The Introduction

It is one thing to wrap our minds around the continuous work of God in redemption. It is whole other thing to sit and think and meditate on the permeance of God’s work in redemption.

What I mean is this: when we dwell on the promises of God especially when it comes to God saving us, I think things like salvation, adoption, calling, and even election can be understood simply–whether we believe it or not. With a careful bigger explanation, we can explain the work of Christ in atonement (Christ’s payment for our sins), propitiation (Christ’s wrath-absorbing death on the cross) and expiation (Christ’s removal of our sins) pretty straightforward.

But redemption? You know why I think this is not so easy to explain? Because I see way way too many Christians who, by the grace of God, get saved by God and then spend the rest of their lives trying to be their own redeemer when Christ alone is our redeemer.

But let me ask you this: what is redemption?

You might say, “Joe, I was going to ask you that.” And I will be like, “I am glad you asked.”

But those of you who have already read the passage know for the fact that the word “redemption” or “redeemed” is not in the passage.

But let me tell you what God does here is one of the grandest displays of redemption.

Let us get into it.

The Text

Genesis 9:8–17 (CSB)
8 Then God said to Noah and his sons with him,

9 “Understand that I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you,

10 and with every living creature that is with you—birds, livestock, and all wildlife of the earth that are with you—all the animals of the earth that came out of the ark.

11 I establish my covenant with you that never again will every creature be wiped out by floodwaters; there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations:

13 I have placed my bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

14 Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds,

15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all the living creatures: water will never again become a flood to destroy every creature.

16 The bow will be in the clouds, and I will look at it and remember the permanent covenant between God and all the living creatures on earth.”

17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and every creature on earth.”

The Support

1 Corinthians 7:22-24 (CSB) For he who is called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called as a free man is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of people. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person is to remain with God in the situation in which he was called.

To redeem is to purchase. That is appropriate when it comes to cashing in a coupon or a gift card.

When we speak of redemption in relation to humanity, it is far far more complex and nuance.

No one can simply purchase you. You are a free person. In the past–especially during Bible times–if you owe a debt, you could sell yourself into slavery. Historical note: when you kidnap or man-steal a person to take them across the ocean to sell that person when that image-bearer owed NO DEBT, that is a wickedness and evil deplorable act in the sight of God. Christian as the American slave-owners might think they were about 160 years ago, if they did not repent and believe in Christ, rest assure they are in a place of their own weeping and gnashing of their teeth because they sit under the just wrath of Jesus Christ.

But I digress.

When someone has purchased you, they get all of you–your heart, your soul, your sins, your depravity. And no one has the authority nor power to purchase anybody. No one except God himself.

In the wickedness of man, there is no redemption with humans. There is no purchase power that has all of the person.

In the goodness of Christ, there is only redemption. With that purchase, comes salvation for you.

God

8 Then God said to Noah and his sons with him, 9 “Understand that I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you—birds, livestock, and all wildlife of the earth that are with you—all the animals of the earth that came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you that never again will every creature be wiped out by floodwaters; there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”

When God redeems, God will not destroy you

Calvin mentions it this way:

That the memory of the deluge might not inspire them with new terrors, as often as the sky were covered with clouds, lest the earth should again be drowned; this source of anxiety is taken away.

John Calvin. Calvin’s Commentaries (22 Vols.)

When Noah saw another rain cloud in the sky, he never had to second guess that another flood was coming and somehow he missed the calling of God. If you have been called by God and you love Christ and you want to obey his every word, you are under the protection of anything that is to come.

“Nor life nor death nor anything in all of creation can separate us from the love of God that is Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) There is no judgment for you. The Son of God has been judged in your place. There is no wrath for you. The Son of God has been taken on that wrath for you. There is no condemnation because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Part of God saving his people was God’s judgment upon sin. For those who trust the Son, they will have eternal life. For those who disobey the Son, the wrath of the Son remains upon them.

But there is not an ounce of God’s anger left over from the cross for you. You sin? You fall? You stumble? Then you confess. Then you repent. Do so quickly. Make it easy to fall back into the mighty arms of the only Savior you and I have ever known.

The Gospel

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations: 13 I have placed my bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all the living creatures: water will never again become a flood to destroy every creature. 16 The bow will be in the clouds, and I will look at it and remember the permanent covenant between God and all the living creatures on earth.”

When God redeems, God gives you a new life

God poured his wrath out on all living things but kept Noah, his wife, his family, and the animals safely within his mighty grasp. They were never not once in danger for their lives and they will never had perish. But when the ark landed, and they were able to walk on dry ground (not the first nor last time we will see this in the Bible), before they could work a day, begun building a home, going to make a meal, before they could even start to live, God spoke to them and gave them a promise: I have chosen you and I have saved you.

Because of this new life, we get to go and live!

2 Corinthians 5:16-19 (CSB) From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

Once God has wiped away the world, and he promised Noah that it would never happen like that ever again so Noah can go live in the grace of God. But what God does for his people: He washes us clean from the inside out so we can live in the righteousness of God and live to God forever.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (CSB) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

And

Titus 3:4-7 (CSB) But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5 he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 6 He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

Our Responsibility

17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and every creature on earth.”

When God redeems, we don’t have to pay God back

Yesterday, I mention the insanity of the gospel. Because if you start to dwell on it, and you are thinking, “Wait, this is too good to be true,” then I assure you that you are on the right track in proper thinking of the gospel of Christ and his grace. It is just too awesome–too lovely–too fantastic. I am running out words.

It is almost enough to drive someone to madness! How can a wretched, deplorable, wicked, depraved sinner like me be found in grace and favor of the holy, just, and righteous God! This is too good to be true.

And I would quickly agree with you–it is too good! And it would be except we have the supernatural entrance of Jesus Christ, born to the virgin Mary, lived a life without sin although tempted in every way as we were; falsely accused, tried under Pontius Pilate, illegally crucified upon the cross, buried in a tomb for three days. But on the third day, the first Easter Sunday, at the righteous decree of God the Father by the power of the Almighty Spirit of God, Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God, was raised from death to life, championing and conquering over sin, hell, death, Satan, and demons.

It would be too wonderful of news. But it is no lie. We have Jesus Christ.

I don’t care how atheistic or agnostic you might be, you cannot deny that Christ is real. Christ is real and he has commanded you and me to repent of our sins right now because the kingdom of God is here right now and not even the gates of hell can contain it.

In all of that, when God saves you, it is a gift.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (CSB) For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—9 not from works, so that no one can boast.

Gifts are free. They are not earned.

Here’s the point of emphasizing God’s free gift. Sometimes Christians upon being saved by God and with great rejoicing, they want to do all the things. But my brother and sister, just remember one sweet thing: you don’t have to pay back God for your new life. You just need to go and live this new life.

John 8:10-11 (CSB) When Jesus stood up, he said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

You have been redeemed. You have been brought with a price of the only begotten Son of God. Now, go and live freely.

The Prayer

Blessed Redeemer
  Save us from ourselves. Save your people right now.

Amen.

The Media

Today’s episode at The Study

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