Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
Romans Series #26
Title: “The Redemption
that is in Christ Jesus”
Text: Romans 3:19-27
Subject: Redemption by Christ
Reading: Psalm 130:1-7
Date: Sunday Morning — August 24, 2014
I have many dear friends in heaven. One of them is Bro. Harold Martin. Bro. Martin was one of the deacons in the church I pastored at Lookout WV. Just a short while before I moved here the Lord called Bro. Martin home to heaven. He died just a year or so after having surgery for prostate cancer. When he was no longer able to stay home alone, his only daughter took him to be with her and her family for the last few weeks of his pilgrimage here. When I got word that he was in a hospital in Washington, DC I decided to fly out to Washington to visit him, not knowing how near death he was. As it turned out, I was privileged to spend the last day of his life with him. Most of the day, he slept and I read. When he was awake, we spoke about very little, other than Christ our Redeemer. Before I left his side to fly home Bro. Harold Martin spoke his last coherent words to me. He took my hand and said, with a weak, raspy voice, “Preacher, it’s good to know that everything is under the blood. It’s good to know that everything is under the blood.”
I can’t think of anything this side of eternity more comforting than that. — Everything is under the blood.
Turn with me to Romans 3. I want to talk to you this morning about “The Redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Let’s begin reading at Romans 3:19.
(Romans 3:19-20) “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.”
The law can convict and condemn, but it can never justify the guilty. The law’s work is condemnation. Nothing else. The law is designed to stop our mouths from uttering any excuse for our sin.
(Romans 3:21-24) “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (22) Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Grace accomplishes what the law never could: — that is, the free justification of every guilty sinner who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. And this justification by grace through blood atonement is a righteous justification. It is free grace justification through “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
(Romans 3:25-27) Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.”
Faith’s empty hand receives the free gift of grace, and that very fact excludes all boasting.
Most Comforting Revelation
The most comforting, soul-cheering, revelation of God in Holy Scripture is that which the Apostle Paul here (verse 24) calls “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The Lord God says to His chosen, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee” (Isaiah 43:1). What could be more comforting? What could be more cheerful? — “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine!” That is my subject and that is the title of my message — “The Redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
The redemption of our souls by the Lord Jesus Christ is the most comforting thing there is. When the Lord God Himself would comfort and encourage His troubled children, He does so by assuring us of our redemption (Isaiah 43:1; 44:22).
(Isaiah 43:1) “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”
(Isaiah 44:22) “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”
For the comfort of your hearts and my own, I want to talk to you about “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Our Only Hope
We hope in the Lord because with Him “there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities!” — That is all our hope, all our joy, and all our comfort.
The only hope for fallen, guilty, depraved sinners is redemption, a redemption which includes atonement for sin, satisfaction for justice, and effectual deliverance from the guilt, power, dominion, and all the evil consequences of sin. Such redemption could be accomplished by only one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior. Not only could He alone do it, He has done it; and He has done it alone. He declares…
(Isaiah 63:5) “And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.”
If one picture is worth a thousand words, I have a five thousand word message for you. We are going to look at five Old Testament pictures of redemption.
(Hebrews 10:1) “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”
The Old Testament Scriptures had a shadow of good things to come. In the Old Testament, under the types and shadows of the law, the Lord God gave many pictures and prophecies of what He would do for and give to His people through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Among those many “good things to come” by Christ, none is more excellent and blessed than redemption. I remind you that we must not imagine that redemption is limited to the ransom of our souls by the blood of Christ. —— Redemption is the complete deliverance of our souls from the curse of the law and all the evil consequences of sin by the blood of Christ and by the grace and power of our God. Everything the triune God does is connected with and a part of His great work of redemption.
· His Purpose
· His Purchase
· His Providence
· His Regeneration
· His Effectual Call
· His Preservation
· His Second Coming
· His Presentation
I’ve heard Bro. Mahan say, countless times, “Any man who cannot preach the Gospel from the Old Testament simply does not know the Gospel.” He is exactly right. The sacrifices offered to God in the Old Testament could never take away one sin. However, the law did have many instructive pictures, types, and shadows of our redemption by the blood of Christ. We will look at five of them in this message.
Proposition: The Lord Jesus Christ bought His people from among the fallen sons of Adam, out of the hands of God’s offended justice, and delivers us from our sins by the shedding of His precious blood. — That is redemption!
Now, let me show you five types, pictures, and illustrations, of our redemption by Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures.
1. The Redemption of Israel out of Egypt (Psalm 106:6-12).
(Psalms 106:6-12) “We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. (7) Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. (8) Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. (9) He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. (10) And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. (11) And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left. (12) Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.”
The deliverance of Israel out of Egypt was a very special and remarkable type of our redemption by Christ out of a far worse state of bondage than that of Egypt.
· Israel was brought into Egyptian bondage by an act of sin: — The selling of Joseph.
· Israel was redeemed by the hand of a man God raised up: — Moses the Deliverer (Acts 7:35).
(Acts 7:35) “This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.”
· The price of redemption was the blood of the paschal lamb (Exodus 12:13).
(Exodus 12:13) “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
· The power of their redemption was the omnipotent hand of God (Exodus 14:13-14; 15:1-2, 16). — A Picture of Regeneration and Conversion.
(Exodus 14:13-14) “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. (14) The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
(Exodus 15:1-2) “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. (2) The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
(Exodus 15:16) “Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.”
· This was a blood redemption.
· This was a particular redemption.
· This was an effectual redemption.
2. The Atonement Money Paid by Israel (Exodus 30:11-16).
(Exodus 30:11-16) “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, (12) When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. (13) This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. (14) Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. (15) The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. (16) And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.”
This numbering of the children of Israel and the atonement money they paid, so that no plague come upon them, was typical of our ransom by Christ.
· None but Israelites were ransomed.
· A specific, numbered people were ransomed.
· The ransom price was the same for all.
· Those who were ransomed were preserved from any plague (Proverbs 12:21; Psalm 91:10).
(Proverbs 12:21) “There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.”
(Psalms 91:10) “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
3. The Kinsman Redeemer (Leviticus 25:47-49).
The buying again of an Israelite who, by reason of great poverty, had sold himself to another, by one of his near kinsman, is another good, beautiful picture of our redemption by Christ.
(Leviticus 25:47-49) “And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: (48) After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: (49) Either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.”
We have sold ourselves into bondage. We cannot redeem ourselves. No friend is able, or has the right, to redeem us. But there is a near Kinsman who is both able and willing to redeem — Christ (Hebrews 7:25).
(Hebrews 7:25) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
· He is a Man.
· He is a Near Kinsman.
· He had no debt of His own.
· He is able to pay our debt.
· He willingly laid down his life to ransom us!
Illustration: Ruth and Boaz
4. The Deliverance of a Debtor from Prison (Isaiah 49:8-10; 61:1-3).
(Isaiah 49:8-10) “Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; (9) That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. (10) They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.”
(Isaiah 61:1-3) “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (3) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
In ancient times a man in debt was liable to be arrested and cast into prison. There he would have to remain in bondage until his debt was paid, either by himself or another.
· Our sins are debts.
· They are debts which we can never pay.
· We are all, therefore, shut up in debtor’s prison by nature.
· But Christ has paid our debt and set us free!
John Gill wrote, “Christ…as He has engaged to pay the debts of His people, has paid them, cleared the whole score, and blotted out the hand writing that was against them; in consequence of which is proclaimed, in the Gospel, liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; and in the effectual calling Christ says ‘to the prisoners, Go forth,’ opening the prison doors for them; and to them that sit in darkness, in the gloomy cells of the prison, ‘show yourselves;’ all which is done in virtue of the redemption price paid by Christ for his people.”
(Philemon 1:18) “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account.”
Illustration: Luke 7:36-50
5. THE RANSOM OF A SLAVE (Job 33:24; Zechariah 9:11).
In the days of the Old Testament, godless men often took their slaves and threw them into deep pits at night. They would take them out of their pits only to perform slavish labor, or if a ransom price was paid. — Christ has ransomed us and delivered us from the pit of slavery and corruption.
(Job 33:24) “Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.”
(Zechariah 9:11) “As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.”
· We are all slaves to sin and Satan by nature.
· Our old master, the devil, kept us ever in the deep, dark pit of darkness and night, until Christ came to deliver us.
· The Lord Jesus Christ delivered us from the slavery of Satan and the pit of darkness, corruption, and sin by the power of His omnipotent grace.
· The price He paid for the deliverance of our souls was his own precious blood.
“Long my imprisoned sprit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness Divine,
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own!”
These five pictures of redemption, drawn for us by the pen of inspiration teach us these three things about redemption.
1. Sinners need a Redeemer! — As we have seen, sin as it is set forth in the Scriptures is a pit of bondage, slavery, and condemnation from which no man can deliver himself (Psalm 130:1; 69:1-2).
(Psalms 69:1-2) “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. (2) I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.”
(Psalms 130:1) “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.”
(Isaiah 51:1) “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.”
2. Redemption is deliverance from sin by the blood of Christ.
· From the penalty of sin at the cross.
· From the dominion of sin in regeneration.
· From the being of sin in the death of these bodies.
· From all the evil consequences of sin in resurrection glory.
3. Redemption is the unaided, unassisted, effectual work of Christ alone. — “Christ hath redeemed us!”
· Always a Specific People!
· Always Effectual!
· Always Results In Freedom!
(Galatians 5:1) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Illustrations: “My daddy died for me!”
Rowland Hill’s Dream
Imagine this scene: You are on the Florida coast, not far from a little town near Jacksonville called Switzerland. The sun is setting like a gigantic orange ball. It’s a cool evening on a vacant, isolated stretch of beach. The water is lapping at the shore, the breeze is blowing slightly. There are one or two joggers and a couple of fisherman. Most people have gone home for the day.
You look up and you see an old man with bent shoulders, bushy eyebrows, and bony features hobbling down the beach carrying a bucket. He carries the bucket out onto a pier. He stands there and you notice he is looking up into the sky and, all of a sudden, you see a mass of dancing dots. You soon recognize that they are seagulls. They are coming out of nowhere. The man takes out of his bucket handfuls of shrimp and begins to throw them on the dock. The seagulls come and land all around him. Some land on his shoulders, some land, some on his hat, and they eat the shrimp. Long after the shrimp are gone his feathered friends linger. — The old man and the birds.
What is going on here? Why is this old man feeding seagulls? What could compel him to do this — as he does week after week?
The man in the scene is Eddie Rickenbacher, the famous World War II pilot. His plane, “The Flying Fortress,” went down in 1942 and no one thought he would be rescued. Perhaps you have read or heard how he and his eight passengers escaped death by climbing into two rafts. For thirty days they fought thirst, the sun, and sharks. Some of the sharks were nine feet long. The boats were only eight feet long. But what nearly killed them was starvation. Their rations were gone within eight days and they didn’t have anything left.
Rickenbacher wrote that even on those rafts, every day they would have a daily afternoon devotional and prayer time. One day after the devotional, Rickenbacher leaned back, put his hat over his eyes, and tried to get some sleep. Within a few minutes he felt something on his head. He knew in an instant it was a seagull which had perched on his raft. But he knew that they were hundreds of miles out to sea. Where did this seagull come from? He was also certain that if he didn’t get that seagull he would die. Soon all the others on the two boats noticed the seagull. No one spoke, no one moved. Rickenbacher quickly grabbed the seagull; and with thanksgiving, they ate the flesh of the bird. They used the intestines for fish bait and survived.
Eddie Rickenbacher never forgot that visitor who came from a foreign place, that sacrificial guest. Every week, he went out on the pier with a bucket of shrimp and said thank you, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
That’s just about all we can do, when we think of “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus!” We can’t do much; but we can say, “Thank You, thank You, thank You!”
· We were bondmen in dark, dark Egypt, but Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. He redeemed us! — Thank You!
· Because we were numbered among God’s Israel from everlasting by God’s electing love, the Lord Jesus made atonement for us with His precious blood. — Thank You!
· We had lost everything; but Christ our Kinsman Redeemer restored that which He took not away. He redeemed us! — Thank You!
· We were debtors, shut up in prison; but Christ paid our debt, redeemed us, and set us free! — Thank You!
· We were slaves, shut up in the pit of corruption, but the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s darling Son loved us and redeemed us with His own precious blood! — Thank You!
That is “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
(Romans 12:1-2) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”