March 26


"And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, 'The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob' " (Romans 11:26, RSV).

In a passionate appeal to Israel to accept salvation through Christ, Paul identifies Christ as the deliverer spoken of by David (see Psalm 14:7).

The portrait of Jesus as the deliverer occupies a prominent place in the salvation story of the Bible. Paul, perhaps more than any other New Testament writer, repeatedly depicts Christ as the Redeemer and deliverer. By so doing, he highlights the three dimensions of deliverance through Christ: Christ has delivered us, continues to deliver us, and will deliver us (see 2 Corinthians 1:10). This three-dimensional deliverance encompasses the past, present, and future. Those who come to Christ by faith are delivered from the guilt of past sins (see 1 John 1:9).

In the dimension of the present, Christ delivers us daily from the power and dominion of sin. In the daily combat with sin, we can confidently say, "Sin shall not have dominion over" me (see Romans 6:14). Through a living union with our great deliverer, we may become more than conquerors (see Romans 8:37).

The final deliverance is yet future (see 1 Thessalonians 1:10). This is deliverance from the very presence and possibility of sin. In our present sin-polluted environment, sin is a possibility. But in the final deliverance, the redeemed will live in a sin-free universe (see Revelation 21 and 22). At the glorious appearing of Christ, God's people will be saved to sin no more. Meanwhile, our great deliverer continues to do everything to ensure our salvation. "Christ dying as our sacrifice upon Calvary's cross, Christ pleading as our High Priest... Christ our King and Deliverer, coming to redeem His children... this is the message to be carried to all the world."-- The Home Missionary, November 1, 1890.

My Prayer Today: Lord, thank You for delivering me from the power of sin. Amen.