Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Redeemed and Ransomed

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NASB)

Many of those we help through counseling and discipleship are slaves in deep and oppressive bondage. They come to us knowing they are in trouble of some sort, and have tried everything else (in most cases) and they are truly desperate for help.

Maybe you clicked on this blog today because you googled words like "sexual immorality" or "gambling," or "alcoholism." You have been told you have Intermittent Explosive Disorder, or Rageaholism, or any number of other things people are being "diagnosed" with these days. Maybe you eat too much, or maybe not at all;  Are you too distraught to get out of bed each day? Are you paralyzed by your emotions?

What I am describing are various forms of physical and emotional bondage that we can find ourselves in. Very few wake up one day and say, "Hey! I am going to be an alcoholic!" It usually is a slow and desceptive transition as we sell ourselves into various forms of slavery to these substances and vices.

Make no mistake, it is slavery. You started out controlling it, but it has taken you it's captive now. No longer do you believe you can just walk away, no matter how much you try and it is terrifying.

For the idolater (which is what our slavery truly is) there is a way out of the cycle. It is called repentance. Repentance is not too popular in our it's-all-about-me culture because, after all, if you are hurt or suffer because of something I did it is your problem not mine. Repentance also comes with the idea of accountability- another thing most people run away from. To be accountable to someone means I cannot be my own boss or make my own decisions about what I want to do, thus ruining the "all about me" way of life.

Thank God Jesus Christ did not have such an attitude! Jesus continually subjected Himself to with wishes and desires of the Father. He clearly says He came to do the will of the Father (John 6:38) and He carried it out to the point of death.

Because of His obedience you and I have hope of freedom from the slavery that comes with idolatry. Scripture says we have been ransomed or redeemed by the powerful blood of Christ. 

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:10

The blood of Christ is powerful enough to cleans us from the kinds of sins listed in 1 Cor. 6:10.  Because of the blood of Christ we have blessings and spiritual benefits. We can count being brought near to the Father (Eph 2:13) as one of those blessings. Without that shed blood of the perfect Lamb of God we would have remained enemies of God (Eph 2:1)! That same blood cleanses and purifies our hearts and our consciences to make us fit servants of the King, and furthermore we have been made righteous before God so we will face no judgement at our death.

If the blood of Christ can do all these things, why do people doubt it's ability to overcome drugs or alcohol or any other form of slavery? Is it because we really don't think it is "real" yet? Are we waiting to see something spectacular happen as the Pharasee's did? Are we looking for a sign or wonder to behold that will tell us all this is true? If that is the case for you, you had better check your heart condition. You may be lacking faith, and faith is what brings us to salvation.

To be blunt, if as a Christian you are still sitting in your "addictions" whatever they may be- it is a choice. On some level you love and cherish those things because you have to fight with the Spirit of God to get them. There is no "devil made me do it" anymore for the Christian. He who is in you is greater than the Devil or any anti-christ you can prop up. Addiction in the believer is a decision of the heart that wants to continue to worship some aspect of self. Now I know physical cravings and dependence develop over time; but obviously feeding the dragon is not going to help get rid of him, is it?

Christian, you have been ransomed and set free by the blood of Christ. Take hold of it today, and seek your freedom!

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