The Price Paid
“It was almost 1:00 in the morning when the phone rang. Dr. Leo Winters, the highly acclaimed Chicago surgeon, was abruptly awakened. (stethoscope) There had been an accident and his skill hands were needed for immediate surgery. The quickest route happened to be through a rather tough area, but with time being a critical factor, it was worth the risk. At one of the stoplights his door was yanked open by a man with a gray hat and a dirty flannel shirt. “I got to have your car!” the man screamed, pulling him from his seat. Winters tried to explain the gravity of the situation but the man would not listen. When the doctor was finally able to get a taxi to the hospital over an hour had elapsed and it was to late as the patient had passed away 30 minutes earlier. The nurse told the Dr. that the father of the victim had gone to the chapel wondering why the doctor never came. Dr. Winters walked hurriedly to get to the chapel and when
he entered he saw the father… he was wearing a gray hat and dirty flannel shirt. Tragically, he had pushed from his life the one who could save his son.
Similarly, scores of people push from their lives the very One who can save them from the penalty and the power of their sin. Countless numbers turn away from the One who can save them from their emptiness, confusion, hopelessness, and enslavement to sinful ways. They are too busy for the One who can deliver them from a meaningless life. They can’t seem to find time for the One who can redeem their lives. It is so sad, so tragic because things could be
different for so many if they could only find time for the Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth to save us. Christ is the Savior we all desperately need. Have you replaced Him with your own desperate actions? Have you pushed Him aside so you can meet your own agenda? Have you allowed Him to save you from yourself?
In the writings of the Apostle Paul the word he sometimes uses for “saved” is “redeemed.” Eph 1:7,8 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (slave chain)
“The word redemption is a commercial term borrowed from the marketplace where human beings were offered for sale to the highest bidder. Condemned to a miserable existence these slaves were powerless to escape. Their only hope was redemption, an uncommon process whereby they were purchased in order to be set free.
Scripture uses the tragedy of slavery to illustrate our human predicament. Without God’s intervention, we are all hopelessly enslaved to self and sin. We are forced to live in bondage to sin and Satan. Enslaved by sin and guilt, we are unable to liberate ourselves. Jesus said,
‘…. EVERYONE WHO SINS IS A SLAVE TO SIN….” John 8:34
Sin traps us and holds us, rendering us powerless to escape its clutches. Consequently, try as hard as we might, we are unable to overcome our sin. It might be lust, uncontrollable anger, drugs, pornography, envy, covetousness, lying, gossip, materialism, destructive behavior, harmful attitudes, pride, being territorial or whatever. In our natural, unsaved state we are at the mercy of sin; powerless against it. In spite of the fact that sin ruins relationships, wrecks lives and brings untold pain, misery and regret we can’t seem to overcome it. Our only hope is Christ who can redeem us, setting us free from sin’s penalty and its power in our daily lives.”
(chain) Now this does not mean that people on their own can not gain a victory over some kind of sinful behavior. There are all kinds of groups that can assist people in overcoming sin. It can be done without a relationship with Christ. You can over come the temporary effects of sin but what you can not overcome with a self-help program or 12 step program or therapy is the eternal consequences of sin.
Paul is not saying that Jesus is the only way a person might find some sense of purpose or belonging or health. But He is saying that a relationship with Christ is the only guarantee of an assured and eternal relationship with God. This was God’s unfolding plan from the beginning. There are signs pointing to it down through time, especially in God’s dealings with the descendants of Abraham.
Eph 1:4-6 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.