Thursday, January 13, 2011


"and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 3:24, (ESV)

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to riches of his grace." Ephesians 1:7, (ESV)

"he entered once for all into the holy places not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption." Hebrews 9:12, (ESV)

Redemption. This is an awesome and sobering word. It is one that we should fully understand and by God's gracious enabling come to appreciate.

Redemption is closely related to the idea of salvation but is more specific. Redemption is the means by which slavation is acheived. Salvation is acheived by the payment of a ransom. In the New Testament the typical or principle words for redemption are λυτρωσις (loo’-tro-sis) and απολυτρωσις (ap-ol-oo’-tro-sis) - these are the usual noun forms of redemption. The normal verb form is lutrousqai.

The word for redemption means "to free by ransom." It is the action of one who has to free prisoners of war. The meaning is "to let free for a ransom." It is used of the one who gives the ransom meaning "to buy back by a ransom. Similar ideas are "to purchase for a ransom, bought by a ransom, and set free." In the New Testament lutrousqai is used exclusively for the redeeming act of God or of Jesus. Our word must mean to "buy back."

In the New Testament redemption refers to the salvific work of Christ and its effects for mankind. The Scripture makes it clear that:
  • ...the work Christ came to accomplish was that of ransom
  • ... the giving of Christ's life was the ransom price
  • ...the ransom price was substitutionary in its nature
Redemption in the New Testament is redemption from sin. Each and every human being is born into the slavery of sin. We are captive to our own lusts, appetities, and desires. They entice us to temptations of things forbidden by God and cause us to sin. This is what it means to fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3 makes it clear that we are all sinners without a single exception.

Redemption is the deliverance from sin and its guilt, defilement, power, and penalty. Sinners are the slaves of sin and as a result are condemned to death. That death includes both a physical death and a spritual death. Jesus paid the price of  release. This payment was made to God, His Father. Jesus DID NOT PAY A RANSOM TO THE DEVIL. Satan did not have to be satisfied even though the New Testament makes it clear that all human beings until they are adopted by God through Jesus Christ are the children of the devil. Adoption nullifies that parenthood and places us fully in a new family, the family of God. God the Father was offended by our sin and had to be satisfied or appeased - hence, the payment of Christ's life to the Father as a ransom price which satisfied and appeased God.

This is why it is so egregious to add any "work" or "effort" to the redemptive process.  Baptism, church membership, confirmation, rituals, works, and etc. have no saving effect on a sinner. Redemption or salvation is accomplished solely by the death of Jesus Christ as the required payment to God. By the Father accepting the death of Christ the payment for sin has been accomplished and sinners are "bought back by a price" from sin and thereby redeemed. This benefit of Christ's death is applied to those sinners who by faith repent of their sin and place their faith in the atoning work of Christ.


Thursday: "Theological Thursdays" - Studies in Christian Theology

Be a part of Theological Thursdays as we unlock the meaning of various terms, news, and definitions. Words mean things and we need to correctly understand biblical terms.


JD Curtis said...


An important point that sometimes gets lost in the discussion.

What kind of God would we worship if he didn't judge sin and transgressions accordingly?

Anonymous said...

thanks be to God for our undeserved redemption!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

How you every day come up with such wonderful and inspiring post is unbelieveable. Thanks Gregg you truly brighten my day.


Persis said...

Good clear post!


If Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be, and He did die on a cross at a point of time in history, then, for all history past and all history future it is relevant because that is the very focal point for forgiveness and redemption. ~Josh McDowell

And to think He did it for Ron! Praise His Holy Name!!!