Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
In our previous lesson, we saw the first barrier between God and man. GOD’S HOLY CHARACTER, being torn down by the propitiation of Christ. Upon receiving the sins of humanity through baptism by John the Baptist and by facing the death on the cross, Jesus had obtained permanent forgiveness for men by satisfying the outraged holiness of God.
Redemption is the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf to cancel out the DEBT OF SIN, to release us from SLAVERY TO SATAN and the sin nature. All barriers have been torn down by the redemptive work of Christ’s baptism and death on the cross.
Debt of Sin
In Col 2: 13-14, Paul convinces his hearers that they have been set free from their sinful indebtedness to God. Our certificate of death consist of decrees – God’s law which we have broken and they stand against us, they are hostile to us because we can’t keep them, without breaking some of them. There is nothing wrong with God’s law, they are perfect, the problem lies with the inability to keep them. Paul gives us a fantastic picture here of Jesus taking our Certificate of Debt and nailing it to the cross. In doing this, it was tantamount to saying Jesus was guilty of every sin listed on the certificate of every man who would ever be born. Hence, not only was He volunteering to take our certificates but also our penalty which was death.
Slavery to Satan
Having our Debt of Sin cancelled is the first benefit of Christ’s redemptive work through His baptism and death on the cross. Equal to that is the fact that it also released us from Slavery to Satan and the power of the indwelling sin nature. The word “redemption” was a very familiar word in the 1st century since nearly half the world was involve in slavery in one way or another. The sweetest word a slave would hope to hear was the word redemption. Since one of the major barriers between God and man is man’s Slavery to Satan, the NT writers have freely used the concept of redemption to describe the work of Christ through His baptism and death which has reclaimed man from Satan’s clutches.
Jesus The Redeemer
Into this insane slave market of sin, God sent a redeemer to open men’s eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God. Acts 26:18 The work of Jesus was carefully designed in the plan of God. The Redeemer has to meet certain indispensable qualifications.
1. Sinless Redeemer
The one who would redeem men from Satan’s slavery have to be without sin Himself. After warning His listeners of their slavery to sin, Jesus says, “the slave does not remain in the house forever, the son does remain forever.” John 8:35 In other words, the son is the permanent part of the household, the slave is not. Since the son is above the slave, he has authority over the slave and could set him free. Then, Jesus declares, “if therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. In saying this to them, He is equating them with being slaves and is, in essence, telling them that He is the Son and He alone has the power to set them, the sin slaves, free. Christ is the only Man to be born on this earth since Adam who was not Himself a slave to sin through His unique conception. God was the Father of His humanity and Jesus’ mother was a virgin. Since the culpability for sin is passed from human father to child, Jesus by-passed inherited sin because His family tree on His Father’s side was not human but divine. Jesus lived a life that was completely sinless.
2. Kinsman Redeemer
The redeemer has to be a next of kin to the human race. Heb 2:14-15 explains why this is so. The price of redemption for man has always been the shed blood of innocent substitute. That’s why in 1 Pet 1:19, it states that Christ’s death has accomplished redemption through His precious blood.
3. Meditating Redeemer
The redeemer had to be a mediator, one who was equal to both parties in the mediation – those in the slave market and the One seeking to release the slaves. In other words, the redeemer needs to be both God and man. 1 Tim 2:5-6
4. Willing Redeemer
In order for a person to become a redeemer, he must do so voluntarily. Certainly a slave was in no position to order a free man to liberate him. The free man would have to be motivated somehow to come and pay the ransom. When speaking of the life He was to give as a sacrifice for sin, in John 10:17-18, Jesus told the Pharisees “ I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative.” The reason why? His love for us had sent Him to the cross cancelling the Debt of Sin and purchasing us out of Slavery to Satan. There are no longer barriers between God and man. Unless we let them be!
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