The Redemptive Heart of God

Feb 08, 2015

The Redemptive Heart Of God - Part 1

God's heart is redemptive in nature. God never quits on what He starts. He loves and saves to the uttermost no matter what the cost. In this 3-part series, our goal is to understand and capture the redemptive heart of God, so that we will learn to view life's situations with His redemptive heart and also learn to be co-workers with God in His redemptive process for things in our own lives as well as of those around us.
Duration:1 hr 1 mins 32 secs
We begin a 3-part series called "The Redemptive heart of God". In this 3-part series, our goal is to understand and capture the redemptive heart of God, so that we will learn to view life's situations with His redemptive heart and also learn to be co-workers with God in His redemptive process for things in our own lives as well as of those around us.

God's heart is redemptive in nature. God never quits on what He starts. He loves and saves to the uttermost no matter what the cost. We are called to be like Him, and hence our approach to life situations and to the problems we face must be redemptive as well.

What is redemption?
In the New Testament, the essential meaning of redeem or redemption is to buy a slave out of slavery through the payment of a ransom; or to release by the payment of a ransom.

In the Old Testament, the idea of redeem or redemption is used in several ways, such as:
deliverance of persons or property that had been sold for debt.
deliverance from captivity, destruction or preservation from harm and danger.
release from an undesirable condition through intervention, e.g. payment of a ransom or substitutionary action, e.g. making a sacrifice.

When something deviates from its original plan and design, and is recovered and restored, we call it redemption.

God's heart is redemptive in nature. We are called to be like Him, and hence our approach to life, to the problems we face must be redemptive as well.

It is important for us to understand God's redemptive heart, and how He goes about His redemptive work and the process involved, so that we can learn to co-labor with God in seeing His redemptive heart bring everything back to Himself.

Ephesians 1:9,10
9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

These verse teach us that God has planned something, called 'mystery' until now. This is His good pleasure which He planned, that as we progress into the right time, all things will be brought back to Him in heaven and on earth...whatever seems to have been lost will be fully gathered back together in Him.

Ephesians 1:10 (Message Bible)
a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

Colossians 1:20 brings out this same truth that God has made a way to reconcile all things to Himself through the redemptive work of the Cross.

Colossians 1:20
and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Colossians 1:20 (MESSAGE BIBLE)
Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe--people and things, animals and atoms--get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.

The main point we wish to emphasize here is that although things seemed to have "gone out of hand" through Lucifer's rebellion and the Fall of Man, God had already planned and has worked a way to see all things redeemed back to Himself. (This simply means that we are heading towards that time when devils and those who have rejected Christ's provision of salvation will be separated, and God's original plan will be restored in a new heaven and a new earth).

God is Redeemer. God's heart is redemptive in nature. He desires to see things recovered and restored.

A Quick Overview of Important Redemption Stories

There are several pictures of redemption in Scripture that reveal God's redemptive heart. We will quickly review a few of these today, and over the next two Sundays, delve further to pick out important insights from some of these.

Our objective in today's message is to get a glimpse of God's redemptive heart and seek to have this formed in us, as well.

#1, God's dealings with the people of Israel

God is the Redeemer of His people from many of their predicaments which they fell into, some of which happened due to their own disobedience. He was their Redeemer from slavery in Egypt, from the Babylonian captivity, and from other enemies.

Exodus 15:13 You in Your mercy have led forth The people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength To Your holy habitation.

Psalm 78:35 Then they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.

The Book of Isaiah has redemption as one of its primary themes and has God referenced as "Redeemer" 13 times.

Isaiah 43:1,2
1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Redemption is used of deliverance from Egypt (Isaiah 51:10; Isaiah 63:9) and from captivity in Babylon (Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:3, Isaiah 52:9; Isaiah 62:12).

#2, The year of Jubilee
Leviticus Chapter 25 describes the "Year of Jubilee", which the Lord instituted among His people. This is a powerful picture of redemption.

jubilee in Hebrew = the blast of a trumpet

Among the Jews, every fiftieth year, was a time at which time all the slaves were liberated, and all lands reverted to their former owners. This was a time of great rejoicing.

Here are a few selected verses from this chapter.

Leviticus 25:10,13,14
10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.
13 'In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.
14 And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor's hand, you shall not oppress one another.

Leviticus 25:39-41
39 'And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave.
40 As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee.
41 And then he shall depart from you—he and his children with him—and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers.

When the Lord Jesus came He said that He had come to announce "the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:19), which is a reference to the year of jubilee. We are living in "the acceptable year of the Lord", a time of jubilee.

#3, The kinsman redeemer

The concept and practice of the "kinsman redeemer", which was another thing God instituted among His people in the Old Testament was also a powerful picture of redemption.

Its basic use had to do with the deliverance of persons or property that had been sold for debt, as in Leviticus 25:25 : "If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold". If he prospers, the man himself may "redeem" it (Lev 25:26). A poor man may sell himself to a fellow Israelite (Lev 25:39) or to an alien living in Israel (Lev 25:47). The responsibility "to redeem" belonged to the nearest relative—brother, uncle, uncle's son, or a blood relative from his family (Lev 25:25,48,49).

The person (kinsman) who "redeemed" the one in financial difficulties was known as a kinsman-redeemer. The kinsman-redeemer was responsible for preserving the integrity, life, property, and family name of his close relative or for executing justice upon his murderer.

The Book of Ruth is a beautiful account of the kinsman-redeemer.
(Pastors, outline the story of Ruth here)

Naomi points out to Ruth that Boaz is a potential kinsman-redeemer.
Ruth 2:20 (MESSAGE BIBLE)
20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Why, GOD bless that man! GOD hasn't quite walked out on us after all! He still loves us, in bad times as well as good!" Naomi went on, "That man, Ruth, is one of our circle of covenant redeemers, a close relative of ours!"

Boaz steps in to fulfill his role of kinsman-redeemer.
Ruth 4:5
Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance."

Boaz asked the close relative, the first in line of kinsman-redeemers if he would be willing to carrying out this responsibility. If there had been no one but Naomi, she could have sold the land without any condition. But there was a young widow upon whom the possession of the land would devolve at Naomi’s death, and who already had a right of partnership in it, and the Levitical law did apply in her case. It was, therefore, the duty of the kinsman-redeemer to marry her and raise up seed to his brother, i. e. his kinsman. And he could not exercise his right of redeeming the land, unless he was willing at the same time to fulfill his obligations to the deceased by marrying the widow. This he was unwilling to do.

To someone (i.e. Ruth) who was an outsider, a woman of Moab who was not a Jew, who seemed to have lost everything (no husband, no children) and who had nothing (she left her own land and people to go with her mother-in-law), the kinsman-redeemer steps in and restores honor, dignity, family, position, and everything she could desire. Because of the work of the kinsman-redeemer, Ruth is brought into the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1, Luke 3).

#4, The prodigal son story
Luke 15:11-24 the story of the prodigal son is a story we are all familiar with.
While we do not see all elements of Redemption in this story (i.e. the payment of a ransom) we see the heart of the father longing for the son to return. We see that no matter what wrong was done, the father's heart was set of seeing the son redeemed. And this is exactly what happens when the son returns. The father extends forgiveness, restores the son and celebrates his return.

#5, The great plan of redemption
The greatest of all is of course God's plan of redemption for mankind.
The in spite of all our sin, God who is our Creator, who sits as our Judge, would Himself become our Redeemer and Saviour.

We who became His enemies, He reconciles us back to Himself, fully restores us and makes us holy and blameless in His sight - all by His own doing!

Colossians 1:20-22
20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—

His love knows no bounds.

Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He saves to the uttermost.

Hebrews 7:25
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

God's heart is always set on
recovering what is lost
regaining what is wasted
restoring what is ruined
releasing what is bound
rebuilding what is destroyed
beautifying what is marred
healing what is wounded
renewing what is worn down
reviving what is dying
resurrecting what is dead.

Embracing The Redemptive Heart of God

God's heart is redemptive in nature. God never quits on what He starts. He loves and saves to the uttermost no matter what the cost. We are called to be like Him, and hence our approach to life situations and to the problems we face must be redemptive as well.

When we view people, situations of life, etc., we need to view them with God's redemptive heart.

If a friend or someone known to you has messed up their lives and there is nothing left to look forward to - look at them with God's redemptive heart. There is hope.

If a son or daughter has gone astray - look at him or her with God's redemptive heart. God can bring them back.

If your marriage or home is falling apart - look at it with God's redemptive heart. God can turn your mourning into dancing.

If your own life or finances or job situation or something else, has gone from good to bad to worse - have faith in God's redemptive heart for you. God brings people out of the miry pit and sets them on solid ground.

If a dream you've been carrying seems to be cruelly crushed right before your eyes - God is still your Redeemer. He gives life to what is dead.