The 3 Imperatives of Having a Relationship with Christ
by Christopher Cartwright on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 8:51am
The Three Imperatives of Having a Relationship with Christ
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
When we learn about languages, what does the word “imperative” come to mind? Well, an imperative is a verb, which expresses a command, or an order. In the scripture above, there are three imperative verbs that the Lord Jesus expressed to his disciples and to those who were listening to him. These words come from three imperatives found in the Greek language, which express about sanctification, or by definition, “being set apart for the Lord’s use and purpose.” We’ll look at each imperative one at a time to focus on salvation, sanctification, and service.
Come – “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
The word “come” comes from the Greek word Deute, which means, “to approach, or come to, etc.” This word rings out throughout the entire Bible to come to God. In this context, the Lord Jesus is telling people to bring their cares to him, leave it at the foot of the cross, and find rest for their souls. It is looking up at the 300 ft tall Shrine of Valor on the Bataan peninsula in he Philippines, a tall cross monument dedicated to the soldiers who died there in World War II. Looking up at the cross is like leaving your bags full of excuses, fleshly appetites, and addictions, and leaving every weight of sin that impedes us from being with Christ. The writer to the Hebrews declares this for every person needing a touch from Christ:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1,2
Let me say this: There is NO ONE who can escapes from the hand of God, and NO ONE who cannot be forgiven of sins. There is NO EXCUSE!
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. Romans 3:22,23; 10:12
This is the Lord’s call for us to be saved, and to have a relationship with Him. If you’re not saved, why don’t you come to him today?
Take – “Take my yoke upon you,” Matthew 11:29 A
The word “take” comes from the Greek word arate, which means, “ to take up, lift, carry, etc.” This word carries the idea to be under Christ, and not under the slavery of sin. Before one is saved, this person walks around with a heavy heart and a huge burden in life. It is known as the yoke of bondage. The Apostle Paul writes:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
We were born sinners. We did nothing to become sinners. It was all part of our sin nature in each and every one of us. We are all GUILTY before Almighty God. The Lord Jesus spoke to the Jews who believed on him that He was the one who can make them free from the bondage of sin. Look at these verses in John 8:
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 8:31-36; 14:6
If the truth shall make you free, and the Son shall make you free, then, logically, the truth is the Son, which would make you free by trusting Him as your Saviour. Positionally, we were slaves under sin, but once you turn to Christ as your Saviour, you’re not a slave to sin, but a servant of Jesus. You’re free and separated from sin, and serving the Lord Jesus in that freedom from the slavery of sin. This is positional sanctification, serving under Christ.
What is the yoke that we should take from the Lord? It is the CROSS. Now, we should not literally take a cross everyday, but spiritually speaking we should bear the cross of Christ to be His disciples. The Lord Jesus said in Luke 9:
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. Luke 9:23-27
If we are to follow Christ, we must deny our fleshly appetites and sin nature. Then, we are to bear the cross of Christ daily, and follow him. Matthew, when Jesus met him and said to him, “Follow me,” immediately got up and followed Jesus. We are to be the same way. When Jesus says to us, “Follow me,” we must take up our cross and follow him. It’s that simple.
Learn – “and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29B
The word “learn” comes from the Greek word maQete, which means, “to learn, study, meditate, etc.” This word is derived from the Greek word for disciple, which means we are to be discipled, or have discipleship in our walk with Christ. Jesus said in the Great Commission that we are to be “teaching them to observe whatsoever things I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:20A). We are to study God’s word daily, follow Him in scriptural baptism after salvation, meditate on it day and night, and to share with those who are lost.
This is practical sanctification, in which we are doing something to be set apart for Christ. We are to follow Christ with our whole mind, heart, soul, and being, and understanding.
It is one thing to have religion, but it is another thing to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
But what if you don’t know Christ, you’re living in a yoke of bondage. You can trust Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, and be free form the yoke of bondage. Here’s what you should do:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-13
Jesus Christ gives you the “free gift” of eternal life, and forgiveness of sins. Now you must make the most important decision of you life. You can choose one of two things: You can ACCEPT Jesus as you Saviour, and receive the treatment you need, or you can REJECT and say, “I’m happy with my life, and I don’t need Jesus or His treatment. I’m happy with my religion.” However, if you refuse, you’re condemned to die and spend eternity in HELL unless you repent of your sins.If you choose to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, then pray this prayer sincerely with all your heart.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. For this reason, I deserve to go to hell. I believe that you died on the Cross for my sins. I accept you now as my personal Lord and Saviour. I believe in the promises in Your Word, knowing that I accept you as my Saviour. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name. AMEN
If you prayed this prayer, please write or call at the following address:
Dr. Earl R. Jackson Pastor Christopher Cartwright
CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH MISSIONARY AMBASSADOR MINISTRIES
1123 St. Rt. 28 35 E. Locust St.
Milford, Ohio 45150 Wilmington, Ohio 45177
(513) 575-1662 / (513) 575-9708 (937) 382-8598