SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2008-06-15: "Redemption - Why Are We Here?"

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R e d e m p t i o n



Twenty-Nine years ago the Prison Board of Pennsylvania decided to place a prison pre-release, “Half-Way House” in our neighborhood. Marsha Combine was the house director for a number of these years. Lois and I founded Sheepfold Ministries in 1991 and felt led by God to plant our house church outreach near the downtown Sharon area. During these eighteen years we have been blest with community service volunteers from the half-way house. The men have been respectful, compliant and hard working. They have helped us with roofing, framing, installing plumbing, drywall, painting, electrical wiring, flooring, landscaping pavers, driveway maintenance and lawn care. They did well at all sorts of handyman chores from painting, installing toilets, changing bulbs, air conditioning and on and on. Never in these years have we had any of our volunteers acting disrespectful, dishonest or disorderly.

            Two young men from the half way house were accused of molesting a 15 year old girl on Saturday, May 31st. This happened the river walk in downtown Sharon. The girl’s mother, Penny Hout organized a rally against the half-way house itself. It is her opinion that the half-way house should not exist near the schools and churches where it has been for 29 years. She demanded all sex offenders be removed from the facility. Her demands are in spite of the reality that the two young men involved in the alleged assault weren’t even sex offenders.

            The event that caused this sermon to form in my mind is when the local Baptist Church across from the Half-way house permitted their parking lot to be used by protestors. The Baptists I grew up with preached redemption and the right for the offender and the down-trodden to get a new start through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Are the Baptists of today against redemption? Have they forgotten the Matthew 25:40 part of the gospel message? The amazing curiosity and frustrating thing about the Baptist’s support of the protestors is that the half-way house men do community service there at least once a week. Does this sound like hypocrisy? There is an old saying,

“If it looks like a duck,

if it waddles like a duck,

if it quacks like a duck,

if it has feathers. . .it’s a duck.”

As for me and my house, we remember the brothers of Jesus, we speak up in their behalf and we defend their right under the gospel mandate of Jesus to be rehabilitated and become honorable, productive members of society.


Pastor Phil Roland    <><<




June 15, 2,008 - Sheepfold Ministries

Father’s Day - Pastor Phil Roland

R e d e m p t i o n


LUKE 23:39-43

“Is the church a redemptive place? Are we to identify with the sanctified saints or with the sorrowful sinners? Does Jesus love the “Lost” and should we?                    Pastor Phil


I. BIBLICAL DEFINITION:  Redemption is the payment of a price to secure the release of a prisoner of war. The word came to be used also of the release of a slave, and sometimes of a person under sentence of death (Ex. 21:28-30). Redemption always means the payment of a price to secure release.



            A. People who sin become slaves of sin – John 8:31-36

              ”Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you

are My disciples indeed." And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make

you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never

been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free'?" Jesus

answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave

of sin. "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

            B. Jesus’ death on the Cross paid sin’s ransom price – Mk. 10:42-45

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. "And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.  "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."         

C. We are redeemed from the power of the Law and Sin’s curse

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree")”   Gal. 3:13

C. We are now redeemed and may live as free people – 1 Cor. 6:19-20

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.”

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1



A. Jesus is crucified between two thieves – Luke 23:32,33

“There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.”


B. One thief has a conscience, asks for forgiveness – v. 42

              “Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your


              1. Two kinds of transgressors of the law

              2. One has a conscience: An inner sense of right and wrong

              3. One has no conscience to guide him

              4. He joins the mockery of the crowd

              5. The other thief becomes his external conscience

              C. Jesus chooses to end his earthly life between them

                            1. He died for the deserving penitent

                            2. He died for the undeserving unrepentant

                            3. He died for the deserving and the undeserving

                                          a. God’s rain falls on the just and the unjust – Matt. 5:45

                                          ”He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends

rain on the just and on the unjust.”

b. He forgave them all from His Cross – Luke 23:34

“Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.”

              D. Identify with sinners and the world may crucify you – Mark 2:16,17

              “And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and

sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax

collectors and sinners?"  When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who

are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to

call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

              E. Loving people is expensive

                            1. It cost Jesus everything

                            2. We, too, will pay the price – Galatians 2:20

                            "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ

lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the

Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

                            3. Laying down your life is even more expensive – John 15:13

                            "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his


                       4. Redeeming the Lost is the most expensive of all – Lk. 19:10

                            "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

              F. The Cross is all about Redemption, buying back what was lost

R e d e m p t i o n, Text:

LUKE 23:39-43

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

40  But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

41  "And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."

42  Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."

43  And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."



Marred Hands Settled the Issue

The price Jesus paid for our redemption was terrible indeed. When we think of the extreme suffering He endured to purchase our freedom from sin’s penalty, our hearts should overflow with love for Him. Leslie B. Flynn told a story that illustrates this truth.

An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.

Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.

Many voices are calling for our attention. Among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences. To Him belongs our love and devotion. -D.C.E.

Our Daily Bread, December 26