DEVOTION FOR WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3RD, 2017
GOD’S PURPOSE: TO REDEEM AND FORGIVE US
In his book, Spiritual Depression, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asserted: “I know of nothing worse than the person who says: ‘You know I have never really felt that I am a sinner.’ That is the height of sin because it means that you have never realized the truth about God and the truth about yourself. . . . If you have never realized your guilt or guiltiness before God you will never have joy in Christ. . . . Conviction of sin is an essential preliminary to a true experience of salvation.”
God’s eternal purpose in salvation is to redeem and forgive us (v. 7)—one of the most joyful truths of the Christian faith! But there’s even more in today’s passage. In addition to redemption and forgiveness, we’ve also been given lavish grace (v. 8), knowledge of God’s will concerning the mystery of salvation (v. 9), and future eschatological unity under Christ, that is, the day when the plan of salvation is historically complete and every knee bows before Him (see Phil. 2:9–11).
Salvation shows us God’s justice and love. Christ’s death paid the price required by justice for sin, and God accepted this payment on our behalf to forgive us. Yet salvation far exceeds a basic pardon, for in Christ God has poured out His love and blessings on us. It’s as if a prisoner was not only set free but given a mansion and millions of dollars as well!
God’s sovereignty and wisdom are also on display. His plans and purposes are wise, the best possible. They will happen at just the right moment, “when the times reach their fulfillment” (v. 10). They are guaranteed to happen; nothing can stop them. And God has clearly revealed all this for all to know—not a “mystery” excluding all but a few elite, but a truth offered to the entire world.
APPLY THE WORD
The more we understand about God’s eternal plan of salvation, the more we understand why it’s called “good news.” It’s the best news in human history! Who in your circle of relationships needs to hear it? It might be a family member, friend, or co-worker. Pray for that one by name, and look for God-given opportunities to share the gospel.