Table of Contents

Table of Contents II

Search This Blog

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Redemption in Christ

One frequently comes across the words redeem, redeemed, and redemption in reading through the New Testament.  I found twenty instances using a concordance for the New King James version of the Bible.  What do these words mean?  If you were to look into a modern-day dictionary you would likely find a number of responses.  My Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 2000 edition, lists nine meanings for the word redeem.  Most have the general idea of paying off or buying back or releasing.

According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, a dictionary based on the words found in the King James Version of the Bible, there are four Greek words behind the English words translated as redeem and redemption, two verbs, and two nouns.  For the purpose of this article I will only be dealing with three of them, those most relevant to the purpose of this article, and I will be quoting from Vine.

The Greek verb “lutroo” signifies “to release on receipt of ransom … signifying to release by paying a ransom price.”  Vine lists Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 1:18-19 as examples.  The Titus passage, speaking of Christ, reads, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for himself his own special people.” (NKJV)  Peter says we were redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 NKJV).  We were thus released from sin and its penalty by the ransom price of the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.  Christ delivered us from sin.

The noun form of “lutroo” is “lutrosis.”  Lutrosis is “a redemption.”  “With his own blood he entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Heb. 9:12 NKJV)  Hebrews 9:12 is a statement of fact as to what has been done and how, redemption by the blood of Jesus.

The final Greek word to be dealt with here is “apolutrosis,” which is “a strengthened form of” lutrosis.  It is “a releasing, for … a ransom.”  I am here interested in the third example of lutrosis given by Vine.  He says, “forgiveness and justification, redemption as the result of expiation, deliverance from the guilt of sins.”  Scriptures listed under this Greek term are Rom. 3:24, Eph. 1:7, and Col. 1:14.

Each passage speaks of redemption by the blood of Christ.  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation by his blood.” (Rom. 3:24-25)  “We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Eph. 1:7 NKJV)  The Colossian passage is identical to the Ephesian passage, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:14 NKJV)

Having done the word study one can see that redemption is a release, a deliverance from sin and its consequences by means of a ransom, the ransom being Christ’s shed blood, his death on the cross.  Its end result is thus salvation of one’s soul, the soul of the one who takes advantage of the ransom Jesus made.  The ransom made was “a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6 NKJV) but while this redemption is universal in its scope, that is it is available to all, it is only effective for those who come into Christ.

This redemption, this salvation, is “in Christ Jesus.” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood.” (Rom.:3:23-25a NKJV)

One enters into Christ by believing and obeying the gospel; the final step in obeying the gospel and thereby being placed into Christ is baptism.  Baptism is preceded by faith in Christ, repentance of sins, and confession of one’s faith in Jesus.

We are then to be “baptized into Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:3 NKJV)  “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal 3:26-27 NKJV)  Faith led to baptism.  The corollary of Gal. 3:26-27 would be “as many of you as were not baptized into Christ have not put on Christ.”  If not, why not?

I do not know of a single scripture that speaks of entering into Christ some way other than through baptism.  There was no other way on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) when Peter preached the first gospel sermon.  Peter required baptism in that sermon.  “Repent, and be baptized everyone of you.” (Acts 2:38 KJV)  Everyone means everyone.  There is no other way today.  Mankind has no power to override the spirit-filled preaching of an apostle.

One fact people often overlook who desire to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus is that Jesus shed his blood in his death.  He was dead when the soldier came around and pierced his side and the blood and water then flowed from his side. (John 19:33-34)  Paul says in Rom. 6:3 that we “were baptized into his death.”  His blood was shed in his death; we enter into his death by baptism where we contact the blood that redeems us.  This is a spiritual contact but whoever thought it would be otherwise?

“We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 NKJV)  It is an “eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12) for those who remain faithful to the end of life.  To be delivered from one’s sins and released from the burden, guilt, and punishment due us for our sins is like the weight of the world off one’s shoulders.  What a joy, what a relief.

Anyone who so desires can be redeemed by the blood of Jesus.  God has offered us all his special invitation.  “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’  And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’  And let him who thirsts come.  And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17 NKJV) 

If someone was to offer you in this material world a gift of great value, very costly, whether in terms of monetary value or of great personal sacrifice and you rejected it that would come across on your part as cold and unfeeling, ungrateful, unloving, and unkind.  What if we reject Christ’s great sacrificial gift of his life?

“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 NKJV)  We “were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6:20 NKJV)

Anyone who is willing and so desires can even this day be redeemed by the blood of Christ.

[To download this article or print it out click here.]

No comments: