Believers’ inestimable redemption – Part 1
Many Christians carry on with life in blissful ignorance of the great work God accomplished on their behalf.
As a result, their lives remain at best mediocre, and at worst greatly compromised. But in this season of Easter, there is no better time to fully ruminate over the import and impact of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and what it means to belong to the church of God.
One preacher captured this rightly when he wrote: “The church of God must be holy – it is founded by a holy God upon holy principles for holy purposes. She has been redeemed by a holy Saviour with a holy sacrifice and dedicated to holy service. Her great glory is the Holy Spirit whose influences and operations are all holy. Her law Book is the holy Bible, her armoury is the holy covenant, her comfort is holy prayer, her convocations are holy assemblies, her citizens are holy men and women. She exists for holy ends and follows after holy examples.”
In fact, the whole purpose for which God sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and call us into fellowship with Him is that He might display His holiness through us, so that we can be examples of holiness in a dirty world.
The Apostle Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, instructs us to consider the great price of our redemption, which is also the means of our holiness. We are sojourners or pilgrims here on earth, he reminds us.
Therefore, as we walk through the wilderness of this world, we should be conscious of the presence and awareness of the heavenly Father who is watching all our steps, actions, thoughts and lives. His judgment is pictured as immediate and impartial, yet fair and firm.
Always holding the purpose and price of our redemption in our minds will make us to uphold the priority of holiness in our lives. And with the power of Christ’s resurrection working in our hearts, there is the possibility of having a pure heart and living a holy life consistently, irrespective of how corrupt, defiled and deadened our environment may be.
“Ye call on the Father … “ so “pass the time of your sojourning here in fear”. We are sojourners or pilgrims here, life is short; but our walk and work in this short life determine our eternal destiny and condition hereafter. We are not “at home,” we are journeying home. This season of desert-wandering is appointed by Divine wisdom. Throughout life, God, our Father and Judge, evaluates our walk and work, and at the end of life, He as the impartial Judge will examine our work to determine our eternal destiny.
Our fellowmen may regard us highly because of what they see of us and because of what they do not know of us, but each of us must eventually appear before God who is “no respecter of persons”, and who will estimate us and our service with justice and impartiality.
Men may praise us and approve of our actions, but their praise and approval is nothing now and will be much less than nothing on the day of judgment. Standing higher, God looks deeper and sees the purpose and motive behind all our actions. “By Him actions are weighed”! (1 Samuel 2:3).
Because “the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1 Peter 1:17).
Without reverence and godly fear we cannot serve God acceptably (Hebrews 12:28). We are not to fear earthly troubles and trials, but as we think of the all-seeing eyes of God watching all our actions and we think of the end, think of the coming judgment, we live in the holy fear of God. If we think often, as we should, of ourselves standing before the judgment throne of God, we shall say like the Psalmist, “My flesh trembleth for fear of Thee and I am afraid of Thy judgment” (Psalm 119:120).
The Christian fears to offend God, who spared not His own Son; he fears to dishonour the cross of Christ; he fears to grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, said, “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him” (Luke 12:4,5).
The Old Testament commands us to, “serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling”. Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Psalm 2:11; Ecclesiastes 12:13). The New Testament also commands us, “Be not highminded, but fear”. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. “Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear”. “Serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Romans 11:20; Philippians 2:12; 1 Peter 1:17; Hebrews 12:28).
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Peter 1:17-21; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 Chronicles 29:15; Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 2:11,12; Romans 2:9-11; Colossians 3:25; Romans 11:20-22; Philippians 2:12-15; Hebrews 12:28,29.
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