I am presently preaching a series of sermons on Sunday morning under the title of How Should We Then Live? We have talked about God’s great love which moved Him to send His only begotten Son to die on our behalf. The writers of scripture tell us that in His death Jesus purchased us, redeemed us, and bought us. A verse that we have referred to more than once comes from I Corinthians 6:19 and says, “…and you are not your own…for you have been bought with a price…” The fact is this, as a child of God in Christ, we are not our own, we belong to another.
The dust of last Sunday’s sermon had barely settled when I received an e-mail from one who had been present in the morning service. Attached to that e-mail was the following quote by C.S. Lewis, “Adam and Eve wanted, as we say, to “call their souls their own.” But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, “This is our business, not yours.” But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives.” There’s the rub, we all want to be the nouns in our lives, not the adjectives.
This morning I was presented with a term that epitomizes this struggle, struggle between Christian Discipleship and Expressive Individualism. The definition of Expressive Individualism is…the belief that an individual’s highest loyalty should be to himself or herself. True happiness, from this perspective, is obtained by expression and realization of one’s core identity, which includes a person’s deepest desires, thoughts and beliefs.” This is indeed in marked contrast to the call of Christian Discipleship. ‘Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses His life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
As Christians, bought by the blood of Christ, we are no longer our own. Which means that our highest loyalty in this life is not to self, or family, or country, or friends. Our highest loyalty in this life is to Him who is Lord of all Lords and King of all Kings. When that becomes the posture of our lives, we will, along with the Psalmist proclaim, “You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).