BOOK: Who We Are In Christ
Chapter 3: The Redeemed

3    The Redeemed

We were all born into sin and lived in times past in it, following the lustful desires of this world.  During which time our hearts cried out to God for help and mercy.  Or we may have attempted thru good deeds, such as paying tithes and feeding the poor, to make peace with God for our sins. 

However anything we did, as sinful human beings, trying to approach a just God to clear our sins, was as filthy rags compared to the righteousness of God.  That is, whatever we did in and of ourselves was not sufficient to pay the penalty of the right judgment of God for sin in the high court of Heaven.  And what we had to offer in comparison to the required payment was as filthy rags.

But after Jesus came and offered His holy blood for us, and after we as individuals have received Him, we are born again and are become new creatures, even the sons of God.  No longer are we trying to establish our own righteousness, that is to pay the price for our sin separate from God, but we have received His righteousness, His just payment for sin, and are not separate, but one with God, partakers of what He has done thru Christ  Jesus.

Yet while we are redeemed from the curse of the law, for that is the penalty for sin, Satan still tries to convince believers that they are still worms, unworthy creatures, who have no right to approach God.  Satan seeks to have believers crawling around on their bellies, begging and pleading for what already has been promised, and eating the dirt of the ground as the devil was cursed to do1, rather than coming to the covenant table of the King to receive what they have need of.

                Psalms    23:5
                Thou preparest a table before me in the
                presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my
                head with oil; my cup runneth over.

God has prepared a victory table, the covenant table, for you in the presence of your enemy, Satan, in this age and time, and has anointed you with the Holy Spirit and power to have total victory over the devil.  Praise God forever more!
Truly, we are now "saints".  A saint is one who is  sanctified, set apart completely from sin for God's purpose.  The word "church" in its Greek form means "called out", symbolizing its sanctification from the sinful world.  This is seen in the old testament as God called Abraham out from his people, and as God called the nation of Israel out of Egypt, to be separated from all other nations and their unclean practices.  A person cannot be dirty and clean at the same time, nor can a person be a sinner and a saint at the same time.   

3.1    Accursed Worms?

In the old testament, anything which crawled on its belly or eat dirt was considered especially cursed or unclean.  This being particularly relevant in looking at the curse on the serpent.  The analogy was applied to the nation of Israel, and to unredeemed men in general, before the coming of Christ:
                Isaiah    64:6
                But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our
                righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do
                fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the
                wind, have taken us away.

Yet while God refers to them as a worm, that is, still being dead in their sins and accursed, God at the same time refers to their coming Redeemer, Jesus:

                Isaiah    41:14
                Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel;
                I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy
                redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

3.2    Redeemed from the Curse

Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the law, paying the price for sin, and becoming accursed for us:

                Gal        3:13
                Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,
                being made a curse for us: for it is
                written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Now while Jesus became accursed for us and received the penalty for sin, that is death, yet God raised Him from the dead, making Him alive and ruler of all.

But did you know while Jesus was taking our sins and reproaches, that He also took that reproach of being a worm, a name for your old sin nature, that you might be a partaker of His divine nature?

                Job       25:6
                How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of
                man, which is a worm?

Jesus used the term "son of man" continually to refer to Himself, reflecting his humility2 to come down in the likeness of sinful flesh.             

The 22nd Psalms prophesies of Jesus on the cross and the anguish He went thru3.  In verse 6, the Holy Spirit says thru David that Jesus took the reproach of being a worm for us.

                Psalms    22:6
                But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men,
                and despised of the people.

                Isaiah    49:7
                Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and
                his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth,
                to him whom the nation abhoreth....

                Isaiah    53:3
                He is despised and rejected of men;
                a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
                and we hid as it were our faces from
                him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

But He made the way clear for us to become new creatures, sons of God, partakers of the divine nature, holy, sanctified, and sealed for His purpose and use.

                II Cor     5:17
                Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
               old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

                2 Peter    1:4
                Wherebye are given unto us exceeding great and
                precious promises: that by these ye might be
                partakers of the divine nature, having escaped
                the corruption that is in the world through lust.

We are no longer worms, unrighteous and accursed creatures, seeking to reach to God from the darkness, but God has given us His righteousness, His work of reconciliation and redemption from sin, being rightly justified in His eyes.

                II Cor     5:21
                For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew
                no sin; that we might be made the righteousness
                of God in him.

Jesus' blood washed us from all sin, not just part of it, and has sanctified us from all filthiness and uncleanness, if we will walk in it.

                Isaiah     1:18
                Come now, and let us reason together, saith the
                Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall
                be as white as snow; though they be red like
                crimson, they shall be as wool.

Did you know that the scarlet dye of the old testament was made from a worm?  How much more could God say to you, "I wash you clean!"

3.3    New Testament Worms?

Does the new testament ever refer to worms in respect to believers?  No, but it does refer to worms in dealing with those who continue in their sin and are still cursed.

                Mark       9:43-48
                And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is
                better for thee to enter into life maimed, than
                having two hands to go into hell, into the fire
                that never shall be quenched: Where their worm
                dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if
                thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better
                for thee to enter halt into life, than having two
                feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that
                never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth
                not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine
                eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for
                thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one
                eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell
                fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is
                not quenched.

But praise be unto God!

                Hebrews   10:39
                But we are not of them who draw back unto
                perdition; but of them that believe to
                the saving of the soul.

3.4    Discussion

I would like to use for an illustration the relationship of a loving father and son.  The father being a loving parent, who has given all he has, not only of his possessions, but also of his time and affection, of his honor and name, to his son.  The father giving all out of love, having counted the son worthy, not for anything which the son had done, but merely worthy to be loved and the receiver of it.  Then one day the father finds his son going around crying, stating that he is so unworthy and should be sleeping and eating with the dogs in the back yard.  He hears the child telling all the neighbors that he would never amount to anything since he was so unworthy, and that everything he did would fail.  Would this grieve the loving parent?  Would the parent's heart burst with anguish for the son, trying to tell him he is worthy, he can succeed at anything he sets himself to, because all the father has and is is joined in support of him?  How do you think God's heart, our heavenly Father's heart, grieves to hear His sons, who bear His name, who are anointed with His power, who are His righteousness, say that they are unworthy and filthy rags?

For another illustration, lets take a housewife.  She went to the store and found a new bleach, which promised to wash spotless all those old dirty rags which she had laying around the house.  She bought it, and after washing, she found indeed that the rags were spotless.  Would she not brag and tell all her friends of this great and wonderful new bleach she had found?  On the other hand, if the bleach did not perform as promised, would she not tell all her friends not to use it, saying it is worthless?  What is it that born again believers say, when they testify to others that Jesus' blood can wash all their sins away, but confess that they themselves are still filthy rags and unworthy, unrighteous vessels, after having received the blood of Jesus?  Do they not testify that the blood of Jesus has been ineffective in their own lives and therefore state that the blood is unworthy?  Brethren, testify to the truth!  For when it comes to what is the truth, let God be true, and every man a liar.

We know that God made all creation by speaking it in to existence and that by the power of His Word creation is upheld.  Proverbs 18:21 states that death and life are in the power of the tongue.  Jesus said in Matthew 12:37 that by your words you would be justified or condemned.  What then do you think is the effect by a person, who is created in the image of God and has been given the delegated creative power of God, when he speaks something, good or bad?  Saints, beloved in Christ, let us speak life, and the Word of God, which is able to change the circumstances around us, and save us to the uttermost!  Amen.

1. Gen 3:16
2. to set aside our will and to receive and do God's
3. see Psalms 22:1,16,18