II. MAKING THE MESSIAH LORD OF ONE'S LIFE
The second major section of the Lordship of the Messiah is
making the Messiah Lord of one's life. It has been pointed
out that one is not saved by making Him Lord of one's life.
One is saved by believing that He died for sins, was buried
and rose again, and that He is the God-Man. This is what
saves. The Bible encourages believers, as they grow, to make
the Messiah the Lord of their lives. In making the Messiah
the Lord of one's life there are two major topics that need
to be discussed: the issue of dedication and the issue of
living a Spirit-filled life.
A. The Issue of Dedication
The first topic, the issue of dedication, will be discussed
in six areas.
1. The Imbalance in the Teaching of Dedication
The first area in the issue of dedication to be discussed is
the great amount of imbalance in what believers have been
taught concerning dedication. This imbalance is due to three
things. First, some believe that the act of
dedication is the entire answer to the spiritual life and
all of its problems. A second reason for the imbalance is
that in some circles, dedication has little place in the
spiritual life. It is never talked about, never discussed.
These are actually two extremes: one extreme makes
dedication the entire answer and the other extreme does not
even deal with it. There is a third reason for the
imbalance: the emphasis in some circles is on re-dedication.
There are those who constantly harp on being re-dedicated
and re-dedicated and re-dedicated, and so periodically a
person must undergo a process of re-dedication.
2. The Basis of Dedication
The second area of the issue of dedication is to discuss the
role and concept of redemption.
a. The Role of Redemption
Dedication is always on the basis of blessings already
granted. When the Bible encourages us to dedicate our lives
to God, to make this act of dedication, the exhortation to
dedication is always on the basis of blessings already
The chief blessing, of course, is redemption. That is the
point of Romans 12:1, which is the great verse on
dedication, but it is based upon the word therefore. The
reason we ought to dedicate our lives is because of what God
has already done for us, which Paul dealt with in chapters
1-11 of the Book of Romans.
According to Romans 3:24, because of our position in the
Messiah we have been justified through redemption, and
because we have been justified through redemption, we should
dedicate ourselves to God. According to Romans 8:23, because
we have the assurance of the future redemption of our
bodies, we should dedicate our lives to God. In I
Corinthians 6:19-20, because of what it cost God to redeem
us, because of the price of redemption, the blood of the
Messiah, because of what it cost God, the death of His Son,
we should dedicate our lives to the Messiah. The basis of
dedication is always on the blessings that have already been
granted by God and on the basis of blessings which we have
b. The Concept of Redemption
Because dedication is on the basis of redemption, it is
important that we understand the concept of redemption.
There are three key Greek words, which emphasize the concept
The first Greek word is agorazo, which means “to buy” or “to
purchase” or “to pay a price.” In the realm of redemption,
it means, “to pay the price our sins demanded so that we
could be redeemed.” This word is used in II Peter 2:1 and
The second Greek word is exagorazo, which means, “to
purchase out of the
market.” In the area of redemption, it emphasizes the fact
that the blood of the Messiah removed us from the
marketplace of sin in order to give us assurance that we
will never need to go back to the slavery of sin. This word
is used in Galatians 3:13 and 4:5.
The third Greek word is lutreo, which means, “to release and
set free.” In the area of redemption, it means that “the
purchased person has been set free.” It is used in Matthew
20:28 and Titus 2:14.
These Greek words emphasize redemption. Redemption is the
basis of why we should dedicate our lives to the Messiah and
make Him the Lord of our lives in every facet.
Based upon these three Greek words we can draw six
conclusions. First, the redeemed person is purchased,
removed from the marketplace, released, and set free.
Second, this does not mean we turn from the slavery of sin
to the slavery of the Messiah; that is not automatic. We are
no longer slaves to sin, but that does not mean we are
automatically slaves to the Messiah.
Third, it means we move from slavery to freedom.
So, fourth, we now have a choice: we can choose to become a
slave of the Messiah or we can choose not to become a slave
of the Messiah.
Fifth, why should we chose to become slaves of the Messiah?
After all, we have been saved, we are assured of Heaven, we
will not lose our salvation, so why bother becoming a slave
of the Messiah? The reason is because of what the Messiah
did: He provided justification, sanctification, and
glorification. Deuteronomy 15:16-17 discusses the freed
slave. A slave who has been freed may choose to become a
slave again. If he becomes a slave again, it is because he
loves his master and because the master has been good to
him. He moves from being a slave to being a bond slave and
now has the right of special provision, according to Exodus
12:43-45 and Leviticus 22:10-11.
And sixth, our dedication is urged upon us on the basis of
our redemption. We have been purchased, we have been
removed, we have been released. We should now dedicate our
lives because Yeshua has been good to us and because we love
3. The Content of Dedication
The third area to discuss about the issue of dedication is
its content. The question here is: what exactly needs to be
dedicated? When the Bible encourages us to dedicate, what
does it want us to dedicate? Three key passages are
The first passage is Romans 6:12-13:
|Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye
should obey the lusts thereof: neither present your members
unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present
yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your
members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
The second key passage is Romans 12:1:
I beseech you
therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is
your spiritual service.
The third passage is I Corinthians 6:19-20:
Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your
own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore
in your body.
According to these three passages, what is to be dedicated
is the body; the person himself. What God wants us to
dedicate for His use is ourselves, especially our
instruments, our physical instruments, our physical body.
That becomes the area of dedication. That is the content of
dedication. That is the subject of dedication.
In light of that, what is the relationship between salvation
and dedication? Some people confuse the two. Sometimes
Romans 12:1 is taught as if it were a salvation verse. As
far as salvation is concerned, salvation relates to Yeshua
the Messiah as the substitute for sin; salvation involves
the sin question. However, dedication relates to the Messiah
as the Lord of one's life; dedication involves subjection.
Dedication, therefore, is something that follows salvation.
It is not the cause or means of salvation.
The main issue in the area of dedication is: who will
control your life? Dedication does not deal with the
specifics; such as, what mission field I should go to, what
Bible school I should attend, should I marry this one or
that one. Dedication does not deal with these specific
things. The main issue in dedication is: who is going to
control your life, God or self? The issue in dedication is
not yielding something, but yielding someone. And it is you,
your body, that God wants to have dedicated to His service.
The conclusion concerning the content of dedication is this:
the area of dedication is one's life and one's body. This,
of course, includes the details of life, not as a means of
dedication, but rather as a result of dedication. If you
commit yourself, if you dedicate yourself and your whole
body to God's use, these details will naturally be involved
as well. But the details are the result of dedication, not
the means of dedication.
4. The Aspects of Dedication
The fourth area to discuss about the issue of dedication is
its aspects. What are the aspects of dedication? The aspects
of dedication can be summarized as an initial act of
dedication and then a continuous
commitment to it. The main passage dealing with the aspects
of dedication is Romans 12:1-2:
|I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a
living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this
world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect
will of God.
a. An Initial Act of Presentation
First, there must be an initial act of dedication. There
must be a crisis presentation of the body to God's use. The
Greek form of the word present is the Aorist infinitive. The
Aorist emphasizes a single act, not repeated actions as does
the present tense. The same tense is used in Romans 6:13,
where it is the Aorist imperative.
We should make a singular, decisive dedication of our bodies
to God's use. He points out that this is a reasonable,
rational, and logical thing to do in light of the mercies of
God, which we have received in salvation. Dedication is
always based on previous blessings of God, and Paul spelled
out these blessings in Romans 1-11, where he pointed out
that God has provided a salvation that includes
justification, sanctification, and glorification. In light
of all that God has done for us, in light of
the mercies of
God, which we have received in our salvation, it is a
reasonable, rational, and logical thing to do.
He points out that this is a sacrificial thing. We are to
live for the Messiah in the daily routine of life now. We
are sacrificing our bodies to His use. Furthermore, this
should be a living sacrifice, not a dead one. It is to be a
total and complete presentation.
The second aspect of dedication is non-conformity. This
involves a separation from or a non-conformity to the evil
age in which we live. That is the point of Romans 12:2 and
Galatians 1:4. This is the negative aspect of dedication; it
involves the outward. Conformity means that the outward
appearance is similar to the world, although inwardly a
transformation has taken place. Non-conformity means, “to be
unfashionable,” and that is also the point of I Peter 1:14.
A life of non-conformity, although it is unfashionable, is a
necessary characteristic of a dedicated life.
The third aspect is transformation. This is the positive
side of dedication; it involves the inward. According to II
Corinthians 3:18, the means of the transformation is the
Holy Spirit. The center is our mind, and it becomes a matter
of re-programming our mind. The Holy Spirit is doing this to
get us to think the way God thinks.
5. The Frequency of Dedication
The fifth area to discuss in the issue of dedication is its
frequency. In many circles there is an emphasis on
continuous re-dedication, so almost every summer at
Christian camps, conferences, and bonfires, people share
testimonies and talk about how they have re-dedicated their
lives. They seem to need to do this periodically, at least
once a year.
Actually, the Bible does not teach continuous
re-dedications. The key verse on dedication is Romans 12:1,
emphasizing a one-time act. When we have made this one-time
act of Romans 12:1, and we have once-and-for-all dedicated
our lives for His service, we have a dedicated life. There
is no need to re-dedicate our lives. At that point, the life
has been dedicated. When we come to a crossroads in life,
the issue is not: Will we do the will of God? Rather, the
issue is: What is the will of God? Then knowing the will of
God, we do it.
a. The Issue: Sin in a Believer's Life
Let's suppose a believer had made this initial, one-time act
of complete dedication, and after he had made it, at some
point when he had to make a choice, he made the wrong choice
and chose not to do the will of God. The question is: What
is his status? Does he now have to re-dedicate his life?
Obviously, his status is that he has gone back on the vow
that he made when he dedicated his body for the Lord's use.
Sin has now entered his life and the dedication status has
b. The Remedy: Restoration
What is the remedy? The remedy is not re-dedication, where
we have to start the dedicated life all over again. The
remedy is restoration. The remedy is getting back on the
right track. In other words, we started on the road of a
dedicated life and we made that once-and-for-all act of
dedication, but when we went back on our vow, we got off the
track. The remedy is to get back on the track from where we
left off. We do not have to go all the way back to the
beginning and start the process all over again. We need to
get back on the track at the point where we got off. We do
not have to go back to point A. If we, in a dedicated life,
went from point A to B to C, but when we got to D, we fell
off the track, the issue is to get back on the track at
point D and continue on in the spiritual life. That is the
That is restoration. The remedy is not re-dedication; the
remedy is restoration.
c. The Means: Confession
The means of restoration is the confession of I John 1:9:
we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The result is going to be restoration of fellowship. So that
is the remedy: restoration is by means of confession.
Every believer is either on one side of the line of
dedication or on the other side. Either we have made the
commitment or we have not made the commitment. If you have
never made the dedication of Romans 12:1, this
is your next step. You need to study Romans 1-11, learn what
God has done for you, and realize all the blessings of the
mercies of God which you have received. Once you realize
this, then you apply Romans 12:1, and you make that
decisive, initial act of dedication. Again, every believer
is either on one side or the other of the line of
dedication. Either we have dedicated our bodies or we have
not dedicated our bodies. If you have not, your next step in
the spiritual life is to make that act of dedication.
Having made it, then you begin growing in the spiritual
life. If somewhere along the line you slip, you do not have
to re-dedicate your life; rather, you need to confess your
sin and get back on the track, pressing on to spiritual
maturity. Have you made that act of dedication? If the
answer is “no,” this is your next step. If the answer is
“yes,” then it is always profitable to examine the present
state of the dedicated life: where are we in relationship to
the dedication that we already made? Are we still living
consistently with it or are we no longer living consistently
with it? If we are no longer living consistently with the
dedication, then the step we need to follow is to confess
and get back on track. It is restoration, not re-dedication.
6. The Results of Dedication
In the sixth area in the issue of dedication, we will
discuss two results. First, Romans 12:2 brings in the
knowledge, the doing, and the enjoying of the will of God.
It is hard for us to understand what the will of God is
without this act of dedication because we do not have the
Spirit's illumination, which is needed to determine the will
of God from His Word. Dedication brings knowledge of the
will of God. Once we have the knowledge of the will of God,
the next thing is the doing of the will of God. Having the
knowledge, the logical outworking of the dedicated life is
that we now do the will of God. And then doing the will of
God means the enjoyment of God's will. There is really great
pleasure to be derived from doing the will of God.
The second result is that it leads to a Spirit-filled life,
or a Spirit-controlled life, which will be discussed in more
detail in the next section. It is this act of dedication
that leads to the second result: leading a Spirit-filled or
This initial act of dedication is the starting point for
victory in the spiritual life. Without that act of
dedication, we will not have consistent victory in the
spiritual life. However, with it we have the basis and the
foundation for victory. When we make Him the Lord of our
life, He becomes our master and we become His slave. As our
master, He has the right to expect obedience, but as His
slave we have the right to expect Him to provide the power
for it. And this He does, according to Philippians 4:19.
B. The Issue of Living A Spirit-Filled Life
The second major topic involved in making the Messiah Lord
of your life has to do with that which follows dedication;
the Spirit-filled life. While dedication is a
once-and-for-all act, which we perform, the Spirit-filled
is something we do in daily living. This subject will be
covered in three areas.
1. The Ministries of the Holy Spirit in Relationship to
The first area in living the Spirit-filled life is
that the ministries of the Holy Spirit in relationship to
salvation are once-and-for-all acts. These are things that
the Holy Spirit does once He is in the believer's life at
the time of salvation, and these acts are not repeated.
There are five such ministries of the Spirit.
The first ministry is the work of conviction, in which He
makes the gospel very clear so that it is understood by the
mind of man (Jn. 16:7-11).
The second ministry is the work of regeneration.
Regeneration causes the one who believes to be born again.
At that point the Messiah enters the life of the believer.
This ministry is recorded in John 3:3-7 and Titus 3:5-7.
The third ministry is indwelling. The ministry of indwelling
is when the Holy Spirit is in the life of the believer, when
the Holy Spirit indwells the believer just as the Messiah
does in regeneration (I Cor. 3:16; 6:19; II Tim. 1:14).
The fourth ministry is the Spirit's ministry of baptism.
When we believe, the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body
of the Messiah (I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4-6).
The fifth ministry is sealing. With this ministry, we are
sealed into the Body of the Messiah so that we can never
fall out; this is what provides our eternal security (II
Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30).
2. The Ministries of the Holy Spirit in Relationship to
Whereas the ministries in the area of
salvation are once-and-for-all acts, the ministries of the
Holy Spirit in relationship to maturity are continuous.
There are five such ministries.
First, is the Spirit's ministry of teaching spiritual truth
The second ministry is that the Spirit guides us (Rom.
Third, is the Spirit's ministry of assurance (Rom. 8:16).
The fourth ministry is that the Holy Spirit is praying for
us (Rom. 8:26).
And in the fifth ministry there is the filling of the Holy
Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
These five ministries are continuous and repeated. They
relate to spiritual maturity. Because they relate to
spiritual maturity, they are the ones involved in the
Spirit-filled life. This is especially true of the last one,
so we will move on to elaborate the filling of the Holy
3. The Filling of the Holy Spirit
The third area is the key passage that deals with the
filling of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18:
And be not
drunken with wine, wherein is [excess], but be filled with
It is this ministry, which enables us to live the
Spirit-filled life that is to follow the act of dedication.
a. The Definition of Filling
By way of definition, to be filled means, “to be
controlled.” Just as someone who is filled with alcohol is
controlled by the alcohol, even so, that person who is
filled with the Spirit is controlled by the Spirit. By way
of definition, to be filled with the Spirit means, “to be
Spirit controlled.” In order to allow the Spirit to control
our lives in daily living, there must be the initial act of
dedication of our lives to God (Rom. 12:1).
b. The Characteristics of Filling
The filling of the Spirit has four characteristics.
First, it is a command, because the form of the Greek word
in Ephesians 5:18 is the imperative. Therefore, it is a
requirement; we are obligated by God to let the Spirit
control our lives.
A second characteristic is that filling is repeated. The
imperative is in the present tense, which emphasizes
repeated action. Filling should take place more than one
time. In the Book of Acts, for example, the disciples were
filled first in Acts 2:4, filled again in Acts 4:8, and
filled again in Acts 4:31. Stephen was filled by the Holy
Spirit in Acts 6:5 and again in Acts 7:55. Paul was filled
with the Spirit in Acts 9:17 and again in Acts 13:9. Filling
is something that is repeated.
The third characteristic is that someone else is doing the
filling. In the Greek, the present imperative is in the
passive voice, which means that someone else is doing the
filling; someone else is doing the controlling. In this
case, the Holy Spirit is doing the controlling and we are
submitting ourselves to that control in our daily living.
The fourth characteristic is that the filling of the Spirit
produces the likeness of the Messiah because, in the rest of
chapters 5 and 6 in the Book of Ephesians, he spells out
what is included in the Spirit-filled life which is the
likeness of the Messiah.
c. The Conditions for Spirit-Filling
There are three conditions concerning being Spirit-filled.
First, there must be a dedicated life; we must be yielded to
the Spirit's control. This involves the initial act of
dedication (Rom. 12:1) and the continuous direction of one's
life by the Spirit in daily living. A dedicated life is a
pre-requisite. Unless we have made that initial act of
dedication, we cannot live the Spirit-filled life.
The second condition is an undefeated life in daily walk. An
means we are living consistently with victory over sin in
our daily experience (Eph. 4:30). The means is by responding
to the light of the Word as it is continuously being
understood (I Jn. 1:7).
And the third condition is that it requires a dependent life
in that we depend upon the work of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16).
Obviously, these conditions involve yieldedness and
obedience to the Word of God.
d. The Results of Spirit-Filling
The filling of the Spirit will produce five results.
First, it will bring the likeness of the Messiah in
character because it will produce the fruit of the Spirit
Second, it will produce worship and praise (Eph. 5:19-20).
We will want to worship and praise God. Outwardly we will be
praising Him by speaking one to another in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs. Inwardly, we will have an attitude of
worship evidenced by singing and making melody in our
The third result is a spirit of thankfulness: we will be
giving thanks...for all things (Eph. 5:20).
The fourth result will be submissiveness (Eph. 5:21). It
includes submissiveness one to another: wives to husbands,
children to parents, employees to employers.
The fifth result is service, because a dedicated,
Spirit-filled life results in power in the exercise of one's
How can you know that you are living a Spirit-filled life?
You can know it by answering some questions. First, have you
made the initial dedication of Romans 12:1? If the answer is
“yes,” then second, as far as you know, are you yielded in
every area of your life? If you can say, “yes” then you are
living a Spirit-filled life. However, always remember that
tomorrow may bring some new tests.
scriptures are in the American Standard Version unless otherwise
If you enjoyed this Bible study, Dr. Fruchtenbaum recommends the
following messianic Bible studies (mbs):
mbs 011: The Suffering Messiah of
mbs 012: The Messiah of the Old
mbs 013: What the New Testament
Says About Jesus
mbs 014: Why Did the Messiah Have
mbs 025: Jesus' Right to David's
mbs 028: The Olivet Discourse
mbs 032: The Baptism and
Temptations of Jesus
mbs 035: The Three Messianic
mbs 036: The Three Sabbath
Controversies Between Jesus and the Pharisees
mbs 044: The Transfiguration of
mbs 052: The Names and Titles of
mbs 054: The Incarnation
mbs 056: The Triumphal Entry
mbs 060: The Upper Room discourses
mbs 062: The Feasts of Israel
mbs 063: The Deity of the Messiah
mbs 065: The Servant of Jehovah
mbs 067: The Seventy Sevens of
mbs 070: The Death and Burial of
mbs 075: The Resurrection of the
mbs 078: The Present Work of the
mbs 094: The Sermon on the Mount
mbs 127: The Birth and Early Life
of the Messiah