Redemption in Christ- Ephesians 1:7

Ephesians 1:7 tells us that as Christians we have redemption in Christ. We will examine this concept of redemption in more detail to help us understand just what the Biblical concept of redemption is, and what the fact that we have it in Christ means in our lives. The Greek word redemption here is apolutrosis, and means to release from bondage by the payment of a ransom or penalty. This concept comes from the Old Testament understanding of a kinsman-redeemer. The term to redeem in the Old Testament means to “buy back”. In the process of redemption, a kinsman (relative) would pay the price necessary to buy back land lost to someone else, or to buy the freedom of a kinsman who had been sold into slavery. Redemption, then, is the payment of the price necessary to buy the freedom of a slave, freeing them from their former master. This payment could only be made by a kinsman of the slave on behalf of the one in slavery. We will examine an Old Testament passage in order to determine just what Israel was enslaved to and exactly how their ransom would be paid. We turn now to Psalm 130, which begins in verse one with Israel crying out of the depths of despair for mercy. Why is Israel in despair here? Due to its sin (verse 3), to which Israel is enslaved and is crying out for a kinsman-redeemer, crying out to be free from its sin. This cry comes because Israel has faith in the fact that with God there is forgiveness (verse 4), that God has promised to deal with the sin of His people. The writer realizes Israel cannot redeem itself, hence we find them waiting upon God to redeem them, because He says that He will (verse 5). Israel here waits in bondage and despair, looking for God to provide a way out of its despair and bondage. In the meantime, the writer cries out, rejoicing, for with God is chesed (verse 7), grace, divine favor expressed through God’s love for His people. God in His love, grace and mercy, would come as one of us (our kinsman) in order to redeem us from our sin. We then learn, in verse 7, that in the Lord is “full redemption”, that He will make it possible for His people to find complete freedom from sin. We then discover, in verse 8, exactly who will redeem God’s people from their sins, and the redeemer is “the Lord Himself”. God himself will be the kinsman-redeemer of His people, paying the price to set them free from bondage to their former master, sin. God, in Christ, has come and paid the price necessary to bring about our freedom from sin, and to set us free to serve a new master. We now need no longer live as captives of sin, but are now free to live as “slaves” of Christ, for in Him we have been given “full” redemption, with redemption here describing our freedom from our old master (sin). What we have seen from the Old Testament of the redemption we have is that it is 1) full (total and complete) 2) from sin and 3) provided by the Lord Himself. Jesus on the cross paid the price to redeem us, to provide our freedom from sin. He has rescued us from our despair and bondage, set us free from our former master and freed us to serve our new master. Our next post will turn to the New Testament in order to examine exactly how comprehensive the redemption we have in Christ is, and what that redemption means in our lives here and now.

No Comments Christianity  //  Salvation and Redemption  //  Sin and Temptation

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