by Bertrand L. Comparet

 For a long time, the churches have been preaching the Gospel of Salvation---and forgetting, or even denying, that there is anything else in the Bible. But it is time for you who are interested in this message to consider fully a more important Gospel---the Gospel of Redemption --- for this one affects you. Without at least salvation, a person has nothing, for he would have no life beyond this present one. On the other hand, just what does he get by salvation? In the Old Testament, four Hebrew words have been translated "salvation"---and the root meaning of all four is simply "safety", deliverance from danger or destruction; in the New Testament, two Greek words are also translated salvation" --- and these also have the same root meaning. That is, by salvation, one gains life, he is delivered from death; but there is nothing stated to indicate on what level or standard that life will be: that question must be settled by something more than just "being saved"; and undoubtedly, the matter of rewards for a meritorious life enters into it.

  But I want to talk to you about the greatest hope and opportunity set be­fore you---REDEMPTION, which is a very different thing, for which different words, with different meaning, are used. TO REDEEM, is TO BUY BACK SOMETHING YOU FORMERLY POSSESSED. If I had enough money, I could BUY everything in the City of Los Angeles; but no matter how much money I had I couldn't REDEEM any­thing in Los Angeles, because nothing there was formerly mine. Why is it so important to know about getting back something that was formerly ours? Because Jesus Christ has told us that, when the events which we now see happening in the world "begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your REDEMPTION draweth nigh". Let's find out about it.

  God Himself set up the rules for it, in the Book of Leviticus. If a man became poor, and had to sell or mortgage his homestead, h; did not lose it for­ever; he or his kinsman could redeem it --- or God would redeem it for him in the Jubilee. Leviticus 25:25-28 says, "If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then he shall redeem what his brother hath sold. And if the man hath none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it, then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the over plus unto the man to whom he sold it, that he may return into his possession. But if he shall not be able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and In the Jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.

  Four Hebrew words---chiefly the word "gaw-al" are used for "REDEEM" or "REDEMPTION". They have the meaning "to set free, by repaying or avenging" two of them also mean "separation"; and the word chiefly used, "gaw-al also means "the next of kin, the person who has the right to redeem." Where the owner has lost his possession by sale or foreclosure, and in his poverty cannot redeem his own property, it can be redeemed for him, but only by one who himself has the right of inheritance, as next of kin. For example, when the prophet Jeremiah was in prison in Jerusalem, his nephew asked him to redeem some land; the 38th, chapter of Jeremiah tells the story. Where there were many kinsmen, only the nearest kinsman had the right to redeem; but if he could not, or would not, then the right passed to the next in line. In the 3rd and 4th. chapters of the Book of Ruth, this is illustrated: Boaz could not redeem Naomi's land until he first asked a nearer kinsman, who refused, leaving Boaz the right to redeem.

  So it is with the redemption of our lost glory: we cannot do it, and no man can do it for us. Psalm 49:7 says, "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him." Our nearest kinsman is our God: as Creator and God, He is our father; He told Jeremiah "I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn." (Jeremiah 31:9) But as Jesus Christ, He is our brother, as Hebrews 2:10-12 points out. Being both our Father and our Brother, He is truly our Next of Kin, the one with both the right and the abil­ity to redeem. Since He made His laws right in the first place, He honors them in His own actions: REDEMPTION is only for those who were His, in the first place, His people Israel. Isaiah 63:19 says, "WE ARE THINE: Thou never barest rule over THEM; They were never called by Thy name.11 Accordingly, in Salvation---or Redemption? both the 43rd and 44th. chapters of Isaiah, God Himself declares: "But now thus saith YHWH that created thee, 0 Jacob, and He that formed thee, 0 Israel, 'Fear not: for I HAVE REDEEMED THEE, I have called thee by My name: THOU ART MINE. * * I have formed thee; thou art My servant, 0 Israel, and thou shalt not be for­gotten of Me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins; return unto Me: FOR I HAVE REDEEMED THEE."   Accordingly, Jesus Christ came to REDEEM us, and Luke 1:68 points this out: "Blessed be YHWH God of Israel, for He hath visited and REDEEMED His People." The price of re­demption was paid at Calvary: but redemption is not complete, for removing the intruders and restoring the possession to us is a long process, still going on. So in Isaiah 63:4, God has said, "For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come." This is the year to which we look forward with hope, seeing the signs that it is very near.


What have we lost, which we need to have redeemed? All the rights and powers and glory that Adam originally had, as a Son of God. We are told that he was made "in the image of God. But are you NOW "in the image of God?" Is God imperfect, subject to sickness and old age and death, incapable of doing good things or resisting the evil? But YOU are in that condition, so you have lost the image of God, and this must be REDEEMED FOR YOU. Again, Adam was promised dominion over all the earth: yet we have lost dominion over all but our own homelands, and some of our people, have lost even their home rule. But the restoration of the image of God is promised to us, for example in Hosea 13:14, I Corinthians 15:48-49 , Philippians 3:20-21, and Romans 8:19-23. And restora­tion of our dominion over all the world is promised to us in Revelation 2:26-27 and Re elation 3:9 and 21.


How were these things lost? Our ancestor, Adam, sold or traded them to Satan for the knowledge, or experience, of both good and evil, when God had commanded him to participate only in good, never evil. Hence, Paul says, in Romans 7:14, "For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am carnal, SOLD under sin."  For several thousand years we have been constantly under a form of slavery, in our fallen condition. Accord­ingly, the words used in the original languages to express the basic ideas of REDEMPTION are carefully chosen. In the Hebrew, remember, the root meanings were, TO RECOVER THAT WHICH HAD BEEN FORFEITED, WHICH IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE NEXT OF KIN, BY PURCHASE OR BY AVENGING. In the Greek, from which our New Testament is translated three words were used: AGORAZO, meaning "TO BUY IN THE (SLAVE) MARKET"; EXAGORAZO, meaning "TO BUY OUT OF THE MARKET", that is, never again to be sold; and LUTROO, meaning "TO SET FREE BY PAYING A PRICE."


All these words and meanings apply. Through Adam, we had sold or forfeit­ed our dominion and our image of God; and we had passed into slavery to the world of Satan. Being exposed in the slave market, we were bought OUT of that market, and set free by the payment of a terrible price, paid by Jesus Christ for us. Our Next of Kin is recovering for us that which we had forfeited--­both by paying a price and by avenging. The Price is already paid; but Satan has not yielded up the things redeemed. As Paul says, in Romans 8:22-23, "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, 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." The usurper must be thrown out by the terr­ible might of God, at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, "For the day of ven­geance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come."


This includes salvation, of course; but it is so much more: it is REDEMP­TION, restoration of all our power and glory as the Sons of God. For this, we should earnestly join in that last prayer in the Book of Revelation, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus.