2004-11-09 - Redemption in Christ
Ephesians 1:7. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace."
Redemption in Christ...Have you ever really considered it? Have you ever really considered that you were in captivity and bondage, as it were, in jail, and are now free? I have never been in jail, but I have been in handcuffs, and being in captivity is not enjoyable. Redemption in Christ means we are no longer captive to sin. I will take an aside here and ask you a personal question. Had your coffee yet? Are you captive to a sin? Is there a sin that just beats you up? Part of redemption in Christ, even a great part, of forgiveness is the forgiveness and redemption from those very sins that beset us. Sins that keep us captive are still sins that are, and can be, overcome in Christ. But we must rest in His strength, not our own. When we rely on ourselves, we all know too well the truth of Adam's imputed sin, and we cannot clear the slate ourselves. We can rest alone on the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ
(Romans 5:12-21). Captivity is a state of being which is opposed to liberty, and in Christ, we are under a new master. Sin no longer holds us captive. We are slaves of freedom, and the handcuffs of captivity are off, as we live to Christ.
Our tendency is to laugh in the midst of our bondage to sin. What we need to do is enter into ourselves and see the truth and reality of sin. Sin is a captive, and only in Christ do we have release, even redemption. Again, consider if you can, yourself in handcuffs. That is the reality that sin brings to us. It keeps us in bondage. This is the reason why we can consider it joy when we undergo trials (James 1:2). Our trials are overcome in Christ, in the redemption we have in Him. Sin is no longer our master and no longer holds us in bondage. Temptation can lead to joy, because in Christ, we have release from the power of the temptation. We are free. One of the things we have to distinguish in our lives is the power of satan to hold us under condemnation from the power of reigning sin, and to hold us under willing subjection to sin. This is a usurping over the power of Christ to free us from sin, and we are called to resistance from this mistake.
"Shout for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and in Israel He shows forth His glory," Isaiah 44:23. This is what redemption brings us. The Lord has done it, and we can shout for joy. We must seek to have the scales removed from our eyes, so that we may see the infinite mercy of Christ's redemption more clearly. The Holy Spirit must work in our understanding, and we should pray to that end. It is only then that we can really shout for joy in the redemption we have in Christ.
Lastly, let us reflect upon the fact that this redemption has a price upon it. It is through Christ's blood. Christ laid down His life that we might be free. It is a freedom that was bought. As we touched on last week, Christ is our kinsman redeemer, but the price still had to be paid. Christ became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). He obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:13). But it was through His blood that this was accomplished. The Word of God mentions the blood of Christ frequently. It is in Christ that the Old Testament sacrifices are fulfilled. It was, as this verse plainly states, through His blood that we are freed. Our redemption was costly. We can shout for joy only because the price of our sin has been paid by another. We are unworthy, and in Christ all handcuffs are off.
Soli Deo Gloria,