When Peter knew his time on earth was coming to an end, he wrote a final letter to younger believers, and part of his purpose was to remind them to remain firmly established in the truth.
Here, Peter opens his heart. “For this reason, I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover, I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease” (2 Peter 1:12-15, emphasis added).
In this article, I would like to remind us of some of the glorious truths related to our salvation in the Lord Jesus. Notice Titus 2:13-14: “…while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.”
First, notice that salvation is not a plan, nor is salvation a Scripture verse or passage. Also, salvation is not in rituals or keeping holy days. In fact, salvation is not in one decision, then forgotten, as if the Gospel is merely a ticket into heaven. No, salvation is in a Person – the Person of Jesus Christ. Notice, He “gave Himself.” Because salvation is a personal relationship, fellowship with that Person is of vital importance in our lives. So we need to always continue to cultivate our relationship with Jesus.
Second, who was it that gave Himself to redeem us? As we see in Titus, it is Jesus Christ. This then begs the question: “From what did Jesus give himself to redeem us?” We know the answer if we know the Gospel and the Person of Jesus. It is from all wickedness and sin. We are able to serve God because we have been redeemed.
A picture in the Bible that gives us some insight as to what sin produces or the effects of continued sin in one’s life is seen in the life of Samson. Samson was one of the last judges in Israel, in the days after Joshua. There was no king (yet) in Israel, and “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25. This was before the prophet Samuel and there was widespread lawlessness, even among those who had some recognition as leaders. Note a small series of snapshots describing Samson and his failed potential:
- Samson was made for fellowship with God, made to be a servant of God and a leader for God.
- God gave him all he needed to do this.
- But Samson had a free will to decide.
- He made a choice to mix with the Philistines, one of whom became his wife.
- The result of his choice is recorded in Judges 16:21: “Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.”
From this we can see:
- They bound him by putting shackles around him. We see here that sin is binding. Sin can bind us through attitudes, appetites, and ongoing practices. This brings us into bondage to sin.
- They gouged out his eyes so he could not see. Sin is blinding (See 2 Cor. 4:4).
- Samson was grinding seed for oil. By application, we see that sin grinds us down. So Samson became a prisoner because of his choices and decisions. He was grinding blindly and bound. A sad ending to a life of promise.
- He could have done so much more had he lived a life yielded to God. But because the kindness of God, leads to repentance, we know that Samson repented and in his last act, Samson fulfilled much of what he was called to do. This last act of faith and sacrifice, is no doubt why he was written about in Hebrews 11.
Ephesians 2:1-3 tells us that we were slaves to sin and dead in our trespasses and sin. So, as we see in Titus 2:11-14, “… God sent His Son to redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” In other words, Jesus wants to be with us and in us, so He can live His life through us.
So, what does it mean to be redeemed?
Redeem is translated from four Greek words that reveal to us a lot about this great redemption:
- Agorazo: This means to buy in the market place (as though buying a slave).
- What would it cost to redeem this person from his owner?
- One way would be to substitute yourself in their place, but only if you had equal value.
- Ek-agarozo: This means to buy out of the market place, not just in the market place but to buy and bring out of the market place to freedom. Therefore, this person was no longer meant to remain there. God never intended for us to retain habits and traits of our old life.
- Lytroo: this means to loose. Jesus gave Himself for us to loose us from all iniquity and bondage, and to loose us from all habits that had marked a life of slavery. To loose is to set free from the shackles.
- Apo Lytroo: This means to be permanently set free so that those God sets free can never be forced back into bondage again – never.
That is what Redeem means: to permanently set free. All the powers of hell cannot force the redeemed one back into bondage. The only way he can go back into bondage is by his own choice. He cannot be forced by anything outside of himself.
In Galatians 4:5, the same word redeem is used, that those under the law might be redeemed and receive the adoption (full rights) as sons and daughters. Once we were slaves in various bondages, but now we are sons and daughters. Now we are placed in His family with all the privileges of the family.
Finally, be aware of the powerful promises of Romans 8:37-39: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Let us always remember that Jesus gave himself to redeem us.