Fullness of Redemption
"O the height and depth of mercy!
O the length and breadth of love!
O the fullness of redemption,
Pledge of endless life above!"
Along with Fanny Crosby, the writer of the above words, might we never lose adoring wonder for the merciful and loving heart of God, who has planned and provided redemption for us! Through the atoning blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, God has ordained "whosoever will" to be redeemed out of the kingdom of darkness and to be translated into the kingdom of His own dear Son (Col. 1:13-14). He has provided redemption from the iniquity which is stronger than our best strugglings to become free (Titus 2:14). He has provided redemption for us from being a servant of the sin we hate, perhaps dispositions and habits that hold us in bondage though we long for freedom (Rom. 6:18).
Our precious Lord Jesus Christ came and freely gave His life a ransom for us, paying a price which cost Him dearly, a price we could never have paid. He purchased us with His own holy blood (Acts 20:28). Through that redemption we are justified before our holy God; we have forgiveness of sins (Rom. 5:9; Col. 1:14). Praise, praise to Father and Son, who have provided full redemption and to the Holy Spirit who works it in us!
Fanny Crosby who wrote of the fullness of redemption, knew of release from the sin of self-pity to which she might have been captive. At six weeks of age, through negligence of a doctor, she became blind. Until her death in her nineties she availed herself of the deliverance provided by God from a prison house that could have confined her in bitterness and unhappiness. Instead, throughout her lifetime of faith and victory, she wrote several thousand hymns which have brought joy and comfort to countless thousands of Christians.
Godís power can redeem His people from any situation, any sin, any sorrow. Outer circumstances might not change, but God can so work where there is a submitted will and mind and heart, that the captive is not helplessly bound, but through His plenteous redemption (Psalm 130:7) is set free to rise above.
Am I Living in the Fullness?
A question to ask myself is, am I daily living in the fullness of the redemption God has so bountifully provided? Christ "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity" (Titus 2:14). Have I "put off the old man" of sin and "put on the new man" of righteousness and holiness? (Eph. 4:22-24).
We do well to examine ourselves often. We may have been long free from outer sins so obvious to the onlooker. But do I guard myself against indulging in some secret sin, or of excusing myself from some compromise that seems slight but that opens the door to greater and potentially disastrous compromise? To indulge in sin is to endanger ourselves of hardening our hearts, and Scripture clearly warns against this! (Heb. 3:15).
A good daily prayer to pray from the heart is Psalm 139:23-24: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Ephesians 5:25-27 speaks to all of us who are members of His Church throughout the world: "Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." How heartwarming it is to be included in Christís love and to belong to His blood-bought Church! What a wonder that we who are so ordinary have a place in His Church alongside the rich, the talented, the famous, the heroes Ė those to whom the world pays great honor. "God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him" (Acts 10:34-35).
Is His love inspiring me to give myself for His sake to be a worthy member of His Church? Does my life contribute to a glorious, radiant Church, which is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and is holy and without blemish? Am I more intent on helping to fulfill His desire to take to Himself a Bride which is holy as He is, than I am in living for my own worldly comfort and pleasures? How much am I willing to deny myself in order to live in holiness? Am I seeking to be filled always with the Holy Spirit, that I might have the power to live a holy life? How helpfully Andrew Murray points us to the Holy Spiritís fullness as the way of victory. (See pages 6 and 7).
Do I love the Church universal and long and pray for the Church as a whole to be holy and without spot or blemish? Or rather than pray, do I criticize and treat erring ones with coldness rather than concern? Am I seeking God for revival in the Church worldwide?
When Jesus was on earth, many who received Him as the Messiah believed He would redeem the Jewish nation from their conqueror Rome. Their vision was confined to their own nation. Today we know that Christís redemption extends around the world and to every generation. Jesus Himself said, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
One day the song will reverberate throughout Heaven honoring the Redeemer of mankind: "Thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nationÖ" (Rev. 5:9).
Oh, the depth, the width, the height of Godís redemptive plan! And He gives mankind a place in bringing His noble plan to pass! Around the world are those who are offering themselves to take a part in Godís worldwide redemptive plan, however and wherever He may lead. Scattered throughout the world, this band of loyal lovers of Christ are devoting themselves to answer His call for workers. Some are stepping up to the forefront at great risk to themselves. They face a hateful enemy. Some will shed a martyrís blood, but also win a martyrís crown.
Alongside the workers unselfishly going forth are a vast number of sleeping Christians, self-indulgent and self-absorbed. Oh, that we might all get a fresh realization of the fact that we are not our own; we are bought with a price!
(1 Cor. 6:20). Might our hearts receive a fresh passion for our exalted Savior, who deserves the best of our life and not the tag ends. If we earnestly seek Him, He will so reveal Himself within our hearts as to captivate us. Any idols will lose their charm. Jesus will fill our vision. Fulfilling His will will become the supreme motivation of our life. Might we be awakened now Ė now Ė while there is still time to humbly repent of our failure and seek Him to set our hearts aflame to serve Him with all the devotion of our being. Hearts may break in the process, but He is the compassionate healer. To let Him have His way in our hearts and lives is to take His "love-lined yoke" as someone has called it. And along with the hardships there will be hilltops where we see more clearly how worthwhile His way is and how delightful it is to be in fellowship with the blessed Christ of Calvary and to be obeying His call.
Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So!
The Bible says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so" (Psalm 107:2). Weíve good news to share Ė words of eternal life Ė to be made known. We encourage you to share the Gospel next door or across the street, and as far as God enables you to go. Here at Herald of His Coming, we thank God for each one of you whom He leads to take part in this ministry of the printed Word, to foster revival in the Church, and through a revived Church, to see a vast host brought into Godís Kingdom. He is giving wonderful opportunities to grasp and open doors to enter. As you extend your help Herald of His Coming is able to forward His Kingdom in hearts and lives in many countries of the world. Thank you for helping as He leads.
In eternity we will never cease singing: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing" (Rev. 5:12). Let us praise Him now!
Please Pray Ė
* That Godís people will take to heart the Word that "It is not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit, saith the Lord" (Zech. 4:6) and will seek to live and to labor always in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
* That God will inspire among the Herald readers the giving that is needful to maintain and increase the output of the blessed Gospel through Herald of His Coming into many countries of the world.
* That Godís grace will be poured upon all who suffer imprisonment and martyrdom for our Lord, and upon the bereft families who face great hardship as a result.
* That Godís people will be willing and obedient to witness of the blessed Redeemer, that a great host now unsaved, will come to know Him as their Savior. Please join your prayers with Herald readers burdened for unsaved family members.