Christ, Our Redeemer
After looking last week at how we possess every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3-6) and learning that we fully possess our salvation in Christ even this very moment, today let’s look at another incredible blessing we have obtained through Christ: redemption.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. Eph 1:7-8a
To most of us, redemption is a bit of a Christianese word we relate to our faith, but what does it really mean?
Dictionary.com defines redemption as, “to atone for a fault or mistake, deliverance, rescue,” and the “repurchase of something sold.”
Wow, that kind of sounds like the gospel! And in our verse above, we see the gospel – Christ atoned for our sins and mistakes, rescuing us through His blood shed on the cross. I also really like the phrase “repurchase of something sold.” While we may have a difficult time truly relating to the buying and selling of people (slavery), in Biblical times this was, wretchedly, incredibly common. A slave was purchased property, and a slave had almost no chance of ever redeeming himself, e.g.: purchasing his freedom. So in an era of rampant slavery, you can imagine that when the Apostle Paul used this phrase it would have resonated plainly with his 1st century audience.
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18
Christ purchased us while we were slaves of sin and made us slaves of righteousness. In that redemption, that repurchase and atonement, Christ paid our massive debt in order to free us from the cruel master of sin, and in effect took us home as His own, all according to the riches of His grace which is lavished on us.
Doesn’t that phrase just bring joy to your heart? God’s grace is lavished - or heaped, poured, drenched, doused upon us! By His grace we are set free from the unpayable debt to sin and now have become slaves to righteousness as Christ’s very own purchased possession.
Now, I understand that in today’s culture being a slave to anything or anyone has extremely negative connotations, but again the Bible was written in a time when this was common, so we must interpret these passages in their cultural context and then apply the lesson to our lives today. Just as Jesus used parables relevant to His audience, yet His instructions are applicable to every believer throughout time.
Think of it as Paul explains in Romans 6:22: But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
In this context, Christians are slaves to God, but by contrast, in this position we have true freedom, and this freedom is a gift from God (cf: Eph 2:8). A bit paradoxical on the surface, yet as Paul says, the reward of being redeemed from sin to become slaves of Christ is a great benefit – it is our sanctification, and ultimately, our eternal life with Him in heaven.
Today, let’s praise God for the grace and mercy He lavished on us through His son Jesus. He paid a tremendously high price to free us from the evil master of sin, and now we are His, able to serve Him in righteousness, truth, and obedience. What an incredible honor it is to have been purchased by God Almighty, the creator of all things, and to be a holy servant in His eternal Kingdom!