Archive for the ‘Redemption’ Category

December 14th, 2015

The Face of Depravity

“Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Romans 1:22-23 (ESV)

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a recognition of humanity’s great need for salvation. The beauty of Christ’s perfection and sacrifice loses some of its splendor if it is separated from the reality of mankind’s hopelessness because of sin. Otherwise, what need would there have been for His act of redemption? Paul recognizes this and, thus, begins his discussion of the reality of the work of Christ with man’s reality of depravity. Man, having been created to be fully satisfied by God and return that satisfaction to Him in praise, rejected his creator and began instead to worship created things. As a result, a separation was created between God and man. No longer was pure fellowship available between the Creator and His creation because of His righteous and just need to account for such rejection through His wrath being poured upon the rebellious.

The depravity of man, then, demands the wrath of God, and this point highlights the beauty of the gospel. Our rejection of God led to Christ being rejected for us. He took upon Himself our deserved wrath and thereby enabled us to have fellowship with our Creator once again. Christ did not look down upon us in our helplessness and turn a blind eye; no, He acted for the good of all men by emptying Himself, taking on the form of a servant, and becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

As we mark the coming of Christ in the season of Christmas, take a moment and remember your great need for His incredible sacrifice and, then, turn the joy you feel as a result of His salvation back into praise to this worthy and generous God we serve!

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 14th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Depravity, Redemption, Romans.
Interact No Comments
November 16th, 2015

The Familiar Kiss of Betrayal

“Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.’ And he came up to Jesus at once and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you came to do.’ Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.” Matthew 26:48-50 (ESV)

The picture painted by Matthew of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus is especially tragic, given the intimacy of the scene. You don’t just kiss anyone on the cheek. While certainly kissing on the cheek was a customary greeting in the old world, it was usually reserved for friends. Further, this wasn’t just any random acquaintance of Jesus; rather, he was one of the twelve, specifically chosen by Jesus and given unique access to continue forth His ministry once He had ascended back into heaven. Judas was a friend; Judas was a confidant. He walked and talked with Jesus, witnessing countless miracles and displays of supernatural power, and yet in spite of all of that he chooses to betray Him.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever had someone near and dear to your heart abandon you in this way? I have and it is devastating. You move through a variety of emotions from despair to anger, all the while not knowing how they could have come to double-cross you in this way. If you’re not careful, this despair can turn into bitterness, resulting in a robbing of joy and contentment in the midst of this circumstance.

Take comfort today, dear child of God, that you have an advocate in heaven with whom you can identify! Jesus was betrayed and felt, undoubtedly, everything you have felt, and yet He allowed His betrayal to be used for the glory of God. Do not remain embittered toward your betrayer; rather release the feelings of bitterness and allow the situation to be used for the glory of God. The Lord always redeems hurt, if you let Him.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 16th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Betrayal, Matthew, Redemption.
Interact No Comments
August 30th, 2015

Our Redeemer is Strong

“Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.” Jeremiah 50:34 (ESV)

Our redeemer is strong! He pursues us and rescues us, calling us to repentance and dependance as an act of worship to our God, Who alone is worthy of praise! What is He rescuing us from? Why has He redeemed us? Certainly, you and I have no need to be rescued from a foreign national power in order to fulfill a Zionist prophecy in which we will be restored to our land of promise. We are, however, in bondage to sin and subject to this same wrath about which we read in the latter part of Jeremiah. Our offense before the Lord in rejecting His provision and worshiping created things demands His judgment; so, He is saving us from Himself in a way.

How can God be both redeemer and judge? That is the beauty of the character of God. Yes, He is righteous. Yes, He is just. Yes, He is Holy. But He is also merciful. He is also loving. He is also gracious. He is composed of all of these traits in their perfect and balanced form. His character demands justice but it also allows for redemption, but on His terms! Our redeemer is strong in that He alone can break the bondage of sin, having overcome all of its affects in the person and work of Christ. Do not be a slave to sin any longer. Do not let a foreign power, as it were, rule over your life. Run to the Lord, the light of our salvation, and find freedom from that which oppresses you!

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Character of God, Jeremiah, Redemption.
Interact No Comments
March 29th, 2014

Entering Our Box

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (ESV)

Why did Jesus leave the glory of heaven to come to earth? What motivated Him to leave an environment of pure and persistent worship to dwell among sinful and rebellious humanity? God chose to become like us. God robed Himself in flesh.

Religion is man’s attempt to break out the box of the natural and to seek to enter the realm of the supernatural. Man’s attempt is futile at best. Knowing that we could not enter the realm of the supernatural, God chose to enter our natural realm. God entered our box in the Person of Jesus.

Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death to atone for our sins. Jesus did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. Our righteousness does not measure up to the standard of God’s holiness. Even on our best day, we completely miss the mark of God’s perfection. The Good News is that the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Jesus identified with us so that we could identify with Him.

Jesus came from the Father full of grace. His grace provides us with the gift of eternal life that we could never earn, nor deserve. His grace enables us to accept His acceptance of us.

Jesus also came from the Father full of truth. The truth of our condition without Christ is that of utter hopelessness. We stand bankrupt before our Holy God. Jesus demonstrated the truth of forgiveness, righteousness, and restoration. The truth is that our sin debt has been paid in full.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Incarnation, Jesus, Redemption.
Interact No Comments
March 28th, 2013

Paid in Full

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 (NIV)

Jesus died so we could live. Our destiny was destruction. Our identity was diluted by sin. Our iniquity was placed upon Jesus (Is. 53:6). Jesus became sin for us so that we could be recipients of His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus bore our sins on the cross. The penalty for our sin was atoned for. Jesus paid our sin debt in full. It is finished!

  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Pet. 2:24 (NIV)
  • “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 (NIV)

God took the initiative to communicate His unconditional love (Rom. 5:8). The cross is a visible and tangible demonstration of God’s redeeming love. Jesus died as the sinless atoning sacrifice for you. You can now die to sin and live for righteousness. His physical wounds spiritually heal you.

When God sees you, He views you through the shed blood of Jesus. Your life is now hidden with Christ (Col. 3:3). God’s love is made complete in you. What if you started living in light of that reality? In Christ, you are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus demonstrated complete obedience to purchase your salvation.

Take a moment to consider the depth of God’s love. Try to fathom the finality of the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. What if everyone you knew came to the recognition of their personal need to place their faith in Jesus alone for salvation?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, March 28th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Atonement, Crucifixion, Redemption.
Interact No Comments
December 14th, 2012

The Face of Depravity

“Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Romans 1:22-23 (ESV)

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a recognition of humanity’s great need for salvation. The beauty of Christ’s perfection and sacrifice loses some of its splendor if it is separated from the reality of mankind’s hopelessness because of sin. Otherwise, what need would there have been for His act of redemption? Paul recognizes this and, thus, begins his discussion of the reality of the work of Christ with man’s reality of depravity. Man, having been created to be fully satisfied by God and return that satisfaction to Him in praise, had rejected his creator and began instead to worship created things. As a result, a separation was created between God and man. No longer was pure fellowship available between the Creator and His creation because of His righteous and just need to account for such rejection through His wrath being poured upon the rebellious.

The depravity of man, then, demands the wrath of God, and this point highlights the beauty of the gospel. Our rejection of God led to Christ being rejected for us. He took upon Himself our deserved wrath and thereby enabled us to have fellowship with our Creator once again. Christ did not look down upon us in our helplessness and turn a blind eye; no, He acted for the good of all men by emptying Himself, taking on the form of a servant, and becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

As we mark the coming of Christ in the season of Christmas, take a moment and remember your great need for His incredible sacrifice and, then, turn the joy you feel as a result of His salvation back into praise to this worthy and generous God we serve!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 341:  Romans 1-3)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 14th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Depravity, Redemption, Romans.
Interact No Comments
November 16th, 2012

The Familiar Kiss of Betrayal

“Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.’ And he came up to Jesus at once and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you came to do.’ Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.” Matthew 26:48-50 (ESV)

The picture painted by Matthew of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus is especially tragic, given the intimacy of the scene. You don’t just kiss anyone on the cheek. While certainly kissing on the cheek was a customary greeting in the old world, it was usually reserved for friends. Further, this wasn’t just any random acquaintance of Jesus; rather, he was one of the twelve, specifically chosen by Jesus and given unique access to continue forth His ministry once He had ascended back into heaven. Judas was a friend; Judas was a confidant. He walked and talked with Jesus, witnessing countless miracles and displays of supernatural power, and yet in spite of all of that he chooses to betray Him.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever had someone near and dear to your heart abandon you in this way? I have and it is devastating. You move through a variety of emotions from despair to anger, all the while not knowing how they could have come to double-cross you in this way. If you’re not careful, this despair can turn into bitterness, resulting in a robbing of joy and contentment in the midst of this circumstance.

Take comfort today, dear child of God, that you have an advocate in heaven with whom you can identify! Jesus was betrayed and felt, undoubtedly, everything you have felt, and yet He allowed His betrayal to be used for the glory of God. Do not remain embittered toward your betrayer; rather release the feelings of bitterness and allow the situation to be used for the glory of God. The Lord always redeems hurt, if you let Him.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 313:  Matthew 26; Mark 14)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Betrayal, Matthew, Redemption.
Interact No Comments
August 30th, 2012

Their Redeemer is Strong!

“Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.” Jeremiah 50:34 (ESV)

Our redeemer is strong! He pursues us and rescues us, calling us to repentance and dependance as an act of worship to our God, Who alone is worthy of praise! What is He rescuing us from? Why has He redeemed us? Certainly, you and I have no need to be rescued from a foreign national power in order to fulfill a Zionist prophecy in which we will be restored to our land of promise. We are, however, in bondage to sin and subject to this same wrath about which we read in the latter part of Jeremiah. Our offense before the Lord in rejecting His provision and worshiping created things demands His judgment; so, He is saving us from Himself in a way.

How can God be both redeemer and judge? That is the beauty of the character of God. Yes, He is righteous. Yes, He is just. Yes, He is Holy. But He is also merciful. He is also loving. He is also gracious. He is composed of all of these traits in their perfect and balanced form. His character demands justice but it also allows for redemption, but on His terms! Our redeemer is strong in that He alone can break the bondage of sin, having overcome all of its affects in the person and work of Christ. Do not be a slave to sin any longer. Do not let a foreign power, as it were, rule over your life. Run to the Lord, the light of our salvation, and find freedom from that which oppresses you!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 235:  Jeremiah 49-50)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, August 30th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Character of God, Jeremiah, Redemption.
Interact No Comments
April 21st, 2011

Paid in Full

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 (NIV)

Jesus died so we could live. Our destiny was destruction. Our identity was diluted by sin. Our iniquity was placed upon Jesus (Is. 53:6). Jesus became sin for us so that we could be recipients of His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus bore our sins on the cross. The penalty for our sin was atoned for. Jesus paid our sin debt in full. It is finished!

  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)
  • “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 (NIV)

God took the initiative to communicate His unconditional love (Rom. 5:8). The cross is a visible and tangible demonstration of God’s redeeming love. Jesus died as the sinless atoning sacrifice for you. You can now die to sin and live for righteousness. His physical wounds spiritually heal you.

When God sees you, He views you through the shed blood of Jesus. Your life is now hidden with Christ (Col. 3:3). God’s love is made complete in you. What if you started living in light of that reality? In Christ, you are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus demonstrated complete obedience to purchase your salvation.

Take a moment to consider the depth of God’s love. Try to fathom the finality of the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. What if everyone you knew came to the recognition of their personal need to place their faith in Jesus alone for salvation?

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, April 21st, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Atonement, Crucifixion, Redemption.
Interact No Comments
March 29th, 2010

Entering Our Box

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)

Why did Jesus leave the glory of heaven to come to earth? What motivated Him to leave an environment of pure and persistent worship to dwell among sinful and rebellious humanity? God chose to become like us. God robed Himself in flesh.

Religion is man’s attempt to break out the box of the natural and to seek to enter the realm of the supernatural. Man’s attempt is futile at best. Knowing that we could not enter the realm of the supernatural, God chose to enter our natural realm. God entered our box in the Person of Jesus.

Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death to atone for our sins. Jesus did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. Our righteousness does not measure up to the standard of God’s holiness. Even on our best day, we completely miss the mark of God’s perfection. The Good News is that the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Jesus identified with us so that we could identify with Him.

Jesus came from the Father full of grace. His grace provides us with the gift of eternal life that we could never earn, nor deserve. His grace enables us to accept His acceptance of us.

Jesus also came from the Father full of truth. The truth of our condition without Christ is that of utter hopelessness. We stand bankrupt before our Holy God. Jesus demonstrated the truth of forgiveness, righteousness, and restoration. The truth is that our sin debt has been paid in full.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Incarnation, Jesus, Redemption.
Interact No Comments