I recently heard the story of a young woman who was an addict that was radically saved by the grace of Jesus. She was living as a slave to sin and darkness, allowing the cravings of the flesh to rule her life. One day, she felt so hopeless that she ingested a bag full of pills, planning to end her life. Instead of the end of her life, like she was hoping, she awoke to the newness of life. God supernaturally saved her life.
She was redeemed.
But just because her life was saved, didn’t mean the journey was over. She now had to walk in that newness of life. She had to walk in her redemption. There would still be a battle because Satan isn’t pleased when he loses another soul. He doesn’t easily give up, but God is greater. God is more powerful and God is victorious.
The concept of redemption comes from the world of commerce. It’s the idea of buying back or regaining possession of something forfeited or lost. In scripture, God shows us a beautiful story of redemption when Hosea buys back his adulterous wife, Gomer, from the slave market. This powerful story was an illustration of redemption for Israel. God wanted the straying Israel back as His own.
And it’s an illustration for us.
While we may not all be able to identify with one who is addicted to drugs or one who commits adultery, we all can identify with the fact that we were all once slaves to sin and darkness. Sin had its grip on us and we were bound.
God created all people in His image. We belong to Him. But because of the fall, we are in bondage to sin. We are slaves to sin. We are in chains to sin. And the wages of sin is death. The punishment of sin is death. The wrath of God on sin belongs on our shoulders.
Instead, God sent his only son Jesus, to bear that load, to carry that weight, to suffer the wrath of God, so that we wouldn’t have to. In doing so, it’s as if the chains that bound us to the slave block of death were released and we are able to walk free. We are no longer slaves to sin and darkness and Satan and death, but we have been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ to walk in the newness of life.
We have been redeemed.
When we recognize that we were once the addict or once the Gomer or once the slave, and are now the purchased daughters and sons of the King, we are able to begin to walk in that redemption. We are able to humbly obey the Lord by the power of God’s Spirit and we experience joy and freedom in Christ.
But it doesn’t stop there.
God wants you to look more and more like Him. He wants you to reflect His glory. And He will curate your life so that your dependence on Him and your love for Him grows. Lean into that process.
We once were a Gomer, but Christ died to redeem us to Himself.
Because He lives, we live!
For further insight, read Hosea!