Advancement in Redemption

We were redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary. In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:14. How thankful we should be for the washing away of our sins by His shed blood! But I wonder if we realize how much more has been provided through our redemption. Besides having our sins forgiven, our redemption provides us with an access to God that few Christians have taken advantage of.

We do not have the option to only choose some of the provisions made by our redemption and to reject the others. When we accept the forgiveness of sins, then we are held responsible to make advancement in our redemption. The Lord expects us to claim and possess all that He has provided for us. Now let’s take a look at some passages of Scripture that show there is an advancement to be made in our redemption.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom (Christ) ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.

It is obvious that redemption here involves much more than the forgiveness of sins. The phrase “until the redemption of the purchased possession” plainly indicates that in some way our redemption is not yet complete. There are four things in particular that we should take note of in these verses. (1) The Holy Spirit of promise is received “after that ye believed.” (2) The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance. (3) Believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit, (4) until the redemption of the purchased possession.

The believer’s experience in the Holy Spirit described here is beyond that which is experienced when a person becomes a Christian. Notice that the apostle Paul said, “After that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation…after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” Many Christians have claimed more than they really received at conversion. And, by doing so, they have closed the door to the reality of being sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. What a tragedy it is to claim so much when you have received so little.

The Holy Spirit of promise is the earnest of our inheritance. In Ephesians 3:19, Paul said, “That ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” The Holy Spirit of promise is the earnest of your inheritance in God. He is the down payment, the assurance that God wants you to advance in Him until you have received His fullness. The Lord God Himself is your inheritance, and you are to advance in your redemption until you have received the fullness of your inheritance.

Thirdly, the Lord wants us to be sealed with the Holy Spirit. What do you think that means? Does it mean that we are sealed in the sense that it is impossible for us to fall away? Some would like to think so. When God seals a believer with the Holy Spirit it means that the believer is the Lord’s possession. The seal of the Holy Spirit is His brand, so to speak, that says, “This is My property!” So rather than giving us total security against falling away, it gives us a greater responsibility to remain true to the Lord. If someone or something is responsible for drawing us away from His Lordship, then he or it will incur the wrath and judgment of God. The same is true for you and me. If you have been sealed by the Spirit and you continue to serve self, then you put yourself in jeopardy. In the Old Testament God judged Israel and Judah because they served other gods when they belonged to Him. The seal, then, is the evidence of His ownership.

Fourth, believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit, “until the redemption of the purchased possession.” The Greek word for “purchased possession” is the same that Peter uses in his epistle for a “peculiar people.” But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God. I Peter 2:9-10. The purchased possession, then, is the Body of Christ. But not the Body of Christ as it is now. The purchased possession speaks of the Body of Christ in all its glory, when it becomes all that God wants it to be. The glorious Church without any spot or blemish is the Lord’s purchased possession. He seals His Church with the Holy Spirit showing His Lordship over it until the redemption of the purchased possession.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The day of redemption here is the day when you become the purchased possession. The Lord didn’t redeem you just so you could be forgiven of your sins. When He redeemed you He redeemed one who is “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). Now, that is not you yet. But He has provided all that you need to become that. His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature. II Peter 1:3-4. All that you need in order to become what He had in mind when He redeemed you has been provided. Now it is up to you to start appropriating your provision. If you neglect to do so, then you are grieving the Holy Spirit. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to teach you how to become the Lord’s purchased possession. Yield to the Holy Spirit that He might guide you into all the truth (John 16:13).

The purpose of this message is to encourage us to continue making advancement in our redemption. The provision for the final completion of our redemption was made at Calvary, but we do not experience it fully at our conversion. We must make advancement by a continual appropriation of the provisions made by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Luke 21:25-28 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

The futuristic aspect of this passage of Scripture need not deter us from an expectation of experiencing the fullness of the redemptive provision. These verses speak of a time of great distress when even the powers of heaven are shaken and of the coming of the Son of man in glory. Therefore,it would be natural for a Christian to think that the redemptive provision here would not be attained without living in the days when these events will take place on earth; and should his time on earth pass before then the provision would remain for others to experience.

We must remember, though, that because the Word is eternal it has a past, present, and future content; that is, the eternal Word always has a present fulfillment. An example is Enoch, the seventh from Adam. He had a revelation of the Lord coming with ten thousands of His saints. By faith he partook of that which was only futuristic to others (Jude 14; Hebrews 11:5; Genesis 5:24). Enoch is a type of those saints in this day that will partake of the coming of the Lord when others are saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Peter 3:4). So there is a spiritual fulfillment of Luke 21:25-28 in the present for those of faith.

How can a prophecy of the last days take place in the present when the last days are yet future? The last days of history are future, but there is also a spiritual last days and these we can enter into. A literal interpretation of Scripture is in the history, and their fulfillment is either in the past or the present or the future. The spiritual interpretation of Scripture is in the mystery of eternity; that is, there is always a fulfillment in the present because the past and the future are wiped out in eternity. The eternal Word of God never dies. That means that God is always accessible to those who are spiritually tuned-in to the eternal Word.

Spiritual growth for a Christian begins at babyhood. As in the natural it follows with adolescence, then young men and fathers (I John 2:12-14). Also in the natural a mature adult enters his last days. Correspondingly, the time of spiritual maturity for a Christian can also be called his last days, not in the sense that they will come to an end but in the sense that he has reached a level in God where he can receive many things that are held back from the immature. Jesus told His disciples, “I have many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). Some things Jesus had to say to them were held until they reached maturity. Peter, in his epistle, said that our salvation contained provisions that would be revealed to us in our “last time,” the days of our maturity (I Peter 1:3-5). And it is in our spiritual maturity (our last days, so to speak), that we may experience a present fulfillment of Luke 21:25-28.

The apostle Paul speaks of the coming of the Lord in His saints, that He may be glorified and admired in them (II Thessalonians 1:10). Also the Word tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that the world is in the heart of man. So when this coming of the Lord begins to come forth in the lives of His saints, the heavens and earth of their world is shaken. He comes forth “with power and great glory,” and everything in the lives of His saints that can be shaken will be removed, and that which cannot be shaken will remain for it will be of His Kingdom. He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:26-29.

When the Lord comes forth in His saints, removing everything in your life that will not be subject to His Lordship, then that is when you are to “lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” Listen, even if you happen to be on earth at the time when these things take place in history, you won’t experience the fullness of your redemption without also experiencing them in your life. The hope of glory is Christ in you (Colossians 1:27), not Christ in the sky.

How far do you want to advance in your redemption? When Jesus Christ paid the price for your redemption with His blood, He was purchasing a “peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a chosen generation” (I Peter 2:9). Our acceptance of His shed blood as forgiveness for our sins sealed our agreement with Him to advance in redemption until He receives “the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:14).

Copyright © 1999 by Henry DuBose