Redemption by Christ Jesus

Romans 3--23-24Found in Romans 3:23-24 (KJV), the Verse of the Day for April 13, 2015 reminds us of where we stand as believers:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

The concept of redemption—the act of redeeming– literally means “to purchase out, buy up; buy out of the hands of a person; to set free; to buy off, to secure for oneself or one’s own use; to buy up from the power or possession of any one.” According to the King James Dictionary, to be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, to be made holy, to be freed, adopted, and reconciled to God.

This often quoted passage also brings to mind that as believers we have been redeemed or purchased back from hand of the enemy by Christ Jesus, who performs the role of a Kinsman Redeemer. A previous blog entry introduced this prototype which is modified and reposted below:

This heroic figure is foreshadowed in the Book of Ruth, where a male relative assumes the responsibility to act on behalf of a family member who is in danger or trouble or in need of vindication.

A scripture memory song describes this Old Testament prototype:

The Kinsman Redeemer, our wonderful savior.

The Kinsman Redeemer, we know that He is able

To restore and to bless, to turn sadness into joy.’

When we read the Word of God and learn the truth,

We see that the Kinsman Redeemer was Boaz who married Ruth.

I recall a series of teachings based on the Book of Ruth and some of the lessons to be learned from that amazing love story that reveals the heroic figure of the Kinsman Redeemer. The teachings inspired this poem which the Verse of the Day brought to mind:

“If the truth be told”: A Lesson from the Book of Ruth

If the truth be told, we were like that Moabite,

Who wanted to stay and then do what was right.

At first she prospered but then ended with much less,

As death and hunger surfaced, causing much distress.

For this Gentile widow the future was not bright.

Like Ruth, we also want to be the Lord’s delight

And stay committed at all times and not take flight,

For the Kinsman Redeemer will restore and bless,

If the truth be told.

In times of famine when there seems to be no light,

Hope shines on the horizon, though ever so slight.

Some say these are the worst of times, nevertheless,

Our Redeemer transforms trash into loveliness.

Like Ruth, we too must learn to obey day and night,

If the truth be told.

The teachings also inspired a second poem:

Another Lesson from the Book of Ruth

For whatever was thus written in former days was written

for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance

and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might

hold fast to and cherish hope.

Romans 15:4

In times of crisis when famine engulfs the land,

Those willing to glean, to sacrifice will survive.

Like Ruth, they shall be satisfied and even thrive

To see blessings flow from the Father’s own right hand.

As a Kinsman Redeemer arose to rescue

Two brave women in despair, Naomi and Ruth,

What God did then, He does no less for me and you.

We have Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior,

Who dismisses failures and overlooks each flaw

When he calls us by name and sets the captives free.

Even in the times of famine we will know favor,

For the price of redemption voided penalty

When he redeemed our souls from the curse of the Law.

The portrait of the family guardian or kinsman redeemer is vividly dramatized in this excerpt from a production by Kenneth Berg.

Heidi French Lovett offers a musical expression of Jesus, our Redeemer:

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