REDEMPTION: EARNED OR APPRECIATED

The tyranny of the urgent has struck again! No post on Monday or Tuesday, and now a late post on Wednesday.

The delay, however, has given me a lot of time to think about Jesus as the Lord of Creation and as the Lord of Redemption. It has dominated my thinking. It caused me to think more deeply about the limitations of accepting Jesus as ONLY the Lord of Creation.

Bowing to Jesus – whether now or at the end of our time on earth – as Lord of creation benefits no man. This is a great acknowledgement but it is not the acknowledgment He is looking for in Psalm 2:12 and Isaiah 45:23. He is looking for the demonstrated recognition that accompanies bowing to Jesus as Lord of the Redeemed as a result of believing the Gospel. The tragedy is that most who hear the Gospel will reject its message and miss the honor of knowing Jesus as Lord over the Redeemed.

But my contemplation of Lordship took me in a different direction as well. I asked myself, ‘Am I serving Jesus as my Redeemer Lord because I appreciate His work of Redemption or because I am seeking His approval for redemption?’ As a young Christian years ago, I did not at first clearly see the fullness and the richness that faith in Jesus’ work on the cross provides. There was a sense of still needing to seek His approval through acts of goodness rather than resting by faith in Jesus’ substitutionary death. As I have grown over the years in my understanding of the greatness of His work on the cross I understand more and more my helplessness to gain His favor through any act of goodness. As a result, I appreciate more and more His work to provide by faith what I cannot do through effort. This appreciation causes me to obediently serve Jesus as my Redeeming Lord.

So today’s post is a reminder and a challenge. Are we doing acts of goodness to ensure our redemption or because we appreciate His work of redemption? If our motivation is the former, we need to accept the Gospel through faith and then appreciate our Redeemer with actions that show our love for His work.

NAU 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

NIV 1 John 5:2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

KJV 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

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