Irredeemable – adj. not able to be saved, improved, or corrected.
Whether people just hearing the story of Jesus for the first time or people that grew-up hearing it without ever following him, many find themselves feeling that they cannot be saved, improved, or corrected. They feel like the redemption promised by Jesus does not apply to them. I know I often have felt irredeemable, and when I feel like that as I still do, I have to remind myself of that belief’s implications in order to persevere through those times.
Often people think they cannot be redeemed because of the weight of their past. The sins of their life are so great and so many. They have hurt so many people. Their heart is broken because of the hearts they have broken. These are just some of the reasons people feel irredeemable. They still feel locked in chains. They still feel dead in their sin.
Love – n. an intense feeling of deep affection.
Mercy – n. compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
Grace – n. the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
The good news for all people is that there is a God of love and mercy and grace. I could list any one of many Bible verses to demonstrate this point, but I would rather talk about the implication of feeling irredeemable. When we feel irredeemable, we usually think about ourselves. We think about our failures and faults, and we may even fain humility in this. However, we should be thinking about the implications this has on God.
Believing that we are irredeemable actually distorts our view of God. When we declare that we cannot be saved, we are saying our sin is too great for God to forgive. When we declare that we cannot be improved (or sanctified), we are saying our propensity—or desire—to sin is too great for God to reshape. When we declare that we cannot be corrected, we are saying that our wills—those that seek evil instead of good—are greater than God’s perfect will. Ultimately, as we declare that we are irredeemable, we blaspheme the abilities and attributes of God. In this, we are not picturing the omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe, but we picture a feckless snob that wants nothing to do with people that are too broken.
But God doesn’t judge us or love us differently based on how much brokenness we have. His standard of judgment is not trivial. God’s only standard is perfection. His standard can only be met by Jesus Christ, and when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, God no longer sees our failures in judgement, but instead sees Jesus’s perfection.
It is easy to begin thinking that our sin is too great for God or our hearts are too broken for him, but we must remember that if God is all-powerful and all-loving, then he can forgiven our sins without a problem no matter their weight or number. Call out to the God of love that has the power to forgive the evils we have wrought.