Created and Redeemed
Whether we believe it or not, all human beings are created by God. But Christians are not only created, we are also redeemed by God, so we are twice as much indebted to God for His goodness.
In the following verses declare that it is God who has created us:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.
It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their host.
You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made would say to its maker, "He did not make me"; or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding?
All who have saving faith belong to Jesus by His redeeming death and resurrection. God owns us through the act of creation and much more through the act of redemption.
In the following verses declare that it is God who has redeemed us:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us...
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
1 Peter 1:18-19
knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
Our entire lives belong to God. Our time, our money, our gifts, our abilities, everything we have and everything we are belongs to God by virtue of creation, and much more by the gift of redemption in Christ. To think that our lives belong to ourselves and that we can do whatever we desire, is the essence of sin. It is rebellion against God and His eternal purposes for our lives.
God is working in the lives of His people to make them more into the image and character of Jesus. This means our desires and actions are being directly influenced by the Holy Spirit.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.
Our salvation has been accomplished on the cross and to work out our salvation does not mean that we need to work to be saved or to be accepted by God. God has already accepted us in Christ. He Himself is our Redeemer and our Saviour.
The work we are to do as God’s children is to know Him better, to love people more, to reflect the character, values and mind of Christ more and more in our lives.
It is to put to death our sinful desires by focusing on His grace and faithfulness to us, and put on the new creation that God has already worked in us. It is for us to bring out what God has put in us by His Holy Spirit.
The Greek term for “work out” means “to continually work to bring something to fulfillment or completion".
We are to strive to imitate Jesus and press on to know God and practice living holy and godly lives. We need to stop lying and speak the truth, stop getting drunk and devote ourselves to prayer, stop hating and start forgiving, stop thinking only about ourselves and think about how we can serve God, love people and bring the salvation of Jesus to others.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
We are the property of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His supreme desire is that we may know Him and enjoy Him forever. We have been bought with the precious blood of Christ and we are now infused with a desire to serve Him with our whole heart and being.
This is what God is working in us and this is what we are urged to work out ourselves, that we may have great joy in this life while we wait for the return of Jesus or we are taken home to be with our Lord and God before He returns.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are mature, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you.