In Christ We Have Redemption Found
John A. Keith
O, tell to earth’s remotest bound, God is love; In Christ we have redemption found, God is love; His blood has washed our sins away, His Spirit turned our night to day, And now we can rejoice to say, That God is love. – “God Is Love,” Anonymous, music written by E. S. Lorenz.
The grand theme of the Bible is “The redemption of man, to the glorification of God, through the person and work of Jesus Christ.” In order to better understand and appreciate the redemption we have found, I think it best to identify and define a couple of terms.
Bondage must be understood in order to appreciate redemption. It means, “Labour of servant or slave; service of captives or subjects.” [Thayer] We see bondage clearly in the case of the Israelites while in Egypt under “the new king … which knew not Joseph.” Exodus 1:7f. Perhaps the definitive Old Testament passage is Exodus 6:6. “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:” (emphasis added). This term is also used to describe the depressed conditions during the exile (Ezra 9:8; Nehemiah 5:18).
While salvation and redemption are closely related terms, redemption is more specific in that it designates the means by which we are saved or redeemed, namely, the payment of a ransom. For an example, we look briefly at Leviticus 25:24-28. Simply stated, if a Hebrew became poor and sold his property, it could be redeemed (bought back) by a relative and restored to the owner.
Since man was created in the likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), having an intellect and the freedom to make choices (Josh. 24:15), and since man is not God, that is, not infallible, man will make wrong choices: He will choose to sin (Romans 3:23). Once we make the deadly choice to sin we become servants of sin. Romans 6:16 asks, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Sin separates us from God. Isaiah 59:2 says, “… your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” In order to nullify that separation, we must be reunited or redeemed to God. The animal sacrifices of Moses’ law could not do that (Hebrews 10:1). No, it took something far more precious, far more valuable. When we learn the Truth of God’s word and desire to terminate our servitude to Satan, we desire the greatest change the world has ever known. All we need is for the ransom to be paid.
Good News! It has been paid in full. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says the debt has been paid and we are to glorify God because of it. Christ has redeemed us. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” 1 Peter 1:18, 19.
Only when we come to Christ on His terms can we be included in the thanksgiving of the apostle Paul that we read in Romans 6:17, 18: “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” The “form of doctrine” in verse 17 points back to verses 3-6: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
Friend, are you still a servant to sin? Has Christ redeemed you? He can, but He will not do it against your will. Let your faith lead you to repentance (Luke 13:3), to confession of His name (Romans 10:9,10), and to the watery grave of baptism (Mark 16:16; Romans 6:3ff). –70 Gale Ave., Newport, OH 45768. email@example.com
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