In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes in chapter 1:7-9: "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ".
What's interesting about these verses is the expressiveness of Paul's language. He says Jesus redeemed us by going to the cross and taking punishment for our sin on our behalf, so that through faith in Jesus we can have freedom from the penalty of our wrong doing in God's sight. We now have favour and right standing in the sight of a just and holy God and we didn't earn it at all.
The apostle goes on to say that we have been given all of this by "the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us". Why is does he use such full and colourful language?
Simply this: Paul wants us to be so enamoured with the finished work of Jesus that we stop seeking salvation elsewhere.
Where else might you be seeking redemption? It could be through your family, your job, a sport, a personal achievement. It could be through alcohol or food. It can be wherever you turn to "help make things better."
However all of those things cannot truly redeem us. They can only sooth our need for redemption for just a little while.
It could be that even as a christian you turn to one of these things for redemption in place of God. To discover who or what functions as your saviour, ask yourself these two questions:
1.Where do you turn when life gets hard?
2. What do you celebrate when life is good?
Write down the answer.
Now look at the piece of paper. If the answer to both questions is something other than Jesus then you may have a 'functional saviour' in something else. If your answer to the first question is Jesus and your answer to the second question is something else, you have a functional saviour and may just view Jesus as a crutch.
If this is the case, stop reading this post, pray and ask Jesus to help you accept the redemption and forgiveness and acceptance that He gives, for the fullness of that to be revealed in your mind and heart and for your life to be transformed so you can live your life in the freedom of one that is redeemed, saved and sanctified by God.