Summary: Christ, our remarkable redeemer.
Remarkable Redeemer, James 1:12-18
A sign in a convenience store read, “Check Cashing Policy: To err is human. To forgive, $10.” It’s a funny way to recognize the fact that we make mistakes, but it’s also evidence of the way many people think about forgiveness. To forgive is to accept within yourself the consequences of the sins of others. It means to accept the pain, the problems and the burden that comes when someone sins against you.
Forgiveness is neither an easy nor a frequent gift.
This is what God has done for us: “. . . knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18, 19 NKJV).
What did God give for our forgiveness? It wasn’t money or anything of wealth or value in worldly terms. He gave His Son. Jesus took upon Himself the burden of our sins. Jesus, remarkable redeemer, savior of the world, savior of my soul!
This morning, as we enter the second Sunday of Advent, as we look forward to the coming of Christ in such humble a manner as a baby in a manger; I want to talk to you about the remarkable redeemer. We will explore the extraordinary message of God descending into human flesh to save you and me.
The Christmas message is nothing short of amazing because it is nothing short of miraculous. Imagine, God in the flesh? Who can fully comprehend the magnitude of such a glorious reality; Jesus, remarkable redeemer, providing a means of salvation for all humanity and more specifically my sins; the sins that I hide and the sins that I do not see; those sins about which I am surrounded and those sins which plague my soul; those sins which live without and within.
This morning, we will talk about Jesus, the only Savior; our remarkable redeemer.
It has been well said that Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe because you and I owed a debt that we could not pay. Redemption in Christ is about much more than merely finding temporary encouragement or event great encouragement.
In order to clearly discuss the nature of our remarkable redeemer – Jesus Christ – it is first necessary to give some definition to the term. Remarkable is of course that which is noteworthy, unique, or worthy of mention to someone else. Redemption, in biblical terms, is primarily about being justified in the sight of God.
Redemption in Christ is about having been made into a new creation. It is about being bought back at a price. At what price have we been bought back, you may ask; At the most costly price of all; the blood of our remarkable redeemer, our Saviour, Jesus Christ!
And from whom is it that we are bought back, you say; from the consequences of human sin, namely, enslavement to selfishness and destruction in this life, and to the power of the great enemy of our souls, that fallen, formerly most high angel of God, Satan, who the Bible says seeks to devour us with the trappings of sin and the empty promises of worldly pleasure which promise much but deliver only sorrow.
Redemption is a term that is thrown around a lot but seldom defined. We find it in our theological literature, in our hymnals, and even in popular media, though there it is often used as merely a tag line for someone whose situation improved.
Here are the facts concerning the fallen and sinful state that humanity finds itself in collectively and that each one of us finds ourselves in individually. By nature man is a transgressor and a criminal. We have inherited a sin nature that pervades everything we do, every thought that we have, every impulse that is natural to man is corrupted but selfish desires that dishonor God.
This does not mean that a person can do nothing good or upright or pleasing to God. What it does mean is that in relation to the purity and holiness of almighty God, all of our good works, good intentions, and well wishing are absolutely and completely bankrupt. Without Him working in us we can not please Him.
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (NIV) The penalty for our collective sin is the curse which we find upon the earth, the violence that nature wreaks all around us. Where there was once perfection in the garden, as accounted in the book of Genesis, now there is corrupt imperfection.
But the message of redemption is this. We who were born enslaved to sin have been set free in Christ! Hallelujah! We, who were born captives of the ruler of this world, have become joint heirs with Christ in His glory!