by Eddie Snipes

This content is part of a series.

Complete Redemption (4 of 10)
Series: Revelation of Grace
Eddie Snipes
Leviticus 25:47

There is a difference between redemption and forgiveness. Both principles help us to understand the gospel. Forgiveness is God's pardon for our sins. Redemption is when our bondage to debt has been paid by another person. Let's begin by looking at the law of redemption.

In Leviticus 25:47 the Bible begins explaining the law of redemption as it pertains to a person's life. It also explains why slavery is taught in the Bible. Those who haven't studied this topic mistakenly compare the Bible's teachings to the type of slavery we see in the 1700s and 1800s in the US and Europe. People falsely claim that the Bible endorses slavery. The Bible calls that practice 'manstealers' or 'kidnappers'. Forced slavery is strongly condemned in the Bible.

In Leviticus, the Bible explains slavery as a payment for debt. If a man borrows money, he agrees to pay it back by a set date. If he is unable to do so, he must repay with his service as a slave. This is why in the book of Philemon, the Apostle Paul sends the runaway slave Onesimus, back to his master with a letter asking for leniency.

In that era, there was no such thing as wiping out your debt with bankruptcy. If the sum of money being borrowed was large enough, a man could include his entire family as collateral.

In Leviticus, the Bible says that if someone becomes poor and sells himself into slavery, a kinsman who has the means can redeem his relative by paying off the debt. This is a picture of what would one day come through the cross. Every offense against the law in deed, thought, failing to obey, or actively disobeying puts us in debt. Any works we do while we are a slave to sin does not earn any reward or merit. It only goes toward our debt.

This sheds light on Romans 4:4, which we studied earlier. To him who works, his wages are not counted as grace but as debt. A slave never received wages for his work. Whether h ...

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