One of the best-selling books of modern times was called the Purpose-Driven Life. Author Rick Warren hit a collective nerve in society because so many people feel aimless at times, and struggle for a clear purpose to point our lives at.
The amazing truth is that we are bought and owned by God. He tells us that the purpose that should drive us to focus upon how we use our river of time, that rushes past us at 60 minutes-per-hour.
The Redemption-Driven Life of Revelation 5:9 is:
- Redemption will be the theme of our songs in Heaven.
- Redemption will be the focus of our worship around the Throne.
- Redemption should be the purpose that directs our lives on Earth.
To help us calibrate our lives, the Lord shows us this scene we have been watching in Revelation 5. Please stand as we read and hear God speak through His Word:
Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Last week we began to unpack the three layers of meaning that God has built into this one word in English: redemption. We have seen so far that God explains:
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 tell 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.
Scattered across every single city in the Roman Empire was a place called by the word Agora. It was the city-square, marketplace, or forum. Though the size differed from place to place: the function remained. Things were bought and sold at the agora, and most notably: people were bought and sold at the agora. In time the word for buying a slave became synonymous with the place and thus was called agorazo.
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:
- Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
- 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 have a:
Purpose # 1: Bought to Be Slaves That Glorify God
Rev. 5:9 says that Christ bought us at of the slave market of sin by His own blood; and we as believers are bought by Him to become His bond-slaves.
The slave market is this earth. All humans are born as sinners; and all subjects born in slavery to sin are born under the domain of Satan. Jesus explained it this way in John 8:44 (NKJV):
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Jesus further explains our plight in v. 34 (NKJV):
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
Then, into the hopeless slavery that our sins brings us, comes our Redeemer. Jesus declares His power to liberate us in v. 36 (NKJV):
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Jesus died on the Cross to make us free. This morning, our redemption means that we were each bought to be slaves that glorify God. Our Lord paid the penalty for sin at the Cross. Those who trust in His blood, belong to Him as His bond-slaves. The song of Heaven that should reverberate through our lives each day as our purpose: Bought to be slaves that glorify God.
Word # 2: Bought “out of” The Slave Market
The second word used for redemption in the New Testament is exagorazō(ἐξαγοραζω), this word means: “to buy off, to buy up,” thus, “to buy out of the slave market”. There are two key places this word is used. Both speak of the buying and removing of the purchased possession “out of” the market.
Like a house taken off the market, and no longer for sale: Jesus when He redeemed us, takes us off the market, we are His and no longer to be sold back to the slave master of sin.
Closely tied to redemption is the great doctrine of adoption. Jesus chose us, purchased us, and did that so that He could adopt us into His very own family. We are bought and paid for, liberated and immediately adopted into His family. Paul explains this precious truth in Galatians 3 and 4.
- Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”); 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
- Ephesians 5:16 (NKJV) redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Redemption Means we have a:
Purpose # 2: Bought to Be Adopted & Never Sold Again
The redeemed are never for sale in any slave market again. They 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 et or drink, whatever we do: we want to do it all for the glory of God.
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 to Romans 6, 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 life in Christ.
- Chapter 5 describes the greatest doctrine of salvation: justification.
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.
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 Choice-1: v. 11 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 Choice-2: v. 12 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 Choice-3: v. 13a 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 Choice-4: v. 13b 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 Choice-5: v. 14 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 Choice-6: v. 19 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)
This takes us to the final word God used to describe us as His redeemed:
Word # 3: Set Free From The Slave Market
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.
- 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,
Redemption Means we have a:
Purpose # 3: Bought to Be 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.
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 sits 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.
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).