Print

THOUGHTS FROM EPHESIANS

8 FREEDOM

Ephesians 1:7 teaches that in Christ 'we have redemption.'

Redemption is the opposite of slavery, bondage and indebtedness. In New Testament terms it refers to the fact that by the death of Christ those who believe in him are liberated from bondage or slavery to Satan, law, sin, condemnation and death.

This spiritual redemption in Jesus Christ is foretold by the historical liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. That whole event is a massive pre-view of what Jesus did for us on the cross. From that historical event onwards God is known as the Redeemer.

Redemption is also symbolised in Year of Jubilee [Leviticus 25], in which property or personal freedom forfeited because of debt was restored and the debts cancelled.

Redemption is always costly. It refers to freedom resulting from the payment of a price.

In the Christian sense where 'redemption' speaks of the freedom from sin's penalty and enslavement, from Satan's power, and from the condemnation and curse of the Law, the price paid was the death of Jesus Christ [Revelation 5:9; 1 Peter 1:18; Colossians 1:13; Galatians 3:13; Mark 10:45]. We are redeemed 'through his blood'. Paul's letters to the Romans and Galatians have much to say about liberation from the Law as a means of gaining acceptance by God. We 'have been set free from sin' [Romans 6:18-22], 'released from the law' [Romans 7:6], 'set … free from the law of sin and death' [Romans 8:2], and 'redeemed from the curse of the law' [Galatians 3:13].

This freedom, this redemption, is something that we 'have' [Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14]: it is our present, permanent possession 'in Christ.' Our salvation, including this aspect of redemption, is not in our own hands, dependent on our actions or our spirituality, it is ours 'in Christ'. It is secure and permanent because it is in him.

In Christ we have been permanently set free from the heavy burden of our sin and guilt, from the condemnation and spiritual death they incur, and from the heavy necessity of ever again having to trust in ourselves and our own good works.

Because of this redemption we trust not in ourselves, but in Christ, the ultimate Redeemer.

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2006, 2010