Summary: 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 in harmony. Romans 3:20-26
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.