Redemption means “freedom from bondage, which is secured by the payment of a price.” The “price” referred to here is the “ransom payment” required to deliver a person or thing from slavery or captivity. There are a number of dimensions into which the theme of redemption continues in the New Testament:
The New Testament gets to the heart of why we need a more profound redemption and stronger Redeemer. Sin is at the root of the political, spiritual, physical and relational slaveries encountered in our world, personal lives, relationships and experiences. Sin has affected every person who has ever lived (Rom. 5:12); therefore, it affects every institution, group and activity of which people are a part. Until we get real about the problem – sin – we can’t begin to get real about freedom.
Dimensions of New Testament Redemption
Political: Do you believe God cares about politics? Do you believe he cares about your politics? Does he concern himself with the righteousness or wickedness of nations and their leaders? You better believe it. Historically, we can observe that God frequently advanced his program by his sovereign activity over global politics. The redemption of Jesus is the cornerstone of God’s plan for an eternal kingdom of righteousness and peace that will eliminate every trace of the beastly kingdoms of the world (Daniel 7). How can you partner with God’s kingdom agenda by redemptive living at the political level? Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel, and Paul employed political influence to advance God’s program and glorify him to nations and kings.
Spiritual: Jesus paid the ransom price to set you free from sin’s slavery – freed from its punishment with justification, freed from its power with sanctification, and eventually freed from its presence with glorification. He also paid the price to set you free from God’s law - its penalties, demands and brand of righteousness.
While God’s law is holy and good, it’s purpose was to make sin sinful. People who are set free by Christ’s redemption aren’t lawless; rather, we are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit and clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Do you know how to walk by the Spirit? Read Galatians. You’ll gain an understanding of redeemed spiritual living and learn how love for God and others sets the boundaries of our freedom (Gal. 5:13).
Physical: Did you know that believers have been granted a legal right to inherit a new and free body on the future day of redemption? This is what is meant by “adoption to sonship” in Romans 8:23. God will set our bodies free from death, just as he did for his Son through the resurrection of his physical body. Through God’s legal adoption of believers in Christ, we now belong to him in life and in death, body and soul. Therefore, we should glorify God in our bodies (1 Cor. 6:20). Are you using your body as an instrument of righteousness or as an instrument of unrighteousness?
Relational: The way to “buy back” opportunities, time and relationships from evil is through a sacrificial and evangelistic lifestyle filled by the Holy Spirit. It’s going to cost you. Redemptive living always costs, just as it cost Jesus his life. However, it also results in you becoming a life-giver, just like Jesus. By sacrificial worship in the community, we give life to the church. By sacrificial love and submission in our marriages, we give life to our spouses. By children sacrificing their wills in obedience and honor to their parents, we give life to them. By patiently parenting, we give life to our children. By sacrificing status and rights to serve the Lord in difficult situations, we give life to those around us. By doing the work of an evangelist, we give the words of life to needy sinners.
What’s God’s response to evil days? Redeem the time. Take advantage of every opportunity and relationship. There are adventures and freedom in the sacrificial and evangelistic lifestyle of a life-giver. Will you redeem the time God has given you?