Questions And Answers
From Vernon, Florida:
"Will you please explain First Peter 1:18. Are we (Christians) redeemed now, or will we be redeemed when Christ comes? We have some in the church who believe that we have not been redeemed."
The Bible teaches that Christians have been redeemed. The verse under consideration reads: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (manner of life) received by tradition from your fathers." The next verse says that we are redeemed by the blood of Christ. Verses 22 and 23 show that this has been accomplished through obeying the truth or being born again. Ephesians 1:1,7 says that the saints "have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."
In defining and commenting on this word, W. E. Vine says:
"LUTROO, to release on receipt of ransom, is used in in the Middle Voice, signifying to release by paying a ransom price, to redeem (a) in the natural sense of delivering, Luke 24:21, of setting Israel free from the Roman yoke; (b) in a spiritual sense, Titus 2:14, of the work of Christ in redeeming men 'from all iniquity' (mom's., lawlessness, the bondage of self-will which rejects the will of God); 1 Peter 1:18 (Passive Voice), 'ye were redeemed,' from a vain manner of life, i. e., from bondage of tradition. In both instances the Death of Christ is stated as the means of redemption." (Vol. 3, p. 263)
There is a sense in which redemption is yet future, but this refers to the redemption of our bodies. "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23). This refers to the time when the dead will be raised, and the living will be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52, 53; 1 Thess. 4:16,17.)
Another interesting verse on this subject is Eph. 4:30: "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Vine says this has reference to "the deliverance of the believer from the presence and power of sin, and of his body from bondage to corruption, at the Coming of the Lord Jesus, Rom. 8: 23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:14; 4:30."
So the Christian has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, by which he obtained the remission of sins, and was delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13, 14). He looks forward to the redemption of the body, when "this corruptible shall put on incorruption."