Rightly Rejoice In Redemption

There are thank-yous, but then there are THANK-YOUS! What I mean by that is there are levels of thanks that we give to others depending upon what they did for us. But of all the thanks we can give, for those that know Christ as their Savior there is the ultimate thanks.
Rightly Rejoice In Redemption
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2015 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

There is often a difference in our thanks. There are the average thank-yous, like when someone holds open a door for us. If someone gives us a few hundred dollars, the thank-you we give would give would be more joyous, stronger, and no doubt louder. And imagine what type of a thank-you we would give if someone saved our life.

With those thoughts, let us turn our attention to the leper that returned to thank Jesus for healing Him as recorded in Luke 17:11-19.

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of

Samaria and Galilee. 12  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13  And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14  And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16  And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, except this stranger. 19  And he said unto him, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole.

Jewish law, and I would think other societies of that time, had rules about those afflicted with leprosy. The unclean could have no contact with the clean. By law they were to stay a great distance away from others, and that is why we read in Luke 17:12, “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off.”

The illnesses that Christ healed as recorded in the New Testament were physically real, but they also reflected spiritual realities. Throughout the Holy Bible, leprosy represents the fact we all have a sin nature. Christ healing any leper represents the fact that He is well able to save anyone from their sin and sin nature. And verses 15 and 16 show us how grateful any of us should be when Christ saves us from our sin and sin nature, and why we should be so grateful. We shall start with why should we be very grateful for salvation.

I. Clearly Behold 15a-b

“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, . . . “

We, ourselves, must see we are “one of them.” Without Christ we are spiritually leprous. And there is a spiritual principle that as contagious physical leprosy is, more so is our spiritual leprosy. Because sin is sin spiritual leprosy might produce different symptoms at times from that of the original contact. What I mean by that is, while I might not become a thief just by hanging around thieves, my fellowshipping with them encourages my own sin nature to manifest itself by another way, for example, like more lying or ungodly anger on my part.

The Word of God clearly shows that sin is a spiritual contagion. That principle is really made clear in Haggai 2:11-14, which is, “Thus says YHVH of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, 12  If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt touches bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. 13  Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. 14  Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, says YHVH.”

So, like it or not, when we sin we encourage others to sin. They might not commit the same sin, but they have become just a bit more calloused toward the Lord. Before we come to Christ, we are “in the same boat” as the rest of the world. Ephesians 5:8 (KJ21*) states, “For you were one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” As you see, the first part of the verse shows that those outside of Christ are not just in darkness, they are darkness.

Just as physical leprosy made people outcasts from society, sin makes us outcasts from the Kingdom of God. To emphasize that point the context of our passage was clear to show that this returning leper was a Samaritan (verse 16), considered for the most part by many Jews of that day to be ungodly half-breeds heavily tainted with sinful ways. So this man had “two strikes" against him. He had been a leper but he was also a Samaritan.

 “when he saw that he was healed"

Something within happens when one truly comes to Christ. Their spiritual eyes are opened. They begin to see things the way God sees them. The Holy Bible, the written Word of God, comes to life, and as one keeps reading and studies the Word, it will have an eternal life changing effect. Verses like Romans 6:14 begin to gain power in one’s life: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.” That, and other Holy Scriptures, coupled with the Holy Spirit show the true disciple they have been released from sin. As they grow in Christ, they gain spiritual strength to follow through.

It must be said that it does not matter what the sin is. It can be a very addicting sin, Christ can set a person free from any sin. However, we must cooperate with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Currently the world is telling certain people they have no choice, but the Holy Scriptures state this is not true {1}. 

When the Samaritan saw that he was healed he realized that he would no longer be an outcast from society. So, too, when one truly comes to Christ, making a full surrender to Him, they are no longer an outcast from the Kingdom of God. They belong to the universal Body of Christ. I remember the pleasure in realizing that when I came to Christ, I suddenly had millions of brothers and sisters around the world.

The Holy Scriptures are also clear that when one makes Christ their King they will not face the wrath of God. After life on earth they will not be going to hell, and thereafter the lake of fire. Daniel 12:2 is one of many passages that indicate there are only two eternal ends that await us: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

As stated earlier, sin is sin, and it is imperative that each person realizes that no matter how “good” they think they are, they are odious before God Who is holy. At this point I want to bring in Luke 7:36-50 to tie into this message in order to show how grateful we are depends upon how we look at things.

“And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37  And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at dinner in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38  And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39  Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he said within himself, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches him: for she is a sinner. 40  And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have something to say unto you. And he says, Master, say it. 41  There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43  Simon answered and said, I suppose he, to whom he forgave


most. And he said unto him, You have rightly judged. 44  And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, See this woman? I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45  You gave me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46  My head with oil you did not anoint: but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment. 47  Wherefore I say unto you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. 48  And he said unto her, Your sins are forgiven. 49  And they that sat at dinner with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that also forgives sins? 50  And he said to the woman, Your faith hath saved you; go in peace."

What the Pharisee did not grasp at first was the fact that everyone is a sinner and, to God, sin is sin. Perhaps we can safely assume there was a level of pride in him and some others there, for they deemed the woman who washed the feet of Christ with her tears a sinner, but to themselves they were not--or not as bad as she was.

No, each of us needs to realize that no matter what type of sins we have committed, “big” or “small,” what we might deem as the least of all sins brought Christ to the cross. At this point, 2 Corinthians 5:21 deserves to be reprinted: “For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” The Son became what the Father hated, so we might become what well pleases the Father. When we see and realize the price Christ paid to redeem us we should be extremely grateful.

II. Gratefully Behave 15c-16

“. . . turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16  And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.”

The Samaritan turned back, but the other nine went on. That can be a picture of the fact most people are satisfied with religion but do not have a relationship with God. Additionally we can say that in order to truly show our appreciation to God for salvation (if we have it), we need to turn our focus upon Him.

“With a loud voice” speaks to the fact that we should be unashamed about salvation and we make a Spirit led effort to let others know what God has for them. On this, I am reminded of Psalm 116:12, “What shall I render unto YHVH for all his benefits toward me? 13  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of YHVH. 14  I will pay my vows unto YHVH now in the presence of all his people."

And, “with a loud voice” indicates we should make Christ the priority of our life and letting others know that Christ, and only Christ is our priority. Everything else is of lower rank. Along with that, we should consider that we should fully and robustly participate in public worship.

Those that are truly saved know that God gets the glory. We realize that there was nothing “good enough" about us to redeem us. And, once we are saved we want to bring glory to God with not just our voice, but by our actions. It is written in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

The Samaritan falling down on his face before Christ would speak to us that when we get saved, when we fully surrender to Christ, we have died to self. We are crucified in Christ (Galatians 2:20). Falling at His feed should remind us that we must be ready to hear His teaching, His instructions to us to the extent that we lovingly obey Him.

The phrase “giving Him thanks" must not be separated from what preceded it. The Samaritan not only loudly glorified God but he also loudly thanked Christ. He was a Samaritan but Christ loved him just as much as a fellow Jew. He had been a leper, plagued with a troublesome disease, and one that had made him an outcast. Now he was set free and once again part of society. Rightly he so greatly rejoiced!

And it should be more so when one becomes a true child of God. We must never stop being grateful to God. We that truly know God through Christ are no longer bound to sin, no longer part of darkness, and no longer have to fear the Last Judgment--provided we remain in Christ. We should be jubilant, exceeding glad, all the days of our lives.

From what I know of WWII not all Germans were in favor of Adolf Hitler. A goodly number of Germans realized what a monster he was, and many Germans rejoiced upon the Allied Victory on May 8, 1945. Almost sixty years later I was a reporter for Independent News Inc. and I lived in Dorchester County Maryland. One of my main assignments was to cover the meetings of the Dorchester County Council. During that time, the Council made an agreement with Duren County of Germany to be “sister counties.”

Not long after that, I was told to cover the arrival of a German delegation at the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce. I got to the Chamber a short time before the delegation arrived and took up a position to get a nice picture. I did not get a nice picture. I got a great picture! One German hurried in waving an American flag, and loudly giving thanks to the United States for liberating Germany from the clutches of Hitler. There were people who were overjoyed almost six decades after Germany’s surrender.

And anyone who surrenders their life to Christ will be jubilant too. And those who are in Christ should never let the joy of their salvation die out. It is good to constantly keep your salvation in mind if you are truly redeemed. While we can, and should, be thankful for many other things, if we are truly saved by God through Christ, our utmost thanks should be about our salvation in Him, and not just at the time we get saved, but throughout our lives.

Notes:

{1} Please read, You CAN Choose--Choose Wisely.

This article was in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by December 30, 2015 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M384 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on: Last updated: 11-06-2016 118 2

Please login to comment on this post.
  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    When the light of Christ shines in the darkness of our lives, it exposes our sin-not to discourage us, but to humble us to trust in him.
    reply 0
  • BrotherPete  23-11-2015

    Special Note: 

    After I had written and published on Experts Column this article, I checked back into my files I had when I worked for Independent Newspapers Inc. I had been assigned to cover the arrival of a German delegation at the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce. When they arrived, one of the Germans said, “Soldiers on both sides died to free us from the Nazis terror. And we say ‘thank you.’ Thank you for freeing us from the terror and thank you that you helped us in war to  come to a strong Germany.”

    reply 0
Powers Of Joy
Focus Your Gratefulness To God