Bought by the Blood

July 2, 2009

Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities. – Psalm 130:7-8

The problem with many Christians, myself included is that we are not astounded and utterly blown away by how magnificent the love of God is.  God’s love is steadfast, it is a love that never changes, if we are in Christ we cannot sin our way out of His love or make Him lose His grip on us.  His love will never fail us and is more than sufficient to guide and provide for us.  There are no conditions on God’s love, we can’t do anything to earn it, we must only receive it as broken sinners in need of mercy.  Take a moment to marvel at the fact that we can never exhaust His love, let this amazement lead to worship since it is far past finding out or understanding.

It is crucial understand that God’s love is costly. God cannot love us as we are because we are wicked and sinful, but by the blood of Christ God has made a way for us to draw near. He has redeemed us from our sins and iniquities through the atoning work of Christ on the cross when He died in our place and took the wrath we deserved.  For us to be redeemed the Son of God had to step down from His throne, take on human flesh, suffer on a cross and take our punishment so we can have His righteousness.  Because of this redemption satan has no power over us, the law does not dictate us and sin is no longer our only option.  Only if we’ve been empowered by Christ redeeming work can we have the ability to live holy lives and have the hope of life forever with God.

Redemption is only possible because God is infinite in mercy.  When we realize the benefits of redemption it should completely change our whole outlook on life.  Life no longer becomes about us, but living for God, not out of legalism, but as an overflow of gratitude because of what He has done in our lives.  John Loftness once said, “It is hard to have a bad day when you are a Christian,” and if you ask C.J. Mahaney how he is doing he will tell you “Better than he deserves.”  The reason these men can respond this way is because they are aware of the great love they are recipients of and the plentiful redemption that God has offered.  This means that for the adopted child of God anxiety triggers such as finances, job, and other things that are concerns of this world have lost their power to steal joy from those who have placed their hope in Christ.

*Title of this blog post came from the hymn “Redeemed.”

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6 Comments »

  1. You might find the following blogs of interest about C.J. Mahaney and the group he leads:

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com
    http://www.sgmrefuge.com

    They tell another side.

    Hope this helps.

    Comment by steve240 — July 3, 2009 @ 6:05 am | Reply

    • Hey Steve240,

      Not sure what kind of you help you think I need, but thanks for passing along those links. Unfortunately there is no perfect church or denomination. I am a member of Sovereign Grace Ministries and have highly benefitted from it, although there are certain aspects that I disagree with. I know both John and C.J. personally and that is why I feel comfortable quoting them. Also, on this blog I have quoted catholics (such as St. Augustine) and others that I can find common ground with, but don’t totally agree with on everything.

      Comment by bloodbought — July 3, 2009 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  2. bloodbought

    “There is no perfect church or denomination” is the typical response one hears from SGM Members when they defend their church. The other excuse is that they are “imperfect.” I do hope these “imperfect” leaders will one day admit their imperfections.

    Have you seen this blog entry:

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=276

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=312

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=583

    It is a really sad case of how leadership handled a 15 year old boy molesting a 3 year old girl in their church was reported here.

    Since you say you know C.J., I do hope he is taking seriously what is being reported on these blogs but unfortunately I don’t see that. Some will call it a “hubris” of success that he has.

    Comment by steve240 — July 3, 2009 @ 9:32 pm | Reply

    • I don’t say “There is no perfect church or denomination” as a typical SGM Member. I am not trying to defend SGM, but all churches and denomninations. I say it as someone who read an attack on Al Mohler where another person said that the problem with America is the SBC and I wept for that person as they were probably harmed by a certain church. I say that as someone who avoided joining a church for many years because it was easy to find flaws in different denominations and different churches.

      Yes, that is a sad case. I admit, I didn’t read the whole thing because it is pretty lengthy, but churches and leadership make mistake. I wasn’t at the church, so I don’t know all of the details. One of the things that I am thankful for about Covenant Life Church is on Sunday morning (as well as when you talk to them personally) you will hear the leadership admit their imperfections and mistakes.

      I attended three different churches for five years before I became a member of a non-denominational church in Indiana. I know what it is like to be cynical about church leadership. I could also pull out a laundry list of things that I don’t think SGM does well or what long standing members have said that concern me. There will be no perfection this side of Heaven and being under men who I feel comfortable following and that are approachable and accessible. Do I think that a young ministry will make mistakes? Obviously, yes. Do I have a role to reconcile the two or try to get them to justify themselves? Without knowing both sides personally, then I do not see myself in that position.

      Steve240, you never answered my question about what kind of help those links were supposed to give me?

      Comment by bloodbought — July 4, 2009 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  3. bloodbought

    When I say “hope this helps” I am talking about how helpful these blogs have been to a number of people that suffered spiritual abuse at the hands of SGM Leadership in various SGM Churches. It has been quite helpful and healing to find that they weren’t the only ones that suffered and for others to find out that numerous others had the same problems with a group that always paints a white picture of itself. It is good the more people who know about these blogs.

    Sure leaders aren’t imperfect but if the cases reported on these blogs is anywhere near accurate then it isn’t acceptable.

    Apparently you are still content at CLC. Most people who have shared on these blogs didn’t see the darker side of SGM until they start to question leadership and question how things are done. That may explain your situation.

    Too bad you didn’t read the account I share with you. Yes leader do make mistakes. It is sad to report that the leaders first reaction to was to “poison” the well and suggest that all the couple shared inaccurate but wouldn’t identify any inaccuracy to this couple when they recently met with them. It was also sad that the leaders of SGM weren’t willing to own up to what they did etc.

    What do you mean by you “hear the leadership admit their imperfections and mistakes.” Sure they will stand up and say they are the “worst sinner” but do they admit specific sins that they have done with people/situations?

    I know John Loftness is no longer at CLC but he is the one that went against the Peacemaker recommendation on one “peacemaker” conflict resolution that occurred at CLC.

    I know Josh Harris is now your Sr. Pastor. He has been lax to admit all the problems “kissing dating goodbye” has caused including at CLC on his blog. Not doing this is sad, since others outside CLC could learn from this. I share this on my blog.

    Comment by steve240 — July 4, 2009 @ 11:09 pm | Reply

    • Hey Steve,
      I have heard several pastors confess specific sins such as selfishness towards spouses, fear of man when wanting to evangelize, pride about their theological knowledge and I could list many others. Also, one of the things that Josh talks about in the introduction to Boy Meets Girl is how that is the book he wishes he would have written instead of I kissed Dating Goodbye. He knows their are problems with some of the things that he talked about in IKDF and how it has a lot of great principles, but putting them into practice is a different story.

      Comment by bloodbought — July 6, 2009 @ 7:04 pm | Reply


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