Good morning, Five Minute Families. We are back in our series about four essentials of faith that we can see deeply defined in the book of Romans. Two weeks ago we began with righteousness, and we walked down the ‘Romans road’ together. This week we are exploring the concept of redemption.
Once we are justified with God’s righteousness, we can live new lives – redeemed lives, and we can make new choices, even if the consequences of our old ones must still be dealt with. Please note that we are not the ones committing the act of redemption. We cannot work ourselves into redemption. Jesus committed the act of redemption by being sacrificed on the cross. We now live in the state of having been redeemed. We are free from the guilt and blame for having done something wrong. As Romans 8:1 states, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
In our state of redemption, we are being sanctified. We no longer have to live as we once did. Our righteous salvation through Jesus’s redemptive act does not mean we are free to sin because God just won’t see it anyway. Redemption means that we are free NOT to sin. Just as Romans seven illustrates how our old habits and behaviors cry out for us to walk back into sin, Romans eight steps us into the freedom our redemption brings us.
Think of the redeemed life as receiving an inheritance from a grandparent. You could pay off debt. You could take your kids on an awesome vacation, or get a tutor or private coach. Maybe you wouldn’t have to have any more holes in your socks that irritate you all day long. Or, buy a car that isn’t falling apart, and pay to have the house roof fixed. If counseling is needed, you wouldn’t have to worry about the cost to get the help you or a loved one needs. Freedom from a few of the worries of life.
So, how do we live out the redemptive, freeing truth of Jesus in a five-minute family? How do we live lives of redemption?
1. We must stop comparing ourselves to each other. Each member of the family is important – our roles, our personalities, our talents. Living a redeemed life requires that we see the goodness and value in each other.
2. We accept that suffering and difficulties will be a part of this earthly life. How often does someone in your household get frustrated with another member of the family. Sister made us late for school. Brother caused me to drop my project. Dad couldn’t make it to my basketball game. Mom didn’t listen to my story while watching a movie on her phone. Those aren’t major hurts and sufferings, but they are the little ones that cause hiccups and strife, leading to fighting and disrespectful behavior. We are not living a redeemed life if we are holding grudges in the difficulties of life.
3. We celebrate together. Celebrations bring joy, honor, and energy into a family. By celebrating each other’s accomplishments, no matter how small, we help to impart our values and priorities. Now, remember we are not just talking about winning first place at the track meet, though definitely celebrate that! We are talking about personal improvements, small triumphs over a fear, and more. One of our sons has learning disabilities, and after only two interactions with a set of class materials, he was able to score a B- on a test. We were proud of him and were joyful in celebrating that accomplishment.
4. We disciple one another. A redeemed believer knows that it is only through God’s word that we can fully know we are loved and cared for. The security, freedom, and peace that His word offers are incomparable. Nothing will ever change God’s love for us. When we intentionally choose an attitude of discipleship and healthy habits of discipleship, the redeemed life becomes not just second nature but transformative.
5. We live fearlessly. We are in Christ. Jim and I like to watch the show ‘This is Us.’ The matriarch of the show is sick, and she asks her adult children to promise her that they will live fearlessly. It is an extremely motivating and emotional moment from season 6, episode 7. But, why reference it? Because, five-minute families, Jesus is more impassioned than this actress. God wants us to live a fearless life. Isaiah 43:1 encourages us to “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” And, Romans 8:28 “… we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
With all God offers us, we can fully enjoy our redeemed lives. As a family, we can help one another in ways that the outside world can only hope to accomplish. May God give you the guidance, comfort, strength, and protection to step fearlessly into the redeemed life He has for you and your family. Be blessed!