Redemption and closely related words:
Redemption is a noun that is commonly used in Christianity. It is closely related to the word Redeem, which is a verb. The person who redeems is called the Redeemer.
Definitions of Redemption:
- the action of redeeming or the state of being redeemed;
- a thing that saves someone from error or evil;
- deliverance and atoning for a sin, fault or mistake;
- recovery or atonement for guilt, provide salvation;
- repurchase or paying off, as of a mortgage, bond or note.
Redemption in the Old Testament:
ge’ullah (Hebrew, noun);
This word means “right of redemption” and it is used with respect to the deliverance of persons or property that have been sold in order to repay a debt. The Law of Moses required that the right of redemption be protected. The redemption price was determined based on the number of years remaining until the year of jubilee, where there would have been the release of all debts. This concept is seen in the following scripture:
25 If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.
26 And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it;
27 Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession.
28 But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.
Redemption in the New Testament:
apolutrosis (Greek, noun)
This word gives the sense of a releasing by way of the payment of a ransom, and even implies the deliverance from physical torture. This word also encompasses forgiveness and justification, such as redemption through Jesus Christ which brings deliverance from the guilt of sins. This concept is seen in the following scripture:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
The need for Redemption:
When the Lord created Adam, the first man, in His own likeness and image [Genesis 1:26] it was the intention that man would never have to experience the following:
Man was given dominion over the earth and everything that was in it. The tasks given to Adam and Eve were simple:
- Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth
- Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.
- To dress the garden of Eden and to keep it
- To give names to all the living creatures that God had made
There was only one commandment that was given to Adam and Eve:
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
It is important to understand here that in the day that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they died spiritually and no longer had the close fellowship with God that they previously enjoyed. Moreover, it would now just be a matter of time before they eventually also died physically.
Adam lived for 930 years and then died. It is important to note that man is a triune being, and comprises of :
The relationship of these three parts can be given as follows: You are a spirit, you have a soul (mind, will and emotions) and you live in a body. Therefore the real you is not what you see when you look in the mirror, that is just your “house” the real you lives on the inside.
I Thessalonians 5:23
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
With Adam’s sin the First Dispensation : Innocence came to an end and Paradise was lost. But the implications of their disobedience had more serious consequences. Every human being born after that would be born spiritually dead and a sinner by nature. Satan also usurped dominion of the earth and became the god of this world system.
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed where there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
The Cost of Redemption:
There must be the shedding of blood for sins to be remitted [Hebrews 9:22]. Coats of skin were made for Adam and Eve by the Lord. At that time it was set that animal sacrifices would be offered to the Lord to cover sin on a yearly basis, this was further formalized in the Law that was subsequently given to Moses. The first murder took place when Cain rather than offer an animal to the Lord, he offered of the fruit of the ground.
Subsequently, Cain slew Abel in a field. However, the blood of animals were only a temporary measure until in the fullness of time, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ would become the perfect sinless sacrifice for all of humanity once and for all. The Lord Jesus Christ is also referred to as the last Adam:
I Corinthians 15:45-47
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthly: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
Hence the Cost of Redemption was the shedding of the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. Only this act could have opened the pathway for all of humanity to be redeemed, and negate the need for animals to be sacrificed annually. It is truly as John the Baptist declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world!” [John 1:29]
I Corinthians 15:21-26
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Accessing Your Redemption:
Redemption is a personal thing. God has no grandchildren, everyone must enter into a personal relation with the Lord Jesus Christ through repentance of sin and acknowledging Him as their personal Lord and Saviour. Each human being is born spiritually dead because of Adam, henceforth must be ‘born again’ in order to lay hold of eternal life. In the Gospel of John 3:3, the Lord Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, “ Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.“
The Lord Jesus went on to explain that what is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. You have already been born of the flesh, but you must also be born of the Spirit if you are to be redeemed, and be assured of eternal life. God paid the ultimate price in order to rectify the error that the first Adam made, so this is something that we just cannot ignore.
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?