Posted by Pastor Jim Fikkert

Q.29 // How are we made to share in the redemption purchased by Christ?

A // We are made to share in the redemption purchased by Christ by the effective application of it to us by his Holy Spirit.[a]

[a]. Titus 3:4-7

Q.30//How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?

A // The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ by producing faith in us,[a] and by this uniting us to Christ in our effective calling.[b]

[a]. Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 1:29
[b]. John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Ephesians 3:17

Our salvation is sometimes referred to as Alien Righteousness; other times we call it Personal Faith. The question is: how can something be both foreign to us and personal at the same time?

Faith is both ours and other because of the process by which God accomplishes and applies it to us. Titus 3 describes this process to us, saying:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. | 4-7

God makes and orchestrates the plan. Jesus came to do the work of righteousness, securing salvation. The Holy Spirit does the work of regenerating us and giving us the faith to receive the gift of grace. In this, we see that God is fully in control of all steps: plan, victory, and passing it to us. This all sounds very foreign. This sounds like something being done to us, which we have no real part in.  God works all of this out in us in a way that is individualized. He illuminates this faith within us through a specific call. He comforts our specific fears. He answers our specific questions. In all of this, God does the work to make it ours. It is foreign because we don’t earn it, but it is personal because He weaves it into our life. This process gives us confidence (our faith is not dependent on our ability to uphold it) and humble (our faith is not a product of our strength. We can declare with Paul:  

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. | Ephesians 2.4-10