There is a popular Christian song that many know and sing: “I’ve been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb…” But what does it mean to be redeemed? As I pondered this question, I began to understand that the Lord desires that we be FULLY redeemed, not just PARTIALLY. Since He already paid the FULL RANSOM PRICE with His shed blood, is there any reason why we shouldn’t walk in our full redemption?
In Isa. 50: 2, the Lord asks this question: “Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?”
In Isa. 59:1, the prophet Isaiah answers the question: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”
In the New Testament, John 9:31 declares, “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.”
That tells me, for the most part, the prayer that God hears from sinners is that of repentance and a change of heart. So, when we pray that kind of prayer and come before God in heartfelt repentance, with a desire to follow Jesus, we come into that wonderful place of redemption.
There are six distinct areas in which God wants to redeem us. And since we know the Lord has promised to complete what He has begun in each of us, according to Phil. 1:6, we can rest in that promise!
Before we discuss those six areas, I want to mention that these do not include our full and final redemption, which will take place when Jesus returns, when our bodies will be redeemed from the state of mortality, and we will put on immortality. I believe that is what Jesus was referring to when He said in Luke 21:28, “Now when these things [meaning the events of the last days] begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads because your redemption draws near.”
Since Jesus has not returned yet and the full and final redemption of our bodies has not yet happened, let us, in the meantime, look at those six areas of redemption, which He wants to accomplish before He returns.
Redeemed from the past –
1 Peter 1:17-19: “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” The “fear” Peter refers to here is the godly fear of the Lord, acknowledging that the Lord wants to deliver us from the ungodly conduct of our past life, and that the Lord shed His precious blood in order to bring us to a new place in our lives.
You know that Jesus has redeemed your past when he begins to take those things that the enemy meant for your destruction and now, somehow uses them for your good, and/or for the good of others. He does this in order to give others hope that He can and will do the same for them—as you share your testimony of what God has done for you and what He has graciously brought you out of.
2 Cor. 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”
This does not happen overnight. It is a process that the Lord wants to take us through—until every area of our life is restored and renewed in Him. As we go through that process, the works of the enemy are completely dismantled so that we can be rooted and built up in Christlikeness.
Not only does God want to redeem our past, but He also desires that we be completely healed and set free from the effects of emotional pain, trauma, injustice, and the abuse, which we may have suffered in the past. If, however, by our own choice, we hold onto bitterness and do not allow this emotional healing to be completed, then we have not yet been fully redeemed from our past.
Our prayer for you today is that you will allow the spotlight of the Holy Spirit to shine into any areas of your past from which you have not yet been healed, forgive all who have wronged you or sinned against you, and allow the healing balm of the Lord to be poured out on you. He wants you healed and whole, with no emotional pain still attached to the memory of that abuse or injustice.
He wants you to share your healing testimony with others so that they, too, can have hope and know that Jesus alone is the one who redeems us from our past. Our friends can’t do it for us; our spouses can’t do it; nor can our pastor do it. Although godly ministers can help us get there, Jesus is the only one who can redeem us, heal us, and free us completely from those things of our past!
Redeemed out of the world –
Jesus tells us in John 5:19 that we are “not of this world,” but that He chose us “out of the world,” and he goes on to say that that is why the world hates us.
1 Cor. 2:12 has this to say: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
James 4:4b tells us that: “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
The apostle Paul unquestionably makes it clear in 2 Cor. 6: 14 & 17 where he says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? ‘Therefore, come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ “
How do we bring that down to “where the rubber meets the road?” What does this mean in your own Christian walk? It may mean choosing different friends, severing some unholy alliances, or breaking some ungodly soul ties (which may have been formed through either controlling relationships or ungodly sexual relationships). It means, as believers, we should adopt a “biblical worldview,” rather than the prevailing humanistic worldly way of perceiving everything that we see going on in our world today. We must see through God’s lenses!
Many things today that appear to be good, at first glance, actually have a distorted and deceptive motivation behind them. The enemy is an expert at masking his evil intent until it is too late! Recently, we have been praying and asking God to help us see all things through His eyes. We urge you to do the same because His insight and wisdom will help us to see things way beyond what they appear to be on the surface.
Redeemed from sin –
Can we really be “redeemed from sin?” Heb. 10:4 gives us a very important clue as it tells us, “It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” So that means it was not possible for those under the Old Covenant to ever be redeemed from sin. Once a year their sins were to be “atoned for.”
But, the shed blood of the perfect sinless son of God is powerful enough to take away our sins! In fact, Jesus appeared on the scene to do just that, according to 1 John 3:5-6a: “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin.”
Jesus came and laid down His very life, not only to forgive us for our past sins, but He came to give us the power to die to sin, so that we no longer make a habit of sinning. We know that Jesus also took on Himself the guilt of our sin…but how can we possibly be free from the guilt of sin…if indeed we keep on sinning?
The answer lies in Romans 6:5: “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.”
In other words, the “body of sin”—the embodiment of sin, the tendency to sin, our old Adamic nature—must be done away with—must be put off!
Jesus purchased us as slaves of sin, with a view for our freedom. He’s already paid for our release. “Redeemed” means that He paid the ransom price (with His own blood) in order to set souls free from the slavery and bondage of sin.
In order to be set free and stay free, however, we must make a habit of dying to the things that our (sinful) flesh might prompt us to do. We must do our part—which is “choose” to die to sin—because Jesus has already done His part at the cross.
Remember how Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more”? (John 8:11) And how He told the man He healed at the pool of Bethesda, “Sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you.” (John 5:14)
We, too, must make a quality decision to “go and sin no more!” Yet our determination and willpower alone is not enough. It is accomplished through the power of His shed blood, leaning on His grace (His Holy Spirit), and applying His Word to our lives, that we are able to die to sin.
If our “self-will” is so prideful, stubborn, and determined that we constantly reject the will of God and the Word of God, chances are we will never be completely free. We must choose to die to our fleshly ideas and desires, and submit our will to His in order to be redeemed from sin.
Having done all that, if we happen to inadvertently sin, we must do what the Bible tells us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Redeemed from the grip of the enemy –
This ties in with #3—redeemed from sin. According to Luke 4:18, Jesus came to “set the captives free.” Who are the captives? Those who are in bondage to the enemy of their soul, and no matter how much they come to the altar and repent, it seems they simply cannot get free (or stay free). Yet 1 John 3:8 tells us that, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the enemy.” He wants to annihilate, tear down, destroy completely the works of the enemy in your life and mine!
Col. 1:13-14 puts it like this: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood…”
Then why isn’t every single believer walking in total freedom from the enemy? Why are some still struggling with fear, anger, pride, greed, sexual sins, or addictions? Why isn’t every single person who comes to know the Lord instantly set free? We believe the answer is three-fold, yet fairly simple.
Because many don’t realize there is a greater level of freedom (than what they have already experienced) that is available in Christ.
Because we cannot evict the enemy through the front door if we keep letting him in the back door of our life at the same time.
We can’t expect him to just leave on his own accord because Jesus told us we would need to “cast him out.” When we first commit to follow Jesus is when those evil spirits should be dealt with, not 20 or 30 years later! Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene and she then became one of His most devoted followers. (See Mark 16:9.)
We have been delivered from the “power” of evil (unless we are giving the enemy access to our lives), but no one has been delivered from the “presence” of evil. There is evil all around us in our world today! (And it is definitely increasing!) So even after we get free, we must continue to obey God and resist the devil, according to James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
When we are submitted to God and we use the name of Jesus and command the enemy to go, he must flee! Because Jesus has already defeated every enemy at the cross, when we use His name, we, too, can put the enemy under our feet each day! When we bind the power of the enemy in Jesus name, he is bound. To bind means “to forbid” and when we bind, he is forbidden to operate in our lives.
We have also been given the power and the authority of God in Jesus’ name to set others free from the chains of the enemy—if they want to be free! It is a glorious freedom that Jesus came to give us, and as we get set free and stay free, we can live and move and walk in that freedom, never again to be entangled in a yoke of bondage!
The fifth area of our lives that must be fully redeemed—if we want to live in the glorious freedom that Christ came to give us and that is:
Redeemed from legalism –
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the difference between the Old Covenant (living under the Law) versus the New Covenant, living under grace. There are some who try to mix the two and do both at the same time.
Gal. 3:13 tells us that “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law…” That means He redeemed us from living under the law into a new and better way—a New Covenant, ratified and put into place with the shedding of Jesus’ blood at the cross. Gal. 2:16 says, “A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…”
Gal. 5:4 says that “We are estranged from Christ” and that we have actually “fallen from grace” if we attempt to be justified by the law. We simply cannot live under the law and under grace at the same time. Those who attempt to do so are constantly striving and always feeling condemned because they don’t ever feel they are good enough to be accepted by Christ.
Does that mean that God wants us to sin and not be concerned about it (since we no longer live under the law)? No! The apostle Paul made it clear that we are not to sin just so that grace will abound. Rom. 8:3-4 also clarifies:
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousnessrequirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:3-4)
In other words, “Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which is ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the righteous fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.” (Rom. 10:4 AMP)
The Lord wants to work in us His righteousness, but the way we attain it is different under the New Covenant (under grace). It is no longer about striving to obey a set of written rules and regulation; we can’t do it in our own ability! We do it by putting on the “gift of righteousness” that Christ has freely given us, and choosing to walk in it.
Our willpower alone is not enough to radically and permanently transform us. But when our will comes into agreement with God’s will, His power comes on the scene to change us to be like Christ. Our lives are transformed as we yield to the power and influence of the Holy Spirit, who has come to live inside us. God expects obedience—and it is our choice whether we walk each day prompted and led by His Holy Spirit!
If we miss the mark and inadvertently sin, it is imperative that we quickly repent, receive God’s forgiveness, and get back on track. Unrepented sin will hold a person back and keep them in a place where God’s blessings are withheld.
The sixth and final area that the Lord wants us to be fully redeemed in is:
Redeemed from deception –
Deception and error are rampant today, as never before. Many are falling away from the truth – even the “elect.” People everywhere seem to know when they are “in sin,” but when they are in deception, they think they are okay—even when they are not.
Luke 4:18 tells us that Jesus came to “restore sight to the blind.” I believe this means not only the physically blind, but also those who are spiritually blind. One of the enemy’s greatest goals is to bring the people of God into deception. He tells us lies—hoping we’ll believe at least one of them. If we do not have a guardrail of truth (the Word of God) firmly in place in our lives, we are quite vulnerable to being deceived especially in these days of great apostasy!
Contrary to what some may think, God has not promised to protect us from deception.
He has promised to give us truth, but it is entirely up to us whether we receive the truth—or choose to believe a lie! God gave Adam and Eve truth, He gave them boundaries, and He gave them free will. If it was up to Him to protect them there in the Garden of Eden, He could have built a brick wall around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but He didn’t. The tree was accessible – it was Eve’s choice, and Adam’s as well.
In the New Testament, all throughout, we are told: “Do not be deceived.” The responsibility is on us! God Himself may warn us; He may send other people to warn us; He gives us the gift of “discerning of spirits,” what some call discernment; He tells us to judge all things (not people, but “things”). He tells us not to believe every spirit, but to “test the spirits,” but if we ignore all of those things—it’s on us. Unfortunately, in these days, we are seeing even those who were strong in the Lord fall into deception.
Because many Christians choose not to exercise the discernment God has given them, the enemy sees that as a weak spot in their armor and capitalizes on it. He is a master of deception. He doesn’t have to invent anything new, because the old lies he has used since the Garden of Eden are still working.
He has many “spirits of error” at work to try and bring the people of God into the bondage of deception. We must be lovers of truth in order to be saved from deception. To allow deception in our lives is to either refuse the truth of God, or to turn away from it!
Jesus said in Matt. 7:14 that it is a narrow gate and a difficult path that leads to eternal life. I saw a vision of this path. On one side was a big ditch called “sin.” On the other side was also a big ditch and this one was called “deception.” The enemy is hard at work to get us to fall into either ditch, hoping that if we do, we will not be able to get back out.
Are there any areas in your life where you have believed a lie—rather than God’s truth? If you ask Him, He will show you!
There is supposed to exist here on earth a fully redeemed people – a people of purity, love, and truth—so that the world can see what it means to be redeemed—a people who can sing from their hearts:
“I’ve been redeemed, by the blood of the Lamb…”
Can you honestly say that you have been fully redeemed?
Allow the Lord to show you today what He desires to do in your heart and your mind, in order to experience His full redemptive work in your life. Are you willing to exchange the lies today for His absolute truth? Revelation 19:7 tells us He is coming back for a wife who has “made herself ready.” The question we pose today is this: Are you ready?