God has redeemed us and forgiven our sins. The word “redemption” is one of the great words of the Bible. It conveys the idea of deliverance or setting a man free by paying a ransom. For example, a prisoner of war or a kidnapped person is ransomed or redeemed; or a convicted criminal is freed from the penalty of death. In every case the man is powerless to free himself. He cannot pay the penalty demanded to liberate himself from his situation or bondage.
Note several significant facts.
1. Man has been captivated or kidnapped by several forces.
a. The force of sin. All men sin and cannot help but sin. Man is sold under sin. Sin has captivated him (Romans 3:23; Romans 7:14).
b. The force of corruption and death. The whole creation is corrupt (Romans 8:21). Everything wastes away; it deteriorates, decays, ages, and eventually dies. Corruption and death have captivated man.
c. The force of Satan. All unbelievers are under the power and influence of Satan. He has blinded their minds to the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4). He works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians. 2:2). They are captivated by him (1 John 5:19).
2. Three key ideas are included in the concept of redemption.
a. Man needs to be liberated, delivered, and set free.
b. Man is unable to liberate himself. He has no energy, no power, no ability to free himself.
c. God has redeemed man by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. God Himself has paid the ransom for man’s release—the ransom of a life for a life. God gave His own Son so that man might be set free. Man has been redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ. This is extremely important to note: when a man truly calls upon the Lord to save him, God buys him right out of the marketplace of this corruptible life (Romans 10:13). God redeems him once for all, purchases and removes him from further sale. He is redeemed eternally.
3. God redeems man because of the riches of His grace. He loves man with an unbelievable love—a love so great that it spurs Him to do whatever is necessary to save man.
On the other hand the word “forgiveness” means to send off, to send away, to release, to let go. The word for “sin” means transgression, trespass, a falling by the way, or deviating from the way. All men…
• have transgressed the law of God.
• have deviated from God.
• have fallen from the way of God.
Therefore, all men stand guilty of having broken the law of God, and the penalty for breaking the law is death. However, the blood of Jesus Christ brings forgiveness to men. How? Jesus Christ died for man. He took the penalty of sins and bore the punishment Himself.
Christ was able to do this because He was the Perfect and Ideal Man, and as the Ideal Man, He could stand for and represent all men. When He died, He died as the Ideal Man, as the Representative for all men. Any person who really believes that Jesus Christ died for him is forgiven his sins. God takes his faith and counts it as the death of Jesus Christ. God sees the man as being in Jesus Christ, as being in the death of Jesus Christ. God counts the death of Jesus Christ for the death of the man. Therefore, the guilt and penalty for breaking God’s laws are completely removed. The man’s sins and guilt are sent away or washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, this is at the very heart of the gospel.
“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38).
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me [Christ Jesus]” (Acts 26:18).
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians. 1:7).