Last time in God Gave Us Debt and Taxes we talked about how God’s creative work continues to bless us today in our daily life. Today we cover the second part of the Apostle’s Creed covering Redemption. The second part of the creed is:
And [I believe] in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
This is the longest section of the creed, but also the most wonderful.
The Pain of Love
The first portion of this section covers the belief that Jesus is also the God Who created us.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth.
For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority
Colossians 1:16, 2:9-10 NASB
The very God that created us, came and paid the penalty for our sins. What great love this should work in our hearts for Him. That He Who needs nothing, gave everything just to be with us. Yet, how often do we feel we have not been given enough?
What is Certain
There was a man who, after attending church and hearing a sermon on greed could not sleep. For a week he had restless nights worried by what he had heard. So one night he wrote a letter to the IRS saying, “I have been unable to sleep for the last week knowing that I had cheated on my income tax. Please find enclosed a check for $200”. Beneath his signature was written, “P.S. If I am still unable to sleep, I will send the rest.”
They say the only things certain in life are death and taxes. Apparently, for the man in our story, taxes were semi-optional. Christians tend to add a third thing to that list though, guilt. If you listen to most Christians today you would think that you are an unsaved heathen if you do not writhe in guilt for one hour every day (three on Sundays).
Also, you can’t just have any kind of guilt. It must be Christian guilt. Don’t worry about your sins. Jesus has taken care of them. But don’t you dare miss the church potluck, or skip that Christian band playing downtown on Tuesday evening. But worst of all, do not, under any circumstance say “No” to the little old lady at church asking you to volunteer to hand out bulletins, vacuum the floor after service, and change the light bulb in the light fixture on the highest point of the fifty-foot sanctuary ceiling. God just can’t tolerate that.
Freedom in Death
Those are lies straight from the pit of hell. The next time someone tells you anything like that, look them straight in the eye and say, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23)
Jesus died for you. You do not have to live a certain lifestyle to get His blessing. He took care of that for you. It is done. In your baptism, you died with Him and now He lives in you.
Crown the Sinner King
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus was made sin on our behalf to die on the cross and save our poor wretched souls. But it did not end there. God raised Him up to reign forever:
But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.
I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Psalm 2:6-7 NASB
Jesus is King! Not in the future, at some distant day of rapture, but today and now. He reigns, He rules, He governs everything. So don’t be afraid. You are a member of His kingdom. He has brought you into His fold and He will never send you away (John 10:28).
Not only do you belong to Him, but He belongs to you. You can never cry out and not be heard by your Savior. He will always come to you. It may not be how you expect and He may not do what you want. However, He will be there all the same.
So rest in the arms of the Lord. Trust in Him and ignore those silly guilt-laden Christians. The Lord loves them too and He will save them in spite of their misguided attempts to help.
I hope this post will help many of you out there to get past some of the lies well-meaning Christians have been spreading. In the last post, we covered what God has done in His creation. Today we covered what He is doing for His people. Next time we will cover the work God still has to do. But for now, I would love to hear from you. Has this post been helpful to you? Have you been encouraged not to give up on God? Feel free to let me know in the comments below, or send me a private message through my Contact Page.
Until then, “be a sinner and sin boldly, but let your trust in Christ be stronger”. God love you and keep you. Amen.