Archive for October 7th, 2016

The Deliverer

October 7th, 2016

The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins. (Romans 11:26-27, ESV)

Whenever people talk about sins and evil, most often we are referring to someone else. It is the typical thought from our all-too-human minds that evil comes form others, but we ourselves are pure and innocent.

Against such a backdrop of normal human thinking, the verse above stands out. It is different from how we usually think. Absent are the prejudices that our problems are caused by others. Here our need is identified.

The Lord promises deliverance from evil, and His deliverance will come through a specific Deliverer, namely the Messiah, but the nature of this deliverance is not merely to banish all of the bad people from the land, but to forgive sins as well. That means that God’s deliverance is a gracious deliverance.

The dividing matter is faith and the lack of it. Faith is the simplest thing in the world – it is simply trusting in Christ, that He is who He said He is, that His death was a substitutionary death for our sins, and He is risen from the dead, that He is Lord and Savior. But this faith is not something we can achieve all on our own. God must convict our hearts of our need and lead us into this faith experience.

The problem with the human heart is not merely that we are guilty of sin, but that this has resulted in a broken relationship with God, and that relationship must be mended before we are made right again. So God promises deliverance in a two-fold manner – to banish those who are evil, including the Evil One himself, but to also forgive and cleanse those who believe.

The verses above are promises for Israel, and in the context of Romans 9-11 the meaning is quite clear. That “A partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom. 11:25). God has promised Israel deliverance and His gifts and callings are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). So He will fulfill His promises to them in the end times, when the current era of Gentile response is ended.

But it has meaning for us Gentiles as well, for it speaks also of our condition. We, like Israel, need both deliverance from evil and forgiveness. God promises this to us in Christ Jesus. Our response is to simply turn from sin and to turn to Christ in faith. It is that simple. And then we leave the other details in God’s strong and able hands. He is able to deliver and to forgive.

Have you trusted in Christ?

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