This story–oriented recovery book unfolds the back–story of redemption in Exodus to show how Jesus redeems us from the slavery of abuse and addiction and restores us to our created purpose, the worship of God.
Shows how the story of the Israelites’ redemption from slavery and idol worship illuminates our own story of redemption in Christ.
Exodus is a real story about God redeeming his people from the bondage of slavery and how their difficult journey home exposed their loyalties—though wounded by Egypt, they had come to worship its gods. Most Christians don’t make golden idols like the Israelites in the wilderness, but we do set up idols on our own desert road—idols like substance abuse, pornography, gluttony, and rage. And even those who don’t know the pain of actual slavery can feel enslaved to the fear and shame that follow sexual abuse or betrayal by a spouse, for we suffer at the hands of our idols as well as those created by others. We need more than self–improvement or comfort—we need redemption.
Redemption is not a step–oriented recovery book; it’s story–oriented and Bible–anchored. It unfolds the back–story of redemption in Exodus to help Christians better understand how Christ redeems us from the slavery of abuse, addiction and assorted trouble and restores us to our created purpose, the worship of God. Readers will discover that the reward of freedom is more than victory over a habitual sin or release from shame; it is satisfaction and rest in God himself. Part of the Re:Lit series.
MIKE WILKERSON, a pastor at Seattle’s Mars Hill Church since 2004, is passionate about restoring gospel–based counseling to the local church and leads Mars Hill’s Redemption Group ministry. He and his wife, Trisha, live in Seattle with their four young children.
“This is a wonderful piece of gospel work. It is case–study rich, evidencing lots of wisdom in the ways of people who suffer. It is theology rich, exegeting in a very practical way the transforming power of the gospel and all the ways we are tempted to distort or minimize it. This needs to be published and distributed widely. I know of no other work that does what Wilkerson has done. It surely does advance the cause of applying the gospel to brokenness of this generation. Well done!”
—Paul Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries; author, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage
“I am weekly confronted by the harshness of life as a result of sin—abuse, neglect, consequences of sin. The list goes on and on. As a pastor of a church full of younger people I have searched for a resource that I could with confidence recommend to those stuck in their sin. This book is that resource. It will help hurting people (which includes us!) come to grips with the reality of both our sin and the reality of being sinned against. Further, it will move people to Jesus, who is greater than our sin.”
—Darrin Patrick, Founding Pastor of The Journey Church, St Louis, MO; author, Church Planter
“Some support groups support without challenging people to be different. This book is a resource for a different kind of support group, a Redemption Group. Backed by good scholarship yet accessible to all Christians, it brims with great stories of redemption and keen insights into the souls of broken sinners, challenging readers to follow the Christ who can set people free.”
—Eric Johnson, Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Director, Society for Christian Psychology
“Pastor Mike Wilkerson has penned a truly unique contribution both to small group literature and to the Christian ‘recovery’ movement. His gospel–centered focus using the Exodus theme of redemption provides an unparalleled biblical approach to facing our past face–to–face with Christ. The combination of gripping real–life vignettes, biblical narratives applied to sin and suffering, and the thought–provoking discussion–application guide makes Redemption the premier all–in–one book for small group recovery ministry.”
—Bob Kellemen, author, God’s Healing for Life’s Losses
“Every genuine pastor and counselor prays to walk with the Savior freed ‘from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul’ (1 Pet. 2:11), enjoying a fuller measure of abundant life in Christ each day. Every genuine pastor and counselor prays to see his precious flock walk the same road. Redemption provides a guide for the journey, bringing the richness of the exodus story to bear where we all live, feeding the gospel morsel by morsel to our souls, and helping us behold more of Christ along the way. I commend this resource to every pastor and counselor who prays for Spirit–wrought transformation in the hearts of people.”
—John Henderson, Counseling Pastor, Denton Bible Church, Denton, Texas; board member, Association of Biblical Counselors; author, Equipped to Counsel
“This important book places the powder keg of gospel truth where it is most needed: on the frontline of pastoral ministry. A mixture of clear writing, real–life stories, and faithful Bible exposition makes this a powerful resource in the fight for redemption in the lives of those we are called to serve.”
—Joel Virgo, Lead Pastor, Church of Christ the King, Brighton
“By God’s grace, Pastor Mike Wilkerson gets it. He is a pastor who does not mind getting his hands dirty in the lives of people who are hurting and broken. But then he takes sufferers and sinners alike to the life–giving cross of Christ. Organized around the powerful story of the exodus, this book will point you to the marvelous Redeemer and his life–changing grace. Redemption—just think of it. In this book, Mike will help you think of it a lot. And you will be glad he did. I certainly was.”
—Steve Viars, Senior Pastor, Faith Baptist Church. Lafayette, Indiana; Administrator, Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries; author, Putting Your Past in Its Place
“So many tools for recovery groups deal only with wounds and desires, appealing to ‘the god you envision’ and boil down to self–help programs. Redemption goes to core issues and shows how following the pattern of the exodus can redeem struggling people from their ‘Egypts,’ such as addictions and trauma. Because it takes us down biblical pathways in very applicable ways, it is an outstanding tool for ministry.”
—Gerry Breshears, Professor of Theology, Westminster Seminary; author, Death by Love: Letters from the Cross
“Praise God for Redemption, which is a gift to the body of Christ. God’s story of redemption, which serves as both the source and framework of the book, is applied directly to the sin and suffering we all face both in and out of the church. It is, therefore, a great example of practical theology. This is a resource that enables reproducible training and ministry in any church and with all of God’s people. I wholeheartedly commend Redemption to anyone who is on the front lines of gospel ministry in the church and has a deep desire and vision to equip the saints for the work of ministry.”
—Robert Cheong, Pastor of Care and Counseling, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky
“As a church, we have implemented the message and dynamics of this book with all the leaders in our church. It has led to a renewal on a massive scale. On each page of the book, Jesus is presented as the healer of every situation, helper of every circumstance, and advocate for every sinner. I recommend Redemption to every church pastor, leader, and sinner who wants to meet the healing of the gospel of Jesus on the other side of the Red Sea.”
—Ethan Burmeister, Core Community Church, Omaha, Nebraska
“The strength of Redemption is that it’s rooted in the sufficient and transforming work of the gospel, using exercises and strategies to effect real change, and the process takes place in the context of authentic community. I have recommended, and even required, clients to go through the Redemption group process, and have seen life changing transformation in weeks that would take months to years in individual counseling. I have been waiting for something like this for a very long time!”
—Elisa Hope, licensed mental health counselor
“As a leader involved in a Christian recovery ministry, Redemption has proven to be extremely powerful! Using it to lead meetings has given me a unique opportunity to share the ‘good news’ with believers and nonbelievers. I have seen tremendous breakthroughs in reaching and dealing with core issues such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, and addiction as participants identify with the book and hear of God’s love for his children.”
—Mitch Thompson, Director, All The Way House Ministries, Delray Beach, Florida
“We need this book. God’s grace is on full display in it as it begins and ends with the good news of God’s story of redemption throughout all of Scripture, which culminates in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Redemption proclaims the faith, hope, and love we need and can offer to others. It is a gift to all who are suffering because of their sin and the sins done against them.”
—Justin Holcomb, Director, the Resurgence; Adjunct Professor of Theology; Reformed Theological Seminary
“The Holy Spirit used the Redemption curriculum to set me free from years of enslaving sin. And since then he’s given me the privilege of leading men through several quarters of Redemption Groups. Each quarter, Jesus faithfully ministers compassion, conviction, and grace as he calls each participant to take part in his redemption story. The Redeemer is rescuing his people from captivity, transforming us into worshipers who look more and more like him.”
—Greg, Redemption Group leader
“I had many fears about my future, living with the effects of the sin that was committed against me. As I read Redemption, I was blown away that the book put into words my unidentifiable worries and fears and addressed each issue with godly truths over and over.”
“Alongside the Bible, Redemption was one of the most helpful and practical resources for applying the atonement of Christ to the darkest and most hidden parts of my life. Through reading it, overwhelming shame and fear that had led to my deep desire to end my own life was flushed out as the gospel was revealed more clearly—Christ died for me!”
“When I first picked up this book, I read and re–read chapter one over a hundred times. Coming from a childhood of traumatic sexual abuse, I related to the Israelites’ slavery and desperate cries for help. Though God seemed absent (both to them and to me), he identifies with my pain. Realizing God’s covenant love for me brought healing to my wounded heart. He is the God who sees and knows—and I can call him my Abba.”
“After spending a decade in habitual sin and idol worship, including lust and homosexual prostitution, God showed up in my life. I was destroyed. I didn’t know where to turn. Through the work of a church deacon and Redemption, God saved me from drowning in waves of torment and emotion. The eight weeks of the book followed me through the stages needed to put me back on solid ground. It helped me to realize my identity is in Christ alone, that he will never abandon me, and that God is love, true love that never lets go. Redemption was the map I needed to see that Jesus’ death had paid for all my awful sin and I am now God’s adopted son, bringing amazement I feel to this day. Should you need to help others broken and struggling with the intensity of sin, Redemption will be a great help in a time when people need it most.”
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