In Christian circles we frequently hear the words redeemed and redemption. But those words fail to communicate the power and promise that they should when we don’t fully appreciate the problem that they remedy. The word redemption is used repeatedly to describe and illustrate the work of God to release and deliver fallen creatures from the consequences of their sins.
The word was used of God’s act of deliverance in Moses and Joshua’s day. God released his people from the bondage of enslavement in Egypt to the joy of the Promised Land. As important and real as their oppression and emancipation were, they were only pictures of the reality that has eternal consequences for all of us. The Bible speaks much of sin’s enslaving power (John 8:34; Romans 6:6; Titus 3:3). It is a kind of bondage that comes with a heavy price both here and now (2 Peter 1:4) and in the next life (Revelation 20:11-15). The good news of the Bible is that Christ came to earth and put on human flesh in order to live the life we should have lived, and to absorb the divine punishment on the cross that we deserve (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18).
Because this transaction solves the sin problem for those who have repented of their sins and put their trust in Christ, all the consequences of sin can and will be reversed. The payment for sins has been made and the effects of sin are promised to be withdrawn. Sadly, those effects are not all removed quite yet. We may now be relationally reconciled to God because of Christ, but we are still subject to many of the reverberating results of moral and natural evil. And we will continue to endure these until the time that God has ordained for “the revealing of the sons of God” and “the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:19, 23).
The Bible says that the whole plan to redeem fallen people and a fallen planet has been masterfully drawn up by God and will lead to the eternal celebration of his mercy and grace (Ephesians 1:4-14). We should not worry that anything was or is out of God’s control, but instead we should be assured that this Master Planner “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (verse 11) and has included each of us, guaranteeing our perfect inheritance, “to the praise of his glory” (verse 14).
Whether it’s the painful trials we face or the broad effects of sin we see around the world, we must affirm God’s good management of all things and know that our sovereign God is working a masterful plan both on the smaller scale of our lives, and on the larger scale of human history. In the end we will confirm— with the rest of humanity— the perfect justice and inscrutable mercy of our Creator.
It is so important to make sure that we are participants in that mercy. We can joyfully anticipate the redemption of every ache, pain, crisis, and trial when we stand confidently by faith as a child of God. Knowing we have a right relationship with our Creator makes all the difference in the world. His redemption both spiritually now and physically then is for those who trust him for their forgiveness and acceptance. Be sure that is a reality in your life today. Place your trust in the finished work of Christ— knowing that it is his life and death alone that make you acceptable before God.
— Pastor Mike