Throughout history, Jesus Christ has been given many titles. He is called the Son of God, the Good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace, the Light of the World and the Lamb of God. He is also the Savior and Redeemer who atoned for all of mankind, thus enabling them to return to the presence of God. Understanding his role as Redeemer will help you come to accept and act upon this gift of redemption. Helping your family come to this same understanding will help them to develop the faith they need to follow Christ as well.
Using the five points in this article will help you to teach yourself and your family about this important role of Christ.
1. Understand what “to redeem” means
Think about how you use this word in many parts of your life now. We “redeem” coupons. We “redeem” pawned items. Share these concepts with your family. The dictionary defines “redeem” as, “To buy or pay off; to recover by payment; to make up for; make amends for; offset.” It also defines it as “to deliver from sin and its consequences by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner.” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary) In regards to Christ, it is through his suffering and death, also called his atonement, that he redeems you. He made the ultimate sacrifice to deliver you from your sins. He made the amends for our wrongs that we can never make.
2. This redemption was prophesied in ancient times and anticipated
The ancient prophets knew how vital this redemption was for their salvation as well as all mankind. The Psalmist wrote, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; for he shall receive me.” (Psalms 49:15) The prophet Hosea wrote for the Lord, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.” (Hosea 13:14) Both prophets knew the only way to overcome death and return to God was through redemption.
3. Christ’s redemption works in two ways
One is to redeem from the grave, or death. Because of the Fall of Adam, all men were subject to die a physical death. The Apostle Paul recorded to the Corinthians that, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:20122) This gift of redemption is unconditional and available to all.
Second He redeems us from our sins. The Apostle Paul also wrote to Titus the following, speaking of Christ: “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) This part of the redemption requires effort on our part. In order to receive this purifying power we must repent and forsake our sins. The Savior said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) When we repent and forsake our sins we open our hearts to become changed. We want to be like Christ. He thus redeems our hearts and souls and changes us into his true disciples.
4. Christ’s ministry on earth also had a redemptive aspect in the temporal sense
In Acts 10:38 it is recorded that Christ “went about doing good.” He helped others in their suffering and sought to take that suffering away. He fed the hungry, he healed the sick and he comforted the sad. In Matthew it reads, “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) His ministry was all encompassing of spiritual and temporal needs.
5. Turn knowledge to action
Once you come to understand what the redemptive mission of our Savior is, you need to act upon that knowledge. You must come to accept him as your personal Savior, and know that his atonement applies to you in every way. Once you accept this you must repent and forsake the sins in your life. This is an ongoing process, as we all continue to sin. With effort we can make progress every day becoming a little better as we seek the Holy Spirit’s help. Then, you need to participate in Christ’s redemptive work here on earth by sharing his message of love and redemption, both spiritually and temporally. Seek to help those in need. Alleviate their suffering whether it is physical or spiritual. Act as Christ would act.
Christ’s atonement was an act of redeeming love. He offered himself to cover the debt that you could never pay. Coming to accept and act upon that gift, and helping your family and others do so, will bring you peace in this life and salvation in the next.