It's a commonly used word. But what does it mean? The word Redeemed can mean several different things.
Here's a short list:
- to buy back: repurchase
- to free from captivity by payment of ransom
- to extricate from or to free from something detrimental
- to release from blame or debt
- to change for the better: reform
- repair, restore
So which definition should we use?
What does God mean when He tells us that He redeemed us? What exactly does our redemption through Christ include?
Answer: All of It.
We serve a God who bought us back, freed us from captivity, extricated us from something detrimental, released us from blame and debt, reformed us, repaired us, and restored us.
For God, redemption wasn't just about our freedom. There was a lot more He had in mind for us. Buying us back was just part of the equation.
"God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as His very own children. And because we are His children, He sent the Spirit of His son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba Father." Now you are no longer a slave, but God's own child. And since you are His child, God made you His heir." - Galatians 4:5-7
Adoption and Redemption
I was born into a broken communist system in Romania. A system that forced women to have five children and then financially made it impossible to keep or care for them. A system that resulted in thousands upon thousands living in state run orphanages with no parents and almost impossible to be saved from. When I was adopted, my parents had to pay a price. They had to fly half way around the world. They had to live there. They had to fight the system. They had to pay for my adoption. All of this was part of the price. Their payment bought my freedom from a life with no hope or future. They freed me from something detrimental. By definition, they redeemed me.
But they didn't just pay that price to get me out. My salvation from that life was just a part of the equation. They paid that price to adopt me as their own child. That adoption brought about an intimate relationship with my parents and a new life with all the benefits of being part of this family.
Beyond that initial salvation, my adoption brought about change in my life for the better. Here's just one small example: I am the first in at least three generations of my biological lineage to learn how to read and write. During the adoption, my biological mother and grandmother had to sign their name with a thumbprint because they didn't know how to sign their names. Today, I have a college degree from one of the top schools in Texas and love to read/write in order to teach others about God and history. By definition, my adoption brought about redemption.
Redemption brings about Adoption.
But Adoption brings about Redemption too.
It's easy as Christians to look at the word redemption and think solely of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Payment for sin. Buying us back. But God has a bigger definition. He buys us back. He adopts us into His family. He gives us His Spirit so that we can have an ongoing close relationship with Him for the rest of our lives. He changes us for the better. He takes us from being lost and broken individuals and allows us to be part of His redemption process for others.
Redemption is awesome. It's the wow factor of our lives. It's the parts of the story that bring about the most applause. It's the parts of the story we all yearn for.
The question is: who gets the applause? You or God?
Because He deserves ALL OF IT.
The Adopted & Redeemed Blog was born out of a desire to share God's story in my life, and to proclaim His truth for all Christians: through Christ, we have been Adopted and Redeemed.