Repentance and Redemption…
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. ~James 5:19-20 NKJV
Once a person has made a decision to turn their life over to Jesus Christ is it done? What is the purpose of repentance? What role does repentance play in redemption? If a person is “redeemed” what does that mean?
According to Merriam-Webster “redeemed; redeeming; redeems” means the following.
1a: to buy back : REPURCHASE
b: to get or win back
2: to free from what distresses or harms: such as
a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom
b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
c: to release from blame or debt : CLEAR
d: to free from the consequences of sin
3: to change for the better : REFORM
4: REPAIR, RESTORE
5a: to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby
b(1): to remove the obligation of by payment
the U.S. Treasury redeems savings bonds on demand
(2): to exchange for something of value
redeem trading stamps
c: to make good : FULFILL
6a: to atone for : EXPIATE
redeem an error
b(1): to offset the bad effect of
(2): to make worthwhile : RETRIEVE
There are any number of the above bullet points that apply in the context for our purposes – certainly far more than just one applies.
Does Jesus Christ expect anything from us when we profess our acceptance of His love?
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
If we are to love our neighbor as ourself would we treat ourselves with disdain, dishonor and contempt? What about stealing, beating and lying? It seems like this would set the plate for confession – being honest with ourselves followed by seeking forgiveness – being honest with others before God.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. ~1 John 1:8-10 NKJV
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. ~James 5:13-18 NKJV
Either the Gospel is divine inspiration, the Word of God teaching us how to live and how to act, or it’s nothing more than a historical account of events.