Examples Can’t Save You, But A Redeemer Can

This past Sunday I was officially installed as the associate pastor of Grace Chapel of Clifton Park, NY. It was a wonderful morning for us as a church family. It was especially meaningful for my wife and I as we were “grafted in” to this congregation. Hopefully this week, I’ll have some time to write a post reflecting on the morning. My wife has already done that on her blog.

After the installation ceremony, I preached a message titled “Servants of the Servant” from Mark 10:32-52. Here’s an excerpt from that message.

The foundation of being the kind of people who self-sacrifice for each other is a Servant King who not only models that kind of life, but actually gives up his life as a ransom to redeem us. You see, Jesus is not merely saying to us, “I’m your example! I’m a servant! Imitate me!” If he were saying that, it would crush us. We could never live up to his example. That’s why it bothers me so much when I hear, “On the cross, Jesus is the greatest example of love.” He is! But he is so much more than an example! Examples can’t save you. But a Redeemer can. Jesus is saying, “I came to ransom you from that kind of life! You don’t need to live for your glory anymore. Don’t you see your need? Don’t you see that you are enslaved to something you weren’t made for, something that will never exist? Don’t you see you are hungering for self, self, self, rather than grace, mercy, and redemption? You should drink this cup of wrath and be baptized into judgment for your self-glorifying hunger. But I will take it for you. I will give my life as a ransom. And once you’ve been ransomed, what else can you do but make yourself a servant and slave of everyone you meet?”

Listen to the whole thing.

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