Summary: Redemption speaks of being delivered from bondage through the payment of another. Christ provided our redemption, purchasing it with His blood. We have been removed from the slave market, never to return!
Redemption: Free from Guilt
As I read publications, articles, and blogs today, many caution preachers and pastors in regard to using particular theological terms. These writers warn of a disconnect between the world around us and those within the church. The church has long used particular words and phrases that the world cannot understand, and are in fact foreign to them. These words and phrases have been categorized as “Christianese” – words the church uses but the world does not understand.
While I agree that we must adequately connect with the world around us if we are to reach the unsaved with the Gospel, I see a great tragedy among the church today. In our modern day we see an abandonment of theological terms that hold great significance for the believer. Rather than shying away from their use, we need to understand these terms, along with the ability to share their significance in a way the world can understand. In the coming weeks I want to preach a series on: Understanding Christianese.
The first term we will deal with is redemption. This is a word that has special meaning for the believer, and is found throughout the Bible. It is easily defined as being set free from bondage through the payment of another. Simply, one who was enslaved was set free by someone else purchasing their freedom. Now, according to Dr. Ray Pritchard from Keep Believing Ministries, there were three words used in the New Testament to define redemption. Agorazois a secular term and has the idea of purchasing something from the marketplace. Exagorazo carries the idea of going into the slave market, purchasing a slave, and removing one from that arena. Lutron means to deliver from captivity; set free from bondage. Together these reveal – one is purchased, removed from the slave market all together, and set free from the bondage of slavery. The word in our text is the word Lutron, not just being purchased and removed from the arena of bondage, but set at liberty from our bondage.
Before we get into the beauty of redemption, we must all understand our particular need for redemption. Adam was the first human created by God. He and his wife Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, free from sin, enjoying unhindered fellowship with God. Through disobedience they sinned before God and plunged the entire human race into sin. Because of their sin, all are born in sin and separated from God. The end result of sin is eternal death. Rom.3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Rom.3:10 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. Rom.6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Clearly all who live in this life stand in need of redemption. We all are born enslaved by sin and need one to purchase our freedom, setting us free from the bondage and condemnation of sin. As we begin our series, I want to examine the aspects of redemption within the text as we consider – Redemption: Free from Guilt.
I. The Plan of Redemption – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. As we use this single verse for our text, we quickly discover the plan of redemption. However, for clarity, whom does Paul reveal our redemption is founded in? That is answered in V.3. Eph.1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Our redemption is provided and settled in God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. In this we need to consider:
A. The Will of God – Paul was well aware that God had a plan to provide for the redemption of mankind. In order for one to fully appreciate and understand redemption, we too must understand the will of God in this glorious and gracious process. We have already settled that redemption became necessary with the first of God’s creation. As Adam sinned in the Garden, sin and death entered the human race. Because of that we all have need of redemption. It is important for us to understand that redemption was never an after-thought with God. He did not discover Adam’s sin and set about to find a solution to humanity’s sin problem. In fact, God already knew, long before Adam breathed his first breath, that humanity would be plunged in sin and stand in need of a Redeemer. This plan of redemption was put in place before the foundation of the world. Christ was a Lamb slain in the plan of God before Creation. Through the Law, sacrifices were offered to provide limited atonement for sin, but they could not fully satisfy the righteous demands of holy God. These sacrifices were repeated year after year. In order for redemption to be made, there had to be a perfect sacrifice. God Himself would become that sacrifice. That leads us to: