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Biblical Redemption

September 25th, 2005

“In him we have redemption”

(Ephesians 1:7)

The story is told of a young boy who made a boat, sailed it down a stream, and subsequently lost it. Sometime afterwards he was walking among the local shops, when, to his surprise and delight, he spied in the window of one of the shops the very boat which he had lost. He entered the shop and made his case that the boat belonged to him. “That may be,” said the man, “but you’ll not have it until you’ve paid the price.” So, the boy scratched together the monies necessary to acquire the boat. And, as he carried it back home, he said to the boat, “Now you’re twice mine: first, I made you; and then I bought you!”

The story of the boy and his beloved boat points out a fundamental concept about Biblical Redemption. Redemption is about economics. The price paid underscores the price due. Leon Morris wrote, “All these words [synonyms of redemption] go back ultimately to lutron, and in all there is to be discerned the fundamental idea of a process involving release by payment of a ransom price.” The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (p. 10). The term redemption, from lutron, goes back to the verb luo, to loose. “The –tron suffix denotes basically the means whereby an action is performed” (Morris, p. 9). The idea of redemption involves a purchase-price, stemming from such passages as: Numbers 3:51 and Jeremiah 32:6-15.

But, a fascinating feature about the redemption under Christ Jesus comes from Isaiah 52:3, “…you shall be redeemed without money” (See Eph. 1:7,14; 1 Pet. 1:18; Rev. 5:9). The power to deliver (Isa. 50:2) resides with God (Isa. 60:16). Yes, the Christian is “twice mine:” once by the Creation, and second, by the Redemption which is in Christ. “Let the redeemed say so” (Ps. 107:2!).

-Robert M. Housby

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