May 7, 2017
I have redeemed you
“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
When the confirmation class says, “Pastor we’ve chosen our verse.” I always hold my breath. What verse will they give me? What does it say? And why this one?
I hold my breath. Because, maybe I’ll have to say, “Choose another one please!” I hold my breath. Because, possibly, it might be a difficult text. So, when I say to you, “Pick a text,” I also say, “Choose…but choose wisely!”
The verse you have chosen is most excellent! For it is the voice of Jesus. Even if it comes from the Old Testament. “I have redeemed you!” These words are Gospel. They are life. Written from the prophet’s pen. Isaiah of the Old Testament. These are words you need to hear. Every. Single. Day. Speak them often. To yourself. And to others, “I have redeemed you!”
These words are beneficial for you throughout your life. They are appropriate for you at every station of life. As a young person. As you grow into adulthood. And when you are old.
Repeat them. When you need to be reminded of the Lord’s promises, “I have redeemed you!”
Repeat them. When you need to share with others the hope that is yours in Christ, “I have redeemed you.”
Repeat them. When you need to hear Christ’s word of forgiveness. “I have redeemed you.”
Repeat them. When you need to speak Christ’s words of pardon to another. “I have redeemed you!”
This word will guide your – Hear the word of our Lord -
“I have blotted out (Swept away) you transgressions like a cloud.” It is simply not in God’s nature to rest. Until everything is restored back to its intended created order. Jesus makes everything right. God silences and removes any testimony of sin against His people.
Christ has redeemed you. This means. He has ransomed you. Jesus has delivered on His promise. To buy you back. And make you His own. The Lord redeemed Israel by rescuing them from slavery. This is precisely what Jesus has done for you.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” In Christ, your sins have been forgiven. Where there is reconciliation. There is remission of sins. And what is this? Whether, we choose to call it – reconciliation. Or remission of sins. Or justification. Or redemption.
Or liberation from the claims of the devil. - Whatever you want to call it. – It’s all about Jesus! - We have been justified freely by Christ’s blood. “So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.”
The Lord’s words are sure -
“I have blotted out your sins like mist.” Jesus says, “I am He who blots out your transgressions. For My own sake. I will not remember your sins.” Like a cloud. He covers your sin.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.” - Christ bought your freedom. From sin. From death. And the devil. The payment was His own perfect blood.
Now you will be tempted. To find various ways of living apart from God’s will. Tempted. Such as pursuing evil desires. Tempted. To follow other religious systems. Or simply relying on rituals or laws to save you. Yet there you will find no peace. No joy. No comfort. There is no redemption apart from Christ’s work. Remember these words, “I have redeemed you.”
“For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.” Those crucified with Christ in Baptism have been freed from sin’s effects. As Christ lives eternally. He is no longer subject to death. He has conquered it. And in Christ so do you!
“He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message that God gave to the world!” – The price that must be paid to free captives was given for all. Jesus willingly gave His life as the ransom for all held captive by sin and death.
Jesus’ act of self giving testifies to the desire of the one God that He wants all people be saved. This message and testimony continues throughout time until that day when Christ returns. You know of that message. Share it. And live it. As God uses you. Shaping your talents gifts and abilities for service in this world.
It is easy to get wrapped up in how holy you need to live and to use your performance as a measurement of your progress.
It is easy to look for and think that you will find assurance in whether or not I am an elect, regenerate, Christian chosen by God courtesy of your assumed Christian obedience. The Old Adam is a zombie that feeds on the promised produce of faith for assurance of salvation and walks right past the object of faith, which, of course, is Jesus!
If you are in Christ. God considers you. Counts you. Credits you. As His good and faithful servant. If I am a resident of Heaven. It is because of Christ’s righteousness poured out all over me. If it is the life of Jesus that are your credentials to be with God in Heaven. Then it is the life of Jesus whom God will recognize as He greets you in Heaven.
Hearing the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant” has nothing to do with what you did. It has everything to do with what Jesus did. (Romans 3:21-22; Galatians 2:20-21.)
The righteousness that will be counted as yours is the righteousness of Christ. How Jesus lived His life. Is what is being counted. In place of how you lived your life. How Jesus died. Is what is being counted as your death. How Jesus obeyed. Is what is being counted in place of how you disobeyed. Salvation is substitution.
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:5). You are justified before God. And the righteousness of Christ has been handed over to you. (2 Corinthians 5:21). You have been seated with God in Christ in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6)
The power of the Gospel is like a grenade going off. The shrapnel we receive from the Gospel is faith in the one who justifies the ungodly. This faith that is given by God is counted by God as righteousness. (Romans 4:5)
Your hope is not in how holy you are becoming. But in how holy Jesus already is. To be crowned with the righteousness of Christ. Surely will be that final moment. When tears are wiped away forever. (Revelation 21:3-5) It is the tears of a sinner. Who is just crowned a saint. All because of what Jesus did. Not the delusional hope in the performance for earning an imaginary acceptable righteousness courtesy of me.
If you are in Christ you will hear the words of Jesus, “Well done.” And Why?—¬Because in Christ you are not merely given a clean slate. You are given the slate of Christ. The Gospel is better than you and I could ever think it to be.
Remember the things you were taught. Cling to that which is good. Love God. Serve your neighbor. Be a sermon in shoes! And remember these words always, “I have redeemed you.”___________________
Passive Sentences – 9%
Readability – 83.6
Reading Level – 3.4
Luther Seal © Higher Things
1 Peter 1:18-19
1 Timothy 2:6
Blog post by Zack James Cole found here: http://www.christholdfast.org/blog/well-done