Featured image for “3 – Redemption”




Redeemed​​ (verb)​​ is a word you may have heard in​​ church, either from​​ a​​ preacher or in a song.​​ You may​​ have​​ also encountered this word (or the noun form of it – redemption) when reading​​ your​​ bible.​​ But an informal survey reveals that most people don’t know what these words mean and​​ furthermore,​​ how they apply to​​ their lives.​​ 

In​​ the Old Testament,​​ redemption​​ is​​ most frequently used in relation to​​ God’s​​ deliverance​​ of his chosen nation, Israel.​​ But​​ you may be wondering,​​ what does that have to do​​ with​​ me?​​ ​​ In this​​ article,​​ I want to help you​​ understand​​ the New Testament usage of these words​​ and how they apply to your life​​ - today!​​ 


Word Meaning


There are several Greek words translated​​ redeem​​ or​​ redemption​​ in the New Testament, with each having a​​ slightly​​ different emphasis.​​ Here is a​​ working​​ definition/description​​ that applies to most usages​​ of these words –

Redeem/​​ Redemption​​ -​​ to deliver by paying a price​​ (a ransom);​​ to buy;​​ to set free, deliver, release.​​ It can also mean​​ -​​ to be delivered out of and never returned.​​ 




In the ancient​​ world,​​ slavery​​ was a common practice​​ in​​ places like​​ China,​​ the Middle East,​​ and Egypt.​​ In the Roman Empire,​​ approximately 20% of the population were slaves​​ at the time the New Testament was written.​​ People became slaves for several different reasons.​​ 

Often times people were enslaved as property​​ from the spoils of war. A person could also volunteer to become a slave in order to pay​​ his​​ debt.​​ God’s chosen people, Israel,​​ were​​ forced into slavery​​ in Egypt​​ because of Pharaoh’s fear that they were becoming too numerous to control.​​ (Ex. 1:7-11)

Slaves​​ were frequently​​ sold off in the public market to the highest bidder. The slave then became the property of the person who paid the purchase price.​​ 




Being a slave with no rights​​ of your own​​ sounds terrible doesn’t it?​​ Your every move being dictated by your owner.​​ Hard labor​​ every day with no end in sight. Could anything be worse?​​ If asked, most of you would say that you have never been a slave.​​ But would it surprise you to know that all mankind has been a slave,​​ and most still are? In fact, we are all born​​ into slavery!


Slaves​​ of​​ Sin


But thanks be to God that though​​ you were slaves of sin,​​ ...​​ Romans 6.17​​ 

For when​​ you were slaves of sin,​​ ...”​​ Romans 6.20​​ 


We know that sin​​ and death​​ entered the world through Adam and​​ spread to all mankind, thus, all were made sinners.​​ ​​ (Rom. 5:12, 19)​​ As a​​ result,​​ we are all born in bondage to sin!

Note​​ ​​ In the book of Romans, “sin” is​​ used 45 times and only once is it a verb (Rom. 6:15). In all other occurrences of the word “sin” it is used as a noun.​​ Vine’s​​ Expository​​ Dictionary​​ defines “sin” when used as a noun​​ as​​ a governing principle or power; an organized power, acting through the members of the body.​​ For more on this, please read “Controlling Power of Sin” on this website.​​ 


Folks, there is a power that dwells in​​ your physical body called sin, regardless whether you have received Christ or not.​​ Consider – Gen. 4:7; Rom. 5:21; 6:12-14; 7:17-20.​​ Sin is perhaps the most cruel of all slave owners. It is​​ also the most deceiving. Most people are completely unaware​​ of sin’s​​ power over their lives!​​ And​​ furthermore, we​​ are powerless​​ to​​ set​​ ourselves​​ free from this evil​​ power called sin!


Concealed in the Old Testament


We​​ read​​ in the Old Testament book of Exodus how God delivered​​ (redeemed) Israel from Egypt.​​ (Ex. 3:8; 6:6; 15:13; Psa. 130:8)​​ As with many of the Old Testament​​ events,​​ this is​​ a picture​​ of a spiritual truth that is​​ later​​ explained in the New Testament. Egypt is a picture of mankind​​ separated from God under the bondage of sin.​​ God’s deliverance​​ (redemption)​​ of Israel from Egypt is a picture of​​ mankind’s redemption from the power of sin.

The idea of redemption is woven throughout the Old​​ Testament.​​ Even the​​ Mosaic​​ Law had provisions for a​​ blood relative (kinsman)​​ to redeem a​​ person​​ from slavery.​​ We see in the book​​ of​​ Ruth,​​ the​​ clearest​​ example of​​ redemption.​​ 


Augustine wrote​​ -​​ “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed;​​ 

the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.”


Jesus Our Redeemer


The longer you read the bible the more you will begin to see that​​ all of the bible​​ points​​ toward​​ the​​ redemption of​​ mankind from the bondage of sin​​ for the​​ ultimate​​ purpose of restoring God’s​​ life​​ to man.​​ (Mark 10:45;​​ John 10:10: 1 Tim. 2:5-6)​​ 

It is​​ Jesus​​ that​​ purchased​​ (redeemed)​​ mankind from​​ being enslaved​​ to​​ sin.​​ He alone had​​ the​​ purchase​​ price for​​ our redemption​​ – his​​ precious blood.​​ (Eph. 1:7-8;​​ 1 Pet. 1:18-19)​​ 


As a result -​​ 

  • We are no longer slaves to sin! -​​ 

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.​​ Romans 6.22​​ 


  • We are now under new ownership! –​​ 

19​​ Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?​​ 20​​ For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.​​ 1 Cor. 6.19-20


13​​ For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,​​ 14​​ in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.​​ Col.1.13-14​​ 


While​​ sin​​ still​​ resides​​ in our physical body,​​ it​​ has lost its power​​ for those who are in Christ!​​ (Romans​​ 6)

Just as a slave could not secure his own freedom, we​​ were powerless to free ourselves from the penalty and the power of sin. But our merciful and loving Heavenly Father​​ has taken the initiative to act​​ with​​ compassion on​​ all mankind.​​ 


 And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men.​​ Romans​​ 5.6

14​​ Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,​​ 15​​ and​​ might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.​​ Hebrews 2.14-15​​ 


Yes, a Christian can still commit acts of sin. However, we are now free NOT to sin.​​ We have been transformed from the inside out.​​ (2 Cor. 3:18)​​ We have a new spirit​​ that is joined with Christ’s spirit (1 Cor. 1:17); we have​​ a new heart;​​ we have the mind of Christ​​ (1 Cor. 2:16); and we have a new identity.​​ (1 Cor. 1:2)​​ We are a new creation in Christ!​​ We are no longer suited for sin, so live accordingly!


Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,​​ there​​ is liberty.​​ 2 Cor.​​ 3.17​​ 


Next​​ –​​ A New Creation in Christ​​ -​​ Part​​ 4​​ ​​ Reconciled