The Redeemer

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The Redeemer

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There are a number of scriptures that reveal the need for mankind to be saved from the penalty of sin. Paul wrote that the penalty of sin is death, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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). It is God who defines sin when He states His law. We are not born with an understanding of sin. It is the Bible, inspired by God that defines sin.

We are not born with an understanding of sin. It is the Bible, inspired by God, that defines sin.

Many humans go blithely through life sinning—often with no conscience toward sin and no idea that their eternal lives are in danger. Not only do people fail to understand what they do that cuts them off and creates a barrier between themselves and their Creator (Isaiah 59:2-3 Isaiah 59:2-3 [2] But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. [3] For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perverseness.
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), but they have no idea there is a redeemer who can help them regain His favor. Isaiah 59:16 Isaiah 59:16And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation to him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
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explains that since God did not find a “man” to be an intercessor, “His own arm brought salvation for Him.” In verse 20, Isaiah wrote that “the Redeemer [would] come to Zion.”

The references in the Bible to a “Redeemer” refer to Jesus Christ in His role of saving people from a state of sinfulness and its consequences. To “redeem” is to set free, rescue or ransom (by paying the cost, whatever that is). Since the penalty of sin is death, Christ had to take our place and die so that could live.

When we do not know we have offended God and cannot correct that offense, we are helpless. It is not enough to simply stop offending—there is a price to pay for past offenses. It goes without saying that once we know what our offenses are and once the account has been cleared, we should struggle with all of our strength to be sure we do not offend again. Paul tells us to do our best to follow Christ’s example, who “resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4 Hebrews 12:4You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin.
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).

It is not that God has left mankind totally blind. Right from the beginning, God began teaching humans, and He also began to reveal to them the need for a Redeemer through whom they could regain His favor (Genesis 3:15 Genesis 3:15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
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). Satan was at work in the Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve were not able to resist him. We all were lost to sin, but have been redeemed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:10-17 Romans 6:10-17 [10] For in that he died, he died to sin once: but in that he lives, he lives to God. [11] Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. [13] Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. [14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. [15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. [16] Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? [17] But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
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). Paul tells us to be sure we do not give ourselves over to becoming slaves to sin again. Sin ought not to have dominion over us.

That does not mean that God has redefined sin. Some think that the law was “nailed to the cross,” and humans cannot sin no matter what they do. That is Satan’s deception all over again. Paul continues to speak out against sinning. Verse 15 shows that being under grace does not mean we have permission to sin. There are many scriptures like these that explain that once we are under the forgiveness made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood, we must not deliberately and willfully sin.

As mentioned before, eternal life is offered to us as a free gift (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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). It is not easy for a human to accept such a free gift. We seem to think there is something we must do to deserve this gift. It is clear from Isaiah’s writings that the Lord is the Redeemer (Isaiah 60:16 Isaiah 60:16You shall also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shall suck the breast of kings: and you shall know that I the LORD am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
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). Isaiah is writing mostly about Israel, but as we read in John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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, Jesus died for the sins of all mankind. Some make the mistake of thinking that there is nothing at all that we humans can do in order to be saved—it has all been done for us through Jesus’ blood. What a great error in thinking that is.

What should we do?

When the disciples of Jesus who were now enlightened through the Holy Spirit were asked what was to be done, they had an answer. That can be read in Acts 2:38-41 Acts 2:38-41 [38] Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [39] For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. [40] And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. [41] Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.
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. The first thing is to believe and repent. Repentance entails understanding what sin is and being truly sorry for our offense against God (Psalms 51:4 Psalms 51:4Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight: that you might be justified when you speak, and be clear when you judge.
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). The second step is to allow a servant of God to baptize you and lay hands on you for the receiving of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17 Acts 8:17Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
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; 2 Timothy 1:6 2 Timothy 1:6Why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.
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). God then grants you forgiveness and pours His Holy Spirit into your now clean self, to continue to lead you toward all truth. Then, as Paul states in Romans 6:1-2 Romans 6:1-2 [1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
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, we are to be sure we do not continue in sin. We are to resist and fight against any and every tendency to break the laws of God, which define sin.

A young man asked Jesus what he needed to do to receive eternal life. Jesus’ answer was “keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17 Matthew 19:17And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
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). That was and is our part, although we must rely fully on God for the help to do our part. Jesus knew He would pay the price for the past sins of this man and of all humans through His impending death, but we are left with the responsibility to resist Satan and resist evil—to stop sinning. Ecclesiastes 12:13 Ecclesiastes 12:13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
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also states that we are to fear God and keep His commandments.

It is preposterous to think that God erased and changed the definition of sin after Jesus’ death, thereby making it impossible for humans to sin. Those thoughts come from their author, Satan—the one who does not rest in his quest to keep you from receiving the promise of eternal life that God offers.

God then grants you forgiveness and pours His Holy Spirit into your now clean self, to continue to lead you toward all truth.

Not only do we need an understanding of sin in order to repent and receive the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from our sin, we also need the additional help from God through His Holy Spirit to have the strength and power to resist Satan and to choose the right thing to do. It is hard for us to learn to rely on God for every spiritual thing, but in fact, we depend on Him for the physical things necessary for life—the beat of our hearts and the oxygen we need to live. We humans are created physical, and we need the life-sustaining work of God every moment of every day.

Still, to think that such a tremendous price was paid “just because we slipped or sinned” is hard for us to swallow. We seem to want to pay something or do something to atone for our own sins. Christ is our atonement, and our obligation is to obey Him and our Father in heaven.

The Redeemer was in place before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20 1 Peter 1:20Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
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; Revelation 13:8 Revelation 13:8And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
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). All who are saved should worship Him and strive to return the love God has shown to us all. Our redemption is through His blood (Colossians 1:14 Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
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). Our appreciation and return of that love that God has shown to us all is wrapped up in obedience to Him. John stated that the love of God is perfected in one who keeps His word (1 John 2:1-6 1 John 2:1-6 [1] My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: [2] And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world. [3] And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. [4] He that said, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. [5] But whoever keeps his word, in him truly is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. [6] He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
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).

God’s awesome and ultimate love for mankind was made clear in the sacrifice of His Son. Now the question is, do we love our Redeemer? Do we love Christ?