This is one of the most powerful words in the New Testament, yet it and it derivatives are only used sparingly. The Greek word is “Apolutrosiß” or translated as Apolutrosis.
To get a real grip on understanding this term we must focus our minds on the practice of slavery. In the 1st Centaury slavery was culturally accepted as the norm, therefore the readers of Paul's letters would feel right at home with this imagery. The term Redemption means simply = liberation procured by the payment of a ransom . In this case a slave was released from slavery to become a free person.
To further understand the term Redemption we have to skip back into the Old Testament to understand the images such a term would conjure up in the minds of the author and readers. Cast our minds back to the Passover in Egypt on the night that the Children of Israel left Pharaoh’s clutches. They were slaves to bondage in the land making bricks from straw. They were saved by the blood of a lamb sprinkled over the door posts. God set them free from slavery because of the blood – they were ransomed by the sacrifice of a lamb. The death of a lamb was the price paid for their freedom.
Hold onto this image and bring it across to this verse from Romans 3 v24 - and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood Notice the words sacrifice and blood. These two images allude to that first Passover.
As I have mentioned before Sin had created a problem for God as a large gulf separated God who is holy from mankind who was a sinner due to his disobedience. This is aptly described in a well known but contentious verse in Romans 5 – “ Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--
Because of Sin entering the world through one man – Adam; all mankind were slaves to sin. All mankind is born into slavery – we are slaves to sin. To satisfy God a redeemer had to be found. God had tried using the blood of goats, lambs and bulls as seen in the OT. But these animals did not statisfy God justice as they did not meet the requiements. These requirements were
1/ The redeemer must be related to the slave – that is a human being.
2/ The redeemer must be able to redeem.
3/ The redeemer must be willing to redeem.
4/The redeemer must be free from that which caused the need for redemption.
There was only one such person who fulfilled Gods strict requirements – Gods only begotten Son – Christ Jesus.
The crucifixion set all mankind free from the bondage of sin – Christ shed his blood to set us free. Jesus gave his life – he paid the ultimate sacrifice to set us free. The price paid for our freedom was the blood of Jesus. If Jesus had not brought us our freedom all mankind would have died. You & I would have needed to die for ourselves to be set free from the chains of slavery to sin.
Have we understood the price paid by God for our freedom? Do we really grasp the sacrifice that God took on our behalf ? Do we live as freemen thankful for what has taken place on the cross. By faith we have accepted this act of God but do we really live in appreciation – are we really gracious and thankful for what took palace on the hill outside Jerusalem ?
The Bible says –“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men – “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
But what does redemption mean to us in these last days ? Firstly it means we are Walking in redemption - we are now surrendered 100% to Jesus. Our minds have been given over to serve Jesus – our will and ego has been given to God to use as he sees fit. We reads in 1 Cor 6 these words –“You are not your own, you were brought with a price therefore glorify God with you body. Even though the context refers to sexual sin the principle still holds true – we were purchased; with the price being the blood of Jesus. We do not belong to ourselves. Using the imagery of the slave market – we belong to God as he has paid a ransom for us. So how dare we think we can do our “own ting” and call ourselves children of the living God!!
Secondly we Wait for Redemption. As adopted sons and daughters we eagerly wait for our redemption – complete freedom from our sinful body. Galatians -Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory. But God seeks that we look beyond ourselves and focus on the redemption that the returning Lord will bring – redemption to the world. As we know the whole earth groans and eagerly awaits her release. There is also a great harvest of souls that the return of Christ will usher in.
God’s plea is that we conduct ourselves like the Jews taken captive in Babylon. Such a person was Daniel whom we read humbled himself before God to enquire what the times and seasons would mean. He also longed for his spiritual home – Jerusalem. In these last days God asks that we emulate Daniel.
As mentioned elsewhere God is raising up a people who are walking in the light and who are able to understand what the signs in the world mean. God is speaking to many believers who have given their lives over to him. This group of believers God is calling out from the church; an army of saints to become a remnant, a group called apart from the mainstream for they will be called children of the light says the Lord and I will lead them to my throne of grace, for they will be my prophets and kings who will bring my salvation to the world.
God is saying that to seek after redemption is not only sitting around and waiting for Christ return or our own death. No says the Lord I want my disciples asking and seeking my face to discover the signs that I am writing in the world that point to my return. God is carrying out his redemption plan and asks that we partake by seeking him so that he can reveal his game plan to his chosen ones. Just as a remnant returned from captivity to Jerusalem so to is God raising up out of the church his true Church who with open eyes and ears know and read the signs of the last days – it is these ones who will the first to inherit the New Jerusalem.
Let him who has ears to hear listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.
I close with the words from Revelation chapter 5 v 9 –“And they sang a new song – You are worthy to take the scroll and to open the seals because you were slain and with your blood you have purchased [redeemed] men from God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth.’”
Without Jesus Christ, I would be hopelessly lost. I like 1st Cor. 1:29-31. I believe christendom has very seriously corrupted the scripture, and thus the gospel. Yes, slaves, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. He bought us, He is Master now. To those who truly want His redemption.
What a mess. But God knows all, and is in control. Neither is He mocked. That should send everyone among christendom to their faces in the dust, but seldom does among the pompous professors of Christ Jesus today, who have no fear of God.
God Bless You. billy