Altar Culture – Redemption part 2

kristie Culture, Love, Redemption

Welcome back.  Let’s continue our discussion on redemption.  Previously we had talked about the definition of redemption-  The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.  We had been stuck in our sin.  In the old covenant men were required to sacrifice animals for blood was required to cover their sins.  However, the blood of animals would never fully remove sin. Because we serve a Holy God He could not have the relationship with us that He desired until sin had been completely removed. He desired a relationship with us just has He had with Adam before sin.  The kind of relationship He desired was one of sonship, a relationship that carries rights and responsibilities. The price for our redemption was the blood of His Son Jesus. Jesus went to the cross to pay in full the debt of our sin. What a precious price he paid. ( 1 Peter 1:18-19).  Jesus’ death on the cross did more than just make a way for us to one day go to heaven. He fully redeemed us. This means that we are back in right standing with our Heavenly Father. We have the right to sonship, not based on our own merit, but because of the power of the sacrifice of Jesus. We are now called children of God because of what Christ purchased for us at the cross.  

 

Romans 3: 21-26 ( NIV) But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 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 fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 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 had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

 

The blood of Jesus was the price that set us free from sin and the sin nature forever. We do not have to earn it. We can’t.  We accept it through faith. When we call on Jesus and accept His work on the cross it is then we become righteous

 

Titus 3: 4-7 ( NIV)   But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

 

We no longer are slaves to sin and fear.  We have been washed cleaned and made new in Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:17 ( NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  We are now viewed as righteous by God. Christ accomplished this work for us. His finished work is credited to our account.

 

For many years I struggled with feeling that I would never be good enough for God to work with me.  There were many nights when I was a little girl that I would lay in my bed and plead with God to forgive me for any sins I could think of that I had committed that day and for any I had missed.  I was terrified that Jesus would return and I would be left behind because I knew I would never be good enough. I knew and believed that Jesus’ death on the cross allowed me access to heaven, but I thought that it could easily be lost.  I was trying to earn my salvation. I never felt good enough. How could God ever use someone like me to do anything of value for Him? Then one day God spoke to me. I was an adult, and had been working in the church, even in church leadership.  However, I still felt that I was not worthy and was waiting for someone else to see me for who I really was, just a sinner saved by grace and hanging on with all I had to the hope of one day seeing heaven. I was sitting in a Sunday evening service and we read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God for He made Him who know no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  It was not an audible voice like some people hear, just that still small voice in my spirit.  God was telling me that because of what Christ did on the cross I was the righteousness of God in Christ. When God saw me He did not see me as a lowly, unworthy sinner, clothed in filthy rags- He saw me in His beloved Son.  It was not anything that I needed to, or could ever, earn. God saw me as His child because of what His Son had done on the cross. This was why God could and wanted to work through and with me to impact this world for His Kingdom.  I was loved by the King of kings. He had made the way for me to have a beautiful and meaningful relationship with Him that was not just one sided. He wanted relationship with me because He loved me, not because He had to, but because He wanted to. I was important to Him, and He hadn’t left me out of His plans.  Because of what Jesus did for me on the cross I now walk in sonship, not just servanthood. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV ) I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Ephesians 2: 5,6 ( NKJV) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ ( by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

 

This revelation changed my life.  I grew to realize that I was not just a sinner saved by grace, I had become a new creation in Christ.  My old filthy rags had been replaced by something beautiful. I had new purpose. I was valuable to the Almighty.  

 

That is the story of redemption.  It is not just that we have to struggle through and hope one day to make it to heaven.  It is so much more. Do not miss out on all that Christ died to purchase for you. You are no longer just a sinner whose sins have been covered. You are redeemed.  Your sins have been blotted out. In Christ you have been made new. You have value. You have a purpose. You are pleasing to God. In Christ you are made righteous.  You are a son or daughter of God. You have a grand calling on your life, one that you are worthy of taking up.

It is time for us to begin to recognize all that Christ purchased for us at calvary and step into the exciting journey He has for us.