Sermon Titled “The Role of God The Son – Real Redemption” (Ephesians 1:7-10) – Sunday 13th October, 2013
- Ephesians 1:7-10 7 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, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
I wasn’t able to make it to church last weekend, so I won’t be able to give you a re-cap of Pastor Reimer’s sermon, but I’ll hopefully be able to provide some additional insight into the meaning of the verses above, and in particular, Christ’s role as our Redeemer.
I think it’s best that we first take a look at the meaning of “Redemption” – here are two definitions that I found online:
- the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.
- the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. (God’s plans for the redemption of this world)
When talking about God’s redemptive plans, it’s important to understand that it is through Christ’s suffering on the cross, that the price was paid for our sins. The concept of God having to “clear our debt” and free us from our sinful lives, is not an easy one for everyone to understand. But since the fall of Adam, all of humankind is subject to dying a physical death, and the only way to overcome death is by acknowledging what Christ did for us.
To paint a clearer picture of what redemption looks like, let me share with you a true-life story that mirrors how fortunate we are that God would care enough to save us. I saw a documentary recently about human trafficking, and in one scene, a journalist shared how he went undercover into a brothel and later rescued two of the young girls who had been sold to the brothel owner and forced into a world of prostitution. When the journalist learned that he could actually purchase the girls, he didn’t hesitate. He paid the price for their freedom, and took them back to their homes. These girls were obviously overtaken with emotion when they were reunited with their families, but also stunned that someone with whom they had had no prior relationship, would care enough to pay for their release.
That’s how it is with us and God. God paid a ransom (His son), for our redemption from the grave, which is unconditional and available to everyone, and also for our redemption from sin, which is conditional. We are like the two girls in the story above; we have been set free and we now have a choice to make. We can either turn over a new leaf and start living Christ-centered lives, or we can go back to our old ways. However, the choice we make will determine whether or not we get to fully participate in God’s plans to redeem us.
For me, the decision was not a difficult one. As I began to study and really understand the character of Christ, I knew that I wanted to be like Him. But I also knew that such a transformation would not be possible without God’s help. So I took a bold step of faith and chose to believe that Christ could change my heart and mold me into His likeness.
- Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…..
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Christ has changed me. I know with all certainty that I am a better person today because of a choice I made seventeen years ago. I fall far from being perfect, but I strive each day to model the example of Christ’s love for others. His ministry on earth was one that involved not only revealing the mystery of eternal salvation, but also tending to those who had “temporal,” or nonspiritual needs (illness, poverty and hunger, grief and sadness, loneliness, abuse, guilt and forgiveness).
As I struggle from time to time with life trials of my own, I am reminded that Christ also experienced pain and suffering (to a far greater extent I might add), yet throughout it all He continued to put His own needs aside and focus instead on the needs of others.That’s what I believe our purpose is, and while it may seem to be an unrewarding way of life, I’d ask you to first try it before completely shunning it. There is something about serving and helping others that makes it difficult to concentrate on the negatives in your life, and if those negatives should somehow force you to hit rock bottom, all is not lost. Christ is waiting for you, extending His hand out and hoping you’ll reach for it.
I’ll leave you with a scenario to consider, one which I heard from Reverend Clyde Kakuichi at our small group meeting two weeks ago:
- Have you ever wondered why there is always an odd number of members serving on a committee or board? It’s so that one person will be left holding the deciding vote. What if you were to consider that Christ is on one side, casting His vote for you to join Him, and Satan is on the other side casting His vote for you to join his team. You now hold the deciding vote – the power to choose is completely in your hands. What will you decide?