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Faith notes: What does redemption mean?

Some of the things churches and pastors are guilty of is using fancy Bible words. Sometimes these words are used only in churches on Sundays and therefore we have a hard time understanding what they mean. One such word is “redemption.”

Many Bible translations use the word redemption in many places, but one of the most famous places it is used is in the New Testament book called Ephesians. In the first chapter, the seventh verse it reads, “In Jesus, we have redemption through His blood, the Forgiveness of sins.”

According to the Scriptures, we call the Lord Jesus our Redeemer. Just what do we mean by that?

A redeemer is someone who buys back. A redeemer is someone who makes a purchase. Imagine a man gathering merchandise at the home improvement store. The cashier rings everything up, and it comes to a thousand dollars.

With $500, he has not purchased it. With $750, he has not purchased it. Even with $999.99, he has not purchased it. But if he lays out 10, $100, it’s finally bought and paid for.

That means two things. First, there’s nothing left to pay, not by anyone. No one owes a dime for it. It means the home improvement store is whole and everything is complete. Second, the man who bought it is free to leave and gets to take everything home with him.

That’s what we mean by calling Jesus our Redeemer. We belonged to God as His own special creation. But we fell into sin. Sin brought death, and death would have ended in hell. We could never pay the price of our own redemption — we had nothing to offer God because of our sin. We had nothing and no way to give anything needed to make us whole again.

Another New Testament, Romans, tells us this: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified (declared not guilty of sin) freely (not at any price we pay) by His grace (not by what we do), through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” — Romans 3:23-24. Jesus, with His blood and death on the cross, bought us back!

Many people talk about Jesus in terms like this, calling Him Redeemer, or Savior. What do we mean by all that? The words themselves mean that He paid the full price, with nothing more to pay, ever! And, they mean that He wants to take us home to Himself in heaven.

We could refuse to go along. But why? This world and everything in it — even our own lives — passes away. But in Jesus, there is redemption, and power that changes lives.

This Sunday, why not make time and go to church and hear more about it?

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