Redemption is simply the buying back of an object to set it free. The typical story in the Bible is the book of Ruth. In more than one way it points to Christ, the Redeemer. It is a story of family and redemptive love. Christians were ransomed from slavery in the kingdom of sin with something more precious than silver or gold (1 Pet 1:18). The church of God was obtained with the blood of His own Son (Acts 20:28). Purchased by the death of Jesus Christ (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14), His one-time sacrifice with His own blood (Heb 9:12) secured the believer’s justification (Rom 3:24), resulting in forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7).
We refer to salvation as the central theme in the Bible as it pertains to the work of Christ. God saves His people from the world, the curse of the Law, the devil, death in hell and the lake of fire. When we focus on how God accomplished this work without jeopardizing His holiness, righteousness, or justice it is known as the work of redemption of Jesus Christ in His death on the cross. In this context “blood” and “death” refer to the same thing — crucifixion at Calvary.
Agora is the Greek word used for a purchase in the marketplace. Christians were bought with a price in order to glorify God in their bodies (1 Cor 6:20). Because they were bought with a price they should not become the slaves of men (1 Cor 7:23). The extent of the purchase is representatives from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev. 5:9). The new identity of His purchased ones adds understanding as to why the apostle Paul so frequently referred to himself as a “slave of Christ.”
Contrasting those serving the Lord are those who slip into church and preach destructive heresies, foremost is the denial of the doctrine of redemption (2 Peter 2:1). These wolves preach and teach a works-based salvation that requires additional labor to the death of Christ for one to have right standing before God. Those who preach water baptismal regeneration are common, along with social gospel preachers, promoting a message of good works of service to merit favor with God.
Infinite value has purchased worthlessness. The deprivation in value for man is the curse of the Law, for which Christ hung on a tree to buy back a people for Himself (Gal 3:13). Incomplete obedience to the Law of God brought the curse (Dt 27:26). His redemption allows for the adoption of the redeemed to receive the right to become the children of God (Jn 1:12–13; Gal 4:5). And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us (1 Jn 4:16). This love of Christ constrains believers to worship with the song of the redeemed before the throne of their Redeemer (Rev 5:9). Their conduct before men is also transformed (Col 4:5), as they now redeem the time of their lives to serve Him (Eph 5:16).
There is a way in which we see redemption has already taken place; and yet, there is a day of redemption that is in the future (Eph 4:30). Like a layaway purchase plan, Christians are awaiting the full redemption of their bodies (Rom 8:23). The claim-receipt of down payment is the Holy Spirit as their guarantee (1 Cor 6:19; Eph 1:13–14). Meanwhile, Christians are to promote God’s redemptive plan (1 Tim 1:4) by proclaiming the Gospel of salvation in Christ alone.
In conclusion, we can say Christians were purchased off the slave market of sin at a very high price, in a substitutionary atonement that obtained an eternal redemption by His blood (Heb 9:12), to become a precious possession of the Lord Jesus Christ, forever (1 Cor 3:23; Heb 13:5; 1 Jn 5:11–13). Thank you, O my Father, for giving us your Son, and leaving your Spirit until this work is done.
St. George, Utah
July 18, 2021