Redemption

We will start by asking a question. Do you become suspicious when you are offered something for FREE? – We know that very little is free in life, and there is usually a catch. If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! That’s the usual guidance to us in this, perhaps, cynical world. Something for nothing often means there is a scam involved especially as they seem to be on the increase since the current lockdown. But we have been offered something wonderful – for free – and there is no catch. Paul writes in Romans 3 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 3:23-24. The Greek word for redemption here, according to Strong’s Concordance, means “a ransom in full”. Justified means to be declared righteous, freely, without cost to us “on all who believe” v 22 tells us.

When we think about the way Jesus spoke about sin, we remember that he put a price on our sin against each other and against God. Read Matthew 18 v 21-22.

Then follows the parable of the unforgiving creditor, read Matthew 18 v 23-27. The sins against God, depicted here as the King, were represented by a debt of ten thousand talents. To put that into context,1 talent was equal to 6,000 denarii and a denarius was a man’s wages for 1 day. 10,000 talents are therefore equal to 60m denarii or equivalent to about 164,000 years of wages for one man. That is the size of our debt to God – HUGE. The parable continues in v 28-35. Our sins against each other are represented by a debt of 100 denarii, or just over 3 months wages. Our debt to God is impossible to repay compared to any trivial debt owed to us. If our debt to God was in monetary terms, it is more than we could ever repay. Our sins against each other are as nothing by comparison. Verse 35 is a warning about the penalty for not forgiving others when our sins are forgiven by God.

When we live in Christ, all OUR debt is wiped away and we are justified freely by God’s grace. This is nothing that we deserve. Cancelling our debt is God's free gift to us. It costs us nothing though we deserve none of His grace.

Because we have been freely forgiven and justified, let us be thankful for God's grace on us and freely pass on the blessings to others as we forgive them for what they may have done against us.

Notice that we have been “justified freely” It is one thing to be “justified” but the emphasis here is that it is “without price as it is written in
Isaiah 55 v 1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat”. Bible echoes are found in Revelation 22 v 17 “…let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Without a price, because Jesus has paid the price on our behalf. Consider how we have been redeemed.

Redemption means to deliver someone or something by paying a price. Redemption is spoken of many times in the OT. Animals were offered as a sacrifice for sin. The 1st animal sacrifice was to cover the sins of Adam & Eve and they were covered with animal skins.

In Egypt God’s people were saved by the blood of animals. Read Exodus 12 v 12 – 14. It pointed forward to the deliverer of all people as the perfect Passover lamb. John the Baptist announced “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

We see another example of redemption in the OT in the lovely story of Ruth and how Boaz acted as her redeemer. The redeemer had to be a relative, and so Boaz purchased the land that had belonged to Ruth’s husband and with it Ruth herself and she became the great Grandmother of David from whose line our Lord sprang. The redeemer had to be a relative and pay the price in full. Jesus is our brother and paid the ultimate price for our redemption.

Ephesians 1 v 7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

Romans 5 v 19 tells us “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” It promises a new relationship with God. 1 Peter 3 v 18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”, and it promises a new life in Christ.

The Priests in the Tabernacle and the Temple offered animal sacrifices for the people’s sins, but Hebrews speaks of a better sacrifice. Read Hebrews 9 v 11-15 & v 25-26. By this sacrifice of himself, Jesus put away sin which is something that was absolutely impossible for the Levitical sacrifices to do v28.

Conclusion - Romans 3 v 22 – 24 the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”. No one (except one) has lived up to what God created us to be; we all fall short. We cannot save ourselves because as sinners we can never meet God’s requirements. Our only hope is faith in Jesus Christ. Those who believe are justified, that is declared righteous, freely, without cost, by God’s grace. Jesus died to provide redemption; he died to pay the price required to ransom sinners. And so we, who were once without hope and estranged from God can approach His throne and be restored to a proper relationship with Him.

Ephesians 2 v 12 – 13 “Remember that you were at one time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” v18 “For through him we both have access in one spirit to the Father.

So, to answer our original question – is there something for free that has been offered to us? Yes, but not because of us, but because of our Lord and his sacrifice, for our redemption.

CA
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