Appropriate – Side Two!
Although you cannot find the word appropriate in the King James Version of the Bible, it is a word that we need to explore. I believe, appropriating is an important part of faith. Without this part, the walk of faith is incomplete. The first part of Christian faith is believing.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31
The second part of faith is appropriating.
“And as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12 NKJV
The first step of faith is believing. The second step of faith is making what you believe your own. This is what is meant by receiving. Let us investigate the word appropriate. Any dictionary teaches the meaning of the word is,
“To take possession of.”
A look in any good dictionary will teach us; the word comes from the late Latin word, appropriare. This literally means to make one’s own. From this, we can say, to appropriate means to take something that does not belong to you and make it your possession. Simply put, it means, to gain ownership. The Parable of the Sower in Luke 8 explains this wonderfully. Look at the Lord’s explanation of the parable. In verse 12,
“Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” NKJV
This verse shows us that they heard the Word of God but never made their belief their own possession, thus enabling Satan to steal it from them. In verse 13,
“Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.” NKJV
This verse shows us that the people believed, but in a time of temptation they fell away. Why did they fall away? They fell away because they did not appropriate the word. It did not belong to them, so why should they suffer for it! In verse 14,
“The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.” NKJV
Did you notice, these people only heard the word? They never made it a possession of value. Therefore, the worries of this world choked them. However, verse 15 teaches,
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart,who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” NKJV
Do you see the difference? These good people kept the word. In other words, they made the Word of God their very own possession. They heard it, believed it, and appropriated it. Faith means nothing until we take possession of the thing we believe.
To illustrate this, we go to school. It takes twelve years before you can get a high school diploma. Kindergarten through sixth grade, the diploma is not yours. Seventh grade through ninth grade, the diploma is not yours, tenth grade through twelfth grade; the diploma is not yours. You may have completed the work, but the high school diploma does not become yours until the principal bestows it on you. You must then come up to the podium and take it from him. In this, you have made the diploma your own possession. You have appropriated it. So, it is with the kingdom of God! Salvation is not yours until you believe the message and appropriate it as your own. A person can hear the gospel of Christ, and yet not be saved. A person can hear the gospel of Christ, believe it, and yet not be saved. A person is only saved when he hears, believes, and appropriates the message. This is what is meant by making Jesus Christ your personal Savior. He becomes yours, because you take Christ as your possession. In this action, He becomes your Savior.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 NKJV
A gift does not become yours until you take it from the giver and make it your personal possession.
Another meaning for appropriate is,
“To allot something for a specific use.”
For us to be able to appropriate, there must be an appropriation. We cannot be saved unless there was an appropriation made for us. Jesus Christ is the one God has given for us to appropriate salvation.
“He Himself is the propitiation for our sins,” 1 John 2:2 NKJV
Have you made this salvation your own personal possession? It is important for us to examine the appropriation God has given to us for a powerful life.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 NKJV
Is your Christian walk fruitless? Perhaps you have believed God and taken possession of salvation? Maybe this is all you have done? You have appropriated the root, but you have not appropriated all the blessings of God in Christ. Until you learn how to make all the blessings of God your own possession, you will never have a victorious Christian Life! Have you appropriated them? The Old Testament, our Tutor to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3: 24), teaches this principle. We learn in the Old Testament God gave the land of Canaan to Israel. They had to go in and possess it. Moses said;
“The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.’” Deuteronomy 1: 6-8 NIV
I hope you know the story of the twelve spies whom Israel sent out to examine the land of Canaan (See Numbers 13). They came back and said it was too much for them to possess. God made that sinful generation perish in the desert. The reason for this is, they refused to appropriate all which God said He gave to them! God gave the appropriation. They failed in appropriating what God has given. Is this the history of your Christian walk?
Finally, the Lord shows us the truth in making something that is not yours, your own possession.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5: 21 NKJV
Jesus Christ was sinless, 1 John 3:5. However, He appropriated our sins. He took your sins, my sins, and the whole world’s sins and made these sins, His own possession. My sins do not belong to me anymore. Jesus has taken them into Himself and made these sins, His own. Thank you, Lord! From this moment onwards, whenever guilt comes upon you or me, we can say,
“Yes, I did that, but Jesus Christ has taken my sins away from me. God has forgiven me through Him!”
You can do this if you have appropriated the gospel. Here, are some promises for us to appropriate. Will you make them your possession? Will you fight to make them your own, until the fulfillment of them? If they are yours, you will!
- Access to God, Romans 5: 2,
“Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” NIV
- Christ as your intercessor, Hebrews 7: 25-26,
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” NIV
- Eternal life, John 17: 1-2,
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.’” NIV
- Intercession of the Spirit, Romans 8: 16-17,
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” NIV
- Kinship with Christ, Hebrews 2: 10-14,
“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.’ And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’ Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil.” NIV
- Partakers of the divine nature, 2 Peter 1:4,
“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” NIV
- Suffering with Christ, Acts 5:41,
“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” NIV
- Victorious living, Romans 8:38,
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” NKJV
May God grant you and me the grace to appropriate all He has provided for us. May God grant you the power to drive out our enemies of guilt, fear, doubt, and mistrust, as we begin the battle of making God our very own possession. Be strong and of good courage, and you will win.
God Bless You!
© Guy Calandra Author, The Inside Word