Redemption. This word has taken on a variety of meanings in our modern culture. However it has a very specific meaning in scripture: “To buy back, and return possession to a previous owner”.
We’ve studied before the famous line in Psalms 107:2, which says to let the redeemed of the LORD say so… and there have even been songs sung about this very thing, yet people often don’t stop to think about what making the statement that “I am redeemed!” actually means.
So in this study today, I would like to share with you, the amazing truth of your redemption in Christ, and what it actually means to be redeemed; and redeemed eternally by Jesus Christ Himself.
As I mentioned in the opening, redemption is something often spoken-of in Christian communities, but it’s not often meditated on in the scriptural sense and meaning of the word today.
Yet the scriptures themselves do not shy-away from telling us that our redemption is the key factor in the finished work of Christ, because it is precisely what He came down to earth to do. The blood of bulls and goats was not sufficient to actually redeem mankind; they couldn’t buy us back – the price was too high, and we were still held in bondage. Romans 6:17-18 says it like this:
“But God be thanked, that you were slaves of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you.
Being then made free from sin, you became bound to righteousness.”
At one time we were slaves of sin. And this is the noun of sin here… This isn’t speaking of the verb of sin. It’s not talking about sinful actions that we commit; it is speaking of the place of sin that we were in, and our old identity as a sinner. We were held captive by it, and as verse 21 says… the end of that slavery to sin is death.
However, notice that it says we “were” slaves of sin – that is past-tense. We are not still slaves of sin, nor are we trying to become free from sin. Instead as verse 18 says, we have been made free from sin… and it didn’t happen because of our strength, and it also did not happen by our effort, or our willpower, or any such thing.
No, you became free from sin by obeying from the heart (that is your mind, as we have studied previously).
And what is it that you obeyed? Was it the Laws and Rules of the Old Covenant? Was it Moses?
Nope. It was the doctrine that was delivered.
Now this is very interesting language. This is a very peculiar definition here, that if we don’t understand the totality of what Paul is writing here, we can possibly misunderstand it to think that he might be referring to the Old Covenant Law. I’ve heard some people try to make that claim.
However back in Romans chapter 1, he makes a point to mention which doctrine he is referring to… in verses15-17 he boldly declares the following:
“So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
And furthermore in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4, Paul proceeds to write this:
“Moreover, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand;
By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached to you, unless you have believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Now the interesting (and sad) thing here is that some people have misused verse 2, to preach a doctrine of people losing their salvation. But that is not the meaning of verse 2 at all!
Instead when we read verse 2 in context, we can see that Paul is actually re-enforcing the importance of the complete redemption of Jesus Christ.
What was happening is that some were coming in and troubling the Corinthians, saying that resurrection of Christ did not actually happen. They were spreading a false message… and Paul is pointing out in this chapter, that without the resurrection of Christ, your belief is in vain.
As we have studied multiple times previously, the resurrection of Christ is a very important part of His completed work for several reasons, as Paul points out in the rest of this chapter as well.
Without the resurrection of Christ, you actually have nothing – the work remains unfinished if Jesus didn’t raise from the dead! The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, is your proof that sin has been done away with.
This is an essential part of the Gospel message; and it is the message that Paul was proclaiming.
Now contrast this with the old system of the Law of Moses, the Old Covenant Priesthood, and even the works-minded religious systems of today, and you will see an amazing difference, between all of those things – and the eternal redemption of Jesus.
Hebrews 7:19-28 has this to say about it:
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw near to God.
And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said to him, The Lord swore and will not repent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better covenant.
And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
But this man, because he continues ever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
Why he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.
For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
For the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, makes the Son, who is consecrated for ever more.”
For those who still cling to the Law of Moses, who still desire those sacrifices and sufferings and striving, thinking that it somehow makes them better, take a good look at verse 19: The Law made nothing perfect. The Law has no power to improve your standing, it has no avenue by which it can perfect you in any way.
I have heard people say to me that “Jesus saves, but then we must maintain our salvation.” – and I respond with the same question every time: using what method? Which tools should I use to maintain what Jesus Himself purchased for me? – and every single time without fail, they try to clumsily fit some form of the Old Covenant into the equation. My friend, we are making the same mistake of the Galatians all over again, trying foolishly to perfect ourselves through works of the Law, and by our fleshly efforts, instead of simply believing on the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Notice the rest of verse 19 – while the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing of a better hope did! This “better hope” is the superior confidence and expectation that can only be found in Christ Jesus, and His finished work; His perfect sacrifice, which is superior to that of the Old Covenant in every single way.
Notice in verse 24, it makes a point to mention that because Jesus continues forever, He has an unchangeable priesthood. This is very good for us (and good for us to know and understand) because it means that His sacrifice never wears out, like those in the Old Covenant (that only covered sins for a single year). And it also means that Jesus’ intercession for us never ends either; His priesthood never ends, because Jesus Himself never ends.
This is the main point. That Jesus’ sacrifice to completely remove your sin (the complete old identity, and the place of condemnation and death that you were in) is not only complete, but it is also eternal and unchangeable!
This is why verse 25 continues the way that it does:
“Why he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.”
You see my friend, you are not just saved a “little bit”, “half-way”, or “partially” while you are left to finish the job.
No, you are saved by Jesus to the uttermost; that is absolutely and completely. And you come to God through Him. Not by any other avenue – and certainly not through yourself.
And what is the result of what Christ has done? Take a look at Hebrews 9:11-14:
“But Christ being a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
In closing today, look at what these verses are saying… Christ accomplished what nothing of the Old Covenant could ever do. He purges your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God.
All of the religious doctrines, theologies and systems out there (including in some churches) that try to put the focus back onto yourself and your own works, are actually trying to revive what Christ sacrificed Himself to purge you from… the dead works of your flesh.
Christ paid to give you a clear conscience – and His sacrifice never wears out or expires.
This is the beauty of Jesus, being your eternal redemption. The permanent payment to buy you back from the slavery of sin, and to bind you forever to His righteousness.