What Shall I Render to The Lord?

Psalms 116:12-14 ESV

“What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.”

Some people would consider this to be just Old Covenant teaching, but this is also what is taught us under the New Covenant that we should, because of what Jesus did for us, give our lives to God wholly for his service.

“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:12-14 ESV).

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God…” (2 Peter 3:11-12 ESV).

“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2-3 ESV).

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13 ESV).

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14 ESV).

Psalms 116:15-16 ESV

“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.”

When we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith in him, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness. The fruit of this leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life with God (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Christ we die with him to sin then we have the hope of eternal life with God. He also said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God who is in heaven (Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 7:21-23).

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV).

For, you see, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and that we might live to him and to his righteousness. We now become God’s possession and he is now Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives. Our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want, but they are to be lived for the praise and glory of God, and according to the will of God, and under his direction. By submission of our lives to Christ as Lord he is now able to live his life in us and out through us for his glory and honor.

We now serve the Lord with our lives and not ourselves. We no longer live for self-pleasure but in order to please God with our lives. Our desire is now for him to do his will and no longer is our desire for the flesh to do what our sinful flesh desires. This is not saying we will never be tempted to sin again or that we will not sin again. We will still be tempted, and we will still have the propensity to sin (1 Jn 2:1-2), but our desire should be to obey the Lord, to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to follow the Lord where he leads us.

Psalms 116:17-19 ESV

“I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!”

What are our vows to the Lord exactly? Well, when we believe in Jesus we are betrothed to him as his bride and he is now our husband. But it is more like a Jewish marriage described in the Old Testament and in the gospels where the bride and groom sign a marriage contract. And that is more like an engagement period, and the marriage is not consummated until the groom first goes and prepares a place for them to live and then he comes to get his bride and he takes her to be his wife.

So, it is with our marriage contract with our Lord (our faith). He has gone to prepare a place for us and one day he will return for us and he will take us to be with him forever, and our marriage to him will be consummated, i.e. our salvation will then be complete. But all of this is conditional on us remaining faithful to our Lord, on us walking in obedience to him, on us daily dying to sin and to self, and on us no longer living in addiction to sin. It is also conditional on us continuing in such a faith until the very end of time.

[Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24]

Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed

Hymn lyrics by Isaac Watts, pub.1707
ref. by Ralph E. Hudson, 1885
Music by Ralph E. Hudson, 1885

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away
’Tis all that I can do.

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

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