Redemptive Wholeness ~ From Him, For Us!
One of the joys of my missionary life was teaching in Africa. I love the ‘teachable moment’! How delightsome to watch students process biblical truths and apply them to life and ministry.
In class one day we were working on gaining some perspective, on viewing the bigger picture. I drew a point on the left of the white board to represent the beginning of the Scriptures, Book of Genesis, and a point on the right of the white board for the ending of the Book of Revelation. Then I drew an arch from the opening point to the ending point. I asked the students what word summarized the entire sweep of Scriptures. After some interaction, I wrote above the arch: REDEMPTION.
Of course, our work in that class assumed ‘a high view’ of the inspiration of the Scriptures and the belief that these sacred writings were given for the purpose of leading the human family to the Messiah, the REDEEMER, the Prince of Shalom. We talked in some of those classes of the Scriptures conveying salvation history that includes the background for the coming of Christ to earth (incarnation) and thus also the purpose for which He came—redemption!
The word redemption carries within it queries: From? To? From: sin, “the moral disease that entered human history because of the loss of life-giving communion with God.” To: forgiveness, graced freedom, the life of the reigning Christ in the inner being—wholeness.
JESUS CHRIST makes WHOLE!
Maxim from the Scriptures! True there; true in life!
We may accentuate this truth the more when we consider the purpose and works of the opposing one. Did he, and does he come to make whole? Absolutely not! He may at times deceivingly make the appearance of wholeness. But his purpose is to sabotage the Maker’s shalom from our lives, as he works his cunning, his evil, deception, corruption, depravity—all that is spiritually and morally sick, unhealthy.
For what purpose did Christ come down from heaven?” asked Irenaeus, one of the Early Church fathers. “Answer: ‘That he might destroy sin, overcome death, and give life to man.’” This was His incredible mission! Christus Victor! Prince of Peace, Prince of Shalom!
This is why shalom for me expresses a central, significant theme of the Scriptures. It is God’s original design for the human family. Though shattered by sin, shalom remains the Creator-Redeemer design. Christ brings its marvelous beginnings to the believing soul in the here and now! Shalom is the life to come for those who have trusted Him for His redemptive wholeness when this Sovereign establishes at last His reign over a restored creation—no Satan, no sin!
Paul Rees told of a lady whose life had been hit hard by sorrow and sickness. She was gripped with worry and fear. Her life was out of balance. She had confidence in a minister, a friend of Rees, who this lady learned would be preaching in a city 550 miles from where she lived. She drove the miles. As she conversed with the minister, he realized she had not surrendered her life to the Savior. Following counsel, she took the step, she surrendered. Later, back at her home, these words were a part of the testimony she wrote to the minister:
There has been no relapse since my coming home. This recovery is so real; . . . my nerves are becoming steady, and my heart is beginning to act like a normal heart should. It is wonderful. . . . When the doctor saw me yesterday, he said, ‘Something has happened to you since you were here before. There is a transformation in you which is almost unbelievable. What is it?’ When I told him, he said, I know what you say is true, for you yourself are the proof of it.’ And then he added, ‘What you have found is what seventy-five per cent of our patients need, for a great many of them would get well physically if they were well mentally and spiritually.’
Wellness, wholeness! Amazing the experience when our lives are aligned to the Master, totally surrendered!
 Howard A. Snyder and Joel Scandrett Salvation Means Creation Healed, The Ecology of Sin and Grace: Overcoming the Divorce Between Earth and Heaven (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011), Kindle ed., p. 66 of 226 (emphasis added).
 Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, trans. Dominic J. Unger (New York: Paulist Press, 1992), 3.14.7. Quoted in William M. Greathouse, Love Made Perfect: Foundations for the Holy Life (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1997), 55.
 Paul Rees, Things Unshakeable and Other Sermons (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950), 21-22.