…by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
For Paul’s readers the idea of redemption was clear because at the center of most Greek cities stood the “agora” — “the place of redemption, a marketplace where buying and selling took place”. The Greek word for the “act” of redemption (to buy or bought) is “agorazo”, but that is not the word used here.
The second Greek word for redemption is “exagorazo” which is the “act of purchasing or redeeming never to return”. In Biblical times a slave for example, could be purchased for a season of harvesting, then returned to the market and sold again. “Exagorazo” was the opposite of this practice — it meant permanent possession. However, ”exagorazo” is not the word used here.
In our passage today is the third Greek word used for redemption: “apolutrosis”, which means “liberation procured by the payment of a ransom”, or practically: to purchase a slave with the intent of setting him free completely — to never be a slave again.
For us redemption is all of these: agorazo — because we have been purchased by the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23, 7:30; 2 Peter 2:1); exagorazo — because we will never be sold again (see Galatians 3:13 and 4:5; Colossians 4:5); and it is specifically in our passage today apolutrosis — because the Lord purchased us so we could be set free from sin (see Luke 21:29; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30).
The Bible tells us we have been purchased and set free. Do you feel free or do you still live under the illusory power of sin? In Romans 8:2, Paul will tell us because of Christ’s death sin has no power over us (“…through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death…”) — we therefore have a choice. Jesus has purchased you with his life and you have been set free — the only question that remains — will you accept (or acknowledge) your freedom?