Saved or redeemed, the deal is set

Are you one of those believers who is loath to say “I am saved”? On the other hand are you one of those believers who is certain that you were redeemed? These two questions reveal that Christ’s payment for the sins of humanity does not get debated because Christ’s it is the foundation of the Christian message and only an raving lunatic will say atonement has one more step. The questions also help us see that people debate whether they are saved because the message they heard did not stand a chance (see the seedsower parable in chapter 13 of Matthew’s gospel) and the salvation of an innumerable crowd is set in God’s personality and perfect plan.

Psalms 107:2

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary

Half-quote that blinds

Is Christ some kind of McSaviour that he does not finish what he started?  Does he deliver a person from sin and not transport that person into the kingdom of his righteousness?  That kind of thinking makes a liar and a failure of God. 

The “just shall live by faith” appears in Habakkuk as a complete prediction standing opposite a puffed up person who is on a crooked path. It appears in Hebrews opposite a wavering person who gives God no pleasure.

Hebrews 10:38

Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 10:38

Habakkuk 2:4

“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Blood pays: redeemed, justified, saved


29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Romans 8:29-30

1 Peter 1:17-19

17. If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18. knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19. but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

1 Peter 1:17-19

Knowing that the heart houses God

If by grace on top of grace one ends up in the company of the fearful and those who resist God’s word the means of getting there must be examined. The gospel without a social-moral imperative is reduced to ticket-to-heaven comfort and that is why the United States and any nation with a religion never corrects its animalistic ways. When the God of the universe enters human hearts there is affirmation of what is important to God: people.

Hebrews 12:18-19

18) For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19) And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

There is no fear in love

The idea that anyone in the body of Christ is responsible for documenting the believer’s faith is a dragon breath inspiration. Along with “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” there is a lot of open hostility to the freedom from the law that Christ represents. How very simple it would be for Christ and the disciples to have said what appears in Malachi 4:4 instead of broadcasting a) that time had run out b) the arrival of God’s kingdom and c) the building of the church! Even if they did the opposition would still run its propaganda and ignore the numerous divine acts of generosity and compassion performed by the Saviour. I find no evidence that believers ever injected “Show me your faith” into their interactions with each other. James is out on a Pharisee limb. It is a Christless meditation that drives the perceived debate about people needing ANYTHING IN ADDITION TO FAITH TO BE SAVED. Shame on the dragon driven folks who pretend that James is arguing “SHOWN TO BE JUSTIFIED”. He clearly asks “Wlll faith save?”. We are certain that the only people that God saves are the people who believe on His Son. The other propositions are oil on salvation’s waters.

Knowing whom we have believed

Please spare yourself the doublespeak about fear and the beginning of wisdom. That construction is not related either life or wisdom. Moses is an exceptional example of a terrified person. Whatever works the believers need had better be aligned with God’s work. Does anyone really think bishops and deacons have a guide book or a checklist to the works of the new life in Christ? The newborn child of God is equipped to think and do God’s will. Whatever happened to “Hush already about knowing the Lord!”? Everyone begotten of God knows God.

Secondhand witnesses, wolves and copycats.

Who is it that engages in this kind of harassment of the church? Wolfy people and secondhand believers. The minute our faith is redirected from Christ to the human agent (preacher, teacher, evangelist) we are in danger of being overpowered and wounded. Without having worked out the salvation that came to our house we have no testimony.

Second hand witnesses

And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Acts 19:16

What we know is that the evidence of whose we are is the very Spirit that God gives to those who committed their all to follow Christ. Human announcements about new children are often out of sync with the rejoicing in heaven. Our hearts know who occupies. What people have to say about what the believer should look like shapes only up to our own thoughts. If we think that God does not have a template for each life we will end up pursuing robotic and superficial values.

The mystery of those begotten of God

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:8

Hidden Giants Fanclub

It was a mild winter’s day. The day one of my sons shared a video of his family singing in church was January 26. Rain had been washing away the snow that was no longer white. Tracks in the snow showed the grass below and coronavirus had made its appearance in Toronto. It was the day after lawyers perjured themselves in the impeachment trial of the 45th president of the United States saying that he had done no wrong. It was the day Kobe Bryant died. It was a day of hidden giants.

When you start singing about your work your gravitas hits jackpot. Your profession is in high gear and no one can doubt that you are the real deal. Imagine that David never wrote a song. Imagine that Jesus never died. Imagine that your son charts a course that mirrors your life in all the ways that parents think are important and you know history is definitely being made.

Giant heroes are everywhere. They bring you untold records of life’s extremes. The joy and sadness of being a fan of life enrich us with the same sign: tears. I have always felt extraordinarily fortunate to have had a rich set of companions but few situations can rival the discovery of a first class fanclub hidden in plain sight.

Divine oaths that bind

“You will certainly die” (Gen. 2;17) gets attention as does “I will certainly bless you” (22:17) spoken to the man and Abram respectively. These are recognized as oaths. These oaths are functional and persistent. Oaths also appear as intensified sayings like the following.

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:16

“Greatly multiply” expresses certainty not intensity. Dying you will die is precisely the same form as multiplying I will multiply or blessing I will bless.

Yahweh pinned his sovereignty to civic duty too, not only all-inclusive matters such as female sorrow and blessing Abram. We cannot reasonably pass on the other side or pretend we do not see our neighbour’s property at risk.

If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

Exodus 23:4

Now this!

The stories of the Old Testament are full of wandering and incomplete spirituality. The hope was that one day the journey would end and the knowledge of God and His guidance would be the joy and security of all, but we are left asking “What happened?”

Then there are predictions like Isaiah 40:1.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

This tender care is for everyone. I think shepherd and my mind cannot stray from the Lord and Saviour Anointed Yeshua.

On condition of obedience?

For some people faith is cheap nonsense, usually based on things like food, drink, and elementary principles. It was the case for Israel under Mosaic law. What else besides nonsense could it be when in the last days people choose demonic lies, food, drink and marriage bans over Christ?

  1. The gift to the believer is on profession.
  2. Receiving the Spirit seals adoption
  3. The saved are alive not dead

Salvation is not a loan.
See all those people trying to save themselves via obedience?
They’re dead.

Dead or Alive

Of all the bits that go into the accurate identity of his disciples this ID card is truly marvelous and elicits from the believer to a grateful and joyful “Yes!” “God’s work” is not a popular way of introducing ourselves but it is arresting, full of consolation and assurance.

For we are his workmanship (poiema, ποίημα), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

God prepared our works

Did he need to say “beforehand “? Yes. Someone will say “Prepare is always ‘before’ “. True, but the intention of the writer is to further (see vs. 8) caution people against claiming responsibility for the works that proceed from God’s creation. Not only does he save us apart from any work we have done or are required to perform, but he also takes the initiative to prepare the good works of the new life.

The Father’s poem – the result of grace

There is little room for misunderstanding God’s saving and keeping grace. He has hemmed us in most securely by anticipating our need and our quasi-intelligent objections. We love credit even when we aren’t in the game.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand (proetoimazo, pro + hetoimazo, προετοιμαζω) that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

What are the chances that Lazarus helped the Lifegiver call him forth from his grave of four days? Are today’s good works subject to condition and human invention and choice? What are the chances of anyone but Yahweh removing the cherubim and flaming sword the gate to Eden?