Thursday, April 05, 2012

Redeemer

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. 15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.   —  Titus 2:11–15 (NASB95)
     Above the entryway to [Auschwitz] were the words, Arbeit macht frei. The same thing stood above the camp at Dachau. It means, "work makes free"—work will liberate you and give you freedom.
     It was a lie—a false hope. The Nazis made the people believe hard work would equal liberation, but the promised "liberation" was horrifying suffering and even death.
     Arbeit macht frei. One reason that phrase haunts me is because it is the spiritual lie of this age. It is a satanic lie. It's a religious lie. It is a false hope—an impossible dream for many people in the world. They believe their good works will be great enough to outweigh their bad works, allowing them to stand before God in eternity and say, "You owe me the right to enter into your heaven” . . .
     It is the hope of every false religion—arbeit macht frei.
     But it's the love of God that liberates. It's the blood of Jesus Christ that liberates. He died in my place, and I am free.  –  From Johnny V. Miller's sermon, "The Great Rescue," PreachingToday.com (4-14-07)
We really need to get this down.  Saved people are redeemed people.  To be redeemed means we have a redeemer, and that redeemer is Jesus Christ.  We don’t save ourselves or anybody else.  It’s frustrating to keep battling this idea, even within the church (the body of saved, redeemed people).  Tell people they aren’t saved by their good works, but by the blood of Jesus and some of them look at you with this blank stare as if they can’t quite grasp what you’re saying.

“But we have to do something. . . .”  That’s often the response, in one form or another.  Yes, we must respond in faith.  But nothing in your faith earns, deserves, or accomplishes salvation.  If you’re a sinner, you need a redeemer.  That’s Jesus.  Get that one right.  There is nothing more important.  Don’t fumble that one.  Jesus saves and redeems.  Hallelujah!