Lead me in your truth and teach me for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25 verse 5

Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose.

Psalm 25 verse 12

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Psalm 32 verse 8

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Psalm 51 verse 6

Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

Psalm 86 verse 11

Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law.

Psalm 94 verse 12

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good spirit lead me on level ground.

Psalm 143 verse 10

All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace.            

Isaiah chapter 54 verse 13

Jesus said: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew chapter 11 verse 29

Jesus said: It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God". Therefore, everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.

John chapter 6 verse 45

An online digest of the truth about God as we find it in the Bible

Redeemer of All

Last evening I was watching a play-back of part 3 of the BBC series called “the Life of Mohammed”, presented by Rageh Omaar. One of the commentators said that Allah is the creator of all, the sustainer of all, and the judge of all. My immediate thought was, “what about redemption?”

The subject matter of the Bible is Salvation, and salvation is made possible by redemption. What do I mean by that?

In Old Testament times, the people of Israel were saved by God from attack from, oppression by, and enslavement to their enemies. But underlying their need for this type of salvation was their need to be saved from themselves, since it was because of their sins that they ended up in trouble in the first place. God made it clear throughout that he was their Saviour, and if they would put their trust in him, and obey his law, then he would look after them.

But Israel was not just any old nation picked at random. They were a people with whom God had a relationship. He had redeemed them to himself when they were slaves in Egypt. The ten plagues and the Exodus were all about this process of redemption – God drawing to himself a people of his very own, who would be his sons and his daughters. At Sinai, where the law was given, he entered into a covenant with them – a covenant of blood – which made them his chosen people for ever.

The best way to understand redemption is to think about a pawn shop. People used to pawn their best Sunday clothes on the Monday morning, then on Friday, after they got paid, they would go and buy back their good clothes so they could look respectable when they went to church on Sunday. Then on Monday morning the cycle would begin again. On Monday, the clothes were sold; on Friday or Saturday, they were redeeemed.

In the law of Moses, if a man falls on hard times and sells himself into slavery, one of his relatives may redeem him – may buy back his freedom.

On the cross, Jesus paid the price for the redemption of all mankind. Redemption from what? From sin, from death, and from hell. The Bible teaches us that the wages of sin is death, and the just punishment for the sinner is condemnation, or damnation. The blood of Jesus is important to the Christian because it is through shedding his blood that he paid the price for us to be redeemed from slavery to sin.

“I’m no slave!”, I hear you say. Oh, really? Let’s do an experiment. Think of something that you regularly do for pleasure. Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you use foul language? Do you tell obscene jokes? Do you go dancing? Do you play darts of a Friday night? Do you drive fast cars? Do you spend a fortune on clothes? What is it that you do? Here’s the experiment: give it up for a year. Can you do it? I’m not saying that all of these things are necessarily sinful, but I am suggesting that you may not be as free as you might like to think.

There are, of course, two sides to redemption. It’s one thing for Jesus to have paid the price for you, but it’s another thing for you to allow him to free you. He died for everybody, but not everybody is saved. You and I have to make a decision. Do you want to be saved? Do you want your life to change? Maybe you’re happy the way you are. In that case, Jesus can do nothing for you. You’ll have to take your chance and face whatever-comes-after-death on your own.

Mohammed is reported as saying, “I am the apostle of Allah, but I do not know what he will do with me”. As a Christian you will not have to live with such uncertainty. The apostle John says, “I write this to you who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ that you may know that you have eternal life”. This is what Christians call “assurance of salvation”. This is possible only because Jesus is our Redeemer. He paid the price so that we could live and not be condemned.

Of course, there’s a quid pro quo. To take advantage of the redemption that’s on offer you have to make him lord of your life. That’s the part that most people don’t like. Most of us would rather be captain of the Titanic and go down with the ship than be a porter on the QE2. We have to choose.

Joshua, the successor of Moses, said to the the people of Israel, “Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

What about you?