Post Two: Redemption Defined

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We, as Christians, believe Christ redeemed our lives with His death on the Cross. We speak of the redeeming power of the blood of Christ, but do we know what this means? 

I suppose if I am going to do a blog series on Redemption, I should define the word. Besides, I am an editor of English reference books, so its in my nature to want to define things. Today's entry will be simple definitions:

Redemption means:
1. the state of being redeemed (yeah, need to define this further, so see below)
2. deliverance (this too!); rescue from sin 
3. salvation (protection from harm)
4. atonement for guilt
5. repurchase, as of something sold

Redeem means:
1. to pay off
2. to buy back
3. to exchange

Deliverance means:
1. salvation
2. liberation
3. a thought or judgment expressed; an authoritative pronouncement

A synonym for redemption is "ransom." I always think of the movies with the rich, heiress hostages and the cute police officers who negotiate a way to free the beautiful, smart hostage and capture the evil psychopathic kidnapper. Ransom is mostly used nowadays in a monetary sense. But the meaning is basically the same as redemption. Think of Christ's blood as the ransom to free us from sin's bondage. 

An antonym for redemption is "abandon." In difficult times, this is exactly what we think God has done, isn't it? 

But I am getting ahead of myself...


  1. Why is it human nature so often to go first to feeling abandoned rather than redeemed?

    Is it because it is less for our own soul to bear- to direct our anger or our fear towards God for "not being present,"- rather than attempting to accept the reality that he is always redeeming?

    It requires more trust, more fight, to accept his ransom, than to accept an alleged abandonment. And in our darkest hours, we don't want to have to stir any more fight in us than that which we are already having to put forth.

    How do we turn from this initial reaction?

  2. Good questions, Kelly.

    Why is the initial reaction abandonment? Perhaps because the natural order of things is that we should be abandoned to the consequences of our sin- cast from God's presence like Adam and Eve. But Christ's gracious, forgiving sacrifice reverses this order. Our natures do not understand it. Heck, my mind doesn't understand it- how can my heart understand it in the moment of aching pain?

    I do think trust comes with knowing, just like our relationships with people. The more I know who you are and what your character is, the more I will be able to interpret your actions and comments. Could it be the same with us and God?