The other day as I was talking to a good friend of mine he mentioned something about how the purpose of prisons was to reform the prisoners, making them obedient and useful members of society. My friend also mentioned that maybe they needed to be "redeemed more than reformed." That stuck with me as the day wore on, later that day I heard that soft still voice ask me "Darrell, why are you obedient?Are you reformed or are you redeemed?"
TO REFORM MEANS TO= To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition: TO RE-FORM OR RESHAPE
TO BE REDEEMED MEANS: a. To set free, as from slavery or kidnapping, by providing money or other compensation.
b. To save (a person or soul) from a state of sinfulness and its consequences. See Synonyms at save1.
c. To restore the honor, worth, or reputation of: You botched the last job but can redeem yourself on this one.
a. To atone for (an error or mistake)
I thought about prisons and reform schools where their goal is to change you through discipline and behavior modification. Your "insides" are still the same except now you are supposed to be able to control your behaviors and be obedient to the rules of society.
I asked myself this time, "why do I obey God? Am I reformed or am I redeemed?" Do I serve because of what God did for me? Because He loved me and died for me and freed me from my sin and addiction? Or am I "dry drinking" as they say in AA, being obedient just because I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, just "kicking against the pricks"
serving God my way according to my own will. Paul talks about it in 2nd Timothy 3: 3-5King James Version (KJV)
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Paul is not just talking about non-believers here, he is talking about Christians, people in the church who believe in their own minds that they are serving God, they may have given up certain behaviors but at the same time they involve themselves in other ungodly behaviors and have no feeling of a need to repent or seek deliverance. They are the "reformed" of the Lord. The trials of life and or a personal crisis leads them to seek God but they never truly embrace the "program" so to speak. They attend church thinking that is enough to keep them and protect them.
Jesus said in John 14:15-17King James Version (KJV)
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The "redeemed" believer obeys out of a love for God, because of what He has done, and because of that loving obedience, He sends us the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us and teach us and also convict us when we sin.
I must admit there was a time when I was more reformed than redeemed. When I finally stopped doing drugs for good that I didn't give God all the glory, telling myself that I stopped because I was tired and getting too old to be running the streets chasing drugs. After awhile I realized that if it wasn't for God I would have gone to hell with a crack pipe in my mouth. I am redeemed, bought with a price and the life I now live I live through Him and because of Him.
So ask yourself, "am I reformed? or am I redeemed?" and if you find yourself on the reformed side ask God to show you what is missing from your relationship with him and the Holy spirit will guide you into a "redeemed" walk with him.
God Bless You All, Brother Darrell, Speaking Off The Wall