t is with great delight and joy that I welcome you to the month of October, our Month of Redemption. I like the words of the Lord: "Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies." Psalm 107:2 NLT I like that question, can you confirm that in your spirit. He then urges us to trumpet it. Let The Redeemed of the Lord say so! Redemption is about salvation from the evil grip of sin and Satan. This month a new era of freshness of redemption shall blow to your heart, spiritual face and pervade and characterise all that surrounds you in Jesus name.
What is Redemption?
Growing up, when about to sleep, my parents usually gather us to have family devotion. It consists of five simple spiritual activities, sing some choruses, then a hymn, then a passage of scriptures (mostly Psalms, I don't know why and don't ask me why) then some elucidation on the bible passage and prayers. The hymns are very inspiring. Two hymns always get my attention, namely, Redemption! Oh, wonderful story and abide with me. Let me share with you the lyrics of the first stanza Of Redemption Oh Wonderful story as penned down by the Holy Ghost through S. M. Sayford
Redemption! oh, wonderful story/Glad message for you and for me/That Jesus has purchased our pardon,/And paid all the debt on the tree. Refrain /Believe it, O sinner, believe it; /Receive the glad It is message-'tis true;/Trust now in the crucified Savior, Salvation He offers to you
Redemption is the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. It is the act of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt. The synonyms include recovery, reclamation and repossession. Anytime you see the word 're' it means doing it over again usually in a better form. When God made us according to his own testimony in Genesis 1:3 - 'we were very good' But in Gen 3 - we became very deformed by sin and in need of redemption. Everyone is in need of redemption. Our natural condition was characterized by guilt: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Christ's redemption has freed us from guilt, being "justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).
Redemption is a biblical word that means "a purchase" or "a ransom." Historically, redemption was used in reference to the purchase of a slave's freedom. A slave was "redeemed" when the price was paid for his freedom. God spoke of Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt in this way: "I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment"
Purpose of redemption abused.
The pain in my heart and reason for this article is that humanity keeps abusing the purpose of redemption. Those who have been redeemed behave as if they are not. They waste the pains of Jesus on Calvary when they fail to appropriate redemption. But the larger pain is due to two thirds of the world that fails to appropriate the redemptive power of Jesus. Who, for one ignorance or the other, think that there is someone else that can save them based on their ideology, philosophy or revelation! To some they think it was sheer arrogance for Jesus to say: "I am the way the truth and the life" But friends Jesus is unique among all mortals! "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[e] so that we could be made right with God through Christ." 2 Cor 5:21. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Christ Is Supreme. When one considers the price that God paid for our redemption he may ask, "Why?" Why did God plan redemption in eternity past? Why did God pay such a price as to give His only begotten Son to die a criminal's death being executed by crucifixion? Why did God allow Jesus to suffer excruciating physical pain at the whim of the Jews and by the hands of the Romans? Why would he then increase the suffering Himself pouring out the full force of His fierce wrath toward sin on Him who knew no sin? Very quickly someone turns to John 3:16 and answers, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." To which there are shouts of, "Amen! The purpose of God's redemption is to give us eternal life and take us to Heaven when we die! What a day of rejoicing that will be!" The purpose of redemption include eternal life (Revelation 5:9-10), forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), freedom from the law's curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God's family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin's bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted, and reconciled!
Let me add another one, God's purpose in redemption was not about transporting us into the presence of Jesus when we die, but transforming us into the likeness of Christ. This is clearly stated in Romans 8:29 where the scripture says, "For those whom He (God) foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;" This transformation is what we miss out. We trumpet going to heaven and live any how here. That is wrong. Redemption renews you. Redemption makes you a new creation, Redemption gives you a new status. Redemption makes you incorruptible. Hear what John said- Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. What John is saying is that redemption does not just guarantee your sins are washed away, it guarantees your victory over sin! It is an embarrassment to Jesus when we the redeemed as Christians wallow in sin, tell lies, do fraud, kill, murder, steal and commit adultery. Jesus is not coming back to die again he is coming back as a lion not a lamb, a judge not to serve.
What does redemption propel you to do?
As mentioned above redemption does not just pave way for your making heaven and transport and empowers to be victorious over sin. Let me give you other things redemption empowers you to do.
Redemption empowers you to be productive. When God created man, he empowered them to be productive. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen 1:28. God also ordered.. .. Man to till the ground, Gen 2:5,. and there was not a man to till the ground. Then the worst was unleashed on us: Adam and Eve disobeyed God and the land was cursed: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; But redemption took over. Jesus redeemed us from the curse. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" Gal 3:13. Friends , redemption empowers you to be productive. The redeemed of God are not mediocre. Christians should know that redemption and the Holy Ghost empower them to do better in all spheres of life. It is important to say this because I remember even in our school days some Christians attributed failing exams to the fact that they are Christians, because they go to church and pray and do night vigils! Some argue that because they are redeemed of God they cannot do business as usual e.g. bribe men to get contract and so that they cannot compete well in a corrupt society. Friend, redemption delivers you from laziness and unholy acts.
Redemption empowers you to be co-labourers with God. For we are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building. 1 Cor 3:9 "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5:20
Redemption empowers you to be soul winners. If you are redeemed, you are mandated to win souls. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Matt 28:19. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature Mk 16:15
Redemption empowers you to be over the devil. Your redemption does not make you to fear the devil but for the devil to fear you. "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Lk 10:19
Redemption empowers you to have good health: This is one area that people are not exercising their rights. "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs" (Matthew 15:26). And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee. Ex 15:26
Redemption empowers you to prosper. "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" 3 John 1:2. That you are redeemed does not mean you must be poor. The redeemed are not forbidden from being prosperous. In fact Jesus promised you and I abundance of life. God did not want the redeemed to engage in making money in an unjust way but God wants you to be wealthy. Holiness is not synonymous with poverty. Being rich or wealthy does not necessarily men being ungodly.
Redemption empowers you to glorify Jesus and his father. "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." John 4:4-5. Jesus says he has completed the work he was sent to earth to perform -the work on of redemption. We the redeemed are empowered to worship God, praise him and live for him.
Conclusion: The streets of heaven will be filled with former captives who, through no merit of their own, but by accepting Jesus find themselves redeemed, forgiven and free. Slaves to sin have become saints. No wonder we will sing a new song-a song of praise to the Redeemer who was slain (Revelation 5:9) You are the redeemed of the Lord, live like the redeemed of the Lord, empowered, prosperous, holy and victorious over sickness, sin and evil.
Dr Amos Dada is the District Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church Bethel Canada. Convener of International Gathering of Eagles Conference and President, Canadian Institute of Leadership and Development. Www.igoeministry.com; .www.canadaleadership.com and www.cacbethel.com. The International Gathering of Eagles Conference, Toronto, Canadais scheduled for September 14-15, 2017, do your best to attend. You can also register to travel with us in the Fall to Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. Register at www.igoeministry.com.