When Roman generals returned from battle, they marched into the city lead-ing enormous processions. Their troops arrived with the spoils of battle, which included captured men and women as well as booty taken in battle. The wealthy citizens of Rome anticipated this event greatly because it meant an opportunity to purchase booty as well as a chance to buy additional slaves who were to be put on the auction block. This is the scene the New Testament authors had in mind when they wrote of redemption—a common word for making a purchase in the market place.
The word redemption was selected by the Holy Spirit from the language of the first century to express one of the major truths concerning our salvation.
THE CONDITION THAT DEMANDS REDEMPTION
All Men Are Slaves to Sin
Romans 6:17 reminds believers that “you were slaves of sin...,” a reference to their former condition as unbelievers. A slave was owned by his master in a very real sense of the word and had no legal rights. His duty was obedience and service.
All Men Are Cursed by Sin
Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law....”
THE INVOLVEMENTS THAT EXPLAIN REDEMPTION
Redemption Involves a Purchase
The word translated redeem is a commercial term signifying the same thing that our word buy does in English. In Matthew 13:44, Jesus speaks of one who “sells all that he has, and buys that field.” Here the word buys is the word for redemption..While we think of buying in terms of material things, in New Testament times people could be regarded as property and thus be purchased.