Sunday, 24 December 2006 00:00

He Is Our Redeemer

Colossians 2:13-15 (KJV)

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

We see the word "redeemer" often used in churches, hymns, and books. A redeemer is "one who 'cuts loose' or 'delivers' by means of a ransom payment." Let me illustrate:

  • In a pawn shop—you redeem an object, from the owner, when you set it free by payment.
  • In bond issues—a company will buy back stock by paying you money to get it back.
  • In Christianity—to be redeemed means to be 'cut loose,' or 'set free' by Jesus Christ.

Most of us are very clear about the ransom that is paid for us... " [We] are not redeemed with silver or gold... but with the precious blood of Christ" (I Peter 3:18, 19). Anywhere Christmas is celebrated, people know that Christ died. But from what are we cut loose?

  1. We are cut loose from THE WRATH OF GOD by the actions of Christ at Calvary (v.13).
    There was a moral and spiritual deadness in us because of our sins and transgressions. We were consigned 'under condemnation' of God because of our sins against Him. But God, in His great love for us sent Christ as 'our Redeemer' to pay the price of sin.
    1. The activity is all of God... you ("being dead," "in the uncircumcision of life"), He hath quickened together with him. This is why we report the good news.
    2. His activity brings response... The word quickening means "to make alive." Our spiritual life is a result of quickening; God overrules the corruption in us.
    3. Our redemption is at Calvary...
      "Having forgiven you all trespasses." Pay attention: the language is past tense.
      "This was a past act, being done and over; at the death of Christ, whose blood was shed for the remission of sin. Forgiveness of sin is not done by piecemeal, or at different times, or by different acts, but is done at once, and includes sins past, present, and to come; and this is God's act and His only." (Dr. John Gill)
  2. We are cut loose from THE WORKS OF THE LAW by the actions of Christ at Calvary (v.14).
    "Why do we not offer sacrifices any longer?" Our text gives us a very simple answer. "[At Calvary Christ was] blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us." This is the Old Covenant law, which include ceremonies of sacrifice and death, in various ordinances and commands of the law. Submission to this ceremonial law declared the worshipper polluted and unclean. In every sacrifice a man was signing his confession of guilt and condemnation and declaring he deserved death. On the cross, God 'took this guilt' out of the way, "nailing it to the cross." This may be an allusion to the practice of taking debts, or bonds, and driving a nail through them to show that they are no longer of any force. God has done this for us in His Son.
  3. We are cut loose from THE WAR WITH SATAN by the actions of Christ at Calvary (v.15).
    These are the principalities and powers of hell; the infernal powers of darkness. The devil is called the accuser of the brethren, but he's lost all his power over us. How? Christ has 'spoiled' these powers. The word means "put off" or "unclothe" them. He then proceeds to "make a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." This entire verse is an allusion to the ancient practice of warrior nations conquering the enemy, removing the soldiers' armor, and marching home in triumphant procession.

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