Thanks for joining us on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. Today Don continues with our series titled, Living as God's People, with a message titled, Our Great Redeemer. Have your Bible open and ready as Don teaches God's people God's Word from The Truth Pulpit. This is Christ who knows the worst about you. Beloved, he went to the cross knowing all of that thoroughly and perfectly, went to the cross to redeem you from all of it, from every lawless deed, from every illicit relationship, from every act that you've committed against others. What a joy to look into Scripture and to say that Christ looks in mercy on that and took the payment, paid the price for even that that you might be set free, that your conscience could be cleansed before God and to know that God accepts you. God has forgiven you. God has released you from all of that guilt and paid the price for your deliverance from sin.
He paid your price. You see why the gospel is good news? He who was innocent, pure, undefiled, and exalted above the heavens, stepped into the realm of man, stepped into the realm of our sin and guilt and took it all on himself in love for you, for you, for you, for you, in order that your sins could be forgiven, your conscience could be cleansed, you could be reconciled by God, declared righteous by him, treated not only as though you had never sinned, but as though you had fulfilled everything about the law of God as perfectly as Jesus Christ himself did. Your sin imputed to Christ, Christ's righteousness imputed to you.
This is the perfect, wonderful gift of Christian salvation. You see why this is mercy that we sing about? You see why we will spend eternity praising him for that?
And here you and I are today to celebrate it together. Jesus said about his own life and ministry in Mark chapter 10, he said, even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many. It's why he came.
It's why he came. And you see, for those of you, and I know that there are many of you like this in this room here today, you want to grow in your love for Christ. You hear these truths and they resonate in your heart.
You want to love him better. And as elders and as the so-called pastor here, what a privilege it is to have conversations with people like you, sweet-minded, tender-hearted Christians who love the word of God. And it's just evident in the humble way that you speak, the love that you have for Christ. Well, understand that your love for Christ is deepened and you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ by dwelling on this aspect of his love for you, that you go there again and again. You don't find greater love in trying harder to keep certain rules, beloved.
You grow in love by absorbing more and more the truth of Scripture, the truth of sound doctrine that unfolds for you the atonement of Jesus Christ. And you realize that like the woman who came to Jesus during his earthly ministry, crying tears of repentance, sufficient fluid coming from her eyes that she was able to wash his feet with the tears from her eyes and washing them and polishing his feet with her hair. Why did she do that? It's because she loved him.
She saw his excellence. God had given a preview in her heart of how he would deliver her from her sins. And Jesus himself spoke to her and said, Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more. Oh, if you would grow in your love for Christ, grow in the devotion that you give to these kinds of truths and realize that the love of Christ has set you free.
The blood of Christ has set you free. And that he did this out of love, not from anything that you did to prompt him. This was his idea. This was his love for you, not your love for him. We love because he what? He first loved us. The priority was Christ loving us, not vice versa. The initiative, beloved, in your sinful condition was not you moving toward God. It was God moving toward you. You know, Jesus said, No one can come to me except the Father.
Draw him. All of these things. All of these things to just show us and to endear your heart to Christ. Look over at 1 Peter. If you're in Titus chapter 3, turn to the right just past Hebrews and James and you'll come to 1 Peter.
I want to look at just a couple of texts here. 1 Peter chapter 1, beginning in verse 3, expressing the outflowing of gratitude and praise in response to these things. Ascribing to God, ascribing to Christ, ascribing to the Spirit of God, the worship of a grateful heart, of a heart that marvels at an undeserved love like what we've been describing.
1 Peter, beginning in verse 1, he speaks about those who are chosen. Verse 2, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood, may grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, blessing God, ascribing glory to him, ascribing honor and praise and magnifying his name as worthy. Blessed be his name in that way.
Why? The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who, according to his great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Those of you that grew up in religious traditions that taught you to fear, to be afraid over possibly losing your salvation, look at this text and put those fears away. If God saved you, he will keep you. He loved you enough to go to the cross for you, and he knew in advance your sin, the fullness of it, and it says right here, right in God's Word, you are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
That he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. This is wonderful salvation that we celebrate today. Then in verse 18 of 1 Peter 1, knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things, like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers.
See the word redemption there in verse 18? You were not redeemed with perishable things. Well, what were you redeemed with? What was the price of your salvation?
What did it cost? Because there had to be a price paid for your guilt. Here's the price, verse 19, precious blood, as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. Christ redeemed us. Christ loved us, and he gave himself up for us.
Look over at Galatians. I quote this verse often, and Lord willing, for another whatever more time the Lord gives me in ministry, I plan to quote it a whole lot more. Galatians 2.20, I've been crucified with Christ. Galatians 2.20, I'll give you a moment to find it. I've been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who, what's it say? He loved me and gave himself up for me. The love of Christ was not a mere sentiment. It was the love of self-sacrifice, seeking the good of one who deserved judgment.
That, my friends, is grace. Jesus Christ redeemed you if you are in Christ. If you're not in Christ, today would be a wonderful day for you to turn in repentance to him in response to the love of God laid out before you, magnified through his word to show the excellency of Christ, the horror and the insignificance and the judgment that the world deserves, of which you're a part of if you're not in Christ. Now God calls you and beckons you. Leave that behind.
Leave the world behind. Set yourself aside and come to Christ in order to be saved. Today, this can be the day, the moment of your salvation if you would turn your heart to Christ.
There's no reason not to. If there's any unwillingness in the realm of salvation, understand it's not from God. If there is unwillingness in salvation, it is all the part of man because God loved the world and sent Christ in order to be the Savior of the world. God now comes through the preaching of his word and earnestly pleads with every sinner who would be under the sound of my voice to come to Christ because God is willing to save you as shown by the precious blood shed at the cross that still avails for sinners just like you. And Jesus says, come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. You have the promise of Christ that if you will come, he will save. One other thing here is I just want to emphasize one other thing when I say that he paid your price.
Jesus Christ paid your price. It says there in Titus chapter 2, turn back there with me. I just want to give you a cross reference to reinforce this as well that you won't need to turn to. Titus chapter 2 verse 14.
I highlighted it already. He redeemed us from every lawless deed. Beloved, Scripture says the same thing through a different apostle. The same principle is established elsewhere in 1 John 1-9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In verse 7 of 1 John 1, the blood of Jesus, his son, cleanses us from all sin. Wonderful grace. A perfect salvation.
Nothing lacking. All of it fulfilled in Christ. And now pardon and acceptance with God through those who put their faith alone in Christ alone. Well, what's the outcome of it then in verse 14 of Titus chapter 2?
What's the necessary consequence, you could say, of this? For a third point, first point was that Jesus Christ took your place. Secondly, Jesus Christ paid your price. Thirdly, now, Jesus Christ owns your life. Jesus Christ owns your life. And no true Christian would have it any other way. No one who truly understands the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ would ever want Christ as Savior but reject him as Lord. The mere thought is a travesty.
The fact that it's been taught for decades at certain places in Texas is a travesty. It is impossible to look at redemption, understand the guilt of your sin, understand the love of Christ and the price that he paid, and say, I'll take him as Savior but I'm still going to run my own life. I have no responsibility to repent.
I have no need to repent. Beloved, understand that that is a demonic distortion of truth. No one who understands these things could have anything other than a tender, receptive heart to Christ that gladly submits to him and mourns over the fact that there is any lingering sin still in their heart and life. And this is just the teaching of Scripture. Right here in this verse, verse 14, third point today, Jesus Christ owns your life.
He owns your life and a true believer would have it no other way. But this is what Scripture says as it talks about the atonement, as it glorifies Christ in his work on our behalf. It tells us why he did it. It wasn't simply to deliver you from hell.
It has consequences in this life. Verse 14, he redeemed us from every lawless deed and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds. A people for his own possession. Beloved, there was an exchange of slavery that happened. You were a slave to sin, a slave to Satan, and Christ saved you and redeemed you. And now you're his slave. You're his servant. He saved you that you might be under a gracious master with a life given over to doing his bidding, shaping your character toward what he wants. Prior verses of Titus chapter 2, just for context. To live for him, to speak for him, to pray to him, to love him with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind, even if required to suffer and even to die for him because you belong to him.
People for his own possession. You see, beloved, you see, and it could be no other way. It could be no other way, and that's why I started, in part, the message today as I did, grateful and expressing gratitude to God and to you to be in the midst of a people that love him like you do, that love him with a tender heart. This is the fruit of true salvation. He intends us to live for him zealously, to serve him willingly, gladly, that our lives would be for his glory, that we would turn from earthly pursuits and earthly vanities in order to have a heart that is engaged with the majesty of his glorious face. Engaged with the majesty of his word. When Christ saves a man, when he saves a woman, he puts his spirit inside them, and the spirit produces a change, a change of life, a change of attitude, a change of disposition, a change of affections. One of the manifestations of that change is a desire to love and praise Christ and a desire and a love and a belief and a confidence in his holy word, a supernatural confidence in the authority and truthfulness of the word of God, the 66 books of the English Bible, as given originally in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.
All of this being an aspect of being owned by him. Beloved, if Christ loved you like what we've said today, and he does, if Christ loves you like that, then isn't it obvious that the only possible way that a redeemed person could respond to him is to serve him zealously? This kind of redemption defines your life purpose going forward. You do not exist to maximize the pleasures of earthly life, to maximize how big your barn can be, how big your bank account can be, how high you can get on the corporate ladder. You exist to maximize the glory of the one who redeemed you like that. You understand that your life has been taken over. It has been overwhelmed by the love of Christ. And in response to that great love, you are a willing captive to give all of your love back to him.
Imperfect and marred as it may be to give your love back to him. 1 Corinthians 6 verse 20 says, You have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body. These things are precious.
These things are true. These things are the only way that a man or woman, boy or girl, can escape eternal damnation. This is the revealed will of God for mankind to repent and come to Christ to be saved. And what does the church of Jesus Christ do with it? Verse 15, we'll just touch on this.
These things, these things which have been explained in chapter 2, Paul says to Titus and by extension the church of Jesus Christ for all of the ages until he comes again. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority, let no one disregard you. These things we don't compromise on.
These things we don't dilute. These things we put front and center. These things, these things you emphasize, not politics, not entertainment, not self-fulfillment. These things about Christ. These things about redemption. These things about what flows out of a life that's been truly redeemed. These things, the true church speaks, exhorts, and reproves without apology, without compromise, without dilution. We teach, beloved, we teach redemption with authority because God has spoken and this is his word. Back 450 some years ago, godly men put together what is known as the Heidelberg Catechism in 1563. Question number one of the Heidelberg Catechism asks this and it's the question that pulls together our response. Question number one of the Heidelberg Catechism from 1563. What is your only comfort in life and in death? And in the language of the way they used to write, it's kind of a long sentence, but stay with it.
I broke it up, put in one period anyway just to conform it to modern thought. Beloved, this is your answer if you're in Christ. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
The answer is this, that I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own. But I belong to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins and redeemed me from all the power of the devil. He preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven, not a hair can fall from my head.
Yes, all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live for him. You've been listening to Pastor Don Green in part two of a message called Our Great Redeemer, part of a series titled Living as God's People here on The Truth Pulpit, and we hope to see you again next time.
But before we go, here again is Don with a closing word. Well, thank you, Bill, and I just want to share a word of Scripture for those of you who perhaps are feeling like you're just barely hanging on as the trials of life have multiplied and heartache has come to you. My Christian friend, let me encourage you from the Word of God, where the Scriptures say this in Romans chapter 8, I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
My Christian friend, Jesus Christ is faithful to his own. Look to him, trust him, and know that his grace will be sufficient for you in your adversity and that he will carry you through safe and work all of these things eventually to your good and to his glory. God bless you, help you, and guide you in the day ahead. Thanks, Don, and thank you, friend, for joining us today. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you again next time on The Truth Pulpit, where we teach God's people God's Word.
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