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Redemption Lesson 13
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
16 January 2005 Bible Lessons
Operation Outreach

Every day we should rejoice in our redemption. It is through God's redemption we have forgiveness of our sins. However, the forgiveness of our sins is JUST the beginning of the wonderful "package" from God, we call redemption.

John 10:10 …I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John Ruskin was shown an expensive handkerchief on which a blob of India ink had been spilled. " Nothing can be done with it now," said the owner. "It is absolutely worthless."

Ruskin made no reply, but carried it away with him. After a time, he sent it back to the great surprise of his friend, who could scarcely believe his eyes. In a most skillful and artistic way, Ruskin had made a exquisite design, using the ugly blot as the center of the design.

A blotted life is not necessarily a hopeless, useless life. Through the forgiveness that God offers us in Christ, our lives, irrespective of the past, can be made beautiful and useful. Redeemed, we are forgiven and set free to live our lives on a much higher plane. Everyday we should rejoice in the forgiveness of our redemption.

Forgiveness is only one aspect of God's redemption. I certainly would not want to say that forgiveness is the least in the this redemptive package, because forgiveness is gigantic without measure. However, the initial act of forgiveness that brings about the New Birth, takes up the least amount of Biblical text in God's presentation of this redemptive package.

Christ's coming and the provision of redemption was never intended by God to be limited to simply a "fire escape from Hell". Obviously, before any other aspect of redemption can be a reality in our lives, we must first have the forgiveness of sins.

As we saw in our last lesson, redemption is a package with many aspects starting as far back as the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden, continuing to the Believer's new body and on into eternity. In reality, the redemption package extends back into eternity past, also. Christ is the "Lamb (of God) slain before the foundation of the world".

The Redemption package is NOT just an accumulation of many theological subjects. Redemption is instead, an inseparable unit with many different interrelated and integrated aspects. To understand any one of those interrelated aspects, we need a clear understanding of the whole.

Sad to say, in our desire to make the truths of the Word of God understood by the "common person", we have separated these many redemptive aspects into stand-alone units, often referred to as systematic theology.

There is nothing wrong with Systematic Theology, as long as we realize that it is a manmade system to assist us in learning and retaining Biblical information. It is a learning tool. Systematic Theology is not the Word of God, NOR should it be the reference for our Christian living.

We understand this fact in almost any other field, however we often forget this fact when it comes to Biblical understanding. As an illustration, take your computer…

You can know and even be an expert on such things as the "keyboard", the "motherboard", the "video card", etc., BUT just knowing a great deal about some of the parts, is no assurance that the computer will work properly. Before you can have any useful benefit from all those parts, all of those parts, plus MANY more must work in perfect harmony as a total.

If all of those computer parts, plus operating system, programs, etc., etc. do not work in perfect harmony, you will have nothing on your desk, but a nice looking pile of parts and software.

IF that pile of nice looking (and expensive) parts and software are not perfectly integrated and working in perfect harmony, that stuff, called a computer, will simply be very expensive headache. In similar manner, the wonderful and far more integrated truths of redemption.

Continuing to use the illustration of the computer…

You don't have to know how a computer works to benefit from it, nor do you have to know how redemption works to receive it.

However, if you want to use the computer to its fullest capacity, THEN you must know and apply a great deal of information about that computer and its many items of software.

If the Believer is to know and enjoy the abundant life that Christ came to provide, THEN there are some things we must know and apply to our lives, and the information and application of those "things" MUST" be accurate and harmonious.

In the last lesson we looked at…

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him, 11 in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

In this passage, the Holy Spirit through Paul, shows that the process of redemption extends from the "curse" in the Garden, to the final redemption of our bodies at the brink of eternity. Between those two terminal points, the Believer is to be involved in many aspects of the redemptive program, as we purify ourselves.

1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Notice, in this passage, as in so many, we see the three phases of redemption indicated.

  1. Initial or Past Phase (forgiveness of sins) (from the Penalty of sin)
  2. Present Phase (purification from sins) (from the Power of sin)
  3. Future Phase (removal of sin) (from the Presence of sin)

In verse 1 (Initial Phase) God's love is bestowed on us so we can become Children of God.

In verse 2 (Future Phase) we don't fully know just what we will be, but we know we will be like Christ, in holiness.

In the first part of verse 2 and verse 3 (Present Phase), we are now children, and if we have hope in Christ for the Future Phase, we will, right now, be purifying ourselves.

It is important to have proper understanding of the total plan of redemption, IF we are to properly live right now. What you know and truly believe about the total "package" of redemption will make a BIG difference in how you live now, and the quality of your living in eternity (NOT where you spend eternity, but how you spend it).

Allow me to illustrate the fact that what you know about redemption will make a difference in how you live. Some friends of mine.., well, they are relatives. I guess relatives can be friends. At any rate, they believe that when you sin, you loose your salvation, and have to get saved all over again.

So when they sinned, and had "lost their salvation", they figured that they might as well enjoy their sin, as long as they were going to have to get saved again, anyway. So for a time, they would live in sin. Then conviction would set in and they would "walk the aisle" and get saved all over again. This yo-yo cycle became a way of life with them. What they knew, or didn't know about redemption made a BIG difference in the way they lived.

Christ, as well as the writers of the Epistles, had much to say on this subject. Looking at just two of those portions will certainly establish this truth.

John 7:16 Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"

First of all, Christ states that this is not His own doctrine, developed since he came to the earth, but this doctrine was God's from eternity past.

Notice verse 17. Our knowing doctrine should not be academic only. As a matter of fact, knowing God's doctrine cannot simply be for the purpose of knowing doctrine. If knowledge alone is what we seek, we will never know true doctrine.

Knowing true doctrine must 
with the desire to  
God's will,  
  we can 
on the road of knowing God's doctrine, instead of man's.

Many years ago there was a hard-bitten old Marine General, one of those tough, self-sufficient characters who was used to giving orders. After he retired, he became a Christian and grew with astonishing speed.

Everyone who knew him saw the change. They respected him as much as they always had, but they saw a compassionate and an understanding person. They saw a patience develop in him that was not there before. He was able to get along with people with whom he had formerly been bitterly at odds.

When a Christian leader, who knew him, was ask why such a change, he replied,

"When the General hears something from the Scripture, 
he obeys it immediately."

Christ, Himself, stated that an overpowering desire to do God's will is a MUST to understanding the DOCTRINE OF GOD. Any bright human can understand the doctrine of religion, but it takes an obedient heart to know and understand God's Doctrine.

In the John 7passage, our Lord established one of the criteria for knowing Spiritual truth. You don't need to meet that criteria to have religious knowledge, BUT to know the doctrine of God, you must. Then in John 8, Christ tells what will be the result of really knowing the true doctrine of God.

John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

At a farmer's market in a little village in Europe, there was a covey of quail walking in circles around a pole. They had strings attached to their legs, and they continued to walk around and around the pole hour after hour, day in and day out. The quail were a "drawing-card" to get people into the market.

A man came into the market and asked, "How much will you take for all of them?" He paid the owner the agreed price and began to cut the strings from their legs.

"What are you doing?" the past owner asked in unbelief?

"I'm setting them free," said the new owner.

In spite of the strings being cut, which should have given the quail their freedom, they continued to walk around the pole in the same old circle. They didn't realize that they were free and that they could go in a any direction they chose. Not until the man began shooing them away did they move from their set routine.

John 7:17 "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

If we would apply these three criteria to our learning and living, it would be amazing what we could know, and what that knowledge would do in our lives.

  1. Have a deep desire to DO the will of God (not just have the facts)
  2. Abide in God's Word to know the "truth"
  3. Allow that "truth" to bring freedom
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

There is so much in this passage that's of great value to our understanding of the marvelous intricacies of the package of redemption. However, because we still live in the earthly realm of time, allow me to simply highlight some aspects. May I encourage you, no may I urge you to go back read, compare and harmonize at least Romans chapter one through five. It wouldn't hurt to do the whole book.

Verse 25 lets us know that the overall subject of this passage is redemption. Any aspect of redemption requires righteousness, not human righteousness, but absolute righteousness. Obviously, humans cannot even come close to producing absolute righteousness.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Because of this fact, it is stated that even when participating in the rituals of the Mosaic Law, that practice could not bring one ounce of righteousness to the life (v. 20-21).

Even though the Law, itself, is good, when a human becomes involved in its practice, it cannot confer righteousness on that human, because the very best that any human can produce is human righteousness, which compared to the needed absolute righteousness is only like filthy rags. Therefore, God provides, through Christ, absolute righteousness to humans, apart from the Law (vs 21).

Please note that this righteousness of God is available to  
but only on 
"who believe"
(v. 22-23)

We saw, in the last lesson that participation in God's redemption requires acts of obedience. These actions are non-meritorious. These actions of obedience, take a person from the realm of self-reliance and places them in the state of dependence on God's provision.

God's redemption is provided by God's grace. Another subject that will need our attention, as we study redemption (vs 24). It's by God's grace, through redemption that we are justified.

Justification is another part of redemption. As a matter of fact, over 30 things happened to us at the moment we accepted Christ, and most of those 30 things also have three phases. The first aspect of justification starts with our salvation and the last aspect of justification is fulfilled in the adoption, or the redemption of our bodies, just before we enter into eternity future.

It is absolutely necessary to know that this grace, our justification and redemption are IN Christ Jesus. There is so much more in this passage like, propitiation, God as justifier, passing over previous sins, etc. These will all be looked at as the study progresses.

For this lesson let's close with…

Romans 3:23-25 …for there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood…"

There is no exception! Every human alive today is far short of the standard required for Eternal Life. All are condemned sinners deserving, at best, an eternal existence in the Lake of Fire.

God, by His grace, has provided redemption whereby we are justified, and therefore are assured of Eternal Life with God. This wonderful "package" is ours, not because we deserve it, but because God through Christ has provided it to ALL (vs 22).

Listen, my friend! This Gift of God is available to all, BUT it is only on all who believe. God has done His part, NOW you must accept what God has provided. If you do not accept God's provision, THEN you have rejected it, and are sill in your sins. Therefore, your eternal end will be the Lake of Fire, NOT as the fault of God, BUT because you have rejected God's provision.

This story is told as historically true.

Let your minds go back to the days before the Civil War. Imagine you are visiting one of the great cities of the South like Savannah, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson or New Orleans. As you approach the center of town you hear a commotion as a crowd gathers for a public auction and you gather round to watch the proceedings.

The first thing you notice in the crowd is an uncouth, foulmouthed, loud, boisterous man. By reputation, he is the meanest, cruelest, most hateful man around.

You also notice in the crowd another man who stands out for his dignity, genteel mannerisms and soft-spoken tone. He is recognize by reputation as a most kind, gentle, and gracious man.

Both men, along with the crowd wait for the auction to begin. Finally the auctioneer steps to the podium and begins rattling his words as the first item to be sold is brought to the auction block.

There before you is a beautiful young black girl, about 20 years of age. This debauched practice was part of the worst moments of our national history. This young lady's dress is old and torn, but remarkably clean. She is obviously filled with anxiety and fear as the bidding begins.

From the outset the loud obnoxious man seemed to have his evil, lustful eyes set on this lovely, innocent, young lady. She obviously knew of or could feel his reputation and cringed in fear as he opened the bidding.

When the kind gentleman saw her fear, he too placed a bid. Soon only these two men were involved in the bidding as the price of the girl rose higher and higher. Finally the evil man bowed out of the bidding when the price of the girl was more than he was willing to pay.

The auctioneer closed the bidding, the kind gentleman paid the price for his purchase, was handed the Bill-of-Sale and turned to leave. The young girl started to follow her new master.

He then turned to her and asked, "Where are you going?"

"Why, I'm going with you," she responded; "You bought me and I belong to you."

"Oh! You misunderstood," the man said, "I didn't buy you to make you my slave, I bought you to set you free." Then he took the Bill-of-Sale and wrote across it in big block letters - FREE! - signed his name and gave it to the girl.

"I don't understand," the girl said. "You mean I am FREE!"

"Yes, you are FREE!" responded the man.

"I can go wherever I want and do as I please?" she ask

The man's response was, "Exactly! You are FREE!"

"Mister, I don't know who you are, but no one has ever shown such love and kindness to me. If I am free to do as I please, nothing would please me more than to go with you and serve you till the day I die." That day she went home with Abraham Lincoln, not as his slave, but as his willing servant.

In a similar but far more infinite way, we have redemption from the slavery of Sin. The redemption price has been paid. You are free to chose to reject such payment and remain a slave to sin, or you can freely accept what God has provided.

Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2005