07 Feb Serving the Cause of Life-Saving Grace
Originally posted on March 3, 2005
“Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to become first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43,45
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples when they were talking about who would sit at His right and left hand in heaven. Jesus’ words were meant to give them a new way of seeing life and their place in it.
Ransom and Redemption: God’s Life-Saving Grace
Two disciples, James and John, asked Jesus to let them sit in places of honor in heaven. Jesus told them to focus on being servants, not receiving glory. He gave them a rationale for service from His own life purpose. He said that even He, the Son of Man, did not come to be served, but to serve. He served by giving His life a ransom to many.
A ransom is a price paid to set a slave free from bondage. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price to set us free from the bondage, guilt, and punishment of sin. The whole process of setting us free from sin is called redemption. Redemption is God’s act of setting us free from sin by the ransom price of Jesus’ death on the cross. What life-saving grace God has for us!
The connection between Jesus telling the disciples that they were to be servants and that He gave His life as a ransom is this; followers of Jesus serve God and the world in the cause of life-saving grace.
Expanding A Narrow View of the World
The problem with the disciples and with us is that we have a narrow view of life. We see only what is immediately in front of us. Like standing in a small back yard with a high fence, our sight is limited and our world is small. Such limited vision leads us to make requests of God for personal comfort and glory.
Jesus calls us to look beyond the fence and see the world; that He is the creator of all, that the world is in bondage to sin, that Christ died to set people free from this bondage and to release them into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Jesus then tells us that we can shape our lives by this vision and be involved in His life saving grace of redemption. God is the Redeemer and we who are redeemed serve His redemptive purposes in the world.
Putting Legs on Truth
So, how does a person living in our culture serve the cause of redemption? The ways are numerous, but here are a few to get started.
1. Remember that God is the Creator of all, so make the God connection in all things. Only with a trained mind to make the God connection in all things will we remember that God’s purpose for the people He created is to redeem them from bondage to sin.
2. Remember that God is the Provider of all things, so live faithfully in the common grace areas of life. Faithful, fruitful, and helpful living will amplify the words of grace we share with others.
3. Support the redemptive work of the church. The church is a constant voice in the culture of God’s redemption of people. Your presence, prayers, service, money, and encouragement are ways to participate in the work of the church in the world.
4. Be involved in the lives of the people you know. The message of life saving grace needs to be shared clearly and with love. You can do it.