By Donnie V. Rader
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a redemptive system. By that we mean that it is a system whereby man is redeemed from his sins. In contrast, some of the preaching we hear today, even among us, has robbed the gospel of its redemptive power.
The Need For Redemption
Man stands in need of being redeemed because of his sin. All have sinned (Rom. 3:23; 1 John 5:19). Sin (which is a violation of God’s law) has consequences like the violation of any other law.
Sin causes one to die spiritually. That means man is spiritually separated from his God.
Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (Jas. 1:15).
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden [His] face from you, So that He will not hear (Isa. 59:2).
For the wages of sin [is] death . . . (Rom. 6:23).
Since our sin separates us from God, we stand in need of being re- deemed.
We Are Redeemed by the Blood of Christ
Even a casual reading of the Old Testament will reveal that God has always demanded a blood sacrifice to atone for sin.
The blood of animals could not remove sin (Heb. 10:4). However, the blood of the sinless Son of God would be the perfect sacrifice (Heb. 8 and 10).
Why did Christ have to die?
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission (Heb. 9:22). He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26).
That was the message that was preached as the apostles went forth preaching the word. They told of the Christ and how man could be saved through him (cf. Acts 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 13ff).
Preaching That Guts The Gospel of Redemption
Any preaching that doesn’t appeal to the gospel message as the message that redeems man from his sin, has gutted the gospel of its real power. Much of the preaching in the denominational world is a social message. Some of it sounds more political and patriotic than biblical. Even among us (both the “liberals” and yes, even the “conservatives”) there is preaching being done that addresses more social needs than spiritual.
I recognize that the Bible talks about aging and depression and human relationships. However, when our appeal in reaching out to the world is to help them with this difficulty in handling growing old or in having brighter days, then we have missed the redemptive system of the gospel.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a redemptive message. Let’s preach it. Let’s not be ashamed of it. Let’s not lose sight of what is it and our need for it.