As we open our Bibles to Titus 2, God has declared that each of us have been forever set free. Starting in Titus 2:11 we are looking at the third and final word, that God chose to describe the wonders of redemption.
Redemption, as we’ve seen, is what God wants to motivate us to lives that glorify God, because we were bought at a price.
Redemption is also what fills our hearts, and pours forth around the Throne in the songs of our worship in Heaven.
But as we open to Titus 2, we see that redemption was not only that we were: bought “at” the slave market of sin, & bought “out of” the slave market of sin; it is also shown by:
Word # 3: We are Forever Freed From Slavery to Sin
Please stand with me, and as we read these words, listen to God declare the great truth of our salvation: we are redeemed from every lawless deed in Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV):
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
When Paul sat to write to the missionary church-planting pastor named Titus, he was just applying previously taught doctrines. Paul wanted Titus to teach on Crete in his pioneering, church-planting missionary work, what God had already deeply explained by Paul in his Epistle written to the Romans.
For almost six years, the deep truths of the doctrine of redemption explained in Romans, had been circulating through the house churches of the Roman Empire.
Think for a moment of the scope of that powerful Gospel message. What had started in Judea, as Jesus Christ taught God’s truths that liberated people one-by-one from the shackles of sin: had just continued.
Those who had sat in darkness all their lives saw the light of salvation dawn upon their sin-darkened minds. Israel from north to south had been shaken by the itinerant ministry of Christ.
Then, after His resurrection, Jesus had sent forth His disciples to take this message to Jerusalem first, then to Judea, and then to Samaria. The Apostles faithfully preached; and God powerfully worked.
Multitudes of Jews were saved, and then multitudes Samaritans were converted, and finally countless Gentiles were also being born-again. Each person had been taught that:
The Gospel Unleashed Them from Sin’s Chains
The Gospel was now at work, unleashing men and women, from Jerusalem to the ends of the Earth. But what the early believers found as they went out preaching the Word was, that these gentiles who came to Christ, were often from nearly unbroken generations of darkness.
The Gospel was dawning across the lives of pagans. And, unlike the Jews and those around them who witnessed all the Light of God’s Word that Judaism had: these were now converts with former lives filled, with the most soiled pages of life possible.
These gentiles were heathen, pagans, and slaves to the most vile and heinous corruptions imaginable.
What was God’s plan for them? The same as His plan was for the similarly sinful Jews, and Samaritans; and as His plan is for each of us today: redemption.
Paul had already written down the doctrine of salvation in Romans, which Titus was going to use to train an entire generation of believers.
Always remember that the Redemption-driven life works in any life no matter how mixed-up, messed-up, scarred and soiled it may be.
Applying the Doctrines of Redemption
Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, as we began to see last week, sets forth the great doctrines of the Gospel of Salvation:
- The Justifying-Death of Jesus was what God performed through Christ on the Cross.
- The Sanctifying-Life of Jesus is what God wants to unleash into each day in our lives.
- The Adopting-Love of Jesus is what redemption revealed.
- The Grace-Prompted Forgiveness of Jesus is patiently upon all who are justified, sanctified, adopted, and redeemed.
- The Redeeming-Cross of Jesus provides us with salvation, and our new redemption-driven purpose to live for the Glory of the One who gave His blood to purchase us from the slave-market of sin.
How does all that work, what did God accomplish on the Cross through Christ?
Last week we began to unpack the three layers of meaning that God has built into this one word in English: redemption.
We now begin the final word. In Titus 2 we find:
Word # 3: We are Set Free From Slavery to Sin Forever
The third word translated redemption in the New Testament is lutroō (λυτροω), “to set free by the payment of a ransom”, “to set free by paying a price”.
- Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Peter uses the same word as he writes about the precious blood that Jesus shed, to redeem us.
- 1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
From these two verses we can see the third great lesson.
Lesson # 3: Redemption Means God Bought Us to Make us Zealous for Good Works
We, as believers, have been set free from sin by Christ’s redemption. We are now free to live a life pleasing to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our redemption price is the precious blood of Jesus. He alone makes it possible for a righteous God to justify us, when we as believing sinners come to Him through Christ’s redemption that satisfied God’s justice.
We are redeemed to become God’s slaves. We are set free from the bondage we had to sin. We are no longer under the control of our old master Satan. Christ’s redemption now allows us to experience the fellowship with God, and ministry for God we were created for.
The plan to make our lives lived out for God glory is presented in Romans. Turn back to Romans 6 with me. As we turn there, the flow of the chapters in Romans is so instructive:
- Chapter 3 reminds us we all are sinners.
- Chapter 4 declares that faith is the key to salvation in Christ.
- Chapter 5 describes the greatest doctrine of salvation: justification.
- Chapter 6 reminds us that salvation is tied to redemption: all we who experience the justifying death of Christ, find that it unleashes for us His sanctifying life.
Then we get to chapter 6:6, and Paul picks right up where Christ Jesus left off. Paul said that we who are redeemed by Christ’s blood must no longer allow ourselves to go back to slavery to sin.
Romans 6:6 (NKJV) knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
The Choices Redemption Prompts
Redemption makes us no longer slaves to sins, but only a series of correct choices allow us to enjoy the benefits of our liberation.
Romans 6, starting with v. 7, is all about the choices we are allowed to make each day, as freed men and women.
Either we choose to surrender of bodies back to the daily control of our new master, or if not, our old master begins to reassert his control upon us.
Listen to Paul’s plea on behalf of God in v. 7-10:
Romans 6:6 (NKJV) For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Because Christ redeemed us “out of” the slave market, adopted us into His family, and declares that we are never for sale again: v. 11 onward has some powerful words about the choices our Redeemer expects from us on a daily basis.
Redemption-Driven Living Choice-1: Say YES to God.
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to increasingly say yes to my new Master, and obey Him more and more of each day.
Romans 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)
Reckon is the Greek word: logidzomai ‘operate on what you know is true’.” I can resist sin, resist my besetting sin, resist my long-term patterns, because Giod has given me the strength to do so.
Redemption-Driven Living Choice-2: Say NO to Sin.
Now that I am redeemed I can choose by grace and through faith to say NO to my old master and deny my flesh more and more each day.
Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. (NKJV)
“Don’t be so foolish as to try to be what you are not!”
Redemption-Driven Living Choice-3: Choose to STOP the Pattern
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to STOP the patterns that my old sins led me to follow, like: wasting my time, neglecting God’s Word and prayer, and avoiding the sanctifying habits of Scripture memory and accountability.
Romans 6:13a And do not present your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness to sin, (NKJV)
Paul told the believers that they had to put a stop to those patterns that displease God. It is our choice, enabled by God, but made by us: that breaks the patterns of sin.
For example, if you struggle with time in the Word you call out to the Lord in prayer, and ask for help to break the old habits that keep you from God. Then, make a plan to read the Bible and pray before the smart phone or computer, or TV. Put your Bible out in plain sight, maybe right where your phone is plugged in, or by your keyboard.
Then as you wake up, or come home and it is time to make a choice: right then with the two choices in front of you of either: God or TV, God or FaceBook, God or gaming, right then you cry aloud and ask God for help. Which leads directly to the next choice:
Redemption-Driven Living Choice-4: Choose to START New Patterns
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to ask God to help me START a new pattern of holy habits.
Romans 6:13b but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness to God. (NKJV)
This means asking the Lord to change your appetite. This means asking the Lord to give you the strength to get rid of things that enslave, entangle, and trip you up.
There may be cable subscriptions that need to be canceled. There may be an online accountability that may need to be set up. There may need to be an agreement with someone you love and trust to hold you accountable for your new habit of time in the Word, or listening to your Scripture memory.
Redemption-Driven Living Choice-5: Deny Your OLD Master.
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to firmly deny my OLD master any place in my life.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (NKJV)
Redemption-Driven Living Choice-6: Daily SURRENDER to Your NEW Master.
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to Surrender again and again to my NEW MASTER.
Romans 6:19 I speak in human [terms] because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members [as] slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness [leading] to [more] lawlessness, so now present your members [as] slaves [of] righteousness for holiness. (NKJV)
Redemption’s Three Purposes
To display the wonders of our redemption, God has chosen to use three different Greek words in the New Testament, that are translated “redeem”. Each of these three words can tell us one facet of the story of the Cross, which is forever the theme of our songs in Heaven. Each word that God chose to express the work of Christ on the Cross speaks of His power to redeem us.
Word # 1: Bought “at” The Slave Market
That is the most common term for redemption; and the first word that is used in the New Testament to describe redemption. This word agorazō (ἀγοραζω), which means:“to buy a slave in the market place”, has a depth of meaning that flows from the key New Testament passages where redemption is explained:
- 1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Redemption Means we were Each Bought to Be Slaves That Glorify God
The redeemed belong to the Lord Jesus forever. But, as each of us learns by going through life, there is one slight problem: our will to choose.
We have been chosen, we have all of God, but He asks to now have all of us.
Remember the great truth at the end of I Cor. 6:20, where Paul says that: because we were bought (redeemed) at such a great price we should “glorify God”? That is the purpose that drives the redeemed.
We want to offer every moment of life to the Lord, and bring them under the gracious Lordship of Christ. Whether we eat or drink, whatever we do: we want to do it all for the glory of God.
In other words, the way to understand Redemption is to see it as the systematic fulfillment of the Lord’s Prayer.
The Prayer of the Redeemed: Focus me, Control me, Lead me
Remember the words of Christ that are to frame our daily lives? We call it the Lord’s Prayer, but it is actually our mission statement for all our earthly life.
The first three elements deeply impact our understanding of the daily surrender of Redemption. They are these words:
- “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed by Thy Name”:
Focus me on the reality of Revelation 4, and the holy scene of constant adoration and worship around the Throne of God in Heaven.
Focus my heart, my life, my mind upon You as My King.
I bow before You. I adore You.
You are the King of My Life.
- “Thy Kingdom come”:
You my God are the Great King of all the Universe.
You sit enthroned in Heaven.
I bow with all of creation before Him.
Control my life is what this petition is all about. Our bowing started when we bowed in the humble repentance of salvation to Him as our Lord, Master, and Savior.
I want to live a life of reverent submission.
I want to walk in the Spirit, pleasing You my God.
I want the life of Your progressive sanctification.
- “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven”:
This third phrase bridges the scene of us in Heaven worshipping around the Throne, and us here on Earth growing in our desire to love, serve, and follow our Lord and our God.
Lead my steps in your pathway, is My heart cry as the one You redeemed.
I need You as my Master to lead me.
Show me Your way, and guide me through life.
Stand, bow, and pray these words as our Redemption-Driven Prayer as God’s Servants who want to Glorify Him!
Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Romans 3:24; Titus 2:11). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, in loc, electronic edition.
This word is found six times in Revelation (3:18; 5:9; 13:7; 14:3-4; and 18:11).