Rediscovering Redemption

Chronicling the work of Redemption in the lives of Followers and Leaders. Articles, research and meditations from the writings of Dr. Joseph J. Bucci. Get blog updates by following Joe on Twitter @Re_Redemption

Joseph J. Bucci

Are You Listening?

It seems like I spend too much time listening to people trying to make sense out of things they think they understand but really they do not. That might sound arrogant; but I am not trying to condemn or judge. The fact is that people talk about what they think they know, or what they have been trained to know, but they do not fully know. How do I know this is true? See 1 Corinthians 13:9-12.

We live in a culture devoid of listening. And yet, after knowing that we are loved and that we are forgiven, this is something we need more than anything. We need to listen to the Voice of our Divine Designer speaking into our lives the truth of His Master Plan for His Creation, and live out our place and purpose in supporting this plan. How can we live each and every day not knowing His intricate and intentional actions, and His earnest desire for all of mankind, which is to reveal His redemption (in ever increasing episodes of glory – 2 Corinthians 3:7-18).

Listen to some of these authors and speakers on topic of redemption. Ask yourself which quotes you think capture what God actually did by sending His son into the world to purchase our salvation by dying in our place. When Jesus spoke at the “Last Supper” (1 Cor 11:24) in the ESV it reads like this: “and when He had given thanks, He broke it (the bread), and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’” The key phrase here is, “which is for you.” He told us He would literally take our place. We are redeemed, ransomed; a substitutionary act of love.

Learn to distinguish the truth of redemption from the whimsical and the trite; and those thoughts that diminish the power of this act of love. Please notice the quote below from Christopher Hitchens, the former atheist who recently passed away. I bet his viewpoint was radically altered after passing from this life to the next!

My prayer for you is the same as Paul’s prayer for his brothers and sisters in Ephesus, that, “God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, [would] give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him” (Ephesians 1:17-19 NLT). God’s great power, at work within us, is to draw more men and women to grasp His great love for all mankind, demonstrated in His death and substitutionary act of redemption on our behalf.

Redemption Quotes – Which ones link to Christ’s work on the Cross for us?

“I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.”
― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“[No] matter what a waste one has made of one’s life, it is ever possible to find some path to redemption, however partial.”
― Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

“It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.”
― Hans Urs von Balthasar, Unless You Become Like This Child

“We must not offer people a system of redemption, a set of insights and principles. We offer people a Redeemer.”
― Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change

“If every time we choose a turd, society, at a great expense, simply allows us to redeem it for a pepperoni, then not only will we never learn to make smart choices, we will also surrender the freedom to choose, because a choice without consequences is no choice at all.”
― Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

“Between the radiant white of a clear conscience and the coal black of a conscience sullied by sin lie many shades of gray–where most of us live our lives. Not perfect but not beyond redemption.”
― Sherry L. Hoppe, A Matter of Conscience: Redemption of a Hometown Hero, Bobby Hoppe

“I find something repulsive about the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form. There’s no moral value in the vicarious gesture anyway. As Thomas Paine pointed out, you may if you wish take on a another man’s debt, or even to take his place in prison. That would be self-sacrificing. But you may not assume his actual crimes as if they were your own; for one thing you did not commit them and might have died rather than do so; for another this impossible action would rob him of individual responsibility. So the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves.”
― Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

All quotes retrieved 04-14-2013 from

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