STIRRINGS AT BETHESDA
A Weekly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church
October 6, 2014
1. Bethesda Academy, Monday, 6:30 p.m.
2. BUSINESS MEETING, Wednesday,7:00 p.m.
3. Church Bonfire, Saturday, 6 p.m.
4. Sunday School, Sunday, 9:15 a.m.
5. Worship Service, Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
6. Discipleship Training, Sunday, 5 p.m.
Our annual church bonfire is scheduled for this Saturday, October 11 beginning at 6 p.m. The church is providing the wood for the fire and the meat. Bring a side dish, a desert, and a drink to share. Also, bring a lawn chair (or blanket if you prefer). If you have “roasting sticks”, it would probably speed the cooking process a bit if you brought them as well!
See you on Saturday evening.
“the chief point, and the very central place of the Epistle and of the whole Bible”
Martin Luther on Romans 3:21-31
Some Theological Terms
Our text for next Sunday morning introduces a couple of theological words, which require attention. I’ll focus on one, namely “redemption”.
“To redeem” is to ransom someone from slavery or captivity. In the Old Testament, the most famous example of redemption is the exodus. God’s people, Israel, had been in bondage for centuries as slaves. Using Moses, God redeemed His people.
Exodus 15:13 – You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed.
Deuteronomy 7:8 – … the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Of course the exodus and other Old Testament acts of redemption all foreshadow and illustrate the ultimate redemption, Christ’s redemption of His people by way of the cross.
Ephesians 1:7 – In him we have redemption through his blood…
Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
1 Peter 1:18-19 – knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Hebrews 9:12 – he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
Clearly the New Testament teaches that Christ redeemed His people by means of His blood on Calvary. Most of the passages I quoted above reference the blood. The purchase price for our redemption from sin was the death of Christ. As Jesus Himself said,
Matthew 20:28 – even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
So redemption has been accomplished! It is a completed act! The price was paid on Calvary. There is no further payment to be made. As the Hebrews text above states, “by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”
If Christ’s life was given as a ransom, if His blood paid the debt owed by our sins, and if this debt was completely paid at Calvary, one might ask the question, “For whom was this payment made?” I would answer “For millions.”
Others would claim Christ’s death paid the price owed for every sin of every man. That would mean every man has been ransomed. Then I would ask the question, “Why do some find themselves in Hell if the penalty for their sins was paid for by Jesus at Calvary?” Certainly the answer is not, “Because those people refused to believe Jesus and receive Him as their Savior” for disbelief is a sin meaning these men did not have all their sins paid for on Calvary.
Essentially the question is “What was God’s intent for Christ’s redeeming and atoning death? Did God intend to redeem all or some?” If God’s intent was to redeem all then Christ failed in His mission. Not all are redeemed. I cannot believe Christ failed. Furthermore, I cannot believe Christ’s blood was shed for those who refused Him and are now in Hell. That would imply His blood is ineffective.
No, I believe Scripture teaches God’s intent was to ransom MANY and, praise God; He has done so by the death of Christ! Jesus was so named as the angel said, “He WILL save HIS people from THEIR sins” and He has done just that. As the design for Moses’ work in the exodus was to redeem God’s people, not all people, it was God’s design in the work of Christ to redeem all of God’s people, each and every one of them, but not all people.
Such a thought makes one want to sing along with the words of that great hymn written by Fanny Crosby.
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the lamb;
Redeemed thro’ His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever, I am.
I think of my blessed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long;
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.
Redeemed by the blood of the lamb.
His child, and forever, I am.
“there is not probably in the whole Bible a passage which sets forth more profoundly the righteousness of God in Christ.”
John Calvin on Romans 3:21-31
Operation Christmas Child
We will begin our annual Operation Christmas Child collection in a couple of weeks. When you are out shopping, be on the “look out” for some bargains that you might include in some of the shoeboxes.
“Scripture teaches that the righteous shall live by faith. Man will never attain the righteousness required by God’s law. His own attempts to become righteous will fail and, as a result, instead of being justified before God, he will be condemned. God’s wrath will be poured out upon him because of his sin. And all are guilty, Jew and Gentile.”
I have gone a bit long again this week so I will close with a few reminders:
1. We have a business meeting this Wednesday. One item we will vote on is the election of 2 messengers to the Missouri Baptist Convention. David and Christy Diamond have graciously volunteered so our church needs to officially recognize them as our messengers, permitting them to represent us in all the voting that takes place during the meeting.
2. The church bonfire is this Saturday at 6 p.m. We have held these for several years and they are always a great time of fellowship. Plan on joining us this Saturday.
I hope to see you on Wednesday but, if not, please come out Saturday!
May Christ grant you a blessed week!