Summary: What does it mean to be redeemed?
We Are the Redeemed
Tom carried his new boat to the edge of the river. He carefully placed it in the water and slowly let out the string. He marvelled at how well the ship he built moved in the water. Tom sat in the warm sunshine and enjoyed the boat. Suddenly a strong current caught the boat. Tom tried to pull it back to the shore, but the string broke. The little boat raced away down the river.
Tom ran along the sandy shore as fast as he could. Soon his little boat slipped out of sight. All afternoon he searched for the boat. Finally, when it was too dark to look any longer, Tom sadly went home.
A few days later, on the way home from school, Tom spotted a boat just like his in a store window. When he got closer, he could see - sure enough - it was his!
Tom hurried to the store manager, “Sir, that is my boat in your window. I made it!”
“Sorry son,” the manager replied, “someone else brought that boat in this morning. If you want it, you’ll have to buy it for one dollar.”
Tom ran home and counted all his money. He had exactly one dollar! When he reached the store, he rushed to the counter; “Here’s the money for my boat!” As he left the store, Tom hugged his boat and said; “Now you’re my boat twice. First I made you, but then I lost you. I found you again, and I bought you back!”
Fanny Crosby, blinded by an illness at 6 weeks of age, would grow to write over 9,000 poems and hymns. One of her many hymns begin this way:
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.
Last week, we looked at this passage in the first chapter as read that God chose us. Before time began, we were chosen to be the children of God. Even though He chose us, we still have to make the choice of following Him.
This morning, as we continue our walk through the first fourteen verses of Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, today I want to talk about the reward that is available, through Christ, for those who have chosen to follow God. If you have made that choice, today you are a member of the redeemed!
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary has several different definitions for the word redeemed. Each one more than describes what Christ does for a person who repents of their sins:
1 a. to buy back b. to get or win back
2. to free from what distresses or harms: as a: to free from captivity by way of payment of ransom b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental c: to release from payment or debt d: to free from the consequences of sin
1. We have Redemption (Ephesians 1:7)
“…redemption through his blood…”
As it has already been said, those of us who have accepted God gift of salvation have received redemption from their sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We were chosen to be redeemed. Christ died to save us from eternal death in Hell. We were redeemed through is shed blood.
How were the Jewish people in the Old Testament redeemed? What did they do to pay for their sins? God had them offer guilt and sin offerings of animals. He required them to do so.
Abel was murdered by Cain because God found favour with Abel’s sacrifice of the “firstlings of his flock.” (Gen. 4:4-5) After the flood receded, Noah sacrificed animals to the Lord. (Gen. 8:20,21)
The sacrificial system reaches its climax with the nation of Israel. God commanded the nation to perform several different types of sacrifices. According to Leviticus 1:1-4, certain procedures had to be followed. The animal being offered had to be spotless and without defect. Next the person who had brought the animal to the priest needed to be identified with the animal. The person, or priest, then had to kill the animal. If this was done in faith, then forgiveness of that person’s sins was available.
Another example of sacrifice was performed on the Day of Atonement. Leviticus 16 records how forgiveness and redemption of sins was illustrated through this rite. The high priest was to take two male goats for a sin offering. One of the goats was sacrificed as a sin offering for the people of Israel (Lev. 16:15), while the other goat was released into the wilderness (Lev. 16:22-22) The sin offering provided forgiveness, while the other goat provided the removal of sin.
How have we been redeemed once and for all? Because Jesus died for us as the final atoning sacrifice for our sins, we have eternal redemption through the blood He shed for us. We no longer have to offer sacrifices, but simply accept the sacrifice of Jesus.