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Redemption for a Slave Like You

February 24, 2019 Pastor: Don Green

Topic: Sunday Sermons

70C-021

The word "redemption" is perhaps not a word that is familiar and easily used in every man's vocabulary, but it is a critical word for us in the church to know, to understand, to appropriate and to proclaim. You see, Scripture describes all men as sinners without exception, "There is no one righteous, not even one," and that immediately leaves us in a position of needing rescue from that situation, and to call a man a sinner is more serious than perhaps it is treated by many because Scripture when it speaks of men as sinners describes them as slaves, as slaves who are subject to the will of a greater power than themselves. They are in bondage. They are owned by another and salvation is corresponding to that, is described as an act of redemption. Well, what does that mean when we sing about our Redeemer, when we say, "I will sing of my Redeemer. I will glory in my Redeemer." Well, what is the point of all of this singing and rejoicing and glory? Why would we sing to one whom we cannot see? What does it mean and why is it the answer to the great spiritual need of every man, woman and child that has ever lived? Why is it that as we focus on redemption this morning, that you as a Christian should rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and yet a joy that is at the same time finds a sense of humility and reverence even in your response to the truth of God's word, why is that?

 

Well, in the first century, there were many slaves and we've considered that in the past in our exposition of Ephesians, slaves who were owned literally by another human being and their will was subject to their master, and it was the practice of the time that a slave, a literal slave in the employ, if you could say it that way, of another, a slave could be set free by the payment of a ransom price and the payment of that price was called redemption. Once the price was paid, the slave could go free, his prior master had no claim on him anymore because the price of his slavery had been satisfied and now that man, that slave was free to go. That was a real practice in the first century during the time at which the New Testament was written.

 

Well, when it comes to the spiritual nature of Christian salvation, the Bible uses redemption as a picture, as a metaphor of what Christ did for his people when he paid the price of their salvation at the cross, and let me just give you a biblical definition of redemption as we get started here. Redemption is the act of God in which he delivered us from our spiritual slavery based on the price that Christ paid with his blood at the cross. Redemption is the act of God in which he delivered us from our spiritual slavery based on the price Christ paid with his blood at the cross.

 

Now I hope you see in that definition that immediately there is a humbling aspect to Christian salvation. Not only do we not hide or mitigate or minimize, we proclaim loudly and embrace it. The truth of the matter is for us to say that we are Christians and for that to be true of us, to say that you're a Christian is to acknowledge that there was a former time in your life in which you were a spiritual slave in ways that we are going to see in just a moment, different aspects of that slavery. So to say that I am a Christian redeemed by the blood of Christ is to say that my former manner of life was marked by spiritual slavery and that I needed to be delivered from that and someone outside of myself paid the price for me to be released from my spiritual slavery. That is all wrapped up in redemption and that's why true Christians are fundamentally at their heart, there is a fundamental principle of humility at the heart of a true Christian who says, who acknowledges, who recognizes not only was I not a man of means or a man who could be proud, I was a slave in darkness, unable to pay my own price for release and I needed someone to come and release me because otherwise I would still be in that darkness. If someone hadn't paid the price from my freedom, I would still be a slave.

 

Now I realize that in our American culture, the word slave is a greatly loaded term, a politically and socially loaded term, but here among the people of God, here in the Bible, here in the mindset of those who are the truly saved, we need to come to grips with this language of slavery and not push it away or hide it simply because it's a politically incorrect term to have to talk about. We set aside the culture around us, we set aside the political connotations of the term here in America, we say that's not what we're talking about, let's go to Scripture and let Scripture use its own terminology, its own lexical words, let it use its terminology to describe it and to embrace it because this is the sweet word of God which we love and which is a gift from heaven to us. The man who resents and rejects the idea of being called a slave in his prior condition is a man who is simply saying, "I'm not a Christian and I never was," because the Bible is filled with this imagery to describe it.

 

Now so that leaves us today, then, with a message that I've titled "Redemption for a Slave Like You." Redemption for a slave like you, and so we're just going to kind of do a thematic study of redemption very quickly here this morning in a way that will prepare our hearts for receiving the Lord's Supper later on with a sense of understanding and with a sense of appreciation, and I want to break this down, I think, around four basic points here this morning that, again, we'll go through rather quickly. First of all, let me just say I'm using the second person deliberately here this morning, talking to you. I don't want to talk about this in the abstract third person as if this is something that people out there need. No, this is needed by us within this room. This is what you and I need. This is the crux of our eternal hope to understand these things and to respond to them rightly, and to understand the reality, to accept as a patient accepting the diagnosis of a skilled physician, to accept the diagnosis that Scripture gives of us in our human flesh, in our unredeemed condition, in our unsaved manner of life. To accept that. You see, we must come to God, we must come to Christ on the terms that he declares, on the terms that he imposes, on the terms that Scripture sets forth for us, and not think that we can go around those and to come through a different door. There is one door to true salvation, that door is the Lord Jesus as the Gospel of John tells us, and you must go through the door that he has appointed, and the only door through which true salvation is found is through the humbling door of recognizing that redemption was aimed for a slave like you. It's humbling but that's okay. The truth that humbles is better than a lie that flatters.

 

So let's look at this ever so briefly. First of all, let's consider the need for your redemption. The need for your redemption, and I ask you this morning whether you realize just how serious your prior slavery to sin was. Now, just a little pause button here. I'm going to speak predominantly as speaking as to brothers and sisters in Christ so that this aspect of slavery is, we can rightly refer to it in a past tense sense, yet if you're not a Christian, although I'm using past tense grammar to describe these things, what you need to understand as someone who is not in Christ is that I am describing your present condition. This is what spiritual reality is for you if you are not in Christ and so because this is predominantly a Christian gathering, I will speak as to Christians and use the past tense, but don't assume that if you are outside of Christ, that this slavery is something that doesn't apply to you. Scripture is describing for you your present existence whether you realize it or not.

 

So with that preliminary qualification, let's consider the need for your redemption. Why does a man need to be redeemed? Why did you as a Christian need to be redeemed? First of all, there are three aspects to this first point, three sub points for those of you that are taking notes. First of all, the reality is that you were a slave to sin. You were a slave to sin, slave in the sense that sin owned you and determined what you did. The idea of a man having a completely free will is a fabrication of bad theologians and of people who don't want to acknowledge what Scripture says about their condition. You might be free to choose but under the influence of sin all you are free to choose was how you were going to sin. You weren't free for righteousness because sin owned you like a slave. It's really crucial for you to understand that. You were a slave to sin.

 

Now those who are without Christ may think that they are free but it's a delusion, it's a self-deception, it's not true, it's not real. The reality according to God's word is that they are in the grip of a spiritual power that is greater than themselves. Scripture says in John 8:34, "everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin." Romans 6:17 says, "you were slaves of sin." And Titus 3:3 speaking in the past tense because he's addressing Christians says, "we also once were enslaved to various lusts." You see in multiple places Scripture describes those who are not in Christ as those who are in spiritual slavery and that they are in a slavery to sin. They are in slavery to unrighteousness. Do you understand why it is that men do not have the power to break their bad habits? Why it is that men don't just easily walk away from their drugs or their alcohol? Why it is that men just don't stop sinning? Those that have been enslaved by literal physical lust to images and different matters of material that are too shameful to mention, the reason that they can't just up and walk away from it and they keep returning like a dog to their vomit is because they're going back to the master that owns them. They are slaves to sin and that's why men can't just walk away from it; that's why those things continue to dominate their lives. You see, Scripture describes it as the fact that sin owns you when you're not a Christian. You are in chains if you're not a Christian.

 

And the odd thing, I've said this in the past, the odd thing about unsaved people when it comes to addressing their slavery to sin, is that they will protest how free they are. They are free from the demands of God and they can do whatever they want, so to speak, but they are not free to walk away from it. They're not free to suddenly become Christ-loving people because sin owns them and as they proclaim what they think and perceive to be their spiritual freedom, all they are doing is rattling and lifting up the chains that bind them and kissing the chains that actually enslave them because Scripture says you were a slave to sin, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. So we do people no favors when we redefine sin as a disease because when you have a disease, you're not looking for a Redeemer, are you? You're actually just finding an excuse, "Well, I'm just so sick." We shouldn't think that way. Scripture doesn't let us think that way. The reason that you needed a Redeemer, Christian brother, Christian sister, the reason you needed a Redeemer, one who could pay a price to free you from slavery is because you were actually in spiritual slavery, you were a slave to sin.

 

Now, there's another aspect of this need for redemption that Scripture points us to and it's this, it's that you were a slave to the law. You were a slave to the law. To the extent that men believe in God in our day and age and I guess throughout all the ages, to the extent that unsaved men say that they believe in God, they have a twofold aspect to that. First of all, they think that God's favor is earned by what they do and simultaneously they think that they have done that, that they are good enough and that therefore they are entitled to heaven and that God owes them in response to their supposedly good behavior, and they devote themselves to rules, to regulations, to church traditions, but what they find if they would think and reflect on their situation and their condition is, if they were perceptive, if they were honest about it, if they were mindful of the inner life that God requires because God does not look on the outer man, he looks on the heart according to 1 Samuel 16:7, to find that there is a time where it flips and suddenly the rules own you and there is this slavish devotion and, "What? I haven't kept the law, now what do I do?" So you try harder. You give yourself over to giving more effort to trying to be more obedient to these laws and the reality of a rules-based righteousness is it is a merciless master. All it can do is condemn you for your failures, it can never offer you forgiveness in response. So you try harder and for those who were serious minded about it like Martin Luther, just finding that the more that they tried, the more they descended into darkness and the condemnation of their own conscience, "I'm not good enough. The rules are condemning me here." Well, yeah, precisely the point. Precisely the point is that when you are trying to earn God's favor through legal obedience, that law owns you. You can't step outside of it or you forfeit the favor, and when you break the law, the law is there to chastise you, to torment you, "Look what you did. Look what you broke."

 

It's never good enough, is it? Those of you that come out of Catholic traditions, you know it's never good enough. That's why you have to keep going back again, again and again and again to a so-called priest who offers you a so-called absolution and so-called more  rules to obey in order to get your forgiveness back. That's just an awful slave master in a pointy hat lashing you again and again. Well, that's why you need redemption. You need to be brought out from under that harsh taskmaster to a Master who actually loves you, who can help you, who can forgive you. You need to be brought out from under a master that binds your conscience and ties your mind to all kinds of rules that you can never fully satisfy. You need to be delivered from that. You need to be redeemed from that. You need to be saved from that. In Romans 7:6, the Apostle Paul says that salvation releases us from a rules-based righteousness and he puts it this way in Romans 7:6. He says, "we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound." True salvation is a deliverance from that conscience-binding manner of approaching to God.

 

Now Scripture talks about another aspect of the unbelievers' slavery as well, slavery to sin, slavery to the law, it speaks also about how you were once a slave to fear. You were a slave to fear and this is a fear of the most punishing kind in that Scripture describes that those who are afraid of death are slaves to fear. In one sense, it's a right and an understandable fear. What is going to happen to you when you die? What becomes of you? We don't have anyone apart from Scripture, we don't have anyone who can tell us reliably what lies on the other side and if, if your conscience is smiting you and condemning you about your failure to keep the law, about your slavery to sin, and you have this sense, this ill-defined sometimes looming sense that judgment awaits me on the other side of death, there are significant grounds to be afraid. What's going to happen to you when you die? What becomes of you? What happens to your body? What happens to your soul? Who are you going to meet on the other side? What is that going to be like? When are you going to die? How are you going to die? All of these fundamental questions that are really in one sense it's like life is a great funnel that is leading everyone to that one singular point because it's appointed for man to die once and after this comes judgment. All of your activity and your games and your athletics and your vacations and your careers and all of it, it's just window-dressing, beloved. It's just a distraction to the ultimate point that we're all headed to.

 

There's a reason why there's no one over the age of 125 living on earth because all of them beforehand died. Do you know what? 80, 90, 100 years from now, there is not going to be any one of us left either because death is inevitable and the man who thinks about that seriously apart from Christ is eventually led to a sense of fear. "What is going to happen to me?" And there is no comfort in there, is there? There's no comfort in this for someone, a false teacher, an atheist to come and say, "Well, there's no God and all that happens after death is that you cease to exist." Well, there is something in your heart that tells you that that's not true because God, Scripture says God sets eternity in our hearts. We know that we live on and if you willfully embrace a lie that you don't as a means of avoiding the issue, that's not a very smart way to live. That's pretty foolish. But if you don't have an answer to that question what happens to you at death, it's like you've gone back a few centuries into French society and you've just placed your head on a guillotine waiting for the blade to fall down and chop your head off because what's going to happen, this is inevitable, it's just a matter of when the rope is cut for the thing to come down.

 

Well, Scripture says and speaks about Christ in Hebrews 2:15. It says that Christ came that he "might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." You know, if you're not a Christian and you're thinking seriously about death, it grabs hold of you and you can't let go because there's no answer to it. There's no answer. There is no freedom from sin, no freedom from the law. There is no answer to this fear of death and that was true of each one of us before Christ stepped in, in love and mercy, to save us. Scripture describes, beloved, that entire matrix, that entire complex of existence as one of slavery. 2 Peter 2:19 says, "by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved."

 

So even though we're not taking the time to look up these references in the message this morning, what I want you to see, what I want you to be impressed by is that over and over and over again Scripture uses the language of slavery to describe the condition of the unsaved man, and slavery was bondage, slavery was being owned by someone else, and slavery was a condition that you did not have the power or ability to deliver yourself from. When a master owns you, you cannot simply decide for a new one. The hearts of unsaved men are not free and neither are their wills. Slaves had no freedom or rights of their own. They do what their masters tell them. Beloved, the unsaved man is in a bleak condition, sin, law, death being his master. He cannot stop sinning. He is not good enough and death is a terror to him.

 

Well, the thing for us this morning as we gather together as believers in Christ contemplating the coming of the Lord's Table at the end of our service this morning, is to step back and to realize what a train wreck your prior spiritual life was. The engines and the boxcars have just fallen off the trestle into the ravine below, piling one on top of another in a fiery combination of mangled steel and broken lives, pinned in the wreckage, unable to escape, even to climb up the ravine to get back to where you were. You see, the picture of unsaved men, the picture of your prior life before Christ is a dark one, the whole point being there was a great need for you to be redeemed. There was great need for your redemption because you were a slave in a multifaceted slavery, aspects of which you were blind to.

 

Now we're gathered here today to remember and to understand and even to praise in response to the idea of redemption. We said that redemption, remember we said that redemption was the act of God in which he delivered us from our spiritual slavery based on the price Christ paid with his blood and so let's move from the bad news to the good news about this. Let's talk about the price of your redemption. The price of your redemption. You see, beloved, you see, beloved, we were all in that position of slavery and therefore to us who are in Christ, redemption should be a most glorious theme to our hearts, and with that said, I invite you to turn to the book of Titus 2. Redemption, then, is a price paid to release us from slavery. What then if we were spiritual slaves, what then was the price paid that we might be redeemed, that we might be delivered from our sin? From death? From the law? What was the price that was paid?

 

Well, here in Titus 2, Paul speaks of Christians as those in verse 13 who are "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 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." When Christ gave himself voluntarily on the cross as a sacrifice for your sins, he was doing that in order to pay the price that was necessary to redeem you, to deliver you, to bring you out of your prior slavery and into a different realm. He gave himself for us, it says there, look at it with me in verse 14, he gave himself for us. It tells us how Christ intervened on our behalf and, beloved, it's important for us not to let the familiarity of this passage or the theme to deaden our ears to the most wonderful truth that could ever be told to a soul. The Son of God left heaven to become a man, to pay a price in his own lifeblood that you might be redeemed from that slavery. There was a great Master of infinite value who looked on us with compassion in our enslaved condition, and this great Master with this infinite value, laid it all down and in an act of self-sacrifice paid with his own life, with his own blood, that which was necessary to relieve you and to release you from your slavery. He's pretty wonderful.

 

Look at it again there with me in verse 14, "who gave Himself for us to redeem us," to pay that price to deliver us. Hit the pause button there for just a moment. Think back, even if it's painful, to your prior life before you came to Christ, your blasphemies, your many many many sins, your arrogance, your boastful heart, your angry ways, your abusive ways toward others, your complete neglect of God, the times where perhaps you even literally spit on his word if not simply metaphorically, despising its authority, the times that you mocked those who brought Christ to you and tried earnestly to tell you the Gospel and you turned them away, you shunned them, you mocked them, thinking even of things that I did, you know, as a college student, mocking the open air preachers who were just trying to bring the word of life to whoever would stop and listen; those and a thousand other things like them, beloved, those and a thousand other things like them manifesting how much you loved sin, how dead you were to God, and how hostile even  you were to the very gracious Master who 2,000 years ago had paid the price for your redemption. And it's in that sense, it's with that memory that we look, look at verse 14 with me again in Titus 2, the sheer splendor of what we're about to read, the utter majesty from another realm from heaven that there would even be something like this; that there  would even be redemption from the God to whom you aimed all of your rebellion; that that same God would aim redemption for a slave like you.

 

Look at it, "who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed." A complete comprehensive mercy for all of that rebellion of which we just briefly looked back into the abyss to recall what we were like, and to think that the sinless, the matchless, the wondrous Son of God gave himself to redeem you from that condition. And beloved, don't lose sight of the fact that this is God the Son not sending a proxy, not creating someone else to bear the price as if it could all be placed on a scapegoat while he went unharmed by the encounter, Scripture says that he himself paid the price and what a price it was, what a price it was to bear in those dark hours on the cross the infinite wrath of God against unlimited sin by all of the people the Christ aimed his redemption for and actually literally bought with his shed blood on the cross. He paid it himself. He paid it himself, beloved, a price that you could never have paid because sin was not going to release you, the law was not going to release you, death was not going to release you from their grip. They owned you. They liked it that way. You were theirs and you couldn't do anything about it, and in this gracious, full of glory Master comes from heaven bearing in his own lifeblood the price that is necessary to pay and he spills it out at Calvary, not because he needed is to be free but because he wanted you to be free, and he wanted you to be free enough that he would lay down his own life. He preferred your salvation in fulfillment of the Father's eternal plan, he preferred your salvation to his own lifeblood and his own life-breath. Well might we sing, "Hallelujah, what a Savior!"

 

So as we remember redemption, we remember that a price has been paid to set us free. At the beginning of our service, I read 1 Peter 1:18 and 19 and I'll read it here again. 1 Peter 1:18 and 19. It says this, it says, "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers," it wasn't anything earthly that was paid for your redemption. No, look at verse 19, it was "with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." Verse 20, "He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you," for your sake, "who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."

 

Redemption at the price of infinitely worthy blood for you. For you. That was the price paid for your redemption but let's take it just a step further and work this out all the way through and just briefly look at the accomplishment of redemption. The accomplishment of redemption. We've said that in your prior slavery you were a slave to sin, you were a slave to the law, you were a slave to the fear of death, and as you read through the New Testament, what you find is that the redemption of Christ specifically addressed each of those aspects of your prior slavery and so we're going to look for just a moment at the accomplishment of your redemption. You see, in redemption Christ freed you from sin. He freed you from the dominating power of sin.

 

Look at Romans 6 with me and we'll turn to these passages. In Romans 6:20, it says, "when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death." But now look at it, verse 22, "But now," as a Christian, now in Christ, "But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." You have been freed from sin by the payment of the ransom price that Christ made at the cross. Scripture declares that to be an actual fact about you, not that you are in sinless perfection now but the prior dominating power of sin has been broken. Those chains have been taken away. You now belong to Christ and you are under his Lordship. He is now your Master and a new Master with new power and mercy forevermore is over you rather than your prior master of sin. In redemption, Christ freed us from sin. In redemption, Christ freed us from rules-based righteousness, freed us from the law.

 

Look at Galatians 4. If you're in Romans, go past the Corinthian letters and you'll find Galatians waiting for you. Galatians 4. These things just get more and more magnificent the more that you study them and the longer you go. This doesn't get old. I preached on redemption a number of times and every time it gets better. This is one of the ways, one of the incidental evidences that what we preach is true. You can't exhaust it and it doesn't get old to the believing heart.

 

Galatians 4:3, "while we were children, we were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world." Verse 4, "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law," he might deliver them, he might pay the price, "that we might receive the adoption as sons." Beloved, redemption here is described as an act which delivers you out from under that rules-based righteousness, that dominating power of the law that you could never satisfy and never meet, that could only condemn not deliver and forgive, it says you've been delivered from under that slave master and you have been brought into a different realm. You, beloved, you, beloved, you and I who once were slaves to sin, slaves to the law, slaves to the fear of death, have been redeemed from that slavery and brought into a realm where now we can rightly be called the sons of God enjoying family privileges, brought into a relation of love and mercy and kindness and patience with the God who had every right to condemn you and send you to hell. That is what redemption has done for you. It delivered you from a law that condemned and brought you into a realm of a God who accepts, forgives, and has declared you righteous based on the merit of his perfect Son so that the law no longer has claim over you, the law can no longer condemn you because Christ fulfilled everything that the law required in its precepts and in its penalty. Christ in his righteous life fulfilled everything that the law demanded in his death, paid the price for every transgression of the law for everyone who would ever believe in him so that all of the demands of the law have been satisfied. That master has no more claim on you. It cannot condemn you any longer. You've been brought out from under it.

 

And that fear of death of which we spoke, turn to Hebrews 2:14. It says, "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself," in Christ, of course, "likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." Brought out from freedom, brought out from fear of death I should say. How is it that the Christian has no fear of death? Well, we understand an awful lot about it now. We belong to one who has passed through death and come out on the other side. When you're united with him, it means that you will come out safe on the other side as well. We realize that death is the penalty for sin and Christ having resurrected, shows that he paid the price that death required in full. Therefore for those of us who are in Christ, there is no fear of condemnation. Romans 8:1, "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Not afraid of death. Why should I be? Death has lost its sting, 1 Corinthians 15. I'm not going to be condemned when I die. I'm not going to hell when I die because I belong to a Master who conquered death and hell, who owns me, who paid the price for me, whose now I am, so that when I die I will be with him because to live is Christ and to die is gain, in the words of Philippians 1. Paul said, "I desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better." So the Christian who knows truth is delivered completely from the fear of death. From its chains you have been completely and utterly delivered. Redemption is pretty great, huh? You see, Christ brought you out from sin in order to bring you under the rule of your gracious God.

 

Well briefly, just let me make a fourth and final point. What is the implication of this redemption? What's the implication of this redemption? We'll talk about this more in a couple of weeks as we've gotten back into the book of Philippians. What's the implication of redemption? Beloved, Christ redeemed you, that means that you now are his slave. You belong to him. You see, there's an implication when we call him Master and Lord. We call him Master and Lord recognizing his sovereign authority over our lives. He paid for you therefore he owns you now. He didn't pay the price in order to spin you off into orbit so that you could just be whatever you wanted to be without regard to him, without regard to the Master who paid the price for you. No. What kind of perverse travesty did Dallas Seminary launch on the world in their views of salvation and said you could be an unbelieving believer and other foolish things like that? No, Christ redeemed you. You are his slave devoted to his glory.

 

1 Corinthians 6:20 says it plainly, "you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." The implication of redemption is that you belong to the one who paid the price for you and therefore he has a righteous gracious claim on your life, on your affections, on your resources, on every aspect of your existence. It all belongs to him and the true Christian upon hearing that says, "Yes, amen, hallelujah. I'm glad to be under that Master. I saw what my life was like apart from his Lordship. I was a slave to sin. I was afraid to die. I was trying to be good enough and I never could be. Now delivered completely from these things, I'm under the gracious rule of Christ Who paid a price for me? Then all I want to do," the Christian says, "all I want to do is glorify the One who paid such a magnificent rich price for my soul when He was under no obligation to do so. I am on the receiving end of amazing grace, and so of course I want to glorify Him with my body. It pains me that I don't do a better job of it. It pains me that I still fall short but I recognize who my Lord is, I recognize my Master, and I gladly own Him." As one said one place in another time, perhaps in other context, "I gladly sit in willing bonds at His feet."

 

How important is the doctrine of redemption? One writer said this and I quote, he said, "No word in the Christian vocabulary deserves to be held more precious than Redeemer, for even more than Savior it reminds the child of God that his salvation has been purchased at a great and personal cost. The Lord has given Himself for our sins in order to deliver us from them." Hallelujah.

 

Father, we thank you for this great redemption secured at the price of our Savior's life and our Savior's blood. How we bless Your name.

 

And with your heads bowed, I just want to remind you that the Bible calls us to take the Lord's Supper in a worthy manner, meaning that we don't trifle with sin as we come to it. If you're not a Christian, Christ invites you to come to him to be saved at this moment. Full complete redemption can be yours if you would simply turn to Christ to be saved. But if you're not a Christian and you refuse the call of Christ, we would ask you simply to let the elements pass. Don't take of the symbol of Christ if the reality is not yours. If you're a believer in sin, you have a few moments here to deal humbly before God and confess those things before him. Let this love that redemption bought lead you to repentance of the sins that you've accumulated over the past period of time. Before you take the elements, that brother or that sister, I'd encourage you to resolve to put that sin aside for the sake of this blessed Redeemer. For those of you that are walking with Christ, not in perfection but in sincerity of heart, in a transparent walk before him that cherishes no sin but turns from it and loves him and reveres and esteems Christ in the light of his word, brothers, sisters, I encourage you to rejoice as we come to Communion. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God has loved you and given himself up for you and has secured your eternal redemption. What a moment of praise there should therefore be for each one of us who know him.