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I Will Sing of My Redeemer (Col. 1:14)

Redemption Cause for Deepest Thanks

The mention of “his Beloved Son” leads to the climax of this prayer. The Son of God, the Father’s delight, is our Redeemer. By his precious blood, he has redeemed us from the guilt, curse, and power of sin. Redemption means to be delivered from bondage by the payment of a release price, or ransom. The Lord is said to have redeemed his people from Egyptian bondage (Ex. 6:6). He paid their ransom price, which was the blood of Egypt’s firstborn. Because he let Israel’s firstborn go free, they were ever after dedicated to the Lord and to be redeemed by the blood of a lamb (Ex. 13:11-15; 34:20). The only reason Israel’s firstborn did not die, for they were as guilty as Egypt’s firstborn, was because the Lord provided the blood price of redemption, a substitute to suffer for them, the blood of the lamb upon the door.

As the old covenant age matured, the Lord revealed himself as the only Redeemer of his people, the strong One who would deliver his people from their various earthly chains, which were a bitter picture of their slavery to sin (Isa. 41:14; 43:14; 44:6,24; 49:26). Because we are enslaved to sin, we need a strong Redeemer (Jer. 50:34). Because we have violated God’s law, we need a merciful Redeemer (Isa. 54:8). Because we broke fellowship with God, we must be restored to him by a loving Redeemer (Isa. 54:5). We cannot deliver ourselves from sin’s chains, the burden of guilt that oppresses our consciences, and the earthly miseries that come to us because sin has bound us fast. Sadly, we do not feel our need of redemption, how guilty sin has made us, how unfit to fulfill the purpose of our creation. We cover our curse in any way possible, each turning aside to his own way, as Isaiah said. We do not fear death or dread judgment, but the thought of standing before the Judge should make us shake and weep uncontrollably, as our Redeemer did in Gethsemane. He was the Lamb who shed his blood so that you and I can go free – not free to live as we please and forget the ransom price he paid. We are freed to give thanks, to live bound to him in love and obedience and joy.

Redemption from Our Sins

Assumes Slavery to Sin

Satan does all he can to chip away at the very foundations of redemption. He makes sin’s chains pleasant, pushing all the consequences away into an uncertain future. His agents of secularism try to erase categories of sin and righteousness, curse and judgment – except for those who hold fast to the old paths of God’s word. He normalizes sin, deceives multitudes into thinking that sin is freedom, while obedience is slavery. Beautiful faces and strong bodies promise liberty by indulging the flesh. The price of his freedom is to sin against conscience, against the voice of God speaking within you. Conscience is the great obstacle, the voice that must be silenced, so that you can experience his version of liberty. It is the horror of Satan’s freedom that the more you indulge it, whatever form it may take, the tighter sin’s chains bind, the darker the soul becomes, and the more shocking the sin must be to entice and satisfy.

We need redemption because of our sins. Sin in any form, even one sin, is a chain. It is more than a personal chain, as if sin is nothing more than an obstacle to realizing our best self and fullest potential. Sin is violating God. Sin is breaking his command, denying his wise authority, assaulting his holiness, and denying his right to our worship and service. Sin brings misery to us, but this is not sin’s worst fruit. Sin binds us over to the wrath and curse of God (Matt. 13:30). This is what Satan wants to hide. “The soul that sins, it shall die.” God is just. He cannot leave the guilty unpunished (Ex. 34:7). He is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY. He does not wink at sin, listen to our excuses, and simply let the offending sinner go free. No sinner willingly believes this; all believe his condition is not that bad, that somehow he will find a way to free himself. Conviction of our sinfulness is so necessary that our Lord sent the Spirit into the world for this purpose – to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:9-11). Sinners are liable to judgment, but we cannot see this truth or believe it applies to us until the Holy Spirit shows us our true condition and danger. In other words, we cannot see sin’s evil or danger until the Holy Spirit takes away our blindness and reveals our sinfulness to our hearts. Then, the soul craves a Redeemer.

Deliverance by Ransom Payment

What we mean by our true condition and danger has nothing to do with what we feel about ourselves at a given moment, even our worst moments of sin when our consciences are screaming at us and warning us of judgment and will not sit quietly in the corner. Sin binds us over to judgment because we live in God’s world, are under his authority, and accountable to him. Our need of redemption, of release from sin’s judgment by payment of a ransom price, is objectively true. It applies to each sinner equally. Sin, even one sin, binds us over to judgment. He who offends God’s law at even one point has violated the whole law (James 2:10). This is true, regardless of the way we feel about this truth or about our sinfulness. It is a great lie of our times that how we feel about ourselves and about God is the most important thing and actually shapes reality, or at least our personal reality.

No, we live in God’s world, and his thoughts make reality what it is. We can fight against this and deny it all our lives, but at death we will be brought to the shocking realization that God does not govern the world by our whims and feelings. He is not living in my story, or in yours. We are living in his, and in his world, sin makes us liable to judgment. We cannot pay the blood price required for our sins. Do you believe this? Children, do you believe this? Your sins, your bad attitudes this week, your slowness to obey, your wish to escape from your chores, are sins against God and require blood for repayment. Fathers, do you believe this about your impatience, mothers your anger or frustrations? Whatever our excuses, we cannot pay the ransom price. We have nothing God wants or accepts, nothing now of value, nothing pure enough to offer him, not our tears or promises to do better. This is the very narrow gate to truth, to redemption. We cannot provide any redemption for our souls. We have nothing to pay. Heaven does not accept earth’s money, earth’s works, or earth’s sentiments.

By Christ’s Precious Blood

There is one payment the righteous Judge will accept. A drowning man does not ask why this is the only plank offered to him – he is glad for that plank and grabs it. Here is the Judge’s plank in the raging ocean of judgment – the blood of his beloved Son. Seeing there was no other way for the sinner to be redeemed without insulting his justice or offending his love, he determined together with the Son and Spirit to provide redemption through sending his Son into the world. His Son would be clothed in our flesh, thus representing God’s interests, the righteous Judge, and man’s, the condemned sinner. He would obey God perfectly, for part of our bondage is that we have lost the righteousness that God requires as a condition of fellowship with him and of entrance into heaven. Then, he would suffer and die for sinners on the cross. He redeemed us from sin’s curse and judgment by becoming sin for us, being cursed for us, and being judged in our place. This is the one ransom price – the precious blood of Jesus Christ. It is the one ransom that satisfies the justice of God against the sinner. It is the one ransom price that quenches God’s wrath, magnifies God’s grace, and reveals God’s love.

Remember that the purpose of this line is to teach us the reason we must give our Father constant thanks. Remember also that the power of this ransom to release you does not depend upon the amount of faith you have or how godly you live after you believe. You can struggle all your remaining life against certain sins, despair that you will ever be free of them, even doubt that you are a child of God because of them. You will likely spend much time weeping over your cold heart, your sinful thoughts, and your wretched state. Why, O why, cannot I love the Lord more? Do not base your hope of redemption upon personal godliness, however desirable and necessary it is as part of our Savior’s delivering work. Godliness is not the same in all. Redemption by Christ’s blood is. Hope in his precious blood. He has paid your ransom price. Believe in him, for he is the Redeemer. Bury yourself in his wounds, and justice has no more claim upon you, for the sword struck down the only Redeemer of God’s elect, Jesus Christ the Beloved. Your blood price has been paid, your condemnation laid upon the Son of God (Rom. 8:1). His worthiness as the eternal Son of God redeems you. His worthiness as the sinless Lamb of God pays your ransom price. Heaven accepts his precious blood as payment for your sins. Believe in him. Rest upon his finished work. He has purchased your redemption (Heb. 9:14).

Purchased Full Forgiveness

To leave no doubt of the glory of our Savior and the sufficiency of his work, an appositional phrase is added: the forgiveness of sins. To forgive sin is to remit sin, to blot them out, to declare them paid for and the justice due for them paid in fall. Forgiveness is preeminently a Bible promise, a Christian doctrine, a Christ revealing truth. It was prominent in the apostolic preaching. “Him has God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:41). It was through the name of Jesus Christ that the apostles and early church preached forgiveness of sins (Acts 13:38) – not an open door to merit the merit of Christ by our works, or to work toward our own forgiveness. We are forgiven by no works of ours but by the work of Jesus Christ. He has purchased our forgiveness with his blood. This is the first and greatest gospel blessing for sinners – instead of holding our sins against us, as we deserve, our merciful Father laid the full penalty for them upon his Beloved Son. It was love that led the Father to this plan, the Son to come to execute the plan, and the Holy Spirit to apply the blood of Jesus Christ to us so that we might be forgiven in time and space, feel forgiven, and have our consciences purged from dead works (Heb. 9:12-14). If you are a believer but have slipped back into your old sins, come back to this fountain of full and free forgiveness. You will never outgrow your need for the Redeemer’s blood. If you have never been forgiven because you have never looked to the Lamb of God in faith, look to him now and believe in his saving name. Receive forgiveness of sins. He offers it to you as a full and free gift, purchased with his blood.

Sing, Christian, Sing!

Of Your Redeemer: Praise Him! Praise Him!

One day, struggling believer, the glory of your redemption will be unbearably glorious. We have slight tastes of our liberation now, but then the glory of forgiveness will lift us to sing with the angels and look upon the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But what about now? Praise Him! Praise Him! The angels desire to look into these things, but much of the church would rather talk about fixing our personal problems or making our nation the kingdom of God on earth. What poor crumbs in place of the banquet our Redeemer offers to us. Consider constantly what love led him to offer his pure soul to save our sinful souls – what love for the Father, what love for us. Do you think he will ever stop loving you? That your remaining sins will throw him off the hunt for your soul? He has made himself an offering for you and paid the price of your redemption. He will never lose you, for he has bought you. All his obedience unto death, his combat with the devil, he did not need to do this for himself – it was for his love that he did this, for you and for me who believe upon his name, that he might offer himself to God without blemish and thus purchase our peace and pardon. Never let a day pass without thinking of this freedom he has purchased for you – freedom from the curse of sin, from its power, one day from its presence, from its guilt, ongoing forgiveness when we sin, union with him in his death to sin so that we are able not to fulfill sin’s lust by the power of his Holy Spirit within us. The world lies in chains, so of course its cities and philosophies and families are on fire – sin is a fire, a world of iniquity. But you, child of God, have been freed, purchased at a very high cost so that you might serve God as slaves of righteousness – adoring slaves, loving slaves, worshipping slaves, thankful slaves, purchased and freed slaves to God, which is no slavery at all but the most blessed liberty ever announced to sinners.

Of God’s Rich Grace (Eph. 1:7): Eternal, Abundant, Sufficient

This is the reason that Paul in Ephesians adds to these same words “according to the riches of his grace.” Our Father’s redeeming love and our Savior’s purchasing redemption by his blood are for the praise of God’s kindness to sinners. Imagine this – the Father wants us to know how wonderful his kindness is! His kindness to sinners! His grace is rich or abundant for it completely redeems us from all our dead works, those before we were brought to faith in Christ and all the heinous sins we commit after we know him – all forgiven, all cleansed, all covered by the precious blood of the Lamb of God. And his grace is sufficient – for the worst sinner, for the most careless and wayward believer, for the struggling child of God – by one offering our Savior has perfected us forever (Heb. 10:12). Words fail. This is heaven – to be forgiven by God, accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6), for our Savior to look at us and smile, having loved us never to stop loving us, having redeemed us never to lose us. All of this is for the praise of God’s rich grace (Eph. 1:6) – because he is gracious and merciful, delights in mercy, will never take away his mercy from us.

In Every Stormy Wind: Praise, Pray, Purchased

Let, then, the storms of this life blow, and we must praise, remembering that we are now forgiven of our sins. Our prayers must be with thanksgiving – not sad, as if our sadness makes up for what we have done – but joyful, for Jesus Christ has purchased our pardon. He purchased us, so we must not live as if we belong to ourselves but to our Redeemer. Body and soul, we are his – blood-brought, Spirit-sealed, forgiven, reconciled to God and restored to our purpose. Remember when you stumble, do not try to work your way back into God’s favor – look to the Redeemer and the purchase price of your redemption, the blood of Jesus Christ. Do not think you can cry your way to mercy, for only the Redeemer’s tears have obtained your forgiveness. When you cannot get your heart to praise, subdue your body’s lusts, compel your pride to get low and be gone, or move your soul to feel even a speck of love for the Redeemer, come back here to sing of your Redeemer. Keep looking at his cross, his sufferings, and his precious blood. Hear his “It is finished.” He will not forsake you. Trust in him, and you will soon hear his “Well done.” 


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