What are redemptive decrees? Why are they important, and why must they have precedence over other messages of scripture? These are just some of the questions that must be asked to and answered by evangelical Christianity today. If we do not eliminate the legal constitutional reading of scripture, and replace it with a redemptive reading there will always be a schizophrenic message to the gospel, and legalism will always have precedence over grace.
The first question is what are the redemptive decrees? The answer is that they are declarative statements in the scripture that… if they are not true as they stand alone, then are not true at all, and further then, the person who wrote or spoke the decree is actually misleading the hearers or readers. The decrees cannot be modified by other statements, especially by statements made by other authors on other occasions. Here is an example of a redemptive decree:
(Rom 10:9-13 ESV) “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (11) For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." (12) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. (13) For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."”
This is the kind of statement that must be true or it is not. Salvation must come from confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart. That is the sole criteria for being saved. Paul says that it is the word of faith, or the gospel that they proclaim. This simply put is a concise statement of the gospel… the gospel is that if you confess and believe you will be saved.
There are many such decrees found in the various passages of the scripture. Some are in the Old Testament and some are in the New Testament. However, in order for people to be able to rest in Jesus, that is, achieve the Sabbath Rest described in Hebrews chapter four, the redemptive decrees must have precedence over all other messages in scripture. This is why Jesus taught a strictly redemptive hermeneutic (John 5:39-40 & Luke 24:27-43-45.)
The fact is that today; within evangelical Christianity, people already give greater importance to some scriptures over others, and they ignore others all together. For example, the admonition that women are to keep silent in the church (1Corinthians 14:34) is not followed or accepted as being pertinent today. Likewise no one is selling their daughter as a concubine (Exodus 21:7-11.) How do they choose which to follow and which not to follow? All too often it is based on cultural preference and what is culturally accepted instead of understanding that the redemptive decrees have precedence over all other messages, and that all other admonitions are occasional and must be understood within their cultural, historical and literal context and specifically what they would have meant to their intended audience.