Does theology make any difference in our everyday lives? Does it actually change how we live?
YES. I believe a right understanding, a right perception of the truth of who God actually is, and what has actually occurred in the gospel has incredible relevance for our everyday lives. It changes how we live. It brings joy and hope and transformation.
This past weekend at church we thought about Jesus as a REDEEMER (the Greater Boaz [Ruth 3]). Jesus as a redeemer means that he, at his own expense, has redeemed a people from their sins; he is our redeemer. According to the Bible, we are in need of being redeemed: we come into this world spiritually dead and enslaved to our sins (Eph 2:1-3; Titus 3:3). Jesus came into the world save a people from their sins (Matt 1:21) and he viewed his death as the act that would do this (Matt 20:28); he Jesus graciously paid for our sins (Col 2:14) and raised us up to life (Col 3:1-4). In him, we experience a “redemption” (Col 1:14), which all of us desperately: forgiveness of sin and being brought into the kingdom of God.
Remembering that Jesus is our REDEEMER changes how we as Christians live today. Here’s four ways how this so:
1. Remembering Jesus as our redeemer reminds us of how much God loves us.
Jesus redeemed us at a cost beyond which any of us could imagine: he gave his very life (Rom 5:6). He bore the wrath of God for our sins and took the punishment for us (Rom 3:21-26). Here, we see the AMAZING love of God for us: God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).
Sometimes our hearts drift into a state of coldness and apathy toward God. In fact, I think it is a daily fight for all of us to ‘keep ourselves in the love of God’ (Jude 21). One help in this is to focus on the truth that Jesus is our redeemer, for here we see just how much God loves us. And a knowledge of this wonderful love stirs our hearts to love God again.
2. Remembering Jesus as our redeemer reminds us how heinous & evil our sin is.
As Christians we battle daily with temptation and indwelling sin (Rom 7). It is a struggle we carry on in the power of the Holy Spirit until we die. One help for us in this is remembering how horrible our sin actually is; seeing the truth about sin in our heats, that it really is grotesque and disgusting, helps us to resist it moment-by-moment when we feel its deceptive pull.
At the cross we see how heinous and evil our sin really is. It is no ‘oopsie-daisy,’ but a vile offense against a holy and just God. There is a transgression that has been made and atonement is needed. Our good works cannot fix our situation, but we need a redeemer to come in and deal with our debt against God for breaking his law. This is what we have in Jesus our redeemer (Col 2:14).
When we are tempted with sin, let us remember that it cost our redeemer Jesus his life to deliver us from it. Sin is so evil that it took the death of our precious redeemer to save us from it. How could we go back to it when Jesus gave his life for us to save us from it?
3. Remembering Jesus as our redeemer reminds us how saved we are.
Even as Christians we sin daily. Some of our sins are more visible and memorable and other more hidden. It is easy to get discouraged by our frequent falls into temptation. But remembering Jesus as redeemer reminds us how we saved we are when hear the voice of condemnation; there is no condemnation for us in Christ (Rom 8:1).
We are saved by Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. His redeeming of us cannot be overcome by Satan or our own foolish actions. Jesus’ redemption is greater and we are safe in his hands (John 10:28).
When we are discouraged by our sins, let us remember our redeemer Jesus who saved us. Doing this gives us hope and encouragement to press on and kill sin by the power of the Spirit.
4. Remembering Jesus as our redeemer reminds us how secure our future is.
We live in fearful and fragile times. But we can take hope in that fact that Jesus our redeemer has secured our eternal future through his death and resurrection.
We are not our own redeemers, but Jesus is our redeemer. And part of our redemption is eternal life (John 5:24). This is what we taste in part now and where we are headed after we physically die.
No matter how dark and scary this world gets, we have hope in Jesus our redeemer.
Let us preach this truth to our hearts when we are afraid about the future: Jesus our redeemer has saved us from a future in hell and guaranteed us a future in heaven.