“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Col. 3:17)
I don’t recall ever meeting a Christian who has said, “I’m doing too much for Jesus,” I believe most would confess that they are not doing enough, and it would not matter if they started from the time they rise in the morning until they fell asleep that night. We do not try to repay Christ for His sacrifice for us. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) We do what we do out of a love for Him, but in part there is the reality that what He did on that cross for us is one of the reasons we love Him.
I place this before you though today, God did not have to let you be born, He did not have to call you or choose you, and He most definitely did not have to send His Son to die for you. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:11)
We are here, all of us, everything that exists, for the pleasure of God. In ways we may never truly comprehend even evil is here for the pleasure of God, He knew all that would happen before He laid the foundation of the world. Does He rejoice in evil? Of course not, but in some way, it glorifies Him, as all His creation does.
The concept of sin, not the nature of it, has perplexed men of God from day one, the best I have been shown so far is that grace cannot be offered unless there is free will, and our free will always goes against the will of God. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18)
Adam had no sin nature when he was created, yet his free will chose to harken to the voice of his wife. Lucifer was perfect when he was created, but he also chose, of his own free will to disobey. Just because we have been saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, just because we were predestined by the Lord to spend eternity with Him in heaven does not mean that our free will now conforms entirely and completely to the will of God, only Jesus has ever accomplished that fact, and even in the garden that night He asked if there might be a different way.
When we get to heaven, we will still have free will, even when the influences of this sinful world no longer hound and oppress us, we will remember when they did.
Removing an item that one covets does not remove the desire for that object.
I cannot answer the question I have just posed, wiser men than me over the centuries have tried and have failed. I believe the answer lies, at least in the form of conjecture, with the angels that did not leave their first estate. They congregated and listened to Lucifer as he attempted to sway them to this newfound “freedom” from God. They debated with and watched a third of their brothers be deceived, yet they remained faithful. I can envision one of them yelling loudly, “We serve the Most High God!” While Lucifer yells back, “You do not have to!”
And he was right, we do not have to serve the Lord.
I offer this statement, accept it if you can, if you are not serving Jesus Christ out of a love for Him, and for that reason only, then you may not be serving Him at all, save in your mind. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22) The one who has been crucified with Christ can walk no more difficult a path than that of humility and service, without thought to self in any way, shape or form. The question then remains, what part of us will be removed that still allows for free will when we walk through the gates of our eternal home? It will be a very interesting day, to say the least.