October 15, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 116:12 through 15:
What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me? I will take
up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my
vows to the LORD now in the presence of all His people. Precious in the
sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.
This describes his responsive thanksgiving “…for all His benefits…” that God so lavishly pours out in behalf of His children. And the first thing he would do to thank the Lord? “I will take up the cup of salvation….” He would partake of what God has so generously provided – that provision being the cost of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, dying as the sinner in our place. What better way to thank the Giver of such a gift than to make full use of that gift?
In John 6:53 through 57, Jesus elaborates on that gift:
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and
drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks
My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My
flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh
and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent
Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because
Jesus Christ was giving Himself – His body and His blood – so we could live. And the life offered is as He described it in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The first life mentioned is eternal life – escaping hell and gaining heaven. But heaven and all its glories is surely abundant life (see Revelation 21:3 and 4). To have the second mention of life – “…life…more abundantly…” refer to heaven would then be redundant. It applies to living in the here and now! And I cannot think of more abundance than that of which Paul wrote in Galatians 5:22 and 23 (NIV) – the fruit of the Spirit: “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” With these nine manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit in our life, we can experience abundant life in any situation!
Back to our featured scripture – It is a full meal Jesus is describing! His body is the spiritual food we need, His blood the spiritual drink! He fully gave Himself for us on the cross! If we then fully receive Him – by faith believing – we will experience “…all His benefits toward [us]….” It will be like David wrote in Psalm 23:5: “…my cup runneth over.”
There are two ideas concerning Drinking The Cup Of Salvation:
• Initial partaking – This is when one first comes to Jesus believing (accepting the fact) that he or she is the sinner and He is the only Savior – that He died for us to pay for our sins so we can be forgiven and cleansed, gaining acceptance before the Father and enter eternal life (see John 5:24; Ephesians 1:6). That one so coming to the Lord may not understand all the implications of his or her decision, and may not be able to put it in proper theological terms, but he or she comes believing none the less. With little Bible knowledge, I only knew three things when I opened my heart to the Lord at age 19:
▸ Jesus was real,
▸ He was alive, and…
▸ He loved me!
…and I fell head over heels in love with Him – this was my initial partaking!
• Continual partaking – The Greek word used for eating and drinking in John 7 denotes continual action! That believing one keeps on eating and drinking! This is more than, as it says in Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good….” That’s just a nibble! Jesus is telling us to partake of a continual feast of His body and blood! Paul tells us in Colossians 3:10 that “…the new man…is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” That knowledge concerns Jesus Christ, presented to us through God’s Word, the Bible. Continual feasting upon Him keeps the new creation in Christ – our new nature – well and strong!
Thank God for the many benefits offered to us by taking “…up the cup of salvation….” And by eating His Son’s body and drinking His Son’s blood regularly and fully, we will experience salvation in our life as God meant for us to have.