jesus’ words about rising again in three days.

Jesus knew Peter looked and listened through a worldly perspective. After rebuking Peter, Jesus explained the cost and the effect of keeping a godly perspective on the value of a soul. Jesus had taught the disciples earlier that life is more than what we eat or wear. He reiterated the teaching with an explanation and a question for them to answer and us to consider.

“Whosoever will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it;

but whosoever shall lose his life

for my sake and the gospel’s

the same shall save it.

For what shall it profit a man,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Mark 8:34-38, KJV

The soul houses the heart, mind, and strength of our new spiritual life. It reflects who we are and whose we are, through the lives we live.

The soul is our immortal inner being that lives forever in eternal death or eternal life, depending on whom we surrender it to in love.

Jesus quoted God-given words of Moses to a questioning lawyer.

He began like this—“HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART …

AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

(from Mark 12:29,30)KJV

In the beginning, Adam and Eve possessed access to eternal life, through the tree of life. Satan deceived Eve into believing she didn’t need God’s way to life, because if she ate of the forbidden tree, she would be like God. God is the source of life. Adam chose to exchange his eternal promise of life for eternal death. Death entered his soul.

In life there is a battle fought between God and Satan for our soul. God seeks our soul out of love and the desire to give us back eternal life. Satan seeks our soul out of hatred for God and the desire to devour our soul in eternal death.

“Be sober, be vigilant:

because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,

walketh about, seeking whom he may devour …

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

(1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10-11, KJV)

Our soul means nothing to the devil but a tool to hurt the God who loves us. His eternal destiny is sealed. Keeping us from returning to God, and destroying our soul in the here and now, is his only source of pleasure.

The worth of our soul, our life, is found in giving God possession of our soul as he meant it in the beginning. God showed us our soul’s worth in sacrificing his Son, his only Son, that we might have life.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood,

the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace …

For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God

in your body,

and in your spirit,

which are God’s …

The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants:

and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

(Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Psalm 34:22, KJV)

Our soul’s redemption cost Jesus his blood.

  • He took up his cross and demands us to do the same.
  • He surrendered his soul into the Father’s keeping—and was raised from the dead.
  • Jesus set the standard—exercising love for the Father through surrendering all his soul to him and
  • Turning away from the body’s natural lust for self control.

This is an all or nothing opportunity. Our salvation is immediate when by faith we receive him as our Redeemer. But it takes a lifetime to learn to live giving God the love of all our heart and all our soul. Thankfully, he is patient with us and will complete the work he has begun in us. In this,

“I will praise thee … O Holy One of Israel.

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee;

and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long …”

Psalm 71:22-24, KJV

Heavenly, Father, may all who read, release our soul into your hands. May we give you full possession of our soul and learn to live out 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

“What? Know ye not that your body

is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,

which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God

in your body, and in your spirit,

which are God’s.”

If you are not God’s, you’re giving yourself to the wrong one.

 

First Commandment: Part 3

First Commandment, Love Godblogpraise-1154566__340

Money, prestige, respect of others, he had it all—except what he needed most. His life emulated service to the one true God of Israel, but the service grew out of a heart filled with a righteousness of his own making. Unrighteous works, deceit, fear, and hopelessness filled an empty heart. This emptiness found him running to and falling at the feet of Jesus crying,

“Good Master,

what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

(from Mark 10)

In his doing, the rich young ruler missed the greatest commandment,

“HEAR, O ISRAEL;

THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD:

AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD …

WITH ALL THY HEART …”

(from Mark 12:29,30)

Many in the world today, like the young man of the Bible, busily work to prove their own goodness. When in fact, the doing proves the wickedness of the human heart ruled by deceit.

“The heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Jeremiah 17:9, KJV

We want to believe we are good people when we are kind, give to the poor, and help our neighbor. None of us want to hear our heart—the motive behind why we do what we do—is wicked. But listen to what Jesus tells the one who came to him.

“And Jesus said unto him,

Why callest thou me good?

There is none good but one,

that is, God.”

Many will not receive Jesus’ words because our hearts are deceived into believing we are good. We are not murders, thieves, liars, or those who live in sexual sin or any number of evidential unrighteous behaviors as described by God. Our hearts declare us good when we compare ourselves to others. But Jesus noted there is only one to compare ourselves to, and that is God. Here we fall short. We miss the mark. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, chapter 3:10-12,23, reiterates this truth.

“As it is written,

  • THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE:
  • THERE IS NONE THAT UNDERSTANDETH,
  • THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD.
  • THEY ARE ALL GONE OUT OF THE WAY,
  • THEY ARE TOGETHER BECOME UNPROFITABLE;
  • THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO , NOT ONE …
  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God:”

As the young man turned away from Jesus, so our hearts cry out, “No! This cannot be true! This is not me!” The cry emanates from a deceived heart. None, not one, all, makes it plain. The heart we are born with, the invisible part of us we begin life with, is marred with sin, ruled by self.

We don’t learn selfishness. An infant knows only its own needs and attaches itself to the one who fills those needs. As we grow, we believe we can provide for ourselves. We love self more than the one who gives us life—the One who is love and teaches us perfect love by his example and his provision.

The Lord God made a way for us to love him by first showing us his love, and then by giving us a heart transplant. When we come in agreement concerning who we are without him, turning to him, and receiving Jesus Christ, we receive a new heart.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God;

and renew a right spirit within me …

  • A new heart also will I give you,
  • and a new spirit will I put within you:
  • and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
  • and I will give you an heart of flesh …

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,

and shalt believe in thine heart

that God hath raised him from the dead,

thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,

and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

(Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:26: Romans 10:9,10)

“None are righteous,” until our heart of self is replaced with a new heart filled with the righteousness of Christ. The heart transplant doesn’t hurt and takes only a moment of surrendering self into the Lord’s hands.

Knowing the love of God, we are able to love him with all our heart—our new heart. Have you turned away sad like the rich young ruler? Or have you received your new heart?