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Wednesday: Worship the Redeemer — 17 Comments

  1. The key to understanding redemption is the notion of restoration and delivery. It also carries with it the idea of a new beginning. The word "redeem" or its derivatives is used a number of times in the Torah, always in association with the exodus from Egypt. The experience of the exodus was significant because, not only did the Israelites leave their captivity, they went through a period of re-education, unlearning their Egyptian identity and forging a new identity which included God.

    We often talk about redemption and salvation as a kind of goal that we reach, typically including a careful definition of faith and grace as we go. Much of our discussion centres on the mechanism of salvation rather than the effect. I am not saying that we shouldn't do that, but I ask the question: If we are saved, what manner of people ought we to be?

    Perhaps we are resting in the knowledge that we are saved by grace and nothing we can do will make God love us more. But if we are sitting securely on the armchair of our knowledge of the mechanism of salvation, maybe we have missed the point. Where is the restoration and the new beginning?

    At some point in my childhood, I stopped learning science because I had to pass the exams to keep in my teacher's and parent's good books. I started to enjoy science and made up experiments of my own. I mixed chemicals together and made explosions; I made batteries that powered lights, I made crystal radios that even worked, I voraciously read books about scientists, and scientific discoveries. I crossed over from doing the stuff that passes exams to actually enjoying science.

    Redemption in the spiritual sense is I believe the crossover from doing/believing the religious stuff because it is expected of us to accepting that we are saved and going ahead joyfully in that new relationship with Jesus. We need to get out of our armchair and live.

    In the context of this weeks lesson, worshipping the Redeemer carries with it the notion of re-education, just as it did for the post-Egyptian Israelites.

  2. John 1:1-14 “What are these texts telling us about who Jesus the Christ was and what He has done for us?” Yes, we want to worship Christ our Redeemer in Spirit and in Truth!!
    An angel of God told Mary and Joseph to name the child, miraculously conceived and not yet born, ‘Jesus’. The name Jesus is derived from the Hebrew name Yeshua/J’shua, which is based on the Semitic root (no keys for these symbols), meaning: to deliver; to rescue. (Wikipedia)
    Christ – “..the title “Christ” comes from christos, a Greek word meaning “anointed.” It is the equivalent of the word mashiach, or Messiah, in Hebrew. So, to be the Christ, or Messiah, is to be the “anointed one of God.” (Our Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg)

    KJV John 1:1,2 In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the Beginning with God

    – this implies that the Word is part of the Trinity.

    John 1:3-5 “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” In Him was Life; and the(this) Life was the Light of men. And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not

    – this implies that Christ’s Spiritual Light cannot be comprehended in spiritual darkness.

    John 1:6-8 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not the Light, but was sent to bear witness of the Light

    – this implies that God sent a witness to prepare man to receive the Life inherent in Spiritual Light.

    John 1:9-11 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He(His Light) was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own (the children of Abraham), and his own received Him not

    – this implies that the world cannot understand Christ without His Spiritual Light.

    John 1:12,13 “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power(or, the right, or, privilege(margin) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name(position/Son of God): Which(those who receive Him) were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God

    - this implies that we are saved by the Grace of God through the Faith of Jesus Christ.

    John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we behold His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of Grace and Truth (attributes of God)

    – this tells that the *Word* was *made* flesh not *is* flesh.

  3. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship me in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

    Worship the Redeemer-
    To worship someone/something means we love and adore that person/deity/things. We place that deity/person/thing in front of anything else that we have. All of our time, talent, strength, means, opportunity is devoted to that deity/thing/person.
    To worship God means we love, adore, cherish, talk about, obsessed in our conversation about who he is and what he meant to us. It is through a personal connection that we are led to believe through faith that this God who we serve and talk about is a Spirit. Human by nature like to see things before they believe, that's why so many use a statue or a tangible thing to say this is their god. Some people use the cross to represent Jesus. Jesus as the creator, sustainer, miracle worker, great physician, redeemer and soon coming King meant nothing to some because to them, Christianity is man's doing as a way of trying to keep others in bondage.
    Even looking at the tithes and offering, some says that is a hocks for the rich to keep others/poor or less educated in bondage.
    We have to be so careful while we teach to others we become a cast away. Our lives must be live what we believe, and what we preach. Jesus said every knee shall bow and confess that he is Lord.

  4. I was born an Adventist and I went to Adventist schools, primary and high school then attended an Adventist university. I attended worship services throughout my formal education in all these institutions. Did I worship the Creator or I just attended and was part of the congregation? I am thankful that I was exposed to the faith that I now live by. I must admit though that my worshiping was part of the routine. Out of my parents' home and away from the institutions that guided my formal education, I had to decide the route that I was going to take. Praise God I did not depart from the way. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

    Whilst I could have decided to live my own life of not worshiping God, I thought to myself, well, since I have spent my life worshiping why would I turn back now.

    Like the song, "We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord and trusting in his Holy Word.."

    It is now, that I am spending time worshiping God without anyone waking me up in the morning (my brother did a good job on this morning worship) or ringing a bell to say it's worship time or signing a register that you have attended worship (or else you do not graduate). It is now my personal decision. I am grateful to those who taught me. They showed me the way to go but now that they are out of my life I can decide on my own. I can now teach my children and others who come under my sphere of influence what I was taught when I was growing up. My role is to teach (as I was also taught) but true worship is a personal choice. I am sure that whilst schools may enforce the worship service, many sit in the worship room but are not actually worshiping. So do many go to church to make the numbers but are not worshiping.

    • Brother, on the same note. What do you think about working for the SDA organization and your tithe is withdrawn before you receive your salary. Do you think this is returning tithe? What about someone paying tithe without returning tithe?

  5. I find it interesting to see that each gospel can focus on different aspects of Jesus' ministry. Just like all of us reading the daily lesson might each be personally impacted by different aspects, which makes it so interesting to read each others posts.

    For me, the illustration caught my attention, all the structures crumbling at the second coming, even now just reading the news everything is falling apart. In my country we are calling on our President to rescue our economy which was failing even before the pandemic and its disastrous effects.

    We also need to be rescued, redeemed, saved spiritually, whether from indifference or rebellion.
    I am so glad that like the Father sent the Son to save me, the Son sent the Spirit to work on my heart to change me into their image.

    • Yes and then when we are rescued spiritually(believe on the Lord Jesus Christ),then we are called on to tell others what Christ has done for us.

  6. Today's lesson states that the "doctrine of redemption" is a crucial part of a Biblical world view. This is true. However, what is the Biblical doctrine of redemption?

    The doctrine of redemption is inseparable from the doctrine of the 2nd Adam (Jesus, the Son of Man) which is unpacked by Paul in Romans 5.

    In summary, the doctrine of the 2nd Adam is that, contrary to the 'disobedience' of the 1st Adam which brought the inheritance of death to all subsequent members of the human race, the 'obedience' of the 2nd Adam brought the inheritance of life (Romans 5:17).

    What was the obedience of the 2nd Adam? Was it obedience to being sufficiently punished in place of us? Or was it holding to the obedience that retains connection with eternal life that the 1st Adam should have held on to instead of 'falling' via disobedience?

    One worldview has redemption requiring imposed punishment. The other worldview has redemption necessitating that the thing that became broken (ie humanity's connection with eternal life) actually gets repaired - no imposed punishment necessary.

    Perhaps Isaiah 53:5 gives us some insight when it states that "by His wounds we are healed". If redemption was truly about Jesus absorbing our punishment, would it not be more accurate to say that by His wounds we are pardoned? But if redemption is truly about actually fixing what got broken, the notion of being "healed" fits much more naturally...

    The notion of being drawn into worship of God also fits more naturally with the idea that Jesus came and repaired where the 1st Adam broke down rather than Jesus came to pay the punishment price that God requires (or God's alleged 'justice' requires).

    As the lesson points out, the Biblical doctrine of redemption reflects what our God is really like.

    • I understand that the word redemption, as used in today's lesson, implies that something needs to be "redeemed" or bought back. That's what you do when you get something back from the pawn shop. And it's the model beautifully acted out by the Kinsman Redeemer, which Boaz was to Ruth the Moabitess. The Redeemer takes a debt on himself and pays it, and the Boaz - Ruth story is a beautiful acting out of the redemption of humanity, because Boaz marries Ruth, as Christ will marry His redeemed people.

      Jehovah also promises to "redeem" the Israelites from slavery, before He proceeds to do so. (Ex 6:6) The firstborn of both animals and people had to be "redeemed" (bought back) in memory of being "passed over" by the destroying angel. This, of course, was a constant reminder of the "Redeemer" to come.

      The New Testament meaning is similar. Redemption is accomplished "by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off." Vine's Expository Dictionary puts it thus:

      "Redeem, Redemption: a strengthened form of agorazo, "to buy" (see BUY, No. 1), denotes "to buy out" (ex for ek), especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom. It is used metaphorically (a) in Gal 3:13; 4:5, of the deliverance by Christ of Christian Jews from the Law and its curse"

      As you so aptly demonstrate, that is not the only aspect of the Atonement, which is multi-faceted like a diamond, and God uses many different models in the Bible to help us get just a little glimpse of what the Atonement entails. I believe we shall be learning more and more about this subject throughout eternity.

      It may be that "One worldview has redemption requiring imposed punishment," but I don't see that as typical of the view of persons participating in this forum. What is accepted is the vicarious death of Christ in our behalf, as typified daily in the sanctuary services. (Note that John recognized Christ as the Lamb whose coming had been foretold in the lamb offerings of the sanctuary. (John 1:29, 36 See also Isaiah 53:3-10)

      As I see it, neither the the Bible nor Seventh-day Adventists teach "imposed punishment," but rather we affirm that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. John 3:16

      We suffer loss by pitting one model of the Atonement against another as though one model were correct and the other wrong. Rather, the various models found in the Bible reflect aspects of the Atonement just as the different facets of a single diamond demonstrate its beauty.

      • I have discovered that it was so important that Jesus remained connected to God and lived a perfect life as the 2nd Adam so that He could be our Redeemer.
        Isa 53:4-6 links us being healed by His stripes with our iniquity being laid on Him,
        and 1Peter 2:24 links Jesus bearing our sins in His body on the cross and us living in righteousness because by His stripes we are healed.

      • Thanks for your response Inge.

        I can appreciate your concern for where I might be coming from. And I agree with your perspective regarding multiple aspects of the Atonement. I am all for various models and aspects - provided each incorporated model or aspect is reflective of truth/reality. I am reminded that "no true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation" (Counsels to Writers and Editors pg 35.2). And I am not about debating things for the sake of mere propositional truth. Instead, I find that the substance of Redemption actually has very practical implications for many people I come in contact with - current and former Christians included. This is why I look into this and other related areas so consistently.

        I agree with the notion that redeeming is about 'buying back' - that "the Redeemer takes a debt on himself and pays it..." - except that I would also take C S Lewis' notion of these terms as "more and other" than what we typically conceptualise them as.

        So I can better understand the details of where you are coming from, I would ask the following question for clarification. In what way does the vicarious death of Christ buy back/make payment that brings redemption?


        • Phil, I can agree with you until the final question, which seems like an attempt to make an analogy "walk on all fours." The sense in which the Atonement is redemption is that Christ redeems us from the slavery to sin - a slavery into which humans willingly sold themselves. Seeing they (we) sold themselves and got no payment for themselves, the redemption "payment" is not given to anyone either - in case that's what you had in mind. 😉 What the Bible does make clear is that Christ willingly took our sins on Him in a way that is not humanly possible to understand, that He suffered beyond what we are capable of understanding and that His suffering in our place took away the guilt of all who accept His vicarious sacrifice.

          Christ's act of self-sacrifice was also a revelation of the self-sacrificing nature of God, and His life is an Example of obedience (to God's Law of love) to all believers, but that's not all it is.

          All of the atonement models are imperfect, because they are human/temporal models, and the Atonement is something we can never hope to understand fully in this life. It's part of the "mystery of godliness." That's why we'll be learning more an more through eternity. We can't possibly cover the subject here ....

          • EG White's explanation of how redemption works in this quote helps me understand it much better:

            The great work that is wrought for the sinner who is spotted and stained by evil is the work of justification. By Him who speaketh truth he is declared righteous. The Lord imputes unto the believer the righteousness of Christ and pronounces him righteous before the universe. He transfers his sins to Jesus, the sinner's representative, substitute, and surety. Upon Christ He lays the iniquity of every soul that believeth. “He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). New Life p 22

          • Thanks again for your response Inge.

            "...the redemption "payment" is not given to anyone either - in case that's what you had in mind." No, that is not what I had in mind...

            "...the Atonement is something we can never hope to understand fully in this life. It's part of the "mystery of godliness." That's why we'll be learning more an more through eternity."

            That is true - and at the same time I believe God is enabling us to understand this mystery progressively better in response to our desire to know Him and His ways more and more as we grow...

            "We can't possibly cover the subject here ...". Ok.

  7. I would like to look at the meaning of worship in the light of this day's lesson. What exactly is worship? A formal event with certain parts that must be in place that everyone takes part in at the appointed time on a specific day?

    We learn that anyone may attend a worship service, and even take part, while being far from living in agreement with God's will.

    I like the Psalm that states simply: "worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness" (Ps 29:2). This goes far beyond the formal service we all dress up nicely for, and touches every moment of every day, doesn't it?


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