Christian Universe ™
Lest We Be Castaways
July 13, 2014
A warning is issued against the castaways -- the reprobates, those who reject God, and are in turn rejected by him -- who are fit only to be gathered and burned. To those who seek God and His righteousness, we have Paul's own account of his struggle to keep his body in subjection, whose example we should follow, lest we be castaways . We need to yield our bodies and their components and appendages to the will of God and His righteousness, and not to sin. The wages of sin are death, and the gift of God to those seeking and following Him is eternal life. - Bernie Parsons
Lest We Be Castaways
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 07-13-2014
Presented to Load church of Christ on 08-17-2014
We have recently looked at the fact that, if we do not love and obey God, we shall be cut off and cast away. In this lesson, we look at what it takes to avoid that outcome.
Jeremiah 17:7 "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."
As we saw in recent lessons, we only live spiritually when we live in God, through Christ Jesus. Jesus said that he is the vine and we are the branches. Paul likened believers to branches of an olive tree, grafted in to the stock that God has planted. He also said that we are partakers of the root, indicating that our sustenance is derived from the root of the tree, which is Christ.
Romans 6:4 "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
When we are baptized into Jesus Christ, we are planted by the waters of life, with Christ as our root. We turn from fruits of the flesh to fruits of the spirit.
John 7:37 "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"
We draw our life from being in Him, and conducting our daily lives in Him. We reject sin in favor of the commandments of God. We bear spiritual fruit, and are rewarded with eternal life.
1 Corinthians 9:19 "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
The Greek word that is rendered “castaway” here actually means “unapproved, rejected, or castaway”. The apostle Paul indicates that we must work toward our crown of life by staying aware of the body and its rebellion against the word and the Spirit of God. In order to succeed, we must keep that body subject to the spirit, to avoid becoming a castaway, a reject.
2 Corinthians 13:3 "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"
Without Christ, we become reprobates, or castaways, rejects. With Christ, we abide.
1 John 4:9 "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."