Forgiveness and Redemption

As was noted in the last post, the New Testament utilizes images to explore the contours of God’s saving work. In this post we explore yet another image that overlaps with forgiveness. That theme is redemption. In Pauline thought forgiveness and redemption are closely linked. Consider these two texts.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

He has delivered 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” (Colossians 1:13-14).

In both passages redemption is equated with forgiveness. Redemption in the New Testament contains the idea of rescue and ransom. Through redemption God pays the necessary price that accomplishes our deliverance. Forgiveness then is a vital part of the way God rescues us from sin and condemnation. Without forgiveness there is no redemption.

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