In some ways guilt and forgiveness go hand in hand, but in other ways they are completely opposite. Without guilt there is no need for forgiveness. Forgiveness is more about the forgiver showing mercy. We can all receive forgiveness if we just believe and trust in Jesus Christ…and we all need it. In my last post, we talked about how we should forgive, knowing that we have been forgiven too. Jesus not only took our sins away, but He also took away our guilt. Knowing this, we should e able to not only forgive others, but also forgive ourselves. Continue reading “Guilt and Forgiveness”
As the story of Ruth continues, we see the parallels between Ruth’s and our own redemption. We learn more about who she is and who Boaz is. We begin to see the picture of a redeemer, of Boaz for Ruth, of Jesus Christ for all of us.
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.”
And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”
Naomi continues to teach Ruth about the customs of the land and encourages her. Boaz is their relative, or in some translations, the word is “kinsmen-redeemer.” It is a picture of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. To be a kinsmen-redeemer, or ga’al in Hebrew, one must be family, and he must be willing able to redeem. In ancient Israel, for one to accept this, he must be willing to marry the widow, to carry on his name and produce an heir, he would also buy back property the family sold and buy back a family member who had been sold to slavery due to poverty. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, or, “Son of Man,” came to this earth for that very purpose. He was willing to pay for our sins in full. He was able because He is God and He is sinless. Through His death and resurrection, we are redeemd by His blood, if we accept it.
So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. And he said, “Who are you?”
So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.”
Then he said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you — good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the Lord lives! Lie down until morning.”
Here, Boaz shows his integrity. He follows the customs, he keeps her pure and keeps he reputation and virtuousness. He is determined to make things right and in the morning he will talk to the other kinsmen and make arrangements for Ruth. More on that in the next chapter.
Boaz also notes Ruth’s character. She is an honorable woman of good reputation, virtuous. She obeys her mother in law and shows her kindness by not going after a younger man but seeking that kinsmen-redeemer to take care of her and Naomi.
So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, “Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” Also he said, “Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid it on her. Then she went into the city.
In a sense, Boaz gives Ruth a down-payment or guarantee. God gave us a guarantee of our inheritance in Christ, His Holy Spirit:
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “Is that you, my daughter?”
Then she told her all that the man had done for her. And she said, “These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, ‘Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.'”
Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”
So, Ruth waits. We wait. One day Jesus Christ will come and take His people, His bride, home to live forever with Him. Praise God for His mercy and grace, that He made the sacrifice for us, that He paid the price for us, that we are redeemed. I pray that you put you trust in Jesus Christ that your soul will be in poverty no more, but rich in His glory.
I am going through a great study in Hebrews right now and I realize there are so many words of encouragement to believers that we can have confidence and hope. God always keeps His promises. Jesus is our Savior, but He is much more. Jesus, the Son of God, perfect in every way because He IS God, gave His life for us. With His blood sacrifice, we now have access to the Father. He is the Priest-King, who is our Intercessor and Redeemer, who offered Himself as a sacrifice, the prefect blood offering once for all. It is the perfect sacrifice because He is perfect, no flaw, no sin, and He lives forever, giving eternal salvation to those who believe.
The book of Hebrews is written to the Jews of the early Christian church. Many were true believers and some were seeking. But the Jews from outside the church (and perhaps some from within) were trying to turn them from faith in Jesus Christ or draw them back to the Law. The writer explains how the Law had been fulfilled by Christ and that there is a new, much better covenant that God had given all of us through His Son. This covenant was promised through Abraham and all things throughout the Old Testament point to Jesus Christ. The Law showed us our sin and the need for blood sacrifice, and the New covenant shows us God’s mercy and grace, that through Jesus, our sins are forgiven once and for all. We are saved by faith in Him and our salvation is based on what Christ did for us, not on ourselves. Thanks God for that, because all of us fall short! I encourage you to read through the entire book of Hebrews to fully understand the reason for the law, the blood, the sacrifice and how Jesus fulfilled all of it and became our High Priest to be our sin offering. It also reminds us of His promise of eternal salvation and to encourage us to not lose hope, but to have boldness and confidence, trusting in Jesus Christ our Lord, living for Him, serving Him and others. Continue reading “Encouragement from Hebrews”
This is the second part of scriptures on eternal security. Are we forever saved once we accept Christ as Lord and Savior? Or can we lose our salvation? What do you think? More on that in the future. Before reading, please be sure to read through my previous post in Part 1. When you finish and think about it. please comment. I hope to get a good discussion. I have friends who believe one of each of the arguments, some who may not believe in either. I hope as you search the scriptures and pary to God, that you will have clarity. Whatever the case may be, may you be blessed and may the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. Continue reading “What is our Assurance? Part 2”
A question that often comes up and there is much debate is “do we have assurance of eternal life?” Or “can we lose our salvation once we have obtained it?” Or is it ‘once saved always saved?’ I have my opinion, but I am going to withhold it for now and just give you some scriptures that talk about this very subject. I will let you read these and let you decide for yourself. As you read, I suggest that you pray and ask God to reveal the truth and speak to you through these scripture before reading. Ask Him to remove any bias or preconceptions and read as though this is the first time you have read or heard of this subject. Then, read the context of each of these (read part 1 and part 2 before making any conclusions). Read the chapter before and after. Ask yourself, who is the author speaking to? What is his intent? Is he speaking about a certain group of people? Is he speaking literally or hypothetically? After doing all that, pray again. Then, make a conclusion. Please write a comment. I would like to see what you think. Continue reading “What is our Assurance? Part 1”