Meaning: The terms ransom and redemption are used almost interchangeably in the NT and in theological writings. However, the two distinct words have slightly different connotations.
This family of seven words is built on a basic root word that focuses on the concept of deliverance or release - Luw simply means “to loose”.
The basic word in this family, lutron, (Matt 20:28, Mark 10:45) and antilutron (1 Tim 2:6) mean a price paid to effect release or deliverance. Note also lutrwthj, a deliverer, (Luk 7:35).
In the verb form (lutrow) the meaning is paying a price (1 Pet 1:18, Tit 2:14, Luke 24:21).
The key term, apolutrwsij, means a deliverance effected by the paying of a required price (from apo = from + lutron = the price paid + sij ending = a process). NT uses are Luk 21:28, Rom 8:23, Eph 1:14, Eph 4:30, Heb 9:15, Heb 11:35, Col 1:14, Rom 3:24, 1 Cor 1:30, Eph 1:7. The shortened term means a ransoming (lutrwsij - Heb 9:12, Luk 1:68, Luk 2:38). So, the idea is both a price paid - the ransom, and the process resulting in release - redemption.
Uses (pertaining to salvation): Ransom/Redemption basics…
Justification is made possible by redemption.
Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift aby His grace through bthe redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Three modifying thoughts about justification: 1) it is a gift 2) by means of grace 3) channel is redemption (dia.)
Redemption is both a result of the person and work of Christ and results in benefits for those redeemed.
Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift aby His grace through bthe redemption which is in Christ Jesus
A good rendering might be, “the redemption, namely the one in Christ”
1 Corinthians 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
Ephesians 1:7 aIn 1Him we have bredemption cthrough His blood, the dforgiveness of our trespasses, according to ethe riches of His grace."
Redemption almost = to forgiveness or at least forgiveness is the counterpart to redemption. Redemption not possible w/o blood (dia suggests the agency of redemption.) Nice outline: “in him” = the place of redemption; through his blood = the means of redemption; “forgiveness” = the complement of redemption; “according to…grace” = the pattern of redemption.
Colossians 1:13 1For He rescued us from the 2adomain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of 3bHis beloved Son, 14 ain whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
Matthew 20:28 just as athe Son of Man bdid not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His 1life a ransom for many."
1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not 1aredeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your bfutile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious ablood, as of a blamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
This passage is a vivid statement of the costly nature of redemption. No blood, no redemption.
1 Timothy 2:6 who agave Himself as a ransom for all, the btestimony 1given at 2cthe proper time.
Hebrews 9:12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
A related term:
Meaning: The noun agora comes from the root ag meaning to lead, weigh, or drive and the verb agw meaning to carry out or to lead. The agora is the city center (Acts 17:17). A citizen goes to the ancient city center to attend to various business matters and to conduct transactions including making purchases (the verb agorazw). Hence, the overarching idea is conduct of business.
Key salvation uses:
1 Corinthians 6:20 For ayou have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in byour body.
1 Corinthians 7:23 aYou were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
2 Peter 2:1 But afalse prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be bfalse teachers camong you, who will dsecretly introduce edestructive heresies, even fdenying the gMaster who hbought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Master = depothn the Sovereign over all (Acts 4:24). “Bought = agorazw referring to temporal purchase not spiritual redemption (so 24/30 uses)
Revelation 5:9 And they sang a anew song, saying, "bWorthy are You to take the 1book and to break its seals; for You were cslain, and dpurchased for God with Your blood men from eevery tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Galatians 3:13 Christ aredeemed us from the curse of the Law...”
Summary: Redemption describes rescuing by paying a price. Christ purchased the elect at the price of His death. 1 Peter 1:18-19
Conclusions Regarding Ransom-Redemption:
Slavery to sin is real and thus necessitates a divine solution. The sin problem is too enormous for men to solve. Ransom-redemption means that believers have been released from this slavery to sin by means of Christ paying the required price; his life - his blood sacrifice. This price satisfied the demand of the God’s law which demanded death because of sin. Because of this purchase, he owns believers. No one can outbid God! We now belong to God.
It is important to understand that an actual transaction occurred. The language is clear. There is nothing provisional or potential about redemption. Christ did die; he did pay for believers; he did release us from our sin; he does now possess us.
Redemption is not possible apart from the death and resurrection of Christ. No blood, no forgiveness of sins. If believers have not been released from our slavery to sin they are pitiful people.
Ransom-redemption falls into the “incomprehensible” bucket of God’s being. Can we honestly get our minds around the notion that God turned his back on the Son at the cross in order to purchase those who despised him? Enemies in every fiber of their being?
So What? Application to Personal Life, Church Life, Community Life
© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2017. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source.