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Our Position in Christ – In Him We Have Redemption – Part 5

** These articles aim to help us to know who we are in Christ. The jumping point for our study is Ephesians 1, where Paul beautifully lays out the position of the believer in Christ. **

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph 1:7)

We have redemption. It is ours. But what exactly is redemption? In order to answer that question we must first understand the redemption of the Old Testament, where the word originates. When the church at Ephesus read the words “In Him we have redemption” their minds went straight to what they learned in the Old Testament.

The Hebrew root words used most often for the concept of redemption are pada, gaal and kapar.

Pada is a legal term concerning the substitution required for the person or animal delivered. The firstborn males or ritually clean animals were to be sacrificed, while the firstborn of unclean animals were “redeemed” (Exod 13:13 ; 34:20 ; Num 18:15-16).

Gaal is a legal term of deliverance. It can relate to a person, property, or right to which one had a previous claim through family relation or possession. Goel, the participle of gaal, is the term for the person who acted in the duties of a “redeemer.” It was usually the person’s next of kin who acted as the redeemer to buy back freedom that was lost. See Leviticus 25:47-49 for an example.

Kapar means to “cover.” It means to cover sin or atone. R. David Rightmire puts koper like this: The substantive koper (ransom) is of interest in that it signifies a price paid for a life that has become forfeit.” (Exod 21:30; 30:11-16)

Hebrews were well acquainted with God as Yahweh, Israel’s “Redeemer.” We see the key metaphor as God as Redeemer in Isaiah (41:14 ; 43:1 ; 44:6 ; 47:4). The Israelites, of course, knew God as the one who redeemed them from the bondage of Egypt. This redemption was further seen in God redeeming Israel from the bondage of Babylonian captivity.

The expectation of the Jews was that the coming Messiah would be the Redeemer of Israel. And indeed Jesus did come as a Redeemer, just not in the way they thought He would. Jesus did come as a Redeemer but His focus was on the souls of men and women.

“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

Can you see Jesus in pada, gaal and kaper? Legally, (pada) Jesus became a substitute for us. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor 5:21)

In gaal we see Jesus as our next of kin brother who has stepped in as our Redeemer. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

Lastly, we Jesus as kaper in that He “covers” us. His blood has covered and atoned for our sins. When God covered Adam and Eve in the garden it was a foreshadow of what Jesus would do for us. Now we can walk without shame, knowing we are covered by the precious blood of Jesus.

Now, do you see the value in your personal redemption? Jesus came as your Redeemer to free you from the bondage of sin and to live a life of victory. Yes, in Him we have redemption. It is ours and it cannot be taken from us. Lastly, when thinking about redemption always remember you were redeemed because of the value God saw in you. He did not redeem us out of obligation but out of pure love. You were worth it when He did it and you are still worth it now.

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