It is in the Redemption
the glory of God’s inheritance in the saints.
We take our prayer this month from Ephesians 1:18. It is along the line of our value to God, building upon what we were praying last month. When we look at the larger passage as it begins with verse 15, you can see the two previous prayers lead up to the one for which we are now ready.
Many live their lives with no understanding of how valuable they really are to the Lord, or to His Kingdom. I am learning this simple and straightforward fact: THE Lord God has an inheritance in me. He paid the earnest of our inheritance with His own blood to redeem our lives from destruction. It is there that we can begin to know in a way that cannot be shaken that our only value is in the Redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Eph 1:7).
When I received the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus, I yielded to His value system. This gives Him certain rights in my life, and it gives me my greatest sense of worth, having been predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: (Eph 1:11).
There is no light for our heart, nor understanding for our mind, that will give any greater energy to our faith than the light and understanding that comes in our hearts when the riches of the glory in His inheritance in us becomes settled and secure in our hearts. And that we know in a way that no one or nothing can shake from us, the value the Lord has placed on us He has redeemed.
Our heavenly Father has placed so great an estimate on our worth to Him, and to His Kingdom, that our minds reach their limit before we can grasp just how much He does indeed value us. That’s the reason His loving offer comes first to our heart. When our mind seeks to fathom the depth of His grace, it is left still reaching without ever knowing the grace for which it reaches.
The grace of God, offered to us in Christ Jesus, is too deep a matter for our understanding. That’s the reason the offer from God comes first to our heart. Paul knew this. It is what he was laying out in Romans when he said, ...With the heart man believeth...Romans 10:10.
So, we leave our minds in the dust while our hearts pursue knowing how much He values us. We begin knowing this when we perceive that the price for our redemption, given by God’s grace, was the blood of His Son. Herein is the value God has placed on us. Knowing how much He esteems us, we can rest assured He will not forsake us.
Souls in spiritual darkness can never understand God's value system. Because of this, they can never understand the value He places on them as persons. They think, "I'm not important to the Lord," or, "He has no place for me in His Kingdom." Souls ignorant of how valuable they are to God often hold on to insecurity and fear. They think, "I am of so little value to God, He holds no concern for my needs." Many think, "If I could ever become good enough, He would love me." Thoughts like these become seedbeds for things to grow like discouragement and fear of failure. Pressed to their limit in some, they provoke things like doubt, a lack of self-confidence, a light regard for life, sexual promiscuity, anger and rage. Even in the face of these things, we learn to pray that the Holy Spirit can enlighten souls who do not know their value to the Lord.
The very idea that "God cares for me," can be born of the Holy Spirit in the heart of anyone. Sometimes this comes on suddenly, without awareness of the Spirit's presence. It may come like the gentle dawning of a new day. The understanding that God cares, made alive by the Holy Spirit, will come in answer to the supplication of some soul, somewhere. These supplications can open the path for God's mercy to travel when intercessors hold wayward souls before the Lord. They often begin seeing their failures, their sorrows might even increase for a while, but with continued prayer, mercy intervenes. From the trash heap of failure begins coming beauty and purpose—and a new sense of value.
Sometimes I have wondered why God's light shined so brightly in my soul, and why He caused me to know of my value to Him. It came early in life, while I was a teenager, in response to nothing in me. Quite simply, the Lord visited me and made me know there was a calling on my life to Preach. It was a quiet work that changed my life. I couldn't understand why the Lord made me an object of His choice to serve in His Kingdom? I was just a simple farm boy, with a lot of poverty and insecurity.
Shortly after that day, when I told my mother what was happening in my life, I found out why God had visited me. She had prayed and asked Him to visit me and make known His calling upon my life. He valued me.
I had a grandmother who died when I was five years old. After nearly forty years of serving the Lord, I had an older cousin visit me and tell me of her. She said I was the apple of her eye and that she would hold me and pray for me. She probably knew well that her son could not give me all the guidance I needed as a young man, so she overstepped him by presenting me to the Lord.
I don't think those two women knew how to pray the prayers we are learning from Paul. Maybe they did. But nonetheless, they prayed and a light came on in my soul.
I tell this because I know I am the result of people praying for me. I tell it to encourage prayer for others who are not yet aware how much God values them. The knowledge of this has remained as a foundation in me for over sixty years and has been my support through many trials.
If you are looking for deep revelation of prophetic insight, this may sound too simple a matter. But just know this: the thought has already come upon many a soul that God no longer cares. Hope of His mercy and deliverance seem gone, even for some who have served Him long.
The last two chapters of Acts carry a prophetic word for us. In the midst of a storm at sea, there was an Apostle, brought by the cruel hand of man into a situation that became sanctified by the presence of God. Through what seemed a combination of evil intention, wrong decision, and perilous circumstance, the writer said, …all hope that we should be saved was then taken away (Acts 27:20).
There will be many a dark circumstance at the end of this age. Evil intention against believers will increase. The freedom, or ability, to make right decisions will be taken away. But, it can be planted in the heart of every believer, that God cares and will never forsake us. We are His inheritance.
As the age progresses, one of the tactics of the enemy will be to convince us God does not care and we have no value to Him. This is why we learn to pray one for the other. Even the simple prayer that someone will know how valuable he or she is to God will help settle that one into becoming an utterly believing believer in the face of the darkest storm. Then, when all hope of being saved is gone, the knowledge of the most High—on which the wicked look with contempt—shall come to the fore and faith will do its wonderful work.
In the midst of turmoil and deprivation, a believer can say, with a burst of revelation, "I am too valuable to the Lord for Him to forsake me! He paid too great a price for me!" In this, faith is born that reaches through darkness to find the light of His presence. Or maybe, it will be a faith that reaches through a crowd to touch His garment. We need to know there is no person anywhere who holds no value to Him. Any of us, if we but reach through the denials of our souls, and touch, as it were, His garment, will certainly find His power and mercy.
There are many souls whose desperation has worn their faith thin. The idea that God cares for them has taken its flight—only to wait for someone to care enough to pray that they will see Him and know He is ready to give His attention to them. Many souls fail God and soil their lives when faced with these circumstances. Yet, He still values them and holds His arms open to receive them, forgive them and heal them. He is ready to stop running worlds to give attention to the lowliest person on earth who will but simply wake up and reach through the crowd to touch Him.
He holds open an unusual place of purpose for people like this in His Kingdom. This is because the foundation of His Kingdom is mercy and not sacrifice—nor is it in performance. Only those who find mercy find the Kingdom. Often, it is those who need it most who find it in its greatest measure.
Take time to pray for someone for whom you care that they will know, in a way that defies contradiction, that God loves them immensely and unconditionally. Even though they may be facing something so frightening and dark that no ray of hope breaks through anywhere, it can still be released in them that God is aware and He cares. In this knowledge a renewed kind of faith can be born.
But, what about the person who spoils God's grace and defiles his value to Him? By this we mean the one who has lightly regarded the redemption and has gone astray from the path of rightness. I think this may include, in some measure, all of us at one time or other. With some of us, our attitudes and actions have become so chronically ill that we can only be a grief to God. Does this mean He values those less who transgress? Does not grace change to judgment? Without trying to answer this with theological discussion, let us know that every sin has within it the seed of its own judgment. Whether one might stand before the judgment seat or not, every sin that mankind can commit, believer or unbeliever, will bring down the person who commits it and sully his or her knowledge of God.
Even so, the value upon us all remains the same. Our value is still found in our redemption. It cost Him the same to redeem the most holy as the most profane. There is none who is good enough to effect his own salvation. There is none so bad that he is outside the reach of God's grace.
Paul clearly lays this out in Romans 3, which is the first New Testament passage to tell us clearly of the redemption that is ours in Christ Jesus. Before he tells us of it, however, we see this indictment upon the whole race: There is none righteous, no, not one—3:10. Through ten verses Paul amplifies this until he comes to his conclusion in 3:19—that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
After Paul lays out the enormity of sin, he introduces some words to describe what God's grace gives us in Christ Jesus. When we see and begin to understand these words, we begin to see the value God has placed upon us who are sinners. We see that we are ...justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins... (3:24,25).
So, there is not one good person on earth for God to redeem. Thus, there is the demand for mercy if He will have a people for His Own. And, there is even greater demand for His grace that continues even after we receive the redemption.
One of the greatest values in the Kingdom is the person who cares enough to make supplication for someone caught in a downward spiral till that one stops and turns himself to the Lord with repentance.
As we move on to consider the value God has placed on our souls, we find ourselves entering Romans Truth. It, of course, leads us on into Ephesians Truth. In Romans we come upon four powerful words that are almost lost in the language of believers today. They are words that point to the value that could only have been determined in the Kingdom of Heaven.
These words come upon us like neon lights in Romans 3:24,25, just after Paul described how utterly sinful and lost mankind was. This passage, running from Romans 3:9 through 18, gives the sentence handed down by Heaven’s Judge upon every person in all the world. If we were to sum them all up with one word, that word would be “hopeless.”
See here the list from Romans 3:9-18:
[Ps 14:1-3; Ps 53:1-3; Eccl 7:20; Ps 5:9; Ps 140:3; Ps 10:7; Pro 1:16; Isa 59:7,8; Ps 36:1]
Now, see the four words that came from Heaven upon this hopeless mixture of mankind. It is from within our hearts that God has given us the marvelous ability to believe. Only mercy from the very Kingdom of Heaven can draw our hearts to receive all they point to. Let us discover these words as we see them in Romans 3:23-25. They will point us toward the value Heaven has placed on us sinners.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the REDEMPTION that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a PROPITIATION through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the REMISSION of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
These wonderful Words from Heaven define that grace extended toward us. The most we can know about them, as our heart beats its pace toward them, is that they are extensions of God’s love. His love asks simply that we believe.
But wait! Our minds do have a part in this also. Paul, when he met with the Elders from Ephesus, reminded them that he had ...kept back nothing that was profitable unto them, but had showed them, and taught them publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ—Acts 20:20,21.
Repentance is an act of the mind. It means quite simply and clearly “change your way of thinking.” God will give us the ability to do this. In the context of this statement from Paul, we are called upon to change the way we think about God. But most of all, we are called upon to give up our idea that we can become good enough to have a place in His Kingdom.
I remember Dr. Charles E. Fuller to whom I listened every Sunday afternoon on the radio as he broadcast the “Old Fashion Revival Hour” from Long Beach, California. I remember a story he told of a child who asked a preacher if a person were really good, couldn’t they go to heaven? He answered, Yes. But heaven wasn’t made for good people. It was made for bad people. There weren’t any good people to go there. So, God made it for bad people who would place their faith in His Son Who died for their sins.
I didn’t like that program very much until that night when Jesus entered my heart by faith. Immediately, that hour on Sunday afternoon was the delight of my week. What a wonderful change when Jesus came into my heart! That simple story made an impression on me that has lasted over half a century. I kept thinking that if I could be good enough, I could make it to heaven. I tried to be good, but I wasn’t very good at it.
I knew I was a bad person. Nobody had to tell me. I had joined the church, and had been baptized, but I knew I wasn’t good enough to go to heaven.
One day I heard a simple Gospel message that reached, not for my mind, but for my heart. I don’t remember the text of the preacher’s sermon, nor do I remember much that he said, except that he got it across to me that Jesus died for Ed Corley.
I have known John 3:16 since I was a little boy. It says, God so loved the world… but I had never heard that God so loved “Ed Corley” that He gave His only begotten Son. I went home that night, got down by my bed and believed with my heart.
My mind also played a part. It repented. It gave up the idea that I could save myself. But it was my heart that believed. That’s what clenched my salvation. It was years later—quite a few years later—before I could see into the depth of the four words Paul listed in Romans 3:23,24. And, to tell the truth, I am still peering over into their depth, or maybe it’s that I’m looking up into their height. You see, my mind still can’t fathom them. They remain words for my heart—and for yours, too.
So, as we go on, we’ll just let our hearts follow—and believe. We will let the word justified turn into justification. This is to make it fit in with the other three words. But, let’s go back to the word as we first see it, justified. Someone explained it to me that it means God has received me into His Kingdom just-as-if-I’d never sinned. My mind can’t lay hold on that! But my heart can.
Justification is a favorite word for Romans. We can see it there three times—Romans 4:25; Romans 5:16 and Romans 5:18. For now, we will just take the powerful statement in 4:25. Earlier in chapter 4 Paul discussed Abraham ...who against hope believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations—4:18. Paul laid hold on that word believed and applied it to us who ... believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead—4:24. Then he made this statement about Jesus that only our hearts can reach: He ...was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification—4:25.
We are all sinners! The tide is against us. There is no human hope of justification, of being made right for His Kingdom. But God is calling us to go against human hope and believe that He choose the likes of you and me whom He justified for the sake of His heavenly Kingdom.
You see, He values us so much that He sent His Son to make the way for us to enter heaven. How did He do that? He sent Jesus to the cross, with our sin upon Him. He went there to die because of our offenses. Jesus took upon Himself everything in that list that Paul laid out. The fact is, ...the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all—Isaiah 53:6. Indeed, our hearts, not our minds, reach for this, and we are justified.
God did all this to make the way for sinners. Oh, what a value this places upon us! For Him! For His Kingdom! Now here is another wonderful thing for us with regard to our justification. It’s not just an assigned righteousness that brings no present reality with it. It becomes actual in us, real, worked into the very fiber of our beings. It makes us so we can actually function in His Kingdom—even now.
Now, the next wonderful word reveals to us the value God has placed on us. We keep the word justified and see it’s connection with our redemption. Romans 3:24 gives these words to us together: Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Our justification comes to us by His grace and it is accomplished through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
The New Testament Greek word from which redemption comes is apolutrósis. It’s basically a word from the slave market. It means, “a deliverance procured by the payment of a ransom.” It also speaks of the payment of a ransom for the release of prisoners of war. The war that is waged against us by the prince of the power of the air, under whom the rulers of the darkness of this world operate, has taken many captives.
Thus, when we find ourselves among those held captive, we plead the blood of the lamb against the spirits opposing us. They cannot withstand that plea. Even in the dark world of Satan’s henchmen, there is knowledge of what has been procured by the blood of God’s Son. They know about our redemption. They flee at the mention of Christ’s blood. Hell shutters at the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As to the matter of slavery, many are held in bondage to seducing spirit that seek to rule them and hold them in some perversion, or darkness, or illness. The blood that procured our ransom prevails for our deliverance in these dimensions also.
How do we see our freedom brought to pass? Can it not be by the Word that we would speak to our captor? When we recognize that it is a spirit holding the key, locking us in our spiritual prison, or when we discern the spirit that holds the key to the chain of our slavery—whether to alcohol, or tobacco, or sexual addiction, or some other destructive behavior—then we can announce to that spirit that we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! Then we can tell him to depart.
How powerful is the command that we can make against these spirit captors? As powerful as the belief in our heart will allow. Spending time with the Word of our deliverance, which is the Word of our value to the Lord, we discover the energy of the Word working its way into our beings. It works its way into our heart which is the part in us that believes. When it’s working there, it’s not difficult for us to let our belief take over. Then we can know our value in Christ’s Kingdom.
There are two more words toward which our hearts reach with belief. They are remission and propitiation. Remission is a word from the courts of law. It means being set free from the guilt of wrongdoing. The Lord values those of us who have been redeemed so much that He will not have us bound by the guilt of the offense from which we have already received justification. Remission becomes ours when the penalty for our sin has been satisfied in the court of God’s justice.
Someone has already born that penalty. God’s wrath is satisfied. No accusation can be brought against us from Heaven. We have obtained our propitiation through faith in the shed blood of Christ Jesus. What does propitiation mean? It means that the payment of the penalty held against us by God has been satisfied in the death of His Son. Even prisoners in prison can be free on the inside. God loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins—1 John 4:10.
As a follow up to this study make sure to get the book:
Six Degrees of Lostness, One Degree of Grace
a study of Ephesians 2:1-3
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Unless otherwise indicated, Bible quotations are from The King James Version
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