A Redemption Narrative
Once again, we have come to the end of another five-part series. (I promise I am not doing that intentionally, that’s just how it keeps working out.) I hope and pray that you have all found this series enjoyable and enlightening, but most of all encouraging, as we explore God’s desire and design for our lives. We serve an amazing God who has created us in His infinitely beautiful image, which is something we should praise Him for all the day long. Please enjoy part five of Triune:
“You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” I think that thought is something that we all need to take a moment to meditate on. We will not take anything from this life into the next. Not even our bodies, very less the shirt on our back. We will have a new, resurrected, redeemed body, like that of Christ, free, once and for all, from the sinful flesh. Our status as children of God will be visible in the very fabric of our being. 1 John 3:2 gloriously unveils that moment when we will shed this earthly tent and become like Christ: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (NIV)
All will be completed and perfected in that moment: body, soul, and spirit. The famous love chapter of Corinthians testifies to that, “As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10 ESV) We will reflect Christ perfectly. All imperfection and impurities will be burned off by the fiery love and sacrifice of Christ, and God’s work will be complete. Just as on the seventh day of creation, we will rest, and it will be holy. “By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because, on it, He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3 NIV)
Our current dwelling place, both physical and metaphysical, is corrupted. There is no getting around that fact. We are confronted by it from the moment we open our eyelids, until we lay back down in bed. We see it in the faces of everyone we come in contact with; an expression that screams out for the full force of redemption resides on every human head. But, we, as those being redeemed, shine as a promise of hope to all those that are still perishing, and so we have a duty to best reflect that indwelt light of the Spirit to the world whenever possible in interactions with all others—both those redeemed and those begging for it.
Just as the body and spirit are sanctified by their proximity to the soul which accepts Christ, those around us can experience that same sanctification by their proximity to us. Don’t hear me wrong, no one will be saved by just being near someone who has accepted Christ, but, by being near to them, they have an outlet through which they can experience the love of Christ. Francis Assisi once said, “Preach the gospel, and when necessary, use words.” That is the type of sanctification that takes place through proximity. The unbelievers around us and in community with us see the gospel being lived out through us. That is the best testimony we could ever give.
In order to do that best, we should submit ourselves to unbelievers as frequently as possible, making it our aim to serve them in the same way that Christ ministered to sinners. While we obviously should not take part in their sin, our aim should be in the world but not of it. In the workplace, school, and community. No one cares about how much you know until they know about how much you care. That is why we mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice, and serve all. Paul gives a beautiful picture of this in 1 Corinthians chapter 9:
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
(1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ESV)
So let us, in our steadfast hope of redemption, submit first to God and then to men, that they might share in our redemption and, more importantly, our Redeemer. That is the beauty of relationship founded in the Trinity: that though sin has corrupted us, we are being and will be made perfect once more. All to the glory of Christ, forever and ever. Amen.
With the redemption found in Christ,
“And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.'”
Revelation 21:5-7 ESV