Sunday, February 26, 2017

Our Kinsman Redeemer

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.   Galatians 4:5  NKJV

I may have mentioned once or twice that the Church today bears little resemblance to the Church I grew up in so many years ago.  There are many reasons for that but one which I notice often, and probably miss the most, is the singing of the hymns that were for so many years the mainstay of worship in the Church.  Now before you start thinking I am some sort of traditionalist opposed to change, let me assure you I enjoy and listen to Christian music and am blessed by many of the artists who write and perform today.  What I miss, and to be truthful something which I believe is lacking in many of the songs sung in the Church today, is the theology written into the hymns of the past.

We talked a bit last week about the redemption of the bride of Christ, the Church, and the pattern we see in the story of Ruth.  Redemption is a term many have heard, but often take for granted and never truly explore.  It is, also, something you used to hear preached about often but of late rarely is expounded on from the pulpit.  Yet not only is it taught throughout the Word, it is something all believers should understand is not only necessary for our salvation, but something we could never do for ourselves.  It is a gift from God for which we as believers owe Him our very lives.  Take a minute to read the words from this old hymn I remember singing when I was young.

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am.
Redeemed, redeemed, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever I am.
Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus, No language my rapture can tell; I know that the light of His presence With me doth continually dwell.
Redeemed, redeemed, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever I am.
I think of my blessèd Redeemer, I think of Him all the day long: I sing, for I cannot be silent; His love is the theme of my song.
Redeemed, redeemed, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever I am.
I know there’s a crown that is waiting, In yonder bright mansion for me, And soon, with the spirits made perfect, At home with the Lord I shall be.        Fanny Crosby  1882

The word redeem in Biblical times was specifically a term applied most often to slaves.  In the Greek, it is the word exagorazō, which is translated; “by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off.”  If you are wondering why a term used in relation to slaves should be applied to mankind, the apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans makes it very clear.

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 this, 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.   Romans 6:5,6  NKJV

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.  What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Romans 6:16-23  NKJV

As slaves to sin, mankind is destined to be paid the wages of sin, which is death.  But as Paul said in his letter to the Galatians, when the time was right, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Kinsman Redeemer.  In the book of Leviticus we are told that the Law specifies that only a kinsman could redeem a person or his property.  This is why Jesus had to be born as a man, to become man’s kinsman.  He also had to be God, in order to have the power to forgive sin.  Having God as His Father, and Mary as His mother, Jesus fulfilled the requirements necessary to redeem us all.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.   Matthew 5:17  NKJV

“looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”  Titus 2:13,14  NKJV

Those who choose to believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, lived a perfect sinless life, died on a cross and rose again from the dead on the third day, have been redeemed.  By accepting the redemption offered to us by His death and resurrection we become children of God and part of the Church which is the bride of Christ.  He is coming soon to take His bride away to be with Him forever, and by all accounts the signs of our approaching rapture to be with Him are all around us.  If you have never accepted the payment Jesus made to redeem you, I pray you do it today, before it is too late.

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”   Luke 21:28  NKJV

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