The Three Rs
Elementary and secondary education has emphasized reading, writing, and arithmetic (commonly known as reading, “riting,” and “rithmetic”). Many colleges have spoken out about the lack of knowledge students have in these three basic educational areas. Such areas need our attention if the level of employment, management, skill, and communications in this country are to excel.
The Bible is the basic textbook of faith and includes three Rs which described the development of man’s acceptance before God.
The first is man’s RUIN. It is bad news to hear a soul has ruined his/her relationship with God. In the words of Isaiah, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1,2). Sin is the culprit, and Christ is the ransom paid so reconciliation is possible. Unless we understand the ruined condition of our souls and its condemnation, we will never see the need to change the way we live our lives. Sin is not only what separates one from all that is good in this present life, it separates one from eternal life.
The second R is REDEMPTION. This means “to buy a slave with a view to his freedom” (Vine’s Dictionary of N.T. Words). Sin has bound us, and Jesus is the purchaser of our freedom. Matthew 1:21 says the name Jesus means “he that shall save his people from their sins.” In Jesus, a ruined relationship can be restored to harmony and fellowship with God. Paul said, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). By such redeeming power as the blood of Jesus, we can become a child of God. Freedom from the clutches of Satan would not have been possible, had it not been for His selfless sacrifice. By the grace and love of God, we have a way to recover from ruin.
Our acceptance by God would be incomplete without REGENERATION. Rescue (redemption) and Recovery (regeneration) is God’s plan for every man. Paul wrote to Titus about our redemption and regeneration in Titus 3:4-7: “But when the kindness of God our Savior, and His love toward man appeared, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we might be heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Regeneration is a work of God involving a new beginning, a doing over again. John 3:3 mentions being “born again,” and 2 Corinthians 5:17 says we are “a new creature.” God gives us life again (Ephesians 2:1). He gives us a life that is justified by His grace, His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). Only by the power of God can we be renewed. What a blessing it is!