Summary: A sermon on the word "Redemption" (Material and outline adapted from Leon Morris' book, The Atonement: It's Meaning and Significance, chapter 5 "Redemption")


There is an old legend that Abraham Lincoln went down to the slave block and saw a girl being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Lincoln joined in the bidding. As the slave girl looked at this man bidding on her, she figured he was just another white man, going to buy her and then abuse her. Lincoln won the bid and as he was walking away with his newly purchased property, he said, "Young lady.... you are FREE!" She said, "What does that mean?" "It means you are FREE."

"Does that mean," she asked, "that I can be whatever I want to be?" Lincoln said, "Yes, you can be whatever you want to be." "Does that mean I can go wherever I want to go?" He said, "Yes, you can go wherever you want to go." Then the girl, with tears streaming down her face, said, "Then I will go with YOU."


We often think of redemption as a religious word. In the NT world, it was not religious at all. It was a word used in business especially in regard to slaves. To redeem is to buy or buy back, whether as a purchase or as a ransom.

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13, 14.

C. Redemption is a colorful way of looking at what Christ did on the cross.

Thesis: This vivid picture emphasizes 3 truths

For instances:

People are by nature slaves to sin

In modern world we throw around word “addiction” and this is a true to life picture of what sin does. People will sell their own mother just to get another hit. Live each day to reach a high, buzz, feeling no pain or at least comfortable numb. Do anything, and I mean anything, to get more drugs. There is a strong physical component, we are not slaves like this, are we?

Some people believe that this way of life is not how we really are. We have just been educated or conditioned wrong. At the core we are all good.

“What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean’. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’.”” Mark 7:20-23, NIV.

The sins we do are not accidental or occasional. They arise out of what we are. And being what we are, we can never break free. Some people are able to reform from a particular sin, but instead of being free they become slaves to something else. Redemption reminds us to face the facts of life realistically.

“Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” John 8:34, NIV.

There once was a boy named Billy. His grandfather had a sling shot. One day he asked his grandfather if he would teach him how to shoot the sling shot. His grandfather took into the back woods and began to teach the boy. The grandfather told Billy to go and practice for a while. Billy was in the woods, alone, and kept missing everything he shot at. Billy, on his way back to the house, saw his grandfather’s duck and decided to try his aim with the sling shot once more. Billy took aim and shot at the duck and hit his mark! The duck fell over dead! Billy took the duck, buried it in the ground. As he looked up he saw his sister, Sally standing there watching him attempting to hide his deeds. Sally and Billy went back into their grandparents’ house. As they did so, Billy told Sally not to say anything. Sally said, sure, no problem. The kids’ grandfather told Sally to go into the kitchen and help her grandmother wash the dishes. Sally said, "Billy is the best dish washer in the family, he would love to wash the dishes. Remember the duck?’ Billy washed the dishes that night. The next day Billy’s grandfather said, "Billy, lets go fishing today. Sally, your grandmother needs your help around the house, so stay here and help her out." Sally responded," Billy hates fishing but loves housework. Isn’t that right Billy?" Billy stayed at home that day while Sally went fishing. This went on for several days. Sally blackmailed Billy into every unpleasant chore around the farm and out of every enjoyable opportunity. Finally Billy had had enough and he decided to confess his crime. Much to his surprise, his grandfather said, "I know you killed the duck. I saw you through the window. I also saw your sister standing there watching you. I forgave you. I just wanted to know how long you would let yourself be your sisters slave." We no longer have to be slaves like this because...

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