14.1 Placing Redemption
14.1 Placing Redemption
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
The word “redemption” means to buy back. Being forced to “sell” something to a pawn shop and then returning later with the required money to “buy back” your property is a valid illustration of the term.
Redemption is the HOWS of God, the means God uses to win the treasure for Himself. Salvation, on the other hand, is the end result of all the redemption of God. Salvation is marked by one thing only – our dying physical bodies being swallowed up by life, that we might live as the incorruptible image of God inside of and towards all heaven/earth.
Redemption and Salvation
We must delineate the difference between redemption and salvation in order to understand both. Redemption is the Blood and the Cross by which we enter into life; Salvation is the Life of Jesus in which we then live. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Romans 5:10). We live entirely inside of Jesus, inside of His life, inside of John 14:20, BECAUSE we know that the blood cleanses us from all sin and that neither sin nor death can ever pass the cross. The cross is our guard, our guarantee of freedom.
The popular understanding is that God found a way to balance perfectly His just anger against sin and His mercy towards mankind; thus the sacrifice of Jesus combined both God’s hatred of sin and His love of humans. The problem is that this understanding places God far away and high above and makes God a reactionary, coming up with Plan B when He would have preferred Plan A. This explanation of why redemption contains truth, but only when we know God as He is, that creation is an expression of His travail, His desire to be known, and that God’s intentions are without hindrance of any kind.
Do you see why Romans 8:28-30 must rule our knowledge of God?
God has one pro-thesis, to be known by His creation through entering into a symmorphic union with His elect as the revelation of His Heart. All things that exist, whether in creation, in human history, or in God, work to serve this one purpose of God being known. God is not responsible for evil; He does not pro-know it. Yet God, together with our faith, bends all actions of evil to serve His one purpose.
Redemption is not for God; redemption is for us, that we might know God.
Wow! I have been leaning towards that last statement for some time, but to see it on the page is brand new. Redemption is not for God; redemption is for us, that we might know God.
Nicene Christianity asserts that Jesus’ death was for God, to satisfy God’s just anger against sin. But this view places God into time, into a dissatisfied God before the cross and a satisfied God after the cross. God is all here now. The nature of Jesus inside of God, life laid down and love poured out, is already the full satisfaction of an all now God.
Redemption Is for Us
God has no need for events in time to place human sin into the nature of redemption that is already Jesus. We are the ones who need events in time to place our sin into the nature of redemption that is already Jesus.
Since redemption, then, is entirely for us, that we might know God, let’s bring our construction back into the picture. You see, we cannot understand our redemption or our salvation without having a clear understanding of our construction as humans and our purpose as the revelation of God. And we cannot understand our redemption or our salvation without having a clear understanding of sin and death.
Our Bubble of Self-Awareness
You and I live entirely inside our own bubble of self-awareness. And we live entirely by the story we tell of ourselves inside that bubble. Everything coming into our bubble is re-defined and categorized according to our own definitions and story.
Science can never be objective, for all knowledge of facts we fit into our own knowing before we consider them. This redefining and categorizing applies to every word God speaks in the same way that it applies to the knowledge of facts. Our own self-story inside of our own protective bubble prevails over Jesus as Word in every way.
Permission to Enter
This right that we hold from God, a right of respect, is the central human right, the right to follow whatever light we choose, without any forced imposition from outside. God intends for us to defend that right fiercely. Thus, redemption in its first step is our permission to Jesus to enter into our bubble.
Yet this first step in redemption does not make Jesus the One arising in our hearts as the knowing of Father. You and I possess and retain full charge over every individual word entering into us, Christ or accusation, whether we will fit that word into our consciousness, into our self-story, or whether we will reject it.
The Story in the Bubble
All beings, including God, live inside this protective bubble. God’s protective bubble is called Blood. God will not allow us into His knowledge except by giving us permission, Blood, to enter into Him.
The protective wall around our own self-awareness is entirely of God. Death, however, is the false story of self that we once lived in inside of our bubble. And sin is all thoughts, words, and actions in which people engage as they live out from a false story of self. And that false story of self is rooted entirely in accusation against God and against self. God, I hate the way You made me – I am fallen short; curse me.
Another Story of Self
Sin cannot cease unless the false story ceases first. And the false story CANNOT cease unless another story, another Self, a true self-awareness replaces it. Yet it is entirely up to us to let each single word of that new story fit into and replace our old story of self.
Paul said that Adam knew God and that he was not deceived. That means Adam understood everything clearly, including his options and the consequences of his choice. Yet both words remained outside of Adam, both accusation and Christ. He knew neither word inside himself personally.
God’s intention for man is that we participate fully in our own construction of who and what we are.
We Are in Charge
When we accepted Christ two things happened regarding our own self-story. First we acknowledged the bankruptcy of our own sin-self and second we accepted God’s answer, the Lord Jesus Christ. In that moment, by the cross, our old spirit was put to death, and by the resurrection, a new spirit was created inside of us. Our new human spirit is entirely of God and is entirely joined together as one spirit with the Lord. By the Blood, God gives us permission, then, to enter into knowing Him; thus, by the Blood we boldly enter in.
Yet we remain fully in charge of every word we accept or reject.
A Messy Mix
Although we knew a peace and a cleanness that we had never known before when we accepted God’s redemption, yet looking back now, we realize how shallow our knowledge was. We continued in full control over our own self-story, fitting in what we pleased and rejecting what we chose to reject. Thus the Christian self-story is a messy mix of Christ-word and accusation-word, that is, Christ and anti-Christ.
Now remember that the accuser uses Bible verses to build his story in Christians, just as he attempted to do with Jesus. A Christian is capable, over years, of building an entire self-story of total accusation completely from the Bible. In the end, a happy pagan is better off, as Jesus said.
A Learning Spiral
Let’s bring back in our comparison of redemption and salvation; redemption and salvation work in our lives as a spiral. We enter Christ our only life through the door of redemption. Yet we know Jesus in us only a little bit.
Take My Yoke upon you and learn of Me (Matthew 11:29). As we learn of Christ our only life, we turn and see the Blood and the Cross, and they become more meaningful to us. Then, in that new depth of meaning, we accept into ourselves a further acknowledgement of the good things of Christ. The Holy Spirit shows us Gethsemane, and we find ourselves willing to allow that Jesus to be our very life.
Grounded in Redemption
Redemption is God’s answer to Adam’s sin, the false story of his soul. Salvation is God’s answer to Adam’s death, first the death of his spirit – and the resurrection of ours, and second the death of his body – and the resurrection of ours.
The Blood and the Cross are absolute, they are finished, and they have swallowed up into themselves the entire creation. Yet we cannot know Salvation, not in its fullness, until we are grounded utterly IN Redemption, in the knowledge of its power, its personal-ness, and its application to all that we are. Thus redemption is the persuasion of Jesus, as He comes by every Word that He is, to make Himself part of us.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God… (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Redemption has three parts. The first part is how God places us into Christ. Even when we were babes in Christ, we understood the role of the blood to cleanse us from sin, and the cross, that Jesus died for us. But we knew these things in a very limited and feeble manner, thus we were easily deceived by preachers of a limited atonement, an atonement that kept us under accusation. Once God places us IN Christ, then, the task of redemption is to persuade us to accept Christ as all things new in our own story.
The Holy Spirit’s Job
Having placed us into Christ, the first job of the Holy Spirit in redeeming us, then, is to win our hearts. God cannot change our minds, nor the story we tell ourselves about ourselves, until He has actually won our hearts. All who belong to Jesus are carried utterly inside of Him all the way through death and into life. But they cannot know such a thing until God has won their hearts. Then, once the Holy Spirit has won the heart of a believer in Jesus, His next task of redemption is to change their minds. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).
We Are Willing
Redemption is for us, that we might know God. By this we know love, because… – We love God because… The sacrifice of Jesus was not for God, but for us.
God cannot sin; He cannot intrude into our space, nor force Himself upon our story. God can enter into our knowledge only as we give Jesus permission, not only to enter us by each Word that He is, but to be constructed into our own consciousness as our reality. And we are willing to give Jesus that permission only as we are won by His visible love borne in His own body.
Jesus did not die for God; Jesus died for us.