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May 8, 2014

We are not too far gone to be saved

My mother’s dog Saaba  – a really old dog – was very ill.  One day her gardener thought the dog had died and so my mother instructed him to dig the hole to bury him.  Shortly after the gardener came back to my mother and told her that the dog had tricked him and sure enough there was Saaba hobbling alongside him. This of course caused several moments of hilarity within the family, but he got me thinking that he was not so far gone that he could not muster another effort.  He departed this world shortly after but he fought on to the end.

Is anyone of us so far mired in sin that we cannot be saved?  Have we reached the end, sunk so much deeper into the quicksand that is depression, doubt, fear, drug addiction, sexual immorality, depravation and low self-esteem that we cannot find a lifeline?  Where do we find redemption?  Where do we find salvation?  The obvious answer would be Jesus but why?  How can this name redeem and save me?

Redeem – (dictionary.com) –  To repurchase or RANSOM, or to regain possession of.  Ransom means to redeem a person from captivity by paying a stipulated price.  It also means to free, liberate, rescue or save.

Salvation: –  (dictionary.com)  the act of preserving or the state of being preserved from harm.

The very name Jesus means savior – Matthew 1:21 states “[inter alia] you shall call his name Jesus, FOR he will save his people from their sins”.

Jesus is the person that ransomed us on the cross by paying the stipulated price of His Blood.  By His Blood we were redeemed from sin. – ref – 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.

Our redemption is already bought and paid for.  But man was given free will and we can choose whether or not to accept this redemption.   Only by accepting that we are in a sinful state and repenting thereof can we enter into this state of redemption.  Conversely, when we accept this redemption, we enter into a state of salvation – being preserved from harm.  Ref: Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out..”

Jesus gave himself as a ransom for all (Ref: I Tim 2:6).  All is a VERY INCLUSIVE word here.  It literally means without exception or according to hyperdictionary.comto a complete degree or to the full or entire extent.  Therefore there is no one who cannot be saved, no pit too deep from which you cannot be pulled, no slope so slippery that your descent cannot be halted, if you can just call on the name of Jesus and repent or your sins.  Ref: – Romans 10:9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

With our redemption and salvation comes the promise of companionship, family and protection especially in times of trial.  Ref:-  Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Our redemption from sin is a wonderful freedom.  Ref: – John 8, v36Who the Son sets Free is free indeed.  However, freedom like many other privileges must be zealously guarded.  Many a ground we have gained in the victory of our salvation has been lost because we have not placed ourselves in a position to defend our ground.

Harken and listen keenly, for you are now saved but that also means that the focus of the devil and his cohorts is now on you. Ref: Eph 6:18…[inter alia] keep alert with all perseverance….” For every soul that is saved, the devil is going to make an extra effort to thwart his/her progress.  Ref: I Peter 5: 8, 9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

As it says in verse 9, he will resist those who are steadfast in faith but will inflict his pains upon those who remain in the world.  When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we die to self and gain ground in the kingdom of our Father in heaven. Ref: Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  This means complete surrender to the will of God.

How do we keep the ground we gain?  We must resist the temptations of the devil, we must resist his ministrations of doubt, guilt, shame, sexual depravity and immorality.  How do we do this?  Like any warrior going into battle we must arm ourselves and protect ourselves. Ref: Eph 6:13-17. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Remember also that the battle is not yours but it belongs to the Lord (II Chronicles 20:15).  So in arming yourself with the full armor of God remember that it is not you who is going into battle.  It is God who goes before you to make the victory, your job is to give him praise and to glorify him, make declarations of his word and promises, and stepping forward in faith.

 

 

Sylvia M Dallas

Poet, Author, Photographer and Teacher of the Word and CEO and Director of Creator Services at The Publisher's Notebook Limited based in Jamaica. She is married to Rohan Dallas, is a proud grandmother, loves coffee (Jamaican, of course), loves great tasting and healthy food, love to cook and is an unabashed follower of Jesus Christ.  Her books AND THE PRISONERS HEARD THEM, THE RIGHT KIND OF INTIMACY and THE BED DEFILED are available on Amazon.

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