So if you don’t know me, my name is Chase Denoux. And I am grateful to have the opportunity to speak to you this morning and continue in the series that we’ve entitled The Purpose of God’s People. And in this series we’ve discussed as God’s people. Why are we here? What is our role in God’s story?
How are we or how can we be a blessing for others? How much should I care about creation in the environment that’s around me Joseph talked about is our accent different from that of the world? Is the way I speak, the way I Act different. And last week we talked about is my life attractive to others to bring people in. And in a moment, I’ll add to this list of questions.
But today I want to start by talking about words. Words especially in the English language can be very confusing. Right? You have words that sound the same, but they’re spelled very differently and have vastly different meanings. Right. You have wood and would.
Why are they the same word but they’re completely different? Or the famous their, there and they’re, right. I know some people in this room will think very differently of you if you misuse one of those theirs. Right. I am one of those people.
So come correct with your usage of the word there, or you can stay over there. T-H-E-R-E. See, my mom is a teacher, so growing up, I was always corrected on my grammar, and it frustrated me to the point where now, as an adult, if I mess up, which I often do, my mom will correct me, and immediately she’ll be like, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. You’re an adult.
I understand what you’re trying to say. I won’t correct you. But now I get to frustrate people in that way. So, Mom, I love you. You’ve rubbed off on me, and I love it.
But on top of that, there, they’re and their the wood and would. You also have words which the meaning or the definition has changed over time. Look at the word flirt. If you didn’t know it used to mean to flick something away, which is why I think in second grade we were taught we’re supposed to flick the person that we like, and it turned into flirt. So history lesson.
That’s not a fact. That’s just what I think. And then lastly, you have words that have just been watered down over time. Words that had significant meaning and great implications and now have been dumbed down. Words that even belongs to the Christian faith and now have been adopted by the world. And now they’re cheapened.
And one of these words, the word that we’re going to be discussing today is redeem. Redeem.
See, there was a time when the word redeem would have been uttered, and people knew that you were talking about the gospel, that you were talking about Salvation. You’re talking about being able to enter heaven one day. But now, when I hear the word redeem oftentimes it’s about redeeming my points at Chickfila for a free sandwich or Redeeming, my frequent flyer miles for a free flight. It’s seen as a reward for something that you and I have earned. And even here in the Church, I think we understand that redemption is something far more special than a Chickfila sandwich or a free flight.
But I think that we can view our family here as a group of individuals who are redeemed instead of a community that’s redeemed together for a purpose. So today, more specifically than just redeem, we’re going to be discussing how we need to be people who are redeemed for redemptive living. And I think in order to understand this concept, this thought and to live it out, we first need to ask ourselves this question and answer it. Who is the Redeemer?
Obviously, the simple answer is God is the Redeemer. But understanding God’s character as our Redeemer is key. And in Exodus six we see redemption addressed for the first time directly from God. So Exodus Six, starting in verse six, it says, therefore, say to the Israelites, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them.
And I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord, your God who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians, and I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord, and we know the rest of the story that God asks Pharaoh through Moses to let his people go.
Pharaoh refuses, and God sends the mighty plagues on Egypt. Then the next time we see redeemed reference is in Exodus 15, when Moses is celebrating the redemption of the people, they’ve exited Egypt. And in verse 13, it says, you stretch out your right hand and the Earth Swallows your enemies. In your unfailing love, you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength, you will guide them to your Holy dwelling. See, it shows us here that God redeemed the whole nation of Israel together and for a purpose. And that purpose is that they would be his people. They would be committed to him through a Covenant. They would know him as Yahweh, and they would serve him as a Holy priesthood in the presence of all other nations.
So in other words, God redeemed Israel for his glory and for his mission. And later we’ll talk about how this is the same thought for us. Right? We are people that God has redeemed and redeemed for a purpose. But to further understand the character of God through Exodus, we need to know what the word redeem means in regards to God’s actions.
So if we’re talking about the Redeemer, what did that mean in terms of God’s actions? See, after God had taken his people out of Egypt, the Israelites created a concept and a practice that was a big part of their culture, and they used it as a metaphor to show what God had done for them. See the English word for redeem means to buy back something or someone. And although this is part of what it meant for the Israelites, it had a much more widespread cultural meaning. See the Hebrew verb for redeem is Gael and the noun the person or thing that’s performing that action is Goelle.
So in the Israelite culture, when someone would act as this Goel, it was because someone in their family needed defending. They were wronged, they were endangered or they were being threatened. And so these words, translated into English would be called family Guardian. And the reason someone would act as this family Guardian is if someone in their family was murdered and they were seeking justice, if someone was in debt or in slavery and they were helping them out, or if a family member passed away a male and they would help to further their bloodline, they would take their wife as their own and take care of their family.
So why do I bring this up?
See, when God prompts to redeem his people? In Exodus six, the first scripture we read, it speaks powerfully to the role that God is accepting. He’s communicating to his people that I’m accepting a family relationship to you and all that comes with that. I mean, think about what sparked God to act in Exodus in the first place. Back in chapter two, he tells Moses he heard the groans of his people, so he’s going to act.
It shows that God is relational and he’s prepared to do whatever it takes and to pay whatever price to protect, defend and free his people. See, the Israelites were being murdered by the Egyptians, and he avenged them and saw that justice was done. They were in economic bondage with no land or freedom, and he restored both of those things to them. They were in danger of dying off as a people when Pharaoh tried to kill off all the male babies. And then later in Exodus 13, when they’ve escaped, God consecrates all the firstborn sons to him, giving them a future as sons of God in all these things, the way that he saved them, the way that he restored them, the way that he gave them a future.
This is the picture that came to mind when the Israelites thought about God Almighty Yahweh, the Redeemer, the family Guardian. He was their champion along with their family Guardian. And this fact, the fact that he is their champion became the foundation of praise and prayer throughout Scripture. Specifically in the Psalms. Listen to these passages and think about this concept that they see God as their Redeemer, their champion, their family Guardian.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. With your mighty arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
They remembered that God was their rock, that God most high was their Redeemer. And the sentiment carries over into other books. In Isaiah says, but now this is what the Lord says. He who created you, Jacob. He who formed you Israel do not fear for I have redeemed you.
I have summoned you by name. You are mine. You know, it’s an important thought that God’s actions throughout Exodus is the foundation of prayer and praise because it shows that although the Israelites were enslaved in the ways that we would guess they were politically enslaved, socially enslaved, economically enslaved. But they were also spiritually enslaved. If God wanted to just free his people for Freedom’s sake, he would have just led them out of Egypt, and they would have just bye, Pharaoh.
See you later. It would have been that easy. Think about all the plagues he sent. He could have taken his people and just left. But God needed to show his people that all these other gods with a little G were nothing compared to him, that he was the only true God.
This wasn’t purely a socioeconomic or political freedom that He’s giving them. This was God’s judgment on all the gods of Egypt. So when Moses is celebrating in Exodus 15, we read a small part of it earlier. Later on, he says the Lord reigns forever and ever. And there’s an implication when he says this, that this is what he means.
The Lord reigns forever and ever and not Pharaoh and not the gods of Egypt and not the things that we praise here today.
See, the problem was not just that the Israelites were enslaved, it’s that they were enslaved to the wrong master, and they needed to be brought into the service of the living true God who sees them and treats them and us like family because he is their Guardian. So see, redemption was for a relationship with the Redeemer to serve his interests and his purposes in the world. So again, who is the Redeemer? He is God Almighty family, Guardian, protector, defender, Avenger the one willing to do anything and pay any price to free his people.
So how does this story of the great redemption in Exodus make its way into our lives today? Well, in the New Testament, it brings the story of redemption through Jesus dying on the cross, and it’s through the same lens of the Exodus. And what I mean is that the person Jesus in the events match up with the Old Testament picture for redemption. Jesus is the Redeemer. He is the champion.
He is willing to do anything, pay any price to free his people, even give up his own life. So through Moses, God brought redemption for Israel. But through Jesus, he brought redemption for the entire world. He had victory over all who opposed him. And he had victory over everything that oppressed his people.
So just like the Exodus, God’s people for all time, past, present and future were freed from slavery. But this time it was freed from sin, freed from death, freed from evil, and were ushered into light and freedom with God Almighty. Check out this passage in Ephesians One and just think about how much God loves you. Think about the way God views you as we read these passages, starting in verse three. It says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world, to be Holy and blameless in His sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will, to the praise of His glorious Grace which he has freely given us in the one he loves. In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of God’s Grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding he made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment, to bring unity to all things in heaven and on Earth under Christ. In Him, we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him, who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we who were the first to put our hope in Christ might be for the praise of His glory. And you were also included in Christ. When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your Salvation. Check this part out when you believed you were marked in Him with a seal, the Promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession to the praise of His glory.
So you remember the scripture we read earlier from Isaiah where he said, you are mine. Here, it says guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession. You are His.
So if you’re redeemed today, if you’re a Christian and you’re reading, are you reading passages like this and thinking about how Jesus is your protector? He’s your family Guardian. Like the Israelites thought about God, is this the foundation of your praise and your prayer? Because see, celebrating the fact that you’re redeemed shouldn’t be a momentary thing, like a score and a sporting event that fades moments later and you’re just waiting for the next thing. We should be constantly giving praise and thanks to Christ for giving us a chance at redemption, a chance at Salvation.
See who God and Jesus are as Redeemers should be our motivation to live redemptively. So now that we’ve covered who the Redeemer is, the next thing we have to ask ourselves is, what does it mean and look like to live redemptively? So let’s start with this through Jesus, we have an exoduslike redemption that we just talked about. Therefore, we should have an exoduslike purpose. And what that means is that the same way God and his son had complete concern for their people.
We should have that same concern for those who need redemption.
It means that we should adopt the purpose that God has for us in this world and that this should be a community purpose, not just an individual one. Let’s look at First peter, chapter two, verse nine, it says, but you are a chosen people, a Royal priesthood, a Holy nation, God’s special possession that you may declare the praises of Him, who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. See, this is where the experience of being redeemed and living redemptively meet. Because if you are redeemed, it says Here, if you are redeemed, you are a chosen people, a Royal priesthood, a Holy nation in God’s special possession. You are his. Why? That you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. So the first way we’re going to we can talk about a thousand things, a thousand ways we could live redemptively.
We’re going to talk about three today. The first way that we can live redemptively is to seek others who need to be redeemed.
So you have to ask yourself, Are you in a place in your Christian walk today where you’ve lost the desire to share with those who are still in darkness?
It’s pretty crazy to think how easily we forget what our life was like before Christ came and changed it. You know, when I get into a rut in terms of sharing my faith, I think back to when I was in high school and I decided to leave God. And how at first I’ve shared this with you all before that. At first it felt freeing, right? I don’t have to confess my sin.
I don’t have to worry about how my actions affect this person or that person. I don’t have to answer to anybody. All these things. I didn’t have to feel guilty, but very quickly that feeling turned into me feeling like I had never been more trapped in my life. I think back to the nights in College where I cried myself to sleep at night.
I wondered, how did I get here, what is happening right now? And when I think about that time in my life now I think about how many people are out there that feel the exact same way or way worse. How many people do I walk by on a daily basis that are contemplating committing suicide? That are wanting to try to drink their problems away, drink their pain away, thinking about cheating on their spouse or leaving their family and their children.
You know, as someone redeemed as people redeemed, we should make it our purpose to seek out people that are going through it and share with them about the Redeemer and how he is ready, willing and able to change their life forever. And so I want to challenge you as you go about your day as you go into the gym, as you go to work, as you walk through publix, as you take a job to talk to people, look at people in their eyes, smile at them. Ask them how they’re doing.
Ask them if you can be praying for them. Show them the Redeemer by living redemptively in this way.
So the first way to live redemptively is to actively bring others into the redemption that you’ve received. The next way that we can live redemptively is to have generosity. In Second Corinthians eight it says, for if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has not according to what one does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time, your plenty will supply what they need so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.
The goal is equality, as it is written, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. You know, I think that there’s a misconception that in order to be generous, you have to make a lot of money or have a lot materially or have all these obvious talents and gifts. But some of the most generous people that I’ve ever been around come from humble circumstances. We need to as a family, as a Church, individually, learn to be generous with ourselves.
And what I mean by that is to be generous with your time, to be generous with your talents, to be generous with your attention.
You know, when Jesus walks through his life, he was often going somewhere. He’s walking somewhere. He had a purpose. He’s going, he’s going and constantly he was stopped. He was asked a question.
He was asked for food. He was asked to heal someone. All these things. He was being trapped by questions and he always stopped. He stopped and he gave his full attention.
He was fully present in the moment. When someone was talking to Jesus, they were the most important person to him in that moment. They stopped. He stopped, listened and met their need. So how about you?
Are you caring for people? Are you remembering important dates and events in people’s lives? You know, people are so affected when you remember things that are important to them or you remember them and you tell them hey, I’ve been praying for you. I’ve been praying for that situation you told me about. I’ve been praying for that test you’ve been studying for.
I’ve been praying for that family member that’s sick. It shows that you care about them and not in a superficial way. You’re telling them I cared enough to stop and pray to God Almighty for you. That’s a form of love and generosity. A couple of weeks ago, when Joseph Porter was here, he preached for us, and I asked him how his younger sister Jacqueline was doing.
And if you know Jacqueline, she grew up here in Broward. Her and I both did. And she’s a little bit younger than me. We weren’t super close or anything growing up, we knew each other. And earlier when I talked about how I decided to leave God when I was in high school, I eventually came back, obviously would not be up here if I didn’t come back.
But soon after I came back to God, I got a text from Jacqueline, and she said, hey, I just wanted you to know I’ve been praying for you since you left. And I’ll never forget that because she was generous with her thoughts, with her time and with their prayers. And I don’t know if there’s anything more valuable than those three things put together. So you have to understand that having a lot materially isn’t a prerequisite for being generous. So don’t decide that I’m not going to live redemptively in this way simply because you don’t have a lot of possessions or a lot of money.
Or even if you think you don’t have a lot of outwardly facing talents, you can live redemptively in your generosity by having a heart for Christ and a heart for people.
And the last thing I want to talk about today in terms of living redemptively is that we need to be persistent in forgiveness. Let’s look at Matthew 18 together in verse 21, it says, then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you not seven times, but 77 times.
Jesus goes on to tell this parable about a servant who owes his master an unpayable amount of money. He goes to his master and he pleads with him, please don’t throw me and my family in prison. And the master says, I forgive you, cancels his debt. So he goes about his way. He comes out and he goes to a fellow servant who owes him a little bit of money, and he has the opportunity to extend that same mercy.
Yet he doesn’t. And he has that fellow servant thrown into jail.
I think we look at passages like this and we see these large numbers, right? Not seven times, but 77 times. And he owes this unpayable amount of money. And so we think, you know this is an exaggeration. So I’m not going to take it too seriously.
And although we might be right that it’s an overstatement, but it’s not an overstatement or an exaggeration the way we think of an exaggeration. It’s not like one of us. And I know we’ve done it probably this week, maybe today, where we live in Florida. We’re not new here.
We walk outside and we’re like, it’s a million degrees outside. I’m going to die.
I’m going to sweat through everything I own just walking to my car.
It’s not like a kid who walks up to his parent and they’re like, mom, we’ve had broccoli a thousand times this week. Give me something new. Just eat your Greens. You’re being dramatic. You’re not going to die from the heat.
These are things that we can gloss over, right? We understand that these people are just being dramatic. We can shrug it off. But what Jesus is communicating is not something to be ignored. He’s saying, I want you to do this over and over and over.
And I learned in between services that when this scripture is read, it’s not saying 77 times. It’s saying 77 times a day. A day. I didn’t know that I felt like I had to share with you. That blew my mind. And it’s talking about one sin.
So it’s saying 77 times a day for each sin someone might commit against you. That’s wild. I think some of them were like, 75, 76, 77, 78. That’s it. I’m done.
I’m not forgiving you anymore. He’s saying a day.
He’s telling us to do it over and over, because if you do so, you will be a better person. You will get closer to God and you’ll help someone else get closer to God as well. And look, being forgiven shouldn’t be about earning forgiveness by being forgiven, because one that’s not possible. It’s not how it works. But two, it should be about the fact that we’ve experienced such great forgiveness and mercy from God that we’ve become forgiving people.
Understanding God’s Grace will help you to be a gracious person.
Look, the overall point of all these things to reaching out to people who need redemption, to being generous, to being persistent and forgiveness, along with all the other things we could have talked about, it boils down to this. The experience of redemption should generate redemptive living. You know, we could go on this concept for days because there’s so many scriptures telling us how we should act towards people because this is how God acted towards us first. Think about it. Be merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful.
Love one another as I have loved you. Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you. Accept one another just as Christ accepted you. Excel in the Grace of giving, because though Christ was rich, he made himself poor for your sake, so that through his poverty, you may be rich. And this is how we know love. Jesus Christ laid down His life for us so that we could lay down our life for others.
We could go on and on and on. And the point is, you have to continually dig for yourself and learn about the Redeemer. So you know how you can continue to live redemptively. Are you redeemed just for redemption sake? No.
Just like the Israelites weren’t freed for Freedom’s sake. If that was the case, God would have just done it himself. Like we talked about earlier. They could have waved goodbye to Pharaoh. If God did it himself, he wouldn’t have had to send Jesus to die. It was for a purpose so we could live redemptively.
But maybe you’re listening today. And you’re thinking I’ve been redeemed. I’m a Christian, but I’m struggling. I’m going through a hard time in some form or fashion. And maybe you’re even thinking this isn’t worth it.
I want to go back to my old life. And you have to ask yourself if you’re feeling this way. If you’ve felt this way for a long time, have you truly lived, redemptively?
And look, we’ve all been there. I’m not trying to pile on if you’re going through a hard time, but look, this is how we all look to God. When he redeems us, he’s looking down on us and we want to go back. Look at this clip. This is what we look like.
This guy here, he’s trying to save the sheep, pulling him from a hole. This is us. We look silly. All right, I’m out here. Let’s go.
Bomb. Right back in.
Look, that video is ridiculous. I’m sorry. The point is, you’re going to mess up. You’re going to fall in the hole.
I can just imagine this guy he’s like, come on, sheep. Come on, man. That’s why we’re called sheep right there. If you’re wondering why we’re called sheep, that’s why we’re called sheep.
Here’s the thing. Just don’t keep falling back into the same spot. The sheep got out and it took off for a little bit. It was kind of fast. I was a little surprised, took off, and then he went back in.
But he at least made a little progress before he jumped back in the hole.
Keep fighting. God is going to keep fighting for you, whether you keep fighting or not. But eventually you’ve got to do your part. You got to run. You got to be willing to sometimes fall back in the hole.
And this is why living redemptively is a community thing. We need one another. We need to be getting together. We need to be challenging one another. We need to be picking each other up.
Sometimes I’m going to fall in the hole and you got to pull me up. Sometimes you’re going to fall in the hole. I’m going to pull you up. Sometimes I’m going to jump right back in three steps later, and you’re going to call me a dummy and that’s okay.
So we have to remember that God redeemed us for a purpose, and if we’re doing it right and we’re following his lead, it will be exciting. It won’t be boring. You won’t want to go back to your old life that was terrible.
The creator of the universe fought for you and is fighting for you now so that you can be part of fulfilling his plan. He gave us a role in his story, which is insane. We don’t deserve to be a part of his story. So keep fighting. And on the flip side of this conversation, maybe you haven’t made that decision to become a Christian.
Maybe you don’t know if you’ve been redeemed, you don’t know where you stand. And I want to encourage you to start to get to know the Redeemer. Read about Jesus life. Join the Discover class after Church, ask the questions that you need answered. Join a community group so you have the support that you need. And as we close here this morning, I want to point back to the fact that living a redemptive life is only possible because of Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.
Jesus is our rock. He’s our family Guardian, our protector, and Avenger our Redeemer. The reason that we live redemptively. So let’s make what he’s done. The foundation of our prayer and our praise as we take the Lord’s Supper together this morning.
Amen. Let’s pray together. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being our Redeemer. Being our family Guardian. Sending your son to be the same. God, we know that it is only because of him that we are able to have this community, that we are able to be redeemed, that we’re able to change our lives, that we’re able to be a part of your story. God, as we take the Lord’s Supper, I pray that we never take that for granted. We never take for granted that you took us out of the hole that we fall in and that we jump right back into and you do it over and over and over. Anyone else would get tired of us. They would be tired of continually saving us. But you do it, and you do it because you love us like no other. God, I pray that we can continue to live redemptively. We can learn new ways to live redemptively. God, I just want to say a special prayer for the Barrel family. God, I want to pray for Chris, for Heather, for Trent, for Ricky, for Carter, for Julian.
God, I pray that you wrap your arms around them. God, that you make this terrible situation into something that you can bring something good out of it. God, we love you. We thank you again for loving us. It’s in your son’s name we pray. Amen.