Every Mother Can Be a co-Redemptrix

by Reverend Anthony R. Locke
Mother’s Day 2012

1 Timothy 2:15
English Standard Version

15  Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.[1]
 


 
I like to think of my mom as a co-Redemptrix.

That’s not a word we Protestants use. If you grew up Roman Catholic then there’s a good chance you studied the co-Redemptrix work of Mary. Catholics describe the mother of Jesus with three labels: the co-redeemer, the mediator of all grace and our advocate.

Mary is described as a co-Redeemer because she submitted to the will of God that the Redeemer should be born through her body by the power of the Holy Spirit. She prayed, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38).

Secondly, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is a co-Redeemer for her heart was pierced through with many sorrows while at the foot of the Cross. She is called the Woman of Sorrows like Jesus is called the Man of Sorrows. The Catholic Church would like people to believe that the suffering of Mary provides grace.

Of course, Protestant ministers are quick to point out that there’s only one Redeemer and Savior of mankind, that being Jesus. No one helped Jesus redeem mankind. No one is on an equal level with Jesus to save sinners. Only Jesus can satisfy the wrath of God against His enemies and make atonement for His people.

On the surface it looks as though the Roman Catholic Church makes itself an easy target, but the truth is that the Roman Catholic Church has never defined the word co-Redemptrix.

A petition was started in 1990 to urge Pope John Paul II to declare Mary as the co-Redemptrix and then define the term. More than six million signatures were gathered from 148 countries, including those of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, and 41 other cardinals and 550 bishops. A Vatican commission in 1996 voted it down 23 to 0.

So for Mother’s Day I am going to do the work of the Pope and explain how All Mothers bring salvation to their family. Just call me Pope Tony.  =)  I am going to tie together the term co-Redemptrix with 1 Timothy 1:15.

God says in Genesis that the Savior of the world would come through a woman. That woman was Mary. Mary did submit herself to the will of God and cooperate with God’s redemptive plan for Messiah to come through her womb. She cooperated with the redemptive plan.

That’s how many people interpret 1 Timothy 1:15.  That mankind was saved, when through childbirth, a woman brought the Messiah to the world. There’s definitely some truth to this interpretation, but it’s not the primary interpretation of our passage.

The most helpful way to understand our verse is that family matters, starting with child bearing, but including all the family matters of the home, are the primary area of accountability for a Christian woman before God.

A Christian mother might drive a school bus, work accounting, drive in NASCAR or manage a corporation, but her primary accountability before God is to train up her family in the faith, with love, unto holiness and self-control.

Even nature teaches us this truth. Men don’t birth babies. We have babies, but we don’t do the birthin’. If we did the population would be in serious decline.

God sends children through strong women and attaches the needs of the child to the mother. It’s axiomatic: an undeniable truth of life. Even the best of selfless men can’t figure out a way to give birth, breast feed or mother a child. God will judge the women for how well they did these things.

God refines a woman’s faith within the context of family life. My family often jokes on Sunday morning that we almost lost our religion trying to get all the children in the car and on time for church.

Ladies, answer in your mind, how hard is it to persevere in submission and respect toward your husbands? We men are God’s abrasive tool for your sanctification before God!  =)      When children reach the terrible twos they are being used by God for your sanctification.

The authenticity of your confession of faith is at stake. The assurance of salvation in your own heart will either be diminished or increased by how you act and react within the home. This is how John Calvin and Martin Luther understood this passage.

You are not saved by being a stay at home mom. You are not saved by being a good wife. No. You are being sanctified and your faith is being tested.

You are persevering in your salvation as you work redemptively within your home to grow your family in faith, with love, unto holiness and self-control. This is how women work out their salvation in fear and trembling before God. This is how you ladies join with Jesus, mothers cooperate with Jesus, to raise their family in the Christian faith.

I believe my mother will receive the eternal reward for having worked together with Christ to raise our family in the Christian faith. My mother worked as a co-Redemptrix with God to bring me to salvation. She didn’t add to the work of Christ, but she worked with Christ to bring me to faith.

Every mother can be a co-Redemptrix is she works with Christ to bring her family to faith. By your prayers, using the word of God as part of your parenting and instruction, by your godly living, in love and holiness you can bring our lives under the constraints and freedom of God’s law.

So whether you are a mother, grandmother, sister or daughter, you are commissioned by God to train others in faith, motivated with love while modeling holiness, to instill godliness and self-control in the lives of those that you touch.

If you will do this then you will have great reward in heaven, and your life will fulfill its’ primary purpose: glorifying and enjoying God within the family environment.

May God give us the grace to be all that He calls us to be in Christ Jesus.


[1]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


More posts in this category


Sermon
  • 2010 05 02
    All Things Reverend Anthony R. Locke May 2nd, 2010 at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker Colossians 1:15-20 Apostle’s Creed Series 03 English Standard Version 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or ...
  • The Open Door Policy for Aliens & Strangers — the Letter to Philadelphia
    Have you ever felt like you weren’t wanted? Like a fifth wheel? Has a religious crowd ever made you feel like a stranger? Like everyone else was extended brotherly love, but you? Jesus promises never to let His people feel like outsiders. Jesus will not withhold His friendliness, favor, brotherly love or praise for His ...
  • The Church of the Living Dead — Sardis
    Gospel passions build great organizations, but carelessness let’s them slide into Christian obscurity and Kingdom irrelevance. Consider the Kingdom Mission of Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton and Yale. Gospel passion made them grow, but carelessness left them useless for the Kingdom of Christ. The current fight within the ARP over Erskine is a work of sweat and ...
  • Is The Bible History Reliable?
    When the early church pieced together the Apostle’s Creed, they were using the baptismal formulas previously in use by the actual Apostles. We don’t know which Apostle coined each phrase of the Apostle’s Creed, but one of the twelve was baptizing converts in the name of Jesus Christ who suffered under Pontius Pilate. Which begs the ...
  • The Book of Revelation Ends the Same for Everyone — God says, "Checkmate!"
    The only memory I have of my mom’s dad is playing chess in the basement of his home during the holidays. He owned a split level home. We played in the downstairs next to the fireplace. My grandfather was American Indian. He had the jet black hair and flat nose to match. He was a ...
  • To Live, Move and Have Being
    If women have a right to predetermine the value of the life inside them, then what was wrong with slave owners removing liberty and freedom from a slave baby before it was born? No one has the right to diminish the value of a life. God is the source of life. We have person-hood by ...
  • The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse — Revelation 6:1-8
    These four horseman fan the flame of man’s depravity to cause human suffering. I believe the suffering is cyclical and increasing as we approach the end. It started with Cain killing Abel and will end with Armageddon. God has determined to keep humanity from being at peace on Earth while they are at war with ...
  • What Is Jesus Doing Right Now? — Matthew 16:13-28
    Matthew 16:13-28 Apostle’s Creed Series 13   English Standard Version 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He ...

Leave a Comment