Summary: Of redemption of grace, which saved a suffering world and its people from death.
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (September 10, 2015)
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (II Corinthians 8:9, King James Version [Liberality and thanksgiving]).
Greetings In The Holy Name Of Jesus,
My brothers and sisters, what a pithy shame that someone could say, “there are no redeeming virtues” when speaking of man (woman). You know what I mean, don't you? If it were not for the love of God, then the world would not receive Christ Jesus. Is this why Apostle John witnessed to us,“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (3:16, KJV). If it were not for the grace of Christ Jesus, then man would die. Is this why Apostle Paul witnessed to the Ephesians, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (4:7, KJV). Therefore, if it were not for the grace of Christ Jesus, then we would not have apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers like Apostle Paul who was struck blind and called to serve on the road to Damascus in Syria as he witnessed to those in grace from prison about their exalted position in Christ, their relationship with God and the church (4:11, KJV).
Most importantly, your struggle does not go unnoticed because the grace of Christ gave you help “for the perfecting of saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” to live a life of redeeming virtues such as was the case of pious Job known for his patience in long-suffering (4:12, KJV). Howbeit then did he criticize his children or not feel confident that they, too, ardently believed in God?---”for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5, KJV [Job doubts]). So, if even a pious man such as Job experienced a time of doubt in a weak conscious surely we know we are prone to the same temptation in confidence but the redeeming grace of Christ Jesus made it possible for Job's redeeming virtue of patience to save him each day until God restored unto him all that he had plus more.
More importantly, how many of you feel you are worth your weight in gold? How many of you feel you have redeeming virtues worth great value? Accordingly, Proverbs said, “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool...The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth” (10: 18, 20, KJV [Moral virtues and contrary vices]). Why is it your mirror image of yourself is greater than how you feel about being in the image of God---wicked lies hiding the practice of hate in your heart is not as hidden as you think or would like it to be---for as hidden as you imagine your hate---you are in full view of God, Christ Jesus and all who know of you and all who see your imperfections in the spirit---all who see you are indeed in a delusional state, hopefully not imprisoned in the delusional state by God but able through Christ Jesus to be set free. Are you worthy to receive the word of Christ Jesus to save you?
Is beauty a redeeming virtue? Many feel it is only face value yet Esther saved her people---the Jewish nation and became Queen Esther. Rahab saved her family and married into the line of Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus lifted us all up---those of us in grace each and every day but how enslaved by the weakness of your conscious and the weakness of your flesh, are you---not knowing Christ Jesus set all the captives free. We are talking about your relationship with God. God said David was a man after his own heart. God said he was well pleased with His Son Christ Jesus---all redeeming virtues of great value in their relationship with God and to the church. Do you find yourself idling away in contempt of every day experiences incapable of seeing your every day sins---denying Christ Jesus saved you?
In closing, Apostle Paul witnessed to the weak conscious of the Corinthians who slipped back to their old ways---their pagan ways---ways outside of Christ---the traditions of their lands outside of Christ--- since Christ Jesus saved them similar to the Jews after their deliverance from Egypt and probably similar to many of you, for it is easy to slip back into your old ways, of sin but God is a just God, and Christ Jesus is a just savior whose grace was worthy enough to redeem you up out of the death of sin to the gift of eternal life. Praise His Holy Name. How save are you? Job was so pious, so saved, he was holier than possibly the Word of God and he could not see the truth of his sons love for God. I would like to share a short story with you---it is not the Bible story of the virtuous woman but a story of a Bible Study teacher, obviously a highly committed woman---that said a nun told her not to be holier than the church when she wanted to do more than what the Word of God said and more than what the church said and stood in contempt of others who did just enough to get by [specifically speaking to how long Christ and the church said believers fast before communion], she thought but believers just OBEYED and that was enough, for Jesus fulfilled all else.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Amen.