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LOCKED UP

Pastor T Michael Eccleston

First it was - Locked out.

Then it was - Locked in.

And now - Locked up!

n the time that it takes you to read this, I trust that the Lord will speak to your heart through the Holy Spirit in such a mighty way, that you will acknowledge the truth of His Word and begin (if you haven't already) to rejoice and live as one who is truly - locked up.

In I Corinthians 15:58, the Apostle Paul penned these inspired and inerrant words:

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

The above passage is speaking to all those who have come to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone for their eternal salvation. The context is dealing with the truth of the resurrection. Our Lord and Savior did die and did rise from the dead three days and three nights later - literally and bodily. And so will every one who has appropriated the precious shed blood of Christ by faith to themselves as the only means of satisfying a Holy God for the complete payment for their sin debt. But the truth doesn't end there. It begins there, and with sufficient cause as to the specific manner in which God's redeemed are to live after salvation. Location is no excuse for not carrying out this command for the Christian life.

In light of this passage therefore, allow me to make a valid application of it. The words, stedfast and unmoveable, are closely related to one another, varying primarily in their strength and intensity. As born from above through the power of the Gospel of Christ; as believing that God's Word is accurate and authoritative, without error of any kind and a perfect book; as believing the truth of that Word that you have been purchased in the slave market of sin and purchased out of that same market place by the blood of Christ; as realizing that He has made a claim on your life and that you are no longer your own; and, as realizing that it does matter what we believe and how we live - these words sum up the position each believer is to apply to the remainder of his life upon this earth. We are to be and remain stedfast , settled within as to the truths of our salvation in Christ and to the historical doctrines of the Christian faith, and unmoveable , fixed in place, predetermined that the Bible will determine your pathway, walk, and beliefs - not what is currently popular, fun, or non-threatening.

When a person is locked up in the physical sense, there is room to move around only in a confined area, and by law you cannot move outside that location, for you are locked up. There are many today who profess salvation and then believe the Christian life is like a vending machine: you choose what you think you like, and reject what you would rather not do. Read these examples in a variety of contexts and let God speak to you:

I Kings 13:8-9, "And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so it was charged me by the word of the LORD." II Kings 22:2, "And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." Job 23:11, "My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined." Isa. 50:7, "For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." Luke 9:51, "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem ." Heb. 10:39 , "But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." Ezek.1:12, "And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went." Prov.4:27, "Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."

All were decisive, predetermined, and confident that they would stay the course . . . that they would remain locked up to what God had said - no matter what. Even our Lord Jesus Christ is included as He finished the job that the Father gave Him to do. All were stedfast and unmoveable because they were locked up spiritually. Is this the easy way out? Definitely not! But it is the right way. It is God's way. It manifests that your professing faith is genuine. Gal.6:9,10, says,

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

Note the remainder of our text above: ".always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." We who belong to God through Jesus Christ are to continuously serve Him in any way we can, whether we are seen or not, whether we are recognized for that work or not, wherever we are, however young or old we are. And why do we do this? Two reasons: 1. Because we are locked up spiritually, and 2. Because we KNOW (just as in our salvation) that whatever we do for Christ is never in vain. You and I may see the results here on earth or we may not. The point is, that we will, we know that we will, in heaven - for our heavenly Father sees every one of the things we have done and are doing for Him. Professing Christian, rejoice in being spiritually locked up, for then you can be about your Father's business in every situation for the rest of your life, no matter the circumstances

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