Larry Buford (File photo)

I did not realize there was so much controversy about whether the spiritual meanings of “redemption” and “salvation” are one and the same. Please correct me if I’m wrong.  I think if we look at both words – “redeemer” and “savior” – as nouns, we’d get a better understanding.

If we look at the root words “redeem” and “save” as transitive verbs, we’d get:

  1. Jesus the Redeemer came to earth to redeem mankind as God promised in Genesis 3:15; “to defeat the enemy [Satan] of God, and set His children free…” God told Satan “I will put enmity (conflict) between your seed and the woman’s seed: He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his feet” (a reference to Satan’s efforts to defeat Jesus during His life on earth). “He will bruise your head” refers to Satan’s defeat when Jesus is raised from the dead. A bruise on the heel is not deadly, but a severe blow to the head is.
  2. Jesus became Savior and saved us through His shed blood on the cross. John 3:16-17 reads: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him (the Redeemer) might be saved.”

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Our sovereign, omniscient, eternal Lord God – who knew us before the foundations of the world, and gave us freewill – had a plan in place even before the fall of Adam who allowed/ushered sin into the Garden of Eden. In Jeremiah 1:5, God said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” God is not in our time frame. He is Alpha and Omega; He can see it all – what was, what is, and what is to be; as if everything is NOW! He says His name is “I Am.”

Satan violated God’s plan by planting the seed of sin and subverting God’s will. So, to try and make an analogy: Kidnapping is a crime, and usually the perpetrator exacts a ransom in exchange for the release of the victim(s). The word “redeem” in basic terms means to “buy back” something that is of value to you. Have you ever pawned something? You have to buy back the item to bring it into your possession again; otherwise, you may lose it. What about those bottles and cans that are labeled redeemable at 5 or 10 cents. If you know about redemption, but don’t act on it, you’re not redeemed. If there is no point of exchange to make the payment of ransom, venue to pawn, or buy back, then there is no reconciliation or completion of the deal. God summoned and approved the ransom. The cross of redemption is the exchange for believers. Do you believe? Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

Jesus the Redeemer came on earth with the ransom – His blood – that He exchanged on the cross, and became our Savior (the propitiation [satisfier of God’s wrath]) to save mankind from the curse, the clutches of sin. The Redeemer made us redeemable for salvation if we believe in Him. It’s like salvation rode in on the horse of the Redeemer – no horse, no rider, no salvation.

Being made in the image of God; the relationship with God that Adam lost out of disobedience in the Garden of Eden; God promised a redeemer in the person of Jesus the Messiah to pay a ransom to free mankind from the clutches of sin. When The Redeemer came on the scene, proving who He was (the payment) with signs and wonders, He fulfilled the transaction by shedding His blood on the cross, proclaiming in John 12:32, “if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Do you believe He is risen? Christ Jesus lives! Receive Him in your heart today!

Since I am limited in word count, I will only list a few points of reference where you can look up some other things for yourself (e.g., Genesis 35:10-11 and 49:18, Psalm 107; and Philippians 3:20-21). I look forward to your comments/feedback.

Larry Buford is a contributing writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” and “Book To The Future” (Amazon). Email: [email protected]