It is vital to our enduring to the end...
By Michael Zaucha
In the new covenant, the people of God are noted for not only the making of holy determinations unto God but also the expressions of them because we are created after the image of Him that created us (Col. 3:10).
Jesus Our Example. Jesus Himself expressed His holy determinations unto His heavenly Father in the days of His enfleshment: "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work" (Jn. 4:34), and "for I do always those things that please Him" (Jn. 8:29), and again, as the time when He would taste death for all men drew near, He set His face as a flint towards Jerusalem according to the will of God (Isa. 50:5-7; Lk. 9:51). Nothing or no one would deter or move the Son of Man from fulfilling all of God's good pleasures, even unto the decease He would accomplish at Jerusalem (Lk. 9:31). Jesus was determined for this to be so.
David's Testimony. David, a man after God's own heart, of whom God said he shall fulfill all My will (Acts 13:22) and David knowing that God had called him to be captain over His people (I Sam. 13:14), and that God was with him and blessed him in the work he was called unto for God's people, often considered and pondered these mighty workings of the Lord toward him, not only in his personal thoughts and meditations, but also in his expressions to God's people.
On one occasion of his recollections of God's mighty workings toward him, David declared: "what shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards me" (Ps. 116:12). David's heart moved him to bring something back - to acknowledge God and to carry back to the Lord who provided all these benefits to him. David was determined to recognize and acknowledge God's benefits towards him - deliverance and rescue from enemies and foes, strengthening in times of weakness, and the hearing by God when he cried out unto Him especially for purging and washing from his sin, and for him not being cast out away from God's presence, and the Holy Spirit not being taken from him (Ps. 51:7-12).
In his holy determination unto God, David cried out: "I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord" (Ps. 116:13). David determined to continue to believe and trust in the God of his salvation (Ps. 18:46; 25:5; 62:7), and to accept all of God's benefits towards him with thanksgiving and praise to God (Ps. 116:17), and to walk in the benefits more perfectly, and to make known to God's people that what they perceived of David was the Lord's doing (Ps. 118:23).
The Apostle Paul's Testimony. The Apostle Paul is another of that exceeding large number of them after God's own heart who make holy determinations unto God for all the benefits of God towards them. The Apostle was given to see the exceeding higher greatness of God's benefits in the new covenant towards the people of God because of Jesus - because of what Jesus accomplished for us in His death (Rom. 5:8) and continues to minister for us in His life (Rom.5:10).
The Apostle Paul acknowledged this glorious working of the Lord Jesus for us throughout his Epistles to the saints of God. In the one to the saints at Philippi, Paul declared the humiliation of Him that was in the beginning with God, and was God (Jn. 1:1-3) - "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in the fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:5-8).
In the acknowledgement of and the belief in what Jesus had accomplished before God and for us in His death, burial and resurrection from the dead, Paul determined that he would render unto God for the benefits towards him in Christ: "what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:7-15).
Our Holy Determination. By the grace of God and the mighty provisions of Christ Jesus, we too are such a people who acknowledge and give thanks to God for His so-great salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord. The benefits we have and are partaking of in Christ are those very things we determine, by the grace of God working in us, to continue to believe in and keep to the saving of our soul, according to the will of God, our Heavenly Father. These are the things we think on and meditate upon, and rehearse and minister to one another in the congregation of the saints, and live and move and have our being in.
For all the benefits rendered unto us in Christ Jesus, let us continue to be thus minded, to render unto God our thanksgiving and praise, to walk by the same rule, and mind the same thing (Phil. 3:15-16) - "for (I) trusted in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High (I) shall not be moved" (Ps. 21:7)