Redemption

We all know the Bible is the story of God. It describes His attributes not only through explicit reference (i.e., Jesus said, “…“No one is good—except God alone.”, and “God is love.”), but also through historical accounts which demonstrate His love, compassion, power, knowledge, presence, greatness, etc..

We also know that the scriptures trace the origins and history of mankind, including God’s decision to allow man to exercise free will and the consequence of man’s decision to exercise free will in disobedience to God’s command. Because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the paradise God prepared for them, all of their descendents (that includes us) are born with the proclivity to sin. As the old hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, written by Robert Robinson, declares, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the one I love…”

Fortunately, however, the scriptures also detail God’s loving pursuit of mankind which culminated in the sending of Jesus, His Son, into the world to achieve reconciliation which was unavailable to us by any other means.

I bring this up because rencently I was having a discussion with a friend regarding politics in our state and nation. Now, I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the news because most news these days isn’t very new or very accurate. But I do try to stay aware of what’s going on in general. That’s why I was having this particular conversation.

I concluded our exchange by summarizing my sense of the world in which we live this way: “While I’m not optimistic about the ultimate political solutions offered by those we elect, I am optimistic about God’s role in the affairs of His creation.” And I was reminded of God’s attributes and how God is incapable of violating His perfect nature; one aspect of which is His passion for redemption. You see, God specializes in redemption.

Man’s nature, on the other hand, regardless of his intentions, always brings about destruction and ruin. Because of our sin nature and the inevitability of death, both consequence of the fall, we are destined to corrupt even our most noble efforts. Yet, that very nature of sin instills in us an arrogance which causes us to ignore God’s truth and pursue solutions for our world which are totally of our own devising and, ultimately, of our own undoing.

The bad news is that we will fail…

The good news is that God will not.

God’s redemptive nature means that He can and will restore what was lost by the sin of man. So let’s look at what redemption means.

Redemption:

  • atoning for a fault or mistake
  • deliverance; rescue
  • deliverance from sin
  • pay off, as indebtedness

Now, consider what God, through Jesus, accomplished.

Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

(Have you heard much about exercising self-control lately? God forbid we should say “No” to something we desire.)

13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

(Why should we have to wait for anything? If I want it, shouldn’t I be able to have it now? Listen parents, one of the greatest lessons you can teach your children is the value of waiting for something they desire.)

14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

(Who needs to be redeemed? Can’t we manage on our own? Surely we don’t need to be rescued. Doesn’t that imply we are somehow dependent?)

The redemptive, restorative work brought about through faith in Christ as our Lord and Savior, enables us to see the world more clearly. With sober clarity we can observe the condition of the world with more objectivity and less fear and stress. As a result we can distance ourselves from the trap of believing that man and/or those we elect to lead us are in any way shape or form our saviors. Sadly, they will all ultimately fail us and disappoint us.

But God will not! We can trust that God knows all things and has the power to bring about His redemptive work in spite of us.

 

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