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WISE - Redemption

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Partake – Words In Scripture ExploredRedemption

 

For some of us the only time we see or hear the word redemption is on a supermarket or magazine coupon, which unless used for its specific purpose, has a redemption value of 0.001p. In the Old Testament, the idea of a redeemer is found in the story of Ruth and Boaz, which climaxes with So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel” (Ruth4v13-14).  That baby was Obed, the grandfather of David, an ancestor of Jesus Christ.  Redemption was also a familiar word in New Testament times, because its main use was to refer to the buying back of a slave - the price paid to buy the slave’s freedom.  A slave had no possessions of their own to sell in order to buy their freedom – they would always be dependent on somebody else to do that.

God’s Idea of Redemption

All humans are born into slavery to sin and alienation from God. Furthermore, no human is able to do anything to escape this slavery and alienation by them self.  Redemption means that God has paid the price (1 Peter 1:18-19) so that humans can be freed from the slavery to sin (John 8:35 Romans 7:14). The price was the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) on the cross at Calvary. As Christian Disciples, we are bought at a price, and we have a new position before God! We are bought out of slavery to sin, into glorious freedom where we are now slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:19); slaves to Christ (Romans 6:22). We are also Jesus Christ’s personal possession, for as Paul writes in (1 Corinthians 6v19-20 “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.”

Our Responsibility

But it is the humans’ responsibility to choose that way! God does not coerce forcefully – He leaves it as a choice for humans to make as individuals. For as one of the Church Fathers, Augustine, wrote: “For no one is redeemed except through unmerited mercy, and no one is condemned except through merited judgement.” Redemption is not just about looking back to the cross.  It also means we are to live a life worthy of the cost paid by Jesus Christ.  That means we are to actively live a life of total dependence upon, and total obedience to, God.  That is the best way to show you have accepted God’s offer of redemption – a life being transformed into the very image of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

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