By Adam Bleger (Elder)
As I recall a time in my life when I most realized I was wretched, not good, and needed saving, I think back to a place where I gathered with other broken people. The people that I congregated with in a Vineyard church building in Fort Collins, Colorado didn’t know me. They didn’t know my story or even my name; but the like-mindedness that brought us together was an understanding that we all needed something that, of our own power, we could not attain.
We were looking for a way back to something lost.
The problem was (and will continue to be) that just by searching and trying everything within our own power to find the lost things, we were utterly incapable of actually attaining that which we lost and desperately hoped to get back.
Enter the redemption of humanity through Jesus, the Son of God.
Whether you proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior, or you’re still learning who He is right now, may you be encouraged and challenged today to remember that redemption of any kind comes at a cost.
In our home, we are currently teaching our children about money and its value, and there is a concept I’d like to share with you. It’s called TANSTAAFL. It’s not a breakfast food or an IKEA dresser. It means There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
You see, everything has a cost. We may have perpetuated a myth in the church, or at least given a broad misunderstanding about salvation through Christ Jesus. For example, you may have heard the phrase “the free gift of salvation…”
I’m not advocating for works-based salvation, but let’s be clear: that gift of salvation was not free.
It came at a great cost.
Ingrained in the idea of redemption is that something has been lost, cut off, or died; and in order to bring it back to life a payment must be made. In the case of humanity, our lives were bought by the willing Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of this, all that acknowledge and receive the redemption that God the Father sent through Jesus Christ, His son (and the sanctifying work that the Holy Spirit continues in us) are absolved of our sin...but I find it helpful to reflect on what I was redeemed from. Some may refer to this as your testimony.
In my case, I was saved from things like pride, sexual sin, gossip, anger, judging others while having an entire forest of trees lodged in my eye and on and on.
What about in your own life? What did Christ redeem in you then, and what does the Holy Spirit continue to redeem in your life now? Today, as you reflect on redemption may you not feel the weight of guilt and shame, but rather, may you experience the easy yoke. The sense of being lifted on wings of eagles. The gladness that comes from God who saw you and said “I’ll buy that.” All of it.
So remember TANSTAAFL.
But also remember, it’s paid for. So enjoy it, every part of it, knowing that your sin was willingly paid for; and it was done with the idea that this gift of redemption would nourish you, revive you, and give you life in ways you couldn’t experience without it.
A couple of helpful tools to reflect today:
1) Record your testimony in a way that you could share it with others. Write it out, type it out, video it, voice record it. Tell it to a friend or your family. Recall what you have been saved from by submitting to Christ.
2) Read the story of Ruth in the Old Testament.
3) A modern day example of redemption is found in the life of a man named Chuck Colson. Follow this link to learn a little more about him and his remarkable redemption story https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/chuck-colson/