Salvation Terms – Part 1
Reconciliation brings the sinner back into favor with God and is simply defined as “the ending of conflict.” Reconciliation is the word we use to illustrate what the Atonement has accomplished. This is clearly seen in Colossians 1:20-21, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”
Through the process of reconciliation, God has removed the separation that existed between Himself and man since the beginning of the fall. A wonderful symbol of reconciliation is when the veil in the Temple was rent in twain on crucifixion day.
To be redeemed means “to be purchased or to be bought back.” Christ has purchased the saved from the bondage and penalty of sin. Galatians 3:13 declares, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree…”
The classic and wonderful illustration of redemption is slavery. Historians remind us of examples of wealthy people who, during the era of slavery, would purchase slaves at the slave market, only to set them free once the purchase price was paid in full. This example of extraordinary kindness and compassion pales in comparison to the freedom that Christ has purchased for the redeemed.
As a purchased people, Christians have great liberty, but we must remember the freedom that Christ gives us should be a freedom to live for God and not to live for ourselves. Examine the following verses:
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:20).
It is crucial that we all fully understand how costly the purchase price for redemption is. Just as we learn with atonement, it was not simply enough for Jesus to die—a shedding of blood is required. Ephesians 1:7 states, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
It is also important to realize that the blood of Christ is the only proper payment that could be offered for our freedom, since our Savior’s blood is incorruptible. I Peter 1:18 tells us, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
Salvation is such a magnificent and all-inclusive event that it takes many words, thoughts, and concepts to even begin to express its full meaning. Join us next month for Part 2, when we will consider propitiation, grace, and repentance.