Christ’s Redemptive Work

There is a problem in our lives that we cannot do anything at all to correct.  It is a problem that if not taken care of will take away all hope that we have in our lives.  It is called sin.  Sin separates us from God.  Sin is the disease of the soul that every person who has ever been born possesses and there isn’t anything that we can do about it.  We can’t be good enough ever in our lives to get rid of sin.  It isn’t something that we can earn our way out of.  In fact, as I said earlier, there is nothing that we can do to get rid of sin.  The Bible tells us that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  It is universal; no one is excluded; everyone who has ever been born or will be born will have to face this sin issue.  And please understand that when we talk about falling “short of the glory of God” we are talking about eternal separation from God.  So what do we do?  If we can’t change that fact, what hope is there?  I’m glad you asked!God has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  From the very beginning of time God saw that we would have a need to have our sins forgiven; He recognized that we wouldn’t be able to do anything about it and so He made a way.  It is Christ’s redemptive work in our lives.
We know that Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby, born to a simple woman named Mary and her carpenter husband Joseph.  We know that Mary, a virgin, was anointed by the Holy Spirit and the child born to her was the divine Son of God.  We also know that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and that He was crucified for our sins and that by giving up His life willingly He became our substitute; the divine Son of God, who was fully man, became our atonement, our sacrifice, and provided redemption, He provided forgiveness for our sins.
But we also know that in order for this to apply in our lives and work for us, we have to receive Him as Lord of our lives.  We know that God did this work so that no one is left out, that anyone, regardless of who they are, where they live or what kind of life they have lived, can receive the forgiveness of God, through Jesus Christ, as the sacrifice and redemption for our sins.  But it doesn’t just happen; it isn’t something that just takes place; we must accept and receive it.  And the only way to do that, the Bible tells us, is to confess that we are sinners and accept Christ as our substitute.
If you know me and if you have ever listened to me, there isn’t anything in this simple blog that you haven’t heard me talk about, share with you or though my sermons that is new.  We know what it takes to receive Christ as our Savior.  But I want to change the focus and ask you, what is the result?  If all of this is true, and make no mistake, I wholeheartedly believe that it is, if all of this is true, what difference will it make?  Does something change in my life when I do that?  Well let me tell you that if something doesn’t change in your life then I question whether or not you understand your need for a substitute, for a Savior, or you haven’t honestly repented of your sins.
Now please understand that I’m not talking about “works” that save you: I’m not talking about being a good person, or going to church, or doing the “do’s” and not doing the “don’ts” to become a Christian.  I’m not talking about earning this gift, because we’ve already determined that you can’t do that.  What I’m talking about is the change in your life that happens that makes you different.  Let me tell you a story.
There were two farmers whose farms were adjacent to each other.  Both farmers raised sheep and both men had nothing to do with God, nothing to do with church and made no bones about it.  However, there happened to be a special evangelist who came to the community near their farms and one of those farmers decided to go and check it out.  At the end of the sermon, hearing the message of sin and the redemptive work of Christ, that farmer confessed his sin and received Christ as his Savior.
A few days later that farmer went to his neighbor and said, “I have come to talk to you, to tell you that I have accepted Christ as my Savior.”  His friend replied, “Yes, I heard you had been to the revival.  I was surprised, because I thought you were as sensible as any man in town.”
The farmer explained, “I have a duty towards you.  I haven’t slept much for two nights thinking about it.  I have four sheep in my flock that belong to you.  You see, two years ago they got into my field with your mark on them and I branded my mark on them.  They are in my field now, with their lambs, and I want to settle with you or turn myself into the law, if you would prefer.”
His neighbor was amazed!  He knew that something had gotten hold of his friend and he didn’t understand it.  Not knowing what to do or what to say, he finally said to his neighbor, “You can keep the sheep if you will only go away!”
The neighbor told him, “No, I can’t do that.  I have to settle this matter now because I can’t rest until I do.  Please tell me how much I owe you.”  Perplexed, his neighbor finally said to him, “Well, pay me the worth of those sheep.”
It wasn’t long after that, that the second farmer was seen making his way to church, kneeling at an altar and accepting Christ as his Savior.
Christ’s redemptive work changes us.  It isn’t something that we do to earn it, it is something that happens that we can’t get away from.  We are changed and we want to honor Christ and the way He lived.  Christ’s redemptive work in us will show the world, and our neighbors, just exactly who Christ is!

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