When I hear the word redemption I think of coupons and bottle deposits, neither of which I do very often. Yet, it's much more than that; it's an important key to our faith. But, as Christians do we really understand that we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ; freed from the power and penalty of sin? The dictionary defines it this way,
Redeem is a verb that means to buy back, to obtain release or restoration, as from captivity, by paying a ransom. To deliver from sin and its consequences by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner (www.dictionary.com).
Throughout scripture we see evidence of the transforming power of the cross. Lives are changed, sometimes dramatically leaving no doubt that something amazing has taken place.
Since Adam and Eve's fall, there has been a need for redemption. Jesus' death, shed blood and resurrection accomplished it for everyone and for all time; it is available when we recognize our own shortcomings in the light of God's perfect holiness. No one else can do it for us; it is between ourselves and God. Whatever we have done, Jesus died so we can be forgiven and be restored to a right relationship with the Father. Scripture says there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), so we can't allow the enemy to bring up the junk. It is forgiven, forgotten, finished and cast into the depth of the sea with NO FISHING!!
In Christ, both Paul and Onesimus were redeemed and so it is with everyone who receives the Savior. We are rescued from the power that sin and death have over us. It is important to know that Satan is already defeated, but he will try to bring down as many with him in the time he has left. He knows his fate is doomed. But like any other arch enemy, he will fight till the end. It is a daily battle; don't allow him any victory by his dredging up of past failings.
I am thankful for Jesus Christ's redemption in my life. I asked Him to be my Savior at the age of sixteen. Who knows where I would be if I had never made that decision to follow Him.
As we think about His redemption this week, recall His promises about forgiveness. God wants us to live in victory not in the shadow of our past.
Is there someone you know who hasn't found redemption yet? There are many who still need to hear. Like Paul, you may be the one to share the message of forgiveness with them.