Summary: Key Words in the Christian Life - Redemption (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 18-21.


• In the 1800’s there was a well known American Baptist preacher;

• Called Dr. A. J. Gordon.

• One day as he walked down a street in Boston;

• He met a boy carrying an old rusty bird cage,

• Inside the cage were several little birds;

• And the boy was swinging the cage in a very spiteful and cruel way.

• Dr. Gordon said, “Son, where did you get those birds?”

• The boy answered, “I trapped them out in the field.”

• The preacher asked “And what are you going to do with them now?”

• The boy replied:

“I’m going to take them home and play with them and have some fun with them and when I’m bored I’ll give them to my cat to play with and eat!”

• Dr. Gordon then asked the boy how much he would take for the birds and the cage;

• The boy not believing his look replied; “Two dollars”.

• “It’s a deal”, said the preacher;

• And the two of them exchanged goods.

• The next Sunday Dr. Gordon took the empty bird cage to the pulpit;

• And used it in illustrating his sermon - He said:

“That boy said that the birds could not sing very well, but when I released them from the cage they went singing away into the sky, and it seemed to me, that they were singing, “Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed.””

Honestly, I don’t know how those birds felt to be freed:

• We can only imagine how it feels to be caged up;

• With the possibility of death fast approaching.

• But I know what is to be freed from sin that leads to death!

• Question: Don’t you?

• Our passage this evening gives us the low-down on what it means to be freed by God.

• The key word that best describes this liberation is ‘Redeemed’.

To the people who first received this letter – the word ‘redeemed’ was very relevant

• There were at that time probably 50 million slaves in the Roman empire;

• Many in this local Church were probably slaves.

• A slave could purchase his or her own freedom;

• If they could collect sufficient funds;

• Or if someone else was willing to purchase them and set them free.

• Whenever this happened the slave was said to have been ‘redeemed’.

• Set free by paying necessary price.

• Redemption was a very pertinent and precious thing in those days.

Notice from verse 18 what has NOT redeemed us:


“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers”


• An employee asked for a pay rise;

• Telling his boss that several companies were after him.

• When asked which ones, he told his employer,

• “Well, there's the electric company, the phone company and the gas company.”


• “Money will buy a bed but not sleep;

• books but not brains;

• food but not appetite;

• finery but not beauty;

• a house but not a home;

• medicine but not health;

• luxuries but not culture;

• amusements but not happiness”

• a cross but not a saviour,

• a ticket to everywhere but not to heaven.”

Interesting that Peter calls money (silver & gold) perishable things:

• Yet humanly speaking they are some of the most lasting things that remain;

• ill: Ship sinks the treasure remains in tack.

• ill: Whether at the bottom of the ocean or buried underground;

• Silver & old have an enduring quality about them.

And yet like everything else in this world:

• They will pass away!

• They have some use but that use is limited.

• Silver and gold fail in so many ways.

• Because they perish when it comes to meeting our real needs.


• It was reported that eleven millionaires went down on the Titanic.

• Major A.H. Peuchen left $300,000 in money, jewellery, & securities in a box in his cabin

• "The money seemed a mockery at that time,"

• He later said. "I picked up three oranges instead."

• All his gold and silver could not save him in this life;

• Never mind in the life to come!

(2). But by precious blood of Christ.

Quote: verse 18-19 (NLT Translation)

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days”.

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