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When we hear of redemption, we most definitely think of the deliverance from bondage based on payment of a price by a redeemer or something related to this. But as Christians, what does this really mean? The easiest way to present it, is by calling it the reversal of the fall. So let us dive in and understand this more.

The cross

Depravity of man

Have you ever asked why were the former days better than today? Ecclesiastics7:10 then you got to rethink, “for it is not from wisdom you ask this” it says. There are no good old days. The days have always been evil. The heart of a man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer17:9). Think over it- above all things, that is just a glimpse of what is in man and what man is. We will not be surprised at what is happening in the current world if we understand the nature of man, nothing new. Just as the days of Noah, like Sodom and Gomorrah.

In the bible there are many words used for man and his condition. Words like; stubborn, rebellious wicked, brood of vipers blind naked, unholy,murders, insolent, brutal……The list goes on and on. There is no end to it, that shows how wicked this species called man is. God became sorry that he created man Gen 6,”the wickedness of man was great “. Exodus 33:5 …You are a stiff-naked people… There thoughts are always evil, they are but a brood of vipers, wicked generation, dead in sin. Isaiah 59 displays the ways of man and how wicked those ways are. There lacks a single word to describe the state of man, oh man.

The Pharisee with his good works that cannot save him, the levite and him knowing all the law not able to fulfil them, helpless. The righteous deeds they are but rags before God. Isa 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousness [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”. This is why being brought in a Christian family is not a guarantee that you are a christian, one must be born of the will of God not by flesh and blood or will of man John 1:13.

ACTS OF REDEMPTION

“Redeem” as well as “Redemption” are often times used in the scriptures. Both in the Old Testament and the New.

Redemption in the Old Testament.

In the Old testament, redemption is visible and applicable in the following ways;

1. The slavery and bondage of the Israelites in Egypt and their later freedom was used to depict a perfect act of redemption. The following two scriptures show this.

•2 Samuel 7:23

[23]  What [other] one nation on earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be a people for Himself and to make for Himself a name? You have done great and terrible things for Yourself and for Your land, before Your people, whom You redeemed and delivered for Yourself from Egypt, from the nations and their gods.

•Isaiah 51:10

[10] Was it not You Who dried up the Red Sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over? [Why then are we left so long in captivity?]

God’s redemption of the Israelites mirrored what Christ did on the cross of Calvary. He bought us back from the captivity and bondage of sin into his eternal light and glory. He brought us into a land of promise. His Spiritual kingdom, and made us his sons and daughters.

•Colossians 1:13-14

[13] [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

[14] In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.

2. As a part of the law, a poor Israelite that had sold himself as a slave could be redeemed by his close relative. We see this law in

•Leviticus 25:25-26

[25] If your brother has become poor and has sold some of his property, if any of his kin comes to redeem it, he shall [be allowed to] redeem what his brother has sold.

[26] And if the man has no one to redeem his property, and he himself has become more prosperous and has enough to redeem it,

[27] Then let him count the years since he sold it and restore the overpayment to the man to whom he sold it, and return to his ancestral possession. The kinsman- redeemer or the guardian redeemer was a legal term for one who had the responsibility and right to redeem a relative who was in trouble of some kind such as poverty.

We clearly see this in the book of Ruth where Boaz redeemed Ruth and Naomi because their husbands had passed away. Boaz was a close relative of Ruth.

(Ruth 4:1-10).

This is akin to the redemption that Christ procured for us. He saved us from our wretchedness and poverty caused by sin. He is our “guardian/kinsman redeemer”, and just as the old testament law required the guardian redeemer to be a close relative of the aided, Jesus came in our likeness and nature and died for our sins, redeeming us from our sorry state as a result of sin’s plague.

3. The Israelites were to offer their firstborns unto God. The firstborn of any unclean animal was to be redeemed by a clean animal. We see this in

•Numbers 18:15

[15] Everything that first opens the womb in all flesh, which they bring to the Lord, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be yours. Nevertheless, the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts you shall redeem.

The firstborn was to be given to God. Firstborn also meant first and the best. This is akin to Christ, whom the bible refers to first and the best and was offered as a sacrifice for the propitiation and cleansing of our sins.

•Colossians 1:15

[15] [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation.

•Romans 8:29

[29] For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.

In the new testament, we see the reality redemption clearly portrayed in

•Romans 3:23-24

[23] Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.

[24] [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus

The following scriptures also discuss redemption; (Titus 2:13-14, 1st Peter 1:18-19, 1st Cor 6:20, Hebrews 9:15, 1st Cor 1:30).

REDEEMED FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW

The scope of the redemptive work of Chris covered not only salvation from the plague of sin, but also redemption from the law. Since it was only the Jews who were under the law, it is only the Jews who were redeemed from the law. This is clearly seen in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

•Galatians 3:10,13

[10]And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them. [Deut. 27:26.]

[13]Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified); [Deut. 21:23.]

•Galatians 4:5

[5]To purchase the freedom of (to ransom, to redeem, to atone for) those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God’s sons].

The two-fold nature of Redemption

Redemption is two-fold, the redemption of the body and that of the spirit.

The redemption of our spirits is a complete and finished work, and once it happens when one receives Christ, it doesn’t happen again. The payment that Jesus Christ made is once and for all.

2 Corinthians 5:17:-

[17]Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

Once born again, you become a completely new creation after God’s very nature.

However, the scriptures talk of the redemption of our bodies. It is something futuristic that will happen again on “the day of Redemption”, the second coming of Jesus.

•Romans 8:23

[23]And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the first fruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as

Our bodies will be redeemed when Christ comes again. Redeemed from the presence of sin. Redeemed from diverse afflictions and limitations.

The following scriptures shed more light;

(Acts 24:15,1 Corinthians 15:42,44,50 ,Philippians 3:20-21,1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

APPLICATION OF REDEMPTION

We are inherently and by default evil and deserving of God’s wrath. It’s so perplexing that the redemptive power of God transforms us into totally new creations. The old is gone behold the new has come! Paul explains in Galatians 3:13 that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…” His redemptive power is sufficient to dispel the fogs of uncertainty and guilt , being justified by faith. What’s more, Christ provides all it takes for us to partake in the redemption plan; grace alone through faith. Should we still crave for the old and miserable life which merely fulfils bodily desires for a season? ( Galatians 4:8).

Amid the unending battle between flesh and spirit, there is a surety that we are capable to lead holy lives and pleasing to God. 1st Corinthians  6:20 reminds us to honour God with our bodies. In simple terms, Paul is challenging us to work out our salvation with confidence from Christ that he began the redemptive plan and will not leave us abandoned in our walk of salvation. As we wait for the redemption of our mortal bodies, let’s be eager to do good and find contentment in Christ alone (Titus 2:13-14).

For it is said, behind a frowning providence he hides a smiling face. This means that we must never lose hope in God’s commitment to make all things that that have gone wrong right again, for human kind was once held captive that was liberated by the atoning death of Jesus Christ , he and he alone.

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Table Of Contents

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
An Explanation of the Study Guide……………………………………………………………….. 2
For Leaders………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
Lesson 1: Introduction to Finally Alive……………………………………………………………. 4
Lesson 2: What Is the New Birth? ………………………………………………………………… 6
Lesson 3: Why Must We Be Born Again? Part 1…………………………………………………. 8
Lesson 4: Why Must We Be Born Again? Part 2…………………………………………………. 10
Lesson 5: Born Again Through the Washing of Regeneration…..……………………………….12
Lesson 6: Born Again Through Faith in Jesus Christ……………………………………………. 14
Lesson 7: Born Again Through Intelligible Good News………………………………………….. 16
Lesson 8: The New Birth Overcomes the World…………………………………………………. 18
Lesson 9: Regeneration, Faith, Love……………………………………………………………… 20
Lesson 10: Freedom from the Practice of Sinning………………………………………………. 22
Lesson 11: Loving Others with the Love of God………………………………………………….. 24
Lesson 12: Helping Others Be Born Again………………………………………………………. 26
Appendix: Leading Productive Group Discussions………………………………………………. 28

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