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Bible verses about Redemption as a Process
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Luke 21:28

This is part of Jesus' Olivet Prophecy, where He predicts conditions before His return—and our redemption is still future!

The conclusion is clear: Sanctification is a process; conversion is a process; and growing and overcoming are a process. We go—proceed—on to perfection, and now we see that redemption is also a process. We do not become completely free of our captivity to Satan and this world in one giant leap. Liberty is produced incrementally, one step at a time. We are indeed the firstfruits of God's great purpose, but we are most assuredly not a finished product—yet. We are under construction, being transformed and brought "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Our Uniqueness and Time


 

Romans 7:23-24

Paul writes in II Corinthians 3:18, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (emphasis ours). Transformation is a process, as is redemption. We should be able to understand this fully from our own experiences since being converted. We know that we are not completely free from Satan and this world.

The apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." This verse indicates that everything concerning salvation is undergoing a process of transformation. Human nature and this world have their hands upon us, and we have to fight them off. We know that if we do not, we will conform to them and their ways. Gradually, as we learn and overcome, the veil is removed, but a time is coming when we will have fullness of everything promised.

Paul relates his experience in Romans 7:23, "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." He writes that the law of sin brought him into captivity. A person in captivity is not free, is he? In verse 24, he continues, "Who shall deliver me [redeem me completely] from this body of death?" A person in need of deliverance is not free. Even as a long-time apostle, Paul was not truly as free as God fully intended him to be.

We see this pictured in the children of Israel in the wilderness. They were physically free—that is, they had fled beyond the boundaries of Egypt—but they were still not free from Egypt's influence, which they carried right with them in their minds and displayed in their conduct and attitudes. This is why God urges us to flee Babylon (see Jeremiah 51:6; Revelation 18:4). We cannot physically escape from its borders because Babylon's influence is worldwide, but we can escape spiritually by not permitting it to influence our conduct and attitudes.

All this means that we will not truly be redeemed until we fully come into our inheritance. Then we will be completely released from all the effects of sin, and it will be plain to all that we are indeed God's peculiar treasure.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Our Uniqueness and Time


 

Ephesians 1:13-14

God's promised Spirit seals us after we believe. Clearly, receiving the Holy Spirit is something that happened in our past. We received it upon faith, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands. Verse 14 clarifies that this occurred in the past, saying that what we received was merely an earnest, an installment guaranteeing that more will be given. The sense here is similar to Romans 8:32, where Paul writes that God's giving of His Son is our guarantee that He will withhold nothing that we truly need.

The word "until" in Ephesians 1:14 further clarifies the time-element by stating that this will not happen "until the redemption of the purchased possession" occurs. Have we assumed that we were redeemed when we believed, accepted Jesus Christ, and were justified by His blood? But, notice, Paul writes that this, too, is yet future!

There is a future reception of more of God's Holy Spirit and a future redemption! The Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). The apostle is teaching us that redemption, like salvation, is a process that has begun but has not yet reached its conclusion. Both of these processes began when we believed and accepted Jesus Christ, but they will not end until we receive God's Spirit in full measure and are glorified in His Kingdom.

Thus, just as we know that we do not now have God's Spirit in full measure, we have to realize that we are not yet fully redeemed. As used in the Bible, redeem means "to deliver one by means of paying a price." The price has been paid in full, and we are even now the recipients of merely the beginning of its blessings. In addition, it also places us under obligation to glorify God and show forth His praises, as we are able.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Our Uniqueness and Time


 

 




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