Tuesday, 14 February 2012
21 But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened.22 The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this.23 Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us,24 God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.Through the mediatorship of the son of man. God's pure gift has redeemed
us all from the power of Satan's grasp, and has given us opportunity for
new life. Eternal life in the presence of God and in a place he has prepared
for them that love him.
The battle between God and fallen angelic realms had brought about
much harm upon the earth. However, God in his foreknowledge and
grace had a plan. He would send a man, the " son of man " to redeem
and break the curse of sin and death. Through the power of sacrificial
love at the cross.
It took many years and various covenants for God to ultimately
put into play the " Master Plan ". Nevertheless, he recognized in
time that humanity needed some " inside " assistance.
God had to share a part of himself with his creation and personally
come into the heart of man in order to radically alter the course of
their lives. He has done this by pardoning us and ministering
in our lives by the operation, or deposit of the Holy Spirit. That
Spirit which heals, cleanses, guides and is part of the very " essence "
of God. This force released by God into our open hearts touches the
very fabric of our living soul. It begins to probe and correct defects
like diagnostic software on an infected computer's hard drive.
Eradicating the virus of sin, and cleansing us of data better left dead
and new life springs forth in his mercy and grace.
Here are two insights from some ancient Christian theologians
on Romans 3:24 you might find illuminating.
Pelagius wrote concerning verse 24, in his commentary on Romans
these thoughts. " We have been justified without the works of the law,
through baptism. in this way God has freely forgiven our sins even
though we are underserving, Christ has redeemed us with the blood of
his death... For we were all condemned to death, to which Christ
handed himself over, though he had no need to, in order to redeem us by
his blood.... Note also that Christ did not merely buy us but bought us
back, because we were once his by nature, even though we were separated
from him by our sins. If we stop, our redemption will indeed be profitable
for us ". (
On the same passage Ambrioster writes, " They are justified freely
because they have not done anything nor given anything in return, but
by faith alone they have been made holy by the gift of God. Paul testifies
that the grace of God is in Christ, because we have been redeemed by Christ
according to the will of God so that once set free we may be justified, as he
says to the Galatians: Christ redeemed us by offering himself for us.
For he achieved this despite the fierce attacks of the devil, who was
outwitted. For the devil received Christ ( in hell ) thinking that he could
hold him there, but because he could not withstand his power he lost not
only Christ but all those whom he held at the same time".
Both these men make some salient points. First in Pelagius in recognizing
that we deserved nothing, yet God's love for us made up the difference.
Then Ambrioster in speaking about the eternal battle between God
and his fallen angel satan ( aka, Lucifer ), but how God's wisdom and
the Christ's power was just too very much for the devil to handle.
Each man makes some great points, each underscoring what we have
come to know and see made possible by the power of Christ's love
ad Calvary. That it was Grace, pure Grace, the Love of God that
made up the difference for humanity.
It would be God himself who put into place this " Master Plan ", and through
his ultimate power through the son of man, strip sin and satan of
the two-fold grip they had on all of humanity. How wonderfully awesome
it is, that God would come down an dwell with us, his creation. To walk
with us, talk with us, feel what we feel, react to what we react to in
life, etc.. Think about it! God got " personally " involved in his " Master
Plan " and it forever has changed the scope of history as we know it,
for you and for me.
What an awesome gift of genorosity has been poured out by the
gift of salvation he has made available to us. The new life, he has made
available to us. All we have to do is receive him and give him the chance
to be our Bridegroom and we his Bride. Amen. Accepting his love in
an everlasting pledge of fidelity and grace.