January 10, 2017

Redemption: Past, Present, and Future

When Christians say “I am saved” along with “I am being saved” their listeners could become confused. In today’s devotional, author Don Fortner explains it so well that I’m filled with worship. Our God is an awesome God.

What can I say after reading his post for January 10th other than recording the Scripture he used and how it spoke to my heart? Also, for those who want to read along, I just did a Google search and found that the entire book is published online. Here is the link.

Fortner says that redemption is two-fold. I am saved because Jesus paid the price for me concerning God’s demand for a perfect righteousness. I am also saved from the bondage of sin as Jesus continually works in my life to deliver me. In this, redemption is now and not yet.

Moses speaks of redemption this way . . .

Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him . . . . You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.” (Exodus 15:1-2; 13)

King David speaks of redemption this way . . . 

For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. (Psalm 31:3–5)

Paul says this to show the now and not yet nature of redemption . . .

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7) and “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

My sins are forgiven and I am redeemed for eternity. This is something like being drafted into the armed services in the sense that I am now a soldier. However, soldiers must experience boot camp to learn how to perform like a soldier. In the same way, God uses the power of His Holy Spirit in the boot camp called life to rid me of everything that does not go with my new identity. This is a process, but the fact of sin being present and cleansed does not change the fact of forgiveness and the new person created by the grace of God. To mix metaphors, I am in His family even when though I sometimes act like an orphan brat.

Fortner says that both aspects of redemption are essential to full salvation. I needed a suitable Substitute to redeem me with the price of His own blood. I also need a sovereign Deliverer to redeem me from the pull of sin with the power of His shed blood and His Holy Spirit.

Jesus, You overwhelm me with grace. I am redeemed, set free from the awful punishment that I deserve. I am being redeemed as You set me free from the bondage of sin.

Even more, Romans 8:22–23 tells me I will be fully redeemed. Right now, the whole creation groans together along with Your people who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, and we wait eagerly for our full adoption as Your people. On that day, this third aspect of redemption is marked by the redemption of our bodies — as we walk into eternity gazing at Your incredible face. 

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