Who’s Life is it Anyway?

I was reading Colossians today and this phrase in chapter 3, verse 4 stood out.

When Christ, who is your life…(CSB)

Paul is talking about how we have become a “new man.” That the old person we used to be has gone away. We have been changed and transformed. It is a truly remarkable thought. Continue reading “Who’s Life is it Anyway?”

Lent Day #37 | Redemption

We have interacted with the idea of redemption at various times during this series of reflections (here, here, here, and here). Today, as we draw closer to Easter morning we will take some time to explore what it means that God has redeemed us.

Redemption is a financial term. Many of us have used coupons before. We go to a store with the coupon and when we redeem it we get what it offers at the time of check-out. The reality of this transaction is included in our salvation. When Jesus came to earth, his mission was to redeem that which was lost. In what way was it lost? It was lost to sin and sinfulness. No man or woman who has ever lived can rise up to God. Our blood has been tainted by the sin of Adam and Eve. When they disobeyed God and decided to do their own thing, they damned their ancestors to a life of struggle, strife and strain.

Redeemed by the Blood of Jesus

I want to correct a common misconception here. There are some who believe (and teach) that Jesus redeemed us from the devil. The idea being the enemy of God was holding us captive. This does not make any sense because he too is captive. The devil must still submit to the will of God, even though God is waiting to pronounce his final judgment! So, if we were not redeemed from the devil, who are we in debt too? We are in debt to ourselves. The reason we are stuck in our predicament is because we keep making withdrawals from the account and have been overdrawn for millennia. The debt of sin is the belief we can live independent of God. This however is not the case. If it were not for God we would have nothing. Paul, said it this way,

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for, ‘In him we live and move and have our being’.” (Acts 17:24-28a, ESV)

If it is true that “in Him we live,” then we need someone to redeem our debt and make a deposit into our account of unrighteousness. The only one who could do that was Jesus. When we came into this world, he lived the life we could not live; he died the death we deserved; was raised to life from the grave so we could stand before God forgiven–not perfect. We will never be perfect, but we are being perfected.

Redemption is what Jesus has done to remove the burden of our sin debt. He was submitted the coupon of his blood for the balance of sin in the world. The hymn writer was correct when they said

        What can wash away my sin?
        Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
        What can make me whole again?
        Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

                Refrain

                Oh! precious is the flow
                That makes me white as snow;
                No other fount I know,
                Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

        For my pardon, this I see,
        Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
        For my cleansing this my plea,
        Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

        Refrain

        Nothing can for sin atone,
        Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
        Naught of good that I have done,
        Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

        Refrain

        This is all my hope and peace,
        Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
        This is all my righteousness,
        Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
        (Source)

Lent Day #36 | Righteousness

I want to share with you one of the many mind-blowing verses in the bible!

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)

I am stunned at the reality this points to. Before we go any deeper into the verse, let’s look at what righteousness is. Righteousness has been defined as having a right relationship with God. Now, this sounds great, but it does not describe for us how we can get to the right relationship. What does the journey from “here” to “there” look like?

As I have studied, thought and prayed about this I have composed a simplified definition based on what I have seen on my faith journey. I am sure others have come to a similar conclusion, so I do not claim exclusive rights to this. For me, righteousness is hearing or reading God’s word and saying to myself, “I will do whatever I have to do, to do what I have heard.” The essence of this idea is to take God at his word. What this means is making every effort to trust and comply and fulfill what God has said, living it out every day.

Paul says this about Abraham:

“So also Abraham ‘believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'” (Galatians 3:6, NIV)

What did Abraham do? He believed God and then lived his life in light of what he believed about what God said. This is the key that releases toward us God’s blessing. When we move and live trusting in God we are saying He is the most important reality in our lives. This is the evidence of our desire for a right relationship with God. If our desire is to dwell with God, we must work toward that objective. We must do everything within our power to demonstrate it, to God and everyone else.

I want to be counted as righteous. Do you? And, if you say that is your desire, what are you doing to show God you are serious?