Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Death of Christ and What It Accomplished (Part Three)

We have seen that when Christ gave His life for us He became our substitute. But the next thing we need to see concerning our salvation is that sin has ensnared us into bondage and that we are completely unable to free ourselves from it's slavery. We need to be set free. The process of this liberation is called Our Redemption in scripture.

In the Old Testament we have many beautiful pictures and types of this work of redemption.In fact this term is used over 130 times in the Old Testament. Throughout the book of Exodus for example, we see the people of God in bondage to Egypt. We hear the LORD saying, "I will redeem you with a out stretched arm and with great judgments" (Exodus 6:6). Then having been set free they sang, "You in Your mercy have led forth Your people which you have redeemed" (Exodus 15:13). This is a wonderful type of the redemptive work of Christ. A great illustration of redemption is found in the story of Ruth. Boaz redeemed Elimlelech's inheritance by payment, and this involved the raising up of the name of the dead by taking Ruth as his wife. Boaz redeemed both Ruth and the inheritance.

Turning to the New Testament the doctrine of redemption is built on three words. The first is a simple word which means "to buy, purchase or pay the price for something." It is used for instance, with this ordinary, everyday meaning in the parable of the treasure hid in a field which motivated the man to buy (redeem) the field (Matthew 13:44). In connection to our salvation the word means to pay the price which sin demanded so that we could be redeemed. We see in Revelation 5:9 the Lamb is worship because it was His blood that has redeemed us to God. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we are reminded that "you were bought (redeemed) at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which our God's."

The second word is the same basic word with a preposition added as a prefixed, intensifying the meaning. This makes the word have the thought of "buying out of." So the second word often used in the New Testament reminds us that Christ's death not only paid the price for sin but also removed us from the marketplace of sin in order to give us full assurance that we will never be returned tot he bondage and penalties of sin. This truth is elaborated on in the book of Galatians. There Paul informs us that Christ death was to "redeem those that were under the law" Galatians (4:5). He also says that "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). He paid the price on our behalf. We were "in bondage under the elements (principles) of the world" (4:3). This second usage of the word for redemption reminds us that Believer's our brought into a new position in Christ in relation to the law and this world.

The third word that is often used for redemption means to "loose" or "to set free by paying a price." The means of this release is through the substitution Christ made. This is what Paul declared when he wrote, "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man the Man Christ Jesus who gave Himself a ransom for all" (1 Timothy 2:5-6). The foundation or basis of our redemption is the blood of Christ. Hebrews 9:12 reminds us that we have obtained eternal redemption through His blood being shed. Peter declares, "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).

I would like to close by reminding us that in the New Testament there are so many more passages that speak of our redemption (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14). But there is just one more side of this work of redemption. While we enjoy the result of being redeem now, it is good to see that there is a redemption that lies in the future (Ephesians 1:14, 4:30, Romans 8:23). But until that day, Christ death and our redemption ought to have an moral affect on the way we live here. Paul challenges us to remember "Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14).

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