June 27, 2009 Ephesians 1:7

Freedom is a very precious commodity in today's world. Each year more and more people lose their personal freedom. An organization called Freedom House monitors this situation, and they now report that only 36 percent of the world's population is truly free.

Freedom was a very precious commodity in the New Testament world. One specialist tells us there were at least 60 million slaves in the Roman Empire. Ancient society was built on the foundation of slavery. There were, at one time, nearly half a million slaves in the city of Corinth alone. And so the word "redemption" brought great joy and hope to these people.

  • Redemption is a key word in the Bible and a key word in the Christian life.
  • It means to purchase and set free by paying a price.
  • That payment, of course, was the blood of Jesus Christ.

In whom we have redemption through his blood (Eph. 1:7).

  • Jesus died on the cross that we might be redeemed.
  • He purchased us and set us free by paying a price.

Question: From what kind of bondage have we been freed because we have trusted Christ as our Savior?

Answer: There are at least four different kinds of bondage from which we have been set free, and we want to examine them.

Bondage to Sin

  • First of all, we are freedfrom bondage to sin. See Titus 2:11-14

Titus 2:11-14For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 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.

  • We have been redeemed from bondage to sin.
  • This, of course, reminds us of Israel in Egypt.
  • They were in bondage in Egypt.
  • They had to answer to taskmasters.
  • Day after day they were slaving and not being paid for it. Day after day they labored and were mistreated.
  • It was terrible bondage.
  • You can't convince unsaved people that they are in bondage because they think they are free.
  • This is a part of the deceitfulness of sin.
  • Sin promises freedom but always brings slavery.
  • Sin promises joy and ultimately brings pain.
  • Sin promises success, but ultimately it brings failure.
  • The prodigal son wanted to be free. He wanted to get away from his big brother and his father, so he went out into a far country. He thought he was free, but he discovered his freedom soon turned into bondage. He became a slave, not only of a Gentile task master, but he became a servant of the pigs.
  • You and I, before we were saved, were not in much better shape.

Titus 3:3For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

  • That doesn't sound like freedom does it?
  • But when God's grace appeared in Jesus Christ, we were set free. It was nothing we did ourselves; He did it for us.

Titus 3:4-5But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

  • We have been redeemed from bondage to sin, and this redemption leads to reformation. Not only do we have freedom from the guilt and the penalty of sin, but we also have freedom not to sin, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We have a blessed new hope:

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).

  • Have you been set free, or redeemed, from bondage to sin?

Bondage to the Old Life

  • The second kind of bondage from which we have been redeemed is bondage to the oldlife.
    First Peter 1:18, 19 says,

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

  • The blood of Jesus Christ has set us free from bondage to the old life.
  • It is interesting the way Peter described this old life: Your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers," Futile means empty, there is a futility in sin.
  • In 1 Peter 4:2-4, Peter described this further:

1 Peter 4:2-4so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you;

  • The life we used to live was a life of vanity.
  • We thought it was a life of pleasure!
  • Unsaved people sometimes say, "Oh, you Christians don't know what it is to really enjoy life! I am free! I am doing my thing!"
  • The Bible describes what you are doing: “sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries- a excesses of dissipation (v. 3).
  • This doesn't sound like freedom (at least to me)
  • The sad thing is that many people think because they are doing their own thing they are free, when true freedom is doing the will of God.
  • People have the idea that the will of God is bondage.
  • It is not bondage; the will of God is beautiful freedom.
  • Then the Lord Jesus Christ saves us, He saves us and redeems us from bondage to the old life.
  • We must not live the rest of our lives the way we used to live.
  • How long will the rest of our lives be?
  • We don't know, nobody knows. We may have many years, we may have many days. We don't know. We could be called home to glory before the day ends. We don't know.

Hebrews 9:27And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

  • It is an appointment, not an accident, and God knows when it is going to be.
  • When you are redeemed, you are set free from bondage to the old life.
  • This is why Ephesians 5:16 tells us to redeem the time.
  • Don't live the rest of your life the way you used to live. You have been set free from that.

2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

  • Therefore, redeem the time, buy up the opportunity, make the most of the rest of your life.
  • How can this apply to your life?
  • Perhaps you are born again, but you are following the traditions of other people. You are doing what everybody else does. Why don't you ask God what He wants you to do with the rest of your life?
  • Perhaps you are in the wrong school, and you ought to be in another school training to serve God.
  • Perhaps you are pursuing the wrong career.
  • Perhaps you are a businessman, and somewhat successful, but God is calling you into His service. You could use your experience and your gifts to glorify God in full-time Christian service.
  • If you knew you had only ten years left to live or one year left to live, how would this change your life?

We should be living each day as though it were our last. We are redeemed from bondage to sin; we are redeemed from bondage to the old life. We should live whollyfor God.

Bondage to the Law

  • We are also redeemed from bondage to the Law. Galatians 3:13 says,

Galatians 3:13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—

Galatians 4:4,5 says,

Galatians 4:4-5But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

  • The Law was never given to save anybody; the Law was given to reveal sin.
  • The Law is a mirror. You don't wash your face in the mirror; you examine your face in the mirror.
  • If you discover your face is dirty, then you need to wash your face.
  • When you and I look into God's holy Law, we see how sinful we are, and the Law pronounces a curse.

Galatians 3:10For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.”

  • There are two very important facts in this verse.
  • Number one, if you are going to be saved by Law, you have to keep all of it. You can't pick and choose. It is not a-la-carte. God puts the meal in front of you and says, "This is it! You have to obey all of the Law. You can't pick and choose."
  • Second, you have to continue to obey it. If once you disobey, you are under a curse. The Word of God makes it very clear that the Law brings condemnation, not salvation.
  • The Old Testament Jew was under Law; he had to keep certain days as special days. He had to avoid certain foods and certain places. He had to go through certain ceremonial rituals. We have been redeemed from the Law and from the curse of the Law.

Galatians 5:1 says

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

  • This does not make us lawless.
  • The Law of God is written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
  • We obey God's Law because we love God.
  • We obey God's Law because our new nature impels us to obey God's Law.
  • The old nature knows no Law; the new nature needs no Law.
  • There never was a Law given that could change or control the old nature.
  • Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law.

Romans 8:1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Bondage to Bodies of Sin

  • We are also redeemed from bondage to our bodiesof sin.
  • This hasn't happened yet, but it is going to happen.
  • Read Romans 8:23

Romans 8:23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

  • See Ephesians 1:13,14

Ephesians 1:13-14In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

  • Ephesians 4:30 says,

Ephesians 4:30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

  • Today our spirits have been redeemed, but our bodies have not been redeemed.
  • Our bodies are still subject to sickness and pain, accident and illness.
  • Our bodies still experience decay.
  • But one day we are going to see Jesus Christ and have glorified bodies.

Philippians 3:20-21For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

  • We are looking forward to a glorious day of redemption.
  • Jesus Christ has redeemed us from sin.
  • He has redeemed us from the old life.
  • He has redeemed us from the Law.
  • And He will one day come and redeem us from these bodies of sin that create so much trouble for us.
  • This redemption that we have is not temporary
  • The word "redemption" means to purchase out of the slave market and set free, never to become a slave again.
  • A man could purchase a slave and keep him a slave.
  • Jesus didn't do that. Our Lord Jesus has purchased us by His blood and set us free to glorify Him.
  • Hebrews 9:12 tells us that Jesus Christ is the author of eternal redemption. How long are we redeemed?
  • For eternity. It is eternal redemption.
  • We have been delivered from the power of darkness, we have been translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.

Colossians 1:13For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

  • If you are redeemed through faith in Christ, rejoice. Rejoice in your freedom in Christ, and use that freedom to serve others and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.