The Glorious Gift of Redemption
TEXT: John 3:16-17
TASK: To warn and encourage the lost to receive redemption found only in Christ.
TEACH: Testimony of the Jeremiah House.
I. The Definition of Redemption
Redemption: To redeem someone or something is to reclaim or buy back the person, animal, land, or nation (e.g., Israel). Generally, there is a price that must be paid to redeem when it comes to person-to-person acts of redemption. One can be a (kinsman) redeemer,
ATONEMENT: Think about it as at-one-ment .
The OT Exodus is perhaps one of the best pictures we have of redemption.
II. The Source of Redemption
The source of redemption is none other than the free sovereign love of God. Paul wrote, “God commended His own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8. It is centered in God, He is the God of redemption.
It was the free and good pleasure of His will, a good pleasure that emanated from the depths of His own goodness, that He chose a people to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
However, we must understand something. “The work of God’s glorious redemption has carried on from the Fall and will continue to do so until the end of the world. God has been working and is working to convert souls, open blind eyes, unstopping deaf ears, raising dead souls to life and rescuing the miserable captives out of the hands of Satan.” Johnathan Edwards Vol. 1 (pg. 534).
Edwards continues, “And as God carries on the work of converting the souls of fallen mem through all ages, so He goes on to justify them to blot out all their sins, and to accept them as righteous in Hs sight, through the righteousness of Christ. He goes on to accept them from being children of Satan to be the children of God.” Jonathan Edwards Vol. 1 (pg. 535).
III. The Necessity of Redemption
Why did God become man? There are two primary reasons: The holiness of God and The gravity of sin. John Murray wrote, “The way of redemption through Christ vicarious atonement was the way which God in His grace and sovereign wisdom chose because this is the way which God’s justice is satisfied and His love expressed. Thus, without the shedding of blood there is no redemption, no forgiveness.” John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied (pg. 18).
Man needs redemption because of the effects of sin. Sin is the disobedience and rebellion against God's perfect and holy standards. It separates humanity from God and has a profound impact on every aspect of human existence.
1. Spiritual Separation: Sin creates a separation between humanity and God. In our natural state, we are unable to have a relationship with God due to the barrier caused by sin. It distorts our understanding of God's character and hinders our ability to experience His love, truth, and presence in our lives.
2. Moral Corruption: Sin infects human nature, corrupting our moral compass and leading us to engage in thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that are contrary to God's will. It tarnishes our innate desire to do what is right and makes us prone to selfishness, greed, hatred, dishonesty, and other harmful actions.
3. Condemnation: The Bible teaches that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23), not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God. The consequences of sin include guilt, shame, and a sense of unworthiness before God's holiness. Without redemption, man faces the just judgment and condemnation of God for our sins.
4. Brokenness and Suffering: Sin has resulted in a broken world characterized by suffering, pain, and injustice. It affects not only individuals but also society as a whole. The effects of sin manifest in wars, violence, oppression, poverty, and various forms of brokenness that plague humanity. This brokenness is a direct result of the sinfulness introduced at the Fall.
Redemption, therefore, is necessary because it addresses man's need for reconciliation with God, restoration of our moral nature, freedom from the consequences of sin, and the renewal of the whole creation. It is through redemption that man can experience forgiveness, restoration, and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our sins through His sacrificial death on the cross.
III. The Nature of the Redemption.
These theories attempt to explain the nature of the Jesus’s death on the cross. Why did Jesus die? What does this death men for the world today? These theories are historically the most dominant, and I hope you enjoy learning them.
1. The Moral Influence Theory: One of the earliest theories for the atonement, which simply taught that Jesus Christ came and died in order to bring about a positive change to humanity. The moral change comes through the teachings of Jesus alongside His example and actions. The most notable name here is that of Augustine from the 4th century, whole influence had almost single-handedly had the greatest impact upon Western Christianity. He affirmed the Moral Influence Theory of the atonement.
2. The Ransom Theory: This theory is one of the first major theories for the Atonement. It is often held alongside the Moral Influence Theory and usually deals more with the actual death of Jesus, what it actually means and the effect it had upon humanity. This theory finds its roots in the Early Church, particularly in Origen from the 3rd century. This theory essentially teaches that Jesus Christ died as a ransom, sacrifice, paid to Satan.
3. The Christus Victor Theory: Classically, this view is widely considered to be a dominant theory for most of the historical Christian Church. In this theory, Jesus dies in order to defeat the powers of evil (such as sin, death, and the devil) in order to free mankind from their bondage. This is related to the Ransom view with the difference being that there is no payment to the devil or to God. Within the framework of this theory, the cross did not pay off anyone but defeated evil thereby setting the human race free.
4. The Satisfaction Theory (Anselm): In the 12th century, Anslem of Canterbury proposed a satisfaction theory for the Atonement. In this theory, Jesus Christ’s death is understood as death to satisfy the justice of God. Satisfaction here means restitution, the mending of what was broken, and the paying back of debt. In this theory, Anselm emphasizes the injustice of God and claims that sin is an injustice that must be balanced.
5. The Penal Substitutionary Theory: This theory was the development of the Reformation. The Reformer’s, Specifically Calvin and Luther, took Anselm’s Satisfaction theory and modified it slightly. They added a more legal (or forensic) framework into this notion of the cross as satisfaction. The result is that within PS, Jesus Christ dies to satisfy God’s wrath against human sin. Jesus is punished (penal) in the placer of sinner (substitution) in order to satisfy the justice of God and the legal demand of God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness...” (Roman 3:23-26a).
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1John 2:2
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1John 4:10
“Propitiation is not a turning of the wrath of God into love. The propitiation of the divine wrath, effected in the substitutionary work of Christ.” John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (pg. 31).
All people are in need of a substitute since all are guilty of sinning against the holy God. All sin deserves punishment because all sin is personal rebellion against God himself. While animal sacrifices took on the guilt of God’s people in the OT, these sacrifices could never fully atone for the sins of man. For that, Jesus Christ came and died in the place of his people (substitution), taking upon himself the full punishment that they deserved (penal). While there are other theories of the atonement, which point to other valid aspects of what happened in Christ’s death, the penal-substitutionary element of the crucifixion secures all other benefits that come to God’s people through the death of their representative.
IV. The Finality of Redemption
The finality of the atonement refers to the complete and conclusive work of salvation accomplished through Jesus Christ. The atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross brought about a definitive and irrevocable reconciliation between God and humanity. Here are some key aspects of the finality of the atonement:
1. Completeness: The sacrifice of Jesus fully satisfied God's justice and holiness. Hebrews 10:14 states, "For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." In other words, Jesus' sacrifice provided a complete and perfect solution for the problem of sin. There is no need for any additional sacrifice to accomplish salvation.
2. Permanence: The atonement achieved by Jesus is eternal and everlasting. Unlike the Old Testament sacrifices that needed to be repeated regularly, Jesus' sacrifice was offered once for all. Hebrews 9:12 emphasizes this aspect, stating that Jesus "entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption."
3. No Further Payment Needed: Through His death and resurrection, Jesus fully paid the penalty for our sin. The finality of the atonement means that there is no need for any additional sacrifices or works to earn salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 affirms this, saying, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”-1Peter 3:18
4. Assurance of Salvation: The finality of the atonement provides believers with assurance of their salvation. Because Jesus' sacrifice was complete and perfect, those who trust in Him can have confidence that their sins are forgiven, and they are reconciled with God. Romans 8:1 declares, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
 Kenneth D. Litwak, “Redemption,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).