Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
Because we are created beings, we owe our existence to our Creator, whether we acknowledge this truth or not. The unbeliever owes the exact same debt to God that the believer does regarding our creation; as Job said, “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).
But is there anything “extra” when it comes to the Christian? Our Lord Jesus Christ has staked three claims upon every one of His children. Let’s take a look . . . and get ready to be supernaturally strengthened by the truth!
Claim #1 – Natural
First, God places His claim upon everyone from the natural (or creational) standpoint. In Exodus 20:11 we read, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them.” The psalmist writes, “It is he who made us, and we are his” (Psalm 100:3), and the Sovereign Lord has made His rightful claim: “Every living soul belongs to me” (Ezekiel 18:4).
Claim #2 – Legal
Second, God in Christ places His claim upon all those whom He has redeemed. The prophet Isaiah says, “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 44:22). The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Claim #3 – Personal
Finally, Jesus now stakes His claim upon us because of the relationship that He, by His blood, has brought us into: “I beg you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1).
Don’t miss this: Having made His rightful claim on us, both naturally and legally, our Lord Jesus still comes to us with the most intimate and personal appeal. Jesus makes His third claim, not based on His natural and legal rights as Lord of lords, but rather He makes His claim for our surrender and submission based upon His sufferings on the cross. As true and right as both His natural and legal claim are, they will only take relationship so far. It is mercy that ministers to the mind and melts the heart.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has three claims on every Christian—on you and me. You are His, naturally, legally, and personally. As powerful as it is to know that we are His, for He is “the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways,” (Daniel 5:23 NKJV), how powerfully encouraging it is to know that the Sovereign Lord of all the universe invites us into a personal relationship with Him! Jesus, the loving Lamb of God, says to you:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Christian, if that doesn’t light the fire of your faith and encourage you to live exclusively for Jesus, your wood is wet!
Let’s close with these words from Jeremiah, which reveal just how gracious and how glorious these three claims on you truly are: “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!