Redemption: There cannot be a better word to describe the purpose of God or his church. It might just be the single, best word to sum up the whole message of the Bible. All of us in the church are familiar with this word and it’s meaning. We long for it, believe in it and have experienced it through the grace of God. The Bible tells us that even creation itself is groaning for it’s full redemption. Redemption is the work of God in us restoring us to our created purpose. As a redeemed person I am considered and made holy, accepted and useful to God. It’s actually a pretty awesome thing!
Redemption is the ultimate work of Grace that has the following components; Mercy, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Instruction, Trust and Opportunity
We all rejoice in these truths as we are all recipients of God’s redemptive grace. We believe what my friend Rex Bullock said, “No person is beyond redemption, no human stain beyond cleansing.
It seems that although redemption in my direction is a blessing, offering redemption to another is often not as joyous or easy. As a matter of fact it seems that although the church is made up of redeemed people and called to the work of redemption we struggle mightily with living out redemptive principles. Because of our fear of man, or high corporate standards in the church the work of practical redemption is often missing in our sacred halls.
As I have asked myself the question, “Is my church redemptive?” I have found it helpful to ask these practical questions.
- Do we treat people better than they deserve or do we have a spiritual “caste system”?
- Do we release people from the guilt and shame of their sin?
- Do we restore people into full and right fellowship in the church or do they always carry a mark on them for their sin?
- Do we provide teaching and mentoring for them to live different or do we expect them to “get it” themselves?
- After their sin do we ever express full confidence in them again?
- Do we believe and offer them a future that is full of hope and promise in the church, in the kingdom and in our lives?
Jeremiah suffered depression, Thomas was a doubter, Jacob a deceiver, Peter a betrayer, David an adulterer and Paul was a murderer. All of these were used mightily in God’s Kingdom after their redemption. Go ahead take the redemption test for your church, you just might locate the next great prophet!