In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us…Ephesians 1:7-8
Redemption is freedom from slavery by the payment of a ransom; it is the purchase of liberation resulting in new ownership. That is what Jesus accomplished for us. “In him we have redemption” (emphasis added). It is ours now, today. Redemption includes three basic concepts.
First, we are redeemed from something; that is, a life of sin. We were born sinners by nature and quickly became sinners by choice. Until we are born again from above by the Holy Spirit, we live as slaves to sin. But when the Spirit made us alive, we went from being slaves to sin to becoming slaves to God. “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18).
Second, we are redeemed by someone for a price; that is, by Christ “through his blood.” The punishment for sin is death (Rom. 6:23), “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:4). The price tag for sinners was an acceptable sacrifice. God’s righteous justice required sin to be paid for, but not by just anyone. Nothing but the bloody death of the Son of God would do. This was the ransom required to set us free.
Third, we are redeemed to something; that is, a state of freedom. Once freed, we are called to release our liberty to the Lord who bought us. When we are born again, we are taken out of slavery and brought home to God. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Rom. 6:22). Jesus not only owns our soul, but our body as well (1 Cor. 6:20).
The writer of Hebrews reminds us that “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb 9:22). But he also assures us of the sufficiency of our Savior: “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:11-12).
If your faith is in Jesus, then you already have forgiveness of sins; you have already been released from your sin debt. “He has delivered [you] from the domain of darkness and transferred [you] to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom [you] have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 13:14). This is not because of deeds done in righteousness, but according to his mercy (Titus 3:5). It is purely because of “the riches of his grace.”
God’s redemption is so enormous that it includes all “things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:10). One day, God’s plan of redemption will be complete. But you don’t have to wait until then to bask in the joy that belongs to you now.
You are redeemed. “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).