This is a guest post from my friend Samuel Burger. Samuel is the Senior Pastor at Chestuee Baptist Church in Calhoun, Tennessee. I asked him to guest post because he is one of the most anointed people I know. I hope you enjoy what he has to say!
“You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” (1 Corinthians 7:23)
Redemption is the accomplishment of Jesus Christ, who purchased our salvation on the cross. Redemption was achieved through the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. However, sometimes people forget that.
Life tends to be a constant struggle when we look through a lens that is not redemptive in nature. The redemptive lens of life changes our outlook and expands our view of tremendous possibilities that can benefit others, including ourselves. Here are a few other lenses that exist today:
1. The works lens:
This lens magnifies reality or salvation by what we do, instead of accepting redemption as a gift.
2. The religious lens:
This lens magnifies a distorted view of God, seeing Him as a ruling taskmaster. The religious lens focuses more on what you should do, rather than focusing on a relationship with God. The religious lens can't see that a flow of right doing can only come out of intimacy with God.
3. The morality lens:
This lens magnifies ethicality as the basis of salvation. This lens causes people to say, “I’m a good person. I don’t bother anyone.” This lens can cause people to view redemption as something to strive for rather than receive.
The problem with these lenses is that they take away assurance of salvation.
Can you imagine living day by day, hoping you did enough to retain salvation? That's no way to live.
Salvation is a free gift.
It is liberating to look through the lens of redemption because it takes away your fear of losing your salvation. Through this lens, there is no such thing as a refund. You were bought with a price!
Paul, a follower of Jesus Christ, made this profound statement to the church:
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
The word “seal” is a mark of ownership and proof. In the business world of Paul's day, this word meant that the goods, money or documents were secured for delivery. No one could argue with the claim of the seal. God's seal on us is proof of our full delivery to Himself!
The word “pledge” means a down payment of what was purchased. This word was used in Paul’s day as a contract of sales and service. It described a security deposit in business transactions. This word is also used of an engagement ring!
The security deposit of the Holy Spirit guarantees our redemption! We are secure because Jesus has redeemed us.
I am reminded of the glorious hymnal verse:
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
Personally, I have experienced much freedom in my life when I learned that God does not require me to live up to standards set by man. He only requires me to receive the gift of salvation. I understand now that Christ became the holy standard for me, and that is more than enough. I live from redemption now, not for it. My life is a result of redemption, not a striving for redemption.
If your life is mundane and stressful, it might be because you are looking through the wrong lens. Begin to focus today on the truth of God's Word:
Salvation is a free gift!
As my friend Jamie would say, “Go Jesus!”