M.U.S.C.L.E.S.

Understanding We are Redeemed in Christ

Oftentimes, men struggle with a sense of lack of worth and experience of being less than, not enough, or even inadequate. In other words, we feel that our imperfect lives, poor decisions, or our sinful nature has made us un-fixable. I’m here to tell you that is a lie and couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are redeemed in Christ Jesus.

Understanding that we were bought and paid for in full, with the perfect love, and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus should give us the confidence to walk in redemption right? So, if that is the case why do we wrestle with steady doses of unworthy feelings, or insecure faith of who we are exactly in God’s eyes? In order for us as men to understand the root of and solution to our sense of unworthiness, we must fully understand redemption in the first place

                                       What Is Redemption To Men?

We are all in need of redemption. We are sinful by nature, which carries guilt with it: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23). Our redemption in Christ has freed us from guilt.

  “All are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24

To redeem is “to buy out.” This term is used in reference to the purchase of a slave’s freedom. If we are “redeemed,” then our prior condition was one of slavery. God has purchased our freedom, and we are no longer in bondage to sin or need to secure our righteousness through adherence to Old Testament law. Romans 3:24 says, “All are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”.

From the beginning of creation God’s intent was for man, who is made in God’s image, to live a victorious life. However, man has continuously failed to obey the Word of God. Man has been sinful since the fall, but he has also proven a lack of leadership. We all know the story of Adam and Eve, and the fall of man. But do we really understand the lack of leadership by man? This is a trend that has revealed itself throughout time and possibly even in your lives now.

Now that we are given the opportunity to lead the way God intended. We are continuously given reminders of our redemption as God continues to love, guide and give us ample opportunities to lead.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we are all quite successful at failure. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are not without sin and imperfect. Thankfully, believers have all been redeemed from devastating failure — we are saved, and forgiven only by the blood of Jesus and not of our own seemingly good works. We are redeemed and loved. His grace is greater than our sin. God has redeemed us from our worst failures and lack of leadership.

We often approach things in life with good intentions, but we sometimes falter. Failure can be discouraging, making us fearful and hesitant to serve, or lead again. Our thoughts might be, “I could never be used by God; I could never serve or lead again. You’re wrong!! All throughout history we have continuously faltered. You are in good company.

 

  1.  As you think about your life, what are some ways you feel like you have fallen short of who you are supposed to be for your family, friends, co-workers, etc.?

 

2. Share a time when you felt “less than.” What did you do or rethink specifically, to     help remove that label?

 

3. How have you felt God’s grace, even when you knew you fell short?

 

Denying Jesus — Luke 22:5462

Peter messed up. Blew it. He failed big-time. Yet he learned to rely on God’s love and power to not only serve again, but do so boldly, and as a result God used him to “turn the world upside down.”

 

Jesus and His disciples shared the Passover meal and during the meal Jesus predicted that one of them would betray Him. Peter responded by pledging to go with Jesus anywhere. In response, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial. Peter makes an initial display of boldness in the garden of Gethsemane when he cuts off a man’s ear who was attempting to arrest Jesus, but sadly the prediction of denial proved true.

Peter continues to follow Jesus as He is being led away, but Scripture notes how he follows at a distance. Failure comes when we start to follow at a “safe” distance. We must walk in faith “ A closer walk with Christ” — drawing near to God. The distance gives Peter room to deny Jesus three times. Peter ended up doing the very thing he said he would never do.

Unfortunately, we have all denied Christ. It is a form of denial when we do things according to our own will and strength apart from Christ,Staying close to Jesus leaves less room for failure. It’s harder to deny Jesus when we are walking closely with Him.

 

Restored and Strengthened — John 21:15-19: Acts 4:8-12

So, did Peter quit, give up as a failure, never to serve or lead again? No. John 21:15‐19 records the wonderful restoration Jesus brought to Peter.

“Do you love me?” Jesus asks him.

“You know that I love you,” Peter responds.

Yes, Jesus knew that. But He also knew that Peter needed to say it. The restoration brought Peter close to Jesus again. He was restored spiritually and relationally. Later, we see in Acts 4 how. Peter, strengthened and empowered by the Holy Spirit, boldly proclaims Jesus and thousands are saved!

The Name of Jesus — that Peter didn’t want to recognize before under duress— he now proclaims publicly as the cornerstone, the rock and foundation of our very lives. The only Name by which salvation is possible. Peter has been redeemed and restored from devastating failure.

When we fall, we must get back up or we will never move forward.

 

1- How is boldness for Christ reflected in your life or how do you want it to be?

 

2- Who else in Scripture was redeemed from failure?

 

3- Peter needed to say, “I love you” to Jesus. Why was this important?

 

4-What is the relationship between the blood of Jesus and “redemption”?

Be Bold

Acts 4:13 says “When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.”

Think this verse through for a minute. God can use you. He can use me. This is why we must understand our redemption.

Can you imagine being so bold and walking so closely with Jesus that people would be amazed or transformed by your life and testimony? The question is, can people tell that you have been with Jesus? Are you understanding and seizing your opportunity to live a redeemed life.

In Acts 4:29 the disciples and other believers met for prayer and I love what they prayed. Having just been persecuted for boldly proclaiming the Name and message of Jesus, they didn’t pray for God to just fix it, make it all better, or make all the difficulties go away. They prayed for even more boldness to proclaim the message of the Gospel.

“The evidence of a life that understands redemption is a close walk with Jesus. Write down one way you’d like to reflect a deeper comprehension or gratitude for your salvation: ______________________________________________________________________

There might be some of you here now who realize you have been following Jesus from a distance. Or maybe you’ve just realized that you’ve never really understood the meaning of “redemption” for your life and you want to acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior today. If that’s you I’d like you to look at your table leader and give him a thumbs up right now. (Give a moment) Now I’d like to invite you to repeat this prayer after me and make it your own in your heart.

Homework

Following the Lord at a distance can leave room for failure. How close is your walk? Is it “safe” or is it close?  Explain._______________________________________________________________

May God Bless You Abundantly!

 

 

 

Published by

ggiarritta

Pastor, Foot Soldier of God.

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