Friday, April 7, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Redeeming Christ 


Atty. Lal Varghese,  
Church of Dallas, FB
Luke: 13: 12 – 13 “When Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and immediately she stood up straight, and glorified God.”

The word “redemption” is often mentioned in the Old and the New Testament books which means "a purchase" or "a ransom." In the Old Testament and historically, the word ‘redemption’ was used in respect to the purchase of a slave's freedom from bondage. The word 'redemption' in the New Testament means and includes this same idea, but focuses more on the fact that every person is a slave to sin; only through the price Jesus paid on the cross, a sinful person is redeemed from sin and death.

The New Testament has several passages about Christ’s eternal redemption from sin and death for the faithful believers. Christ’s redemption has freed us from guilt, being “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The benefits of redemption include eternal life (Revelation 5:9-10), freedom from the law’s curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin’s bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted, and reconciled.

Priest and theologian F. X. Durrwell writes in his book ‘The Redeeming Christ’:  "The Christian's salvation lies in his personal sanctification. There too lies the salvation of others.  The Redeeming Christ is a gentle, forgotten masterpiece that reveals the relationship between personal holiness, sacramental life in the Church, and the salvation of the world”.  Hence, it is not only our redemption alone but others also.

This woman was the target of demonic attack for 18 years but Satan could not destroy her faith. She was still worshipping God on the Sabbath day regularly. As she worshipped, bent over, with her head lifted to see Jesus as far as she could, listening to Jesus, and looking at Him, suddenly He noticed her in the middle of His teaching, pointed to her and called to her to come forward. She hurried up to Him, surely wondering what He wanted from her. Then He spoke: “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”

Perhaps, like this woman, we may be attending church for years in some spiritually bent-over condition. Perhaps the church leaders or people might have ignored our need or have been helpless to do anything about it because of their lack of faith. But remember, Jesus sees us and He wants the power of His Word to touch and heal our souls. When that power transforms us, we make real contact with the living Lord. We need to be transformed from a worshipping community to a faithful community doing the mission of Jesus by caring and sharing with the less fortunate and marginalized. Until and unless our faith overflows the walls and stained glass windows of our sanctuaries, we will not be redeemed from our sins. 


PRAYER


Lord, help us to be a missional community doing Your mission in this world, so that we can transform others in order to be redeemed by You. Forgive our iniquities, Lord, for being just a worshipping community and not doing Your mission in this world. Amen.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

We should avoid dead religion and pursue reality with the living Lord.