You can redeem a soda bottle but you can't redeem yourself

The other day I joined in an online conversation centered around the origin of Easter. If you didn't already know, Easter was not originally a Christian observance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ but rather it was a pagan celebration of fertility. Over the years and through the influence of Christian leaders, the occasion of Easter was transformed into the time that Christians celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As the discussion continued it was mentioned that even though the original purpose for observing Easter had nothing to do with Jesus, it was cool how even the most pagan of occasions can be redeemed by God. There is nothing that God cannot make new. God is in the redemption business. The culmination of His redemptive plan came at the cross, with the death of Jesus redeeming mankind from sin and death. It was at this point that a rather curious statement was made.

Another guy that I did not know interjected with his belief that the ultimate redeemer is yourself and the we need to take credit for our own achievements. If any redemption is possible, then it is self-redemption by man. No one else can do it for us.

I was amused and perplexed by this at the same time. However, I chose at that point to leave the conversation because I just didn't see what good would come from arguing his point when the truth of Scripture had already been laid out earlier. Can man really save himself?

No, he can't.

The New Testament book of Romans pretty well sums up Christian doctrine in the area of sin and salvation.  
  • "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)  If we do not even come close to matching God's glory, how can we reach His glory on our own? We can't.
  • "For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly." (Romans 5:6) God knew we were helpless to save ourselves so, at just the right time, He sent Jesus to die for us and redeem us as His own.
  • Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1) How awesome is this! You are freely and forever forgiven in Christ and your redemption is permanent!
I am so glad that I don't have to try to be good enough to earn my redemption because then I would never know how good is good enough. The purchase for our lives has already been made. If you are still trying to get it done on your own then stop! You'll never reach the mark because the bar has been set higher than you could possibly attain. Instead, rest in the fact that
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

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