We are redeemed!
Redeemed we are, from all iniquity; redeemed, because Christ gave himself for us; redeemed, in order that He might purify unto Himself a people, zealous of good works!
Such is the beautiful content of the fourteenth verse of the second chapter of Paul’s epistle to Titus, his own son after the common faith and fellow-laborer.
What is, dear reader, redemption? It is the being bought, ransomed, delivered through the payment of a price. From that point of view our redemption is the most important single aspect of our salvation. For the very word redemption reaches down to the very depth of our misery, our natural condition before God. We are not only sinful and corrupt, but we lie in the prison of death, with the sentence of death written over our heads, by nature. In the fetters of guilt and the shackles of corruption, we lie, bondsmen in our hearts as well as in our bonds. For we are not only slaves, but we love our bondage. We would not be redeemed. We would not be delivered, for we feel at home in sin. And reverently speaking, God Himself could not save us, could not deliver us out of this prison of sin and guilt until the ransom price, a price sufficient to pay for all our guilt, had been payed.
That is redemption!
Notice, the apostle does not say: He has given us a chance to be redeemed! He does not speak of a mere opportunity to be delivered out of the prison of eternal death, if we are but willing to believe.
We are redeemed! Once the price of our redemption has been payed, the sinner is free! Free from all iniquity. There is no more guilt for sins, past, present nor future. For the full ransom-price, the payment demanded by God for the release of the convict has been made. He redeemed us.
What a price!
How could that marvelous redemption be accomplished? Certainly the prisoner could not free himself. Nowhere could anything or anyone be found who could make the awful payment demanded by the righteousness of God. There was, again reverently speaking, even for the living God, but ONE way to accomplish this tremendous feat, and that one and only way was to “give His only begotten Son,” Who in turn must give Himself!
Himself He gave! What awful depths of agony it cost the Son of God to accomplish our redemption. Think of the tremendous load of our sin and guilt which He bore, and bore away. He gave Himself. Not something of Himself, but all He had, he emptied Himself of name and honor and position, of life itself, in order to redeem you and me. Himself was none other than the Son of the ever blessed God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, Who, in union with our nature and in the likeness of sinful flesh, could suffer and die, as none other could ever suffer and die.
And so He made the payment for our redemption. What a price! The question is often foolishly asked: Was then not the death of the Son of God sufficient for the sin of the whole world? Could not through the atoning death of Jesus the whole of humanity be saved? In answer to this query, we must say that the value of the atonement of our Lord was infinite. It was from that point of view sufficient to redeem a million worlds and more like ours. Conversely, if only one sinner was to be saved, the redemption price, the ransom could not have been one whit less than the giving of Himself.
Awful price! And yet how sinful hands have meddled with the fact of our redemption. How often it is presented that our redemption is the result of collaboration between ourselves and God; that we must do our part in this salvation, or that we must add to the price which has been paid, as though it were not yet sufficient.
Nay, but He redeemed us. He paid the price that ransomed us from guilt, and upon the basis of that redemption he now purifies unto Himself a peculiar people, a people who are zealous of good works.
Unto good works! The purpose, the ultimate aim in God’s redemption of His people is that He might purify unto Himself a people who are full of zeal to do good works. No, first of all, that we may go to heaven, although, of course heaven is the place where we shall be able to carry out this divine purpose in perfection. But also now, here in the midst of the world God’s people are those whom He purifies, so that they are zealous of good works. They find their chief joy in the keeping of His commandments, in the walking in the way of His covenant.
To be sure, ’tis all of Him and none of us.
He redeemed us. He gave His only Begotten. He purifies us unto Himself. . . .
He gave Himself for us and we are redeemed!