Tag Archives: redemption

HELPLESS – BUT GOD!

HELPLESS – BUT GOD!

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world be held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

But now, apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known to which the law and the prophets testify.” Romans 3:19-21.

Doomed! We are all doomed. Paul’s conclusion is both terrifyingly condemning…

Everyone is guilty before God. There is no one privileged enough to escape His judgment and no one righteous enough to evade His scrutiny. No one on the planet, past, present or future, can perfectly measure up to His requirements. God’s holy nature is revealed in His Law. It is inflexible. It is objective. That’s what He demands and anything less is punishable by death.

…and gloriously liberating! So what can we do? The answer is, “Nothing!” We can do nothing and we need to do nothing. Why? God has already done everything; everything necessary to give us hope.

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:22-24.

No one can stand before God in his naked state. Sin has stained and polluted every person, regardless of what he has tried to do to gain acceptance with God. His spirit is dead and that is as final as physical death – unless God intervenes…and He has. Sin killed us, not only because we have all sinned but also because we all have a natural bent towards sin which cannot be cured by trying to obey rules. The law sets the standard but it cannot enable us to keep it. All it can do is reveal our guilt.

Why do people who know God’s law, be it in written form or in their conscience, still think that they can do something to satisfy God’s righteousness by trying to obey rules? Even some of those who claim to be believers in Jesus still try to satisfy God’s holy standards by working hard to please Him. How much better to admit defeat and accept God’s solution!

Imagine your small son, whom you have instructed not to help himself to cookies from the cookie jar, standing in front of you with a cookie in each hand. He has been caught red-handed. He is guilty and he cannot escape. You warned him that he would be spanked and sent to his room for the whole day if he disobeyed you. Now you must keep your word, even if he is sorry and promises never to do it again.

His older brother steps in. He adores his little brother and feels sorry for him. “I’ll take his punishment,” he tells you. Because he has never been guilty of transgressing your rule, you accept his offer. Little brother goes free while older brother receives the spanking and spends the day in isolation in his bedroom.

You have been perfectly just in punishing disobedience and at the same time merciful to the little boy who transgressed your law, because of his older brother’s compassion. That is exactly what God has done, but on a much higher level.

“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood – to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness because, in His forbearance He has left sins unpunished – He did this to demonstrate Hs righteousness as the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:25, 26.

All we have to do is to accept His gift by believing what He says. It’s as simple as that. Was Jesus without sin? Most definitely yes! Did He die as a law breaker? Again, yes! He was executed as a blasphemer and as one who committed treason against Rome. Was He guilty as accused? Yes and no! What He said was true. He is the Son of God and King of the Jews…but not as He was judged to be. He said emphatically, “My kingdom is not of this world.” His kingdom transcended Rome and transcends all the kingdoms of this world.

How do we know He was telling the truth? God raised Him from the dead. Death is the punishment for sin, but death could not hold Him in its grip. After three days He walked out of the tomb. He is alive; and He sent His Spirit to live in the heart of every believer so that we are enabled to live the life He wants us to live. All this happens when we put our confidence in Him!

Acknowledgement

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (Eph. 1: 7-10).

Let’s step back for a moment. Did Jesus die to forgive our sins? Yes! Did Jesus die so that we can go to heaven? For the moment, let’s say, “Yes”. But the story is much bigger than being about us. God’s plan is all-encompassing. It includes the entire universe, not just humans.

Before He created the first man, God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Although the “image” of God includes those attributes that we share with Him, attributes such as love, self-consciousness and free will, being created in His image includes much more than these. God wanted a species that could have fellowship with Him and be one with Him, just as the members of the Godhead are one in their love, their mutual submission and their purpose for creation.

Adam and Eve enjoyed oneness with God until they fell for the devil’s deception and declared independence from Him. Their rebellion incurred a huge, unpayable debt which alienated them from Him, making fellowship and unity impossible. They had become His enemies. Had they even wanted to be reconciled to Him, they could not because of the barrier of unpaid debt that stood between Him and them.

But God’s plan was already in place before He formed the first man. Adam’s rebellion did not catch the all-knowing God unawares. Just as He chose us in Christ “before the creation of the world”, so also His Son was “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world (Rev. 13: 8).” 

From God’s perspective, the forgiveness of sins was not the be-all and end-all of salvation. It was a part of His plan to restore all things to their perfection and purpose when He created the universe. The sin of the human race stood in the way of completing what He had begun. There was only one way to remove it – a man who was without sin had to pay the price for the whole human race.

God revealed the enormity of His mercy by sending His own Son, in the likeness of man, to die as a substitute for humanity. Jesus came into a polluted and corrupt world, and lived among people who were contaminated by sin. He refused to act independently of the Father despite the devil’s vicious campaign to get Him to declare independence from God. He submitted to the Father up to the moment of His death, committing His spirit to the Father with His final breath.

God was satisfied with Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death. He raised Him from the dead because there was nothing to hold Him in the grave. Jesus paid the debt; He unmasked and defeated the devil, proving once for all that He, not Satan, is Lord. The barrier of sin between God and man was finally demolished. There was nothing left to stand in the way of God’s purpose to bring everything in heaven and on earth together in unity under the authority and power of His Son.

God revealed to the world and to the devil who had tried to usurp Jesus’ position and authority as Lord that, through His Son, His plan was back on track.

All those who believe the truth that Jesus is Lord, receive the benefits of His death and resurrection – the forgiveness of sins and reinstatement as God’s sons and daughters in His family. God gives them the supreme gift of the Holy Spirit – the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead – whom He called, “the Spirit of adoption” or “the Spirit of sonship” (Rom. 8: 14-16).

That’s what it’s all about, dear readers. God’s original plan was to have a family of sons and daughters, created in the image of His Son, who are one with Him and who live together in obedience to Him and in harmony with one another. For what purpose? To put His glory on display for Satan and his rebel hoards to see, once for all, that God is love.

Satan challenged the love of God in the Garden of Eden. Adam fell for his deception. He chose to believe the devil’s lie and not trust the Father’s love. Jesus, the perfect image of the Father with a face, came in person to put the record straight by His sinless life and sacrificial death in obedience to the Father.

You can believe Him now, dear reader. God IS love. He did it all to reveal just how great His love really is!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3: 1a).

Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or Kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

 

 

REDEMPTION THROUGH THE BLOOD

Aren’t you glad the “silly season” has come and gone? I noticed something different this year. The words of some of the most well-known and well-loved carols were changed to promote products. I also noticed that there were far fewer shops blaring out Christmas carols this year than last year. Is the world finally recognising that Christmas is not about Jesus – it’s about making money, overindulging and having a “good” time.

Religious celebrations are a good excuse for businesses to profit. No sooner is the Christmas season over than we plunge into Easter – another “religious” season that uses Jesus as an excuse for shops to wow their patrons into wasting their hard-earned money on frivolity.

I think it saddens the heart of God when His own people engage in all the trappings that are a part of what is very precious to Him and should be to us. Our theme this month is “redemption through His blood.” What does this mean to you?

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for a special day to remember that, in His mercy, God intervened to rescue us from slavery to the devil. In fact, He planned it long before He ever set about preparing the earth for human habitation. The whole of human history, and that includes our little insignificant lives, was spread out before Him when He made a covenant with Jesus to come to earth, live a perfect human life and die as a sinner to rescue us from the consequences of our own rebellion.

Just imagine that! Long before we were born, God saved us. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ… In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (Eph. 1:4,7).

How powerfully do these words affect you? Or me? Do we dwell on them and the implications they have for us who claim to be children of God? The birth of Jesus and His death should never be a once-a-year excuse to indulge in all sorts of excesses. They should be a perpetual and sober reminder of what is cost the Son of God to bring us back to the Father and restore us to His family as true sons and daughters.

Jesus instructed us to remember His death – not just once a month when we celebrate communion. Remember what it cost Him to redeem us from the devil’s clutches.

Blood…His blood, willingly given for us. A solemn reminder that we owe it to Him to live for Him.

 

 

REDEEMED!

Dear Family
We don’t hear too much about “redemption” these days. It’s a word used almost exclusively in churchy circles by theologians which we don’t really understand. The Apos-tle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:7,8 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the rich-es of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and under-standing.”
So what is “redemption”? A diction-ary gives the definition as “the ac-tion of being saved from sin, error or evil and “the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clear-ing a debt.”
The most probable reason we don’t hear about redemption is because we don’t like hearing that we have a need for it because of our sin. We are no longer comfortable with be-ing described as sinners because, in our warped understandings, that would be judgemental and in all likelihood, politically incorrect.
The whole world is systematically moving further and further away from owning up to its ultimate re-sponsibility to Almighty God, Crea-tor of all things. People who take responsibility for their actions are being becoming increasingly diffi-cult to find. It’s always somebody else’s fault when an individual transgresses. Blame the teacher, blame the government, blame soci-ety, blame the neighbour next door, blame the rusty nail, just blame something except yourself.
Well, God blames us! He holds us accountable and responsible for our own failings against the standards that He has set. His standards do not wax and wane with society’s norms. His standards are indifferent to Hollywood or any deviant pio-neering superstar. His standards are recorded in His Word for all to see and, according to Jesus, that Word will judge all mankind for all time. We need help! Thankfully, He has provided that help. I am a sin-ner. It is my fault. I have turned my back on God’s ways. I have com-promised His Word to suit my own desires. I have chosen my own path in opposition to Him. I am in-different to His Word. When I rec-ognize I do fall short of His stand-ards (called sin), I am able to ac-cess the riches of His grace, the forgiveness of my sin, through the redemption He has provided by His death.
I am redeemed! Praise the LORD!

The Power Of The Cross – Redemption Through His Blood

THE POWER OF THE CROSS – REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. (Eph. 1: 7)

I think this is the best place to start, don’t you? Everything that God has done for us flows from His grace but through the cross. I said yesterday that Jesus foretold the fact but did not give the reasons for His death. It was Paul who received the revelation from the Holy Spirit to explain the depth of meaning that the cross has for us.

Before we go any further, let’s sever, once and for all, the connection between Jesus’ death and Easter with all its pagan trappings. No self-respecting believer in Jesus should ever celebrate Easter (or Christmas, for that matter) because everything Easter and Christmas stand for are an intrusion into the truth.

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people.’ (2 Cor. 6: 16)

The death of Jesus is rooted in the Passover feast. God gave His people seven annual feasts to celebrate, in anticipation, the work of Messiah. Each feast foretold, in picture form, an aspect of what Jesus would do for His people. The first of the annual feasts was Passover which told the story of their redemption from Egypt.

Just as the Israelites were slaves to their cruel taskmasters in Egypt, so the human race was enslaved by the devil when Adam chose to believe his lies over the truth of God. God created the first pair to be one with Him. He made them in His image and filled them with His Spirit (breath) so that they would enjoy fellowship with Him and live in perfect harmony with Him as their Father and with the world in which they lived.

God gave man one gift which put both Him and man at great risk – the gift of choice. Without the freedom to choose, people would be robots, programmed and controlled by their Creator. True freedom involves the right and power to make choices without the control of anyone else, including both God and the devil.

Satan lured Adam and Eve into believing that God had short-changed them; that He had withheld from them something that would be to their benefit, independence. God never intended that freedom to choose would involve freedom to make the rules. The moment they capitulated to the devil, they were hooked. They did not understand that the depth of true freedom lay in their oneness with God, doing His will and living in perfect harmony with Him because only He is truly free – from everything imperfect that enslaves the heart.

They were enslaved to a nature that was corrupted and could no longer serve its purpose – to have fellowship with the Father in the perfection of His untainted nature. They had a new nature, corrupted and evil, and a new master – a cruel taskmaster who drove them through shame, guilt and fear to hate God and to run from Him. They no longer recognised or experienced God as their Father, but they hid from Him because they were afraid of His wrath.

Their imperfection became an impenetrable barrier between God and them. They could not reach Him and He could not reach them. They were enslaved, body, soul and spirit to the devil, and no amount of self-effort could remove the barrier.  Even if they tried to be perfect, their past disqualified them from access to Him.

God built into His instructions for living – His Torah – a sacrificial system which would teach His people how serious the problem of sin was, and that the death of a perfect lamb was demanded to pay the debt of sin and free the sinner from his enslavement to the devil. Animal blood was only a picture of redemption. It could never pay the debt God required, but it spoke of one who would come – a perfect Lamb who would be qualified to pay the debt and free the human race from the penalty of death.

Every year, the Israelites celebrated their redemption from slavery in Egypt in anticipation of the one God would send to redeem them from even greater slavery – slavery to the devil.

When Jesus came, they refused to recognise Him or to acknowledge that He was God’s Messiah. He lived the life of a perfect Son before them, but they crucified Him. They did not realise that the very suffering they put Him through, in His life and in His death, qualified Him to be the perfect Lamb that would remove the barrier of sin between them and God and rescue them from slavery to the devil so that they could be restored to fellowship with the Father.

It was Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist, who recognised Him to be that perfect Lamb.

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.’ (John 1: 29)

Through His death, Jesus took sin away and broke its hold over the sinner. Satan can no longer hold us to ransom because the debt has been paid. He no longer has a claim on us. Jesus provides forgiveness for the whole world and for all time. Even the sins that lie in the future are taken care of by His blood.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2: 2)

This is the power of the cross!

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/