Why We Need a Redeemer

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Why We Need a Redeemer

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Our sins have alienated us from God. The prophet Isaiah wrote: ". . . Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you . . ." (Isaiah 59:2).

John the Baptist, when Jesus came to him for baptism, said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29-36). John recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah who would redeem mankind by paying the death penalty for sin.

"Redemption means deliverance from some evil by payment of a price" (New Bible Dictionary, 1996, "Redeemer, Redemption"). Peter explains 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" (1 Peter 1:18-19). Paul explains that the blood of Christ has "purchased" the "church of God" (Acts 20:28).

God planned from the beginning this wonderful gift of redemption. Peter further stated that Christ as the Lamb “was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20). Jesus willingly “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed” (Titus 2:14).

Must we all be redeemed? Clearly the answer is yes. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). In other words, we deserve eternal death. We have made ourselves, through sin, unfit to receive the gift of eternal life.

How, then, can our problem be alleviated so we can enter into a relationship with God as His children?

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to pay the penalty for our sins so we could be saved from the penalty of eternal death (John 3:16). Hebrews 2:9 explains the purpose of that sacrifice: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone." Jesus became the sacrificial lamb God offered for the sins of mankind.

The concept of redemption was made known to ancient Israel through the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant. In Hebrews 9:22, we read that "according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission" (or redemption). In Hebrews 9:28, the thought continues, "so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many." The apostle John adds that "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

Redemption is defined as "a loosing, particularly by paying a price; . . . with reference to the special intervention of God for the salvation of mankind" (Unger's Bible Dictionary, 1972, "Redemption"). In other words, redemption is an act of God that frees us from the guilt we incurred through our sins by substituting the death of Christ for the penalty we deserve.

However, God will grant redemption only to those who sincerely repent. That is why repentance is our starting point for receiving redemption and establishing a lasting relationship with our Creator. Those who genuinely repent of habitually practicing sin will be forgiven and become the redeemed servants of God.